Guest Post by Andreas Ambarchian
The vast region of the Peruvian Amazon is a uniquely diverse area, containing over half of all the mammal, bird and amphibian species in Peru. Many of the animals that thrive in the area are threatened or already extinct in other parts of the world, and staying in Amazon rainforest lodges is an opportunity to enjoy this broad range of wildlife at close quarters.
Staying in Amazon Rainforest Lodges
Sleeping in a jungle lodge means going back to basics a bit. There is no electricity board or potable running water, and hot showers are not always available. Although rudimentary, jungle lodges do offer guests a comfortable and enriching stay.
The weather in the Peruvian Rainforest, as you might expect, is extremely humid. So in general, shorts and a t-shirt are all that are required. But at night when the mosquitoes come out in force, it’s a good idea to combine a long sleeved shirt with insect repellent.
The nights are filled with the noises of the jungle and, even with the protection of a mosquito net, you might not make it through until morning without a couple of insect inflicted bites. Days tend to start when the sun rises, even for guests—however, as the waking day in the jungle rarely extends much beyond dark, getting enough sleep is not a problem.
Locations of Peruvian Jungle Lodges
The Amazon region of Peru is the largest area in the country, covering much of the eastern border and the entire northeastern territory. Population wise, the area is inordinately scarce, inhabited by just 5% of the total people in Peru. Many lodges are accessible only by boat, with guests being ferried down the various meandering rivers of the Amazon before reaching their accommodation. There are a few locations scattered around the huge area that offer jungle accommodation.
The capital of the Madre de Dios region in southeast Peru, Puerto Maldonado is equipped with an airport and is just a 30-minute flight from Cusco, or 12 hours by road. Amazon rainforest lodges here include the Wasai Puerto Maldonado Eco Lodge, close to the main city, and the Bello Horizonte Lodge, around an hour along the river.
Manu is located in the south east of Madre de Dios. As well as the Manu National Park, one of the most diverse places in the Peruvian Amazon, you can find the Manu Lodge, a lodge inside the borders of the national park. The Manu Wildlife Center, located in the private Manu Wildlife Center reserve and Tambo Blanquillo, has a family owned lodge overlooking the Madre de Dios River.
The Tambopata region of Madre de Dios is dissected by the long, winding Tambopata River, which flows all the way from the eastern slopes of the Andes down to the Puno region of Peru. Inside the region is also the Tambopata Nature Reserve. The Wasai Tambopata Lodge is located in the Tambopata Candamo National Reserve, while the Refugio Amazonas is situated in a 200-hectare private reserve within the outskirts of the Tambopata National Reserve.
Madre de Dios
This is a major city in the department of the same name, home to the Madre de Dios River. On the banks of the lake, within the protected Tambopata Candamo Reserve, is the Sandoval Lake Lodge, while around 30 km down the Madre de Dios River from Puerto Maldonado is the EcoAmazonia Lodge.
Iquitos is the largest city in the northern region of the Peruvian Amazon. It has an airport, the Aeropuerto Internacional Coronel FAP Francisco Secada Vignetta, and is close to several national reserves. Two Amazon rainforest lodges here include the San Pedro Lodge, around an hour down river of Iquitos, and the Maniti Camp, which is several hours downstream on the outskirts of the famous Pacaya Samiria Reserve.
Andreas is a freelance journalist from England. He writes about a variety of subjects including travel, wildlife and sport. This article was written on behalf of the Tambo Blanquillo, a family-owned lodge in the Peruvian Amazon.