Refugio Amazonas is a 32 room lodge located in a 200 hectare private reserve surrounded by the community of Condenado, in the Tambopata National Reserve buffer zone. It is about a 3 hour boat journey from the nearest town, Puerto Maldonado. This is an excellent location from which to make introductory nature tours and an ideal base for longer explorations to the Tambopata Research Centre.
Built using a combination of local natural products and modern technology the lodge has a central area comprising lobby, dining room, bar, shop and lounge and offers great canopy views of the surrounding forest. The guest rooms are comfortable and have bedside tables and chairs or hammocks. The rooms have one side open with great views of the forest. All have ensuite bathroom with hot and cold water. There are 3 grades of room: Tambopata Traditional, Rainforest Comfort and top-of-the-range Amazon Suite.
There are many activities available here including canopy climbing, night walks, visits to local lakes and visits to the nearby parrot clay lick. This is a family friendly lodge adn there are special educational trails for children. Specialised photography tours combining stays at Refugio Amazonas and Tambopata Research Station are available and include daily workshops and the hire of top quality camera equipment.
Open: Refugio Amazonas is open all year.
Location: The lodge is in a private reserve of some 200 hectares in the buffer zone of the Tambopata National Reserve. The lodge can be reached in about 4 hours from the airport at Puerto Maldonado including a 3.5 hour boat trip. Refugio Amazonas can be used in conjunction with Tambopata Research Station which is about 2.5 hours away in a more remote location.
Rooms: There are 32 guest rooms, in 3 categories: Tambopata Traditional, Rainforest Comfort and Amazon Suite, arranged in 4 separate wings linked by elevated wooden walkways. They are screened by cane fencing, so offer privacy but are not soundproof. All have a mosquito net for each bed, hanging space for clothes, bedside tables and an en-suite bathroom with hot and cold water and biodegradable toiletries. Tambopata Traditional rooms have open verandas looking out onto the rainforest, and light supplied by kerosene lamps and candles after dark. The larger Rainforest Comfort rooms cover 45sqm and provide single, twin and double accommodation. Each has a reading desk, hammock, electric lighting till 10pm each day, a battery charging point and free internet access. The top-of-the-range Amazon Suites have similar facilities to the superior rooms plus a ceiling fan, small fridge and minibar, a reading table, free use of binoculars and stylish local decor and artefacts.
Activities: The lodge specialises in soft adventure, a gentle introduction to the rainforest, and as such is suitable those wanting to experience the rainforest with the assurance of complete safety. You can go on guided trails, ascend the 30 metre canopy tower for far reaching views over the forest, take boat trips on the lake and watch parrots at the clay lick. There are opportunities for kayaking and mountain biking, as well as visiting a working farm, and there is a rainforest trail for children. Special photographic tours led by professional photographers and including the hire of high quality camera equipment are available.
Facilities: The main lodge houses the open-sided dining room on the ground and lounge-loft on the upper floor with lots of comfy seating where you can look out into the forest. There is a wellness centre where you can enjoy massages and aromatherapy treatments. The lodge can provide a laundry on sunny days (as the sun is needed to dry clothes).
Dining: Meals are served buffet style, so you can help yourself to your choice of the many dishes available, and are eaten communally. There is a mix of local and international fare. Fruit juices are served with meals. There is a constant supply of filtered drinking water, tea and coffee during the day.
Children: Children aged 4 years and over are welcome. There is a rainforest trail especially designed for children, and a special children’s playground. There are also programmes designed for children and families. Classic rooms can sleep up to 3 people.
Health: This is a malarial area.
Communication: There is free internet access in the main lodge and in superior rooms.
Hone your photography skills on a trip to the Amazon rainforest, with different excursions each day.
Refugio Amazonas is lit by wind lamps and refrigerators are gas-powered while the internet is powered by solar energy. The lodge also emphasizes efficient water use by providing 24 hours of unheated natural spring water.
Refugio Amazonas is also an ethical employer, where local people are encouraged to take positions of authority and given training. Community members have been trained to become housekeepers, waiters and cooks, among other professions.
Refugio Amazonas also benefits its local community by purchasing of all its perishables from local suppliers and encourages local traditions and skills by decorating the lodge with local arts and crafts. In addition, the lodge provides financial support to conservation projects on local endangered species.
"Very cold at night, didn't expect this in the jungle so didn't take warm clothes. Wind whistled through our open sided room so would have been good to be able to draw something across...although it must be said that this weather only happens 3-4 times per year, apparently!"