The Amazon jungle, or Peru's Amazon Basin, covers a huge swathe of Peru: almost half of the country's land area in fact. To get to the Peruvian Amazon however, there are three key entry points: north, central and south.
As well as the below means of access from outside, there is also the option of traveling between Northern and Central Amazon by plane (Iquitos-Pucallpa) and from Central Amazon to Northern Amazon by multiday boat trip (from Pucallpa).
Travel times in the below sections are based on travel from Lima, which is the main external travel hub.
To the Northern Amazon
Duration: 1.75 hours-5.5 days
Peru's Northern Amazon is generally considered to be the remotest region of the Peruvian Amazon due to not being accessible by road. Travel is therefore by plane or by boat. The Northern Amazon has one main entry point, Iquitos. Iquitos is usually accessed by plane from Lima (most commonly). Several airlines offer flights between Lima and Iquitos: flight time is 1.75 hours. These flights operate daily, between 5:30 am and 9:30 pm, (although there are no flights at all between 12:30 pm and 6 pm). Latam has the most direct departures, with Peruvian and Star Perú also offering direct flights. See also these more adventurous ways to travel between Lima and Iquitos which feature boat travel for much of the way, and which also detail how to access Iquitos and the Northern Amazon from the other big transport hub in this region, Yurimaguas.
Traveling against the current, Iquitos can also be accessed by boat from both Brazil and Colombia (the Peru-Brazil-Colombia border is known as the Tri-border). From Santa Rosa on the Tri-border with Brazil and Colombia it is 10-12 hours' travel by speedboat to Iquitos: the best way to go is with fast boat Consorcio Fluvial del Amazonas.
To the Central Amazon
Duration: 1.25 hours-4 days
The Central Amazon is the best-connected part of the Amazon. Roads run from Lima through the Andes to the jungle towns of La Merced (eight hours), Satipo (ten hours) and Pucallpa (17-18 hours). Pucallpa is also connected by plane from Lima: flights are around 1.25 hours and run in mornings and evenings only through airlines Latam, Star Peru and Peruvian.
The Central Amazon can also be accessed from Cusco. The main part that can be accessed from Cusco of interest to travelers is Parque Nacional Manu. To access the park, you will first need to take a 1.25 hour flight or 18-22-hour bus journey to Cusco from Lima and then sign up to a three-day minimum tour of Parque Nacional Manu. Most tours in fact run for longer: four to seven days is average. For Parque Nacional Manu you need to take a guided tour to access the best parts.
To the Southern Amazon
Duration: 1 hour-1 day, 9 hours
There is only one key access point in the Southern Amazon: Puerto Maldonado.
Puerto Maldonado can be accessed by road from Lima/Cusco (27-33 hours / 9-11 hours) or by plane from Lima/Cusco (1.75/1 hours). By plane in both cases, Latam are the best airline choice. From Lima to Puerto Maldonado there is one morning and one evening direct daily flight, whilst from Cusco there is one or two direct flights daily.
Puerto Maldonado can also be accessed from Rio Branco in Brazil by road, via the Carretera Interocéanica. Travel time is around 8.5 hours by sporadic bus or by private transfer.