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Peruvian Amazon

Peruvian Amazon

Old Jul 8, 12, 5:12 pm
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Peruvian Amazon

Does anyone have recommendations for the best places to explore the Peruvian Amazon? What are the pros/cons of each of the various jumping off points?

I will be taking a trip to Peru in November and would like to spend some time in the rainforest in addition to Machu Picchu. The whole trip will only be two weeks, so I'm looking for an option that will be good for about 4-5 days or so. I will be traveling with the fiancee, so nothing too rough, but we don't need a 5-star experience either. I'm usually hesitant to do tours, but from what I've been reading that may be the best way to go.

Last edited by sk8uno; Jul 12, 12 at 6:03 pm
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Old Jul 8, 12, 5:25 pm
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My partner and I just returned (memorial day weekend) from a fantastic trip to Machu Picchu. I generally always book our own travel arrangements, but because of the logistics involved with this trip I decided I needed to use a travel agency specializing in Peru. I found a fantastic one on tripadvisor named Ancient Summit. They did a fantastic job in planning our trip. We had an incredible time, guide was wonderful. They took care of everything, flights, trains, hotels, transfers. I would highly recommend the company. The owner, Nina Fogelman, put together a trip of a lifetime for us. I would be happy to provide you addl info if you like.
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Old Jul 9, 12, 1:54 pm
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Originally Posted by johnkel1 View Post
My partner and I just returned (memorial day weekend) from a fantastic trip to Machu Picchu. I generally always book our own travel arrangements, but because of the logistics involved with this trip I decided I needed to use a travel agency specializing in Peru. I found a fantastic one on tripadvisor named Ancient Summit. They did a fantastic job in planning our trip. We had an incredible time, guide was wonderful. They took care of everything, flights, trains, hotels, transfers. I would highly recommend the company. The owner, Nina Fogelman, put together a trip of a lifetime for us. I would be happy to provide you addl info if you like.
Thank you, johnkel. Did you do any excursions into the rainforest?
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Old Jul 9, 12, 3:12 pm
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No excusions into Rain Forest, as we had a very limited time (we flew to Lima on Thur evening, back on Mon night). Ancient Summit specializes in all of Peru so I am absolutely certain they could assist you with anything you may want. www.ancientsummit.com If you do talk with Nina, tell her that Kelly & Bill referred you. Honestly, Nina made our short visit the trip of a lifetime. Enjoy your visit to Peru!
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Old Jul 9, 12, 3:26 pm
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We just did Sandoval Lake Lodge, for 3D/2N. Very much enjoyed it - and probably would have been better for 4D/3N given that day 3 was nothing more than leaving.

SLL requires a 3KM hike from the river to the lake; no gear (porter takes your gym bag, which is all the luggage you get), but you still have to hike it. If it's rainy, the trail will be a godawful mess (they supply rubber boots).

At the lodge, hot water is plentiful, but electricity is only 10hrs/day. Food is adequate. It's no Hilton...but you're there for the nature, not the nurture.
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Old Jul 9, 12, 6:01 pm
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Thank you both! I will look into both of these options a bit further.
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Old Jul 9, 12, 7:26 pm
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Check also Tambopata reserve and Manu Wildlife center.
I seriosly considered this http://www.inkanatura.com/manu_bio_trip_tour.asp but unfortunately could not do it.
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Old Jul 9, 12, 11:38 pm
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Originally Posted by neuromancer View Post
Check also Tambopata reserve and Manu Wildlife center..
I've heard good things of Wasai Lodge in Tambopata, but I've not been there yet. They have a lodge within Puerto Maldonado near the river, and the main lodge within Tambopata park.
http://www.wasai.com/
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Old Jul 13, 12, 1:30 pm
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We most enjoyed our stay at Tambopata Research Center, operated by Rainforest Expeditions (they also carry out research and are advocates of preserving some of the Amazon environment and sustainable tourism with equitable involvement of native peoples). TRC is a bit more remote and rustic than some might prefer, but the hiking is great, the collpa stunning with its views of visiting psittacines (we aw, iirc, 13 species of parrots, macaws etc.)

Rainforest Expeditions operates three Amazon lodges: Posada Amazonas, Refugio Amazonas and Tambopata Research Center.
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Old Jul 14, 12, 11:46 pm
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We had a great time at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica, on our trip to Peru in May. We considered other areas Manu etc but decided on Inkaterra because it was pretty easy to get to. Short 45 min flight from CUZ-PEM and then an hour by boat up river to the lodge.

Did 2-3 tours per day, Canopy Walk atop the rainforest, Lake Sandoval, Gamitana Creek, etc. Had a great guide and was able to see several types of monkeys, sloth, toucans, macaws, snakes, tarantulas, cayman etc. I understand we were pretty lucky as the area can be hit or miss in seeing wildlife. Inkaterra is in the Amazonian rainforest but is on the Madre de Dios River, not near the Amazon river.

