In Puerto Maldonado, I stayed at this small lodge before taking a trip into the jungle of the Tambopata National Reserve. It was a very quiet stay as there were no other guests there.
I liked the fact that the owner has no chickens or dogs on his property. Instead, he has stocked his pond with about 20 small caimans and has bought himself some wild birds (like pheasants).
Puerto Maldonado used to be a small, unsavoury border town. Since 2011, the new transoceanic highway connects the Pacific Ocean on the Peruvian coast with the Atlantic Ocean in Brazil, passing through the city. The increase in tourism and population has been very rapid.
On the other hand, this new road crosses the territory of some 15 indigenous tribes who had little or no contact with the modern world, and it will provide a fast track to those who profit from cutting down the Amazon forests. Environmentalists estimate that at least 40-60 kilometres of forest will be destroyed on each side of the road to harvest timber and then set up cattle farms (mainly beef).
The far north of Bolivia
Tambopata National Reserve