Libertad Jungle Lodge is a community project for the benefit of the neighbouring Libertad village. Manuel manages the lodge on behalf of the village with help from his family & few other villagers. The guides are local people who grew up in the Amazon, know the jungle inside out but have picked up English & scientific names of some plants, birds etc.
Manuel personally came to pick me up from Iquitos airport. Since I was a solo traveller, the 2 of us got into a shared taxi for a 100 minute ride to Naota. From the highway drop off point, we got into a mototcycle cab ( quite unique to these parts) for a 5 minute ride to the jetty. Once we loaded our luggage in the boat, he took me to an eatery in the market for breakfast. Based on my encouragement, he ordered the local faourite - fried fish, salad & rice. Yes rice for breakfast ...but tasted absolutely heavenly. The close to 2 hour boat ride to the Lodge was in a boat that serves a cluster of few villages in & around Libertad. So the boat had a mix of a few villagers & some supplies for the villages. This boat is pretty much their lifeline to the world. My journey to Libertad was escorted by a local, in public transportation, exactly the way a local would travel. This is the difference between Libertad jungle lodge & other lodges run by tourism professionals. This was the ONLY lodge that I contacted who did not insist on an advance payment for reserving my trip. I guess partly by compulsion, because I am not sure if they have any bank a/c for receiving payments, certainly no facilities for accepting credit card.
So this is the place where you can experience Amazon closest to the way a local would experience Amazon.
The food was wholesome, tasy & made with local ingredients. The wooden room was functional, clean, had an attached bath, a bed with a mosquito net, a table, a chair & few hooks
to hang clothes. Yes, it was basic but should it not be when you are 150+ km inside Amazon, where there is no electricity? The Libertad team does not have tourism professionals, they are villagers who are honoured serve their guests.
The jungle experience was outstanding including a nights camping in the middle of the jungle. All the usual list of things most tourists see were covered including survival tips in Amazon, the Tarzan swing, swimming in the river & rolling in the amazon mud etc. The highpoint on the wildlife front was when our guide got off the boat at 7.30 pm in the dark of the evening & caught a Cayman with his bare hands & brought it back to the boat for photo opportunities. We all held the Cayman, took our snaps & then let it go. He also speared down a fish in the torchlight for grilling during our camp night. Now thats the real local experience!!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.