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There are several areas in which to visit the Amazon Jungle in Peru. We choose to head to a lodge on the Madre de Dios River as it was easily accessible from Cusco where we had been to visit Machu Picchu?. We took a night bus (12 hours) to Puerto Maldonado, a river town in southeastern Peru in the Amazon rainforest. We choose to do a package with a lodge as these include activities, accommodation and meals. Our package was 4 days 3 nights which I think was a perfect amount of time. You can choose to book just accommodation at a lodge in the rainforest however they are remote and you can't access other restaurants, towns or tours etc so you need to purchase from the lodge you are staying at anyway. We preferred to book the package tour so we knew exactly what cost our trip would be.
The town of Puerto Maldonado sits where the Tambopata and Madre de Dios rivers join, the latter river joins the Madeira River as a tributary of the Amazon. Our jungle adventure began early with a pick up from the bus station, we were taken to the river dock where we boarded our timber long boat. We met our guide Roberto onboard and headed down river one and a half hours to our home for the next few days, Ecolucerna Lodge.
The vegetation is so lush and thick that the lodge is barely visible as you approach by boat. However once you step ashore you are welcomed by neat paths and gardens. We were shown to our timber and thatching bungalow to settle in before being invited to the communal bungalow for a welcome drink and run down on what to expect and how to stay safe in the jungle. We were fitted out with gum boots as the trails can get a little muddy.
We had a beautiful healthy lunch made from ingredients grown at the lodge or sourced locally. We then put on those gum boots and headed out for a walk through the Lucerna trails. We learnt a lot from our guide about the primary and secondary forest, transformations made by man, and its relevance to the world. Roberto our guide was super at spotting insects, spiders, frogs and birds and explaining all about them. We were hoping to see a Tapir but no luck today, lots of monkeys though. We then headed to the communal area for a Peruvian dinner and had time to meet our fellow guests. Although we had some free time during the day we were all exhausted and headed off to our bungalow early. The lodge is off grid so generator power goes off around 9.30pm so its lights out. There is no hot water in the Bungalow bathroom but its hot outside so a cold rinse off is just perfect. The noises of the jungle just seem so relaxing the hum of insects and croaks of frogs just put us to sleep so quickly.
The next day was an early start, 7am as we had a long day ahead. After a healthy breakfast we headed down river in our long boat to Tambopata National Reserve. We then took the rather muddy but fun walk (around 1 hour) to Lake Sandoval and boarded our row boat. We spent a few hours paddling around the lake and watched the giant otters playing, we saw so many amazing birds, tortoises and monkeys. We had a picnic lunch at the waters edge then headed out monkey spotting before walking back to the river and returning to our lodge. After dinner we took to the river in our long boat and searched for Caymans (crocodiles) we found many and some really amazing birds, bats and owls too!
After another perfect nights sleep we headed out to visit a family with a fruit plantation on the river. We picked and sampled many fruits that grow in the jungle and learnt a lot from our guide about living in the jungle and what it is like to be a producer in these areas. We headed back to our lodge for lunch, we tried some local fish with limes we’d picked that morning. After a rest we headed out fishing in our boat but didn’t get a bite! However we did spot sloths and lots of beautiful birds so we were totally happy with that.
We travelled in December which is actually the wet season in Peru but were super lucky with fantastic weather. However it is a jungle and the rainforest is thick so be sure to pack wet weather gear, hiking boots, plus insect repellent, sunscreen, hats etc.
Our last night at Ecolucerna Lodge was spent enjoying a great Peruvian dinner with our fellow guests. Another amazing nights sleep and breakfast, then it was back to the small town of Puerto Maldonado with great memories, refreshed and relaxed ready for the next part of our adventure… Paraguay.
If you'd like to visit the Amazon or South America talk to your BYOkids consultant 1300 296 543 and we can arrange everything for you.
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