The Amazon is packed with wildlife, but it can be an infuriating environment in which to spot it. Much is nocturnal and the rest hides in the dense vegetation or in the canopy above. Expert guides miraculously find seemingly invisible creatures, but the attraction is the environment itself in all its vast magnificence. Our best tip is to be prepared. Wear long trousers, comfortable shoes, hats and repellent. Watch where you step and always have your binoculars and camera on you because sometimes - the wildlife comes to find you!
The Northern Amazon
The Peruvian Amazon is vast, pretty much occupying all the land to the east of the Andes Mountains. The city of Iquitos sits on the banks of the Amazon River in the northeast, a two hour flight from Lima. Iquitos holds the curious title of largest city in the world not direct accessible by road and is the starting point for a number of luxurious river cruises that visit the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, home to endangered pink river dolphins. It is also the gateway for the Aria Amazon Luxury Cruise. Iquitos' Belen Market is the largest traditional market in the Amazon and is well worth visiting, although not for the faint-hearted.
The Southern Amazon
Puerto Maldonado in the southeast is 1¼ hour flight from Lima and acts as gateway to the vast Tambopata and Manu Biosphere Reserves where rustic lodges lie hidden in the heart of the rainforest and offer nature walks and canoe trips. Tambopata National Reserve can also be accessed by a long but spectacular two day transfer from Cuzco. This region of Peru is also particularly known for its macaw clay licks where these spectacular birds gather to access the clay that's said to neutralise the toxins in their diet.