If you want a different perspective, perhaps a life-changing experience, then go to the Peruvian Rainforest for at least a 3-day stay at Curassow Amazon Lodge. It is one of the best in terms of value, food, guides, and location.
Curassow Amazon Lodge is one of the best values you will find based on location, lodging, meals, and experienced naturalists. It is situated in a pristine area most conducive for wildlife viewing, close to the Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Nature Reserve. As such, a jungle stay here provides an authentic wilderness encounter that can’t be replicated in populated areas around Iquitos.
Located 68 miles upstream on the Yanayacu River – a tributary of the Amazon – it is south of Iquitos, about a three-hour boat trip. The location is remote and considered to be a jungle hotspot for wildlife in their natural habitat.
And yes, there are many jungle lodges offering inclusive stays along the Amazon River and its tributaries in Peru. The retreats include meals, lodging, and activities – usually guided excursions into the rainforest for wildlife encounters and an immersion into Amazonian biodiversity and the ecosystem. I have stayed at many. However, Curassow Amazon Lodge remains one of my favorites as a favorite with many repeat guests from all over the globe such as Germany, Poland, Russia, China, Canada, United States, and most of South America.
Curassow Jungle Lodge
A stay at Curassow Amazon Lodge includes transportation from the Iquitos airport, the boat to and from the jungle, food, freshwater, loaner rubber boots, private guide, and excursions.
There are 8 smoke-free accommodations with room configurations that include single, double, and bunk-bedding. All beds are provided with tent mosquito netting for extra protection at night. And each bungalow comes with either a jungle or river view. Plus, a balcony with a hammock is available for afternoon snoozes. A private bathroom with shower is in each bungalow.
A full-time dedicated chef provides nutritious and delicious dishes easily customized to individual dietary requirements. For example, I don’t eat red meat or rice, and the chef quickly provided alternatives. Advance notice is usually required.
This is your opportunity to taste unique ingredients from the jungle such as fresh fish, camu camu, yuca, palmetto, green banana, and charapitas.
My Stay at Curassow Amazon Lodge
I stayed for 5 days/4 nights at Curassow Amazon Lodge, experiencing an amazing wilderness and cultural immersion during my stay.
Besides photographing monkeys, birds, dolphins, and caiman, I visited the local riberenos communities of Ayacucho of Tipishca, San Juan of Yanayacu and Junin. I bought several hand-made jungle items from the coops as this revenue provides the local women with money for food and clothing items.
Recently, the owner of Curassow Lodge donated a bunkbed to an orphan in one of the communities after he saw the 3-sided shack the child was living in. The child was sleeping on the ground on palm fronds. Now, thanks to the lodge, the child has a real bed and mattress for sleeping.
Personal Items to Bring
A jungle stay is generally remote and not near any major center to purchase last-minute or forgotten product needs. Therefore, it’s necessary to plan ahead.
Be sure to bring suntan lotion, a broad-brimmed hit, sunglasses, and insect repellent as the rainforest can be hot and sweaty. In jungle clearings and on the water, the sun is particularly intense.
Carry a rain poncho for those moments when you are caught in a downpour. After all, this is the rainforest, and whether it is rainy season or not, it still rains. (There are only two seasons in the Amazon: rainy season and dry).
You will want a small flashlight or a headlamp to help navigate around the lodge, from the dining hall to your room, in both early morning and late evening. There is generally a night jungle excursion as part of your experience, and a personal light is essential in the darkness of night. Be sure to bring extra batteries.
Reservations at Curassow
You can book directly at Curassow Amazon Lodge website, at Expedia, or your favorite online hotel booking site. Rates vary depending on season, day, and availability, but tend to be some of the best amongst inclusive jungle lodges, ranging from $120-140 p/p per night. The more nights you stay, the better the price and the more life-changing excursions you can enjoy. Take my advice, it is near impossible to experience the magic and mystery of the Amazon without spending at least 3-4 nights.
Keep in mind that all meals are included as well as a private guide who will custom-tailor your jungle excursions and boat rides to meet your bucket-list wishes. Whether for wildlife encounters, discovery walks into the rainforest, fishing for piranhas, swimming with dolphins, finding monkeys, or taking a cultural foray into the local communities, you get to choose your experiences at no extra cost.
They accept credit cards, debit cards, mobile payments, and cash mobile payment options that include PayPal.
The author paid a media rate for four nights at Curassow Amazon Lodge for purposes of this review. As always, all opinions are those of the author. All photos are by writer/photographer Karin Pezo, unless otherwise noted. Photo of the wok and flame is courtesy of Curassow Amazon Lodge.