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“An unforgettable journey!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Otorongo Expeditions Jungle Lodge

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Otorongo Expeditions Jungle Lodge
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Putumayo 163 | dpto 203, Iquitos, Peru   |  
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boston
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“An unforgettable journey!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2010

We’ve been meaning to write this review ever since we returned from Otorongo 8 months ago, and perhaps it’s better late than never. The place, and the people who run it – Anthony and Ivy – deserve every bit of praise already mentioned in other reviews.

I was afraid of venturing out into the Amazonian wild before I set foot on the grounds of Otorongo. The lodge was immaculately clean and the hosts were extremely welcoming and accommodating. During our stay at the lodge, we got to observe many species of birds, insects, frogs, other reptiles, and even spotted monkeys. Anthony and Ivy are extremely knowledgeable about the wildlife and we learned more from them in the three days that we spent there than we could ever learn from literature or television.

Most memorable, perhaps, were the fishing trips we made with Anthony. He is an avid fisherman, and if you are into fishing for piranhas, look no further. This is an experience of a lifetime, something to brag about back at home. Not only did we catch piranhas, we were also served them for dinner. They are darn tasty fish!

I could write about other things we experienced with Otorongo, but then you get to make your own schedule there. One thing certain, the owners are extremely professional and will make your stay as comfortable and exciting as you want it to be. If you are in for an unforgettable journey at a reasonable price, then Otorongo is the right choice for you.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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149 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2010

My husband and I returned from Otorongo recently and we had a fantastic experience.

Some advice....
WHAT TO BRING:
1. A sense of adventure...you will be taken on wonderful hikes with knowledgeable guides who can spot animals where you'd never expect them and Anthony, one of the owners, can answer practically any animal question you may have.
2. An open mind...you will meet some lovely people during your time here who live in the surrounding areas and they have a different way of life than most of us. They are very friendly and will make your experience that much richer.
3. A big appetite...Othelia and Cecilia are amazing cooks so plan on taking a siesta after lunch everyday.
4. Appropriate clothing...extra pants, extra long-sleeve shirts (preferably white), and extra underwear. They can, however, launder your clothing if necessary. It just takes a long time to dry because of the humidity.
5. A flashlight or headlamp...you can go on night treks and these will come in handy.
6. A good book...during the evenings, if you aren't chatting with guides or the owners or playing cards or boardgames with the other guests, you can read to your heart's content.

WHAT NOT TO BRING:
1. Your laptop...don't expect wi-fi this far into the Amazon Basin.
2. Electronics which require an outlet...they can recharge electronic items at Oran Village but only during evening hours.
3. A need for opulence...the rooms are basic but charming. Each room has a private bathroom with a flushing toilet and a shower (no water heater but after hiking in 90 degree weather, who needs hot water).

Otorongo Expeditions went the extra mile to make sure my husband and I had a satisfying and safe experience.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ingolstadt
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2010

Let me take the words from my headline to share my impressions with you.
Jungle: Otorongo lodge is, first of all, a JUNGLE lodge. Who expects electricity, air condition and Wi-Fi in the midst of the rainforest, should not get there, but rather stay in a city. But who looks for a real impression of nature, not bothering an "unplugged" experience of life, finds a real jewel in the Otorongo lodge. It is situated far enough from Iquitos, about 100 km down the Amazon river, to have real jungle surrounding the lodge. It offers different ways to explore the area: Hikes thorugh the jungle with lots of interesting explanations about flora and fauna, boat tours on the Amazon river for observing dolphins and birds, fishing tours for catching piranhas, visits to nearby jungle villages. The lack of cellphone network, TV, computers and electricity enables a very quiet, relaxing way of life: You sleep a lot, talk a lot and enjoy (litterally!) hanging around in the hammocks.
Welcome: The owners - an US-Peruvian couple - are enormously friendly and helpful, as is everybody of their staff. From the first moment, when somebody picked us up at the airport of Iquitos, to the last farewell, when we were dropped at the hotel, we felt welcome. A pleasant familiar atmosphere made the whole time of our stay unforgettable in the most positive way.
Aditionally, the owners value ecological sustainability, regional food supply and respect towards plants, animals and human beings neighbouring the lodge.
Great food, prepared from what grows in the region by very talented ladies and included in the price, should not be forgotten to be mentioned.
We spent five nights in this lodge and we didn't regret any dollar that we spent for it.
A highly recommendable place for all those who want to learn more about the Amazon rainforest - and who are ready to live "unplugged" for some days...

