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“Unique and fantastic experience”

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Pousada Uacari / Uakari Floating Jungle Lodge
Ranked #1 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Tefe
Certificate of Excellence
Washington DC, District of Columbia
2 reviews
“Unique and fantastic experience”
Reviewed September 19, 2013

The Pousada Uakari is a very unique and special place, a floating lodge in the middle of a natural reserve, a little paradise with amazing excursions everyday, lovely staff, and delicious food. A fantastic experience!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank marc0nick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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205 reviews from our community

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English first
San Francisco, California
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed August 31, 2013

The thought that we are spending the last week of our amazing Brazil journey, in the heart of the Amazon jungle surrounded by the rain forest and the beautiful river with the nearest village 100kms away by boat seemed like the perfect finale to this wonderful trip. We began this journey from Manaus, the capital of Amazonia state. Most tourists visit parts of the Amazon around Manaus due to east access to cheap accommodation as well as modern amenities.

Wanting to be as close as possible to “the real Amazon” we headed 500kms away to Tefe from where we took a boat to reach the beautiful Mamiraua reserve. A lot of people are disappointed by the Amazon expecting it to be a replica of national geographic footages showing man eating piranhas, playful dolphins and other exotic creatures. Finding that it takes many hours of hiking or patiently waiting to actually spot these amazing animals in their true element and the certain impossibility of finding grass clad, spear toting tribals is a reality you need to know before you plan a trip to the Amazon. The Amazon is quietly dangerous and, as we found out later, walking through the forest you are on equal ground with the wild, no safe trails, no ropes to climb with and no safety signs anywhere. Just you and nature at its wildest.

Mamiraua reserve promises nothing but delivers on every count with a magical location and limited access. The reserve is in a protected part of the Amazon, 1.124.000 hectares in size dedicated to research and protection of its natural resources. Pousada Uacari, named after the Uacari monkey found only in the Mamiraua reserve, is a tiny portion of the reserve available for ecotourism and the only place to stay in the reserve. 10 basic cottages are available, 20 guests are allowed at a time. Each cottage is made of floating logs and thatch and joined by floating walkways leading back to a central lodge with reception area, restaurant, bar, TV room, library and conference room. Here you will be treated like family where every employee knows you by name and where your needs are met even before you have a chance to ask. The rooms are basic, but considering that you are in the middle of nowhere it is a luxury. In the river surrounding the room are huge Pirarucus, fish more than 3 meters long splashing around and jumping every five minutes to take a huge breath of air. Needless to say, it is unbelievably hot and the temptation to jump into the waters is strong but the giant alligators (jakare), clouds of piranhas and tales of the largest anaconda living right here in front of our lodge make us happily suffer the heat to the alternative. The surrounding rainforest is full of different species of moneys and birds and is a bird watchers and photographers paradise!!! Eco tourism is not just a name here it is a way of life. The entire pousada runs on solar power for lighting and hot water, has a rainwater collection system, and a sewage filtration system and the local indigenous people manage and run the lodge. The local communities are educated, informed about the benefits of preservation and have been taught to live sustainably. The money from guests goes mostly to the communities and the rest to the research going on in the reserve. While fulfilling our dream of being in the Amazon knowing that every cent of the money we spend here goes towards protecting and preserving this special place is very satisfying.

Our itinerary included plenty of river trips on a canoe, long hikes into the forest, visits to the local communities, visits to research centers ( dolphins and Jaguar) and informative presentations about the reserve. We were here during the dry season in September but we learnt that this is also the world's largest floodplain. Every year an area the size of England gets flooded up to the tree tops (a 40 feet rise in water level) for six months which turns the forest floor into an underwater world! The communities living here have adapted to this water rise by building houses on stilts, floating houses, floating grass pastures for the cows and little floating islands of vegetables for their food.

We are vegetarian but were well taken care off, although we had less options than the others. There is fresh fruit, juices, tea/coffee available all day long. The only issue we had was that, after we were dropped back at Tefe by boat we were taken to a restaurant without much vegetarian options, in spite of repeatedly reminding them of our dietary restrictions. Just a minor hiccup in otherwise a wonderful tour!

There's always a tourist guide at the lodge who speaks English (usually a research or tourism student doing their internship at the lodge). This guide meet all the guests at Tefe and are always involved in all the activities and translate what the local guides are saying from Portuguese to English. We were there for four nights/five days. Because all stays are scheduled to begin on a Monday or Friday, guests arrive together and over the length of the stay strangers from different parts of the world have usually become friends, which makes the entire experience very special. We will definitely visit again...maybe in the flooded season to experience a different Amazon!

