Exploring the Best Amazon Lodges in Peru

Rainforest Retreats: Exploring the Best Amazon Lodges in Peru

Visit the Amazon in Peru

Peru’s Amazon basin, particularly the enchanting Tambopata region, is home to some of the world’s most spectacular and diverse ecosystems. It lies at the heart of the Amazon Basin, encompassing a part of the vast and biologically rich tropical rainforest. If you are thinking about going into the jungle, then you can read about visiting the Amazon in Peru to get all the information you need. Here you will find some of the best Amazon lodges in Peru so you can book your dream trip to the Amazon.

The region’s combination of natural wonders and cultural heritage makes it a unique and captivating destination for those seeking an authentic Amazonian experience. Whether it’s for birdwatching, jungle trekking, or cultural immersion, Tambopata offers an unparalleled window into the beauty and complexity of the Peruvian Amazon.

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Don’t have time to read the whole article? No worries! If you want the best experience, then I recommend splurging, going for longer and further and staying at Tambopata Research Center.

I reached out to a few travel bloggers who shared their favorite places that they recommend. So, check out a list of a few of the best Amazon lodges in Peru. We’ll include how to get there, amenities, things to do, their sustainability impact and why they recommend it. With proper planning, you’ll be able to choose the best lodge for your visit to the Amazon in Peru.

Refugio Amazonas

Refugio Amazonas

The Refugio Amazonas Eco-lodge is part of the Wired Amazon program allowing for the promotion of sustainability through its collection of citizen science projects. These projects focus on studying and preserving the Amazon and allows guests to help scientists with their data collection. 

Journey on River

A 1 hour road trip from Puerto Maldonado followed by a 1 hour boat trip on the Tambopata River will land you at Refugio Amazonas.

The rooms here have an open wall facing the Amazon rainforest – so either you wake up to the jungle sounds in the morning or you do not get out of bed in the middle of the night because of the jungle sounds. That’s what happened to me more than once!

Refugio Room

The lodges have electricity in common areas three times a day now (when I went it was only one time during the day, so that’s progress). There is WiFi, albeit unstable, provided by satellite. I’m pretty sure if you traveled all the way to the Amazon, you would probably be okay for a few days with limited ‘access’ to the outside world.

Your room will have a bed with a mosquito net, private bathroom with hot water, eco-friendly toiletries, a safe, hammock and more amenities.

Room rates include all land and river transportation to/from Puerto Maldonado to the lodge, guided activities in group, all meals, and accommodations.

The lodge offers many activities to keep you busy while staying there, including visiting Oxbow Lake, birdwatching, jungle farm visit, sunset cruise and jungle mountain biking. You also have the ability to visit a mammal clay lick, parakeet clay lick and the Chunco macaw clay lick.

Refugio Amazonas - Canopy Tower

The best activity to do here is going up the canopy tour. It starts with a thirty minute walk that ends at a 25-meter scaffolding canopy tower. The tower offers views of the primary forest extending out towards the Tambopata National Reserve that can not be beat. The chances of seeing toucans, macaws and raptors are very high. When I visited, we went up the tower and watched the sunrise from atop. That was an experience that can never be replaced!

Tambopata Research Center (TRC)

Best Amazon Lodges in Peru

The Tambopata Research Center (TRC) was created before Tambopata officially became a reserve in 1996 – so staying there is as remote as it gets! It is in a protected area known for its family Tambopata Macaw Project and the Chuncho Clay Lick. TRC is a research station dedicated to the study and conservation of the Amazon rainforest and its biodiversity. Scientists and researchers from around the world come here to conduct studies on various aspects of the rainforest’s flora and fauna, including wildlife, plant species, and ecological processes.

TRC operates as an ecotourism lodge, not a hotel. This ecotourism aspect helps generate funds for conservation efforts and supports the ongoing research conducted at the center.  This remote outpost immerses you in the heart of the rainforest, surrounded by towering trees and a symphony of wildlife. This lodge is ideal for nature lovers, photographers, and bird specialists.

The journey to TRC from Puerto Maldonado typically involves a combination of boat and trekking through the Amazon rainforest. The boat ride itself takes several hours, and the exact time can vary depending on river conditions.

Like in Refugio Amazonas, the rooms have an ‘open wall’ where you face the rainforest and can hear the sounds of the jungle while in your room. The rooms are 3 meters away from the forest and 1.5 meters above the ground.Your room will also include mosquito nets, private bathroom, eco-friendly toiletries and a safe for your belongings. 

TRC Room

The lodge has intermittent WiFi and electricity in the common areas, available three times per day. The rates include all land and river transportation, guided activities in small groups, all meals, and accommodations.

Mealy Parrots by Jeff Cremer for Rainforest Expeditions
Mealy Parrots by Jeff Cremer for Rainforest Expeditions

TRC offers many activities to keep you engaged while staying there, including birdwatching, exploring the many trails, canopy walks, jungle night walks, sunset cruise and searching for wildlife. You also have the ability to visit the Chunco or Colorado Macaw Clay Licks. 

