Refugio Amazonas Activities
In order to offer the greatest flexibility, Refugio Amazonas now also offers activities ‘a la carte’, from which you can choose all your day’s adventures, according to your interests and abilities. As some activities are very popular, we recommend that you make your preferred choices at the time of booking, so that we can reserve a spot for you.
Discover a new species:
Help us reveal nature’s wonders, become a scientist and help us discover new species! There is an amazing world of diversity awaiting exploration! We will meet the resident research team in the lobby for a brief explanation of the types of species we will be looking for, and how to identify them. They will give us the appropriate equipment necessary for collecting, and we will walk around 15 minutes from the lodge to the light trap where an incredible variety of insects will be waiting for us. We will look for and collect certain types of insects, and, if we are lucky, we may even discover a new species!
Amazon Cam Tambopata:
We are building a Big Grid to answer Big Questions. Become a researcher and explore the world of camera traps and the amazing wildlife they reveal’ it’s a Big Neighborhood! We will walk for about 20 minutes to the vicinity of the mammal clay lick, a favorite spot for many animals! We will help researchers collect the data from the camera traps and install some new ones! We will try them and make sure they are working correctly, and on the way back to the lodge, will get to see what we got on the cameras!
Why point to the stars when you can reach the canopy! Experience the incredible diversity of Amazonian trees and plants from the air! Throw a drone from a 35 meter tall scaffolding tower and get an incomparable birds-eye view of the canopy! This canopy tower experience is a quick 20 minute walk from the lodge, and provides access to the tops of huge rainforest trees. We will get the chance to observe the researchers as they program the drones for their daily route, and we will get unique and amazing pictures and videos of the canopy from the air!
Stand Up Paddle
Paddleboarding is easy, fun, and a great, quiet way to explore the river. While paddleboarding near the banks of the river, we will have great opportunities to find wildlife like monkeys, caimans, and other surprises. A paddleboard, paddles, life jacket, and an experienced guide are provided.
If you like action, this is a great way to explore and experience the beauty and excitement of the rainforest along ten kilometers of trails. We provide a GT mountain bike, helmet and cycling gear, water bottle, and your very own mountain bike guide.
After a short hike down a jungle trail, your kayaking guide will get you geared up for one of the best ways to explore the rainforest. You’ll quietly kayak with your guide along the edge of a river, flanked by majestic rainforest while looking for wildlife. We will also make a stop at a sandy beach for a dip in the river before heading back to the lodge.
Chuncho Macaw Claylick Expeditions
Since Tambopata is the world’s best hot spot for macaws, this is a “must-do” on every itinerary. Take a morning trip to the Tambopata national reserve to visit one of the famous macaw clay licks. The two-hour boat ride from the lodge and into the national reserve also offers outstanding opportunities for seeing wildlife. This clay lick is often visited by three species of large colorful macaws, and many other parrots, and parakeets. Your guide will help you identify the birds seen at the clay lick, as well as other wildlife there and along the river. Binoculars and a provided spotting scope will take you that much closer to the wildlife.
Sunset in the jungle is one of nature’s most beautiful spectacles, and one of the best places to enjoy them is from a boat on the Tambopata River. In the afternoon, your guide will take you to a boat for an easy-going, two-hour ride on the Tambopata. Your guide will talk about the dynamics of this Amazonian river as you watch for rainforest wildlife and see macaws fly overhead, before enjoying the jungle sunset.
Circle of fire
As a prelude to the Ania trail activities that will take place with our specially trained children’s guide, we head towards the circle of fire. A series of lights will guide us on a path that leads through the forest and ends at the circle of fire. This is where the house of Tawa, the ancient healer, is located. The house is filled with magic potions and extracts prepared from plants of the forest. There, we learn about the story and characters from “Ania and the Voice of the World”, as we sit and listen to our guide. This is also the starting point for the adventure that awaits us in our next child activity.
The Children’s Rainforest Trail
Learn about the rainforest from a different perspective. ‘Ania & The World´s Voice’ is an exciting journey designed for children, ages 4 to 10 years. We will travel with our guides on a short but challenging walk where we follow maps, solve riddles, and find clues that will lead to the “treasure of Ania”. The path includes a visit to the houses of Ania and Tawa, the grandfather of the woods. Searching for the “lost Brazil nut”, the city of ants and other fun games teaches children how people live in the rainforest, why we need to preserve it and leaves us with a valuable message: “A child born in the jungle fills our hearts with hope.” The concept and history of this are all registered in the name of ANIA, a nonprofit organization with a mission to create 100,000 acres of “Lands of Children” – private, protected areas managed for children.
