The Peruvian Amazon – An Adrenaline rush and a Culture crush!

For years, it has been my wish to travel to the Peruvian Amazon. I popped that into my bucket list, of course, not knowing when that trip would materialize. So far, somehow, although I returned to Peru several times, it was always to my hometown, Trujillo, and usually on to Machu Picchu. But THIS trip turned out to be different!

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Ooh, looks like we have company! Should we wait till they are directly below us?

 

I had a little friend along who motivated me to take her on an adventure trip to the Peruvian Amazon. Little 12 year old Pascale always dreamed of an adrenaline charged adventure vacation in just such a place. To go zip lining and rappelling were top most on HER list! (Well, honestly, that sort of adventure wasn’t something I’d like to rush into, I was too scared! But then, how COULD I refuse my dear little friend?!) So, with a deep sigh and a determined intake of breath, I set out to find a tour company that specializes in adventure tours. I searched the Internet and stumbled upon the Avatar Amazon Lodge and it seemed to fit the bill. Pascale and I signed up for a 4 day/3 night tour. There was no turning back now!

Peruvian Amazon Sloth

Pascale cuddling this beautiful sloth that, btw,I didn’t dare to touch! She was happy to pose for me while I kept my distance behind the camera..

The Journey

Traveling to the Amazon took a little longer than we expected. Our flight from Lima got delayed 5 times, so we had to spend the night in Iquitos, the  town closest  to the jungle. The following morning, at 8.30 AM, Luis Eduardo, the son of the owner of Avatar Amazon Lodge, picked us up from our hotel  and took us to the river to board a wooden boat that would transport us to what would be our home for the next few days.

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A relaxing boat ride up the vast Amazon river was our initiation into an Amazonian adventure.

 

On our way to the Lodge we made a short stop at a local farm where we got  to see some piranhas, turtles, pirarucu fish or paiche, parrots, macaws among other indigenous creatures….but I chose to keep my distance and look from far away,  ha-ha.. Omg, it was so scary feeding the pirarucu fish, I thought they were just about ready to eat one of us alive! I had my heart in my mouth….but at the same time, this was so exciting!

Paiche in the Amazon River

Pirarucu fish or Paiche. Huge, heavy and … scary! Photo via Google

 

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She has a monkey on her back! But this was a comfortably happy one. 🙂

The Lodge

Another hour of boating down the vast Amazon River finally brought us to the Lodge. Hmmm….not your typical city hotel, right? But If you’re looking for an opportunity to disconnect from the complicated chaos of the modern world and get as close to nature as you could possibly be, this is it. The Lodge limits the electricity from 6:00 PM to 11 PM, but that was fine with us, because we found time to make new friends, time to clear our heads, time to absorb and appreciate Mother Nature as she was intended to be…  something that we rarely get to do in the city.

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The Lodge in the dry season. When it rains, the stilts are submerged in water.

 

Like the many homes built in the area, the Lodge was built on stilts. A practical solution to prevent floods from reaching the main functioning areas. This so reminded me of the Countryside of Cambodia. It’s interesting, that even though these 2 countries are so far away from each other they both use the same principles to prevent floods from reaching their homes.

 

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What better way to wait for the next tour? Enjoying my Algarrobina and Pisco drink in anticipation of the next Amazonian experience.

The Yaguas – an indigenous Amazon tribe

The Amazon river is surrounded by many indigenous communities. Many of them have contact with the new world. However, there are other tribes that live in remote areas of the Amazon rainforest. Our guide, Marcos, informed us that those who tried to have contact with them, never come back alive. With that being said, sending shivers down our spines, we decided it was best to follow the itinerary!  The Yaguas are a small community of 12 families who live just minutes away by foot from our Lodge, and visiting them was thankfully part of our tour. They can be distinguished by their garb of grass skirts and were well known for their skills with the blowgun. Thank goodness, the Yaguas we met were friendly!

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Pascale with the head of the Yaguas. Her sign language skills were good! She was able to get them to let her borrow a skirt and necklace for this pic!

The Adrenaline rush….

True, it was Pascale’s idea to go zip lining and rappelling in the jungle, but you know what? I was absolutely thrilled to my very nerves by this adrenaline adventure! These activities obviously involved getting to the the topmost point to rappel our way down…. and man, the view! That view was to die for!! Even if your bravado gives way and you skip the adventure, just being up there makes your trip worth it!  But come on… If you already made it to the top, you can’t go down without trying one of the adrenaline activities right?

Rappelling, ziplining and canopy in the Peruvian Amazon

“Er….should I? That looks a long way down!” (Pascale having second thoughts about rappelling, lol…)

 

Here’s some rappelling 101 – Don’t look down! I was soooo frightened as I started going down, but strangely, being among the trees suddenly filled me with peace and calm. I was in a different world, a mind blowing experience (and yes, I’d do it again!) It was priceless!

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Don’t be fooled by that happy look on my face! I was scared s**tless..at least initially…

 

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Ok! This is actually FUN!

 

Zip lining and rappelling were pretty frightening for me….but crossing over on the hanging bridge was terrifying! Here was I clinging onto the ropes for dear life, and there was Pascale at the other end telling me the worst was not over. Nope, that did not help, and I tell you, I’m so thankful I crossed over safely! Uff I’m glad that feeling is over.

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I can’t believe I was smiling as I tried to cross over on this hanging bridge. I was actually wondering if I should keep going or turn back, silently praying to God to give me a second chance…..

 

Sure, I felt such a wimp as I started out on this trip…but truth to tell, I ended up enjoying every second! I can hardly wait to go back and experience this tour again. That adrenaline is addictive.

If you’d like more detailed information on all our activities on this tour,  please click here.

Who would enjoy this Lodge?

This Lodge is the perfect place for nature lovers, adrenaline junkies and certainly the right place to disconnect from everyday chaos and connect to one’s self. Although the accommodations are basic, the organized activities and hospitality make for an amazing jungle experience.

Would I recommend this Lodge?

Without a second thought! And, I’m already looking forward to going back. January 2017 on, the Lodge is expanding their park with building an 800 meter hanging bridge. Whew! What a view THAT will afford!  Apart from the park, the cultural and fun activities planned was a big plus.

Also, I’ve been traveling to Peru as a tourist for many years and the service here is top notch. The owners to the kitchen staff and everyone in between have been well trained to make every guest feel important. I can honestly say that we were made to feel special and were treated like royalty.

Lodge Information

Name: Avatar Amazon Lodge

Website: http://avataramazonlodge.com

Rates: 3N/4D rates begin at USD 380/person

 

Disclaimer: I was invited by Avatar Amazon Lodge to spend a few nights at their Lodge. However, my recommendation comes from the amazing time I had during my stay!
Carmen Anderson
Hi! I'm Carmen and I'm obsessed with boutique hotels, scuba diving and yoga. When I'm not writing about my travel experiences, I hang out on social media....a little, oh, alright, a LOT! Connect with me if you like traveling, yoga or scuba diving.

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