Have you ever wanted to experience the awe inspiring Amazon jungle, but prefer not to sleep in a hammock, cook on a fire, and bathe with caiman? If so, this trip is for you. Spend a few nights in the Amazonian Expeditions Tahuayo Lodge named by Outside Magazine as one of the top ten wilderness lodges in the world. You’ll also spend a couple nights further upriver in the Amazon Research Center (ARC) surrounded by pristine jungle. Spend your days exploring the jungle with your professional guides which include an experienced biologist. Spend your nights comfortable, clean, and dry in your bed. You will also spend a night in cabins with our friend Wilder and his family. Staying a night with this Peruvian family will be a memorable experience. Wilder can teach us about some of the medicinal plants he grows, you can swim with his children, or go for a walk. In addition to your time on the Tahuayo, you’ll have a couple days to explore Iquitos which is the largest city in the world with no road access.
Facts at a Glance
Level of Difficulty: Easy. Pace, distance and activities will be determined by the group. We can accommodate nearly anyone’s desired level of physical activity.
April 6-14, 2018 plus 2 optional days
August 18-26, 2018 plus 2 optional days
Trip Origination: Fly in and out of Iquitos, Peru.
What’s Included: Two nights in Iquitos, three nights in the Tahuayo lodge, two nights in the Amazon Research Center (ARC), and one night in Wilder’s cabins. All meals starting with lunch on day 1 and ending with breakfast on day 9, all ground and water transportation including airport pickup and drop off, entry fees, conservation fees, port taxes, city and jungle guides.
What’s not Included: Flights, drinks and snacks between meals, alcoholic beverages, laundry, unscheduled activities, personal travel insurance, additional days, and anything not listed as included.
Price: $2,800 with a minimum of four, and a maximum of 8 participants. Optional additional days are $200 per day.
What You Need to Bring:
- Appropriate clothing for being in the sun or jungle all day such as light long sleeve shirts and pants
- Full brim hat
- Insect repellent/head net
- Rain gear (poncho)
- Small Day pack
- Dry bag
- Rubber boots will be provided by the lodge. We can rent out headlamps ($15), head net ($5), quality poncho ($15), and dry bags ($5-$10) if you don’t already own them and you don’t wish to purchase them.
Fly into Iquitos and explore the city. Walk around the Plaza de Armas and enjoy dinner from one of the areas many restaurants. Tonight we will sleep in a hotel conveniently located near the Plaza de Armas or Central Square.
After breakfast we’ll take a boat up the Amazon River then up the Tahuayo River to the lodge where you’ll spend the next three nights. Watch for pink dolphins, especially at the convergence of the two rivers. We should be at the lodge in time for lunch and to get settled into your rooms before exploring some of the nearby trails. This is a great place to see some wildlife including pygmy marmosets and other monkeys.
Day 3 and 4
These are full days at and around the Tahuayo lodge. We’ll spend one day going to terra firma, or dry land that never floods. Here we can find beautiful poison dart frogs and visit the “bat cave”. Calling it a cave is a bit misleading because it’s actually a large fallen tree which has rotted out from the inside. It’s full of bats and large enough to crouch down in and make your way through from one end to the other. Making your way through the inside of a hollowed out tree full of bats fanning your neck as they fly past is an eerily amazing experience. Other activities in this area include visiting one of the local communities, exploring nearby lakes, or fishing for piranha. Fifty percent of the jungle is in the dark so have your headlamps handy. One night we’ll do a short walk in the dark to find nocturnal animals and insects. We’ll also have a chance to do the zip line canopy tour before we go further upriver to the ARC.
Day 5 and 6
On day 5 we will make our way upriver to the ARC where you will spend two nights. The research center has an impressive grid network of trails nearby which we’ll be exploring. We will also paddle local made canoes quietly down the river and to oxbow lakes. The area around the ARC is an excellent place to see a variety of wildlife and beautiful lakes.
If the water is high enough we might choose to paddle the canoes down the river and through a series of oxbow lakes back to the Tahuayo lodge. Even if the river is low, we could paddle down from the Tahuayo lodge and stop at a couple villages along the way. Or maybe we decide we just want to take it easy and travel by motorboat. Whatever route and transportation we choose we will be spending the night with our friend Wilder and his family in cabins near his house. Meals will be prepared by his wife and we’ll spend the evening swimming, learning about medicinal plants, or just visiting with Wilder and his family.
Today we’ll go back to Iquitos. Unless you stay for the optional additional days this is your last night in Iquitos.
Depending on your flight time it is possible to go to the market in the morning, buy souvenirs, or visit a museum before going to the airport.
Day 10 and 11 (optional days)
We highly recommend at least one additional day to appreciate Iquitos. The additional day fees cover three more meals, lodging, transportation, entrance fees, and a local guide. Visit Belen and the market. During the flood, the lower part of Belen will be underwater, forcing people to use only the second stories of their houses. The market can be an assault on your senses with stimuli coming from everywhere. You will see the witches market complete with many potions, monkey heads, jaguar bones, snake skins and more as well as strange meats, fish, fruit, and other foods. If you aren’t used to this kind of market it can be a little overwhelming for some, but it’s an experience which should not be missed. We also recommend visiting the manatee rescue center, the indigenous museum, or maybe monkey island. There are plenty of options and not enough time to do it all unless you plan on staying for weeks but with at least one extra day you’ll be able to see some of the more important places.