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“Tapiche Ohara Reserve” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Tapiche Reserve

Tapiche Reserve
Ricardo Palma 516, Iquitos 1000001, Peru
+51 65 600805
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Ranked #5 of 34 things to do in Iquitos
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Owner description: THE #1 place to see wildlife in their natural habitat. All while having the jungle adventure of a lifetime? When you sign up to go to the jungle with us, you're not just going to experience one of the purest, most pristine primary rainforests on earth. It's not just about witnessing wild animals of the air, land and water in their natural habitats, undisturbed, like you've probably never seen before. Those things are a given. But you should also know that when you visit, you are helping us protect this precious place. We can't do it without you. The Reserve is located in primary rain forest, and it is our mission to coexist with the jungle environment without disturbing its natural processes. We have ongoing efforts to save a species of river turtle known locally as taricaya(Podocnemis unifilis), which can live to 60 years of age and plays a crucial part in the region's ecosystem. We have also been monitoring our populations of red uakari monkey (Cacajao calvus), which is nearly extinct in Peru due to hunting and the destruction of its habitat. By choosing to visit the jungle with us, you are directly helping us maintain and protect these projects, the Reserve and the local people. Your presence on the trails and in the creeks shows local hunters and loggers that we are watching and patrolling the property. Your financial contribution pays for lodge and boat maintenance and the local people's salaries. Quite frankly, the area's (and Peru's, for that matter) conservation laws are few and weak. Those that do exist are not enforced, making them equal to non-existent. To add insult to injury, the government continues to pass laws that protect business interests over the environment, effectively turning the rainforest into a combination lumber yard and oil well. We don't get support from any other organization, government nor private, local nor international. You absolutely make a difference. We'd like to highlight two main areas of concern with regards to conservation in our area: the illegal animal trade and the illegal logging trade. Both are booming business sectors that have been deeply entrenched in the local psyche and economy for years. Yet, like all businesses, they are driven by demand. And who is doing the demanding? Tourists, clients, customers, buyers...basically you. You can help change the landscape of the market simply by making conscious decisions about what you spend you spend your money on, regardless of whether you're buying experiences, food, souvenirs or furniture.
Kingscliff, New South Wales, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Tapiche Ohara Reserve”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013

If you want to experience the Amazon and see it RAW and totally non touristy go to the unbelievable Tapiche Ohara Reserve about 400kms from Iquitos, Peru. You get there by speed boat and is no pleasure cruise to see the Amazon and a little jungle this immerses you into the real Amazon, the black water and the deep jungle environment. Katoo is a great bloke who has a wealth of experience and really gets you involved and utilizes your time to see as much as possible. I even went piranha fishing with him and he actually hooked his face by accident and he then proceded to cut it out with his fishing knife but not before taking many photos of his facial misadventure. It was so funny!! If you love nature please be part of his fabulous reserve and tour
John Anderson Australia.
PS: The pink dolphins were amazing and Katoo owes me a photograph as I had trouble getting a good image of these elusive creatures.

Visited March 2013
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Murilo Reis d, Owner at Tapiche Reserve, responded to this review, May 14, 2013
Thank you for the great review, as I told you, the photo I have is not the best, the resolution wasnt very good, I will try this week to make a good photo, but as you say, there are lots of them but to take a photo is not so easy,,,I smile every time i remember our experience.
Tahnk you for your visit as well

Katoo
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48 reviews from our community

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English first
Mountain View, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Amazing! Just like the Avatar movie!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013

Just came back from a week-long trip to Tapiche Ohara Reserve. Had an amazing time there!!! Many thanks to Katoo, Nadine, Hector and Victor!

The reserve is stunningly beautiful. The creeks and the lagoons are magical, and the forest looks just like the Avatar movie. I visited during the high water season, so we were canoeing in the flooded forest.

It takes about 8 hours to reach the reserve by a speedboat from Iquitos. The boat goes upstream through the Amazon, Ukayali, and Tapiche rivers. It really pays off to go that far -- the further away I was getting from Iquitos, the more beautiful were the views. Tapiche reserve is untouched by logging and development, because it is so far away from Iquitos -- the furthest of all lodges and camps. Close to Iquitos there is a good deal of logging and development going on, which destroys the forest and kills the wildlife. Tapiche, however, is pristine and untouched, unlike the closer areas that other Iqjuitos jungle tours usually go to.

