Welcome to one of the most pristine habitats in the world, a region where rainforests and tropical savannahs meet and rivers are the only means of access. Refugio Amazonas is a 32-bedroom lodge four hours from the Puerto Maldonado airport. It is ideal for science enthusiasts, soft adventurers and families. The lodge is located in a 200-hectare private reserve within the buffer zone of the Tambopata National Reserve.
Upon arrival to Puerto Maldonado, you will be greeted by one or more of our guides and then taken to a waiting vehicle. You will take short ride to our operations office in Puerto Maldonado where we will ask you to store luggage you don’t need. Luggage is hand-carried at various stages in the trip for long distance so we ask you to please limit your weight to 15 kilos. You can pack separate bags and safely leave them at our offices in Puerto Maldonado on the first day so we won’t be carrying them around uselessly. Your bag will be waiting for you at the airport the day you leave. After taking care of luggage, we take a 40-minute drive to the Infierno Community Port where we board long, sturdy canoes equipped with outboard motors and head upstream to Refugio Amazonas. The three-hour boat ride is pleasant and often includes our first sightings of macaws, heron, caiman and capybara. Once the boat arrives at the lodge dock, you will have officially arrived to the wild rainforest of Tambopata!
During your stay at Refugio Amazonas you will enjoy up to three excursions per day. Guides are assigned at a ratio of 1:10 guests. Your guide will plan an itinerary that takes your wants and needs into account to maximise your experience at this Amazon jungle lodge.
These are the available activities at Refugio Amazonas:
Macaw Clay Lick, Parakeet Clay Lick, Ox Bow Lake Visit, Canopy Tower, Discover New Species, Mammal Clay Lick & Camera Trapping, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Canopy Climbing, Kayaking, Nature Trail Hike, Ethnobotanical Walk, Jungle Farm Visit, Children Rainforest Trail, Jungle Night Walk.
Please note there are optional activities that require pre-booking and incur in an additional cost: Mountain Biking, Sunset Cruise, Kayaking, Canopy Climbing, Sand Up Paddle board, Rainforest Tattoo.
Canopy Tower: A thirty minute walk from Refugio Amazonas leads to the 25 meter scaffolding canopy tower. A staircase running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms above. The tower has been built upon high ground, therefore increasing your horizon of the continuous primary forest extending out towards the Tambopata National Reserve. From here views of mixed species canopy flocks as well as toucans, macaws and raptors are likely.
Brazil Nut Trail: A few minutes hike from the lodge is a beautiful old growth patch of Brazil Nut forest that has been harvested for decades (if not centuries) where the precarious remains of a camp used two months a year by Brazil Nut gatherers can still be experienced. We will be demonstrating the whole process of the rain forest’s only sustainable harvested product from collection through.
Ethnobotanical Walk: Along this trail we will find a variety of plants and trees that are used by the local population with at least the same variety of purposes you will learn about the medicinal (and other) uses of Ajo-Sacha, Yuca de Venado, Uña de Gato, Charcot-Sacha, Para-Para, among several others.
You will have the option of hiking out at night, when most of the mammals are active but rarely seen.
Mammal Clay Lick: Twenty minutes walking from Refugio Amazonas is a peccary clay lick. These wild rain forest pigs show up in herds of five to twenty individuals to eat clay in the late morning. Other wildlife also shows up including deer, guan and parakeets. Chances of spotting them are low but well worth the short hike because we also will have fun camera traps that will help San Diego Zoo scientists obtain data that will answer questions about the density and movement patterns of large mammals in Tambopata. This project is part of the Wired Amazon. The Wired Amazon is a collection of science projects that combine technology and citizen science to help scientists answer important questions about Amazonian ecology.
Farm Visit: Five minutes down river from the lodge lies a farm owned and managed by charismatic Don Manuel from the neighbouring community of Condenado. He grows a variety of popular and unknown Amazon crops – just about every plant and tree you see serves a purpose. He has also identified and cultivated many of the medicinal plants used in the region in a little backyard garden.
Ox Bow Lake Visit: Paddle around the lake on a canoe or a catamaran, looking for lakeside wildlife such a hoatzin, caiman and horned screamers, hoping to see the otters which are infrequently seen here. You will also be rewarded with overhead sightings of macaws and parrots.
Retrace your river and road journey back to Puerto Maldonado. From Puerto Maldonado you will be transferred to the airport.