Madre de Dios – Amazon Wildlife

The Region of Madre de Dios – Amazon Wildlife: is located in the Amazon Forest, southeastern Peru, bordering Bolivia and Brazil. The department of Madre de Dios has a wide variety of landscape scenes, allowing it to be declared “Capital of Biodiversity of Peru”. Among the main attractions mentioned: Tambopata National Reserve, the Pampas del Heath National Sanctuary and the Manu National Park, considered among the largest in the world, because rich biodiversity in flora and fauna (wildlife and aquatic). The number of arrivals in accommodation establishments of the Madre de Dios Region totaled 327,211 persons in 2014, registering an average annual growth of 10.2 percent in the 2005-2014 period. Meanwhile, the number of visitor arrivals to the Tambopata National Reserve showed an annual growth rate of 12.1 percent during the 2005-2014 period, reaching 43,970 visitors in 2014.


1. Size and geographic location

The Madre de Dios Region covers an area of ​​85,301 km2 and represents 6.6 percent of the national territory. Tambopata province is the largest and covers 42.5 percent of the territory.

The department of Madre de Dios is located in the south eastern part of the country. It bordered on the north by the department of Ucayali and the Republic of Brazil, to the south with the departments of Cusco and Puno, on the east by the Republic of Bolivia and the west with the departments of Cusco and Ucayali. It has an international border of 584 km, of which 314 km are in Brazil and 270 km with Bolivia. The department of Madre de Dios is divided politically in 3 provinces and 11 districts.

The Madre de Dios basin is located in the south eastern part of Peru, is part of the great basin of the Madeira River joins the Amazon down the right bank of the city of Manaus. It has an area of ​​111.933 km2 in Peruvian territory, including interbasin Acre belonging to the Purus river valley, turning basin as the third-largest in the country.

Basin Madre de Dios River, comprising 03 regional governments politically, Mother of God 96% is in the area of ​​the basin, to Puno and Cuzco 32% to 12%. The basin of the Madre de Dios river, administratively part of the Water Management Authority XIII – Mother of God (AAA). The Madre de Dios region represents 72% of the AAA, Puno and Cuzco 20% 8%.

madre de dios amazon wildlife
madre de dios amazon wildlife

ACCESSIBILITY-routes: In the basin the Interoceanic Highway coming from Cusco to Urcos route is – Ocongate – Marcapata – Quincemil – Mazuko – Puerto Maldonado – Brazil and the department of Puno in the section Juliaca – Olaechea – Macusani – San Gaban – Inambari – Mazuko – Puerto Maldonado – Brazil, as well as the neighboring country of Brazil from the states of Rondonia – Acre – Assis – Iñapari – Iberia – Puerto Maldonado.

The most important airport is located in the city of Puerto Maldonado has an average of 4 daily flights frequency. The main navigable rivers are the Mother of God, the Inambari, Tambopata, Las Piedras, Los Amigos, Tahuamanu, Manuripe, etc.

ECOLOGY OF MADRE DE DIOS: The varied geography and the great extension of the basin Mother of God is represented in twenty-six life zones ranging from subtropical Nival to 5000 meters in the high Andean region of Puno and Cuzco to a forest humid subtropical montane under 200 meters in the Amazonian plain of Madre de Dios. The largest area of ​​life is represented by a subtropical rainforest.

2. Topography of Madre de Dios:

Its territory is very hilly and has the appearance of an extensive plain; however, in the southern sector due to the spurs of the mountain range of Carabaya and Sandia is injured.

The central and northern parts of the region is low, with alluvial plains formed by three or even four terraces; they generally swampy, being subject to annual flooding.

West has low hills that form the watershed between rivers Madre de Dios and Urubamba. In these hills is the slipway Fitzcarrald.

PLANT COVERAGE: The vegetation is characterized by communities or plant associations with dominance of vigorous trees, dominance of grasses and shrubs and / or Palmales adapted to the marshes, communities with presence and dominance as the “chestnut”, “shiringa” and “paca “Guadua sp called” pacales “in dense or pure and mixed associations, sub-Andean foothills forests, and mountains scrub and scrub forests. Generally they represent mature, stable or climax stage in ecological succession (series of vegetation), and are highly variable in appearance, habitat and species composition.

SOIL: According to the study of Macro Economic Ecological Zoning Mother of God, have been taxonomically identified five types of soils Entisols, Inceptisols, Histosols, Alfisols and Ultisols; of which 8 suborders, 11 major soil groups were determined. Edaphically 47 soil series consociations divided into 29 and 18 were identified soil associations also has recognized a unit of miscellaneous areas. According to the classification of lands of Peru, published by ONERN (1982) basin it has a most suitable forest (45%), followed by protection (36%), pastures (11%), permanent crops (4%) and culture in clean (4%).

