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“Numerous opportunities for viewing amazing wildlife, especially when you have a great guide.” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Amazonia Expeditions' Tahuayo Lodge

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Amazonia Expeditions' Tahuayo Lodge
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Iquitos, Peru   |  
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Arvada, Colorado
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Numerous opportunities for viewing amazing wildlife, especially when you have a great guide.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2010

This was my 3rd visit to the Amazon jungle with Amazonia Expeditions in under 2 years, and it was the best experience yet, due again largely to the exceptional skills of my guide, Orlando Pinedo Gonzalez, whom I've had the great good fortune to be guided by on each trip. The man is absolutely amazing - his abilities at spotting various well-camouflaged and/or fast-moving creatures border on the preternatural, and his navigational and trail-blazing skills (terrestrial and aquatic) are fantastic - he has always worked incredibly hard to get me up close and personal with various animals that are of interest to me (which, in my case, has a heavy emphasis on reptiles, snakes in particular,) and thanks to his superb photographic talents with both still and video cameras, I have brought back amazing images from each trip. In addition to these considerable talents, Orlando also possesses a near-encyclopedic knowledge of the local flora and fauna (in Spanish and English,) and has an impressive fluency in the latter, as well as a wry sense of humor that I find hysterically funny. In short, I cannot imagine a more perfect guide to the Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Reserve than this man who was born and raised in the area, and clearly has abundant enthusiasm for sharing its many natural wonders with others (though I have heard from other guests that his brothers Roberto and Dustin are also very fine guides.)
In addition, I would also highly recommend at least a few days stay at the Resarch Center, which is in an even more remote location than the Tahuayo Lodge; I personally prefer it there, and have arranged my entire stay there on the last 2 visits (though there is no zip-line at that location, if that is a consideration for you.)
I would further encourage prospective first-time visitors to the jungle to relinquish any potentially unrealistic expectations regarding the following:
A.) the amount (and size) of wildlife to be encountered - it is not like one long National Geographic or Discovery Channel special, with 18-foot anacondas engaging in mortal combat with 9-foot caimans at every other bend in the river, and jaguars pouncing on tapirs on the trail ahead, in broad daylight. To paraphrase a recent disappointed visitor, "I can't believe we walked for a whole hour. In the rain. And only found a 5-millimeter long frog." (Yes, but the toxin from that little sucker's skin could theoretically be used to kill all of the aforementioned species, plus a few tourists. And that's not impressive??) So scale down your expectations, and practice acceptance and appreciation of what is - it will make your wildlife encounters much more satisfying.
B.) similarly, the AE itinerary of activities involving wildlife (i.e., "swimming with dolphins," etc.) is by no means a guarantee that you will even see, much less interact with, a certain animal; this is the wild, not Marine World, and the animals clearly have not received copies of said itinerary. (Though if they were to add "donating blood to local mosquito population," that might come as close to a guaranteed wildlife experience as you're likely to have, so be sure to bring plenty of plenty of lemon-eucalyptus repellent, and an anti-itch 'bite pen' for the occasional moments when that proves inadequate.)
C.) And finally, these are not luxury accomodations by any stretch of the imagination; the food is by no means gourmet, you will not get a turn-down service, or even new sheets or towels or trash removal (unless requested, at least at the Research Center,) and the interesting wildlife encounters can sometimes occur in the bathroom, shower, etc.; but if you are looking for an unforgettable nature experience in an incredibly exotic setting, it can be well worth forgoing various physical comforts (and potentially smelling funkier than you've ever imagined was possible - a small spray bottle of Febreeze is an indispensable item) for the adventure of this amazing location.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (151)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Phoenix, Arizona
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2010

If you want to get out in the Amazon and experience it this is a great destination. Our guide was awesome; the lodge and research center are incredible; and the service that we received (food; flexibility; excursions) were beyond even the highest expectations. We had an unforgettable experience in the Amazon and the lodge and Amazonia Expeditions were a key part of it. This is not a hotel experience, its an eco lodge experience and as such there is no electricity, hot water, etc. My wife and I are used to staying at only the finest hotels so we didn't know what to expect and how we would react. After the trip, we both agree, the amazon should not be experienced any other way than the way that they do it at Tahuayo lodge. If you are looking for a way to see the Amazon, stop looking. This is it.

