The launching points into the Chanchamayo jungle are the nearby towns of San Ramón and La Merced. Although there are only 11 kilometers between both towns, they are drastically different.
San Ramón is a sleepy town with a good restaurant and hostel. The bigger and much more hectic La Merced has more restaurants and agencies, and a collection of drab hostels.
San Ramón has a lively Founders Day celebration in late August, with burro races and cooking contests.
Oxapampa  has a similar celebration in late August that includes an Asháninka archery competition.
The two main German colonies have fascinating, beer-soaked celebrations that also include cockfighting championships and torneo de cinta, a jousting contest on fast horses where men lunge for bits of suspended embroidery.
The best accommodations  are the nice bungalows on the road between both towns.
La Merced’s main bus station is on the eastern end of town, at the triangular intersection of Fitzgerald and Carmen. From here combis can be taken nearly anywhere: to Satipo (US$4, two hours, leave throughout day), Oxapampa  (US$5, four hours, leave between 4–6 a.m.), Puerto Bermúdez (US$8, seven hours, leave between 3–5 a.m.), or Huancayo  (US$5, three hours).
Double-deckers from Empresa de Transportes Junín (http://transjunin.com.pe ) also leave from here to Lima for US$9 per seat, a seven-hour drive. Across the street is Transmar (Fitzgerald 572), which offers buses along the paved highway to Pucallpa  on Sundays, an 18-hour journey with stops in Huánuco  and Tingo María  that costs US$15.
Mototaxis are everywhere in La Merced but are not really needed unless you want to take the US$1 ride to the hilltop cross, a fabulous lookout over the Chanchamayo Valley that is not safe at night. Combis are also frequent between La Merced and San Ramón and leave when full from the corner of Junín and Arica in La Merced, every 15 minutes.