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Puerto Maldonado Capital of the Biodiversity.
Rio Madre de Dios
The main reason people come here is to stay for a few days in one of the several jungle lodges, all of which are to be found between one and two hours upstream from Puerto Maldonado itself.
Additionally, travelers can partake in fishing and nature trips, and visit beaches, indigenous communities, salt licks and gold-panning areas along the Madre de Dios.
Getting There & Away
Most travelers fly here from Lima or Cusco. The long new highway or river trips are only for travelers prepared.
Explorama Lodge - Yanamono Reserve
The Explorama Lodge Reserve, located 80 kilometers down the Amazon from Iquitos, has been protected by Explorama since 1964. This is the oldest reserve shielded from destruction by the company. This reserve consists of over 200 hectares, or 500 acres, of mainly high Tierra Firme, or non-flooding forest. One small section is lowland or flooded forest. The Missouri Botanical Garden has found this reserve to be one of the highest in biodiversity of trees per square hectare in any area studied by scientists to date. The main reason believed to cause this high biodiversity is the lack of any defined dry or wet season in the area of Iquitos, unlike most tropical areas. The rainfall here may be at highest in any month of the year, depending upon the year studied. This lack of a defined dry or wet season, through which many species of plants and animals would be unable to survive, is believed to be the major reason for the extremely high diversity in both flora and fauna, which has given this part of the Amazon Basin the title of "The Biodiversity Capital of the World".
In the vicinity of the Lodge is a small community of Yagua Native Americans which have clear title to their own reserve of 1,622 hectares (4,055 acres). This property surrounds the Explorama Lodge Reserve, acting as a buffer zone to help protect the area from the continual encroachment of the ever-expanding population of river people. Explorama helped with the legal process of obtaining this reserve for the community, provided the workers and supplies necessary to cut the boundary line around the property, and to obtain the accurate measurements of the land for the Peruvian Department of Agriculture.
ExplorNapo, Shimigay and Sucusari Reserve
These reserves are located near the Napo River, and are reached by traveling 160 kilometers (100 miles) down the main Amazon and up the Napo River to the Sucusari Stream, a tributary of the Napo. Explorama has purchased three areas from the Government at different times to protect here. The Shimigay Reserve contains an interior black water lake with giant Amazon lilies and the prehistoric-looking Hoatzin bird, the only flying bird which is a pure leaf-eater. The ExplorNapo reserve includes the area occupied by ExplorNapo which started as a very rustic palm-thatched covered split-palm sleeping platform and is now a lodge with rooms, a large hammock house and screened dinning room. The newest of the Explorama reserves in this area is the Sucusari Reserve, a recently purchased piece of land with over 50% secondary forest which we hope to nurture back to primary status. The ReNuPeRu Ethnobotanical Medicinal Plant Gardenis located between the ExplorNapo and Sucusari reserves. In total, the three reserves cover 2,000 hectares, or about 5,000 acres. Adjacent to these reserves and acting as buffers are the CONAPAC Biological Reserve and a large 4,770 hectare reserve (11,925 acres) belonging to the Orejone Native American Community.