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Reviewed July 17, 2012

We stayed here just one night as part of a larger tour which also included a night at its sister lodges Posada Amazonas and 3 nights in Tambopata Research Center. And that was a mistake! We thought we would have a wildlife experience, but though we had a private birding guide – Oscar, who was excellent – our stay here was spoilt by the crowds of people that come here to ‘experience’ the jungle, turning the lodge into a fun lodge. Apart from providing that so-called ‘jungle experience’ there’s absolutely no reason why the rooms have no electricity. We have been in much wilder places with much more wildlife where there was electric light during certain hours of the day, which is particularly helpful when you have to gear up at 5am to go birding. Regarding the meals provided: you won’t starve if you are early enough to beat the crowds that tend to stand in line 15 minutes before the buffet is declared open. Regularly, bowls and plates run empty and though they will be refilled at least once, you have to be patient when they’re empty. To finish with a positive note: the tour operator that owns the lodges knows how to handle a large amount of people, each with their own and differing itinerary, in an efficient way.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank 20thCenturyCox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DKrautmann, Guest Relations Manager at Refugio Amazonas, responded to this reviewResponded August 3, 2012

Dear Valued Guest,

We would like to begin by thanking you for your constructive feedback. We are disappointed to hear that you had a less than satisfactory experience at our lodges and would like to do our best to explain the problems that occurred during your stay.

We strive for all of our guests to enjoy the lodge, however, there are certain factors we do not have control over. We receive travelers of all ages, from countries throughout the world, who travel for a variety of reasons and enjoy their experiences in different ways. While we do our best to cater to each individual, we cannot control the behavior of guests at our lodges.

It is true that we do not provide electricity in the rooms. In an effort to have the as little environmental impact as possible in this unique ecosystem, we only utilize the electrical generator in the main lodge areas during certain hours a day to allow our guests to re-charge batteries. We have received certification by the Rainforest Alliance and won various awards for our efforts at environmental conservation and strive to maintain this standard. During the evening and early mornings, rooms are lit by kerosene lanterns. Guests are encouraged to bring flashlights for additional lighting during the evenings and early morning.

Again, we are sorry that your experience at our lodges did not meet your expectations. We do our best to be open and upfront through our website and booking agents regarding how to best prepare for a trip to our lodges and what to expect when you get there. We invite you to provide us with further feedback via our guests relations department (rainforestexpeditions3@gmail.com).

Thank you again for taking the time to notify us of your experience.
Rainforest Expeditions

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Reviewed July 13, 2012

We recently returned from Peru, where part of our trip was a 4day/3 night stay at Refugio Amazonas. We had really thought that this would be the "grand finale" of our 3-week Peru trip but we were very disappointed.

I chose Refugio because I had been told that it was the best lodge for teenagers (we had our 15 and 17 year old sons with us) and that we had the best chance of seeing animals there. Not so. The only animals we saw were three troops of monkeys and a few agoutis. I know there is no guarantee of seeing animals, but we were very disappointed not to see more mammals. We did see plenty of cool birds, but we are not all that excited about birds. Both the parrot clay lick and the mammal clay lick involved a long hike through deep mud and a lot of waiting, and in our case resulted in 0 animal sitings. Unfortunately that was basically the theme or our stay: lots of effort and zero reward.

Our excursion got off to a less-than-idea start on the very first day. We arrived, as instructed, to the Puerto Maldonado airport before 12 noon. We were taken to the local Rainforest Expeditions office in PM, where we had to wait for almost three hours for the rest of the day's guests to arrive. They did not give us anything to eat and there was nothing to do! If the company is going to allow guests to arrive during such a long time-span, they need to run more boats per day. If it is necessary to wait for more than 30 or so minutes, guests should be fed and provided with some activity.

They did take us on a bus tour through PM for about 30 minutes (not much to see) and allowed us to stop and get something to eat, but we really would have preferred to go straight to the jungle lodge.

Also, our guide (Mariano) showed no interest in our boys. Even though our family of four made up 4/7 of our group, he totally catered to the wishes of the three other adults. When our boys chose not to go on an excursion, he did not present them with any other alternatives, so they just sat around the lodge a lot (luckily it had wi-fi for several hour per day). The one activity they were looking forward to - the tree climbing/repelling, we were never able to do. We told the guide on our very first day that we wanted to do this activity and we kept being told "tomorrow" or "later this afternoon", until in the end it became clear that we would not be able to do the activity at all.

The lodge itself was very nice. Big, attractive main building, with bedrooms off a central walk-way. The rooms were rustic but clean and nice. We loved the open wall to the jungle. We learned that hot water was being installed the week after our trip - !!! We did not enjoy the cold showers! It is quite warm in the rainforest, but not hot enough for a cold shower. The rooms have no electricity and the sun goes down at 6pm, so getting ready for bed by candle-light was a challenge.

The best thing about Refugio is the food. It is absolutely delicious and they do a fantastic job of making meals that will appeal to everyone, and there is always a vegetarian option. Unfortunately, with meal times at 7AM, 1PM and 7PM, everyone was starving in between and the only snacks available are fruit. Children in particular need to eat more frequently, and I think they should provide snacks in the morning and afternoon. On the positive side, my boys were so starving that they cleaned their plates at lunch and dinner!

All in all, a beautiful location and great food, but we experienced very poor service and were terribly disappointed with the tours and lack of animals.

