>  Adventure   >  The Peruvian Amazon-Experiencing Nature at Close Quarters

We were reminded of the Guns N Roses hit song ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ as we checked out of our hotel in Peru’s historical town of Cuzco where we had stayed acclimatized to its thin air at 11000 feet and the mild June temperatures of 5C -20 C while taking in the brilliant sights, sites, colors & vibrancy of this charming Peruvian city. 

A scintillating 3-week trip in May/June 2019 took us to fascinating Rio, the awesome Iguazu falls, the amazing glaciers of El Calafate in Argentina’s Patagonia, the elegance of Buenos Aires, wine tasting in Chile’s Colchagua valley & the trek to that timeless wonder, Machu Pichu was almost nearing its end. The Peruvian Amazon was meant to provide the climax of our journey through Latin America and the thought of getting there surely brought in an adrenaline rush with our imagination running wild at the prospect of spending 4 days in the world’s largest and most bio diverse rain forest.

As our flight took off from Cuzco’s Alejandro Velasco Astete airport for Punto Muldanado Padre Altami airport, the gateway city to the Peruvian Amazon the thrill of giving ourselves half a chance to encounter the famed Anaconda, Piranhas & the Jaguar while hiking in the rain forest crossed our minds and further enhanced our excitement of a peek into the Amazon wilderness. A little over 3 hours post our arrival and after a combo of a drive on dust ridden bumpy roads and a boat ride up the Tambopata River we checked into the rustic-chic Posada Amazanos, an eco-lodge with 30 rooms located deep inside the rain forest adjacent to the Tambopata national reserve.

Prior to our departure from India while our friends were familiar with the destinations on our itinerary a common question posed was “why are you visiting the Peruvian Amazon “? Did some of them think Cannibals could eat us alive or an Anaconda could grasp one of us in a tight embrace or would the Piranhas enjoy a good “Indian” meal? We soon realized their fears were unfounded as we made the Amazon and its pristine surroundings best described as “rugged, eerie, raw, emotional, sensual “our home for 4 days and fell in love with her people who stole our hearts.

Our solar powered comfortable lodge was our first experience of staying in a room sans a window and open to the vagaries of nature, its elements & strange sounds. The cuisine served was tasty Peruvian mixed with Asian flavors and the bar was always well stocked. The lodge is owned by the Ese Ejas tribe, the native community of Infierno who for generations have nurtured the land and respected the rain forest. The longest river in the world cuts across 9 countries on the continent of South America, extends to half of Peru and is home to the highest number of mammals and birds on this planet.

Among the many activities arranged by the lodge our faves were the catamaran ride on the tranquil Tres Chimbadas oxbow lake to spot the endangered giant river otters, Caimans, hoatzins & horned screamers. To watch the colorful spectacle of macaws and parrots clinging to the mineral rich red clay cliff, the treks in the forest amongst tall giant Celba trees with our guide Javier identifying the flora & fauna, climbing the 300 steps of the scaffolding canopy for a bird’s eye view of the rain forest, an opportunity to see Toucans, howler monkeys and night walks to look for nocturnal amazon species which include colorful frogs, snakes, insects, mammals, and the cayman crocodile was simply amazing.

It was truly a treat interacting with Shaman, the “local doctor” who explained the use of nature’s bounty to cure any ailment. Interestingly, Shamanism continues to play a large role in harnessing the healing power of medicinal plants while performing rituals in a land still bereft of doctors, hospitals and pharmacies which we city dwellers take for granted.

As all good things must come to an end, with a heavy heart and a lump in our throats we bid “Adios Amigos“ to the many new acquaintances and made our way down the Tampbota river to Punta Muldanado airport for our flight to Peru’s capital Lima leaving behind the mighty Amazon, the rain forest, her people and lifelong memories of a land where time does stand still.

Good time to visit – May-October
Gateway cities for international flights- Lima & Cuzco
Languages spoken- Spanish & English (guides & hotel staff)
Temperature- Low- 16-18 C and High-26-30 C. Do prepare for humid conditions
Visa for Indians- If you possess a US and/or UK visa and are able to show proof of visiting these countries on the visa prior to your arrival in Peru the immigration officer will stamp your passport and permit you to enter (Please check the guidelines prior to travel as the rules are subject to change)

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