If Toucan, You Can!

After all the adventure and altitude of the Sacred Valley, it was recommended to spend a few days in the Peruvian Amazon to “Relax” and “Unwind” after so much activity. Spoiler alert – not as relaxing as we expected. We left about three days for this and after spending a week and a half in high altitude we were ready to get back to sea level for a bit!


We took a mid morning flight from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado and arrived around early afternoon. Immediately stepping off the plane we were hit with heat an humidity of the jungle. John, our Amazon guide was waiting for us at the airport in the Corto Maltes Van. After a brief stop at the company office in town we were dropped at the dock to take our boat down the Madre de Dios river to our lodge. It’s worth noting we had smallish manageable packs but if you have wheeled suitcases or larger bags you’ll need to transfer items into a duffle at the office before heading down the river.

“Off to the Amazon to Relax a bit” they said!

Map of the Area of Amazon We Would Be.

We’re On a Boat.

Not Exactly What We Expected!

The river ride is nice, the breeze feels is refreshing and it’s interesting to have a new perspective of a new location. We knew we finally arrived at our lodge when we saw the giant Corto Maltes sign from the river. The boat pulled up, we all unloaded and headed to the lodge, we promptly handed refreshing welcome drinks and took a seat on the porch for a brief overview of the property and itinerary with our guide.

Getting Closer!

Here We Are!

Unload the Boat.

The lodge is nice! Large dining room with a great front porch and a bar off the side. The lodge is on a generator so there’s certain hours with no power but we realized we didn’t really notice a time when the power wouldn’t work and we wished it did.

Entrance to the Lodge.

Nice Plants All Over.

There’s also a great pool in the middle of the lawn with lounge chairs and a poolside bar. This was perfect for cooling off between activities and dinner and a poolside cocktail is always a nice touch.

Loved Cooling Off Here!

Agouti, Large Rodents that Would Run Around.

All meals were served in the main dining room or a bagged lunch. The food wasn’t bad. Always wasn’t the best we had but they did well for being in the middle of actual nowhere!

Inside the Dining Room.

One of the Lunches, Fish and Plantains.


A Child’s Dream, a Trip to Monkey Island You can read all about that here.

Hiding Away!

Our cabin was close to all the amenities and the food! It had a porch out front with chairs and hammocks and 3 beds with mosquito nets inside. The bathroom was on the smaller side but worked for our needs. Aside from one frog in the shower we never saw and bugs or critters in our room.

That’s Us, Number 15!

Mosquito Net!

Inside Our Room.

After lunch on arrival day John grabbed his machete and took us into the jungle for a nature walk, he introduced us to the different flora and fauna of the jungle. Lots of different plants, insects and birds but unfortunately not a lot of neat jungle animals but we never stopped looking.

Come On With That Machete John!

Into the Jungle.

Jungle Path!

Love the Colors of the Jungle.

Lots of different trees were pointed out, walking tee, rubber tree, and Brazilian nut trees stuck out. There are lots of plants that are used for medicinal purposes as well, Cat Claw – used for inflammation and cancer treatment, there’s a tree that smells like garlic that is used as a mosquito repellant.We also saw termites a few different ways and a few type of ants. Now what we expected but we’re still eager to see some animals somewhere else. If you smell a rotted yucky smell it usually means there is a snake near by, we smelled the smell but never saw the snake so that was a bit creepy.

Amazon tribes will tie people to these trees and allow the ants and termites to feed on them.

The walking tree: branches grow out of the tree and move as if it were walking.

Swing Jessie Swing!

Elise the Jungle Girl!

Trees with spikes: indigious people use the spikes coupled with poison from poison dart frogs to kill people/animals.

The first nights activity before dinner was to go caiman hunting along the river. We all loaded in the river boat around dark and off we went. Scanning up and down the shore, one guide had a flash light and would scan the muddy shore looking for the small sized crocodile looking animals. After about 30 minutes, Bingo! Caiman sported! Smaller than we thought but less scary than we were imagining and luckily we only saw them on the shore. I’m sure they were in the river too but once we saw them on the shore it was nice to pretend they weren’t all around us.