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2010

Though out of the way, the lodge is well worth the trip. The lodge is actually IN the Amazon so you get the full jungle experience. The owners couldn't be friendlier and are very accommodating. The guides are very knowledgeable and can find lots of wildlife. The rooms are simple but clean. The food is amazing and if you go fishing, they'll cook your catch for you for dinner. Overall, the entire experience might make you want to move to the jungle :)

A word to the wise - you need to be outdoorsy to enjoy the lodge - there isn't electricity or hot water. Between excursions there's a hammock room and books, or you can explore the grounds. Pack LOTS of insect repellent and bring a good camera - you'll be seeing lots!

A brief list of what we saw:
poison dart frogs, bullet ants, wolf spiders, huntsman spiders, few species of tarantulas, fer-de-lance, sloths, pygmy marmoset, pink river dolphins, grey river dolphins, tree iguanas, macaws, lots of bird species, bats, rainbow katydids, caimans, monkeyfrogs, anoles, capybaras and a lot of medicinal plants.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2010

We planned our trip quite quickly and I didn't get to do a lot of research. I just read the reviews here on Tripadvisor (and they're some glowing reviews for Otorongo) We went with an open mind and not a lot of expectation, ready to experience whatever Anthony and Ivy had in store for us. They went above and beyond. Everything you read here is true. Unbelievable but true. I won't repeat how great Anthony is (he really is), how lush and fascinating the Amazon is, how nice the Otorongo staffs are. We recommend Otorongo to all our friends. If you can extend your Peru trip to include more than Machu Picchu (you most definitely should), be sure to email Anthony and Ivy to see whether they have a spot for you. You won't regret it.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
91 helpful votes 91 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2010

We stayed here for four nights during our trip to the Amazon in April, the beginning of the rainy season. We picked this lodge because we thought we could get a more unique, personalized experience. It seemed that the other lodges were larger and more commercialized. Luckily, we were right about the unique, personalized experience.

The lodge (owned by Anthony and Ivonne) is about 2.5-3 hours by speedboat from Iquitos. Ivonne met us at our hotel and brought us to a local market. We were supposed to go to the Butterfly Farm, but it was closed that day, so we would see it on our way back to Iquitos. On the way to the lodge, we stopped by a rum factory, which was pretty neat. We even got to press the sugarcane through an old-fashioned press. On the way back to Iquitos, we saw the Butterfly Farm and stopped for the best acai berry shakes, according to Anthony (he's totally right) before heading to the airport.

Staying at this jungle lodge was great. Anthony and Ivonne are very eco-conscious and give back to the local communities. When I mean giving back to the local communities, I do not mean that they take tourists to the village to buy things. They have tried to teach them about sustainability, farming methods, etc. Going to the village to buy things certainly is an option, though. It was pouring rain on the day that we were supposed to visit the village, so we did not do this.

Anthony and Ivonne are young, but quite passionate about the Amazon and its unique ecosystem. They are very aware of the delicate balance between preserving it and promoting it. They work with local villagers, so some of our guides, chef, etc., are from the area. They are also very knowledgeable about Amazon and can take you to places to see wildlife, animals, etc.

Both Anthony and Ivonne are warm, friendly people, and speak English (and Spanish) well. Anthony is from upstate New York and moved to Iquitos, and Ivonne is from Iquitos, so non-Spanish speakers do not need to feel intimidated.

Otorongo Expeditions is a small place (12 rooms total) and about 4 years old. Because they are small, I think that is why they are able to make each guest's stay unique and memorable. Mosquitoes were not a problem while on the premises and we did not use the mosquito netting at night. Although they do not have hot water (which jungle lodge would and needs hot water in the Amazon?), they do have a good septic system and you can actually flush toilet paper. Electricity is obtained via a generator and you can use this to charge camera batteries each day. They also have solar panels that provided lighting for the night.

They offer jungle hikes, canoeing, dolphin-watching, piranha fishing, visiting the local villages, and night time activities (hikes, spear-fishing, canoeing). They also offer jungle camping for those who are interested in more adventurous experiences.

Rooms are standard size, perhaps on the small side, but you are in the Amazon and won't be spending that much time in your room. Mosquito netting is provided, but we did not use it and got only a few mosquito bites. Each room also has its own bathroom and shower. They provide you towels and soap. The room also has hooks to hang up clothes as well as a desk and open wardrobe with hangers. As mentioned before, it's nice to be able to flush toilet paper. There are no overhead lights in the room, but they will give you a lantern at night. I would recommend bringing a headlamp. There is a clothesline in front of each room, so that if you wanted to wash something, you could hang it up to dry. Drying clothes does take more than a day because it's so humid in the Amazon.

