Rainforest Expeditions has three luxury lodges, that are located deep in the jungle around the Tambopata River in Peru. Refugio Amazonas is a place where luxury and nature come together in a beautiful way, including great attention to detail and service. You go out several times a day to experience the jungle in its purest form: You go for walks, sail on the Tambopata River, discover plants and trees, look for animals, birds and insects and become familiar with countless jungle sounds. The professional guides show you all corners of the Amazon rainforest in Peru. In this article I will take you to Refugio Amazonas jungle lodge and tell you more about Rainforest Expeditions, the activities, and what you can expect from life in the jungle in Peru.
The Tambopata National Reserve is located in the province of Tambopata in southeastern Peru and consists of 274,690 hectares of nature. Because Tambopata is a remote and protected area, you will find a very large biodiversity. Many consider Tambopata to be one of the most biodiverse places on Earth! Numerous plants and animals have been recorded, including 1,200 species of butterflies, 600 species of birds, 100 species of mammals, 180 species of fish, 100 species of reptiles and more than 1,200 trees and plants. It is incredibly special to spend time here! The city of Puerto Maldonado is the gateway to an adventure in the jungle, about which more at the bottom of this article.
The journey to Refugio Amazonas jungle lodge in Peru
From the Rainforest Expeditions headquarters in the jungle city of Puerto Maldonado, you will travel by bus to the small community of Filadelfia, in about one and a half hour. Here you board a boat and sail to Refugio Amazonas jungle lodge Peru. The trip takes 1.5 hours, but as there is a big chance of already seeing many caimans, monkeys, turtles, capybaras and birds on the way, you will stop several times to take pictures and get familiar with the beauty of the Amazon rainforest in Tambopata Peru. And I can tell you, this is a great beginning of your Amazon experience.
Refugio Amazonas jungle lodge
From the Tambopata River, a staircase leads up, which turns into a jungle path. It is a 15-minute walk to the Refugio Amazonas lodge. Quite a distance, but as you are in the Amazon rainforest of Peru, there is absolutely nothing to complain. Besides that, you really only have to walk and enjoy: The trails are easy and your luggage will be carried for you.
And then suddenly out of nowhere Refugio Amazonas appears. This jungle lodge is made entirely of wood and, just like Posada Amazonas, the other lodge of Rainforest Expeditions, beautifully located!
Introduction Refugio Amazonas
Upon arrival, after a welcome drink, a first briefing follows. We understand that all rooms are open to the outside. This is to experience nature in its purest form. Ah, I didn’t quite realize this. But they tell us to not worry. Animals don’t come in, except for a frog maybe. At least, if you don’t leave food in the room. Otherwise there is a big chance of encountering a opossums, something you don’t want to happen, according the staff. You therefore have to put all your possible food in a specially developed safe. Besides that, there is also a mosquito net to keep the insects at an appropriate distance.
Since nature and sustainability play an important role for Rainforest Expeditions, energy is used efficiently and economically. So there are specific hours with power.Hot water is available 24 hours a day though. Electricity, internet, hot water: I can’t believe the amount of luxury in the jungle.
The rooms – Refugio Amazonas jungle lodge
Refugio Amazonas has 32 rooms, connected by long walkways, the same concept as Posada Amazonas. The entire complex is also located a few meters above the jungle because of the water that gets high in the rainy season. The rooms at Refugios Amazonas are spacious and unique because of the open sides. Quite a bit exciting but after one night you are used to it and appreciate it even more.
The beds are large and just wonderful. The bathroom is also spacious with a nice shower, including hot water and bathrobes. In addition, a number of rooms have a sitting area and a lovely hammock. It is special that you can spend the night in such a luxurious way in nature.
Tip: Make sure to use your mosquito net. At the end of the day, you will observe insects that you have never seen before.
Kids alert: I don’t have children myself, but it is good to know that Refugio Amazonas has many corners, including a small playground for kids. In a very nice and relaxed way, without bothering other guests. There are also special activities, focused on families with children.
Food & Beverages
Every morning, afternoon and evening there is an extensive buffet in the restaurant of Refugio Amazonas. Fresh and local products are used and everything is taken care of. Also, many typical Peruvian ingredients such as yucca, potatoes, quinoa and tropical fruits are part of the menu. Lunch and dinner are served at set times. Breakfast time is something you discuss with your guide and is different every day, depending on your schedule. Yes, also at 5 am in the morning.
There is coffee and tea available 24 hours and a jar of Brazilian nuts, which grow in the area. Including an extensive fruit buffet, where you can always grab fruit for on the road. In addition, there are fresh juices and cake ready for you after every morning activity.
Tip: Don’t forget to have a drink at the bar. The bartender prepares delicious cocktails: From drinks made with fruits from the Amazon to Peruvian pisco sours and coca sour, made from coca leaves.
Activities at Refugio Amazonas jungle lodge
All activities are included during your stay. And every day you discuss your program for the next day with your guide. Programs are fully customized and only in small groups. Sometimes you go out with several groups, but you always have your own guide with you. There is a morning program, which starts early, sometimes at 5 am, sometimes at 8 am. After lunch there is time for a short siesta (and yes, you really want to take this one), followed by an afternoon program. And in the evening you definitely want to go for a night walk. Keep in mind that programs are intense but trust me, you don’t want to miss anything here. This is an overview with the most beautiful excursions at Refugio Amazonas.