Getting tattooed in the Rainforest? No worries, we´ll prepare a paste from a fruit called “huito”, and achiote or other natural dies to draw tattoos on ourselves. We can draw different shapes of animals or other patterns associated with the forest. They only last a few days.
Brazil Trail Nut and Camp
Refugio Amazonas is located in a Brazil Nut forest. This hike is a beautiful old growth patch of Brazil Nut forest that has been harvested for decades (if not centuries), where the remains of a camp, used two months a year by Brazil Nut gatherers, can still be experienced. We will demonstrate the whole process of the rain forest’s only sustainably harvested product, from collection to transportation, drying, and on to the products we consume.
Oxbow Lake Visit:
A 45-minute hike through terra firma rainforest brings us to an ‘aguaje palm swamp’ and the Condenado oxbow lake. Oxbow lakes are amazing habitats, and we’ll have the opportunity to experience one while paddling a traditional canoe or catamaran on Condenado Lake. We will look for lakeside wildlife such as big fish, lots of birds, colorful butterflies, and more, while also hoping to see rare Giant Otters. You will also be rewarded with overhead sightings of macaws and beautiful jungle skies.
Let’s get to the top and have an eagle’s view of the forest. A 30-minute hike from Refugio Amazonas leads to a 25-meter scaffolding canopy tower. A banister staircase leads up through the middle and provides safe access to the platforms above. The tower has been built upon high ground, thus increasing your views of seemingly continuous primary forest that extends towards the Tambopata National Reserve. From here, views of mixed species canopy flocks, as well as toucans, macaws, and raptors are likely.
Opposite to the lodge, on the other side of the river, we visit a family-owned farm that is managed by the charismatic Don Manuel from the neighboring community of Condenado. He grows a variety of popular and as well as little known Amazonian crops – just about every plant and tree you see has a story and serves a purpose.
In the Amazon, most medicines come from medicinal plants. On this trail, we will find a diversity of plants and trees that are used by the local people for a variety of purposes. We‘ll learn about the medicinal (and other) uses of Ayahuasca, Ajo-Sacha, Yuca de Venado, Uña de Gato, Charcot-Sacha, and Para-Para among several others.
Tambopata National Reserve Lecture
Nightly lectures prepared by the staff of Refugio Amazonas cover conservation threats, opportunities, and projects in the Tambopata National Reserve.
Parakeet Clay Lick:
A fifteen minutes boat ride and sixty minutes hike from Refugio Amazonas will take us to a completely different clay lick used both by parrots and parakeets. We will watch from a blind as parrots and parakeets descend to ingest the clay on a bank. Species such as Dusky headed and Cobalt-winged Parakeets come to this clay lick. With a bit of luck, we will also see some or all of the following species in the early morning rush: Mealy and Yellow-crowned Amazons, Blue-headed Pionus, Chestnut-fronted (Severa’s) Macaw, and Orange-cheeked (Barraband`s) Parrot. We visit the lick at dawn, when parrots are most active, or in midmorning or early afternoon.
Mammal Clay Lick
Mammals feed on clay, too, and a peccary clay lick lies just 20 minutes on foot from Refugio Amazonas. These wild rainforest pigs show up in herds of five to twenty individuals to eat clay in the late morning. Chances of spotting them are rare but well worth the short hike. Other wildlife also shows up sometimes, including deer, guans, and parakeets. This area has also sometimes featured the nest of the rare Harpy Eagle.
The rainforest comes alive again at night. This is the best time to see a bizarre and beautiful world of sounds, frogs, insects, night skies, and other nocturnal animals. Your guide will take you on a trail near the lodge for an hour and a half exciting hike into the night of the Amazon rainforest.
This 2 km trail will take us along the Tambopata River for a great overview. We will show you the differences between a terra firme forest and a secondary forest as we pass through both habitats. We will also take breaks at benches where we can watch the Tambopata River on its journey through the Amazonian lowlands.