Room Tip: All rooms are great!
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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3 Thank PSSR22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manchester
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2013

A floating lodge in the bend of the river-you couldn't pick a better location for a stay in the Amazon.
The lodge is very comfortable considering where you are. The rooms are spacious and the hammocks on the balcony are an ideal way to pass a siesta in the afternoon. We spent 3nights here with family but in hindsight wished we had booked a couple more days. There is wildlife to be seen from the lodge itself-lizards caiman Boto (pink dolphins) many birds and pirarucu which come up regularly to breath.
We had thought that we would be irritated by Mosquitos seeing as we were on the river for the whole of the stay but to be fair the insects are only really a problem at night. The rooms have mosquito nets which you really need and we took deet insect repellant and anti mosquito clothing which I think really helped. We did get a few bites but I am convinced it would have been worse without the precautions we took. Food at the lodge is very good. We are vegetarian and this wasn't a problem for the kitchen staff to cater for. One night we even had Amazonian pizza!!!. There is fresh fruit and juices available and tea/coffee is available all day long. When we booked our stay we had understood that drinks are not included but you get water juice with meals and tea/coffee it's only soft drinks like coke etc and alcoholic drinks that you have to purchase additionally and these are very reasonably priced.
We really enjoyed meal times as we were there with some great guests and the banter around the table was fun.
We did see a lot of wildlife but the experience is different to say the Pantanal, as animals have a much bigger area to hide in and also the forest at the time we visited is flooded which makes accessibility harder. In the evenings we had talks about the conservation efforts by the local community groups and one night some researchers working with the Boto (pink dolphins) gave a fantastic presentation on the work being done on these fascinating animals. We wanted to see the famous Uakari monkey but unfortunately didn't manage it in the time we had.
The lodge uses local guides who don't speak any English so sometimes it's difficult to appreciate the knowledge that they have, however this doesn't detract from the overall experience as they carry guide books with pictures of the wildlife so that they can point things out to you.
We felt we had a very authentic amazon experience the location is unspoilt and with minimal human impact. The location of the lodge is beautiful tranquil and totally natural. Sleep quality at night depends on how lightly you sleep the jungle is a noisy place, but it was part of the whole jungle experience and we loved it, the caiman that lives under the lodge happened to spend its time at night under our room and thoughtfully shared his antics with us which again all added to an experience we will not be forgetting in a hurry.

Room Tip: All the rooms are the same quality.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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3 Thank ManchesterKetchup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norco, California, United States
1 review
Reviewed August 23, 2013

This trip was everything we expected and more. Our intent was to go on a trip where both of us could get close to nature with as little human impact as possible.

The lodge is very minimal which fully compliments the sustainable exotourism focus of the development. Despite a room with no power outlets and only 2 light fixtures, it was not an effort to live with the accomodation.

The philosophy of the lodge to use guides from the local community who were typically hunters and fishermen made the spotting of unique wildlife more probable and their undertsanding of the sounds and activities in the forest made every trip a new experience.

The fact that the lodge supports and works in partnership with the local communities and the profits go back to the community was a major plus...... nobody was there getting rich from tourists, but everybody was working hard to make the experience exceptional.

Lots of medical research was done in advance, but everything was safe and sanitary. Mosquito spray is a must...... preferably deet based, but this is still a minimal deterrent for the hoards of mosquitos. The rooms are pretty well sealed, but the mosquito nets supplied with the beds are a must.

This was a chance trip where we really didn't know what we would end up with, but turned into the trip of a lifetime.

Room Tip: Remember to pack spare batteries and don't bother taking your cell phone. Just lie back in a ham...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Shaun H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2013

My wife and I spent 5 days at Mamiraua Uakari Lodge. The location and the Amazon here is absolutely beautiful. Lots of monkeys and birds. The lodge is very very comfortable and staff is very nice. However, we were very disappointed with the head guide Danielo. Too often he was disinterested in spotting animals, rarely voluntarily explaining flora and fauna, and did not adhere to the schedule. The excursions regularly departed 30 to 40 minutes late, despite us requesting to please leave on time, especially in the mornings when animals are most active. Also, when on the boat he wasn't looking for animals like he is supposed to, and instead often looked down at the floor, looked at pictures on his camera, or talked to the other more junior guide.