Room Tip: rooms at the end of the walk-way are quieter.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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7  Thank ljturco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DKrautmann, Guest Relations Manager at Refugio Amazonas, responded to this reviewResponded August 7, 2012

Dear ljturco,

Thank you for taking the time to complete and evaluation on TripAdvisor. We are so sorry to hear that your experience at our lodges did not meet your expectations. Your feedback is important for us to improve the services we offer at Refugio Amazonas and we would like to address the problems you encountered during your stay.

We provide the statistics of wildlife sightings at each of our lodges on our website (http://www.perunature.com/rainforest-expeditions-wildlife-sightings.html). Unfortunately, which animals our guides and guests chance upon during they stay is almost completely up to chance. Guests who see Jaguars and Tapirs are VERY lucky. For this reason, we try to provide visitors with a comprehensive understanding of life in the rainforest, explaining how various aspects of culture, ecosystems and wildlife work together in a delicate balance.

We appreciate your feedback regarding your wait at the office. The reason you had to wait is that we operate with scheduled boats. It is simply impossible to have a boat leave after every flight (we would go broke!) . However, in an effort to reduce the amount of time guests spend waiting to go to the lodges, we have made our boat transfer schedule public on our website and to tour operators. This way guests will be able to find out what time boats are leaving for the lodges and plan accordingly.

We are sorry you did not get to do the canopy climbing. We usually have at least one trained adventure guide at each of our lodges to lead these excursions. The fact that there was not one available to you is unacceptable.

We are also sorry that you did not get to experience the hot water showers which we have recently installed. This is a new development that may have improved your experience. As for snacks, we provide a light snack and juice upon return from each morning and afternoon activity. In addition there is local fruit available in the lodge at all times. For guests desiring more options, the gift shop has a variety of candy bars, chips, and other preserved foods on hand for purchase.

Thank you again for your feedback. Please contact our Guest Relations department (rainforestexpeditions3@gmail.com) directly to communicate further.

Sincerely,
Rainforest Expeditions

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Reviewed July 11, 2012

We had a wonderful time at this lodge, we stayed 2 nights and went up river to Tambopata Research center. This lodge is larger , they have great food, and were able to cook gluten free meals for my husband. They also had vegetarian items at every meal. The lodge is beautiful. The rooms and bathrooms are comfortable and clean. But you have to take cold showers :-). But we were prepared for that , so it was fine. We did the tree climbing activity and had a great time. Our guide Cesar was great identifying the local wildlife, as well as konwing about all the plants and trees. I would highly reccommend Cesar as a guide. We would love to go back one day .

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Sravanthi B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2012

We were booked to stay at Refugios for 3 nights 4 days - I had read that going deeper into jungle will give us an opportunity to see more animals and it's not in fact the case .... it's just luck sometimes.

Our experience was strange some on part of our airline and other with the lodge. We didn't have the greatest start, our flight from Cusco was delayed by 36 hours (weight balancing issue). We called our contact but she said there was nothing she could do (apparently delays in cusco are quite common :( so we were quite disappointed with that especially since this was a pricey stay. We were told by the contact that she would try and do something such as add ons but never heard from her again...

It took approximately 2.5 hours to get to the lodge - upon arrival there was quite a bit of confusion with our rooms, we were told we were in one of the rooms but it was taken, then we were moved again and then again. It just felt like they were disorganized. There was also a lot of confusion as to who our guide would be for the remainder of the days. It just felt like since we had missed our first day with them we were a group that they were accommodating to.

Our guide understood the situation we were in and tried to make the most of it and the reminder of the days were packed. Unfortunately we didn't see a whole lot of animals or birds....some travellers we met at the base went to their sister lodge Posada saw many animals and even went phirana fishing (a little bit jealous but oh well). Whereas we went to oxbow lake and were told there were phirana's in there.

The food was great but there never seem to be enough. Once 7pm hit there would be a mad line up for food. On our first night we got to the dinning room just a little after 7 and we were last in the buffet line and there was hardly any food left.

On a plus note the lodges are starting to get hot water unfortunately ours did not but my parents (next door) did.

Aside from all the issues, it was still a memorable experience just walking through the jungle and hearing the sounds.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank blueberry090
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DKrautmann, Guest Relations Manager at Refugio Amazonas, responded to this reviewResponded August 9, 2012

Hello blueberry090,

Thank you for your feedback regarding your experience at Refugio Amazonas. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee animal sightings at our lodges and as you said, it is due to chance. We do, however provide statistics of animal sightings at our lodges on our website (http://www.perunature.com/rainforest-expeditions-wildlife-sightings.html). Our tours are focused around providing a comprehensive understanding of how the culture, ecosystems and wildlife in the rainforest work together in unique balance.

We have had a very successful year with many people making their bookings a week in advance or less. Our meals are comprised of mostly locally grown ingredients coming from area farmers. Because we make our food orders a week in advance and cannot go to the coner store to shop for what's missing, we have come slightly short. It has taken several weeks to figure out the problem but it is now under control, in part thanks to your feedback.

In regards to the disorganization you experienced, when there is a plane delay of a day, it throws off our rooming and guide planning. While flight delays of hours are frequent and easy to adapt to, delays of days are rare and more difficult to adapt to. We apologize for the confusion upon your arrival.

Please contact our guest relations department (RainforestExpedtions3@gmail.com) to communicate with us further regarding your experience.

Again, thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback. We use this information to improve future guests experiences.
Sincerely,
Rainforest Expeditions

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Reviewed July 6, 2012

we spent 2 nights there before and after TRC. it would be very peaceful if no children were present. our guide Daniel was awesome. We did canopy climbing and mountain biking which was fun. but the bikes were not that well maintained. I would recommend it to any nature lovers

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Weishen83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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