Puerto MaldonadoThe entrance door to the "Ecological Paradise", the Garden of the Eden of Peru.
Amazonian jungle, southeastern Peru. 610 feet (186 m.) above sea level.
Tropical humid. Rainy season from November to March.
Puerto Maldonado is the capital of Madre de Dios department, located in the Amazonian area, southeast of Peru.
Puerto Maldonado city was founded July 10th, 1902, the city was named after explorer Faustino Maldonado, who paddled up the Madre de Dios River to the point where it comes together with the Tambopata River.
It is located in the confluence of the rivers Tambopata and Madre de Dios and 55 Km. west of Bolivian border; it is characterized by their notable delay in the economic development, due to the lack of appropriate communication roads.
Puerto Maldonado is the start point to exploring the jungle in the protected natural areas around it.
There are several hotels and tourist eco-lodges around Puerto Maldonado and in the jungle area, restaurants with local cuisine, bars and discos.
The chief industries in Puerto Maldonado are logging, gold dredging, Brazil nut collecting, boat building and eco-tourism. The area is virtually logged out; only one mill remains. Rubber collection is long gone. Recent legislation in the European Union has put hundreds of Brazil nut collectors out of work together with the associated local factory. Small amounts of gold are collected from the river, mostly by small teams of men with hand tools. Tourism and related boat construction are currently the major sources of income.
Its population is conformed by descendants of Amazonian tribes, and in the last years there are immigrants of the Andean zone by the extraction of gold, the local people are dedicated to tasks of extraction of natural resources, wood, fruits, gold, etc., with limited production means.
However, the difficult conditions of life in the area have allowed them to be and conserve one of the virgin natural scenarios in the whole planet, having parks and natural reservations of Amazon forests, of singular characteristics in the world.
Padre José Aldamiz (PEM) is the airport of Puerto Maldonado, small and comfortable facilities. It has a vaccination center. Located in Km. 7 of La Pastora - La Joya Highway.
A ferry crosses the river, linking the main road from Cuzco to the towns of San Lorenzo, Iberia and Iñapari. The river ferry is soon to be replaced by a bridge, but, for the present, is a busy hive of activity. As the cost of gasoline is very high in this area, the main mode of transportation among locals is by motorcycle.
Arts & Crafts
Handicrafts of the native communities are made from plants, fibers, seeds or roots from the jungle. Peruvian law prohibits and penalizes the extraction, transport, trade and export of any kind of flora or fauna, live or dead. The prohibition includes any object made from parts of animals and plants.
Craft Markets: Different areas where stores can be found in Puerto Maldonado. Among them, there are the Main Square and the Airport.
- Carnival: February (movable) Great parades, marching contest, election of Miss Muanguaré and King Momo
- Fiesta de San Juan: June 24th. Feast with local bands, dances and try typical food.
- Anniversary of Puerto Maldonado: July 10th. Competitions like regattas and motorcycle races, food testing and a beauty queen contest.
- Madre de Dios Tourist Festival: September. Cultural, handicraft and culinary presentations.