Three Easy Options for Solo Travel in the Peru Amazon Forest
When we make plans for a trip, one of the first things we have to figure out is whether we are going to do it on our own, share the adventure with family, or travel with a friend or two.
This decision is a primary one because it will affect where we go and how we do the trip. For example, if we decide to travel with friends, we should plan the trip together to make sure that everyone is on the same page in terms of what we hope to see and do. The same goes for a family trip along with whatever is required for traveling with children or senior citizens. With that in mind, it almost goes without saying that you have a lot more freedom when traveling on your own. In fact, since you don’t have to meet any other expectations that your own, you have all the freedom in the world to hike the Inca Trail, sample the best in Peruvian ceviche, and even explore the Peruvian Amazon Forest.
For our three options for solo travel, read below!
Well, maybe not that last idea because wouldn’t you need an expedition team to explore the Peruvian Amazon Forest? Well, that would be best if you wanted to try and reach little explored areas but thanks to successful ecotourism projects in certain parts of eastern Peru. You don’t need an expedition to experience the wild heart of the Peruvian rainforest.
Here are three ways that even the least experienced of solo travelers can make that happen in the Peruvian Amazon Forest:
1. Visit Tambopata
The Tambopata National Reserve is the most visited area. It hosts one of the richest ecosystems in the world and offers an extraordinary experience for those who want to discover the Amazon rainforest. Tambopata is ideal for amateurs of nature and the biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest; tourism for scientific purposes, bird watchers, flora and fauna; interested in mysticism and native communities and for those who are passionate about navigating the rivers of the Amazon. Tambopata is a destination that can be visited all year round.
This wild corner of the Peruvian Amazon Forest is much easier to visit than most people realise. To start an adventure in the Amazon rainforest of Tambopata you must first reach Puerto Maldonado. It is a 55 minutes flight from Cusco or 1h 40′ from Lima. Upon arrival, you will be met at the airport by your personal guide and transferred to your jungle lodge.
To have the best experience, you should stay at least 4 days and stay in one of the many Amazon Jungle Lodges. They are known for their high quality service. The conventional way to visit this area is to navigate the rivers and stay in hostels and lodges that offer the service of expeditions to the jungle with accommodation and food.
2. Stay at Unique Lodges with a Purpose
Guests (including folks who go their own way) who stay at Posada Amazonas or Refugio Amazonas Lodge can take guided hikes through wild, mature rainforest, watch for monkeys and birds from canopy towers. You can take part in other activities recommended by their personal guide. But also, these rainforest lodges make your travel unique since each of them is alive for a purpose.
While Posada Amazonas is the only lodge in the region owns by the Native Community of Infierno, part of the Ese Eja tribe. The lodge wants to exchange cultural experiences and share out all over the world thru its visitants their traditions and stories.
Refugio Amazonas, on the other hand, believe that the protection and conservation of the area can be possible through science. Because of that, they encourage every guest to become a citizen scientist and save the Peruvian Amazon Forest across the activities they have at the lodge.
3. An off-the-beaten-path experience inside the National Reserve of Tambopata.
Head further upriver is located the Tambopata Research Center. It is the only lodge inside the National Reserve of Tambopata, fronting the Bahuaja Sonene National Park. Here you can access one of the wildest parts of the Amazon, even if you do the trip on your own.
You can choose to stay in hostels or lodges and from there start your excursions. Some are very close to the protected natural areas, highlighting the Tambopata National Reserve, the Bahuaja Sonene National Park, the Sandoval Lake and the Valencia Lake. Inkaterra Reserva Amazónica is a lodge that has a canopy in its properties that offers a unique experience of exploring the jungle from above with a biodiversity that can only be appreciated from its hanging bridges between the treetops. Also, having the experience of the integrating project of Rainforest Expedition that works with members of the native E’se Eja community in the management of their lodges.
Or if you prefer a simple boat ride or hikes from Puerto Maldonado. Excellent option for bird watching, sport fishing, knowledge of medicinal plants and contact with native communities. It should be noted that being an area in the process of scientific research, it is very likely that it coincides with the presence of researchers in the lodges and receives information from their work in nocturnal talks, as part of their experience in the jungle.
In addition, in Tambopata an ancestral ritual is practiced in the native Amazonian communities based on the intake of a famous hallucinogenic drink used as a curative drink, from which you can participate, the Ayahuasca Ritual.
This drink is produced by a mixture of several plants and in a liana or vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) plays a major role. Many think that the drink is obtained simply by boiling the vine and the resulting juice is the Ayahuasca, but this is not true. The vine itself does not have any effect. However, it contains a very potent inhibitor of monoxidase that combined with other plants that probably contains DMT (dimethyltryptamine) produces the known entheogenic effects.
It is very common to find “healers” (healers) who treat diseases only with ayahuasca. They are known as “ayahuasqueros” because of their skills in the preparation and use of this drink that contributes to physical and spiritual health.
This means that ayahuasca is considered a sacred drink and therapeutically, an important goal, taking into account human beings in their context and not as an organism that only responds to external stimuli.