We travelled to Puerto Maldonado from Lima by plane. The flight was fairly easy. You check in at the desks found in the left hand side of the airport (departures) and then go up an escalator to get to security (and an array of shops and fast food restaurants). The flight to Puerto Maldonado took approx 1.5 hours and was perfectly comfortable. Just remember to reconfirm your flight 72 hours in advance. We flew with LAN and reconfirmed our flight via their website.
On arrival, the local tuk tuk drivers wanted between 20-30 soles to take us into the town. As the journey is only about 10-15 minutes, the journey should cost 10 soles max. On our return journey, we paid 7 soles.
Puerto Maldonado is not a premium tourist location. It is quite run down, lacking in attractions and decent eateries. However, it is a convenient gateway to join your tour for the jungle, which is an unforgettable experience (blog post to follow!).
We ate at Burgo’s House, which was recommended by both Trip Advisor and the Lonely Planet. The tuk tuk to get there cost 3 soles.
The restaurant was probably the best of a bad bunch. The only plus points were that the food was edible and didn’t make us sick. I ordered a vegetable curry, which was stone cold, not spicy and came in a bright yellow sauce. My boyfriend had chicken in a cream sauce with mushrooms, which was at least hot (although apparently tasteless).
We stayed at HOTEL PUEBLO VERDE for 100 soles a night (they wanted 120 but we asked for a discount because the wifi didn’t work). The staff were friendly and one of them spoke English. However, the condition of our room did not match the Trip Advisor and Booking.com reviews. The curtains were like tissue paper and did not close, nor was there any hot water. The breakfast was a joke – stale luncheon meat, sugary aniseed flavour cereal and dodgey fruit, all covered in LOTS of flies. In addition, the wifi did not work. The manager attributed this to a rainstorm the day before our arrival. It sounds as if I am complaining a lot. I was not expecting the Ritz (or even Premier Inn standards), but if hot water, wifi and breakfast are advertised as part of the room price, then it is a disappointment not to benefit from them (especially after a very long international flight….). However, the communal areas were pretty with lots of flowers and the staff were helpful in bringing us an extra towel (we originally had one to share…) and offering to call us a taxi when we checked out.
After one night, we joined our jungle tour and had the most amazing time in the Amazon… click here for video highlights and click here for my jungle blog! The video contains a few shots of Puerto Maldonado and the journey to the jungle.