Amazon Rainforest Lodges
The Amazon Rainforest is a spectacular destination, in its scope and in its detail, and there are various ways to enjoy it as a visitor. While an Amazon tour aboard a cruise ship affords the chance to experience various eco-systems and the unique and relaxing sensation of travel on the world's largest river system, a stay in a lodge allows one to explore one area in greater depth, and spend one's time surrounded by the sights and sounds of Amazon jungle.
Also, Amazon cruises have limited departures and availability, and so it is not always possible to find the itinerary that fits your vacation timeframe. In this case, an Amazon lodge is an excellent alternative. Therefore, we have put together a selection of our favourites, covering a range of destinations, experiences and facilities, which we are happy to offer in conjunction with, or instead of, a cruiseship. The list is by no means comprehensive, so if you would like us to provide information on others, just ask.
If time and budget allows, we would strongly suggest you experience both a lodge and a cruise!
Rainforest Lodges in Peru
Two-thirds of Peru's territory is classed as Amazon Rainforest, and much of it inaccessible to cruise ships, as the depth of the rivers is too shallow. Therefore, it has a wide range of lodges to choose from, divided into four main regions: Iquitos in the North-East; Manu and Tambopata in the South-East, accessible from Cusco; and the Central Jungle, East of Lima.
Ceiba Tops ~ Iquitos
Ceiba Tops is located next to the Amazon River just 25 miles (40 km) downstream from Iquitos and offers deluxe rooms with A/C, private bathrooms, and WiFi, set in elaborate gardens with a swimming pool, water slide and hammock house, that are ideal for relaxation. Moreover, there are plenty of informative excursions into the surrounding rainforest and waterways, including the opportunity to get up high on the Canopy Walkway.
Muyuna ~ Iquitos
This classic eco-friendly lodge is located 87 miles (140 km) upstream from Iquitos on the Yanayacu River and close to the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve. Its remote location, rustic accommodation and friendly, knowledgeable staff make this an ideal base from which to enjoy the amazing bio-diversity and unique atmosphere of the region.
Tambopata Research Center (TRC) ~ Tambopata
The TRC is one of the remotest rainforest lodges in South America, located deep within the Tambopata Natural Reserve, in a pristine Amazon ecosystem where wild animals are all at carrying capacity. A comfortable, 18-bedroom lodge which hosts both adventurous travelers and researchers, to enjoy or study the nearby macaw clay lick, and engage with Amazonian nature in all its wonder. Review
Reserva Amazonica ~ Tambopata
Set in its own private reserve, and surrounded by luxuriant Tambopata jungle canopy, the Reserva Amazonica is a luxurious and rich experience throughout. The lodge boasts its own beautifully positioned canopy walkway, as well as a unique canopy tree house for an original and unprecedented Amazon overnight experience.
Heath River Wildlife Center (HRWC) ~ Tambopata-Madidi
Located in Bolivia, but accessed from Puerto Maldonado in Peru, between the Tambopata and Madidi Reserves, HRWC borders two different ecosystems - Amazon rain forest and lowland savannah - allowing for unprecedented wildlife viewing opportunities.
With only 10 bungalows, the lodge is intimate and comfortable; and boasts opportunities to enjoy both a macaw clay lick and mammal lick in any itinerary.
Manu Learning Centre (MLC) ~ Manu
The MLC is located in the Manu Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site, home to a variety of rainforest types, including lowland Andean, pre-montane, bamboo and high terrace, and habitat to a huge diversity of flora and fauna. The lodge, run to strict eco-friendly guidelines, provides comfortable accommodation and top-level research facilities for up to 36 scientists or eco-tourists.
Ulcumano Ecolodge ~ Oxapampa
This eco-lodge - named after a native tree species - is to be found in the relatively unknown Andean cloud forest in Peru's Central Amazon, and boasts stunning highland views, white water streams and a remarkable biodiversity of flora and fauna, There are over 150 bird species in the area, so it is a paradise for birders. Accessible by road from Lima, this is a hidden gem, at a great price.
Rainforest Lodges in Brazil
60% of the whole Amazon jungle is to be found within the borders of Brazil, and not surprisingly, there are a large number of excellent lodge options to be found in this vast, fascinating area.
Protecting the Brazilian Amazon is crucial to preserving the ethnological and biological integrity of all of Amazonia, and our lodges are selected with this in mind - a commitment to sustainability, scientific research and conservation of the area in which they operate and the people who have traditionally called it their home.
Amazon Eco-Park ~ Manaus
Located on the Tarumã River, 1 hour from Manaus, the lodge has 21 bungalows containing 64 comfortable apartments - each with private bathrooms, A/C, hot water and a verandah - along with plenty of comfortable public areas, 4 natural bathing pools & a private beach. The surrounding area is ideal for viewing flora & fauna, hiking trails and canoeing.
Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge ~ Manaus
An intimate, boutique lodge, with just 20 luxurious suites, nestled in the rainforest 180 km (112 miles) from Manaus on the banks of the Rio Negro, in Anavilhanas National Park, the world's largest river archipelago.
Pousada Uacari ~ Mamirauá Reserve
Composed of 7 interconnected, floating, thatched structures, and designed for minimal environmental impact, the lodge has 10 rooms, all with private bathrooms, and a central lounge, bar and dining area. Accessible only from the remote Amazon city of Tefé, the surrounding flooded forest of the Middle Solimões system is truly pristine and full of endemic species.
Yacutinga ~ Iguazu National Park
Not strictly in Brazil, but just over the border in Argentina, 80 km (50 miles) from Iguazu Falls, Yacutinga has 21 rooms and a private Wildlife Nature Reserve, in the heart of the Atlantic Rainforest of Iguazú National Park. Away from the tourism mecca of the Falls, and with a real commitment to eco-tourism, it is easy to see why this lodge was voted one of the very best in South America.
This map was kindly provided by the producers of The Amazon Handbook.
Rainforest Lodges in Ecuador
For a country the size of Colorado, Ecuador boasts a remarkable bio-diversity. Not only does it have the Amazon region - known as El Oriente - to the East of the Andes Mountains, which contains a number of excellent lodge options; to the West, the mountainous slopes are home to tropical cloud forest, with its own rich eco-system, and beautifully-located accommodation. Descending further westwards, the sierra gives way to the Pacific coast, and 1,000 km (620 miles) out to sea lie the Galapagos Islands: a region of distinct fauna, famous as the birthplace Darwin's Theory of Evolution, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Little wonder, then, that Ecuador is one of 17 megadiverse countries in the world, and there are many imaginative and thoughtful lodges designed to enable visitors to enjoy this.
Napo Wildlife Center ~ Yasuni
A luxury eco-hotel located beside Anangucocha Lake in Yasuni National Park, and built in conjunction with the local Anangu Quichua Community with the goal of providing income and employment while preserving their ancestral lands. With only 16 private bungalows, Napo Wildlife Center offers an intimate jungle experience with an unmatched level of service and exclusivity.
Sacha Lodge ~ Yasuni
An accessible, yet pristine, rainforest sanctuary in a 5,000 acre private ecological reserve overlooking Pilchicocha Lake. The 26 cabins, built in traditional style, offer comfort, yet preserve the environment and ambience. All have private bathroom, with flushing toilet and hot shower, insect screens and ceiling fans, above two comfortable double beds.
Casa del Suizo ~ Napo River
A tranquil lodge located 7 hours drive from Quito, above the Kichwa village of Ahuano, with views of a majestic expanse of rainforest and the Eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains. All 75 rooms have electricity, hot water, a ceiling fan and a terrace; and the many excursions into the surrounding rainforest are led by local, English-speaking guides.
La Selva ~ Napo River
Sitting above Garzacocha Lake, La Selva offers accommodation in 17 supremely comfortable thatched bungalows, subtly designed, with private bathrooms, hot water and a ceiling fan. There are many equally elegant public areas, and the food is a source of pride. Visitors can explore the many trails, a 135 foot observation tower, and a large butterfly farm in the company of expert, bilingual guides.
El Monte ~ Mindo
Located in a stunning private tropical cloud forest reserve, owned by a US-Ecuadorean couple, and run on strict sustainability principles, this is a great spot from which to explore the unique flora and fauna - especially birdlife - of the area. After a day's birdwatching or adventure sports, guests can relax in one of 6 spacious, stone-walled cabins, in a hot bath or a hammock, and enjoy the superb cuisine, using locally-grown ingredients.
Rainforest Lodges in Bolivia
Roughly a third of Bolivia lies within the Amazon basin. Generally less developed than other parts of the Amazon – and consequently boasting a well-preserved natural environment – this is one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world, and yet remains relatively untouched and virtually unexplored. For those hardy travelers wishing to explore this vast, sparsely populated and largely untamed lowland region of swamp, savannah and tropical rainforest, there are a small number of spectacular lodge options.
Chalalan Ecolodge ~ Madidi
A renowned, remote eco-lodge on the shores of Chalalan Lagoon, built and operated by the local community. It takes up to 6 hours to reach the lodge by boat from Rurrenabaque, and once there, visitors are rewarded with 13 rustic cabins in a pristine Amazon enviroment, and the knowledge that any money generated goes to preserving indigenous culture, and the rainforest that maintains them.
El Refugio Los Volcanes ~ Amboro National Park
Located under 2 hours drive from Santa Cruz and yet tucked away in a deep valley, with spectacular views of sandstone rock cliffs and access to the surrounding tropical forests and natural pools, which harbour superb birding and naturalist opportunities. Accommodation is in a Colonial style, with 6 double rooms providing modern comforts and there are plenty of lounging areas. And the lodge is run with ecological principles at its heart: clean energy and waste management; employment of locals; and support of scientific reaseach.