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“Tahuayo Lodge: What to Expect There” 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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Cadillac, Michigan
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6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
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11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Tahuayo Lodge: What to Expect There”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2007

Tahuayo Lodge is quite different from any other hotel that I have stayed in. It offers the advantage of providing good housing in the middle of the Amazonia jungle. But it certainly isn’t a luxury location. Here is a description of the amenities, so you can decide if this jungle lodge is for you:

•Electricity: There is none available, except for a small generator that is used only to recharge camera batteries. This means that all rooms in the lodge are dark, because little light penetrates through the thatched roof and wooden walls. It is difficult to find a place with enough light to read a book by during the day. At night, you read by flashflight or not at all. Oil or kerosene lamps provide light for the early evening hours in the dining room and along the walkways. It is very difficult to read anything using these lamps.

•Rooms: Each room has at least two single beds. Some rooms have double beds as well as single beds. Each bed has clean sheets and pillows. The beds are reasonably comfortable. Each room has a set of shelves you can pile your belongings on. There are a few nails or pegs for you to hang things on; more would be useful. Chairs are virtually non-existent. I understand there were some rocking chairs in the honeymoon suites, but no other room I saw possessed a chair. The rooms are all quite dark, even during the day. Wood panels comprise the walls, up to about 5 feet high. Then the walls consist of window screens, from about 5 feet up to 8 feet. The ceiling consists of window screens, too. These screens allow air flow. Well above your screened ceiling, there is a thatched roof that effectively keeps out the rain.

•Bathrooms: As of May 2007, half of the rooms had private bathrooms and half used communal bathrooms. Get a private bath in your room if you can, because they are nicer than the communal ones. The communal ones had wooden walls, but didn’t have screens for ceilings, so both mosquitos and snakes can enter the shower stalls. Other guests saw a boa constrictor over one of the communal shower stalls. The joke is that the boa’s job was to hold your shampoo bottle for you. The water
in the showers is drawn from the river and is not heated. Most folks found the water to be too cold for comfort. My advice is to take a shower only during the daylight hours (so you can see what you are doing) and after you have returned from a hot excursion. That way, the cool water will feel good instead of cold.

•Food: The kitchen staff prepares food for all of your meals. The lodge’s website claims that the food is prepared carefully so that foreigners won’t get sick from eating it. This is true. We ate all sorts of food that travelers are usually supposed to avoid (such as skins of vegetables like tomatoes and salads) and had no ill effects.
At lunch and dinner, there is a main meat dish. In addition, there are generally 6 or 7 other dishes that contain a variety of vegetables and fruits. Either potatoes or yucca/manioc is served at each lunch or dinner meal. The food is good and healthy. Fish is frequently offered as a second meat dish (when it isn’t the primary meat dish). Breakfast usually consists of a soft mild cheese (blanco?), canned ham slices, slices of white bread, and fruit. Sometimes the fruit is fried plantain.

•Drinks: The lodge filters and purifies river water and makes it available as drinking water for the guests. No one got sick from drinking this water. You can fill up your water bottles for excursions using this drinking water. Instant coffee (Nescafe) is always available, along with tea bags and hot water. Coffee is not brewed at the lodge. There is a small variety of soft drinks, a couple of different beers, and several hard liquors available for purchase in the dining room. Fruit juices are occasionally served with a meal, usually with breakfast. They are usually from fruits that foreigners are not familiar with, and they are good.

•Personal Guides: Each set of guests (usually a couple of people) gets their own guide. The guides are local citizen who grew up in the jungle and have learned to speak English and to provide English names for most of the plants and animals. The guides take you everywhere. When you go out in a boat, they either run the motor or paddle the canoe. When you go out on a hike, they walk in front of you, breaking the trail with their machete and identifying animals and plants as you go. The guides are quite knowledgeable and very helpful. They offer activities to you at 6am, 9am, 3pm, and 8pm each day.

• Zip Line: I think it is more accurate to call this a canopy tour than a zip line. Tahuayo Lodge’s zip line doesn’t compare favorably with the zip lines in Costa Rica for either speed or distance. The zipping at Tahuayo Lodge is slow and for short distances; there are only 3 lines and 4 platforms. But you do get a great view from the top of the trees. And if no one is in a hurry, you can hang out up there for quite a while, either on the lines or on the platforms. To get up to the first platform, you either climb a really long way up by yourself, using “ascenders”, or the guides pull you up using a pulley. This is where the guides really earn their pay, particularly with big, heavy guests. It is a hot, sweaty job for them.