This was truly the best part of my whole trip to Peru. It was an absolutely amazing experience to be that deep into the rainforest and see the birds, mammals and other creatures that inhabited this beautiful area. If you have any fears, this is definitely the place to face them. It was a little daunting to have a whole wall ‘missing’ and in the middle of the night when you hear ‘noises’ outside your room…you just close your eyes and pretend you didn’t hear anything.

TRC Canopy Walk

Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica

As experienced by Jenny, Seeking Stamps

As one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, it’s no wonder that tourists want to explore the Amazon jungle in Peru.  While visiting the Amazon, there are a variety of ecolodges that offer diverse amenities and jungle experiences. If you are planning a trip to the Peruvian Amazon, consider staying at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica. I recently had the pleasure of staying at the Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica and will share the highlights of the property so you can decide whether it is the right ecolodge for you. 

To reach the Amazon you can take a 25 minute flight from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado, which borders Bolivia and Brazil.  From the city center, it takes approximately 45 minutes by boat to travel from the dock in Puerto Maldonado and down the Madres de Dios River to Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica. 

The Inkaterra property is nestled among an expansive 42,000 acre private ecological reserve. The setting deep in the jungle and perched along the river banks gives it an immersive feeling. Each wooden cabana has a thatched roof, en suite bathroom, and relaxing hammock.We opted for the 840 square foot Tambopata Suite that boasts a king-sized bed and private plunge pool.

Inkaterra Reserva Amazonas

Once you arrive, it’s time to explore some of the amenities of Inkaterra. Importantly, a stay at Inkaterra is an all-inclusive experience. From airport pick-up, tours, English speaking guides, gourmet meals, and accommodations- everything is included. In addition, Inkaterra has a full service spa and large communal dining area with a full bar.

Capybaras by Paul Bertner for Rainforest
Capybara by Paul Bertner for Rainforest Expeditions

During your stay you have the opportunity to participate in all types of jungle activities. Explore canopy tours high above the jungle floor, piranha fishing, trekking through the Tambopata National Reserve, and more. We opted for the 4 day, three night program which felt like enough time to see the highlights of the area.

Known as the gateway to the Amazon jungle, Puerto Maldonado lies within Tambopata National Reserve which offers a vast array of flora and fauna. During our visit we saw a multitude of animals including caiman, tarantulas, snakes, capybara, birds, and endangered river otters.

In addition to the thrilling tours, one cool feature of this Inkaterra property is their commitment to sustainability. Every evening, they save electricity by turning off the power throughout the property. Not only is it great for the environment, but it adds to the ambiance as you are surrounded by candlelight and the sounds of the jungle. 

Overall, I highly  recommended Inkaterra for its superb amenities, diverse tours, and stunning location. Although a stay at Inkaterra is pricey, we felt it was worth every penny. As you can see, Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica is one of the best places to stay if you are looking for accommodations with rustic-luxury in the Amazon rainforest.

Sandoval Lake Lodge

As experienced by Eleanor of Elevate Your Escapes

Sandoval Lake Lodge is a beautiful Amazonian eco-lodge, accessed only through Tambopata Nature Reserve. The amount of guests allowed at one time is very limited. Once at Tambopata Nature Reserve, you walk about an hour through the natural preserve, seeing many different animals and plants along the way. Following the walk, you then board a paddle boat, for a ride across Sandoval Lake to your breathtakingly secluded jungle accommodations.

Sandoval Lake Lodge is secluded, so untouched, and you get to experience the real natural beauty of the area. Visitors will see otters, sloths, monkeys, caiman, tarantulas, different types of birds and more. If you follow the tour of the lodge, you’ll go out on easy hikes during both the day and at night. You’ll also likely go on a paddle boat in the lake very early in the morning near sunrise and at sunset to see animals when they are out and interacting most. We got to see a family of otters fight a caiman. They are tough!

Giant River Otter by Paul Bertner for Rainforest Expeditions
Giant River Otter by Paul Bertner for Rainforest Expeditions

The lodge has a beautiful great room that has dedicated areas for hammocks, lounging, dining, and a bar. The home cooked food here is incredible, and the staff is fantastic all-around. Electricity is limited at the eco lodges, and only turns on for a few hours a day.

A flashlight is a good idea, too, though you can use the light on your phone. Also bring a book or magazine to read – there is no wifi or cell service deep in the jungle.

Sandoval Lake Lodge

Make sure you download your FREE Amazon Rainforest Packing List below, to ensure you have everything you need for your trip to the Amazon. (You’ll also be subscribing to my newsletter)

In conclusion, when it comes to exploring the incredible biodiversity and pristine beauty of the Amazon rainforest in Peru, selecting the best Amazon lodges in Peru is crucial for an unforgettable experience.

I’ve provided a few recommended options, but with a multitude of options to choose from, each offering unique experiences and opportunities to connect with nature, it’s essential to consider what matters most to you. So, embark on this extraordinary journey, make an informed decision, and let the enchanting wonders of the Amazon rainforest leave an unforgettable mark on your soul.

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