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June 8, 2011 13:23:29

Interview: Behind the first Green Choice accredited lodge in Peru

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Views of the jungle from the Ivy Mara Ey Lodge (Photo: FONDAM)

By Fiorella Carrera/El Comercio
Translated by Susana Aguirre


Juan Gil, Executive Director of the Fund for the Americas of Peru (FONDAM) talks about financing the Ivy Mara Ey Lodge, part of the Yarina project in Pacaya Samiria and first lodge with this type of certification in sustainable tourism.

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January 11, 2011 17:06:59

Luxury and nature in Peru's Amazon

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A walkway leads into the lodges of Ceiba Tops, part of the Amazon Explorama Lodges near Iquitos, Peru. (All photos by Rodney Dodig) See slide show.


After arriving to the lodge Ceiba Tops down the Amazon River from Iquitos, Peru, Rodney Dodig's rainforest vacation begins. (Read part one here.)

By Rodney Dodig

I had time to unpack before heading to the central lodge for lunch. Wooden elevated walkways lead throughout the various cabins and building. These eventually took you to the main building where the office, lounge, bar and dining room were located. It was large and comfortable with overstuffed couches, rattan furniture and ceiling fans. There was also a Jacuzzi and swimming pool just outside. A nice water slide ran between the two, which several guests really enjoyed. The lodge served all meals buffet style. They were delicious and the dishes served at the appropriate temperatures. Staff stood behind the line, waiting to help serve you and to explain all of the dishes.

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January 4, 2011 12:42:52

Beginning an Amazon lodge vacation in Iquitos, Peru

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The opening of the Amazon River in Iquitos, Peru. (All photos by Rodney Dodig)


By Rodney Dodig

I looked down the long steep flight of stairs that lead to the boat with some trepidation. The Amazon Queen sat on the water at the bottom of those stairs waiting to take us down the Amazon to the Explorama Lodge named Cieba Tops where we would be spending three days and two nights. For some reason, I kept thinking of “Murder on the Nile” as I looked at the boat. We flew into Iquitos the night before, and were now getting ready to start our jungle adventure.

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May 10, 2010 18:18:35

A visit to the urban Amazon in Peru: Vacation in Iquitos

A vacation in the Peruvian Amazon is exciting and the best way to enjoy it is staying at a lodge. But what about the city of Iquitos?

By Yadira Salazar

A 19th century building in Iquitos, Peru displays the past wealth of the region's booming rubber trade. (All photos by Yadira Salazar)
The largest city in Peru’s Amazon rainforest is Iquitos, impossible to reach by bus. The only way to get there is by plane, unless you have time to take a four-day boat ride from Pucallpa. Recently I spent two days in Iquitos. If you arrive during the day, it looks like you have landed on a large, green carpet. When I arrived it was night and the only thing I could see was a bit of lightning. This type of weather is common there.

The first thing you notice after arriving is the terrible humidity. A hot air envelopes you completely. There is no winter in Iquitos; the temperature ranges from 21 to 36 degrees Celsius all year round (70 to 100 Fahrenheit).

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January 11, 2010 23:05:31

The 2010 Amazon Raft Race: The faint of heart need not apply!

It's that time again! To build your own log raft and race it 112 miles down the Amazon River, that is. Here's the scoop on the 2010 Great River Amazon Raft Race. Click here to read an article about last year's race.

Submitted by the Amazon Rafting Club

The 2010 Amazon Raft Race: The faint of heart need not apply!Since 1999 the Amazon Rafting Club, based in Iquitos, Peru has invited rafters, canoeists, rowers, paddlers and adventurers from all over the world to compete in The Great River Amazon Raft Race. The 2010 race is hoping to attract more teams than ever before and you are invited. Although it is tough, lots of rafters have completed the course; even some older people. In 2006 the Over the Hill Gang finished the race and their average age was 68.

