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Tingo Maria

Tingo Maria is a hot and bustling town located in the department of Huánuco. It sits at an altitude of 2,204 ft (672 m), just east of the Andean range. Don’t let its proximity to the highlands fool you; Tingo Maria is, without a doubt, a jungle town. Mototaxis buzz around the streets of Tingo Maria, shuttling the population of about 60,000 from one place to the next. A number of universities are located in and around the town, serving a youthful student population that seems to be constantly strolling up and down Alameda Perú, Tingo’s main thoroughfare.

Tingo Maria was largely isolated until the late 1930s, at which time the settlement began to grow. Investment in coffee, cacao and coca plantations heralded a new era for Tingo Maria, and soon the area became an important agricultural zone. Its location on the edge of the Peruvian jungle, and the close proximity of the Monzón and Huallaga rivers, also made Tingo Maria an important link between the highlands and the jungle lowlands. Road links with Pucallpa to the east further cemented Tingo’s reputation as the “Door to the Amazon.” Coffee and cacao are still prime movers in the region’s economy, while coca plantations and illegal cocaine production are still commonplace (though generally at some distance from the main urban area).

Drug trafficking and Shining Path terrorist activities once gave the region an unpleasant edge, but stability has been reestablished over the last 20 years and safety issues no longer keep tourists away. Tourism continues to grow in Tingo Maria, and the town has become a hot vacation destination for residents of Lima. The town has yet to become a big draw among international tourists, and remains firmly off the Gringo Trail. However, there are plenty of attractions in and around Tingo Maria, and the Parque Nacional Tingo Maria sits right on the town’s doorstep.

Rivers, waterfalls and caves are scattered generously within easy reach of the town, and wildlife spotters can revel in an abundance of animal and bird life. The town itself is a little short on international-standard hotels and restaurants, but there are a few top-end options and more than enough mid-range and budget guesthouses and eateries. The locals cruise up and down Alameda PerĂş in the evenings, stopping of at the street side bars and ice cream parlors for refreshments.

Tel code: 062


Other places nearby Tingo Maria: Pucallpa , Chanchamayo and Yarinacocha .

By Tony Dunnell

Tony (HowtoPeru and TarapotoLife) has...

15 Mar 2012

Things to do in Tingo Maria

Parque Nacional Tingo Maria

Parque Nacional Tingo MarĂ­a (Tingo Maria National Park), located about six kilometers (3.7 mi) south of town and easily reached by mototaxi, covers an area of approximately 18,000 hectares (44,479 ...
Tingo Maria, Peru

Bella Dormiente

Overlooking Tingo Maria is the Bella Dormiente (Sleeping Beauty), a lush green mountain range that bears the profile of a sleeping woman. According to legend, a princess by the name of Nunash fled ...
City Park
Tingo Maria, Peru

Cueva De Las Lechuzas

Located within the National Park, the Cueva de las Lechuzas (Cave of the Owls) is one of Tingo Maria’s highlights. The deep, dark cave is home to a colony of Oilbirds and a large number of bats and ...
Other Activity
Tingo Maria, Peru

Jardín Botánico

The Jardín Botánico (botanical garden) of Tingo Maria was established in 1978 by the local Universidad Nacional Agraria de la Selva. The collection of tropical plant life now comprises more than ...
City Park
Tingo Maria, Peru
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