Destination guide: Puerto Maldonado, Peru
Puerto Maldonado is the gateway to a large number of natural attractions in Peru. This city is one of the few in the jungle that are accessible, which makes it an important commercial center in the area.
Those who visit Puerto Maldonado will find everything they need for an incredible vacation amid the majestic forests and rivers of the Peruvian jungle.
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At first sight the streets are full of mototaxis (three-wheeled motorcycle rickshaw taxis), Puerto Maldonado soon endears itself to you. Travelers arrive yet all too quickly leave again en route to the lodges and wildlife on the nearby rivers.
Yet the town’s languid, laid-back ambience invites you to linger. Whether you arrive by air or by road, Puerto Maldonado will certainly be a shock to the system. Unlike Peru’s larger Amazon cities further north, this is a rawer town. But its beautiful plaza and burgeoning accommodation options will, together with a lively nightlife, provide plenty of reason to hang around here for a couple of days.
The town itself has been important over the years for rubber, logging and even for gold and oil prospecting, and its role as a crossroads is about to take on greater dimensions as the Interoceanic Hwy, linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans via Brazil and Peru, takes shape. For the moment, though, it’s of foremost importance to travelers as the jumping-off point for a voyage on the Ríos Tambopata and Madre de Dios, converging here.
These watery wildernesses offer the most unspoilt yet accessible jungle locales in the country, yet are served by some excellent accommodation options for travelers who want that touch of luxury. Undisputedly, Puerto Maldonado gives the traveler the chance to see, feel and hear the Amazonian jungle like nowhere else in Peru.
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