The Amazonian rainforest occupies 60% of Peru. A mostly untouched region of primary jungle, it’s a true wilderness, but parts are surprisingly accessible to visitors, just an hour’s flight from Cusco, or two from Lima. There may not be much human society but the forest is heaving with wildlife, mammals, reptiles, birds, and insects and adorned with gorgeous tropical flowers and fruits, from orchids to mangoes.
The northern region of the Peruvian Amazon is much further downstream than the southern region which embraces some of the tributary rivers which flow into what will eventually become the Amazon as it flows through Brazil beyond Manaus. The northern river, accessible from the port of Iquitos, with flood plains and wide tributaries, is populated by enchanting wildlife including otters and more sociable dolphins and its shores are variously pristine and uninhabited or peppered with occasional villages and farmsteads. These settlements are outside protected areas such as Pacaya Samiria where manatees, pink dolphins, turtles and monkeys abound. The region is perhaps best explored from a river cruise, where you can make forays into the many creeks and tributaries to discover wildlife and luxuriant flora.