Wonders of the Amazon: Tambopata Reserve

Vanesa Zegada | Live the World

November 23, 2022

If you find yourself in Peru, you might be discovering its magnificent pre-Hispanic legacy, delicious food and charming cities. But, if you are ready for a completely different face of the country, I invite you to discover some wonders of the Amazon through the Tambopata National Reserve, the southern entrance to the Peruvian jungle!

© Zoomalmapa/Vanesa Zegada

In Tambopata National Reserve, the experience starts very early in the morning. Sunrises are very colorful... but I am not talking about the sky! With the first sun rays, the most colorful birds of the Amazon gather in places called “colpas”, and the reserve is one of the best sites to observe this wonderful spectacle!

First, let me explain why large groups of macaws, parrots and other exotic birds meet at these specific places. Colpa is a Quechua word to denominate clayey natural walls found in the Amazon jungle. Those bird gatherings in the colpas, of course, caught the attention of the researchers, who found out that they do it in order to eat little pieces of the clayey walls. But why? The most accepted explanation is that they obtain minerals from the clay that their vegetable food cannot provide.

© iStock/E Michael James

Since Tambopata National Reserve aims to protect those exotic bird species, tourists try to go as unnoticed as possible during the observation. Nevertheless, nowadays, even if the birds notice the presence of some spectators, they do not feel threatened anymore, and continue their morning routine with the biggest naturality.

Chuncho is, probably, the most popular colpa for birdwatching in Tambopata National Reserve. As nature is unpredictable, the gatherings can go from tens up to hundreds of birds, including endangered species. As soon as the sunlight shows up, the colpas become a party of sounds and colors!

© iStock/Vi Gregnol

After the great morning spectacle, you will probably be more than motivated to keep discovering Tambopata National Reserve. And the best way to do so is with a jungle hike!

© iStock-aroundtheworld.photography

Thanks to the wide knowledge of the local guides, you will discover the richness of the jungle, which seems to be the largest pharmacy in the world, with vegetable species to cure all sorts of discomforts. And, of course, you will find several lianas, exactly as the ones used by Tarzan to go from one place to another. In fact, you can hang from them too, since they are incredibly strong… enough to hold the weight of any person! Would you dare to do it?

On the other hand, you must keep your eyes and ears wide open when it comes to wild animals. While some species are more accessible, others might try to hide from humans. But guides are very skillful in perceiving every little sound and movement, helping us see wild animals that are not easily detectable for someone not used to life in the jungle. The Amazon nature is unpredictable and extremely diverse… one way or another, it will surprise you!

© iStock/Michael Treglia

In Tambopata National Reserve and the whole Amazon jungle, we find out that each square meter is home to not one but lots of lives, from huge trees to tiny insects. Discovering the wonders of the Peruvian Amazon can be an eye-opening experience because, with its greatness, full of life in every single inch, we realize how small we are in a world with thousands of species whose preservation is in our hands.

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