Safety boats will be watching over you so if you’re tired, sick, or just plain fed up, you will be whisked off your raft and into the support boat before you could say Sarah Palin.

The three-day race will start in the town of Nauta on Friday, September 24, 2010, and finish at the Fishing club in the City of Iquitos on Sunday, September 26.

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October 27, 2009 10:13:52

Travel in the Amazon: Health Tips for the Discerning Tourist

By Ryan Maves, M.D.

Travel in the Amazon: Health Tips for the Discerning Tourist in PeruPart of the beauty of Peru, beyond its wonderful people, history, and cuisine, is the diversity of its climates. From the stark coastal deserts to the stunning Andean highlands, there are few other parts of the world where a traveler can see such environmental variety. Each of these different climates brings unique challenges for tourists. The risk of serious illness is small, but mild illnesses are relatively common, and even experienced expatriates with long histories of residence in Lima can find themselves exposed to new and potentially dangerous diseases when moving around the country. Fortunately, there are a number of strategies that one can use to reduce risk and enjoy their travels with a minimum of difficulty.

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January 5, 2009 20:33:19

Our Amazon Tour to the Butterfly Farm, Iquitos Peru

By Bill Grimes

Our Amazon Tour to the Butterfly Farm, Iquitos PeruI found something for you. I wish you and everyone that comes to Iquitos Peru could spend one day full of fun and future memories at the Amazon Animal Orphanage and Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm. The biggest benefit for you would be to see and feel, and smell a lot of what you came to the Amazon hoping to see, and feel and smell in the first place. Let’s take an Amazon tour to the Butterfly Farm and let me show you what I mean.


You will find the Butterfly Farm in a beautiful barely tamed jungle setting with a riot of flowers, birds, monkeys, and yes of course, butterflies. As you hike the jungle trail, heliconias, ginger, and orchids are blooming, brushing up against you. Six species of Monkeys are climbing in the trees overhead. Two of the tamest monkeys, Junior and Tony want to climb on you.

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July 24, 2007 22:30:59

Our Study of the Amazon Pink Dolphin

Written by Bill Grimes

http://filer.livinginperu.com/travel/img/pink_dolphin.jpg700342Our Study of the Amazon Pink Dolphin
 
 
© LIP
Late in the afternoon on February 13th we tied up at the confluence of the Pacaya and Amazon Rivers. Dave and Dottie Bonnett already had the acoustical equipment ready. Pink and Gray Dolphins were nearly always breaching. Within minutes of turning the engines off Dave had the hydrophone in the water experimenting with depth, calling out instructions to Dottie to log into the records. Dave put on the headphones, turned the digital recorder on and excitedly called out, “We have communication! Ohh, the clicks,... The chirps,... What was that? It sounded like a fog horn. Did one just blow? Dottie write that down. Get the time. That was no catfish! Shirley, did you see it? Pink or Gray? Dottie write that down. Now it sounds like popcorn popping…”

That recording was exciting, the equipment worked, the technique was good, the boat was quiet, but what we wanted we could find only far inside Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Strange as it may sound for a scientist wanting to study Pink River Dolphin communication, there were too many dolphins at this location. Dave wanted only Pink River Dolphins (Inia geffrensis), with no Gray River Dolphins mixed in. He wanted no background motor noises or even the sound of paddling a canoe. Here, subsistence fishermen worked with the dolphins to net their family’s supper. Still, it was our first recording, and we were happy.

Early the next morning we officially entered the reserve to begin our scientific study. This was a hawk day. Some days are sloth days. This was a hawk day. We were amazed at the number of species of birds of prey. One expedition through this same area in late May and early June we saw over 50 sloths. I only saw one sloth this entire trip. If we had come to study sloths we would have gone home with no data.

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May 23, 2007 10:05:09

Journey into Peru's Amazon rainforest

(Written by Virginia Velasco)

Journey into Peru's Amazon rainforest Noise, traffic, too much work? Unable to rest?

