|To arrive at Inkaterra’s Reserva Amazonica is to arrive in another world. Reached by motorboat along the extraordinarily broad Madre De Dios River, Reserva Amazonica in Tambopata is about an hour’s river ride from the nearest town, Puerto Maldonado (daily flights connect Puerto Maldonado with Lima and Cusco.) Reserva Amazonica sits smack on the river bank amid a 40-square-mile private ecological reserve in the heart of the Amazon Rain Forest, adjacent to the Tambopata national park. The lodge provides the best tourism infrastructure available in the entire region, and it is a prime location for exploring the jungle, spying on wildlife, discovering the rain forest and just relaxing in a place so diametrically far apart from the world we know in the modern world.
The southern Peruvian rainforest is one of the last easily accesible virgin tropical rainforests of the world, considered by Conservation International as largely unexplored and one of the global Mega Diversity Hot Spots. The region has remained intact because of limited road access and negliglible border activities between the three countries that share the region (Peru, Brazil and Bolivia) and it is home to several major National Parks: Manu, Candamo, Tambopata National Reserve, Amarakaeri and Bahuaja Sonene Reserve, with more than nine million protected acres.
The heart of the lodge is the pavilion, a circular, two-storey lounge and dining room. Here too, rustic furniture is built with local woods by native craftspeople. The pavilion was designed by Denise Koechlin, wife of Inkaterra’s founder, Jose Koechlin, and is both practical and beautiful. Its upstairs loggias are ideal for afternoon tea or a pre-dinner Pisco Sour cocktail. Delicious meals – reflecting Amazonian cuisine – are served in the pavilion by the lodge’s immensely friendly staff. A few yards from the pavilion is a small boutique offering a variety of eco-friendly items – including novel basket ware produced by the neighboring communities that blend wicker with plastic from recycled bottles.
Reserva Amazonica supplies tall rubber boots for guests’ hikes in the rain forest – hikes highlighted by the guides’ wealth of facts and secrets about the fauna and flora. Excursions can be arranged to Gamitana River, with its alligators; to a local Amazon farm with its abundance of crops; to the ACEER research center sponsored by the National Geographic Society, and to Sandoval Lake, with its rich birdlife, butterflies and lush flora.
As remote as it is, it is possible to leave New York or Miami at 10PM and to be at the Reserva Amazonica by 11AM the following morning. Visiting Reserva Amazonica alone, or in tandem with a visit to Inkaterra’s Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel in the Cusco Cloud Forest, provides travelers with an extraordinary exposure to the culture, ecology and folklore of the Amazon and the Andes, and to some of the most extraordinary natural beauty on the planet.
To know more about Inkaterra, visit www.inkaterra.com or by calling 1800 442 5042