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“A Jungle Experience”
Review of Refugio Amazonas

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Refugio Amazonas
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed January 1, 2013

We visited here during late October after reading all the great reviews and we were not disappointed.

After hopping off the plane at Puerto Maldonado, we were greeted with our tour guide for the duration of our stay who guided us to the transfer transportation. The first stop at the office was brief where you can repack or leave some luggage in lockup. We left our larger back packs here but we noticed that there were no problems with people taking whole suitcases to the reserve.

Then it was onwards on the bus to the port. We had some commentary from our guide, Eder and were given a cute local snack pack that consisted of sweetened fried plantain chips (a bit like banana chips) and some Brazilian nuts.

We started our journey on the boat to the eco lodge and were given a very tasty local fried rice wrapped in banana leaf meal to eat while we enjoyed the sights and sounds of the river. The scenery was beautiful, especially at sunset when the purple and orange haze of the sky reflected off the stills of the river.

The best part of the boat trip was at dusk (around 45mins from Refugio) when Eder started looking for wildlife and pointing them out with a high powered torch. We came across numerous caymans - all looking very reptilian and a couple of large Capybaras.

Upon arriving at the lodge, there was dinner being served and as you've read, the food quality is excellent. It is hardy and tasty as well as fresh and hot.

We stayed for 4 days, 3 nights and felt that this was about the right length of stay, any shorter would make time getting there wasteful and any longer I didn't think there were many other activities we would do.

It is very hot (40 degrees in 85% humidity) and we were advised to wear long protective clothing to avoid any bites, so be prepared to be sweating continuously - we had at least 3 cold showers a day. Make sure to bring Deet repellent (any % is fine), sunscreen and an LED lantern at night was very handy. They have electricity and many outlets during the evening till around 9pm for you to charge your gadgets and the internet access is ok around the bar area.

Our tour guide, Eder, was extremely knowledgeable and friendly - he truly made this experience unique and fun. Our day treks included a scaffolding lookout point, Macaw watching, Piranha feeding and a local farm tour. Sleeping at night is a highlight as you can hear the forest sleep with you and watch the dancing fireflies outside.

It is a comfortable lodge with hot water showers and large rooms, but it is still out in the wilderness so don't expect all the modcons. You won't be left hungry as the food is plentiful and again this was a highlight in itself to have authentic cuisine.

We had such a great experience here, a large part being the helpful and friendly staff but also the destination itself is unique and preserved.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Mark C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 1, 2013

Refugios Amazonas was a great place with very good food and particularly helpful and friendly staff. The public spaces and rooms were much bigger and more comfortable than we had expected and the overall amosphere was very positive. We very much liked the fact that local people played an important part in running the place. Our guide was very dedicated and helpful with a real love for nature. We were there in October and were a bit cold in bed one night after it had been raining for a while but apart from that all our experiences were all good. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank 971maturecouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 24, 2012

A place of nature pure, very kind staff and guides, a place where you can relax and forget the rest of the world. We saw many animals, flowers and trees, we enjoyed the silence around the lodge. So we can recommend this place at every time to people who like it to bee aut of the stressles world.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank traude s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 21, 2012

I learnt these lessons after my trip and though may sound harsh, it is what i felt:
There are a few things you want to remember before you think of adventure, the amazon and stay in this place
1. It wont be as dramatic/great as they show in the movies
2.You will encounter a lot of "hardships" - of a different kind.
This place is great to get a hang of the amazon. There is no power ever in any of the rooms so you will sweat it out in the humid a/c-less world out there. The wildlife is not waiting for you to visit so there may be a tour or two where you will not see a single species so enjoy the quaint jungle and the calm.
This resort is way too deep in the Tambopata reserve so will take you around 3.5 hrs to reach it by boat since it is upstream. So, if you are short on time dont waste time travelling here.
We did the 4d 3 nights package and had a good time. The guides are great and the food wonderful. The farm visit was fantastic, we picked up a lot of mangoes and ate them during our dinner too. Overall, i would say..... if your expectations are basic(afterall, its in the middle of nowhere) you will love this place.

The coffee here was exceptional, it was one of the best coffee i have had in a hotel. Try it!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Isha0021
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2012

The rooms are fun with the open wall but the bathrooms not great. Although they boast they have hot water we and the adjoining room never had hot water even though we reported it multiple times. You may think you don't need hot water in the Amazon, but it can be very chilly early morning and evening in a cold shower. As well our toilet finally gave up after previously reporting problems with it.

One problem is you are allocated a guide and a group for the duration of your stay. Although our guide was very good, 4 of the group were not fit enough for the quite long and arduous walks and spent a good deal of time complaining. At the bird clay lick they wouldn't wait and so we missed seeing the birds come down whereas the group in the other hide had a spectacular sighting about half an hour later. You also eat all meals with this same group. Our guide never bothered to learn our names which after 3 days with him was very rude -- I hope management take note of this complaint.

