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“Saw a Harpey Eagle !”
Review of Refugio Amazonas

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Refugio Amazonas
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 2 October 2008

The Refugio Amazonas is a special place. Having stayed in the Amazon Jungle previously it compares very well with other locations. The location is easy to get to from Porto Maldonado ( 4-5 hours). Accommodation is well cared for. Meals could be better. Every effort is made to make you feel welcome. We met a guide called Nilton Bedriñana who took great interest in making sure our visit was what we wanted. We were lucky to see a Harpey Eagle when we were in the Canopy Tower. We saw Howler Monkeys above our heads in the tree tops. The Bird life was really good with Toucans & Macaws about and the guides able to discern type at a distance. It would be important to spend a few days ( not only 1 or 2!!). We visited following a 2 week trip thru Peru which was demanding but most enjoyable. A great way to finish the holiday.

  • Stayed: August 2008
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1  Thank TravelGluttonDublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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775 - 779 of 854 reviews

Reviewed 15 August 2008

To the manager of the Refugio, Liz and our Guide Elder,

My family and I would like to take the time to thank the people of the Refugio Amazonas that made our family vacation one of our best ever. We stayed in your lodge from 28th of July until the 2nd of August. We participated in the 5 night kids program with our guide, Elder.

During our stay Elder consistently worked to teach our children the importance of the rainforest. He truly entertained them with his stories and activities. This is not always an easy thing to do with a 5 and 7 year old. He never let them out of his site as he explained the animals and plants of the forest. More often than not he walked hand in hand with them. His natural ability to care and educate small children is very impressive. He continuously entertained them and truly appeared to enjoy himself in his role as an educator. Any school would be lucky to find a teacher as skilled as he is. The rainforest and the world are lucky to have him on his side. I am sure my children will never forget him or the things he taught them about the forest.

In our live time we are lucky to meet special people who care not only about the job they do but also about the people they work with. My family and I were fortunate enough to find several people like this in your lodge.

On the last night of our trip my young son became very sick. No one was very sure what it was. It looked like an allergic reaction. By 9 PM he became very ill and was completely covered in a red rash and was starting to swell up. Fortunately, we had allergy medication with us but he was still not doing very well. Elder and the manager of the lodge, Liz, worked to get us a boat and taxi ride into Puerto Maldonado. We left at 11:30 PM. An adventure we will never forget. Two men, Henry, Pachanga and Elder picked up our two sleeping children and backpacks and took us out to the boat. We are all very impressed how 2 men found their way down the river at night.

In the end Elder, our guide, got us to the hospital and stayed with us until he found us a hostel at 4 AM . My children call him a hero and we, his parents thank him for helping us.

My son was diagnosed with scarlet fever that was inflamed by an allergic reaction caused by the heat and possibly the bug spray. My little girl reacted the next day.

I don’t know the right way to thank all of you. Your humanity and helpfulness will be in our memories forever. The world would be a better place with a few more Elders in it.

We hope to see all of you again one day. Please give a copy of this to Elder. Keep our email and if any of you find yourself in Florida let us know and we will show you around our “Jungle” The Florida Everglades.

Sincerely,

Marcy Moran, Leonardo Moran, Miguelito and Josephine

PS. Josie and Miguel say friends forever to Elder

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
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4  Thank lemoca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2008

My wife and I spent four days last month at Refugio Amazonas in Peru’s Tambopata National Reserve. I recommend the Refugio Amazonas experience to all who want to get away from it all. The “lodge” accommodations are comfortable and kept clean. The food is very good. The staff is extraordinary and friendly. Our guide, Donnell, was excellent! We spent practically all our waking hours with Donnell, hiking through the forest. Donnell was a brilliant guide, and knew just how hard to push; he also knew everything about the rain forest. One night we saw a group of black peccaries with Donnell at the mammal clay-lick near the Lodge. It’s well-worth getting up early for the sunrise view from the canopy tower; see attached photo, but it cannot compete with the real thing. I saw and photographed more wonderful flora and fauna than I had ever expected. There were exceptional flowers on the forest floor as well as many beautiful birds, butterflies, lizards, and frogs.

The open wall to the forest from the rooms, the lack of electricity and AC, the early-to-bed-and-early-to-rise, all of the classic “lodge” requisites were actually a huge plus (with the possible exception of cold showers), and we are neither young nor adventuresome. We were, I will admit, very lucky to have unusually cool, dry weather. I slept better at Refugio Amazonas than I ever have ever slept before, partly I think, because of the quiet that was broken only by the delightful night sounds from the forest, and partly because I was happily exhausted from all the hiking. This is a perfect place for those who want to “get away from it all” because it effectively contrives to remove “it all” and offers the beautiful, fascinating, magical world of the forest in its place. This is not just an accommodation, but also an experience, and one that I cannot recommend highly enough.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with family
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2  Thank Bin-Bin-Tarheel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2008

This was the final step in our Peru trip, and I felt it was the best. Our guide Donnel was extremely knowledgeable and caring. When my wife got sick, Donnel had the kitchen make soem chicken noodle soup especially for her. We did not see any mammals but saw plenty of birds and insects as well as a few frogs and cayman, and one snake.

