Having visited the stunning beaches of Ilha Grande with Montse earlier this week, our attention turns to another incredible and naturally spectacular destination chosen by another one of our travel specialists. From the office in Buenos Aires, we move to our Lima Office where our travel specialist, JP works. Born in Lima, JP has not only traveled his own country of Peru extensively, but also the rest of South America. However, there is one destination that he has picked out as his favorite in all of Central & South America, which is of course, the incredible ecosystem of the Amazon in Peru.
Hi JP! What is your favorite Central or South America destination and why?
Hi! Coming from Peru, I had to choose my favorite destination from my home country. Although, I love the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, there is one place that I always travel back to and is definitely my favorite. The Amazon Rainforest in the Tambopata Reserve as well as the Amazonian town of Puerto Maldonado makes for my perfect and best destination in Central & South America.
“I love the diverse nature and incredible things you see, hear, and the Amazon really takes over all of your senses further adding to this incredible experience!” – JP
What is your favorite activity to do whilst in the Amazon?
I love going on the many different nighttime outings into the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. It is just you and your flashlight ready to discover unique animals and sounds that only happen during that time of the day. Every time you go on it, it is always completely different meaning no matter how many times you do it; you always have a unique and memorable experience.
What is your favorite dish from the Amazon?
From the Amazon Rainforest I would say that cocona juice, which is made up of a fruit from this area is my favorite. The cocona fruit can be found in red, orange or yellow colors and has a similar appearance to tomatoes.
Eating cocona by itself, is quite acidic almost a cross between a tomato and lemon in flavor however, it is extremely nutritious and delicious in a juice!
As Peru has such a great variety of dishes, I would also include my favorite dish of the world famous Ceviche, you just can’t beat fresh, tasty Ceviche whether you are in Lima, or Arequipa!
Where is your favorite place to stay in the Amazon?
The comfortable but by no means luxury, Tambopata Research Center, is my favorite place to stay in the Amazon…perhaps even the best of South America!
The Tambopata Research Center is one of the most remote lodges in the continent, and you are completely surrounded by nature and the wonders of the Amazon.
You really get to feel and see the beauty of the rainforest and being so secluded and away from human habitation means that you get to see more of the animals of the Amazon, which you had come all this way to see.
What would you say is the one place travelers to the Amazon have to see, do or try?
Piranha fishing for sure! It is a great and unique experience in the Amazon and one that you will certainly remember. Also, if you are fit enough, I would suggest climb one of the huge trees of the Amazon! Obviously you should make sure that you organize this and don’t just go climbing any tree that you come across!
What would be your one travel expert piece of advice to give to travelers going to Peru’s Amazon Rainforest?
This comes as no surprise but bring a good repellent and lots of it! Look for repellent with a high percentage of DEET and also try to ensure that it is CFC free, after all you are visiting the lungs of the world!
Whenever possible you should try to wear long sleeves and trousers as this will help to reduce the amount of times you are bitten.
Unsurprisingly, there are many mosquitoes and bugs in the Amazon so there is only so much you can do to reduce the amount of times you will be bitten.
Where in Central/South America is next on your list for places you want to visit and why?
Next on my list is the Argentinean Patagonia. I am a big fan of nature destinations and I have been postponing visiting this wonderful site for far too long already!
If you had to choose one essential item you always take traveling with you what would it be?
A good camera to capture all of the wonderful wildlife and nature in the Amazon as well as those unforgettable vacation moments! I also, if possible try to leave everything with internet connectivity at home so that I can really enjoy a destination free from distractions.