What to do and see in Puerto Maldonado, Peru: The Best Places and Tips

March 8, 2018 Hector Krause

Puerto Maldonado (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈpweɾto maldoˈnaðo]) is a city in southeastern Peru in the Amazon rainforest 55 kilometres (34 mi) west of the Bolivian border; located at the confluence of the Tambopata and Madre de Dios rivers, the latter of which joins the Madeira River as a tributary of the Amazon. It is the capital of the Madre de Dios Region.
Restaurants in Puerto Maldonado

1. Sandoval Lake

Avenida El Sol N_ 130-C, Second Floor, int A1, Cusco, Puerto Maldonado 17001, Peru +51 84 255527
Excellent
74%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 513 reviews

Sandoval Lake

Reviewed By Julie M - Wellington, New Zealand

It was a long walk in through the jungle path, deep mud, slippery and squelchy after a night of heavy rain. We were happy to see the canoe to take us along a bush and tree clad creek to the lake. It was so beautiful. Well worth the effort. Quiet paddling so that we did not disturb the wildlife. Huge fish leaping, enjoying the fresh food supply from lake feeder streams, running after the rain. Birds galore, monkeys ... alas no beavers on that day. We spent a quiet hour or so just enjoying the peace and beauty.

2. Inkaterra Ecological Reserve

Puerto Maldonado, Peru
Excellent
93%
Good
5%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 95 reviews

Inkaterra Ecological Reserve

Reviewed By Leanne C - Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

I ended up treating the Inkaterra (Reseva Amazónica) lodge as an expensive retreat. The lodge is on the river, the grounds are beautiful and well maintained, and the Cabañas are very comfortable - I thoroughly enjoyed just lying in the hammock watching the river (there are a small number of cabañas with river views). The serenity was totally spoilt by the generator of a lodge across the river.
I had been fortunate enough to also experience part of the Amazon basin on a river boat so had a comparison when I stayed at the Inkaterra Lodge.
It was like the lodge was isolated from everyday life and experiences were created for the tourists- we saw no locals and no local villages and the only boats I saw on the river were either our lodge boats or those from other lodges. There were a range of excursions / activities, most of which were on Inkaterra land (either our lodge or one of their other lodges). The guides were great and very helpful but there is a constant feeling of "up selling" with not all activities included. Things like seeing a sunset on the river and a dedicated birdwatching excursion attract a hefty price and require a minimum of four people. Some people were even told the included activities needed a minimum of four people making it almost impossible for couples and singles (I wasn't told that and certainly found myself with a personal guide on some occasions). The food was average with a buffet breakfast (it isn't advertised but they will cook eggs to order if you ask saving you from cold scrambled egg) and a range of menu options for served 3 course lunches and dinners.
Other people I spoke to during my stay also expressed disappointment with their experience. Another traveller I had met seemed to have a much better experience at a different lodge.

3. Mariposario Tambopata

Av. Elmer Fuacett Km 7, Puerto Maldonado 17001, Peru +51 84 634816
Excellent
45%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
16%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 206 reviews

Mariposario Tambopata

The Tambopata Butterfly Farm (Mariposario Tambopata) is the first and biggest butterfly exhibition in Peru. Located only 2 min from Puerto Maldonado International Airport. In the Tambopata Butterfly Farm you will stroll around hundreds of amazing amazonian butterflies. The Tambopata Butterfly Farm is a great place to wait for your flight.

Reviewed By Cayetana - Lima, Peru

Short walk through the path to see different kind of butterflies. My kids liked the stop. They could see the different stages of the butterflies. Butterflies ofcall kind fly into you and even stand on your head and arms.Thanks for your comments. Butterfly Farms like the Mariposario Tambopata are ideal family attractions. Kids love butterflies but also the amazing transformation process form caterpillar to adult butterfly.

4. Jungle Nature Hikes

Peruvian rainforest, Puerto Maldonado 17001, Peru +51 958 717 495
Excellent
74%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 69 reviews

Jungle Nature Hikes

Reviewed By ahendren - Vancouver, Canada

The jungle is beautiful to walk in and there are plenty of flying monkeys, exotic birds and wild boars to see. The lesson of the jungle is to stay alert to all sorts of sounds, since there are dangers like snakes and other inhospitable creatures. A fantastic experience!

