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Iquitos Amazon Lodge or Puerto Maldonado? Wildlife?

Toronto, Canada
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Iquitos Amazon Lodge or Puerto Maldonado? Wildlife?

Hello --

I'm planning an excursion to Peru and for part of my journey, I want to visit the Amazon. I've been searching for a suitable lodge and have found plenty... But I'm not sure which area offers more diversity and chances to interact with wildlife?

Here are some of the major items I want to do:

Visit and pet/play with monkeys

Canopy Tours / Zip Lining

Swim with dolphins* (if possible)

Visit indigenous tribe(s) (if possible)

Canoe trips

Where would you suggest? Personal experience? Reviews / thoughts / blogs?

Thanks a lot!

cusco
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568 posts
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1. Re: Iquitos Amazon Lodge or Puerto Maldonado? Wildlife?

Tambopata in Puerto Maldonado is recommended.

A few recommended agencies are:

Trekperu.com

waykitrek.com

You can also visit the south american explorers club at www.saexplorers.org

Hull
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141 posts
69 reviews
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2. Re: Iquitos Amazon Lodge or Puerto Maldonado? Wildlife?

I don't know if it helps but we went to Maldonado as opposed to Iquitos because there is no need for anti malaria tablets in Maldonado. I had read some bad things about the tablets and it made up my mind for me. We stayed at Wasai Lodge and booked with Mike at Peru Best Tours. I can recommend both the lodge and the travel company.

www.perubesttours.com

california
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11,773 posts
169 reviews
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3. Re: Iquitos Amazon Lodge or Puerto Maldonado? Wildlife?

Tahuayo Lodge has a zip line (smallish, but they do have one) and visits a former pet wooly monkey (Dorilla) who has been released back to the jungle. I'm assuming she is still coming to the launch when they visit. She is very friendly.

I think all of the lodges are going to have canoes.

You can swim where there are dolphins sighted but don't expect them to come play with you..I wouldn't use that as a criteria.

We visited a local Ribereno village, I wasn't into the fake tribal visits, so didn't research that.

I took Malarone and did not have any side effects.

There are lots of reviews on TA, they do seem to pad them but generally I still think it's a good place.

Greensboro NC
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63 posts
46 reviews
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4. Re: Iquitos Amazon Lodge or Puerto Maldonado? Wildlife?

I can't respond to Puerto Maldonaldo but I can tell you a fair amount about Iquitos since I have spent the last three months here. Sorry to contradict an earlier comment but I haven't heard of any malaria here and have been here a long time without taking any malaria medication.

There are a couple of places that you can get up close and personal with monkeys, Monkey Island is one but I visited a different one the other day that was much better, with multple species of monkeys that would climb all over you, a toucan that would perch on your arm, a pet sloth, anaconda, boa, codimundi's, alligators turtles and much less touristy.

I haven't heard of any zip lines but Explorama is supposed to have a killer canopy tour.

Indigenous tribes? Well you have to go pretty far up the Amazon and deep in the jungle to find tribes in the old style native clothing. Most tribes are now in western garb but that doesn't mean that you can't experience a wonderful tribal experience with incredible people.

There is plenty of wildlife in both places.

Please feel free to contact me personally or my good friend who lives here in Iquitos and runs an orphanage for abused girls. Martin Green @ martin.green@brij.net or check out my blog posts at www.mggreen.wordpress.com or Paul Opp at U4peru@aol.com.

california
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5. Re: Iquitos Amazon Lodge or Puerto Maldonado? Wildlife?

Here is a current map of malaria risks in Peru from the health service in UK..

I am sorry that mgreen is incorrect about no malaria around Iquitos.

fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/south-ameri…

London, United...
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524 reviews
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6. Re: Iquitos Amazon Lodge or Puerto Maldonado? Wildlife?

I stayed at Puerto Maldonado at Ecoamazonia lodge the moment I saw the lodge i just loved it .

Here is my mini report on the lodge.

They only have cold water there for showers. The bunglow was bug proof with net mesh but word of warning do apply deet as there might be odd trapped bug in room whilse opening doors.

They took us for different trips/ activities, monkey island, 8 hr hike where we climbed the top of tree hse and we could see the canopy of the forest . The guide was informative and told us a lot about the trees. It is advised to wear long sleeves and full trousers so not to be bitten by bugs. After all the sweating a cold shower was ok. The food there was well prepared and plentiful. In evenings enjoyed the drinks at bar. They pick you up from the airport in funky bus in town where they store yr extra luggage and then they take you by canoe on the river to lodge.

