History of Puerto Maldonado
Puerto Maldonado is small Amazon city, capital of Madre de Dios region in Peru. The city itself holds little interest to tourists; however it is a great starting point for visiting some of the amazing Jungle reserves, particularly the Tambopata national reserve, and other wonders of the Peruvian rain forest.
Juan Alvarez Maldonado was a Spanish explorer who explored Madre de Dios in 1567 in search of gold. He was the first Spanish to travel and discover such territories, but having lost more than 200 men due to sickness and Indian attacks, he had to return. The memory of the hardness of these events prevented further Spaniards from returning to this area of the amazon in Peru for a very long time, but in the mid-19th century Colonel Faustino Maldonado went to make the first map of the area. Before perishing in the rapids of the Madre de Dios River, he carved his name on a tree trunk at the confluence of the Tambopata and Madre de Dios Rivers, where the town named for him is located today, Puerto Maldonado.
Puerto Maldonado began as a rubber boom town in 1902 after a mule road was built from the coast to the headwaters of the Tambopata River. After the rubber craze ended, gold mining and logging took its place and continues today, though fortunately measures are being taken to protect the environment from these activities. Tourism and Brazil nuts are becoming an increasingly important activity in this part of the amazon, providing a great alternative of business for the local people, promoting the beauty of the Peruvian rain forest, instead of destroying it. The wide avenues of Puerto Maldonado are surrounded by rows of wooden buildings. Instead of cars, mostly scooters and three-wheeled bikes or “moto cars”, as locals call them buzz the streets.
People from different countries and cultures have become a regular sight in the main plaza, visiting the different bars and restaurants that have appeared due to the growing tourism in the amazon.
Things to do in Puerto Maldonado
Sandoval Lake Lodge
The muddy walk to get there is worth it when you get the chance to see a wide variety of Amazonian wildlife from the tranquil location in a canoe. You may see giant river otters, monkeys, Cayman and many different forest birds such as macaws, parrots, ibis, etc.
Inkaterra Ecological Reserve
Cool place and fun for the whole family Very nice and well-kept lodge. Moreover, delicious food and drinks, friendly staff. The adventure park was a really nice activity! It consists of 2 bridges (gives you a bird-like perspective) and 2 zip lines It is definitely worth going. You can book a tour, which continued by kayak to monkey island (where you can watch and feed the monkeys as well as watch other animals).
Just make sure you use repellent before going.
The Tambopata Butterfly Farm (Mariposario Tambopata) is the first and biggest butterfly exhibition in Peru. Located only 2 min from Puerto Maldonado International Airport. In the TambopataButterfly
you will stroll around hundreds of amazing Amazonian butterflies. The Tambopata Butterfly Farm is a great place to wait for your flight.
Largest bridge in Peru. The longest and largest building in Peru, an important connection between the country and neighbor Brazil, distant some 300km away. From there one can see where the Madre de Dios and Tambopata rivers meet.
Jungle Nature Hikes
Great Experience. This is what you come to the Amazon to do. From wild bird clay licks, animal hides, river trips, canopy viewing and so on, its a great experience. The resorts supply community gumboots because it can get very boggy on the jungle trails. Be prepared for some long walks.
You can visit the island in the afternoon to see the monkeys that are reintroduced to the jungle after being confiscated from illegal trading. Dense jungle vegetation and sandy riverbanks. You can see many monkeys, some tarantulas, birds ( if you have a watchful eye of course) and occasionally reptiles such as snakes and caimans. Avoid the excessive heat in midday. The sunset over the jungle looks fantastic.
It’s about 30minutes outside of Puerto Maldonado and highly recommended. When you go, negotiate with the cab driver to have them stay with you at the shelter, you will NOT find a cab on their road. It needs to be a cab, not a Tuk-Tuk/Motor Cab (Should be about 35 Soles one way, plus the drivers time while you are there. The work they are doing at the shelter is Amazing and they offer programs where you can stay and volunteer your time and resources to improve the shelter. Call ahead so they know you are coming and bring cash to make a donation to the cause.
Viewpoint of Biodiversity Nice views
For only 3 soles you can go up this building. There are nice views over the city and Amazon. This building is on a roundabout with no safe crossing possibilities. So just run when there is no car coming. The view is interesting of the rivers, plus the information disseminated in the stairwell is interesting.
Mother of God Tropicana Serpentine
Boas and Vipers. The Serpentario is a small zoo very close to the airportof Puerto Maldonado. They have some birds, a number of snakes including the Boa Constrictor which you can put around your neck, and some very poisonous vipers safely behind glass. Also, they some mammals, notably a young leopard A wild anteater is roaming the garden. A visit is a good way to spend a lost morning or afternoon, a taxi ride with a Moto taxi from the center of Puerto Maldonado was 9 Soles. You do need translation from Spanish to English by eg. your tour guide if you do not speak Spanish yourself.
Top Hotels in Puerto Maldonado
1. Copasu Hotel
2 .Hotel Jose Antonios Inn
3. Hotel Centenario
4. Wasai Puerto Maldonado Hostel
5. Wasai Puerto Maldonado Eco Lodge
6. Ecolucerna Lodge
7. Posada Amazonas Lodge
8. Sotupa Eco House
9. Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica
10. Inkaterra Guides Field Station
Average Temperature in Puerto Maldonado
Average Weather in Puerto Maldonado Peru. The climate in Puerto Maldonado is hot, oppressive, and mostly cloudy. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 64°F to 90°F and is rarely below 56°F or above 96°F.