The part that I was most excited for about my journey in Peru, was most certainly the portion that I would be spending within the Peruvian Amazon.
Being a hardcore animal lover, I’m always excited to see wildlife in their natural habitats, no matter where I am in the world. But the Amazon… Come on, that is every animal lovers dream!!
The Amazon travel portion of my journey in Peru was done via Travel Just 4U; an Australian based online travel company that specialises in travel through South America. Basically, they do all the hard stuff for you – Such as booking your flights, transfers, hotels and tours entirely based on your desires.
There are no set itineraries, meaning that everything that is organised is tailored to what you want to do, where you want to go, and how much you want to spend. They basically take care of the things that can often be a bit of a chore – Especially in parts of South America that can be very difficult to travel too (such as the Peruvian Amazon)… Amazing right?
My 4 days in the Amazon was taken care of thanks to this amazing team, and now I’m here to tell you all about it!
The journey with Travel Just 4U began with a hotel pickup from our stay in Cusco.
Due to the slightly inconvenient strikes that were taking place in the town, our driver organised for us to be picked up early to allow ample time to manoeuvre around the protests. We got to the airport safely, boarded our plane a few hours later and arrived at the tiny airport in Puerto Maldonado after a flight time of 1 hour (when I say the airport was tiny, I literally mean tiny).
After a very swift disembarking process, a lovely man was waiting with our name, and we were ushered onto a minivan and driven to the river; along with a busload of other excited visitors too!
A short 25 minute ride via motorised canoe down the Madre de Dios River, and we arrived at our amazing home where we would be spending the next 3 nights in the Amazon.
On the banks of the river and in the heart of the rainforest, Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion is a place that I’ll always remember. When booking with Travel Just 4U, we chose to book a mid-range hotel (aka not luxury nor backpackers) and what we were treated with was exactly as we had hoped.
The grounds were beautiful, with charming views of the river and buzzing with wildlife at every turn.
After taking some time to enjoy the buffet lunch, drink some delicious lemonade in the muggy heat and settle into our beautiful cabana overlooking the lagoon, we were then ready to explore the grounds with our very experienced guide.
We went on a short guided walk through the rainforest; learning about the local flora and fauna, whilst also being treated to an unexpected display from a family of noisy howler monkeys.
We sat and watched the sunset with the noise of foreign animals surrounding us – It was relaxation at best.
After winding down for a few hours and enjoying a delicious dinner (all of which was included in the total price might I add), it was time to go on a nighttime boat cruise along the beautiful river. Our knowledgeable guide and wildlife spotter showed us some amazing wildlife lurking in the water and foraging on the banks of the river; Capybara and Caiman were amazing sightings that I thought I would never have the opportunity to see.
It was only Day 1, but I was already deeply in love with the Amazon.
A 5.30 AM start, and it was time for an 8km walk! Sounds daunting I know, but boy was it worth it…
After travelling 5 short minutes down the river, it was time for a 4km walk deep into the rainforest. It wasn’t the most pleasant hike, as the ground was incredibly muddy and quite difficult to navigate, but what lied at the end of the road was simply beyond belief.
One by one we boarded a small canoe, we paddled out of the deep inlets and into the beauty that is… Lake Sandoval.
Surrounded by a variety of ecosystems, Lake Sandoval is a place in the middle of the rainforest that is completely engulfed in wildlife and a profusion of beauty.
Everything from monkeys, caimans, bats, turtles and extreme amounts of bird life were spotted around this lake – and although the sun was blazing down on our small canoe in the open sunlight, it was an experience that I’ll always cherish. It was nature at its absolute finest and that is something that’s often hard to find.
After exploring the lake for a few hours, it was time for our 4km walk back to the Madre de Dios River, and back to our beautiful lodge. We ate a delicious buffet lunch, had some much-needed downtime and headed back out on another adventure.
This time, we headed 15 minutes down the river to a part of the rainforest home to a sky-high canopy walk – Cool huh?
The walk is suspended 98 feet in the tree tops, consisting of 7 hanging bridges covering over a 1/4 mile in length. It was beautiful and wobbly – but don’t worry… It was also incredibly safe!
There’s nothing like strolling through treetops in the midst of a rainforest with luscious flora at your fingertips – You can’t experience the Amazon any better if you ask me!
From here, we spent the afternoon relaxing before heading out on a creepy-crawly tour through the rugged hotel grounds.
The darkness of the midnight sky makes the rainforest turn into an entirely different place. An atmosphere that was calm and peaceful instantly turns into a place of chaos and unknown. This walk through the forest was predominately spent in nearly total darkness. The path was thin and covered in shrubbery, but the creatures we saw were utterly intriguing; tarantulas, golden spiders and other strange insects greeted us throughout the entire journey – it was a night I will never forget.
Creepy you could say, but fascinating nonetheless.
Another early morning and we were back exploring the rainforest. This time, we visited a local farm where native produce and foods are grown – We had the opportunity to taste some of the delicious homegrown goods and learnt a lot about the processing methods used within the area.
It was amazing to have the opportunity to taste some foreign fruits and see the local methods of farming whilst deep in the rainforest. An unusual combination you could say, but a system that works incredibly well.
We wandered around the grounds, saw some local ways of living and then headed back to the lodge. The rest of the morning was certainly an exciting one; the small lagoon that lies on the grounds of the Hacienda Concepcion is often home to some amazing animals, and this was our opportunity to experience them.
We all boarded a small canoe and spent an hour paddling around the relatively large lagoon. Luckily for us, we were paddling around with giant river otters too! This was one of the closest wildlife encounters from the entire trip, and it was one that I was really hoping for.
Due to this lagoon not being a flow of fresh water, the river otters aren’t always found here. We were actually extremely lucky to have visited during a time when they were here hunting for fish – I suppose lucky doesn’t even cut it!
The rest of the day was spent relaxing, before going out on our final excursion for our time in the Amazon.
This one was to an Inland Collpa (or clay lick) situated on the hotel grounds where animals are often spotted. The walk was very beautiful, but unfortunately, no animals were spotted and we were sadly out of luck.
Thankfully our journey was not yet over, as after our walk we headed straight to the botanical gardens where we learnt about the immense variety of medicinal plants that are found in the Amazon region. It was fascinating to see so many natural alternatives to treatments, each that have been proven to work on a medical level. Amazing, right?
This particular afternoon and evening were the most relaxing of our 4 days in total – We took some time to take in our surroundings and enjoy our last night in the immense rainforest.
The final day arrived and this was the day that our adventure in the Amazon had come to an end.
The morning was spent lazing around in the Cabana, enjoying our last moments with the sounds of wildlife before heading back to reality.
At around 9.30 AM we packed up and headed back to Puerto Maldonado via motorised canoe.
Before going to the tiny airport, we made a last-minute stop at a local butterfly house where we had a short amount of time to walk through the garden and see some vibrant little butterflies. Our very last moment in the Amazon…
We all bid farewell to the amazing Inkaterra staff and headed to the airport where we all parted ways.
The journey through the Amazon was an experience of a lifetime; everything from the incredible wildlife to the beautiful location made an unbelievable 4 days that will never be forgotten.
What made it even better, was the simplicity of the entire journey – Travel Just 4U made this experience easy and entirely stress-free.
They really made travelling to this rugged part of Peru a total dream come true… What can possibly be better than that?
Disclaimer – My journey to the Amazon rainforest was partially sponsored by TravelJust4U.
But as always, all opinions of this magical place are entirely my own!