3. Climate Madre de Dios:

  • Tropical: warm, humid and with annual rainfall exceeding 1 000 mm.
  • The average annual temperature in the capital is 26 ° C.
  • Sometimes suffers influences of cold air masses, from the American Southeast, causing low temperature sensitive, lowering the thermometer to 8 ° C, are known locally as “Surazo” or “cold spell”.


To characterize the climate of the basin Madre de Dios Thornthwaite formula, which considers as main meteorological variables temperature and precipitation was used, and that from these it is possible to calculate the ETP and to make the water balance, which will show us periods of excess and deficit useful for climate characterization.

The types of climate found in meteorological stations according to Thornthwaite were Iñapari: Climate Semi-moist and warm, Iberia: Slightly Climate – humid and warm, Puerto Maldonado: Wet and warm weather, Pakitza: Moderately Climate – humid and warm, Pilcopata: Climate Super – moist and warm, and Quincemil Salvation: Super Climate – humid and semi – Warm, Paucartambo: Climate Semi – humid and semi – Frio, Tambopata: moderate cold, damp weather. Dominant in the basin is Super – moist and warm.


  • Temperature: The temperature was recorded at 10 stations by the National Service of Meteorology and Hydrology SENAMHI Basin belonging to the Mother of God. It is observed that higher temperatures are in the lower part of the basin, where the values ​​range between 25 and 26 ° C, corresponding to the Stations Puerto Maldonado, Iñapari, Iberia and Pakitza. The higher temperature months are between October and March. The lowest values ​​are at the top, specifically in the foothills of the Sierra de Carabaya. The Paucartambo and cruise stations are 13.59 and 6.22 ° C respectively, July is the coldest month.
  • Relative Humidity: Iberia has an annual average of 68.3% and 81.1% Puerto Maldonado. The stations reach Pilcopata Quincemil and annual average values ​​of 82.1%, 87.5% respectively; It is located in the part of the high jungle. Values ​​lower relative humidity occur in the dry season and higher relative humidities are presented in the rainy months, usually occurring in the month of February.
  • Seasonal temperature variation: A thermal characteristic of this area is the frequent occurrence of cold fronts, phenomena which are due to the eventual arrival of the polar front, they do significantly lower the temperature in the jungle, in short and irregular periods occur between May and August. The absolute declines come within 9 ° C for the coldest days. In the Quincemil station daily maximum temperature was recorded in February 1984 (36 ° C) and the minimum in August 1975 (8 ° C). At Station Iñapari a temperature of 3.4ºC in July 1976 was recorded, which makes it an unusual event.

4. Limits Madre de Dios:

  • Ucayali region to the north and the Republic of Brazil
  • On the southern regions of Cuzco and Puno
  • In the Republic of Bolivia
  • To the west of Cuzco and Ucayali regions.

5. Distances and paths Madre de Dios:

From the city of Puerto Maldonado to the cities of Salvation (Province of Manu) / 1 hour to Puerto Laberinto by road and 3 days by river.

Iñapari (tahuamanu province) 244 Km. / 4 hours by car.

6. Access roads to the Madre de Dios:


  • Lima-Arequipa-Cusco-Puerto Maldonado: 2 180 km (51 hours by bus)..
  • Lima-Nasca-Abancay-Cusco-Puerto Maldonado: 1621 km (49 hours by bus)..
  • Cusco-Puerto Maldonado: 527 km (30 hours by bus)..


  • Regular flights from Lima (1 hour and 30 minutes) and Cusco (30 minutes).


The geologic processes that occurred in the study area have occurred in different eras and geological periods, generating various environments of sedimentation and tectonic events. The analysis of these processes has allowed us to define two important morfoestructurales units: the Andes and the Amazon Penillanura. The classification of these mega-structures has been possible due to the following characteristics:

  1. The Andean Cordillera: As a result of the various sedimentary and tectonic processes that shaped reliefs from the Precambrian (600-2000000000 years ago) to the present.
  2. Amazon Penillanura: has the behavior of a sediment bowl receiving from the highland parts that have been accumulating since the Lower Tertiary.


Madre de Dios River is a tributary of Madeiras River, which flows into the right bank of the Amazon River in Brazilian territory, and considers that the contribution of water that makes the Amazon River is about 15% of which the Mother River God contributes 4%.

