I stayed here with 2 friends in July 2010 in a triple room with a private bathroom for less than $20 US dollars for the 3 of us! that is less than $7 each. At this price and a pool too!!! This hostel has an inner courtyard, a kitchen with a big fridge and new stove to use as well as purified water. It is family run and the sons take people into the jungle for tours. We didn't do overnight tours in the jungle so I can't say much about them but they were busy with groups. The family was really nice and the mother was home most of the time. She kept this place spotless! It felt really safe here and is the best bargain I felt we had on our 6 week Amazon trip.
I did do a day trip into the jungle with Walter Soplin Culqui at firstname.lastname@example.org Walter speaks English quite well. We went on the city bus on the road toward Nahua to the Alpahuayo National Reserve. Walter is a talented and enthusiastic birder. He can really point out birds and find them by their sounds which you have to be able to do with the low light in the jungle. In the couple of hours we walked in the jungle and road the bus along the road we saw Yellow browed Tyrannulet, Black-billed Saltater, Swallow-winged Puffbird, Widge-billed Woodcreeper, Screaming Piha, Buff-throated Wren, Blue Crowned Mannikin, Parroqui Nightjar, White- spot Antbird, Black Spotted Barbet, Roadside Hawks. We saw a Hot Lips Flower with Blue Berries. A group of black caterpillars on the trail inching along in a mass about the size of my hand, Almadillo Holes, Brown and White termite nests which Walter stuck his hand into one and then mashed up the termites in his hands to show me how they smelled and that hunters would use the smell to mask their own human scent. Fascinating day....good to be with a bird guide....he doesn't have a book or didn't that day so bring one. He used to guide with a local company but struck out on his own. His email again is email@example.com . His mobil # is 965303113 and home phone is 51-065-787215 to call from outside Peru.
Pool, quiet, guarded, new stove and great clean kitchen, BARGAIN!!!!
Walter, great Bird Guide
My first impression from the website was that everything from the logo to the photos of the accomodations had a stale/retro 70's Jungle Jim comic book look. Unfortunately, the rooms are just as they are in the photos. Functional/quiet rooms with air conditioning but no style whatsoever. The room was clean but had a stale/musty smell to it. The linens were clean but old and somewhat yellow. The room was comparable to an American 2 star motel room.
All meals were included. Beverages were extra, but not very expensive. $1 for soda and $3 for cocktails. Meals were served buffet style(5-7 buffet warmers)and very good. entree + soup + vegetable + desert. The food was hearty and simple. The younger guides also served as our waiters/bartenders and were good.
The guides were competent, but not very enthusiastic. From the time I got off the plane in Iquitos, I had the feeling that the guides had been through this routine one too many times. Our guide was Julio and he was apparently one of the veteran guides. He did his job and that was it. He took us to Monkey Island and to a Yagua Village. He took us to the Canopy Walkway and back. He took us on a short outing for piranha fishing. When we asked why the piranhas that we caught weren't cooked for us like for the other guests he said that the staff had eaten them. No other walks or outings in the 4 days we had with him. During the downtimes, we went to the pool but that got a little old. He never asked us what we wanted to do. The itinerary had been all planned out for us. Along the way, he gave us minimal explanation of the flora and fauna.
Overall ** out of 5 $990 for two(4 days/3 nights)
Explorama/Ceiba Tops needs some freshening up. From the website, Yarapa River Lodge appears more luxurious although it does not have air-conditioning. Inkaterra in the Southern Amazon also looks like a very good choice. I have been to neither of the two.
Jacamar Lodge which translates as, The Pearl, is one of the jungle lodges around Iquitos, Peru. I picked this lodge because of all the activities available I saw on thier website. The price per night is expensive compared to the rest of my nights in Peru but worth it for the location and uniqueness of being in the Amazon.
There are no roads into Iquitos so you have to fly in from Lima. Iquitos itself is a large isolated city so don't be fooled your flying into a small jungle town. It has a few million people. Your guide for your stay will meet you at the airport and be with you everywhere you want to go or do. Get on the lodge's motorboat and go up the Amazon to the lodge.
The Lodge has running water in the bathrooms but no hot water. Not needed since the weather is hot. Each room shares a roof with another room to create private bungelows propped above the jugle floor by wooden beams. There is a large lounge, dining room, bar on one building and a lazy room with hammocks on another large building. There is no electricity and feels like a safari with full staff to cook all your meals.
There are tons to do here. We were able to go on jungle hikes, fish for pirahnnas, spear fishing, night river tours looking for nocturnal animails, bird watching, swimming with pink dolphins, visit a local village, canoeing... We did all this and more in 2 days. You are always with your guide and you need it.
Its a great experience but does cost more than an average night anywhere else.
This hotel is the little brother of the El Dorado 5 star. It's a block away, half a block off the main plaza downtown. It's the only place I've stayed in Iquitos, so I can't make comparisons. The rooms are comparable to a Motel 6 in the US, but the staff is top-notch. The internet rate is 66 US dollars a night, but I sent them an email last time and they gave me a rate of 35 USD a night. They have free airport shuttle service also. They have free internet in the lobby, but It's painfully slow. They have a small pool also. Unfortunately, the restaurant was gone when I went there earlier this month. The Lima pro soccer team was staying there on my last trip, so I guess it's good enough for them.
It is a very safe and peaceful place to stay. The staff is very helpful and friendly. They provide two meals a day and also have access to transportation around Iquitos and the Amazon jungle. They
have a staff that speaks English and Spanish. The accomodations are very clean.
