Undisturbed jungle areas can be found within the Parque Nacional Yanachaga-Chemillén, 3–4 hours from Chanchamayo. More remote jungle is a day’s journey from Chanchamayo.
A seven-hour combi ride leads to Puerto Bermúdez, a lazy settlement on the Río Pachitea. Both the river and the dirt road (not passable in rainy season Nov.–Mar.) lead all the way to Pucallpa, an adventurous journey that runs through the town of Puerto Inca.
Another option is to head to Satipo, two hours along paved road from Chanchamayo, and then travel farther by combi to the riverside town of Puerto Ocopa. From here, boats can be hired to descend the Río Tambo, a remote corner of Peru’s Amazon.
If you are driving, or not shy about hitchhiking, there is a spectacular dirt road to Huancayo from Satipo, which leads up and over a 4,320-meter pass, Abra Tortuga, in the Huaytapallana range. No regular transport follows this route, a 10-hour journey between Satipo and Huancayo.
Tour Agencies and Guides
Agencies tend to come and go in Chanchamayo, but the friendly Rodolfo May, owner of Hostal Golden Gate (just west of Herreria Bridge outside La Merced, tel. 064/53-1483, divnafly [at] latinmail [dot] com), can give excellent information about activities in the area, and with advance notice, can arrange trips.
Lucho Hurtado, the energetic owner of Incas del Peru in Huancayo (Av. Giráldez 652, tel. 064/22-3303, travelinfo [at] incasdelperu [dot] org, www.incasdelperu.org) takes groups into the Chanchamayo area for a five-day, action-packed stay at his father’s farm near Pozuzo.
© Ross Wehner and Renée del Gaudio from Moon Peru, 3rd Edition