In Tambopata National Park you will find one of the very best clay licks: the Colorado Clay Lick. Every morning hundreds of macaws, parrots and parakeets gather to lick clay on this 100-meter long wall. They do this because of the minerals in the clay and the social aspect: Looking for a new partner. This is really an incredible phenomenon to observe, especially in the summer months. That’s when the parrots are most active, because the mating season is about to start.
It is interesting to see that there is a recurring ritual for the parrots. First, the birds gather in the trees, which goes together with a deafening sound. This is to see if it is safe to move on. The small parrots settle on the wall first, followed by the large parrots. It is all convenient to observe from the beach on the other side of the river. The guides tell you about the species and the colored parrots can be admired from very close through the telephoto lens.
Please note that you will depart at 4:30 am this morning, as the clay lick is located 1.5 hours by boat, deep in the Tambopata National Park in Peru. You have breakfast on the beach, with a view of the clay lick. So lovely! It is dark and chilly when you leave, so bring warm clothing with you. It is special to see the jungle slowly wake up.
Combine your trip with a stay in Tambopata Research Center
If you plan to combine your jungle experience with a stay at Tambopata Research Center,one of the other lodges of Rainforest Expeditions, in Peru, then after your visit to the clay lick you can go straight to Tambopata Research Center. This saves you travel time, because Tambopata Research Center is located even deeper in the National Park. Rainforest Expeditions will arrange everything for you. In the next article you can read more about my stay at Tambopata Research Center Peru.
Rainforest canopy tower
From Refugio Amazonas it is a short 30-minute walk to El Mirador, a canopy tower of 25 meters, located in the middle of the Amazon rainforest in Tambopata Peru. And often a visit is planned immediately upon arrival on day 1, as it is a great way to get an overview of the amazing area you are in. From the top you enjoy wonderful views, while you look out over the treetops of the jungle and the Tambopata River, which meanders through it. Everywhere you look, you see birds in the treetops and with the guide’s telephoto lens you can even observe the most beautiful toucans and parrots up close.
At the end of the day, the colors become magical. And also a visit early in the morning is recommended. Take in the jungle sounds and take your time, because you can be here for hours.
Do you want to feel like a real investigator? At Refugio Amazonas you can go out with the researchers from Wired Amazone. This team of scientists is engaged in different studies, including mapping the number of jaguars living in the area. By placing cameras, the animals can be observed. It is interesting to learn that most jaguars walk on the same trails, as we as visitors do. You just need to be very lucky of actually seeing them.
Together with the scientists, you collect the data of the already installed cameras, and you install a new camera yourself. We learn that a trail where several trails meet, is often the best place. So that is where you should place your camera (what I of course did myself). And after a few weeks you will receive the footage by email. How cool is thatt! Many camera images are also shown in the lodge above the bar.
Are you curious about Wired Amazon’s projects? Be sure to check out the Wired Amazone website for more information.
Mammal clay lick
A 20-minute walk from Refugio Amazonas you will find the mammal clay lick, a wall where animals often come together to lick clay and absorb the minerals. The fact that animals really come here, can be seen from the countless videos of the guides. The chance of seeing animals is therefore high, but of course not guaranteed. Anyway, it is nice to take a seat in the little shelter, look through the holes and be aware of your surroundings.
But only the walk to get there, is already worth it. Guide Jarridson showed us so many different trees, mushrooms, insects, plant species and birds. The guides know exactly how to call the birds, by playing with similar bird sounds. You have to be patient but wow, the result is unbelievable. Never before have I seen so many birds in a short amount of time: From nocturnal birds, the potoo bird, to toucans, macaws, the casanova, hummingbirds, woodpeckers and the musician.
Do you want to relax after all the activities? Refugio Amazonas jungle lodge Peru offers different massages. There is nothing nicer that taking some time to relax after all the impressions of the day.
Overlook-trail – Amazon rainforest Peru
Every activity from Refugio Amazonas is worth it, because you never know what you will encounter along the way. Are you looking for a macaw? Then you suddenly see a sloth in the tree. Are you going to a place to learn more about medicinal plants? Then you suddenly come face to face with monkeys. Hiking through the Amazon rainforest of Peru is something you can’t do often enough. To enjoy the beautiful surroundings and take in the jungle sounds.
There are several trails around Refugio Amazonas. One of my personal favorite trails is the overlook trail. Here you will get to know different types of jungle vegetation and enjoy countless views of the Tambopata River.
It is moments like these that makes you realize what the value of a good guide is. The Rainforest Expeditions guides have the very best eyes and knowledge. Make sure you go join all the opportunities and get the maximum out of your stay.
Night walk + glow in the dark worms
In the jungle you should never touch a plant or tree. But after a night walk, you don’t even dare to do this anymore. In the evening you see the most fascinating, yet somewhat scary insects on trees, underneath leaves and on twigs. You wonder where these creatures stay during the day. From Refugio Amazonas, you go out in the evening almost every day. And really, it is worth it every single time.