Keep Your Eye Out or You’ll Miss Em!

Sneaking Into the Water.

Like Mini Crocodiles.

Exciting to Find Them!

Day two started early and included the morning in Tambopata National Reserve and our boat ride around Lago Sandoval followed by our little adventure to Monkey Island. After monkey island we headed into the Corto Maltes jungle again to the rainforest over look tower. Lots of stairs round and round and eventually we made it to the top. Neat perspective and really great for bird watchers. You can even see the river from way up high.

Jungle Bird Watching Tower.

Great Views From the Top.

Pretty Every Way We’d Look!

Sweaty Girls.

This was a busy day so we were excited for some down time this afternoon for hammock-ing and swimming and maybe a nap. A little bit of the relaxing we thought we would get!

Hammock Laying!

Before dinner this night, our guide John took us around the property to look for the tarantulas which apparently only come out of their nests at night. Good to know now.. Ha! They were quite furry and exactly where John expected them to be. Perfect way to work up an appetite!

Creepy Crawlers!

After tarantulas and before dinner we visited the main bar for Monkey themed cocktails and a bottle of wine to take to dinner. By the time bed time came around we were more than ready for it. This day wore us out. We slept like babies

Fun Lodge Bar.

The final morning all we wanted to do was sleep in but hello good morning, not today! Up and out by 5:30 to start that the walk through the jungle, 20-30 minutes in we made it to some benches camouflaged in the jungle. We sat and we wait and we sat and we waited for what felt like FOREVER! Finally, brightly colored green parrots started to make their way down the vines on to the wall of clay. Before we knew it there were hundreds.

Look Closely, Here Come the Parrots.

Colorful Green Dots on the Red Clay.

Apparently these parrots do this at about the same time everyday and get nutrients and minerals from the clay. If they get spooked or think they see a predator they all fly off together and slowly make their way back to the clay and start the process over again. When we were allowed to talk, our guide informed us that the parrots lick clay before eating anything else as the clay will kill any poison that they consume. It was neat to see but we’re not bird people and honestly it’s hard to know if it was worth missing the chance to sleep in or not.

Hanging On For Dear Life!


There was a bit more down time before we would have to leave so we enjoyed our final breakfast and got our things reorganized. We spent some time with the macaws around the property before loading onto the boat and back down the river.

Bye Buddy!

Pretty Bird.

The driver didn’t take us straight to the airport but instead took us through the Puerto Maldonado markets to have a look. It was neat how they literally had a stall the sold anything you could be looking for for any aspect of life and also had all the service repair stalls all organized in rows.

Look at Those Avocados!

Sewing, Tailor, They Got You!

It was a busy market, that’s always nice to see. Next stop was an even busier jungle airport with delicious pizza and not a lot of seating. A bit of a hectic way to end the trip but we were happy to see the amazon rainforest!

Packed Jungle Airport.

Heading to the Plane.

Bye Amazon, Until Next Time!

Before You Go:

  • We booked everything through Crossing Andes
  • Our Amazon Lodge can be found HERE
  • It is hot and humid, pack accordingly
  • Don’t forget mosquito repellant.

More Peruvian Fun Below:

Peru Country Guide

Peru in 24 Frames

Beginning Altitude Acclimation at Saqsaywaman

Exploring the Colors and Cultures of Cusco

Feeding Alpacas near Cusco at Awana Kancha

Reverse Hike in Pisac

Mountain Biking Through the Peruvian Countryside

Micro Climates of Moray

Salt Mines of the Sacred Valley

So you want to hike for 4 days straight? Inca trail Days 1 and 2 baby!

Keep Hiking On! Inca Trail Days 3 and 4!

Visiting One of the New Wonders of the World – Machu Picchu!

Don’t Stop, Keep Hiking Higher – Huayna Picchu

A Night Under the Stars at the Skylodge

The Gateway to the Inca Trail – Ollantaytambo

Rainbow Mountains, a Colorful Day Trip!

A Child’s Dream, a Trip to Monkey Island – Peruvian Amazon

Land and Water, Tambopata and Lago Sandoval – Peruvian Amazon


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