From Puerto Maldonado you can get into the real jungle, and if you search a little, you will find options for camping in the jungle, or even have an expedition to look for big animals. You can find very good local guides.
Puerto Maldonado is the gateway to the Peruvian Amazon! It is a ten hour bus ride from Cusco, in which it is recommended to take the night bus. It is very humid and also unpredictably rainy in Puerto Maldonado, but it is a nice town. There a few a hostels in and around Puerto Maldonado, all of which have the basic amenities and are close enough to the city centre. Most hostels offer luggage storage for Amazon Trips, along with wifi, hot water showers, laundry, and some have kitchens available too. If there are not self-catering facilities available, then most are in short walking distance of restaurants. Alternatively, grab a TukTuk to the Main Square for more food options!
The main attractions in Puerto Maldonado inclue The Bridge, which crosses the longest river in Peru and will eventually take you on the highway to Brazil, the Madre De Dios River, the Local Market, and the Main Square.
The Main Square is where you can find all the necessary things whilst travelling, such as banks, ATM's, restaurants, bars, shops, souvenirs, and much more! Although it is not a huge square, it is pretty, with a Japanese-style centrepiece. From here, you can walk to see the Madre De Dios River, which eventually flows into the Amazon River.
The Local Market is a short TukTuk or taxi ride away from the Main Square, and here you can find fruits, vegetables, and meat and fish, along with small restaurants and street food counters. Although it is not visibly popular with tourists, when looking around you, there are plenty of locals selling their handicrafts and generating money through tourism.
Staying in Puerto Maldonado gives you the opportunity to visit the Amazon Rainforest, and there are lots of tour operators and some of the hostels will offer tours too. It takes under two hours by boat to reach the depths of the jungle from Puerto Maldonado. Once in the Amazon, there is a huge range of eco-lodges and hostels to choose from. Puerto Maldonado is a great place to stay and base yourself; however, as there is not a huge amount to do in the town itself, you probably do not need to spend too many nights here.
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