I also wanted to respond to one of the negative comments posted. If you wanted to you could do the same excursion multiple times; the staff and team were completely flexible.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Fredericksburg, VA
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2010

If you're looking for a rustic but comfortable experience, look no further. Everything was great here. From the outstanding staff and guides (Anselmo is the man!) to the remarkably comfortable lodge, to the spectacular setting on the river, Amazonia Expeditions has it right. There were a wide variety of expeditions, remarkable wildlife, and real care taken to make sure we got what we needed. If you're looking for a gourmet, air conditioned Disneyfied experience, go someplace else.

  • Stayed April 2007, 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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San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2010

our guide, jean, was very good. he knew the scientific names of a lot of the animals/plants we saw. it would have been nice to have some sort of guide for the most common types of monkeys or birds though as i've forgotten the names of everything i saw. i have to say that while our guide was very good, i didn't feel that some of the others were as good in spotting animals along the way or explaining things (their english wasn't as good either). we definitely felt closer to him the last night we spent in iquitos (and after tipping him well).

the excursions are very cool. we did 5 days at the lodge (didn't stay at the research center, but did do a day trip there), which was the perfect amount of time, i thought. after that, you start to repeat the activities. like someone mentioned earlier, it's not really customizable as i think everyone does the same activities, but they are very interesting. i liked the canoeing through the flooded forest, the day hike looking for the poison dart frog, and seeing macaws while zip-lining.

the food was pretty good/ok - it's served buffet style and i think they definitely try to make sure no one gets sick.

our room (17), was one of the two 'family' style rooms, with a huge king sized bed (very comfortable), and 2 singles. it didn't get as much light as the one next door, but i liked it a lot. there is a sitting area, hammocks, and a private bathroom inside.

due to a change in our starperu flight (it was moved to a few hours earlier), we were told we would have to stay our last night in iquitos... originally my family was not very pleased with this because they really wanted to spend as much time in the jungle, but i think at the end of the 5th day we were ready to go back to air conditioned rooms (the office also acts as a hostal with surprisingly comfortable rooms). there's a market across the street. we went to the zoo when we got to iquitos (takes 30 min by mototaxi), which was just ok.

overall, my family had a great time and met a lot of other friendly travelers, and although i agree with some of the suggestions here, i would recommend this lodge to others.

bring: headlamp, bugspray with high percentage of deet (mosquitos bite through clothes), nalgene (they have water jugs everywhere), rain jacket, loose clothing, book, good binoculars, good camera.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2010

The lodge provided everything we could have wanted - good food, interesting excursions, and even a very comfortable hammock room. Our guide, Anselmo, proved
both knowledgeable and friendly and really went out of his way to find
us monkeys and dolphins. I have to say my favorite experience was
visiting nearby Chino Village and getting to interact with the kids and
villagers. Everything, even the unexpected boat breakdown on the way in, had an
element of fun adventure to it.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Saint Louis, Missouri
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2010

We took this trip with our 2 sons (26, 22) as a celebration of the younger son's graduation from college. We spent the first 4 days travelling and seeing Machu-Picchu, the Sacred Valley and sights around Cusco. Our journey into the Amazon jungle was next and we ALL enjoyed every aspect of it...well, maybe not all the bugs and heat!

We swam several times in the river and in a lake nearby; we fished twice; we canoed and had breakfast in the marsh; we boated at day and night; we canoed at night deep in the marsh; we walked day and night in the Igapo forest; we did the ziplines....everything is SAFE and guided, but it is truly the jungle and you must keep your eyes open.

The guides and staff are lovely, warm and dear people. They smile and greet you each time you pass by. You will learn some Spanish!!

Tips: Bring several flashlights or a small Coleman lamp. There is no electricity and no hot water. Bring lots of bug spray. Be open to doing everything offered, you won't be disappointed. bring and use a good camera!

  • Stayed May 2010
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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california
Top Contributor
156 reviews 156 reviews
87 hotel reviews
Reviews in 72 cities Reviews in 72 cities
196 helpful votes 196 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2010

I liked some things about the operation a lot, particularly the second lodge "ARC" has a better site plan, even though there are only shared shower/bath blocks and perhaps the cook isn't quite as good as at the main lodge. Several of the ARC rooms are on the water (#1) and there isn't such a long trek to the battery recharge location. The river is a bit clearer and rather than bother with the shared showers, most of us just went swimming after our hikes (the water is only filtered not purified). At the main lodge, I agree that the rooms with private baths are not very well situated, mine had no view and was very close to the other rooms with private bath. So ditto to whoever suggested not getting the private rooms. The beds were comfortable but it was often hard to fall asleep until later at night as the mosquito netting used doesn't allow any air circulation. We describe the experience as "summer camp for grownups". A head lamp is a very good idea. Also I would recommend using a head net and sunscreen, rather than a hat. If I did it again I just might get the full net body suit for hiking so I could wear shorts and t-shirts. It isn't that bad at the lodges or on the water (except in the canoes you need to DEET the lower legs.

