The Tambopata River rises above 3,900 m.a.s.l. among the snow-capped mountains that dominate the Peruvian-Bolivian altiplano, approximately at the coordinates (14°28′46″S 69°1′23″W) in the department of La Paz. it runs for 66 kilometers through Bolivian territory until it reaches the Peruvian border, where it flows into the Colorado River; from this point the Tambopata enters Peruvian territory. On its initial descent towards the Amazon plain, it forms rapids and waterfalls as it crosses deep valleys and gorges.
From 3,000 m.a.s.l. it crosses a jungle ecosystem always covered by clouds, better known as cloud forest or the famous yungas. Upon reaching the Amazonian pampas, below 500 meters, the highland jungle becomes lowland jungle and the Tambopata River becomes a super-silent, wide and winding river. It passes through the town of San Rafael and flows into the Madre de Dios River in the city of Puerto Maldonado (capital of the Madre de Dios region, which has about 40,000 inhabitants), almost next to the Piedras River.
In its course, this river crosses the Tambopata National Reserve. Its main tributaries are the Mosojhuaico River, Carama River, Azata River, Shenahuaja River, Shehetapiti River, Távara River, Elías Aguirre River, Malinousqui River and other small rivers.
Madre de Dios River, is a tributary of the Amazon River in southeastern Peru and northwestern Bolivia. It rises in the Carabaya mountain range, the easternmost of the Peruvian Andes, and meanders generally eastward past Puerto Maldonado to the Bolivian border. There it turns northeast and passes through the remote rainforest of northwestern Bolivia. After a journey of more than 1,100 km, it joins the Beni River at Riberalta (Bolivia). Numerous tributaries, such as the Manu, the Colorado Arana, the Pariamanu and the Tambopata, flow into the main river, whose upper course is navigable by small boats. Below the rapids of Puerto Heath, on the border between Peru and Bolivia, the Madre de Dios is once again an important transportation artery. Rubber is extracted from the dense rainforest on the banks of the river. The basin is sparsely populated and parts of the upper reaches are uninhabited.
Madre de Dios River
It is a large navigable river that crosses several reserves and national parks in Peru and is one of the most important communication routes in the southern Amazon. Numerous lodges have sprung up along the river, especially near the city of Puerto Maldonado. It is one of the most accessible places in Peru to visit the Amazon, with direct flights from the cities of Cusco and Lima. The river continues its course into the Bolivian Amazon.
The Madre de Dios River, also known by the names: Amaru-Mayo, Manú-Tali and Padre Río, is the main axis of the river system in the study area.
This river in Peruvian territory reaches a length of approximately 655 km and its basin is close to 95,000 km2. After flowing into the Manú River, it is navigable and forms numerous meanders. It has several tributaries in Peruvian territory, the most important of which are: on the right bank, the Inambari, the Tambopata and the Landa on the border with Bolivia; on the left bank, the Pariamanu, the Cashpajali and the Tacuatimanu or Las Piedras.
In Bolivian territory, on the right bank, it receives the waters of the Asunta, Toromonas, Manurimi and mainly the Beni rivers. On the left bank it receives the waters of the Tahuamanu river, which together with the Manuripi (Manuripe) river form the Orthon river, which flows into the Madre de Dios river.