Staying at the Tahuayo Lodge is a well-known option for exploring the Amazon Rainforest in Peru. Located near Iquitos in the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve, on the Tahuayo River, the Tahuayo Lodge sits deep in the Amazon wilderness. Indeed, the lodge is well positioned for seeing wildlife and exploring the most epic parts of the Amazon River. The Tahuayo Lodge is managed by Amazonia Expeditions, which has a phenomenal reputation as a Peru Amazon Rainforest tour operator.
In this review, we’ll reveal our experience at the Tahuayo Lodge. We’ll tell you why we chose this lodge in the first place. Afterwards, we’ll explain whether we made the right choice (the short answer is a resounding ‘yes’). Then, we’ll detail our itinerary for the 6 day/5 night Amazonia’s Eco Tour. To wrap things up, we’ll say a final word on this Peru jungle lodge and Amazon expedition trip experience.
We hope you find this review useful. The Tahuayo Lodge is Amazonia Expeditions’ main lodge. But, did you know that this company run another lodge nearby? To find out more, read our review on the Amazon Research Center Lodge.
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Why We Chose Amazonia Expeditions’ Tahuayo Lodge
A trip to South America isn’t complete without a rainforest expedition in the Peru Amazonas. After doing jungle expeditions in Puerto Maldonado in 2016, Beck and I decided our next adventure in Amazonia would involve exploring the Peru jungle near Iquitos. Of course, exploring the Amazon in Peru is a huge bucket list item. Visiting the jungle of Peru is often a once-in-a-lifetime experience. So, we wanted to make sure that we chose a decent Amazon lodge as a launching pad to explore the jungle in Peru, near Iquitos.
After lots of research, which included reading Tahuayo Lodge reviews, it seemed that the Tahuayo Ecolodge was a clear standout. Mainly, the Tahuayo Lodge in the Amazon Rainforest stood out in terms of quality service and client satisfaction. We had read about the Muyuna Lodge, Explorama Lodge, Grand Amazon Lodge and Libertad Jungle Lodge. But, none of these lodges had the same stellar reviews and reputation.
Indeed, Amazonia Expeditions in Peru, seemed the logical choice. Not only did the Tahuayo Lodge sound like a nice place to stay. But, its remote location in the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve seemed perfect. We read that tours and activities would be run by a private guide and were great for adventurous travellers. It seemed Amazonia Expeditions’ Tahuayo Lodge was ticking all of the boxes.
Inevitably, in early 2020, we booked a package with Amazonia Expeditions, which would involve staying at Tahuayo Lodge. Unfortunately, once the COVID-19 pandemic kicked off, we had to cancel. Thankfully, and credit to Amazonia Expeditions, they offered a lifetime voucher. Luckily, in 2022, we finally arrived at Tahuayo Lodge in the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve ready for our Peru jungle adventure. So, did we make the right call?
Was Choosing the Tahuayo Lodge the Right Decision?
From the moment we initially enquired in 2020, Beck and I knew that Amazonia Expeditions and their Tahuayo Lodge would provide us with a legendary trip to the Peruvian Amazon. The owner of the company, Paul Beaver, was friendly, informative and genuinely invested in our trip. So, even prior to arriving in Iquitos and at the Tahuayo Lodge, we had really good vibes from the company.
Once we finally arrived in Iquitos, Amazonia Expeditions took care of absolutely everything from start to finish. Transport from Iquitos International Airport to their office in Iquitos, and then to the Tahuayo Lodge in the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve was all taken care of. After being shown around the lodge and checking into our room, we were very impressed.
A large dining room, hammock room and Wifi room meant there was plenty of space to relax when we weren’t exploring. Whilst the rooms were really comfortable and spacious with a superb natural rustic ambience. Indeed, Beck and I were delighted with our lodging experience. Particularly, the three buffet meals served per day were high-quality, healthy and delicious.
Of course, decent lodging is just one aspect of a trip to the Amazon. Personally, being able to see wildlife and explore the biodiversity of the region is even more important. Thankfully, the tours and activities on offer from the Tahuayo Lodge are adventurous, unique and fun. Whichever activity we did, Beck and I had an absolute ball. To that end, we don’t wish to explain every single activity on offer. But, we’re going to show you what we got up to during our time doing the Amazonia’s Eco Tour. That way, you’ll get a sense of what to expect if you follow suit.
Amazonia’s Eco Tour
There were a few reasons why Beck and I chose to do the Amazonia’s Eco Tour. Overall, Amazonia Expeditions offer four main packages. Although, the packages are totally customisable. They can be changed as you desire. Essentially, each package is all-inclusive and involves having a private guide. The main difference between the packages is the length of time. This dictates where you’ll stay and what activities you’ll have time to do.
Personally, the length of time of 6 days and 5 nights was ideal for us. Obviously, the longer you spend in the Amazon, the higher your chances of seeing more wildlife. A longer stay also gives you a chance of doing more activities. Of course, to keep costs down and to maximise our time hiking elsewhere in Peru, we didn’t want to spend much longer than a week. Indeed, 6 days was the perfect amount of time for us. This allowed us to do all of the main guided excursions on offer. It also gave us the chance to spend time at both Amazonia Expeditions’ Tahuayo Lodge and Amazon Research Center Lodge. Especially, by visiting the Amazon Research Center, you’ll explore deeper into the incredible Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve.
