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“Adventure into the Amazon at Refugio Amazonas”
Review of Refugio Amazonas

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Refugio Amazonas
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed May 30, 2009

We searched through over 20 different lodges outside of Puerto Maldando in Peru and decided on Refugio Amazonas. We flew into Lima, stayed at a hotel there, and flew into Puerto Maldando the next morning on LAN. The airport is basically a large shed but the Refugio folks were right outside holding up a sign. We immediately boarded a nice smaller tourism bus and headed to the office just a mile down the road. We locked up our luggage and reduced our items down to a back pack style. We then re-boarded the bus for about 25 minutes, stopping at a small store to purchase items that you may had forgotten (it was VERY Cheap). We then boarded a long boat with a roof with a motor on the back - 3 hours to the lodge but it was beautiful. The Tambopata river is very smooth and we saw lots of wildlife such as caimens (small crocodiles), parrots, and cababarras (large rats the size of a fat Labrador retriever dog). They fed us lunch wrapped in a huge leaf - a rice and veggie mix, but very tasty. We had also received a snack box of local items on the bus such as nuts and bananas.
We walked a short distance through the jungle to the lodge and was amazed at the whole lodge structure. It is brand new - 2 floors with 25 foot ceilings on each level- truly amazing. It has a shop, living room, bar, dining room, spa downstairs and upstairs a reading area, telescope, and lots of hammocks. It looked like a Hawaiian village. There are three other buildings for lodging (a fourth one was being built). Each building had 8 rooms - very large (much larger than a hotel room), comfy beds, mosquito nets that the staff places down each evening for you, large bathroom/shower. What makes this lodge better than the rest is that one wall of your room opens right into the jungle so you can hear the monkeys and birds each evening. Each evening as it is getting dark the staff lights 100's of kerosene lanterns within your room and along the paths. The food was excellent - steak with pasta the first night, arroz con pollo for lunch the next day, and pork chops for dinner the second night all flavored in the Peruvian way. Breakfast was great - pancakes, fresh juices, fruits, oatmeal, and much more. My favorite moment was going on the boat the first night to spot caimen on the shore. We saw quite a few, but the amazing part was the stars in the sky. Never in all my life have I seen the sky, Milky way, with such brilliance away from the city lights. We even saw a shooting star. Activities consisted of a hike to a 90 foot high tower to view the top of the rainforest, hikes to see animals, birds, a visit to a farm across the river of a local man who grows all kinds of fruits that we could taste each one, and even seeing trees over 1000 years old. This is truly one of my top ten life moments ever. The staff was excellent. They tried at ever turn to make it a memorable trip. I rarely ever write reports on trip advisor but I had to with this one! I have been all over the world, but this was truly a memory!

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank hoibonker7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 8, 2009

I stayed at Refugio Amazonas as part of a GAP tour. The lodge is absolutely amazing, the views are beautiful and there are so many interesting things to see

  • Stayed: April 2009
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Thank davidwebster300
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2008

This was our favorite part of the Peru trip next to Macchu Pichu. We had our family of 4 (two girls, 9 and 12) and my 78 year-old dad. Lots of great food and attention to detail. They work hard to make sure you have a good experience and seem to be constantly striving to improve. We picked this location because it seemed to offer the most variety of activities and it did! Be ready to hike and you must be somewhat in shape to get in and out of boats, up the stairs, on the trails, etc.

Lots of bird life, natural history, looking for otters on the lake, spot-lighting caimans, river habitat, medicinal plants, jungle tower, local farm, etc. Plenty of great food. Very nice, but not too fancy so you remember that you are in the jungle with boat access. I am a wildlife biologist and was very impressed with the knowledge of our guide, William. We saw tamarins, but if you want a lot of mammals, you may want to head to the Heath River Research Center - you need a week to do that one. This was a big bird-life area. If you only have two nights, you may want to go to Posada Amazonas.

I booked with the company and they gave me a small discount for a group of 5 in the off-season.

