Exploring The Amazon In Style: 6 Reasons This Peruvian Rainforest Getaway Is Explorer Goals
Mega-treehouses, monkey spotting, natural viagra and so much more...
Every traveller has a smidgeon of ‘adventurer’ in them.
But when we look back at the proper, ye olde time adventurers who blazed a path through jungles, deserts and arctic wildernesses, it all looks a bit, well, death-riddled.
So hurrah for modern convenience, and the myriad ways in which you can flirt with the explorer lifestyle with none of that pesky mortal danger.
Case in point, Peru’s Inkaterra collection, which boasts a host of luxury eco-lodges all over the country, most notably with a couple situated within the heart of the Amazon.
MTV strapped on our finest jungle-ware for a stay at Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica. Here are six reasons why it needs to skyrocket to the top of your 'must visit' list...
1. Getting there is an adventure in itself
While you’re not going to be expected to hack through the jungle with a machete, it’s decidedly more of an adventure getting to Inkaterra’s rainforest stations than it would be hopping on a tube and strolling up to your nearest hotel.
The easiest way is to grab a plane to Puerto Maldonado (direct flights from Cuzco or Lima make it super-simple), followed by an airport transfer, and finally a boat ride up the Rio Madre De Dios - an exhilarating introduction to your jungle stay.
2. You’re as close to nature as you’re ever going to get without getting eaten
The afternoon we arrived at Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica, we ventured off into the rainforest for a short wander around the nearest (and shortest) rambling loop.
Along the way, we saw a tarantula (admittedly, lured out of its hidey-hole by our guide), heard monkeys above, and on the walk back bumped into a host of agoutis - adorable, capybara-esque mega-rodents that are dotted all around the land.
Before our time was up, we’d spotted caymans in the water, hunted for anacondas (we didn’t see any), seen giant river otters, capuchins, red toucans, fire ants, vultures, howler monkeys (SO LOUD), and heard tales of jaguars padding through the jungle around us.
And if botany’s ya thing, then the jungle is a literal plant heaven. From the huacrapona (called the ‘penis root’ by locals because, well, look below), to cocoa leaves used in everything from cocaine to chocolate, a ‘dragon blood’ tree that appears to bleed when you peel the bark away, and even local, natural alternatives to viagra, the rainforest really is a treasure trove of plant marvels.
3. It’s gloriously internet free - and you really won’t even notice
A stay at the Reserva Amazónica base means you’ll get diddly squat wifi. But before you run for the hills, know that it’s the perfect forced break from reality.
Not only will you properly connect with nature, but it’s all the more reason to fully enjoy your gloriously cosy cabana (which comes with hammocks as standard), the main hub (replete with pisco-serving bar, books and card games aplenty), and spend your days and evenings soaking up your surroundings - being in the moment, watching the sun set over the Amazon, listening to the constant chatter of the nature around you… it’s the very reason why you left home in the first place.
4. You can head off on a host of excursions FOC
The vast majority of excursions listed are free of charge, with only the super-specific or off-peak ones accessible at an additional charge.
There’s a real myriad of possibilities, ranging from quarter to full day excursions, and with such variety that there’s something to please everyone in your party - from the ‘ooh I just wanna see a monkey’ lazy-bum, to the more adventurous ’I want to roll up my sleeves and walk miles through the rainforest swampland’ explorer.
During our time, we frolicked with endangered giant river otters, got caught in a tropical downpour in the midst of a muddy jungle, spotted caymans by torchlight at night (and stared up at mind-meltingly stunning stars from the boat in the downtime), and coasted along the river inlets by Hacienda Concepcion on the hunt (not literally) for anacondas.
5. It has an awesome treehouse
Reserve Amazónica’s canopy walkway is unlike any treehouse you’ve ever seen before.
Suspended 98 feet above the ground, and measuring around a quarter of a mile long between two tall towers and seven hanging bridges, it’s one of South America’s largest canopy bridges, and a spectacular, unique way to see the environment around you from a whole new angle.
Whether you’re playing ‘spot a species’, bouncing along the rope walkways, or going ‘full romance’ with a once-in-a-lifetime overnight stay in one of the towers (candlelight dinner served by standard), it’s a very special way to explore the rainforest.
6. You can learn while you stay
For those of you wanting to really get away from it all, the nearby Inkaterra Guides Field Station offers select spaces to those wanting to study more about their surroundings.
Volunteers and travellers can engage with different sustainable and conservation-leading projects, and stay on-site along the way. The accommodation’s cosy, the surroundings gorgeous and intimate, and the opportunities endless. To find out more, head on over here.
MTV Stayed With… Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica on a complimentary full board basis.