“The Miracle of the Nature” is the Capital of the Department of Madre de Dios, located in the southeastern part of Peru . Puerto Maldonado is a departure point of the one of greatest adventures you could ever imagine, an expedition in the Peruvian Jungle. This is an exuberant and vigorous land that has not yet been punished by the destructive claws of civilization. The jungle is ferocious and intricate, hot and oppressive, but rich in life.
In this area of the Amazon – mythologized by the Spanish conquerors as El Dorado – the greatest variety of animal and plant species on the planet coexist in perfect harmony.
Madre de Dios can only be described as a miracle of nature: A world of gigantic trees, powerful rivers and thick fog, in which man is an outsider, a strange being disturbed by the whispers of the inhabitants of the jungle as he walks its tortuous trails. Here silence never reigns. Here anything could happen.
Puerto Maldonado History
It is said that the Amazon forest is the only place that gives one the sensation of witnessing the dawn of time. Thousands of visitors are drawn to the diversity of the area’s forests and rivers, arriving in the city of Puerto Maldonado , the capital of the department of Madre de Dios , ready to set out on a journey filled with excitement and discovery.
Founded July 10, 1902 , the city was named after explorer Faustino Maldonado, who paddled up the Madre de Dios River to the point where it comes together with the Tambopata River .
Puerto Maldonado is the gateway to three national parks in the Peruvian Amazon featuring an extraordinary diversity of wild species of flora and fauna: the Manu, Bahuaja-Sonene and Tambopata-Candamo.
Puerto Maldonado Location
South Amazonian jungle
Altitude Puerto Maldonado
610 feet (186 m) above sea level.
Population in Puerto Maldonado
Distances from Puerto Maldonado
331.25 miles (530 Km) from Cuzco.
Weather in Puerto Maldonado
Tropical humid. Rainy season from November to March.
How to Arrive to Puerto Maldonado
Transports and Communications – Puerto Maldonado
When arriving to Peru from abroad you will have to do it through the cities of Lima or Cusco . Then by air directly to Puerto Maldonado. The regional transportation is done by river or by air means. To Puerto Maldonado the airplane arrived first and then the automobile.
Puerto Maldonado has the Airport Padre Aldamiz (PEM), small and with comfortable facilities. It has a vaccination center.
From Puerto Maldonado usually you can find daily flights to the city of Lima , and there are also flights from/to Cusco .
It is traditional to find the “peque peque” (a motorized canoe), “pecamari” (medium size boat with a little roof) and the “glider” boat with a strong out board engine, some dedicated to the transport of people and others exclusively for load, with regular itineraries or can be taken for the particular service.
Puerto Maldonado Gastronomy
The typical dishes include:
Patasca or caldo de mondongo (tripe soup with maize, mint and giblets).
Sarapatera (soup based on turtle, banana and fariña or cassava meal, cooked in the turtle’s shell).
Inchicapi (chicken soup with peanuts, cilantro and cassave)
Timbuche (soup based on fish, green banana and cilantro).
Asado de venado (roasted deer) served with rice and green banana.
Tacacho con cecina (coal cooked or fried crushed banana mixed with lard and cured meat).
Asado de picuro (roasted picuro, an Amazonian rodent famous for its delicious meat)
Suri frito (fried suri) served with boiled banana,
Caldo de carachama (thick soup based on a fish named carachama, bananas and cilantro).
The traditional drinks include:
Masato (drink based on crushed cooked cassave fermented with sweet potato or sugar).
Refresco de aguajina (delicious aguaje drink).
Refresco de pihuayo.
Chapo (drink prepared with banana and sugar, served cold).
Attractions in Puerto Maldonado
About Puerto Maldonado, Tambopata, and Manu
The Manu National Park is the largest protected natural area of its kind in Peru . Spreading across the departments of Cuzco and Madre de Dios , the park covers the entire Manu River watershed.
A boat ride down the Tambopata or Madre de Dios Rivers takes one to the Bahuaja-Sonene (Tambopata-Heath) National Park, while the Heath River leads to the Pampas del Heath, a unique savanna area wedged in the heart of Peru ‘s tropical rainforest and a haven for unique animal species.
The Tambopata River leads to the Tambopata Candamo Reserved Area, which is famous for featuring the greatest diversity of species of mammals, trees, insects and birds on Earth.
Festivals in Madre de Dios , such as San Juan in June or Tourism and Ecological Week are good reasons to taste regional dishes and take a refreshing dip in Lake Sandoval or go fishing on Lake Valencia , while visitors can spot countless species of plants, fish and fauna in general.
Puerto Maldonado is located in the confluence of the rivers Tambopata and Madre de Dios ; it is characterized by their notable delay in the economic development, due to the lack of appropriate communication roads. Its population, in its majority is conformed by native jungle tribes, dedicated to tasks of extraction of natural resources, wood, fruits, gold, etc., with limited production means.
However, the difficult conditions of life in the area have allowed them to be and conserve one of the virgin natural scenarios in the whole planet, having parks and natural reservations of Amazon forests, of singular characteristics in the world.
It is the best destination for the lovers of the nature and biodiversity, and also for those who look for adventure, in paradisiacal places, of exuberant vegetation, in which infinity of animal species inhabit, many of them, only exist in these forests.
The special characteristic of the jungle of Madre de Dios department is due to masses of cold air coming from the southern Atlantic , during the months of June, and they originate an abrupt descent of the temperature, reaching 5°C or less. This eventual meteorological phenomenon is denominated, in the area, as the “friaje”.
This situation, in the evolutionary process during hundred-thousand years, originated the disappearance of many species of reptiles, because of being of cold blood, and when existing less predators, and the adaptation of others, it is already allowed the subsistence and evolution of species missing in other places of the earth, inclusive in the Amazon area. Existence of animal species and unique vegetables in their gender.
These forests still have many places to discover and also many unknown species alive for the science.
In the virgin forests of Madre de Dios department, inhabit jungle tribes, as the Ese’eja, Machiguengas, the Huarayos, the Mashcos, the Arasaris (practically exterminated), the Huachiparis, the Shirenis, the Iñaparis, the Amaricaris, almost all incorporated to the civilization by evangelical missionaries, but they conserve much of their ancestral customs.
This population has many myths and legends, some of them mystical; there is a great diffusion of the folkloric and quack medicine on the base of the great quantity of medicinal plants that exist.