The major problem occurred on our departure. At the beginning of our stay we had left the office to confirm and print our boarding passes so we did not check the flights ourselves. On arrival at the office at the end of our trip we noticed the boarding pass was for the 2nd leg of our journey and on pointing this out the office staff brushed us off and told us to get on the bus. At the airport it became apparent that our flight had been changed to the morning one and we had missed it. As we were ultimately connecting with a long haul flight this was very problematic. Luckily the LAN manager got us on a flight that would connect. One can only assume the Lodge decided not to put on an earlier boat just for us and dumped us at the airport to try and sort it out. A very unsatisfactory ending. Be warned, check your own flights.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Foxy042
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DKrautmann, Public Relations Manager at Refugio Amazonas, responded to this reviewResponded January 1, 2013

Dear Foxy042,

Thank you for taking the time to write this review and bring some of these issues to our attention. I would like to address each of your complaints.
We have recently installed hot water showers in each of the bathrooms at Refugio Amazonas, unfortunately there was a mechanical problem with the shower in your room during you stay. This problem is uncommon and has been fixed since your visit. We apologize for not being able to repair it during your stay or switching you to a room where there was hot water.

We receive guests from a variety of countries, cultures, and backgrounds. While we do our best to cater to the individual needs of our guests, we cannot control the dynamics between members in the groups. We have taken note of your complaint regarding your guide and would like to hear more. Please email us at RainforestExpeditions3@gmail.com to give us details about your guide.

The problem that occurred during your departure is unacceptable and should not have happened. There was obviously a mis-communication between the office and the lodge causing you to miss your flight. We can only imagine the inconvenience this caused you. For this I apologize sincerely.

I apologize that your stay at Refugio Amazonas was not satisfactory. Your complaints have been passed on to management and will be corrected immediately. Thank you again for your feedback.

Sincerely,
Danielle Krautmann, Rainforest Expeditions

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2012

We stayed at the Refugio with high expectations from the other TripAdvisor reviews. Overall, the previous reviews are very accurate. If you don't like the outdoors/bugs, then you shouldn't go to the Amazon. The rooms and experience were very unique and not something you can get many places. We did the 3 day, 2 night tour which is really 1.5 days as you are traveling the first day until 3:30 or 4:00 and you don't really do much on the first day other than the night caiman search.

Pros:
The lodge and the guides are great. The guide we had knew all the animals and saw things it took us 30 seconds to see
Food was fantastic
Definitely a unique Amazon experience
The farm tour was a great way to see and eat local plants from the tree

Cons:
I wish the lodge did something the first day. We arrived at 4:00 and nothing was planned until dinner at 7:00. We walked around the lodge, but didn't want to venture too far away because there aren't clear paths and you don't want to get lost in the jungle. If you arrive when we did, you should ask your guide to take you to the canopy or some hike so you don't just sit around for 3 hours.
The boat ride is a little farther than other lodges near Puerto Maldonado. The Refugio Posada is about 1.5 hours closer, and I don't think we saw anything different from them because of our location

Room Tip: Bring a torch. It gets really dark ou there.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Robert W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2012

The Refugio was our first stop before heading to TRC. It is a more upscale lodge than at TRC, but also more crowded. It is a lovely place with lots of wildlife. While there we saw Duski Titi, Saddleback Tamarin, Capuchin and squirrel monkeys. They have a canopy to view Birds and other wildlife. Be advised whe you climb the top of the canopy there are sweat bees. It is best to have a long sleeve shirt on when climbing. While there, we were able to take part in night caimen search and explore the Oxbow Lake. There is a bar at the Refugio as well. They accept Peruviann soles, Credit cards and US dollar. They do have internet access 2 times a day and a charging station for equipment in the main lounge. You will be assigned a guide for your entire stay. They are very knowledgeable. The must haves for your trip are : rain poncho, sunblock, 100% deet, flashlight earplugs and a water bottle. It is an amazing place. Have a terrific time.

Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
3  Thank Heatherob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Refugio Amazonas

Address: Av Aeropuerto | La Joya km 6, Puerto Maldonado 084, Peru
Phone Number:
Location: Peru > Madre de Dios Region > Puerto Maldonado
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 62 Specialty Lodging in Puerto Maldonado
Price Range: $560 - $706 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Refugio Amazonas 3*
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Refugio Amazonas is the latest addition to Rainforest Expeditions Tambopata portfolio. As a charming 32 bedroom lodge, it is well placed immediately adjacent to the Tambopata National Reserve. Its location is ideal for stand alone three night experiences and for breaking the expeditions to and from Tambopata Research Center. Refugio Amazonas is built on a 200 hectare private reserve on the buffer zone of the Tambopata National Reserve. It is becoming integrated to the communities of Brazil nut extractors that surround it, attempting to extend the benefits of ecotourism to the families committed to sustainable forest use. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Refugio Amazonas Hotel Puerto Maldonado

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