The Amazon in South America is the largest, most diverse tropical rainforest on Earth, and cover an area of five and a half million square kilometers. It accounts for more than half of the planet’s remaining rainforest and is home to more than half the world’s species of plants and animals.
After a good night sleep at an airport hotel in Lima, we arrive well in Puerto Maldonado around 10:30 on the 17th of July.
The last part of the flight is stunning, as we may enjoy the view of the rainforest from above. The Amazonas jungle is dark green with a few pink-coloured spots and the sandy coloured river Madre de Dios winds it’s way through the forest.
We get a warm welcome from Juan, the host from our hotel, that picks us up at the airport before we jump into the mini bus that takes us to the main port in Puerto Maldonado (an approx. 15 minutes drive from the airport). At the port we have a boat waiting for us to take us the 45 minutes boat ride down the river to reach the Inkaterra lodge, an amazing place were we will get well taken care of for the next 4 days.
The food here is amazing and 3 courses are served for both lunch and dinner from an à la carte menu. And even though there are several very delicious alternatives for dessert, Lukas is enjoying their chocolate cake every day 🙈
Our cabana is beautiful and the best of all, it has almost no walls! Three of the four walls are replaced with mosquito nets so that we can enjoy the beautiful sound of the nature 24/7. The bed is placed in the middle of the room and the space in front of it is furnished with two very comfortable wooden chairs and two even more comfortable hammocks. Here we enjoy 1-2 naps a day as it seams more or less impossible for us to stay awake as soon as we lay down in them to read.
We get up between 5-6 every morning to be able to enjoy the excursions that the lodge offers. Lake Sandoval and Hacienda Concepcion are our favourites, most probably because our guide Paulo is extremely knowledgeable. He explains a lot about the plants, how old they are/can get, which of them they use for medicine and he has a personal story to almost all of them. We may also taste a lot of different fruits and he share with us which insects or larva that can be eaten and how they taste or feel in your mouth. He even invite us to try termites, and on our last day we actually dare to do it! 🤭 They are a bit crispy and have a minty flavour🤪
During more or less all the excursions we enjoy a part of it on the river, as the lodge has 6 boats with captains that takes us where we want to go. These rides are only part of the transport, but we enjoy every one of them as they are a nice contrast to the warm and sweaty feeling we have during the rest of the day. It’s dry session now so the climate here is very warm and humid (100%) and as we have clear blue sky everyday, the wind makes these boat rides to a pure pleasure. Another reason why we enjoy them is that we always see animals at the shore, as for example white and black caymans, opossum, mangroves, hawks, turtles, bats and capibaras.
The excursion to the lake Sandoval is probably even more enjoyable for us due to the fact that it’s our first full day here and part of the excursion is a jungle walk of 2x 3km to get to the lake. Galapagos was truly amazing but one thing is sure, we did not move a lot during that week which make us appreciate this one even more. I’m normally walking quite fast but here that isn’t an option as we don’t want to miss anything. We walk super slow to listen to the sounds around us, so that we can discover as many animals as possible along the way. The second reason is the amount of spider webs throughout the paths. If you walk too fast you have no possibility to discover them in time to be able to avoid them. And believe me, you are happy if you only get as few of them on you as possible as it’s impossible to avoid them completely.
The time we spend at the lake is super nice. The lake is mirror blank and the only sound we hear are the water around our paddles and the sound of the jungle. We take a few deep breaths and feel so privileged and thankful that we are able to enjoy this moment.
Other excursions that we do are the canopy walkway ca 40-45 meters above the ground, walking through the wetland, twilight river, Gamitana Creek, trail system and rainforest by night. During the rainforest by night it seams that we are unbelievably lucky as our guide, half way through the trail, spot a sloth only 2-3 meters away from us. These animals are extremely rare to spot near the ground and our guides is very excited and tells us that this is the second time that he experience this in his 31 years. He spend a lot of his time in the jungle as he is a true nature lover and has been a guide for many years. Lucky us!!! 😃 Other animals that we see during our excursions are Bully ants, red squirrel, tiger herron, different monkeys, snake bird, american king fisher, green ibis bird, stinky bird, parrots, hummingbird, Storch, Magrows, gold tailed lizard, red snake and many insects.
Every night we are stunned by the tremendous amount of stars shining at us and how they seem to disappear little by little as the moon is rising higher and higher above the horizon. It’s impossible to capture this in a photo but we try at first until we decide to enjoy the moment here and now instead.
The first month of our trip is now behind us and it has definitely exceeded our expectations! We are very much looking forward to the rest of the trip and the next stop will be: Cusco!