  • Rivers: There are about 136 rivers throughout the basin of the Madre de Dios, which were selected based on the flow and order. The basin with the largest number of rivers is the Alto Madre de Dios.
  • Quebradas: There are at least 248 streams that feed the major rivers. In the higher parts of the basin, the streams are clear water and run on stony ground. While in the Amazon Plain, the streams are generally black water and run through sandy soils to clay.
  • Lagoons: The Madre de Dios Basin has a lot of lakes of different origin and training. This large number of water bodies in the region represents a great potential that can be developed in various sectors such as hydropower, industry, agriculture, recreation and tourism, and environmental services. In Inambari basin there are about 1480 lakes, but has inventoried 97 major lakes. In the Amazonian lowlands there are large lakes such as Lake Valencia.

8. Geomorphology:

  • Geomorphological parameters: The area occupied by the Madre de Dios basin, is between the Andes and the Amazon eastern flank Plain, which has been shaped primarily by the erosive action of the rivers of the eastern slope, the same that drain into the Atlantic basin across the river Madre de Dios, is the same as that in the main collector of the waters of southeastern Peru and northwestern Bolivia. The Geomorphological Units identified in this report constitute the units of terraces and hills in the plains and the west side of the mountain formations of great proportion.
  • Form parameters: a summary of the shape parameters, which indicates that all basins have an irregular shape, with a greater interbasin Medium Low Madre de Dios, also, is presented in Table # 1 is the most elongated basin Las Piedras, which has higher flow rates.

Table No. 1: Parameters Basin Shape Madre de Dios:

cuenca madre de dios
cuenca madre de dios
  • Relief parameters: a summary of the parameters highlighted, which indicates that the basin is the long sides Middle interbasin Under Madre de Dios, also, the steepest basin is presented in Table No. 2 is the Inambari and the smallest of the stones.

Table No. 2: Parameters Relief

cuenca madre de dios
cuenca madre de dios
  • Drainage Parameters: This is another important in the study of a watershed, as manifested the efficiency of the drainage system feature. For river basin Madre de Dios, the order of the rivers is 5, the frequency of the rivers rivers is 0.01 / km, the drainage density is 0.135 km / km, the average length of runoff is 1848.77 m, and the coefficient of torrential rivers is 2.08 / km.


The Madre de Dios Basin is part of the Beni Basin (U.H466), is in turn part of the Madeira Basin (UH 46), member of the Hydrographic Region of the Amazon No. 4. Beni Basin with 283315.9 Km2, is shared by Peru and Bolivia, of which 39.5% 111933.0 Km2 correspond to Peru, integrating the basins of Mother of God (4664 UH) or Tahuamanu and Orthon (U.H4662).

In Madre de Dios basin defined a total of nine (09) sub-basins, and corresponding to: Inambari Basin (46648) Tambopata Basin (46643) Orthon Cuenca (4662), Cuenca Las Piedras (46646), interbasin Alto Madre de Dios (46649), interbasin Middle Alto Madre de Dios (46647), interbasin Middle Mother of God (46645) Medium Low interbasin Mother of God (46643) and interbasin Alto Acre (46669).


A. Tambopata Province:

1. Macaw Colpa Colorado:

Within the Tambopata National Reserve and 150 Km. Of the city of Puerto Maldonado (12 hours by boat).

Lick is a gathering of macaws formed in the river banks by the same erosion processes that allowed the emergence of soils rich in minerals. It measures about 50 meters high and 500 meters long, which is considered the largest of the Peruvian Amazon. Every morning there are six different species of macaws, parrots and parakeets. These colorful birds flitting around the lick before starting ceremony “colpeo” that consists of eating the clay found in the ravine, the same that serves as a food supplement. After staying there between 25 and 30 minutes away to return the next day. Occasionally, also they come sachavacas, capybaras, and squirrels. In the treetops various species of monkeys such as the howler monkey, capuchin, marmoset, and at times even spider monkeys can also be seen.

2. Lake Sandoval:

10 Km. From the city of Puerto Maldonado (25 minutes by boat). To reach the lake must travel 5 km. From the river inward (1 hour 30 minutes walk). It has about 3 km. Long, 1 Km. Wide and a depth of 0.5 cm to 3 meters. Its waters have an average temperature of 26ºC (78,8ºF) and have rich on fish. It is surrounded by extensive wetlands aguajales are the place where a palm tree called aguaje, among other exotic species grows. Within the surrounding flora can be seen orchids, platanillos (parrot beak), ungurahuis, kapok trees, mahogany and Mauritanian palm trees up to 30 meters high. In this habitat lives a great variety of birds like cormorants, toucans, macaws, parrots, horned screamers, and herons, along with a colorful species of wild hen called “hoatzin” or “shansho” whose head bears a bun of feathers. Hopefully tapirs, turtles and otters or “river wolves” and various lizard species, including the black lizard can also be observed.

