Posada Amazonas is the product of an ecotourism project between the native Infierno community and Rainforest Expeditions through an agreement that will last until 2019. The Amazon Lodge and the area is managed alongside the native community ensuring the high level of social responsibility for the Posada Amazonas.
As one of our favorite Peruvian Amazon Lodges, we caught up with Jesús Durán who is the Sales & Marketing community representative, to learn more about the Amazon and this amazing ecotourism project.
For the last 3 years, Jesús has been overseeing his department, attending national and international conferences and visiting agencies to provide staff training on the activities and experience that the Posada Amazonas Lodge offers its guests.
♦ What makes the Posada Amazonas Lodge different from others in the Amazon and Peru?
The Posada Amazonas Lodge is strategically located in a private conservation area belonging to the native Infierno community and is situated adjacent to the Tambopata National Reserve. Its location offers guests the opportunity to observe a well-preserved rainforest with lots of wildlife while enjoying comfortable accommodation, good food and excellent local guides who are mostly from the community. This link between the local native community and the Lodge will make your experience with us unforgettable! In addition to this we also provide a number of adventurous activities from kayaking on the Tambopata River and exploring mountain bike trails to climbing trees and much more.
♦ The Posada Amazonas Lodge takes its environmental responsibilities very seriously. How do you make your hotel sustainable?
Posada Amazonas is a prime example of successful sustainable tourism as the Lodge and the area in which it is located is owned by the native Infierno community. With the success and operations performed by the Lodge, the local community is directly employed and gains significant benefits.
The Lodge was the first in Tambopata that received verification and certification by the Rainforest Alliance for its environmental responsibility.
We try to make all our operations carried out in the Peruvian Amazon to be done so in harmony with nature and minimizing the contamination. To do this we use biodegradable cleaning supplies and disinfection and our fleet of boats are made from fiberglass so that no trees are cut down in the process. This ensures that animal habitats are left unharmed and to further reduce our impact, all our boats use 4-stroke engines which make less noise and consume less fuel. At the Lodge, we also have water gauges so that we can see how much water we consume in a month and we take our sustainability extremely seriously right down to the rechargeable batteries we use in our flashlights.
♦ How do you feel luxury accommodation compliments the Amazon experience?
Since we opened Posada Amazonas 18 years ago we have traveled the long journey to create sustainable luxury accommodation in the Amazon. Our luxury accommodation is an ideal option for those travelers who want to be in the middle of the Amazon, surrounded by nothing but nature while also being able to enjoy a massage after walking through the rainforest or a glass of champagne in a beautifully furnished room surrounded by just the sounds of nature.
♦ What is your stand-out Amazon memory?
My best memories are the forest itself, the diverse nature and to have shared part of my childhood with the indigenous Ese-Eja community. I would also add the present-day because with the Lodge we are now adding economic value to the Amazon rainforest with the Posada Amazonas not only becoming a place to stay but improving the quality of life of the native communities.
♦ What is the one activity or site you would recommend to people staying at your hotel?
From my experience, all the activities at Posada Amazonas are very good. The activities or places I would recommend very much depends on the profile of the traveler. For example, I would suggest different activities for guests who are solely interested in nature to those who are adventurers and first-time novices. What is important is that we are able to provide options for and guest related to their needs and interests.
♦ What advice would you give to travelers coming to the Amazon?
What I would say to them is that when they enter their houses or arrive in their home county, they share their experiences with friends, relatives and friends of friends. By doing this traveling to the Amazon will become more popular which will allow us to grow and accommodate more visitors, helping us protect the areas we operate in and ensure the survival and future of the animals and native communities in the Amazon.
♦ What do you see for the future of the Posada Amazonas Lodge and for tourism in the Amazon in general?
Tourism in the Amazon in Peru is growing. We believe and are sure that it will continue to grow but if we are not careful and we let the informal mining operations continue to grow, in a very short time we are going to face a real problem. I think the solution to this is that we begin to join up with tour operators, communities and the general public in order to give value to the Amazon and which only has positive impacts on the local populations. This method and approach is as we have found with the Posadas Amazonas Lodge, much more effective. With respect to Posada Amazonas we will continue to keep our Lodge as a flagship example of an ecotourism project and successful business model between a native community and private company.
♦ What is your most important task as the owner or representative of the Posada Amazonas Lodge?
My most important task is to make the Posada Amazonas known around the world and about its facilities, activities, the rainforest and biodiversity that is on offer. But beside that, to try and make Posada Amazonas generate sufficient financial resources in order to improve the quality of life for the local and native community.
♦ Please can you share with us a special story about the Amazon or the Posada Amazonas Lodge?
Rather than tell you about a Posada Amazonas experience, I’ll share one of the many Amazon legends. The Runa Mula is a married woman who has an affair with the priest. On the night of Tuesdays and Fridays, a small rider with a whip in hand and on a white mule goes to the house of the woman and casts a spell causing her to take the form of a beautiful white mule, the same that is mounted by a small rider.
People then knew once she had been transformed into a mule that she had been unfaithful or was having forbidden relationships.
The legend continues that the bravest people would pursue the mule and its rider, waiting to see which house he would visit and where he was going once he had finished casting the spell. The unfaithful that were found and had been transformed into mules, had to be brought before a good healer to cure her by baths and Ayahuasca sessions, releasing the spell that they had suffered due to their forbidden love affairs. Similar to this Amazon legend about punishments for adultery, there are many more and our guides know them all well and enjoy sharing them with our guests.