Eco Travel in Peru – What ASTA the Travel Association have to SayMarch 16, 2012
Covering 60% of Peru, the Amazon jungle features on many visitors’ itineraries — not surprising, considering the variety of landscape and wildlife that can be captured on camera. Lush vegetation, dense jungle and waterways are home to 10 million species, including jaguar, snakes, crocodiles and thousands of types of birds and fish.
There are two main gateways into the heart of the Amazon: Iquitos in the north and Puerto Maldonado in the south, which is accessible from Cusco by air or road. From these two cities, visitors can explore the remote Pacaya-Samiria in the north, Peru’s largest natural reserve; or visit the southern Amazon’s Manu Biosphere Reserve, home to macaws and parrots, and the Tambopata National Reserve — the most bio-diverse area of the Peruvian Amazon.
When it comes to exploring the Amazon, options include guided boat tours, overnight stays in eco lodges ranging from basic to luxury or camping for close encounters with wildlife. For clients wanting to cruise the Amazon in style, there is the 12-suite MV Aqua. But it’s not just the Amazon where travellers can be at one with nature.
Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake — sharing its perimeters with Bolivia — is home to birds, fish, flamingos, Andean geese and seagulls, as well as aquatic plants. The best way to experience Lake Titicaca is to stay overnight on Amantani Island, on the Peruvian side of the lake, with local residents offering home-stays. Peru is home to more than 1,800 species of birds, so it’s ideal for a spot of bird watching. Real enthusiasts should follow the Central Birding Route, journeying from the coastal region of Lima through the Andes and into the Amazon, with opportunities to spot endemic species along the way. The rim of Colca Canyon is the prime place to spot giant condors swooping overhead.
Excerpt from ASTA Magazine, July 2009
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