I also enjoyed the visit to botanic gardens next to lodge. I love plants and I am keen gardener so I learnt about some of medicinal plants.There was wild life everywhere with beautiful parrots etc. There were hamocks near the river so we relaxed there in the evenings. It was just beautiful and I love nature.

I did not take any malaria precautions and applied deet regularly. I also carried a ultra sonic gadget and I was not bitten outside in forest at all. I will definitely revisit the lodge again.

Lima
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7. Re: Iquitos Amazon Lodge or Puerto Maldonado? Wildlife?

Keep in mind that Tambopata's almost total extension is a protected area so your chances to spot wildlife here are higher than in the Iquitos area unless you travel by car and boat from Iquitos to the Pacaya-Samiria Reserve or neighbouring Yarapa River buffer zone or Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Community Reserve. But of course you will not find the Amazon River in Tambopata, neither will you be able to spot any river dolphin which are not to hard near Iquitos specially during the dry season.

This is what you might be able to do according to the place you choose...

Visit and pet/play with monkeys (Both places)

Canopy Tours (Both) / Zip Lining (Both)

Swim with dolphins* (Iquitios)

Visit indigenous tribe(s) (Iquitos)

Canoe trips (Both)

Sasolburg,South...
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411 posts
16 reviews
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8. Re: Iquitos Amazon Lodge or Puerto Maldonado? Wildlife?

I believe that interaction with wildlife is wrong and it promotes the capture of wildlife for the amusement of humans.

If it is your goal to interact with monkeys and dolphins, why not visit a zoo or aquarium.

Why not experience the Amazon from a true eco tourism point a view.

For instance a tour of Manu,considered by many to have the richest bio diversity of the entire Amazon basin.You will observe giant otters from a raft,mcaws at a clay like,various jungle excursions to observe monkeys and learn about the plants of the amazon.

Jungle tribes that interact with tourist are not the real thing but very commertialized with all the modern things of today.

Heinrich

Phoenix, Arizona
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5 posts
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9. Re: Iquitos Amazon Lodge or Puerto Maldonado? Wildlife?

Hello:

We are going to Iquitios and would love to go the place where you held all the animals; sloth, monkeys, birds, boa, etc.

What is the name of the place and/or where is it located?

Thanks,

Missy

Minneapolis...
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190 posts
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10. Re: Iquitos Amazon Lodge or Puerto Maldonado? Wildlife?

In my opinion this question comes down mostly to logistics. The fact of the matter is that Iquitos is generally better suited to longer stays in the Amazon, as the flight time and travel time to good lodges is longer. And of course you must fly via Lima. It is generally more expensive for these reasons. It is however a great place to experience the Amazon. If you have 4 nights or more, very worth considering.

If however the primary region of your trip is the Peruvian Highlands (i.e. Cusco, Lima, MP) and you only have a couple nights to dedicate to the Amazon, Puerto Maldonado is likely a better fit, taking a hopper flight from Cusco just 45 minutes east and being at your lodge an hour or two later.

A quick breakdown of my favorites in that region:

Reserva Amazonica

Reserva Amazonica is a private jungle lodge and ecological reserve. Its 35 comfortable cabañas done in a traditional jungle style, a selection of a-la-carte excursions in the reserve and its surroundings, and a spectacular canopy walk make this jungle stay a relaxing experience and a traveler favorite.

IS IT FOR ME?

Individual bungalows and gourmet cuisine are two factors making this a more high-end jungle retreat. A la carte excursions with smaller groups make this a popular choice for younger people looking for a more intimate jungle experience (great for honeymoons!) as well as older travelers.s, best food of all lodges, good range of excursions and great canopy walk.

Posada Amazonas - A joint project between a Peruvian ecotourism company and the Ese’eja native community, Posada Amazonas is a pioneer in sustainable tourism in the Amazon. The comfortable lodge is located on its own private reserve near the Tambopata-Candamo National Reserve, and offers comfortable accommodations while having intimate contact with the jungle.

A great lodge for active couples and families – they pack it in at this lodge. Also has adventure programs that include mountain biking through the jungle and kayaking, as well as family and wellness programs. Rooms have very close contact to the jungle.

Refugio Amazonas

This lodge is under the same ownership as Posada Amazonas, however it supports the native community but is not a joint ownership project. It is about an hour further up river making it better for 4 day/ 3 night trips.

IS IT FOR ME?

A great lodge for active couples and families – they pack it in at this lodge. Also has adventure programs that include mountain biking through the jungle and kayaking, as well as family and wellness programs. Rooms have very close contact to the jungle.

Cheers and all my best in life's adventures,

Jordan Harvey

Knowmad Adventurer