•Mosquitos and other Hazardous Animals: We were at Tahuayo Lodge during the middle of May. The mosquitos weren’t bad then, but they certainly were there. I spent one afternoon at the lodge instead of going on an afternoon excursion, and I wore shorts both that afternoon and evening. DEET generally discourages the mosquitos, but it doesn’t keep all of them away. I collected about 30 mosquito bites
from that afternoon and evening in shorts, mostly on my legs and feet. (And I never wore shorts again.) However, I only felt about 10 of them. And they weren’t really itchy or bothersome. If you stay inside of the screened-in areas at night, you will only get a few mosquito bites during your stay. If you spend time outside of the screened areas, you should apply DEET. Mosquitos are bad on overnight
camping trips. We didn’t find any other hazardous creatures in the lodge. In particular, we didn’t find any in our room or in our shoes or in the common screened-in areas. But this is the Amazon, and you shouldn’t expect it to be insect- or snake-free.

•Other Guests: The most interesting part of our trip was meeting other people who had decided to vacation in the Amazonian jungle. They were all quite normal people, from all walks of life. Most were from the U.S., although we also met a couple of people from Canada and a British honeymooning couple from Tanzania. We met several mothers of small children who were vacationing on their own, without their families. (What a way to get away from it all!) Most people came with their spouse or with a good friend. Ages ranged from about 30 to 76.

•Temperature: The temperature was generally in the 80s (Fahrenheit).
I think it may have dropped into the high 70s after many hours of rain once. I don’t think it ever got into the 90s. It is possible to be cold, when you have gotten all wet and then are in the motor boat traveling fast for a while. If, however, you can’t handle 90 degrees of heat at 95% humitidy all of the time, then you don’t want to visit this lodge. There is no way to get away from either the heat or the humidity, so you had better be able to either enjoy or tolerate it.

•Dampness and Humidity: The Amazon is a rain forest, and that means that it rains a lot. The humidity was always over 90%, and was probably generally 98%. You frequently get rained on when you go out in a boat or for a hike. When your clothes get wet, they generally take at least 3 days to dry. Even your dry, unworn clothes become damp from the humidity. So you should come prepared with some plastic
bags, to take your wet clothes and shoes back home with you. You should expect these damp clothes to smell somewhat unpleasantly. The lodge offers a free laundry service, but you should allow a minimum of 2 days for your clothes to dry, and 3 or 4 days is a safer bet.

  • Liked — Unique location -- in the middle of the Amazon jungle
  • Disliked — Lack of electricity and high humidity
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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  • 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
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Vienna, Austria
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5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2006

This lodge is definitly a great place if you want to experience the Amazon!

The whole complex is build of wood, and the roof is thatched with palm leaves (that perfectly keep the rain out :-) and has a very natural feeling about it, i.e. it's very well integrated into the environment.

All rooms have mosquito nets instead of a ceiling (the thatched roof is higher above them), and all windows are covered by nets, too - so you get a lot of air into the rooms, but hardly any mosquitoes. Naturally you also get a bit less privacy noise-wise with the open roofs, but noise was not a problem at all during our stay (and the ever-present jungle sounds are something special to experience, and I definitly missed them the first nights after we had left ;-).

The room itself is very basic (what you'd expect 5 hours away from the next big town ;-), but quite large, and it has a very comfortable canopy bed with an extra mosquito net. Make sure you get a room with private bathroom and shower (appearantly not all rooms have that, and the public showers really didn't look too inviting).

The showers only have cold water, which cost me quite an effort to take regular showers, especially in the evening when the temperature is not so hot any more (if you are really sensitive regarding cold water, consider bringing "wet towels" available in every pharmacy with you, so you don't necessarily have to shower several times a day).

There is no electricity on the lodge (except for a generator that runs during the day and that you can use to recharge your camera batteries), so the whole lodge is lit up by oil lights at night which gives it a very nice athmosphere. However, there is no light in your room (due to fire danger), so make sure to bring a flashlight (which you will also need for night excursions). In fact, I recommend bringing an extra flashlight in reserve because one of our maglites quit working while we were there.

Concerning the recharging of camera batteries: keep in mind that the generator does not run after about 8 p.m., so if your batteries are low after your afternoon excursion, make sure you have them recharged immediately afterwards or they will not be ready for the next morning.

All 3 meals are served in a common dining room, usually buffet style, and the food was always quite good (and in addition felt healty as well :-). You can also always refill you water bottles there. A very nice touch (and a real treat) was the special good-bye-cake provided the day before you leave. The dining rooms is also the place where you get together with the other travellers on the lodge to exchange stories of activities you've just done and have good chats in general. We met some interesing people there, and I didn't miss a TV at all :-) There is also a nice hammock room where you can settle back and relax.

The guide's service is great at that lodge - we got "our personal guide" who was there just for the two of us during our whole stay (the service started and ended at the airport). I didn't expect we'd have a personal service like that, and thought that it was great! After arriving at the lodge, we discussed with the guide what kinds of activities we were interested in, he also made several good suggestions and had a real "anything goes" attitude about him. There is a huge array of things you can do there - visiting native villages and schools, seeing shamans (we had a 'refreshing morning bath with herbs' which was an interesting if a little weird experience ;-), going along the rivers or lakes (either by motor boat or by kajaking), making walks/hikes of varying length and on various terrains looking for different types of wildlife, fishing for piranhas, canopy zip line, etc etc.