Food was excellent. Breakfast was buffet with eggs made to order. Lunch and dinner both sit down full course meals. Everything was included in the rate except drinks, but they offered a "free" pisco sour everyday at happy hour.

Stayed in individual huts which had hammocks, chairs and bed with netting. No air conditioning only fans and they turn the electricity off in the afternoon and at night to conserve.

We were so glad that we did this as the last leg of our trip because with the humidity nothing ever dried and our clothes and things were always damp and wet. Overall very neat experience and we enjoyed our stay.
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Old Jul 16, 12, 4:02 pm
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Rainforest Expeditions' properties are on the Madre de Dios river as well, a tributary of the Amazon, so it is the Amazon basin. The farther upriver you go, the better the sighting chances for wildlife - the boat up to Tambopata before us had a swimming jaguar!

We saw in ten days (in two places, Explorers Inn and Tambopata Research Center,) everything from caimans, giant otter, hoatzin, ocelot (night walk - be aware there are very poisonous reptiles, such as fer de lance / terciopelo , the bushmaster / shushupe and green tree viper /loromachaco, that can be encountered), howler monkeys, you name it, not to mention 13 parrot and macaw species at the collpa (clay lick).

Mammal list

Birds lists

Reptiles list

At Tambopata we were so far out I photographed some large capybara-like rodents (Dinomys branickii or pacarana) visiting under the lodge - the Smithsonian asked for, and got, my photos because they had no photos and thought these critters had gone extinct! We were 'way above the last of the gold sluicers.
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Old Dec 23, 12, 1:23 am
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The gateway to the Amazon in Peru on the Amazon River is Iquitos. This is in the northern Amazon Rainforest. The northern Amazon Rainforest has a less developed tourism industry than the south and in the south Amazon Rainforest you can find many tourist lodges in the Manu and Tambopata conservation areas. I prefer the less developed nature of the north and tour operators seem to give you a more personal experience.

The main jumping off points for the Peruvian Amazon are the city of Iquitos (famous for being unreachable by road), Tarapoto (less known than Iquitos and possible has access to better deals on tours), Cusco (for the most pristine park in Peru, the Manu National Park), and then the small town of Puerto Maldonado (easily accessed from Cusco for the Tambopata Reserve).
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Old Jan 7, 13, 2:16 am
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Another glowing recommendation for Tambopata Research Centre. I have a lot of pics on my blog (see siggy) and details of how to get there. I'm hoping to go back there in a few years but will have to collect more miles first!
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Old May 8, 13, 5:39 am
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If you get the chance head up to Iquitos, it's the largest city in the world that can't be reached by car
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Old Jun 18, 13, 9:26 am
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/agree with most of the posts here. Spent a week in the Puerto Mandonado area, and it does have better wildlife than the Iquitos area. That said, I spent 2 weeks in the Iquitos/Nauta areas. This year I am choosing to return to the Iquitos/Nauta area again (3 weeks!) as a) the city itself has far more to offer than Puerto Maldonado, the numer of expeditions that are reachable (furthur out than Puerto Maldonado though) is greater, the ability to hop on a high speed to get to the tri-border of Santa Rosa (peru)/Tabitinga (Brazil)/Leticia(Colombia), the depth of some of the expeditions being greater (as well as the Amazon itself and it's tributaries are much bigger this far down river,) and the fact that my Shaman (Don Juan Tangoa Paima of the Yacu Puma healing center) resides in IQT.

I do NOT reccomend using the tri-border as a base, as prices for similarly priced services are much higher there as the Peruvian economy is the one where the $$ goes farther, and the Peruvian town of Santa Rosa does not drive the local prices, but rather Brazil and Colombia do. In fact, currency is pretty much useable without exchange in Leticia/Tabatinga, but they like American Express, they don't take the Nuevo Sol.

Puerto Maldonado, Iquitos, and Leticia all have airports served by LAN, although the Leticia one is a LAN Colombia vs the others which are Lan Peru. Puerto Maldonado was a flight from Cusco (where I ran into George Takai on his honeymoon on the flight.) They also fly it from LIM. Iquitos is severd from LIM, and Bogota serves the Leticia airport.

In Iquitos, I found that walking the few blocks around the Plaza de Armas for tour agencies will get you a far better price on short notice than booking in advance, as they are trying to make their "thin" bookings profitable or break even. For example I booked a 5 day tour which included the tip to Nauta via car, 3 hour boat ride to our lodge, 2 nights in the lodge, 2 nights a further 3 hour ride up river to a families camp, where we spend another 2 nights there in misquitto netting covered hammocks, and return all for a little under $300. This trip was 100% customizable by the 4 of us on it, choosing how many nights to spend where. I was the 1st person to book it, 36 hours before dptr, and they added 3 additional people over the next 24 hours to make it a 4 man group. We had (2) guides with us at all times (only 1 spoke English, but the other could sure climb trees to pluch the wildlife out of the branches to bring it down to our dugout for closer view, then he would climb back up and replace the animals) with a support staff of another 2 people at the lodge.

Last edited by fastair; Jun 18, 13 at 9:54 am
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