The food was at times excellent especially the soups, yucca preparations, fresh veggie salads and the fish, (more so the day the Peruvian Travel Agent was with us.) Typically breakfast was eggs ham cheese bread , fresh fruit and a different type of juice. Coffee is the instant type. Beef tends to be cooked very very well done. Starches always yucca and rice, usually also plantain, potato, and a legume were available. I think the lodge caters to Americans, perhaps that is why there is too much beef and I wouldn't have minded a bit more spiciness (they made a salsa one day that was great). At least there is a bottle of tabasco. The guides eat the same meals but wait until the guests go first...and are always willing to have your leftover rice! A few days the chef made something special...an easter type bread in the shape of a caiman for breakfast, and a vanilla pound cake for a birthday dessert. Occasionally there were canned vegetables such as beets, corn or green beans, plus one night fruit cocktail! But for the most part everything was made from fresh produce and dessert was usually a small portion of a fresh fruit. All of the guests made postive comments on the food and we often traded like at school lunch. Drinking water is free, which is nice.

Some guides are better than others. Although my main guide was a disappointment and not very good at spotting wildlife, I had an excellent assistant guide who was amazing at spotting wildlife and locating the fishing holes. How does someone spot a porcupine climbing up a tree at night?! In a week I saw 7 monkey species including the Monk Saki, sloths, pink dolphins (but they are too shy to swim with you), poison dart frogs, tarantula (at night), about 50 types of birds. The assistant guide was best at spotting the wildlife in the trees, while the main guide knew the English names. I asked about a bird list and she produced her handwritten copy that she was studying. I had expected that they might have a checklist for guests which is pretty typical at other wildlife lodges that I've stayed at. They have a good selection of bird and wildlife reference books. (Birds that I saw included the hoatzins, horned screamers, toucans, tanagers including the Paradise!!!, trogons, puffbirds, manakin, caciques and caracaras.) Parrots parakeets and macaws are easily heard but mostly seen flying overhead. Also saw 6 types of monkeys in addition to the semi-domesticated Dorilla. She comes out of the woods to visit the boat (although next year she may breed and go deeper into the jungle.) There are small troup of night monkeys that live back of the main lodge, although it wasn't my guide that took me to see them.

Although they advertise that you can customize your excursions, this is not completely true. They always were trying to group people to do the same things (such as the terra firma walk and the zipline) , to economize on using the lauches. They also tried to pair me with another single guest so that I would be sharing a guide. After I complained, my guide was switched to a less experienced guide alone. However since I don't think she's capable of going anywhere other than on the main tributary by herself, that was when I was given the good assistant guide who had major machete skills. Plus he knew where all the big fish were..so while he hauled in 7 kilos I managed to trick a tiny piranha into sticking its eye onto my dull hook. Another thing that annoyed me was that I was asked to lgive up my second of two nights at the ARC. The explanation was that another guest had a flight problem (she was flying cheap on Star Peru.) Whoever is in charge wanted me to return on a 7am boat to Iquitos. I didn't consent to this and was allowed to spend the second night at ARC although had to go back to the main lodge at 6 am for some unknown reason.

As far as excursions, I think the most fun for me were those which involved hacking thru the flooded forest (this requires going at certain times of the year). You need a guide that can whack down vines while also spotting animals moving thru the trees. The zipline is also a must do, although it seemed to be over too quickly. Try to do it when few others are going if possible. Don't expect to swim with the pink dolphins, though.

So while I would like to give 5 stars I can really only give 4, but I think I would still recommend the lodge. Just be very clear if you are really interested in wildlife that you want someone good as your guide. And I would recommend to stay as many days as possible at the ARC lodge.

I'm not so sure what the research is. But the operation does seem to have good relations and provides support to the nearby Riberno villages.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Amazonia Expeditions' Tahuayo Lodge

Address: Iquitos, Peru
Phone Number:
Location: Peru > Loreto Region > Iquitos
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 96 Specialty Lodging in Iquitos
Number of rooms: 15
Also Known As:
Amazonia Expeditions` Tahuayo Hotel Iquitos

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