08 Dec Amazon Trip in Peru. Is it worth it?
When we decided to travel to Peru and to change our initial plans to include an Amazon Trip in Peru, we started by searching for information in various forums and blogs. Despite all that reading, one question remained unanswered: is it worth it? So let us answer this question now that we have made that trip. There are some thoughts and experiences that are difficult to be captured on paper. And although we don’t write this article on paper, it captures a sense from another era; a touch from another world. A trip to the Amazon makes you realize how something that seems so far away can be so “close” to you, so important to you. Keep reading as we try to share with you all our exciting experiences from that journey!
So let’s go!
Let us share some information about the Amazon.
Before getting ready for an Amazon Trip in Peru, it is good to know that the Amazon rainforest is the largest in the world! It covers 40% of Latin America and crosses 9 countries. The biggest part of the Amazon is spread over Brazil and Peru. Keep in mind that you can experience the Amazon on a jungle tour in Ecuador too! Our trip was in the Peruvian Amazon. The Amazon River is by far the world’s largest river in terms of water volume; it certainly has over 1,000 tributaries! It is estimated that the Amazon rainforest produces 37 % of the earth’s oxygen. The species of animals and vegetation that live there are innumerable. To date, there are also tribes (mainly in the Brazilian part) that have no contact with “the outside world”. And who knows how many more we still don’t know about the Amazon! What we know for sure is that, when you are there, you undoubtedly feel the “majesty” of nature!
After hiking to Machu Picchu, we set sail for another adventure. We took a plane from Lima and landed at Iquitos. This city was the beginning of our adventure and the beginning of an unforgettable Amazon trip in Peru. I still remember the excitement we felt before we land, when we saw from my window seat the vast forest and the Amazon river, that looked like a giant snake. Once we disembarked, we instantly felt heat and humidity prickling our faces. It was at that moment when we realized where we were! Our Amazon Trip in Peru was about to begin. The taxi driver we had arranged was waiting for us at the arrivals. Of course, our taxi was a tricycle! A scene that reminded us a bit of India. We were sweating and smiling like 5-year-old children. The same goes for our driver and, although he did not speak a word in English, our communication was impeccable!
Read also: How much does a trip to Peru cost?
We did our check-in at the hotel, where we were going to spend the night, and we poured out into Iquitos. The extraordinary thing about this city is that it is surrounded by water! The town is not accessible by road, so you can only reach it by boat or plane. It’s not a small town (it has almost 500,000 inhabitants), but it gives you the feeling of a small town. A few vehicles, like tricycles, dominated the streets, there were shops of all kinds, stalls selling souvenirs to snacks and endless mosquitoes! The sunset found us staring at the sun, sinking into the Amazon River, with an old, abandoned cruise ship in the background. The next day our adventure would officially begin!
Amazon is calling!
We woke up ready to explore the glory of the Amazon. The departure of our wooden boat, which looked like a long motorized canoe, was from the port of Nanay. Of course, there was a market outside the port, where only a short stroll through it was enough to see species of fish and fruits that we had never seen before. Some of those animals were the worms of the coconut palm, thick and yellow, which were moving aimlessly in plastic bowls, ready for consumption. An excellent source of protein, as Junior, our driver, informed us. We got on the boat and the journey to the Amazon officially began. Our impatience was huge and so was our enthusiasm. We took this Amazon Trip in Peru with the local operator “Amazon Experience” and we didn’t regret it.
After about 3 hours on the river, we arrived at our wooden accommodation. We would stay there for the next few days. The accommodation was rugged but, at the same time, it was exactly what we needed. After all, in the Amazon rainforest, the last thing you want is luxury. The almost complete lack of human intervention makes you feel less guilty. Yes, guilty, because as you behold the greatness of nature, you can only feel like a guest. Our room had windowsills instead of windows and a protective net so that the necessary coolness could enter the lodge, taking into consideration the incredible humidity, but at the same time, we were protected from the endless mosquitoes. The accommodation had electricity for 3 hours a day (6-9 in the afternoon) and the water in the shower and the toilet came directly from the Amazon.
Read also: A gourmet food tour in Lima, the food capital of South America!
The river and our visit to La isla de los monos.
Our Amazon Trip in Peru had officially started and it included many hours on the boat, observing all those species of animals you see in documentaries! From sloths to huge eagles, parrots, and of course, tarantulas. After about one hour of cruising in the river, we arrived at “La Isla de Los Monos”, also known as the “Monkey Island”: a shelter where various species of monkeys live, most of which used to be pets or objects of entertainment. The shelter, which has been operating since 1997, houses more than 200 monkeys and is quite interesting. After our visit, we continued the tour in the river. We had the opportunity to see the famous pink dolphins of the Amazon, and we were lucky enough to see them once again on the last day of our trip.
Fishing piranha and swimming in the Amazon.
Truth is that when you think of an Amazon trip, images of dangerous creatures pop up in your head. And yes, some of them do exist, but Amazon is also a place of incredible beauty and diversity. One of those creatures, that most people don’t like, is the piranha. However, if you are on an Amazon Trip in Peru, it is worth going fishing for piranhas! The first unusual thing that we experienced was the fact that we used meat as a bait. The second surprising thing was the sweet taste of the piranhas. But the adventure did not stop there. Suddenly, our boat stopped in the middle of the river and Junior (our guide) said “are you ready for a swim?”. It was one of the few times in our lives that we didn’t think twice about doing something kind of crazy. We answered yes and, without second thoughts, we found ourselves swimming in the Amazon! What an experience…
Looking for the highest trees and meeting an Amazon tribe.
Our adventures in the Amazon continued in the following days, this time in the Amazon rainforest. We were lucky enough to see the giant trees, known as Lupuna, which made us look like tiny explorers. Their roots were massive! So impressive! Of course, the forest had more surprises for us. We learned that if you rub termites on your skin, they emit a distinctive odor, which acts as an insect repellent. Oh, and we also drank water from tree roots! Of course, there are many Amazon tribes living in the forest! We had the opportunity to meet the Yacuas tribe, one of the tribes that have contact with Western culture. In Peru today, there is only one uncontacted tribe(tribe that has no contact with “the outside world”).
Read also: How to Visit Machu Picchu. A detailed guide.
Some last thoughts.
An Amazon Trip in Peru. Is it worth it? Well, a trip like this will amaze you. The smiles of the children in the local community of Santa Maria de Fatima, the endless greenery of the forest, the morning wake up in the lodge to the sound of birdsongs, the clouds reflected in the river… Things that make this place so special! The ‘lung of the earth’. A life-changing experience that will be forever etched in our minds and hearts.
See more about our trip on Instagram (highlights stories #Amazon).
Note: On this trip to the Amazon we were guests of Amazon Experience and we want to thank them for making this trip a great adventure. This article is based on our personal experience and as always all opinions are our own.