Alto Mayo Valley Route


This route is located northwest of the city of Tarapoto, on the Mayo River basin, where the cities of Moyobamba and Rioja are located, high rainforest, zone of scenic beauty, tropical climate, is an area of great variety of endemic flora and fauna, highlighting their orchids. In the Aguajal Renacal del Alto Mayo - Tingana is an area for intimate contact with nature.


This route can be started from Tarapoto and can be done in one day, but those looking to spend more of its attractions can stay in the cities of Rioja and Moyobamba or spend several days.


Moyobamba - The capital of Orchids

Located at 860 m.a.s.l. in the rainforest area (high forest) and 113 km northwest of the city of Tarapoto, connected by Fernando Belaunde Terry road (1hr 30 mins by car). Spanish foundation was at July 25th, 1540 under the name of Santiago de los Ocho Valles Moyobamba and was the first city founded by the Spanish in the Amazon region of Peru, was the center from where many expeditions were launched Spanish conquest, evangelization and the search of the mythical El Dorado. Today is the capital of the department of San Martin and has a population of 79,000 inhabitants and is called "the capital of the orchids." Mayobamba has the Antonio Simons Vela Airport (Airport Code MBP) without scheduled air traffic. (see how to arrive)


In Moyobamba there are hotels, restaurants and entertainment centers. It breathes warmth, color and lots of nature. It is an exotic place with many attractions. You can not miss its impressive waterfalls, hot spring baths or enjoy the great variety of orchids and wild birds. In addition, customs, sympathy and folklore of its people will make your stay a pleasant experience. Be sure to try tacacho with cured meat, juanes and inchicapi.



In this area there are over 3,500 species of orchids, 10% of described species worldwide. In fact, the beauty of these beautiful flowers, many are endemic, and its exoticism and also the fact that their presence within the ecological chain is important, makes orchids have become one of the most important sources of tourism this area is why every year in Moyobamba is celebrated as' Orchid Festival ", usually in late October.


Rafting and Adventure

You can enjoy rafting on Mayo River, which is recommended to have the services of a specialized agency, so it can be made expeditions and treks. Rafting practice is associated with the Mayo River. The area between San Miguel and Maceda (lower Mayo river) is a quiet for less difficulty. The area between Gera bridge and Ramírez (upper Mayo river) offers rough water with difficulty levels 3, 4 and 5, recommended only for experienced people. Recommended season April to October.


San Francisco Botanical Garden
Jr. Arequipa block 1. Study and conservation of native flora and exotic plants. The botanical garden is a ravine which houses great biodiversity of flora and fauna that can be used as bedding plants steadily vanishing as areas for ecotourism.


Agro-East Nursery

Located 13 km from Moyobamba, permanent exhibition of a variety of species of orchids, ferns and bromeliads.


San Mateo Hot Springs
4 km / 2 miles from Moyobamba (5 minutes by car) Known for their therapeutic properties, it is said that the waters are ideal against arthritis, rheumatism, muscle pain, and stress. The temperature varies from 32ºC (90ºF) to 40ºC (104ºF).


Las Puntas – Natural Lookouts
It is the name given to the San Juan Point, Tahuishco, and Fachin on the edge of the city of Moyobamba. These feature steep slopes from which you can see the countryside and beautiful sunsets.


Calzada Hill
13 km / 8 miles north of Moyobamba (15 minutes by car) to the District of La Calzada. Another 20 minutes are needed to reach the foot of the hill and then a one - hour hike to the top. The hill is located in the high jungle, 600 meters / 1969 feet high overlooking the valley, and has a 360º panoramic view that features calcareous formations. The top of the hill has the climate of humid, foggy forests, temperate during the day and cold at night depending on the altitude.


Renacal del Avisado Aguaje Swamps
20 km / 12 miles from Moyobamba until Boca de Huacayan (Mayo River port) on paved highway (40 minutes by car). Then the route continues to Tingara by motorboat on the Avisado River (1 hour). It is a humid ecosystem, unique in the world for its altitude (800 masl / 2625 fasl). Among the many plants there you will find the aguaje palm tree and the ficus. Different exotic mammals giant otters, fraile monkeys, saddle-backed tamarins, black-capped capuchins and sloths as well as, birds, fish, reptiles, and insects inhabit the zone.


Gera Waterfalls

A 25 km from Moyobamba, 3 waterfalls over 120 feet high, crystal clear waters that run the river Gera, a bedrock amid lush vegetation with species of wood, plants native to the area, orchids and bromeliads. At the bottom of the hydroelectric Electro Oriente, who should coordinate the permission to access the area.


Ahuarpía Waterfall
A 25 km south of Moyobamba (30 minutes by car) to the hamlet Ahuarpía and from this point begins a walk of 1 km (20 minutes). Located in the hills of Ahuarpía town, the waters of these falls are from the ravine Plantanayacu and have a drop of 10 to 12 feet high.


Paccha Waterfalls
30 km / 19 miles from Moyobamba (1 hour by car and a 15 - minute hike). The waterfalls are surrounded by fronds, and their water comes from the Paccha Gorge. There are three waterfalls of some 30 meters / 98 feet that form a natural pool, perfect for bathing.


Distances: From the city of Moyobamba to the following cities:

  • Bellavista (Province of Bellavista)214 km (133 miles) / 4 hours
  • San José de Sisa (Province of El Dorado)149 km (93 miles) / 4 hours
  • Saposoa (Province of Huallaga)254 km (158 miles) / 4 hours and 40 minutes
  • Lamas (Province of Lamas)112 km (70 miles) / 2 hours
  • Juanjui (Province of Mariscal Cáceres )253 km (157 miles) / 5 hours
  • Picota (Province of Picota)176 km (109 miles) / 3 hours and 40 minutes
  • Rioja (Province of Rioja)20 km (12 miles) / 20 minutes
  • Tarapoto (Province of San Martín) 113 km (70 miles) / 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Tocache Nuevo (Province of Tocache) 427 km (265 miles) / 9 hours and 30 minutes




The city is located 20 km from Moyobamba, 835 m, connected by Fernando Belaunde Terry road , has a population of 42,000 inhabitants. It is the capital of the province of the same name. In the center of the city still remain some colonial buildings that survived the earthquake of 1990. Rioja is called the "Hat City" by the amount and quality of artisans in developing bombonaje hats, once famous in all over Peru.


The city of La Rioja has hotels, restaurants and entertainment centers. It must try its great variety of typical foods like chicken inchicapi the patarashca or traditional ninajuane: made based on rice, egg, olives and chicken meat, all wrapped in banana leaves. Be sure to also try out some of its famous exotic drinks made from rum and cerezachado as uvachado.


Tioyacu River Source
14 km / 9 miles from Rioja (20 minutes by car and 15 minutes on foot). The Tioyacu River is born at the foot of a mountain at 898 masl / 3245 fasl. The water is cold and crystal clear, and along its course, it forms pools and waterfalls.


Black River Rising

A 17 km from the town of Rioja and 2 km. the hamlet of the same name, spectacular views and scenery at the source of this river.


Cave of the Diamond
58 km / 36 miles northwest of the city of Rioja (40 minutes by car). Visiting hours: Mon. – Sun. 8:00 A.M. – 6:00 P.M. Located within the Alto Mayo Protection Forest, these caves contain capricious formed stalagmites and stalactites.


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