5. Puente Billinghurst

Calle Billinghurst, Puerto Maldonado, Peru +51 972 701 636
Excellent
38%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
23%
Poor
4%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 93 reviews

Puente Billinghurst

Reviewed By alohatripper - Honolulu, Hawaii

Sept 19
We had several opportunities to view this landmark bridge while staying in the Amazon rainforest at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica. But the most dramatic view was during the beginning of the day trip to the Collpita Macaw Clay Lick. Since we left the lodge in a motorboat at 3:45 am to reach the lick by 6:00, we passed Puerto Maldonado and its signature bridge, which I understand is relatively new, and now there is another option to reach destinations beyond. To see the sunrise rising behind the silhouette of the Golden Gate-style bridge is a gorgeous sight.

6. Monkey Island

Madre de Dios River, Puerto Maldonado, Peru +51 82 573831
Excellent
29%
Good
39%
Satisfactory
18%
Poor
10%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 65 reviews

Monkey Island

Reviewed By Stania R - Singapore

Please make sure that you stay quiet in order to see monkeys. Making noise does not help :-)
We had a chance to see several types of monkeys and were able to share a few bananas with them which they seem to have been their favourites.

7. Mirador de la Biodiversidad

Av. Fitzcarrald, Puerto Maldonado, Peru
Excellent
22%
Good
33%
Satisfactory
39%
Poor
1%
Terrible
5%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 54 reviews

Mirador de la Biodiversidad

Reviewed By Marysue B - Ocean Shores, Washington

it's not for everyone, but the only way to get an outstanding photo of Puerto Maldonado. If you are not in decent shape, don't go because it's a little tricky to get across the roundabout to the front doors and there's enough online whining about the town's infrastructure. I always want to count the floors going up to the top, but forget as I check out the view over the town on the way up. Special note: no bathroom at the top so use the facilities in your room before visiting because there will be no bathrooms close by either. At only a dollar or so, best value in town

8. Panthera Sanctuary

Comunidad Juan Pablo s/n. CPM El triunfo | Madre de Dios river, Puerto Maldonado 17000, Peru +51 982 604 748
Excellent
64%
Good
36%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 11 reviews

Panthera Sanctuary

Eco-volunteer adventure in our Reserve and Protection Center.

Reviewed By Northwest3

This is an amazing place to visit. I had never done a trip like this before, Pierre and Milena have done an amazing job of creating a place that is so welcoming and inviting. Panthera is a jungle clearing set by the banks of the river. The sound of the river and the wildlife is a welcome break to city life, and the animals are amazing. Really, if you haven't been here then you simply must go. Absolutely brilliant experience.

9. Native Community of Ese"Ejas

Village on the banks of Madre de Dios River, Puerto Maldonado, Peru
Excellent
84%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 6 reviews

Native Community of Ese"Ejas

Reviewed By CFEIII - Austin, Texas

Slipped out here for an Ayahuasca ceremony with the local Shaman, very good experience. The village isn't much, but the people are nice

10. Amazon Shelter

Km 11 Carretera Tambopata, Puerto Maldonado 17001, Peru +51 997 223 958
Excellent
100%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 3 reviews

Amazon Shelter

We are a rescue center for wild animals victims of illegal trade, at 30 minutes of Puerto Maldonado in the Tambopata touristic corridor. In this shelter, we host 50 animals like howlers, woollies monkeys or parrots, in order to rehabilitate them for a future liberation. We will be happy to show us our work, with a visit of the Center and talking about conservation issue for wildlife.

Reviewed By Corrie R - Portland, Oregon

I visited Amazon Shelter wanting to learn more about the animal traficking problem in Puerto Maldonado and to see an effort to make the changes here. I enjoyed the time I spent there and I would recommend it to anyone who wants a great way...Morethanks a lot we hope you learn a lot of the wild animales

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