We did several excursion on foot and by boat searching for different wildlife, and while you have to be quite patient we definitly did see a lot - many different kinds of birds, 2 different types of monkeys, a sloth, the hoatzin bird, a yellow tree boa, tarantulas, the poison dart frog among many other colorful frogs, pink dolphins (though unfortunatly we only saw juveniles which are still more grey than pink), of course exotic insects and more :-) Although I didn't really expect it, piranha fishing was also great fun, too (even though it was more of a "piranha feeding" when we tried, catching only two small piranhas that we released again, because these clever little buggers managed to constantly steal the bait from our hooks without being caught ;)
Our guide really did a great job concerning our trips (which usually lasted 2-4 hours, and we did one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and twice also one at night - but you can arrange that all specifically to your liking and your energy).

A few more tips:
* If you bring a camera, make sure that your rain jacket/poncho either covers your backpack or bring a waterproof pouch to put your camera in in case it rains (we had heavy rain once in 5 days, lasting about 3 hours) - because even if your backpack is designed waterproof, it will get moist inside when you are caught in a typical rainforest shower, and our video camera went to "moisture compensation mode" for the next 3 days after that rain so we were limited to fotos for the rest of our stay.

* Make sure to bring enough t-shirts and an extra pant - if anything gets wet from sweating or rain (or from stepping into a puddle that turned out to be deeper than it looked ;-), it takes very long for clothes to dry (more than a day) because the air is very humid.

* Both our alarm click and our flashlight stopped working when we were at the lodge - I can not tell if this was due to the humidity or just a coincidence (because our foto camera was - luckily - not affected), so just to let you know...

* If you make sure you're covered thoroughly in insect repellant (containing a high amount of DEET), the mosquitos are only annoying by buzzing around you on hikes but you will get very few if any bites. In fact, I had expected it to be a lot worse than it was :-)

To sum it up, our stay at the lodge and our experience of the Amazon rainforest were incredibly great and very memorable - I can highly recommend it to anybody!

  • Liked — great location in pristine rainforest, great guides & friendly staff, excellent custom-tailored tours
  • Disliked — cold showers
  • Tips/Secrets — see review
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
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614 helpful votes 614 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2006

The lodge is like a complex of tree houses connected by walkways. Most of the rooms have common walls, but there are a few that are like little bungalows (room nos. 7, 8, and 9). There is no ceiling on the rooms; instead, there is mesh to keep out mosquitoes and to let hot air go up and out. There's a giant thatched roof that covers all the rooms, however, to keep out the rain. You will be able to hear people snoring and talking in other rooms. The mattresses are super-comfortable. The beds are surrounded with gauze-like material to keep the mosquitoes out.
The guides who work at the lodge are great. They all seem to enjoy their jobs and are filled with information. Most of them are pretty good at speaking English. Whenever a guest had an idea for some type of excursion, the answer was always "yes." Even when the guides were pretty sure it was going to rain one night, they still took six people out for a night hike. They came back soaked, of course, but that's life in the rain forest. There are activities all day long. You can do any of them, or none. They have excursions to native markets, animal sightseeing, hikes, etc. On a night hike, we saw giant hairy tarantulas, bugs that light up, and a possum.

Most of the guests at the lodge were very interesting people. There's no TV here, so the guests hang out talking (probably the way many hotels were before the advent of television). You can always just rest in your room if you feel like being alone. The hammock room is great, too.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served every day. I wouldn't call the food "delicious," but it was tasty and healthy. Nothing was fried. You might want to bring some familiar snacks, such as peanuts or graham crackers, etc. There's plenty of purified water to drink.

They have laundry service (done by hand). The clothing is line-dried, so it will take a day or two to be ready.

The thing I missed most while staying at the lodge was hot water. You will have to bathe in cold water, as there are no heaters. I have taken cold showers before in Venezuela and Arizona, but the water here was colder than there. I almost had to force myself to take a bath.

There is no electricity, so oil lanterns are set up at night on the walkways. Bring a small flashlight to use in the bathrooms at night. A flashlight would also come in handy for night hikes (there are much fewer mosquitoes at night, for some reason, than during the day).

Some of these guests were there for 2 weeks. Several were repeat customers. I have not been to the other lodges, but I can't imagine they would be more hospitable than this one. Everyone treated me so nicely while there. Many guests were already talking about when they would return.

Stayed March 2006
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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 86 Specialty Lodging in Iquitos
Number of rooms: 15
Also Known As:
Amazonia Expeditions` Tahuayo Hotel Iquitos

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