Tambopata National Reserve and Bahuaja-Sonene National Park

The lowland rainforests, rivers, oxbow lakes, and palm swamps that surround Puerto Maldonado hold a wealth of colorful creatures—from blue-and-gold macaws to red howler monkeys and iridescent blue morpho butterflies. Much of that wilderness lies within protected areas, indigenous territories, and Brazil-nut concessions, but illegal mining and deforestation by farmers and ranchers destroy vast areas of rainforest here each year. Ecotourism offers an economic alternative to that destruction, and the nature lodges scattered around the Tambopata National Reserve protect significant expanses of rainforest in private reserves, which provide their guests with almost constant exposure to the wonders of tropical nature.

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