I spent full five days at the reserve, plus two days getting there and back from Iquitos (by speedboat, a great ride). We canoed on the river, creeks, lagoons, and in the flooded forest, walked through the forest, climbed the trees, and fished. I saw nine species of monkeys (sometimes all in one day), many sloths, caimans, iguanas, snake, many beautiful birds, a very large rodent (close relative of capybara, forgot the name), lots of pink dolphins (unforgettable!!!), paiche (AKA arapaima, a huge fish over 7 feet long), jaguar and tapir tracks, and much more!

The forest is stunningly beautiful, an original old growth tropical rainforest forest that has never been logged. Huge trees with lianas and vines. There is a birds nesting ground in one of the lagoons - a magical sight (and sounds)!

Katoo is a truly outstanding guide -- he grew up in the forest and knows everything about it. He reads animal tracks like a book, knows every bird, animal, and every tree/plant in the forest, and can tell any bird or animal by the calls they make. He can spot the tiniest birds and animals hidden far away in a dense jungle. He is also great and very charismatic person, with a strong spirit and a deep passion for the rainforest and nature. He has lots of amazing stories to tell (ask about bullet ants!).

Katoo did an amazing job building the reserve and protecting the forest. He has totally put his heart into it.

The food was absolutely delicious -- prepared by Nadine. Nadine has previously worked as a chef in Switzerland.

The lodging is simple but comfortable and practical. Make sure to bring bugs repellent for jungle walks, and plastic poncho rainjackets. Bring dry bags for cameras.

Highly recommended!!!!!! One of the very best vacations of my life, and I have traveled a lot.

Visited May 2013
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Murilo Reis d, Owner at Tapiche Reserve, responded to this review, May 14, 2013
Yan,
Thank you so much for the review, I feel so honored with it. Im very proud to have guided some enthusiasttic person like you. We at the Tapiche Reserve is very thankfull of your visit.

Katoo
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Santa Marta, Colombia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“A truly authentic experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

Katoo owns his own reserve some 400km out of Iquitos. He spent 2 years rehabilitating the area and has been rewarded now with an amazing amount of wildlife.

It takes about 7 hours to get there, mostly by speedboat, but the extra travelling time is definitely worth it. You're really out in the middle of the jungle. Also he only takes up to 4 people at a time so you definitely get a personal tour.

I was in a group of 3. We went on several excursions, mostly by canoe because the quietness of the paddling, as opposed to walking through the jungle, which makes more noise - so you get to see more wildlife.

Katoo is excellent at spotting wildlife, but he also has several locals who live in the Reserve and are guides for him - Hector spent a lot of time guiding us - and they are even better at it, spotting all sorts of wildlife both a long way away and right up close.

Our first day was "disappointing" in terms of what we saw - only 3 types of monkeys, a tree iguana, a caiman, various birds including a toucan and kingfisher, a sloth, a Bushmaster snake, and a couple of very recent jaguar and tapir footprints. This "disappointing" day is about what most other people see on their whole trips (not including animals in captivity - these were all wild).

Our second day was absolutely stunning - 8 types of monkeys, some of them quite close up, an anteater, a South American raccoon, and literally hundreds of birds in a local nesting area, as well as a giant falcon thing (sorry Katoo I can't remember the name!) and another snake - not to mention the numerous river dolphins, and other things I can't even remember. We also caught the fish that was cooked for dinner.

The lodge accommodation was reasonably basic, but comfortable - I have no issues with sleeping in a hammock for a few days, and you spend very little daylight time at the hostel anyway. The trip really is all about seeing wildlife in the wild and it certainly provided that. Nadine is currently volunteering at the lodge and acting as a cook (she does a mighty fine carrot cake), but also just helping out with anything you might need.

Katoo is very eco-minded. There is no logging on his property, nor does he hunt bush meat (ie. monkeys or tortoises) for the travellers to "try" on his property, something that several of the other tours do.

I was very lucky to be staying in Katoo's hostel (Green Track in Iquitos) when he was in town and able to join his next trip. He goes every 4 or 5 days, returning with a group of people in between to pick up supplies and his next group. He has a very excellent website with details about the Reserve and when his next departures are. Definitely check out the website.

All this for a reasonable price too when compared with some of the other tours I looked into.

All in all - a truly impressive experience & highly recommended. Well done Katoo, and thanks to Hector and Nadine too!