This is a really wonderful place, it just needs a quality head guide that is more enthusiastic and enjoys being a guide and showing off to us this beautiful place. A great guide is very important to the overall experience. We paid a lot of money to stay there and felt very disappointed about the guide service.

Also, the last day felt very disorganized and unfortunately bit of waste of time. The tour did not end until 2pm and all we did was a 40 minutes excursion, only to rushed back to the lodge and to wait 2 hours to go back to Tefe town. We were first told that once in Tefe we would go to a market. But upon arrival we were taken to institute kiosk shop where we hung out for about 45 minutes with nothing to do and then driven across town to Uakari office with another gift shop, where again we spend 30 minutes doing nothing. None of this was interesting nor necessary. We would have much preferred to spend that that morning having a proper excursion that lasted 2-3 hours.

Our main purpose to visit Mamiraua was to spend time in nature and see as many animals as possible - and that should be the overall emphasis coming from the guides. We sometimes felt there was more emphasis on food or hanging out at the lodge which was of secondary interest to us.

Hope this part of the tour improves because overall the amazon here is great.
And more explanation is needed about the flora and fauna and perhaps a recap at the end of the animals we've seen. There was zero talk or about insects or amphibians despite us asking about it.

At the time of our visit there were some researchers also visiting. One of the evenings one of the researches gave a slide show lecture about his jaguar research. This was absolutely fantastic as it gave us a firsthand look at what kind of research is being done on the magnificent animals like jaguars. highly enjoyable.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Gasiorkiewicz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2013

Our family of four spent 4 nights in the Uakari lodge in July and loved every minute of it! For an all inclusive experience, it is very reasonably priced. The staff has a genunie passion for the conservation effort. I was specially impressed with the tie in to the local communities. You also get a chance to bond with the other guests. My only complaint is that not all guides spoke English.
All in all, a great family experince and my teens thoroughly enjoyed it.

Room Tip: All rooms are great.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Asim K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2013

If you're thinking about staying in a jungle lodge in the Amazon, then look no further.
Yes, Tefe is further away from Manaus than other lodges but it's well worth the extra travel, as there are fewer tourists to interfere with the wildlife and the peaceful setting.
The lodge employs local guides to take guests out in canoes and boats (we were there during the flooded season) and they are all really friendly, knowledgeable and enthusiastic. They don't handle wildlife some many other guides do in the Amazon. We don't speak Portuguese and the local guides don't speak very much English, so they all carry good field guides that are used to identify animals and birds.
Before we got to the lodge, we weren't sure what activities would be included but we were kept busy all day with plenty of outdoor activities.
The lodge itself is great, with big rooms and lovely balconies (with hammocks) in each room. There wasn't any hot water in the shower when we were there, but it's the air is so warm it doesn't matter.
Food is never-ending, and very good quality. We were there for 4 nights and didn't get bored of eating from the same kitchen. There is loads of fruit available and fresh juices with every meal.
There's also a tourist guide at the lodge who speaks English, they meet guests at Tefe and are always involved in activities so they introduce an area and translate what guides are saying from Portuguese to English.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ShonaMcP M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Pousada Uacari / Uakari Floating Jungle Lodge

Property: Pousada Uacari / Uakari Floating Jungle Lodge
Address: Reserva de Desenvolvimento Sustentavel Mamiraua | Mamiraua Sustainable Development Reserve, Tefe, State of Amazonas, Brazil
Location: Brazil > State of Amazonas > Tefe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Tefe
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pousada Uacari is located in Mamiraua Sustainable Development Reserve, in the heart of Amazon.Mamiraua was the first sustainable development reserve in Brazil and is a world Natural Heritage site. The reserve is one the most important protected tropical forest blocks in the world and harbors a rich ecosystem home to endemic species, such as the exotic bald uacari monkey and the black-headed squirrel monkey.The lodge floats peacefully above water and consists of 05 comfortable bungalows with an exceptional location from where you set off on tours to see fauna, interact with residents from local communities and meet researchers who work on the reserve.Pousada Uacari is an initiative of the community-based tourism program of Mamiraua Institute. It is administrated through shared management between the Institute and the communities of the reserve. The objective of Pousada Uacari is to generate income for local residents and promote the conservation of natural resources. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Pousada Uacari / Uakari Floating Jungle Lodge Tefe, Brazil - AM

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