With its headwaters actually in Bolivia, the Río Tambopata churns through a large portion of southern Peru. Upriver (southwest) of Puerto Maldonado, it winds through much of Reserva Nacional Tambopata, and on balance contains the region's best selection of jungle lodges.
The river has been well-protected, and wildlife sightings are correspondingly high. Enticingly, sightings of the bigger rainforest animals, such as the tapir and the jaguar, have been increasing along this stretch of river.
One of the reserve’s highlights is Collpa Chuncho, one of the country's largest natural macaw clay licks. It attracts hundreds of birds and is a spectacular sight.