Visited April 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Murilo Reis d, Owner at Tapiche Reserve, responded to this review, May 10, 2013
OMG Pieter Attenborough ,

Your description of the reserve is fantastic, thank you ffor refering at my skills of spotting wild life, but really I think any guide can spot wild life, some better than others, but the wild life has to be there. And as you say , the all wild life we saw were in the wild, Im very very proud of it and also very honored with your review.
The "giant hack" was a Harpy Eagle and dont worry , Im very very proud that you can remember most of the names as well,
Your visit makes the diference for the area, creating founds and generating alternative income to the locals. You could have had easely gone to one of the places around iquitos to see and pet animals in domestic conditions, but you trusted us and went to the Real Jungle.

Thank you
Katoo
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Sydney, Australia
1 review
“A Jungle Adventure!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

I purposely missed my flight to Sydney to adventure into the jungles of Tapiche Ohara. I spent one month on the beautiful land, exploring, learning and chilling including a constant supply of laughter. My adventure began in Requena where I met Segundo, Loidi and his family. After a couple of days mingling with the locals we loaded the boat with supplies for the next month including four puppies and a bunch of chickens. 18 hours later we arrived at Tapiche Ohara and I understood what mum used to tell me about love at first sight. I was love struck with the thick jungle and wild river immediately!

My time there consisted of fishing, swimming, trekking, canoeing, painting, eating and getting into trouble. I learnt how to fish for my food and became very good catching 19 fish in one sitting and feeding the family for two days. Nothing went to waste here- all left overs were fed to the growing pups and chickens. Soon I developed a daily ritual of sitting by the river at sunset watching the pink dolphins playing freely in the wild. Also, I had been in Peru for two months but this was the first time I lay my eyes upon monkeys living freely in the jungle.

My favourite days were when Loidi and I would venture into the maize plantation, fill two sacks with corn, fish for our food, clean the entrails and then ourselves. By the time our work was done it was dusk and we would gratefully eat our meal reminiscing on the day usually in fits of laughter.

I very much enjoyed venturing out on my own. Usually with the canoe and a machete. One day I was returning from the watermelon plantation and came across a school of dolphins playing in the river, Mesmerised, I tried to get closer forgetting the weight of five watermelons and sunk the canoe. I was banned from using these tools.

The jungle was my backyard and the river my front so I never got bored. Its amazing how much entertainment one can get from watching a woodpecker work all day. Even watching the roosters and chickens I started to identify there survival techniques. I learnt a lot here!

I felt at home in Tapiche Ohara and If I didn't have to return to Sydney I would have moved into the abandoned hut up river.

Thank you to K2. A very amazing human being indeed.

Visited September 2012
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Murilo Reis d, Owner at Tapiche Reserve, responded to this review, April 10, 2013
Achhh !! Xarlini,

Your stay help the natives to learn also how much others are willing to challenge to experience what is a "normal day " to them.
Your presence help to protect the area and we can see now the results. We need more and more volunteers like you NATURE LOVERS.

segundo and loidi are constantlly asking when you will comeback .

Katoo
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Saskatoon, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great trip - thanks Katoo!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

We had a great time at the Tapiche Ohara Reserve. Katoo was very helpful when we were organizing and planning everything. He was also able to help us with booking flights to and from Iquitos (which saved us some cash!) We saw all sorts of wildlife while we were there (various monkeys, birds, dolphins, iguanas, etc. etc). We went in the rainy season, so most of our transportation was in a canoe. We did do one day of trekking, which was great but also means seeing much less wildlife (not as quiet as a canoe!). I would recommend going in the rainy season if you want to see a lot of wildlife, and going in March was great because we were able to see the bird nesting area. The meals were great, lots of food and well prepared. The only downside to the whole trip is getting to and from the reserve (a very long day of travel - be prepared for all kinds of weather on the boat!). But that isn't really avoidable if you're looking to get somewhere remote, and it is well worth the trip. My only suggestion is making sure you have good rain gear, and lots of sunscreen and protective clothing as it may be 5-6 hours in the sun (especially if you're taking antimalarial pills that increase sun sensitivity! ouch!).

Thanks Katoo for the memorable experience, and we would highly recommend this trip to anyone wanting to experience the jungle with some amazing guides!

Visited March 2013
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Murilo Reis d, Owner at Tapiche Reserve, responded to this review, April 8, 2013
Thank you Vanessa and Tyler,

Thank you that there are people like you that preffer to go far away and take chances to see wild life in their NATURAL habitat, instead of staying around Iquitos and go petting wild life in domestic conditions. We will keeping improoving our transportation and lodging quality, Your visit helped the reserve. And that was the very first year that the birds could reproduce at the nesting area, the years before they were attacked by people who came to steal the eggs. Now with your help and other visitor we can keep watrching out for them. The Agami herons(blue and red ones) baies are about to fly.
Sincerely

katoo
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