Iquitos is Peru’s largest jungle town in the Amazon basin. From Iquitos, Muyuna Lodge is located three hours up by boat on the Amazon River, very close to Pacaya Samiria National Reserve which is the biggest in Peru. The whole ride to get there is just breathtaking; the boat goes along the Ucayali and Yanayacu Rivers. And these are some of the darkest and most incredible streams you will ever see.
Welcome to Muyuna!
Once I arrived in Muyuna, I was welcomed by Julio, my fantastic guide that took take care of me for three days. Julio is a biology teacher, local from the jungle, and speaks five different languages. From day one, he went out of his way to answer all of my questions and to teach me everything he knows about the local flora and fauna. And I can’t even begin to describe his superpowers. For example, we would be walking through the jungle, and he would suddenly turn around and say: “do you hear that? That’s the leoncito monkey!” Of course, I couldn’t see a thing, and as there are so many sounds in the jungle, I couldn’t even hear the monkey. But, all of a sudden there it was, in front of me. Julio was like a magician who could make any creature appear just as he was talking about it.
During my time at Muyuna Lodge, I got to see so many different kinds of birds, monkeys, and sloths! We went on nocturnal jungle walks where I saw the biggest tarantulas ever! We also saw frogs, snakes, and we even caught a caiman. And even though they were all incredible experiences, I have to say that my favourite experience, by far, was swimming in the Amazon River.
Julio took me on a boat ride to the place where the Ucayali and Amazon Rivers merge into one mighty river. The meeting point of these two rivers forms a whirlpool, a beautiful spiral that mixes the brown Amazon River and the Black Ucayali River. In fact, the name of Muyuna Lodge comes from a Quechua word that means whirlpool. And it makes sense once you see and feel that vicious spiral.
My favourite Amazon experience
We were in the boat on the river when suddenly we saw the incredible Pink and Grey Dolphins swimming and playing next to us. Once I got in the water, I couldn’t believe that I was swimming in the Amazon! The longest in the world, and the mother river for so many indigenous communities. For me, it was just a dream come true.
While I was daydreaming in the middle of the Amazon, I was asking Julio why he wouldn’t get in the water. He explained to me that his father, a very important shaman, taught him never to swim next to the dolphins. Because they are considered brujos (witches) that were transformed into dolphins. And this story is precisely the reason why this was my favourite experience. It shows the importance of having a local guide to decode the mysteries of the jungle. And, at the same time, make them even more intriguing.
Does this sounds like the kind of Amazon holiday you have always dreamed of? Well, let us make Muyuna Lodge a reality for you! Alternatively check out our collection of cruises, lodges and even treehouses for more amazing Amazon experiences..