Would you like to wake up to sounds of birds chirping or watch the rain pouring down while you rest in your hammock? Well… Iquitos and the rainforest are waiting for you, very close in time, though more than 1000 km away from Lima.

Iquitos is the largest city in the Peruvian Rainforest, it has the charm of a laid-back city, which experienced its “golden age” at the end of the XIX century thanks to the rubber export. The old steel buildings and the glazed tiles of the façades give a glimpse of how beautiful the city must have been at the time. Iquitos’ treasure is the Amazon River and its tributaries Nanay and Itaya, all three rivers flow around the city. The Amazon River is the largest river in the world by volume, to experience sunset or dawn sailing on the magic Amazon River is an unforgettable souvenir.

Just around Iquitos is one of the world´s treasures: The Amazon Rainforest. You have plenty of lodges to choose from, often scattered in the surroundings. This time we visited the Amazon Rainforest Lodge.

Journey into Peru's Amazon rainforest We arrived to the lodge at night, after we sailed almost 45 minutes with our guide Antonio. We were welcomed by a friendly bartender with lemonade and later we had home made local food which was very tasty and healthy. That night we could hardly see our surroundings, but we could listen to many strange noises. In the morning we enjoyed the lodge’ view from the wooden lodge which used palm tree leaves as its roof – much like the traditional houses of the area. Different animals live there and walk freely in their “home”, Rigoberto the tapir, Aldo the toucan, turkeys, and others who were in cages such as parrots and the world´s largest rodent, the “ronsoco” or capybara.

Having the lodge as your base, it is possible to go on several tours, even for families with small children. There are small villages spread throughout the area. We visited Gen Gen, a village next to the lodge supported both by the owner of the lodge Peter Schneider and the Rotary Sunrise Club. People live primarily from agriculture, fishing, tourism and their handcrafts production; there was a small school and a health care center, using solar power panels to run electricity and water, these are the sole services the people have access to. There are shortages of doctors and teachers in the entire region. Despite the simplicity of their lives, people seem to be happy with the small amount of things they have.

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May 8, 2007 15:25:36

Peru: Saving El Dorado's freshwater giants

Courtesy of

RUMBOS






Text and photos by Walter M. Wust

http://filer.livinginperu.com/travel/img/paiche/paiche1.jpg787528The paiche
The sale of the paiche is limited. Progress in its conservation pleases the fishermen, because it was in the brink of total disappearance in the Dorado.
© LIP
(LIP-jl) -- Aiming to save the paiche, the biggest freshwater fish in the world, a small group of local fishermen from Loreto decided to work for their conservation. The result was a successful example of how resource management is beginning to bear fruit.

If Brazil has the Pantanal and Botswana the Okavango Delta, then Peru should feel proud to count Pacaya-Samiria among its protected natural areas.

More than two million hectares of lakes, swamps and wetlands form this corner of the Amazon forest, creating a true magnet for wildlife.

It is, without doubt, the kingdom of aquatic species, among which the gigantic paiche stands out. Weighing in at up to 300 kilos and measuring some 3 meters, it is the biggest freshwater fish in the world.

In the heart of Pacaya-Samiria lies El Dorado Lake, a remote place of incomparable beauty. Here, among the ancient forests and rivers that resemble mirrors, nature seems to have been protected since the beginning of time.

But it wasn’t always like this. Even out here, many days from Iquitos, the hand of man was about to end the existence of one of the forest’s most valuable resources.

Attracted by the abundance of different species, fishermen came to El Dorado in even greater numbers. The fishing was good, and the boats returned with full cargos to the markets of Iquitos and Belén.

The bonanza lasted for a few years, and then the paiche became scarcer. Each time the fishermen went out they had to go further into the network of rivers and lakes to find fish of a reasonable size.

The forest fell silent. The loud cries of the giant of the jungle were no longer heard. The paiche was on the verge of extinction.

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