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!
- 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