3. Lake Valencia:

A 60 Km. From the city of Puerto Maldonado (4 hours by boat). The lake is 15 km. Long, 800 meters wide and between 0.5 and 15 meters deep and is a place blessed by the presence of trees and fish. All around are trees like pumaquiro, quinilla, cedar, kapok, palm hearts and Brazil nuts. Among the fauna stand mount turkeys, turtles (and tortoises charapas), lizards, monkeys, cormorants and herons, among others.

The wealth of its waters allows both native inhabitants Huarayos and the settlers in the vicinity are engaged in fishing maidens, brackets, gold, piranhas and paiche, the latter however, are not a native species but were introduced the lake. Along with fishing, another important economic activity in the area is the collection of chestnuts.

4. National Park Bahuaja – Sonene:

A 90 Km. From the city of Puerto Maldonado (4-5 hours by boat). This national park was established to protect the only humid tropical savannah in Peru. The park is located between the Madre de Dios and Puno regions in the provinces of Tambopata, Carabaya and Sandia. It has an area of 1,091,416 hectares and also includes Bolivia. Among the most important animals that can be found they include the maned wolf, the marsh deer, giant anteater, the river wolf or giant otter, bush dog, the black caiman, and the harpy eagle.

5. Tambopata National Reserve:

A 45 km. South of the city of Puerto Maldonado (2 hours by motorboat). You can also take an alternative route: 25 km are traveled by land (with 4×4) to reach the community of Infierno and then crosses the river to the reserve (2 hours by motorboat)..

Located between the basins of the Tambopata and Heath River, the reserve covers an area of 274,690 hectares and covers the regions of Madre de Dios and Puno. It has an incalculable wealth in biodiversity because there have been 632 species of birds, 1,200 of butterflies and 169 of mammals, 205 fish, 103 of amphibians and 67 reptiles. It presents the typical flora of the tropics. To enter prior authorization from INRENA is required.

B. Manu Province:

1.- Manu National Park:

A 280 Km. Of the city of Cusco in the Cusco-Paucartambo (12 hours in 4×4) road leads to the town of Atalaya, continue by river to the town of Boca Manu (7 hours by boat). Then he again enters the Madre de Dios River to the park. It is also possible to reach the town of Boca Manu in a small plane from the city of Cusco (45 minutes).

Manu National Park covers the regions of Cusco and Madre de Dios and has an area of ​​1,692,137 hectares (the entire Manu River basin). Since 1977, the Manu National Park is the core area of ​​the Biosphere Reserve of Manu, the same that was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987. Although income is not permitted, visitors can access various Reserved Zone authorized shelters and Cultural Zone adjacent to the park.

The park has a great diversity of animal species; over 800 species of birds like the harpy eagle, the jabiru, the wild goose, the cock of the rock and the roseate spoonbill; 200 mammal species like the common woolly monkey, the black spider monkey, the giant otter, jaguar, ocelot, spectacled bear and the Andean deer; and more than 100 species of bats.

You can also see trees over 45 meters high and 3 meters in diameter. The most characteristic species are the cetico, the bumps, cedar, screw, white lupuna and kills stick. Currently they are living in the Manu National Park 30 Quechua-speaking peasant communities as well as numerous Amazonian native peoples such as Matsiguenka, Amahuaca, Yaminahua, Piro, Amarakaeri, huashipaire and Nahua.

C. Tahuamanu province:

1.- City Iberia:

A 3 hour drive from Puerto Maldonado, for the transoceanic highway. The road to this place is rich in natural landscapes. In the city stands the design of the parade, in which are represented the main economic activities in the region.


The traditional dances of this region represent scenes of animal life, myths, legends and mysteries of the jungle; the most popular are the changanakuy, the jaguar and the suri.


The craftsmanship of the area is made from plants, fibers, seeds and jungle roots. Pieces made since ancient times as bows and arrows Pona adorned with feathers, traditional costumes made yanchama tree bark and decorated with seeds and feathers, necklaces, earrings and bracelets made with seeds and animal teeth can be found.

Currently performed well wood carvings, paintings with images of people, animals and landscapes, ashtrays, paperweights and key chains in coconut chestnut, plus wooden postcards and various ornaments. Peruvian law prohibits and penalizes the extraction, transport, marketing and export of any species of flora or fauna, live or dead and / or objects made of parts, unless you have obtained authorization from INRENA.


