Pucallpa is the capital of the department of Ucayali and one of the most progressive cities in the Peruvian Amazon. Industrial activity revolves around logging and agriculture. The region was first inhabited by the Pano tribe, who settled all along the Ucayali River and its tributary streams. The river, discovered in 1577 by Spanish captain Juan Salinas de Loyola, is one of the most important trade routes in the central jungle.
The jungle teems with dense green undergrowth, which is reflected in the many rivers and lakes that dot the region. Lake Yarinacocha, just few minutes from Pucallpa, is an ideal spot for rest and recreation. The area features jungle lodges where visitors can practice water sports such as water skiing, swimming, rowing and sports fishing in the clear waters. The area is also inhabited by several ethnic groups who are the descendants of the legendary Pano tribe, such as the communities of San Francisco, Nuevo Destino and Santa Clara. They are hospitable folk who live in picturesque housing and offer all kinds of arts crafts decorated with geometric figures for sale.
Another attraction in the area is the Chullachaqui Botanical Garden, a beautiful spot where visitors can study a large variety of plant species used in traditional medicine. The people of Ucayali choose their beauty queens in pageants during carnival in the Ucayali region and in the Festival of San Juan, amidst trade fairs and dances.
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