the gateway to Manu National Reserve and to Tambopata Candamo National
Reserve, is the Capital of the Department of Madre de Dios is located
southeast of Peru its 230 Mts. above sea level, it has a tropical
climate warm and humid. With a rainy season between December and March,
therefore, it is better to visit it April through November. Puerto
Maldonado is a small town on the confluence of the Tambopata and Madre
de Dios rivers.
Puerto Maldonado was founded at
the fall of the 19th century; mainly Andean migrants from Cuzco and
Puno only populated it in the course of the present century. The region
was one inhabited by the Mojos; a tribe that offered strong opposition
to the Incas, until Inca Sinchi Roca eventually subdued it. A 200-km
road passing close to the town leads to Iņapari on the banks of the
Acre River, on the frontier. The area is a big producer of Brazil
nuts. In recent years gold panning has increased, particularly on
the banks of the Inambari and Madre de Dios rivers.
The Department of Madre de Dios,
capital Puerto Maldonado, has the greatest biodiversity, and is possibly
the least affected and eroded territory in the Peruvian Amazon. It
contains three reservations or conservation units divided into well-defined
This 1.5 million-hectare reservation
contains the richest genetic bank in the Peru and in the world. It
has successive tiers of vegetation rising from 150 to 4,200 meters
above sea-level. The tropical forest in the lower tiers contains an
unrivaled variety of animal and plant species. Some 850 species of
birds have been identified and rare species such as the giant otter
and the giant armadillo have found refuge there. Jaguars are often
sighted in the park and it also he world's largest macaw clay lick.
Candamo National Reserve
This reservation comprises
a territory of 1 million 478 thousand hectares, with an approximate
perimeter of 850 km divided between the Departments of Puno (60%)
and Madre de Dios (40%). 750 species of birds, and more than 1100
of butterflies are reported to live in its diverse habitats and forests,
this being a true a true zoological world record. There are 181 species
of trees on solid land, and 155 in the alluvial forest; many kinds
of monkeys, gigantic otters, and four species of felines. The macaw
clay lick can also be visited from Tambopata Reserve.
One hour away by peque peque
(outboard motorboat). A beautiful lake on the right bank of the Madre
de Dios river surrounded by high aguaje-palms, and populated by ducks,
parrots, turtles, caimans, otters, crocodiles, herons and a great
variety of fish. Fishing is permitted. To approach the lake there
is a 5 km long path under the thick trees where monkeys can be seen
early in the morning and birds out in search of food. Lake transport
is easily hired in Puerto Tambopata and also in the port of the Madre
de Dios river.
This lake is 60 Km from Puerto
Maldonado and four hours by motorboat on the Madre de Dios river,
almost on the Bolivian border. Gold prospectors can usually be seen
along the way.
50 km from Puerto Maldonado. As
suggested by its name, this is an unorganized, chaotic and laberynthic
town, inhabited by gold miners. Here you see the use of resources
in the colonizing frontiers of tropical countries.
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