Eco-travel has been allowing vacationers to explore the world in search of natural beauty and unspoiled wilderness for years, and though some travelers have their heart set on scenic vistas and natural formations, others are searching to commune with some of the native wildlife in these distant regions. If rare and exotic animals are at the top of your "must-see" list, then an Amazon River cruise will be right up your alley.

The Peruvian Amazon River basin is the one of the largest jungles in all of South America, second only to the Brazilian Amazon in size. Yet while the area may comprise around 60 percent of the country, only 5 percent of the population lives there. The sparse population in the region has allowed the endemic wildlife to flourish, resulting in a truly impressive biodiversity.

Travelers exploring the Peruvian Amazon will find a stunning array of animals, including the world's largest collection of bird species and the third largest assortment of mammals. Some of the creatures that can be spotted in the region include spotted jaguars, tree sloths, caimans, anacondas, capybaras, pink dolphins and six varieties of macaw.

Additionally, the Peruvian stretch of the Amazon is typically narrower than the river in Brazil, allowing travelers on an Amazon cruise easier access to the riverbanks on shore excursions and a closer glimpse of wildlife while exploring narrow tributaries.

For the latest travel trends and exciting discoveries, visit our Amazon River Travel News section.