During a short walk near Refugio Amazonas, you will discover the relationship between local people and plants. Plants are incorporated in the daily lives of local people as food, medicine, clothing and also used as building materials! Interpretive guides lead this walk.
Prepare to be astounded because nowhere else on the planet can one find a forest that harbors more than 600 species of birds, well over 100 species of mammals, and more than 100 species of reptiles and amphibians. The insect diversity is even more incredible with literally thousands of species of beetles, bugs, and other six-legged creatures. There are more than 1,000 species of butterflies in the rainforests of Tambopata and the number of shapes, colors, and types of katydids seems to be simply endless.
Nevertheless, the impressive animal biodiversity in Tambopata has its equal in the numbers and types of plants that make up the foundation of the rainforest. There are literally thousands of species of plants in the rainforests and most have developed an even more incredible variety of compounds as defenses against the countless herbivores that would eat their leaves and tunnel into their trunks. The natural chemicals developed by rainforest plants have been investigated and used by native Amazonian peoples for thousands of years. In the natural laboratory of the Peruvian rainforest, plants have been extracted and used for medicinal purposes long before modern techniques and treatments were developed. In Tambopata, many people from the native community still go to their local shaman (a traditional healer) to receive treatments for everything from sleeplessness to cancer.