Typical dishes of the region are:

  • Juane: Rice stick with chunks of chicken wrapped in banana leaves.
  • Inchicapi: chestnut soup with chicken and rice.
  • Timbuche Chowder with green bananas and sacha cilantro (herb-like taste and the smell of cilantro).
  • Roast venison: Served with rice and green banana.
  • Tacacho with cecina: grilled or fried banana and crushed butter accompanying meat dry.
  • Roast picuro: Amazonian rodent tasty meat that is grilled over charcoal.
  • Carachaza broth: thick fish soup called carachama with bananas and cilantro.

Traditional drinks:

  • Cocona refresh: Typical result of the area.
  • Masato: drink of cooked, crushed and fermented cassava yams, sweet or sugar.
  • Refresh aguajina: Delicious drink made with water hole, the edible fruit of a native palm tree in the area.
  • Pihuayo soda: Soft drink made from the fruit of another native palm tree in the area.
  • Chapo: Banana and sugar refreshment served cold

5. Festivities:

Carnival / February (insert date)
Throughout the region.
Organized parade through the main streets of the city, comparsas competitions, beauty queen contests and the election of Miss.
Manguare and King Momo.

Fiesta de San Juan / June 24
Throughout the region.
The feast of San Juan Bautista is symbolic because it is held to the water as a vital element in the entire Amazon. You can hear local bands and taste typical dishes of the region.

EDN NDO DARI Festival – Fiesta de mi Tierra / Insert Date
Province of Tambopata.
Party which aims to strengthen the Amazonian cultural identity through dance contests, folklore, typical food, mystic ceremonies (payments to land and ayahuasca sessions) and conducting a conference of researchers of ayahuasca.

Anniversary of Puerto Maldonado / July 10
Province of Tambopata, Puerto Maldonado.
For a week, various competitions like races and motorcycle races, food tastings and beauty queens elections are held.

Tourist Festival Mother of God “Puerto Maldonado awaits you” / September
Province of Tambopata, Puerto Maldonado.
Pictorial presentation “The Incas, Cornerstone” and cocktail cooking course, hotel conference of the Macro South Region, Venetian Night at the Port Captaincy and Food Festival: The following events are held.

Anniversary of Mother of God / December 26
Throughout the region.
The celebration begins on the eve with parties, serenades and dances. The central day civic parades, sports tournaments, craft and Christmas fairs are held.


The Madre de Dios watershed basin is the third-largest in the country with an area of ​​109441 km2 in Peru. The study area also includes interbasin Alto Acre (belonging to the Purus Basin) which is equivalent to 11,933 km2 which represents 9% of the country.

There are about 136 rivers, 248 lakes and 140 streams and lakes.

According to Pfafstetter methodology, coding and delimitation of hydrographic units defined a total of nine (09) basins, and corresponding to: Inambari Basin (46648) Tambopata Basin (46643) Orthon Cuenca (4662), Cuenca Las Piedras (46646), interbasin Alto Madre de Dios (46649), interbasin Middle Alto Madre de Dios (46647), interbasin Middle Mother of God (46645) Medium Low interbasin Mother of God (46643) and interbasin Alto Acre (46669 ).

To define how watershed compactness coefficient (Kc) whose results show values ​​ranging between 2.02 and 2.34 indicating that it is irregularly shaped basin, with a greater interbasin Medium Low Madre de Dios were used. Also, the form factor (FF) indicates that the basin is elongated Las Piedras, which has higher flow rates.

Within the parameters of terrain, the slope of the Madre de Dios basin is 0.36 ‰. The steepest recorded by the Inambari basin with 2.28 ‰.

Drainage parameters indicate that the order of the rivers is 5, the frequency of the rivers rivers is 0.01 / km, the drainage density is 0.135 km / km, the average length of runoff is 1848.77 m, and coefficient of torrential is rivers 2.08 / km.

The greatest contamination of rivers are given by mining, municipal waste, oil industry and illicit crops. The most impacted rivers are Huapetuhe, Pukiri and Colorado in the Upper Madre de Dios; the Caychive, Dos de Mayo and Quebrada Huacamayo rivers Inambari Basin; Quebrada Yarinal, Malinowski River Basin in Tambopata; the Madre de Dios River in the basin of the Middle Alto Madre de Dios.

It is required to implement at least two (02) hydrometric stations, one in the Mother of God at the height of Billinghurst Bridge River and one on the Inambari river at the Puente Inambari; Likewise, it is recommended to install a weather station in the basin of the Stones and reactivate the Stations of Iberia and Pilcopata.

It is recommended that a more detailed rivers impacted by mining study, such as: Huapetuhe, Pukiri and Colorado, Caychive, Dos de Mayo, Huacamayo Quebrada, Quebrada Yarinal, Malinowski River Madre de Dios river.