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Things to Do in Puerto Maldonado

For many adventure travelers to South America, Peru serves as the gateway to the vast Amazon rainforest. Sitting within the Amazon just west of the border with Bolivia, the city of Puerto Maldonado serves as the departure point for tours to the Madre de Dios rainforest region -- one of the most easily accessible and biologically rich jungle areas of the Amazon Basin.

While most travelers head out into the jungle just when they arrive, Puerto Maldonado has its own charms, if somewhat hidden behind the façade of mototaxi-congested streets and utilitarian buildings. Most of the town’s action centers on Plaza de Armas, the busy central square. For a bird’s eye view of the city and surrounding jungle, pay a visit to the Obelisk, an eight-story sky blue lookout tower that tells the town’s story through pictures and sculpture as you climb to the top.

For a preview of some of the biodiversity you might see in the rainforest, visit the Butterfly Farm (Casa de Las Mariposas) near the airport. This well-run butterfly conservation center educates visitors on the 3,700-some species of butterflies that live in Peru -- the country with the greatest number of butterfly species in the world.
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