The Amazon was one of the highlights of our trip. We flew from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado, a small town in the Peruvian Amazon. It felt like a different country from Cusco. While the air in Cusco was cool (though extremely hot in the sun), Puerto Maldonado was hot and humid.
After landing, we were transferred by bus to the river and then boarded a boat which took us to our lodge, about three hours upriver.
The lodge had provided a packed lunch for the boat ride. It was quite a big lunch – a bread roll with ham, avocado, and tomato. The bread was terrible, as per usual.
But also in our lunch bags were TWO chicken tamales. The tamales were really good, but two was a bit much!
Plus biscuits and little bananas.
On the way upriver we kept an eye out for wildlife. The most exciting sighting (for me) were several capybaras, including one with babies. CAPYBARAS!!! I LOVE them. They are so cool. Capybaras are the largest living rodent in the world and can weigh up to 66kg. Look at their cute square heads. SO CUTE. (I want one. I will keep it at the vacant lot across the road from our house, along with my goat, lamb, and elephant.)
We arrived at the lodge in the early evening and upon arrival we went to drop our stuff off in our rooms, which were fairly basic but clean. There was no electricity in the lodge, except for the main hut which had generator power for a couple of hours in the evening. So the lighting in the room was provided by candles, and there were cold water showers. Our room was in a block of four – which had a shared roof – the walls didn’t extend to the ceiling so you could hear *everything* in all of the other rooms. Ahahaha. No honeymoon suites here.
After dropping our stuff off, we headed out for a night walk through the jungle. This was one of the best things EVER. Before we even left the lodge grounds, our guide Frank spotted a two toed sloth up in the trees. EEEEEE A SLOTH A SLOTH A SLOTH.
We then wandered into the jungle, with Frank pointing out lots of insects and bugs. He found a tarantula burrow and coaxed it out for us to look at. SO COOL.
And the other thing we saw which I really loved was a poison dart frog. It was really beautiful – brightly coloured and shiny. We also saw a bamboo rat, a baby opposum, and lots of insects.
We concluded our night walk with a game of “alone in the jungle” where Frank spaced us out along the trail and left us alone in the dark for five minutes. It was cool hanging around in the dark listening to the sounds of the jungle.
Afterwards, Frank told us how he had played that game once and one of his tourists started walking in the wrong direction and got lost for two hours. Eek!
After our super duper awesome night walk, we were ready for dinner.
We started with avocado and plantain. All the avocados we ate in Peru were sooo good.
Main was beef stew and rice.
And custard for dessert.
The next day, we woke up early for another walk through the jungle.
Breakfast was scrambled eggs, fried plantain, and terrible bread. Plus a fruit salad of pineapple and papaya. Eurgh. Papaya has got to be the worst fruit in the world.
Then it was time to wander through the jungle for a couple of hours for wildlife spotting. We saw lots of birds – green macaws, red macaws, toucans, and a black vulture.
I love macaws. They are so pretty.
We also saw two different kinds of monkeys – tamarind monkeys, and these squirrel monkeys. We spent quite a lot of time watching the squirrel monkeys. They leapt from tree to tree overhead, and were very curious about us, constantly peering down through the leaves to see what we were doing.
So. Cute. Little monkeys.
We also caught glimpses of peccaries as they crashed their way through the rainforest. They definitely made their presence known – they make a very loud chattering noise to warn off predators and they also spray a very pungent odor.
There were tons and tons of insects and butterflies.
After several hours, we reached a lake and jumped into an incredibly dodgy looking canoe for a paddle around. Frank and his assistant did some fishing and caught a few piranhas within ten minutes.
Fortunately we survived the hot and dodgy canoe ride, and ate lunch which was packed by the lodge – chicken and rice and crackers.
After lunch we headed back to the lodge via a slightly roundabout route (Frank got a bit lost at the end). It was really hot by that stage, and we were all dusty and dirty from walking around for hours. I don’t think I had ever been so excited to take a cold shower before in my life! And after showering? HAMMOCK NAP TIME.
Even though he got a bit lost at the end of the walk, our guide Frank was great and really good at spotting wildlife. We overheard another group talking – who had a different guide – and they saw zero animals during their walk. I don’t even know how that’s possible.
There was a pre-dinner boat ride to see caimans (of which we saw about half a dozen). and then back to the lodge for dinner.
Just like the previous night, it was another three course affair. There was a beetroot and potato salad to start.
With the main being a plate of lomo saltado with very buttery spaghetti.
And dessert was a slice of slightly dry cake.
Oh, and remember the pirahnas that Frank caught earlier? The lodge fried them up. They were rather bony, but the flesh was nice.
Sadly, that was it! The next morning we had breakfast and then left for our flight back to Lima.
I loved this part of our trip (I really like wildlife. ) plus I slept so well while we were there. I would have loved to have stayed longer but fortunately I had something to look forward to – that evening we ate at Astrid and Gaston… (post to come).
Cayman Lodge Amazonie
JR AREQUIPA 655
Phone: +51 82 571 970