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Top Activities To Do in Tambopata

Written by:
Claire Dean

Published: 11-11-2022

Tambopata is top of the list when it comes to Puerto Maldonado Jungle tours and is home to more than 10,000 species of plants, 600 different birds, 200 mammals, and thousands of insect species. Tambopata has recently risen in popularity as an off-the-beaten-track Amazon travel destination. Many Eco Lodges in the Tambopata National Park offer all of the jungle activities you could imagine. Usually, you will spend between 3 and 5 days in the area on one of the Tambopata National Reserve tours,  so here are just some of the Tambopata activities you can enjoy during your stay!


Peru is famous for its rich biodiversity, and the Tambopata National Reserve is the jewel in the Peruvian Crown. The Tambopata Reserve is a hidden gem of the Amazon rainforest that you can visit on your Madre de Dios tours. Delve into the reserve's rich biodiversity, lush rainforest, and extraordinary wildlife opportunities on your visit to the Peruvian Amazon!

Howler Monkeys


Climb a Canopy Tower

The rainforest is spectacular from all angles, and there is nothing quite like the view from above from a Tambopata canopy tower! Reaching over 30 meters in height, canopy towers offer sweeping views over the treetops and the distant, rolling hills of the cloud forest. As if the splendid panorama wasn’t enough, you’ll also be able to spot wildlife like Toucans, Parrots, and Monkeys. This is the highlight of one of the Rainforest Expeditions Tambopata tours.


The Tambopata reserve contains l rivers such as the Tambopata River and the Madre de Dios River, which both flow into the Amazon River. The reserve also houses oxbow lakes, such as Lake Sandoval. The reserve opened in 2000 with the purpose of safeguarding the delicate ecosystems found in the Amazon rainforest. These ecosystems are currently at risk due to activities such as deforestation, mining, and other human-induced dangers. This reserve is a fantastic destination to explore on your Madre de Dios tours.

Canopy Tower


See Parrots on a Clay Lick

Tambopata has inspired wanderlust in countless travelers since the 1990s when a National Geographic Magazine cover featured the region’s Macaw Clay Licks. These dramatic clay licks attract hundreds of colorful birds, especially parrots and macaws, who come to feed on the nutrient-rich clay. Early risers can head out with a guide to see one of several clay licks in Tambopata. As the sun rises, more and more tropical birds flock to the cliffs, creating a brilliant natural spectacle you will never forget on any of the Tambopata National Reserve tours.


The Tambopata Reserve is a birdwatcher’s heaven,  as it is home to more than 600 bird species. Some of the bird species you are most likely to see in the reserve include macaws, toucans, parrots, and hummingbirds. Tambopata is also home to many reptiles and insects, including caimans, anacondas, boa constrictors, butterflies, beetles, and spiders. Visit on your Peru vacation packages!

Clay Lick


Visit The Amazon at Night

The Amazon Rainforest comes alive at night when the jungle’s shyest creatures come out to play. Even if you’ve walked the same path over again by day, you can see an entirely different host of creatures once darkness falls. This makes a jungle night walk an essential Tambopata experience. Insect lovers, in particular, will enjoy this activity, where you can see everything from tarantulas to stick bugs and even a caiman or 2! All of the Puerto Maldonado Jungle tours include a night hike on their itineraries.


Tarantulas inhabit the Tambopata National Reserve. These fascinating creatures share their habitat with other wildlife, including jaguars, anacondas, macaws, and capybaras. If you visit, you might also spot them during night-time jungle tours along with caimans and saucer-eyed monkeys on your Madre de Dios tours.

Tarantula at Night

Explore an Oxbow Lake

Hundreds of years ago, sharp river bends dried up, turning parts of the Amazon River into small lakes. Because of their curvy shape, locals call these Oxbow lakes. They’re an essential habitat to visit, with tranquil waters that hold unique wildlife and beauty. You can ply the calm waters in a small catamaran, look for waterbirds, Caiman, and Giant Otters, and even catch-and-release fish for Piranha.


On an oxbow lake visit, on your Pru Amazon adventures,  you can experience one of the most important habitats in the Amazon. They form when a river bend gets cut off from its main water source, transforming it into a calm lake. A boat trip from your Madre de Dios lodge, followed by a short hike will take you to the Oxbow Lake. Due to the lake’s biodiversity, you Will have a great chance of seeing the Hoatzin, Squirrel Monkeys, the very rare Giant Otters, huge Caimanes, and majestic Macaws flying overhead.

Giant River Otters on an Oxbow Lake


Learn about Indigenous Culture

While many think of the Amazon Rainforest as untouched nature, indigenous groups have lived in the jungle for thousands of years. Today, native people such as the Ese Eja serve as stewards of their rainforest home. No Tambopata Tour would be complete without connecting deeply with Amazonian culture and tradition.


The different indigenous groups that inhabit Tambopata each have their own language, culture, and set of values. The Ese Eja Native Community of Infierno is an indigenous group in Tambopata whose ancestral land is located along the Tambopata River in Madre de Dios. Visit the community on your Madre de Dios Lodge excursions.

Indigenous Girl in Tambopata


Learn about Amazon Remedies

Another activity you should explore is a different but equally fascinating aspect of jungle biodiversity- its medicinal plants. Many of these gardens, which are home to plants like Ayahuasca and Uña de Gato, are cultivated by the indigenous communities and still serve as a source of healing and medicine. By visiting a medicinal plant garden, you can gain insight into both Amazon nature and living culture today in the Amazon region.


Ayahuasca is a native plant used in religious and ceremonial practices in Tambopata. Discover the transformative power of this ancient Amazonian ritual as you learn about the heart of the Peruvian jungle on your Madre de Dios tours. The experience promises a deep connection to nature, indigenous traditions, and spiritual enlightenment.



Watch an Amazon Sunset

Everyone who visits Tambopata on one of the Tambopata Reserve Tours will enjoy boat rides along the river, and most lodges are only accessible in this way! Boat rides offer travelers lovely views, wildlife, and a much-needed breeze to break the jungle’s heat. An Amazon Sunset offers a one-of-a-kind rainforest experience. The wide, peaceful Tambopata River is illuminated with beautiful blues and pinks as the jungle sky lights up with color. A rainforest sunset is one of the most memorable, romantic experiences of any of the Tambopata tours. 


There is no better place to experience a sunset than in the Amazon jungle.  When you’re not busy admiring the sunset itself, you have great chances to spot shy wildlife venturing out before dark. You’ll see a variety of riverside animals, from Capybaras to elegant Macaws flying overhead. Finally, as you drink in the sunset and refreshing breeze, you’ll learn about the fascinating history of the Amazon river. Book a Peru Amazon adventure now!

Amazon Sunset


These activities will feature fantastic wildlife sightings. With your experienced guide, almost any activity can teach you a great deal about rainforest ecology, preservation and wildlife habitats, giving you the Amazon trip of a lifetime! Book one of our Tambopata Reserve Tours here!