Take good binoculars, flashlight and bug spray. Spray your ankles well when visiting the farm as we picked up chiggers there. The long, lightweight (zip-off) type pants work best for bugs along with gortex walking shoes for mud and rain. They have mud boots there, but we didn't need them. My Dad soaked his clothes in repellant from REI and got very few bites. Take a good camera with zoom lens. Take games or books for rainy times or for the afternoon rest break. Be aware that you do not go out if it is raining as all the birds and animals stay put and there is not much to see.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank Beamr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2008

We have just returned from a two week holiday in Peru which included a three night stay at the Refugio Amazonas. This was an incredible experience in itself.
The 3 hour boat ride up the Tamabota river was never a trial as there were many different things to see on the trip and we soon landed at the jetty for the lodge.
The Reception area was spacious with chairs and a hammock in the upstairs lounge and there was a small bar which closed at around 10pm when the electricity was turned off (Cocktails were nice!)
All the staff were friendly and did their best to remember your name to make you feel at home.
The rooms at the lodge were big and sparse and the cold showers only added to the experience.
The 4am starts and 4 hour treks made for tiring and yet enjoyable days.
Food was good with three meals a day and enough for everyone though there were not that many others when I was there. We spoke to another couple at another lodge and they said it was a bit of a free for all if there were a lot of 'campers'.
We saw perricards, scorpions, caiman, tarantulas and all sorts of bird life and these were just in our bedroom!! (I jest)
iI was nice in the afternoons to relax before setting off on another expedition and the early nights were definately needed for the early starts
All in all a great stay in an absolutely different type of hotel and have no worries if you are booked to stay here.

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank wescountryboyt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2008

My husband and I traveled with our four children (ages 8-11) to Peru this past June (2008). We went from Lima to Puno, and many places in between. Though there was so much to see and love, I would have to say that the kdis favorite place over our three week journey was the Refugio Amazonas in the Tambopata RIver Basin. We could not have had a better experience. The kids were happy with the meals, accomodations, and adventure that awaited evey turn in the trail. The guides (Jeorge and Pati, in particular) were outstanding and very accomodating to our needs with the small children. The staff couldn't have been friendlier. We loved meeting Don Manuel and touring his farm. From hiking, to bird watching, to cathing Pirranah on el Gato, it was an amazing educational and cultural experience for us all. We would recommend this destination for families with a thirst for adventure travel.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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3  Thank Jobemtwin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2008

I´d organised a 2 week tour of Peru through an agency and this included a 3 day, 2 night stay in the jungle with Refugio Amazonas. We were met at the airport and given a chance to re-arrange our luggage in thier nearby offices (as we didn´t need to take much). The staff we friendly and helpful and explained about the travel arrangments to get to the lodge, a couple of hours by boat upstream.

The lodge itself is amazing as you can see from the pictures on their website. It has an open and spacious feel and you are surrounded by beautiful jungle.

The bedrooms all open out into the jungle so you have access to the sounds and sights of birds and wildlife. Beds are covered with good mosquito nets. The ceilings are high and open plan so you can hear others in other rooms but this wasn´t much of a problem as everyone is asleep early and up for sunrise.

All of the staff are very friendly and helpful. We had several tours out around the jungle and rivers which were informative and interesting. Our guide, Nilton, was really knowledgable and good fun.

The catering was much better than I had expected. The meals are served buffet style and the food was delicious. They were able to cater for vegetarians and other requirements in the gruop.

I also had a massage which was excellent.

Jacquie Evans, Oct 2008

Stayed: October 2008
1  Thank EBDFM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2008

My two friends and I had a great time here. The lodge has NO lights, electricity, hot water, windows, or doors. The rooms are completely open to the jungle! But each bed is covered by mosquito netting and none of us were bit by any insects during our stay. The rooms are lit by candles at night. Don't forget a really good flashlight because you will need it! Better if you get one that had a base so you can put it down when you need to. And bring a large citranella candle too. The lodge is really beautiful and very comfortable. We really liked our guide Paty...she was fun and very knowledgeable. She took good care of us. The food was very good and they have a bar. We didn't see too many animals but lots of different birds, frogs, lizards, butterflies, caiman, capybara. There is no wifi so don't plan on checking your email.

Also bring....slippers, bug spray, binoculars, comfortable footwear for hiking and some snacks.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Bonny-Read
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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