We recommend one of three adventure jungle lodges in the Tambopata National Reserve, offering expeditions of immersion in nature as well as a cultural adventure into the Peruvian Amazon, delivering a comprehensive encounter with the rainforest in Peru.
Ever dreamt of exploring deep into the Amazonian wilderness, well it isn’t so far fetched. Adventure-seekers everywhere have conquered mountains, explored the depths of the ocean, and maybe even backpacked across countries. But no bucket list is complete until the adventure traveler has trekked Peruvian Amazon jungle, watching scientists at work, combined with unexpected comfort and exciting discoveries. Having worked with these lodges for over 20 years, we offer the same rates as the lodges themselves…so if you like the following, let us know and we’ll make sure to get your nose pointed in the right direction.
After many explorations into the Amazon of Peru, we’ve narrowed our expert choices to the three of the top adventure lodges in the southern Amazon of Peru, each with its own unique character and benefits. If you’re tight on time, you don’t have to dive to ds deep in the Amazon jungle by staying at Posada Amazonas or Refugio Amazonas, or if you have 5 to 6 days to explore…definitely consider the Tambopata Research Center (“TRC”). Getting further into the Amazon isn’t just binoculars and birds (though you will witness the world’s most beautiful and rare birds), this is stepping foot in the Jaguar’s backyard. The latter two mentioned above, increase your chances of seeing this elusive animal in the wild. If you want to go all in, scroll down for our take on TRC.
Begin your expedition by flying into the Amazonian city of Puerto Maldonado in Southeastern Peru, where you will be met at the airport by one of our professional travel guides. The travel time for each lodge varies, an overnight at Posadas Amazonas or Refugio Amazonas is necessary to reach the Tambopata Research Center, as it’s a 7-hour boat ride to reach this specialty lodge. The minimum is a one-hour boat ride on the Tambopata river of the Amazon to reach the first of three…Posadas Amazonas.
Please know that we are recommending these lodges as local experts, you get the same prices booking through Class Adventure Travel as you would booking directly with the lodge…so please make sure to book your reservation with our team!
After an hour road trip and an additional hour boat ride, you will arrive at our first recommended adventure Amazon lodge, Posada Amazonas. The warm tiki-like atmosphere of the lodge is constructed entirely of traditional materials, containing an authentic straw thatched roof covering the hut, and wooden carvings handcrafted by community members. Choose from three unique suites, each exposing the wilderness for a full Amazon experience.
This lodge, in particular, is owned by the Ese Eja tribe of the native community of Infierno, Peru, while Rainforest Expeditions runs marketing and management — a partnership since 1996. Providing meaningful profit and full-time employment for the people of Ese Eja, staying in this lodge supports the conservation of indigenous land and culture. Posada Amazonas even offers Ese Eja Day, allowing tourists to experience a day in the life with community members, including activities such as piranha fishing, boating, and farming. If you’ve never seen a piranha up close…you’re going to love this!
Posada Amazonas allows guests to discover ancient indigenous heritage in-between wildlife observation and jungle activities.
The full list of activities includes:
- Jungle night walk
- Jungle farm visit
- Ethnobotanical walk
- Nature trail hike
- Canopy tower
- OxBow lake visit
- Parrot clay lick
Encounter wildlife you’ve never seen before, such as the vibrant macaw birds, red howler monkeys, and the oddest bird in the Amazon, the Hoatzin. And after a full day of exploring, relax in locally-made hammocks or indulge yourself by getting an Amazonian massage.
A bit of a longer expedition from Puerto Maldonado, you will arrive at Refugio Amazonas after a 40-minute drive followed by a relaxing three-hour boat ride upstream on the Tambopata river. Much like Posada Amazonas, you will be met by our specialist from the adventure Amazon lodge Refugio Amazonas, where each room contains welcoming hammocks, bed canopies, and mosquito nets opening up to the jungle.
This lodge serves as the headquarters to a Citizen Science program, Wired Amazon, an initiative that connects Refugio guests to the science and discovery of the Amazon Rainforest. Endless science discoveries make this lodge a perfect choice for families with its wide variety of kid-friendly science activities, including discovering new species you get to name yourself. The purpose of this lodge is recovering and bringing back to life the area surrounding the lodge.
Other included features you will find at Refugio Amazonas:
- Macaw and Parakeet Clay Lick
- 100 ft Canopy Tower
- Jungle Farm
- Sunset Cruise
- Oxbow Lake Visit
- Children’s Rainforest Trail
- Wellness Center
Although deeper into the Amazon than Posadas Amazonas, you’ll be getting a different experience at Refugio, with mixed adventures with a bit more diversities. Enjoy some of their Amazon massages with jungle ingredients after your excursions to promote relaxation and restoration.
The Best Experience — Tambopata Research Center
As one of the most remote lodges in South America, the Tambopata Research Center lies within the Tambopata National Reserve surrounded by the best wildlife the jungle has to offer.
Tambopata Research Center is headquarters for the ongoing Macaw Project, a long-term multidisciplinary study where researchers monitor and observe macaw nests, increase survival rates of young macaw chicks, document patterns of clay lick use, and understanding the impact of tourism on the birds. The project began in 1989 under Eduardo Nycander’s field direction with the goal of learning and understanding the basic ecology of large macaws to help with conservation. Dr. Donald Brightsmith took over the project in 1998 and has since become one of the world’s foremost study of wild macaws.
After an unforgettable stay at Refugio Amazonas, you will spend the morning on a four-hour boat ride to the highly anticipated Tambopata Research Center. The lodge is unique in that you have access to enormous clay licks filled with Macaws, you’ll cross paths with scientists involved in the Macaw Project, and your chances of crossing paths with Jaguars is increased substantially due to the distance traveled into the Tambopata Reserve. Keep in mind that to visit this lodge you’ll need to plan a minimum of 5 days, but we recommend 6 or 7 to allow for ample time to explore the reserve fully. We recommend staying with the Refugio Amazonas lodge on the way out for one night, as an overnight prior at one of the lodges is required, but it makes for an adventure as you delve further into the Amazon for an unforgettable comprehensive exploration of the region. Below are some videos of what we encountered on our Amazon adventure…we saw two Jaguars!