A long-awaited trip, we were lucky to be able to travel with some dear friends. Our itinerary was essentially 3 days in Amazon with Rainforest Expeditions, 2 days in Cusco by ourselves, and 4 days hiking the Inca Trail with Alpaca Expeditions:

Travel tip: Due to the humidity, and the fact that you’ll be drenched in sunscreen and insect repellent, pack two fresh outfits for each day.

Day 0:

We had a layover in San Salvador, so we stepped out for a city tour, and grabbed some delish pupusas for lunch.

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National Palace

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We arrived at Lima late at night, and stayed at the Wyndham across the street as we had an early morning flight out to Puerto Maldonado.

Day 1:

On arrival at Puerto Maldonado, Rainforest Expeditions picked us up and took us to their office, where we transferred our stuff to the duffel bags they provide, and left our luggage at the office. Then there was another bus the the river, and then a boat ride to the resort! Lunch was packed fried rice on the boat, which was actually pretty good.

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The hour long cruise was quite pretty and enjoyable, and just the short walk from the dock to the resort showed us a green boa,  squirrel monkeys and red howler monkeys.

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Green Boa

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Squirrel Monkeys

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Eco-tourism is big in these parts, and our lodge and rooms were well-appointed and comfortable, however the muggy weather screams for at least a fan.😂

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After a short rest and FIFA recap, we went for a guided walk to the canopy tower, spotting butterflies, bullet ants, walking trees (yes that’s a thing) and Brazil nut trees on the way. Some bird watching from the tower and we were back for another short rest, shower and dinner.

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Walking trees (these can walk up to 20m per year)

We went for a night walk that night, and saw and heard the live ticking jungle around us, which was terrifying and amazing at the same time!

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Day 2:

This day started pre-dawn, as the aim was to be at the river at sunrise for better animal/bird sighting odds. The killer sunrise, gorgeous views and wildlife made the early wake up totally worth it!

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We cruised down the river in a hand propelled boat, watching the gorgeous sunrise, and spotted yellow caciques, a caiman (our boat owner/propeller, brought bread for him), green kingfishers, long-tailed otters among other animals, birds and reptiles.

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Heron
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Caiman
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Pack of otters

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We stopped to fish for piranhas, and some people in our group actually did a good job, whereas for me it was more like feeding the fish :-|.

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On the way back, and later that day, we saw jungle turkeys, toucans, owls, a chukar’s nest,  many colored macaws, some of them cleaning trees to build nests for mating season!

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Later, we hung out at the lodge’s bar as we caught up on the FIFA game for the day, and then headed to the medicine garden that evening, where we saw and learned about the various medicinal herbs and trees being used by shamans for centuries, to cure everything from a cough to Parkinson’s to love-sickness 🙂

Day 3: 

This was our last day in the Amazon, we caught a super early flight out to Cusco, to begin the next phase our adventure.

The walkway at lodge

To be present in this ecosystem was absolutely mesmerizing, it truly puts our planet, it’s beauty simplicity and complexity in perspective. I can’t wait to be back!

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