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.
- 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