The only complaint is the lack of mammals and the loud neighbors we had.

With the open rooms, you can hear your neighbors very easily. You can hear them using the bathroom and going through their bags at all hours. Generally we where tired enough not to be too bothered, but light sleepers should bring ear plugs.

I would also recommend some warm cloths. It isn't hot there all the time.

BInoculars are nice to have to get a closer look at the many birds flying all over the place.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
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2  Thank modest2929
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2008

In ideal conditions, I'm sure the lodge would be excellent, but due to several minor problems, some weather-related, I can only give it a seven out of ten.

Positives
Staff were courteous, friendly and accommodating. Rooms were large and surprisingly nice. The food was excellent and plentiful during meal times, although it would have been nice to have more substantial snacks between meals. The lodge had lots of space to lounge about and the kids' playground looked pretty fun. Our guide was knowledgeable but didn't talk too much, which was nice. I really enjoyed the various trails we took, although I didn't see as much wildlife as I'd anticipated, and it was fun to walk around in the mud in the rubber boots provided by the lodge.

Negatives
On our first full day a the lodge, it rained pretty badly in the morning, so we had to retreat to the lodge and stay inside until the middle of the afternoon. The temperature dropped and half of the guests, having left all of their warm clothes back in Puerto Maldanado, were freezing. The lodge has virtually no indoor activities (just a couple books and some games with parts missing) so it was pretty boring having to stay inside.

On our second day, our guide decided that visiting the macaw clay lick wouldn't be worthwhile since the birds probably wouldn't be active due to the previous day's rain. We went to the mammal lick instead, but this meant more spare time in the lodge. After waiting at the mammal clay lick for 30 minutes, our guide revealed that some children had played in the clay lick the previous year so the animals had stopped visiting it! (Although they'd started coming back in the past month or so.) After lunch, we were supposed to spend the whole afternoon at the farm, but the boat was need to go pick up the owner of the lodge, so we could only go from 3:00 to 4:00. (I understand if an activity gets cut short because of the weather, but it's annoying when an activity that we've paid for is cut short so that the owner can get to the lodge a little earlier.) Then the boat was half an hour late picking us up, although we still got 45 minutes at the farm and our guide explained more about the fruits and the farm when we got back to the lodge. But that day, we were out of the lodge only from 9:00 to 11:30 and then 3:00 to 4:30. The water pump for the whole lodge broke that same day and wasn't fixed by the time we left the following morning. We were promised buckets of water to flush our toilets, but we never got them. I understand there's not much you can do if you're in the middle of the jungle and your water pump breaks, but I didn't feel that the lodge handled the situation very well. The only reason we got any information about the water situation and the promise of water for flushing was that someone is my group kept on asking about it.


There had been some animal droppings (from bats, I think) in our room since Day 1, and the after the housekeeper missed them twice (understandable, since the rooms are pretty dim) we asked to have them cleaned up. They were then cleaned up off our bench, but not off the floor. I didn't expect the rooms to be as clean as a hotel, but it's kind of gross to have droppings a metre from your bed and to step in them. I managed to find a broom and I just swept them into a pile.

Warnings and recommendations
The water in the showers is cold, not tepid.
There's lots of spare time in between activities and the only indoor diversion is the bar. Bring games and a book!
As far as I can tell from my trip, activities are often canceled.
Nothing will dry in the humidity and dry clothes will get damp if you leave them out. I kept my clothes dry by keeping them packed and in zip lock bags.
Bring one set of warm clothes, just in case.
You may want to pack snacks for in-between meals.
A headlamp will be more useful than a flashlight.

Overall, I had a good time a the lodge. I feel certain that had we not had the big rain with the chill that followed and had our activities not been cut short because the owner needed the boat, I would have had a really good time. And had the water pump not broken (or had we been provided water for the toilets) and had the bat droppings been properly cleaned from my room, I would have had a great time.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank Sunnybeam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Refugio Amazonas

Address: Av Aeropuerto | La Joya km 6, Puerto Maldonado 084, Peru
Phone Number:
Region: Peru > Madre de Dios Region > Puerto Maldonado
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 64 Speciality Lodging in Puerto Maldonado
Price Range: $755 - $954 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Refugio Amazonas 3*
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Refugio Amazonas is the latest addition to Rainforest Expeditions Tambopata portfolio. As a charming 32 bedroom lodge, it is well placed immediately adjacent to the Tambopata National Reserve. Its location is ideal for stand alone three night experiences and for breaking the expeditions to and from Tambopata Research Center. Refugio Amazonas is built on a 200 hectare private reserve on the buffer zone of the Tambopata National Reserve. It is becoming integrated to the communities of Brazil nut extractors that surround it, attempting to extend the benefits of ecotourism to the families committed to sustainable forest use. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Refugio Amazonas Hotel Puerto Maldonado

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