They have a special Chef that comes in and prepares meals. The meals are equal to a 4 or 5 star restaurant.. It is located in the center of the city with easy access to all the sights.
This place is pretty new, about 3 or 4 years old I believe, and has a great location just a block off of the Plaza de Armas. You can walk to most of the nice places to eat along the riverwalk and it is a safe area. The rooms are NOT soundproof and like most of Iquitos the noise from the mototaxis goes through the night. The pool is nice and breakfast is included, the staff doesn't speak much English at all so consider that. The top floor rooms will have some partial views of the Amazon River. Big bathrooms but the water pressure on the top floor is damn near zero.
We have a top floor room with four beds and it was $50/night, I believe a double room was about $35/night.
Certainly the El Dorado is the really POSH place in town but it is about 4 to 5 times as expensive with only a slightly better location.
Really a decent price for a clean hotel with a good pool and although I only had breakfast, I heard from 3 different people that the dinners were good.
This is one of the lodges in the jungle where you go when you want to see the Amazon wildlife. Well, at least this is the one I went to. I wouldn't recommend it to those who want to see animals though: it is the nearest to Iquitos (45 minutes by boat) and one of the cheapest (120 USD for 3d/4n). Most of the "good ones" charge 300-400 USD for the same.
So, I just wanted a nice place to relax in the jungle, hear the birds and sleep siesta in a hammock. And this place happened to be perfect for that! It is near (most other places take 4-5 hours by canoe to get there), calm and with nice (though simple) bungalows, in the middle of a beautiful scenary. Not the "real" jungle (there were banana plantations near) but ENOUGH JUNGLE FOR ME.
The price includes buffet meals in the restaurant hut, showers (cold, but believe me, you won't need hot shower!) and mosquito net all around the room (not only for mosquitos, but also for spiders, lizards, mice...).
They organize jungle trips (included) walking an in canoe, but don't expect to see animals bigger than frogs!
I found this budget place after taking a look at several places around. This happened to be the typicall backpackers place, with a labyrinth of corridors and palm tree made rooms built one onto another. My room happened to be at the end of the labyrinth, but it was OK, with a fan and a WC at the next door, so enough for me!
25 soles for a single room, with fan (no AC). Shared bathroom.
If you take a taxi or motorbike from the airport, you will sure be recommended by the guide to a few places he knows and that are "cheap and centrally located". I had looked for a place ahead in the LP guide, so I just told him to take me there. But as this place was not so good, I let my driver take me around. After 2-3 really overpriced (his comission) and nasty places, I told him goodbye (after he recomended me "a pretty woman to keep me busy", Haha) and walked about looking for the 2nd-3rd options I had from my LP guide.
The 2nd (Hob Hideout) happened to be OK and cheap.
We took a 3 day trip up river to stay at Dolphins Corner eco-lodge located off of the Amazon river. We saw monkeys , lots of birds and of course PINKDOLPHINS! They are amazing creatures. They have a beautiful pink color and long noses. There are may tales about them . Some say they are really people who change forms and live in their own worls underneath the waters of the Amazon river. In the past it was believed that they stole beautiful women from their villages and took them to their civilization.
Beautiful waters, great hiking and a guide will accompany you. The rooms are basic with showers in a seperate facility. You will have bug netting and an indoor bathroom. We had good meals in the main lodge and of course there were hammocks to relax in.
Chances are, if you're a tourist in Iquitos, you're on your way to or from one of the lodges set along the Amazon River. These setups are specifically geared to tourists wanting to "see the Amazon", all without having to rough it too much. Naturally, there are all sorts of lodge choices, fitting tastes. A good guidebook will compare many of them to give you an idea of what you might be looking for.
Regardless, most lodges offer space for relaxation and small trips every now and then to keep you busy, if you're interested. Standard offerings often include a jungle hike, boating to see pink dolphins, birdwatching, and night canoe trips to experience the nocturnal sounds of the Amazon. It's usually very organized and some of it is very touristy; if you're not into that kind of thing, you can always just hang out and relax in the lodge...my favorite thing to do.
I only had time for one night at a lodge due to work constraints, but it was still a welcome relax. I particularly liked seeing some of the wildlife and jungle, as well as just being able to relax in a hammock and chat with other tourists from all over the world.
Prices and amenities vary for each location. It's probably wise to go with something that's been recommended. Check guidebooks, ask friends, or wait until you get to Iquitos and ask there (like at the Texas Rose). I went with Heliconia, and I was pretty happy. You can book through them at the Victoria Regia Hotel. Getting to the Lodges
Naturally, it's cheaper to book lodge trips in Iquitos than from outside. Not as convenient, and you have to be flexible, but you can save a bit.
Oh, and check my travelogue for some pictures of standard lodge activities.
I enjoyed staying at the lodge a lot. We had a very warm welcome and felt very comfortable. We were very lucky with the weather and during the jungle trip we saw a lot of animals and birds thanks to our guides. The trip made me feel very away from the rest of the world, and as I expected being in the Amazon is a very special experience. Also the people in the villages were very friendly and welcoming. We got to see a lot of the local customs. Altogether, the trip was very worthwhile and we really feel at ease now in Peru. The whole staff made their best efforts to make us feel at home. I sincerely recommend this lodge.
The lodge was very beautiful and clean, great service, great food and personal touch from the staff. The guide was very knowlegable and fun. The Pacaya Samiria National Reserve is one of a kind and you got to see a lot of animals, like the pink dolphins and birds like makaws and others.
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