In the heart of the Amazon lies one of the most biodiverse rainforests in the world: the Tambopata-Candamo National Reserve. The Reserve occupies an area of 274,690 hectares and is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world

The Tambopata National Reserve is located south of the Madre de Dios River in the Tambopata and Inambari districts of the province of Tambopata, department of Madre de Dios; and its extension is 274,690.00 hectares. The presence of this important protected natural space seeks to preserve the flora, fauna and ecological processes of a sample of the tropical rainforest. Likewise, the Tambopata National Reserve generates conservation processes that ensure the sustainable use of natural resources and landscape.

The Tambopata river basin presents one of the highest indices of biological diversity in the world. The Tambopata National Reserve is located in the middle and lower zone of this basin, next to the city of Puerto Maldonado. Among its most common ecosystems are aguajales, marshes, pacales and riparian forests, whose physical characteristics allow local people to take advantage of natural resources.

It´s main objective is to protect the flora and fauna and the scenic beauty of a sample of sub tropical humid forest, generate processes of conservation with the population in the Reserve, with the purpose of using resources such as chestnuts and the landscape for recreation. , and regional development.

General data:

  • Location: In the Department of Madre de Dios, the province of Tambopata, delimited by milestones and descriptive memory in accordance with Annex I of the Supreme Decree of Creation.Activities: Observation of fauna, flora and birds, hiking, camping, observation of butterflies, taking photographs and filming.
  • Foundation: On September 4, 2000, by means of Supreme Decree No. 048-2000-AG.
  • Climate: The average annual temperature is 26º C; It fluctuates between 10º and 38º C. The low temperatures are conditioned by cold Antarctic winds that arrive through the Andes and enter the Amazon basin. The presence of cold winds is reported with greater intensity in the months of June and July. The rains occur in the months of December to March. Recommended season: from April to November.
  • Access by land: 18 km by land (with 4×4 truck) from the city of Puerto Maldonado to the community of Infierno. Time: 1 hour
  • Access via lake: Boat – Distance: 47 km from the city of Puerto Maldonado (2 hours by motor boat).
  • Entrance fee:

– Valid for 01 entry:   Validity: 1 day – Cost: PEN 30 

                                     Validity: 5 days – Cost: PEN 100

– Valid for 02 income: Validity: 5 days – Cost: PEN 65

  •  Services: Hostels, interpretation center, hygienic services, park rangers and radio.

 A place of reference for biodiversity

The reserve is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world and the Peruvian government has officially recognized it as the country’s Biodiversity Capital. According to current estimates by conservationists Fauna Forever, the area protects 160 species of mammals and at least 650 species of birds. Other studies have also accounted for 1,200 species of butterflies, more than 150 species of amphibians and reptiles and approximately 100 species of fish, in addition to more than 10,000 species of plants. Wildlife here includes abundant numbers of even endangered species such as the Giant Nutrium, Jaguar, Tapir, Peccary Barbiblanco, four of the six species of Caiman, in addition to the Giant Anteater, Giant Armadillo, Yaguarundí, Harpy Eagle, Taricaya Turtle and even the Short-eared Fox, Venado de las Pampas and Aguará Guazú, among others. Here are also eight species of monkeys, including some that are easy to see or hear as the Red Howler Monkey. 

Tourist Attractions

The best way to visit the Tambopata National Reserve is through a program organized with accommodation in a lodge and a minimum of 3 days. The starting point is the city of Puerto Maldonado. 


The Tambopata National Reserve is ideal for tours in the rainforest with an emphasis on sustainability and conservation.Many lodges are owned or operated in collaboration with local indigenous communities that can reap the benefits of tourism and, at the same time, achieve sustainable development. The goal is to maintain this natural area in pristine form for future generations 

Sandoval Lake

This 127-hectare water mirror is surrounded by palm trees full of macaws and is only half an hour by river from Puerto Maldonado. In its waters, which can be covered in tour boats that rent local people and hostels, lives a large family of river wolves (otters) which is appreciated hunting and grooming on the trunks. There is also an observatory tower for a panoramic view. In the Tambopata River basin, upstream, there are other important lakes, such as Cocococha, 2 hours from Puerto Maldonado and also with the presence of river wolves; and Sachavacayoc, located 3 hours from Puerto Maldonado where there is a camping area to spend the night. 

Macaw Clay Lick

The Macaw Clay Lick are “cliffs” on the banks of rivers where parrots congregate, sometimes hundreds of them at the same time, to eat clay. The Reserve contains the largest known macaw clay lick in the world, in addition to the largest concentration of colpas known. Up to 17 species of different parrots, including 6 species of macaws, visit these colpas. 

Tree canopy (tree canopy towers)

It is one thing to explore the jungle at ground level, where the trees rise like cathedrals wrapped in lush vegetation. It is a totally different world at the level of the arboreal canopy, 25 to 40 meters above the ground, with an infinite forest that stretches before your eyes like a lush green sea. Fruits and flowers attract birds and small animals, which nest there to keep themselves safe from larger predators. The monkeys swing from the branches, leaving a green whisper in their wake. You can witness this wonderful natural life visiting Tambopata, where a handful of lodges near Puerto Maldonado have canopy towers, platforms, suspension bridges and zip lines. 

Descent of rivers or rafting (whitewater rafting)

It runs through the Tambopata riverbed from Putina Punko in the Andes (between Cusco and Puno) to the reserve. Only a few tour companies offer this trip on a raft. It is physically challenging, and the nights are spent camping on the banks of the river. In return, you will get a privileged step from the mountains to the rainforest in some of the most beautiful and remote areas of Peru. 

Visit Aboriginal communities

In the virgin forests of the department of Madre de Dios there are many jungle tribes, such as the Ese Aja, Machiguengas, Huarayos, Mashcos, and Arasaris, among others. Almost all are incorporated into civilization by evangelical missionaries, but retain much of their ancestral customs. This native population has many myths and legends, and a great diffusion of folk medicine and quack based on the large number of medicinal plants that exist. Visit the communities and live with them so you can experience experiential tourism. You can even participate in the ancestral medicinal ritual of ayahuasca. 

How to get to the Tambopata National Reserve?

Puerto Maldonado is the main city and entrance to the national reserve and is located at the confluence of the Madre de Dios River and the Tambopata River. To get to this city you must depart from Cusco. Currently, the Transoceanic Highway connects Cusco with Puerto Maldonado on a paved road, although comfortable and winding, in a 10-hour trip. To see all the ways to get to Tambopata, visit our blog How to get to Tambopata