We were able to observe countless frogs, spiders including the tarantula with pink feet, stick insects, snakes and insects of which I do not know the name. Moreover, guide Jarridson showed us a very special phenomenon, glow in the dark worms. A wall from which countless fluorescent worms crawl out in the dark. And the fascinating thing is that there is no way of seeing the worms when it is light. These worms give light to attract insects: Delicious meals for them. You keep being surprised during these Amazon Rainforest trips in Peru.
Lectures and exhibition space
On the second floor of Refugio Amazonas, you will find a space, that focuses on butterflies and insects. There are information boards and all kinds of butterflies that you can observe with a microscope. Moreover, in the evening the real insects fly around you, because they are attracted to the light. In addition, every evening at 6:30 pm, a lecture, takes place, given by the scientists of Wired Amazon. It is truly nice to attend these lectures and gain some extra knowledge during your stay. Subjects range from jaguars to insects and monkeys.
Guides Rainforest Expeditions
It will not surprise you when I tell you, that a good and professional guide is important when you are in the Amazon rainforest of Peru. And over the years, I have been on the road with many great and mediocre guides. But with Rainforest Expeditions you really realize what a great guide means.
At Refugio Amazonas I was lucky enough to go on expedition with Jarridson. Unbelievable how patient he is. Jarridson showed us the most beautiful birds. And when they flew away, he managed to find them every time over and over again. For minutes we marveled at the colors of the birds and listened to their sounds. The musician, the casanova: We became acquainted with countless species. We also were able to see some nocturnal birds. Later, when we spoke with other guides, we realized the uniqueness of this
The great thing is that all guides here, are true nature lovers and still excited about what they find. Something that makes your experience extra special. The Rainforest Expeditions guides really show you all corners of the jungle in Tambopata Peru, and more than that.
How long do you want to stay at Refugio Amazonas jungle lodge
Depending on your budget and time, I would recommend staying at Refugio Amazonas for a minimum of 2 and ideally 3 nights. On the first day you leave around 2 pm from Puerto Maldonado to Refugio Amazonas jungle lodge Peru. You get a simple but tasty lunch on the boat and on arrival you immediately set out for a first introductory walk and sunset moment.
On day 1 and/or 2 you have plenty of time to discover the Amazon rainforest in Peru by going on different activities. On the last day, you can opt for an early morning excursion before returning to Puerto Maldonado. To catch your flight or continue your overland adventures.
It is recommended to leave your large luggage at the Rainforest Expeditions office and only travel with small luggage. Do you want to know what to take with you during an Amazon rainforest trip in Peru? In the next article you will find an extensive packing list. It is good to know that there is also a small shop at the Rainforest Expeditions office for your last purchases.
Are you planning to visit the Amazon in Colombia as well? Then you want to spend the night at Calanoa Amazonas jungle lodge. This boutique hotel is on the Condé Nast list of the most beautiful hotels and that is for a good reason. In the next article I will tell you more about my experiences at Calanoa Amazonas jungle lodge and give you tips for your visit to the Amazon of Colombia.
How to reach Refugio Amazonas
From the Rainforest Expeditions headquarters in Puerto Maldonado, you will travel by bus to the small community of Filadelfia, in about one and a half hour. Here you board a boat and sail to Refugio Amazonas jungle lodge of Peru. Puerto Maldonado is the capital of the Madre de Dios department. There are daily flights from Lima and Cuzco to Puerto Maldonado.
Puerto Maldonado can also be reached by land from Cuzco, but this is a long road with a lot of bumps. So the question is whether you want to go for this option.
More about Rainforest Expeditions
Rainforest Expeditions is a Peruvian travel company, committed to sustainable tourism. The conservation of the tropical rainforest plays a leading role. In addition, local communities are involved in their protection and care. Rainforest Expeditions has three lodges in and around the Tambopata National Park, each with its own atmosphere and character. Refugio Amazonas and Tambopata Research Center, also serve as a major research institute, Wired Amazon, where scientists and researchers are active in the field of wildlife. With your visit you contribute to the projects and researches of Rainforest Expeditions and this has a direct impact on the local indigenous population.
Want to read more about Rainforest Expeditions? Have a look at the website and follow them on instagram and facebook. Curious about a stay at Refugio Amazonas jungle lodge Tambopata Peru? You can find the availability and latest rates here. Make sure to also read my reviews about jungle lodge Posada Amazonas and Tambopata Research Center, which is located deep in the Tambopata National Park of Peru. So you can choose your perfect jungle adventure.
Are you looking for useful tips for your stay in the Amazon rainforest of Tambopata Peru? In the next article you will find everything you want to know.
More about Peru
Do you want to discover more of peru? Check out my city guide with the things to do in Lima and experience the city the best way! Are you planning to visit Cusco? Don’t forget to check out the best restaurants & cafes in Cusco and Cusco’s coolest places to shop. For all articles about Peru, have a look in the Peru archive.
Disclaimer: I was invited to stay at Refugio Amazonas jungle lodge Tambopata Peru but this review is based on my personal view and is independent from the invitation.
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