Peru travel blog by Mark Berman -
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Door to the Amazon
On the surface Tingo Maria looks and feels just like another small busy and crazy Peruvian town with a million mototaxis buzzing up and down the streets, but
after discovering the area around the city and getting a better sense of its location as a major junction between various other cities, you may find Tingo Maria
to be quite a special place. Tingo Maria really is the door to the Amazon, the gateway, and for several reasons. I descended down the mountains to Tingo by
road from Huanuco
(2hrs 30mins by car). From the edge of the Andes down to the Amazon Basin, from a warm climate with cool nights to hot, humid, sweaty and
Tour of the National Park
In the afternoon on the day I arrived I found a tour office for a tour on the next day. A good deal for $50 Soles ($15USD), a 6hr+ tour. The day
included a trip to the Tingo Maria National Park (Parque Nacional Tingo Maria) where there's flora, fauna, birds, bats, butterflies, insects, the cave of the
owls (Cueva de las Lechuzas) and arts and crafts made from feathers, beads and wood.
Santa Carmen Waterfall
Then we went to Santa Carmen waterfall (Catarata Santa Carmen) where
after walking through the bush on a path you can swim in natural pools and eat fish barbecued by the locals, it is beautiful here.
Cave of the Pavas
Later we visited Spa 'Cave
of the Pavas' (Balneario Cueva de las Pavas) where people bathe and play in a rocky river. Finally we drove up to the mirador lookout point on the hill for views
of Tingo Maria and the dense green surroundings. It was a fantastic day with a good guide / driver, good places and not too much driving, the national park is only
15mins from town!
There are many more waterfalls and caves around Tingo Maria, waterfalls - San Miguel, Gloria Pata, Sol Naciente, 15 Anera, Velo de la Novia,
Ducha del Diablo and caves - las Pavas, las Virgenes, las Lechuzas, la Piramide and Dios Eros. A little way north of Tingo is a lagoon called Laguna de los
Milagros - a nice place to relax, look for birds and make photos etc.
The nicest part of the city center is definitely the long malecon walkway along Av. Alameda
Peru - the Plaza de Armas is in the middle of this. This street has many stalls selling all kinds of stuff from clothing to haircuts to food. I bought grapes
from the fruit stall, they were washed so I could eat them NOW! Around this nice public area is the cathedral, a few monuments and some colorful exotic flowers.
I didn't know it at the time but Tingo Maria would actually be the cheapest place I would visit while in the Peruvian Amazon, everything - hotels, food, tours,
mototaxis, you name it!
Amazon Road Traveling
From Tingo Maria I again travelled by shared car, to Pucallpa
, 4hrs 20mins drive time, plus we stopped twice at road works 35mins each.
The road does have a few problems but they are working on it all the time. More than anything though, it's an amazing tour by road through the jungle!
I came back
to Tingo Maria after Pucallpa
to take the notorious road north