The lodge itself is spacious. There is a hammock room at one end and there are about 4-5 hammocks. It is an excellent place to take an afternoon nap. The main dining room is also cozy and it's the place where people gather before and after meals. One night, I learned how to play a Spanish board game, which was so fun, while my friend ventured out to spearfish at night. I was too nervous to spearfish at night, so I learned how to play board games with the 2 of the employees (chefs Sagrada and Cecilia) with my very limited Spanish.

It is really quite nice that they are able to welcome tourists like they are family. On one of the other nights, we were dancing with everyone while Randy (guide) and Manuel (boat captain) were strumming guitars or playing a makeshift drum. On our very last night there, they had set up a private dinner for the 2 of us, which was totally unexpected! There were flowers and it was quite romantic.

As for food, it was quite good and thoughtfully prepared. There is always a different fresh juice at every meal. We did not get sick and I even ate the raw salads. The food is Peruvian style (lomo saltado, buffalo milk cheese sticks- my favorites). If you caught fish that day, they will also cook it that night for you. We tried piranha, which is quite bony. Someone had caught piranha the day we arrived.

As for activities, they provide you with everything, including rubber boots, which are essential for walking during the rainy season. In terms of seeing wildlife, you have to remember you are in the Amazon, and sometimes, luck will play a role in your capability to see them. We happened to be lucky and saw 4 species of monkeys in one day, some rare birds, and dolphins frolicking in the river. We were not so lucky in terms of fishing, though, but this is nature.

We also happened to be the only guests during our last 3 days there. I think even if there were more guests present, they would still be able to personalize each group's experience. For example, our first day there was another group's last day. In the morning, we did a jungle hike while the other group fished. In the afternoon, both groups were interested in seeing pink dolphins, so we all did this together.

I think they are doing a wonderful job with eco-tourism because they are passionate, but conscientious about it. They also really work to meet your goals of seeing wildlife or doing whatever activity interests you. If you have special interests and want to focus on seeing certain things, they really make an effort to do this for you. They are very flexible and will work with you. Of course, they always have your safety and well-being in mind, as well. To me, Otorongo Expeditions is a rare, eco-conscious gem in a big world of commercialized, eco-tourism of the Amazon.

  • Stayed April 2010
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2010

I went to Peru for two weeks with my husband and friends and had the great pleasure of spending four days at Otorongo. We decided on Otorongo for a few reasons - Anthony and Ivy are a young couple not a big name (touts won't lead you to their office in Iquitos), they live locally and employ local people, they are passionate about the world around them, and Anthony and Ivy are fluent English speakers which I think helped us to understand more of the nuances of the local ecology and culture. Anthony, Ivy, Randy and the rest of their team were helpful, knowledgeable, caring and fun and really just delightful in every way. Sagrada, the chef, prepared the best food of our whole vacation (super fresh, perfectly seasoned and cooked) and that's saying a lot because most of the food in Peru is pretty good.

Otorongo seemed pretty luxurious and relaxing after trekking Colca Canyon, but if you are looking for AC and TV this is not the place for you. The beds were comfy, the rooms were cute, the cool showers were refreshing, and flushing toilet paper has never been so exciting! That's right - you can flush TP at Otorongo! The whole lodge is well screened and it feels like a home - a really cool home.

I wasn't super enthused by the fishing, but I loved exploring the forest with Anthony and Randy. They were both very knowledgeable and funny, and they worked really well together. I felt they like they were always concerned with our safety, edification, entertainment and enjoyment. Walking through the Amazon and eating jungle fruits was my favorite part of the whole trip!

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Otorongo Expeditions Jungle Lodge

Address: Putumayo 163 | dpto 203, Iquitos, Peru
Phone Number:
Location: Peru > Loreto Region > Iquitos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 85 Specialty Lodging in Iquitos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
NOT A LUXURY LODGE, NO FANCY WINE NO HOT TOWELS, THIS IS THE AMAZON RAINFOREST AND RIVER NOT NYC, ABOUT THE LODGE AND ROOMS Our Lodge is located 100 TRUE kilometers downstream Amazon River from Iquitos. We border the largest track of terra firme rainforest left in the world. Pick and choose what excursions you would like to do with your private jungle guide.The Lodge consists of two buildings, The large dining room has a 220v recharging station, library and a bar. The buffet serving table where you will find two hot thermos, one with REAL coffee (not instant)and the other with hot water for tea (in a box by the side). The long house is where the rooms are located and a relaxing hammock room in the back. Matrimonial, Double or Triple Room each with private bathroom with flush toilet and running water. Rooms are protected by mosquito netting and an additional bed net, Thick mattresses, 12volt LED lighting, commode, shelf and table for convenience. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Otorongo Expeditions Hotel Iquitos

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