Anyway, that’s basically why we chose to do the Amazonia’s Eco Tour. For specific details on logistics and a thorough explanation of activities and possible wildlife to see, check out the sample itinerary.
So, what exactly did we get up to? Let us run through our itinerary during our time at the Tahuayo Lodge.
FYI – some activities aren’t possible to do during the dry season. You’ll probably only be able to do Varzea Forest exploration and the Tahuampa (flooded forest) excursion in the rainy season.
The speed boat transfer from Iquitos to the Tahuayo Lodge takes approx. four hours. So, realistically, you’ll only have time for an afternoon and/or night activity on your first day. Given we were buggered from our early flight from Lima to Iquitos that morning, we decided on just an afternoon activity.
After conversing with our expert guide, Hersog, we chose to do Igapo Forest exploration. This involved taking a boat ride up the Tahuayo River. We then hiked in a swampy area towards Traves Lake. Don’t worry, rubber boots are provided at the lodge! In fact, you’ll use rubber boots for all hiking activities in the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve. This helps with the conservation of the area.
Being our first excursion, Beck and I were very excited. During the boat ride, we saw plenty of squirrel monkeys. Once we arrived at the lake, following a short hike, we saw baby caiman and the elusive hoatzin.
Following this afternoon activity, we made sure to get an early night. That way, we’d be fully rested for a full day of activities on Day 2. Given the tranquillity and remoteness of the lodge, we slept extremely well and were indeed well rested. Falling asleep to the sound of frogs and waking up to the sound of birds. Pure bliss!
The Tahuayo Lodge Canopy Zipline is one of the most popular activities. And, for good reason. Following a short guided hike from the lodge, through the jungle, you’ll arrive at the zipline. Above the canopy, you’ll have tremendous views of the Amazon Rainforest. Overall, you’ll get four zipline rides, each equally as fun and thrilling.
After a morning spent hiking and ziplining, we spent the afternoon in search of pink dolphins! Although, we were told that pink dolphins were trickier to find near the lodge in the dry season. But, spurred on by a recent sighting, we decided to explore the Cocha Ecosystem anyway.
To our disappointment, we didn’t see any pink dolphins. But, thankfully, we’d see pink and grey dolphins later on in the trip. In the vast Amazon River, near Iquitos, it’s easier to spot dolphins in the dry season. And, well, that’s exactly what happened when we returned to Iquitos, from the Tahuayo Lodge, on the sixth and final day. Besides searching for dolphins, on Day 2, we at least got to swim in the Amazon River. What a unique experience! And, we saw sloths and a Neotropic river otter during the boat ride!
Following the afternoon excursion, 6pm crowd-pleasing popcorn and a delicious dinner, we headed out for our first night excursion. Given the full moon, conditions weren’t ideal for night photography of the constellations. So, instead, we decided on a night boat ride. Close to the lodge, we spotted snakes, kingfishers, caiman and frogs. Indeed, our first night out on the river was one to remember! Certainly, the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve was delivering on the wildlife front.
On our third day, we decided on a full-day Terra Firme Excursion. This would involve an approx. two hour boat ride up the Rio Blanco in search of green anacondas and endemic poison dart frogs. So, from the Tahuayo Lodge, we began our boat journey in search of some of the most exciting wildlife in the Amazon. To our delight, during the boat ride, we saw a few green anacondas, curled in low-lying trees, just above the water. Just wow!
Then, during our hike, we saw many poison dart frogs. These species of frogs are only found in this part of the world. Again, just wow! In addition, just like on all of the other boat trips, we enjoyed seeing an abundance of birdlife. This included seeing macaws, toucans and hawks, among many other species.
After a successful day trip, we decided against a night activity. That’s because we’d get up early the next day for a sunrise expedition.
Before heading to the Amazon Research Center, Beck and I fitted in one more boat trip near the Tahuayo Lodge in Peru. The sunrise expedition simply involved floating along the river, by boat, in search of a good spot for sunrise. Of course, this was all done with a coffee in hand. Thank you Tahuayo Lodge for the all-day coffee!
We were actually told that the sunrise expedition is best to do in the rainy season when water levels are higher. But, admittedly, we still enjoyed a beautiful sunrise along the Tahuayo River. In addition, dawn is a great time to spot wildlife. So, we highly recommend this activity.
So, that’s a wrap on the activities that we enjoyed at the Tahuayo Lodge, near Iquitos, in Peru. On the fourth day, we headed to the Amazon Research Center Lodge. For the remainder of Day 4, we hiked on the Trail Grid, which is used for scientific research. On Day 5, we canoed, went piranha fishing and enjoyed a night hike. On Day 6, we headed back to the Tahuayo Lodge. We then headed back to Iquitos, which signalled the end of the tour!
For more information on Day 4–6 of our Amazonia’s Eco Tour, read our Amazon Research Centre Lodge review.
Tahuayo Lodge Recap
Overall, the Amazonia Expeditions Tahuayo Lodge in Peru is a wonderful base for exploring the Amazon, near Iquitos. The Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve is one of the most biodiverse areas of the Amazon. So, you can expect to see plenty of varied wildlife. In terms of our lodging experience, indeed, the facilities at the Tahuayo Lodge are excellent. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better lodge, than Tahuayo Lodge, in the Amazon, near Iquitos, in Peru.
Are you thinking of staying at the Tahuayo Lodge in the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve? If you have questions, please ask by using the comments function below.