Amazed by The Amazon
We chose to enter The Amazon from Peru, in Puerto Maldonado which is 10-12hours by bus from Cusco, we took the night bus!
On arrival in Puerto Maldonado we were transferred to The Office for Amazon Planet, where we would be staying. Here we were able to freshen up, log onto the wifi or simply chill. We popped into town as we had some spare time before the whole group had arrived.
Puerto Maldonado is relatively small, set on the river Madre De Dios - there's a buzzing market for tourists and locals sole which sells everything from souvenirs and medicinal plants to fresh meat, fish and vegetables. The main square is a short TukTuk ride away where you can find the "better" restaurants, ice cream shops and cafes.
We took the boat to Amazon Planet (around 1 hour) and checked in. It's a beautiful resort with private self-contained bungalows. The electricity is restricted to key times to ensure less wastage and there's an amazing on-site restaurant where you will eat all meals. The chefs use local foods so we had Cat Fish with local vegetables, a delicacy of chicken, rice, olives and egg steamed in a leaf similar to a palm leaf and many more delicious meals.
During our stay at Amazon Planet we had a great guide, José, who took us around. We went on an orientation walk to check out the tall trees and medicinal plants hidden in the jungle. On our first night we climbed into a boat and went down the river in the dark searching for Caimans (we found about 5!!!!)
The next day we headed to the Animal Rescue/Rehabilitation Centre which is recognised by the government. We saw a baby sloth, lots of monkeys, various birds, big cats and a puma. It's s good scheme and great to see both the lodge and the local volunteers supporting the jungle animals!
We also took a steep hanging bridge up to a viewing platform located in the Kapok Tree - the highest in the jungle. In the afternoon we went to a local farm to see he produce which they're able to grow in the Amazon, lots of fruit and cocoa trees/plants. From the farm we went upstream by boat before jumping into our own inflatable dinghies and with a paddle, we floated our way down the river for almost an hour. It was beautiful and peaceful, we were able to spot some cool birds, parrots and monkeys in the trees too!
At night we took a walk through the pitch black jungle which was fun. We found tarantulas, frogs, mice and rabbits - nothing too exotic but fun nonetheless.
We spent two nights at the lodge and then we were transferred back to The Office by boat before having another day in Puerto Maldonado... It was a long day as we were back by midday and our bus wasn't until 9pm. There are a few options such as visiting the local swimming pool, a snake house or a butterfly house. However we were tired and had a night bus followed by more full on days so we didn't want wet clothes.
We went for lunch at the main square and then chilled out in The Office before leaving for the bus station.