While many travelers come to Peru to trek the Inca Trail and visit the ancient city of Machu Picchu there are many reasons to stay in Peru longer or return for another visit. One of the most compelling reasons is the vast region of Peru's Amazon rainforest. When many people think about the Amazon they assume it is only in Brazil but the Amazonia region is 1.4 billion acres and also touches Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Bolivia, Suriname and French Guiana.
It is true that the majority of the Amazon, or 60%, is found in Brazil but 17% of the Amazon is found in Peru; however, less than 3,000 travelers visit it each year making it still quite off the beaten track. Much of the reason for the small number of visitors is that it is not simple to visit. The road conditions are not great so it is recommended that travelers fly into Iquitos and Puerto Maldonado and from there take a river boat.
However for adventure seekers there is great reward as the Amazon covers 60% of Peru and is one of the most diverse regions in the world. There are a number of things to do but most recently a new tour launched to share one of the more unique aspects of the region, an opportunity to see the world’s smallest primate, the pygmy marmoset and the elusive jaguar.
Between April 3 and Dec. 25, 2013 Wild Planet Adventures is running 12 tours for the 13 day Peru Ultimate Wildlife Adventure.
Many wildlife enthusiasts first consider Brazil to seek out rare species but the Peruvian rainforest is one of the world's top wildlife destinations travel - perhaps moreso because there are fewer visitors. The protected regions visited on Wild Planet Adventure's itinerary include 30 percent of the world's species, for example a single hectare of forest may have more than 480 species of trees alone.
Part of the Wild Planet tour includes Manu National Park, the best park in the world for biodiversity, which includes 200 species of mammals and 1,000 species of birds –the highest concentration on earth. In addition to opportunities to see 13 species of primates including woolly monkeys, monk saki and Emperor tamarins, there is an opportunity to photograph tapirs at night.
Participants also visit Tambopata Biosphere Reserve which is known to be one of the few areas in the world so rich with biodiversity that has yet to be discovered. Here in the remote Reserved Zone travelers can see the world's largest clay-lick, a photographer's dream where up to 1,000 vibrantly colored macaws and parrots cluster during peak activity.
For first-time visitors to Peru, this 13-day trip also includes Machu Picchu, Cuzco, and the Sacred Valley. There are also options to visit Lake Titicaca, the Nazca Lines, and Colca canyon.
A shortened nine day version is also offered that shares the same departure days. The per person double rate of $4,798 for 13 days and $3,298 for nine days also includes a tour of Machu Picchu. Private departures are also available for a minimum of only 2 travelers.