After the Inca Trail, we flew to Puerto Maldonado, deep in the lowlands of the Amazon Jungle. From there we went for about 3 hours on a motorised canoe to Refugio Lodge in the Tambopata Rainforest Area. The trip on the canoe was great. We got a lunch packed in banana leaves which was quite delicious and we already could enjoy some good bird sightings.
Upon arrival we had to walk through thick rainforest to get to the lodge. The rainforest was super muddy and wearing rubber boots was NOT a luxury. I left my hiking boots in Cuzco because they’d had their best times but now I regretted that a bit. At the lodge we were given gum boots. First thing we saw when we arrived at the lodge was a large bar area with loud tourists drinking big bottles of beers. Now I know that for many people this sounds like the perfect holiday spot, but for us it was a little bit of a disappointment. We expected a bit more peace and quiet… Our rooms were great though with only 3 walls so you could look straight in to the rainforest and listen to the animals.
At the lodge there was no electricity in the rooms but if you wanted to charge some batteries you could do that in the bar area. The rooms are all ensuite with flush toilets, showers (no hot water; you don’t need), kerosene lamps, individual beds with mosquito netting.
Dinners were served buffet style. Well, actually not realy served… The buffet opened at 7pm and you had to make sure to take a run at 6h55pm to make it in time to the buffet before it would be empty. It was really not our idea of having a nice, peaceful meal in nature… We adapted very quickly though and made sure to dish starter, main course and dessert all at the same time. Aj!
After dinner on the first night our guide took us for a little walk in the forest so we could see some night animals. There are about 1300 bird species in the area and 1200 butterfly species, just to name a few.
The morning was reserved for a longer excursion. Walking up a big look out tower, canoeing in one of many the ponds. Bit of a pity that after an hour of hiking I discovered my gumboot was leaking so I was walking around with 1 soaked foot. Didn’t even want to think about what was all soaking in my boot but you can imagine that I was not a happy chappy…Anyway, just keep going and don’t think about it.
After lunch it really started to rain like cats and dogs so we decided not to take part in the afternoon excursion. We loved the room and both wanted to read and relax. It was also the last day of our trip to Peru so it was good to stay in the afternoon and just reflect on all the wonderful experiences we had over the last 11 days. I would love to go back to the rainforest and stay in a lodge that’s a bit more intimate and take part in more excursions. We did see some awesome birds but our time was very short.