The 5-day / 4-night Family with Kids Amazon Refuge
A great educational & entertaining family rainforest adventure is guaranteed with two unique trails specially designed for younger children and supplemented by fun activities. The trails are based on the story of a six-year-old girl living in the rain forest called Ania. Kids aged from four to nine years will feel as if they were part of the story and will learn how to value their relationship with the Earth. Adults are welcome to join, but can also choose to do other nature and cultural activities offered by the lodge. In addition to these, extra activities (see below) are available to order.
Arrival & Reception by Kids Guide.One of our regular naturalist guides with a feel for kids will be assigned to your group. If solicited, a separate guide will be assigned to the rest of the family for regular activities.
Transfer from the Airport to our Puerto Maldonado Headquarters. Upon arrival from Lima or Cusco, we will welcome you at the airport and drive you the ten minutes to our Puerto Maldonado headquarters. While enjoying your first taste of the forest in our gardens we will ask you to pack only the necessary gear for your next few days, and leave the rest at our safe deposit. This helps us keep the boats and cargo light.
Puerto Maldonado Headquarters to Tambopata River Port.Skirting Puerto Maldonado, we drive 20 kilometres to the Tambopata River Port, entering the Native Community of Infierno. The port is a local communal venture.
Transfer by Boat - Tambopata River Port to Refugio Amazonas.The two and a half hour boat ride from the Tambopata Port to Refugio Amazonas will take us past the Community of Infierno to the Tambopata National Reserve checkpoint and into the buffer zone of this 1.3 million hectare conservation unit.
Refugio Amazonas is a charming 32 bedroom lodge well placed immediately adjacent to the Tambopata National Reserve. Each room has a private bathroom with hot shower. A limited number of special superior rooms are available, please enquire for details on this upgrade.
Orientation. Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips.
Circle of fire:The first night, as a prelude to the upcoming activities that will take place with our guide, we head towards the circle of fire. A series of burners lights the path that leads through the forest and meets at the circle of fire. This is where Tawa, the ancient healer, has his house with all his utensils, magic potions and extracts prepared from the plants of the forest. There we will sit and listen to our guide narrate the story ‘Ania and the Voice of the World’, learn the story and be introduced to the characters. It is the starting point for the adventure that awaits us in the coming days.
Overnight at Refugio Amazonas
Canopy Tower: A thirty minute walk from Refugio Amazonas leads to the 25-metre high scaffolding canopy tower. A staircase with banisters running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms above. The tower has been built upon high ground, therefore maximising your view of the continuous primary forest extending out towards the Tambopata National Reserve. From here views of mixed-specie canopy flocks as well as toucans, macaws and raptors are likely.
The Children's Rainforest Playground: We play the ‘game of seeds’ and learn all the powers that the seeds of the forest contain. Together with our guide we learn how to collect these seeds on our walks, which in turn empower us to find the ‘Ania’s Treasure’. Each seed represents a different level and we will reach all these five levels: pona: truth, wasai: friendship, cashapona: courage, wayruro: freedom, and yarina: love.
The Children's Rainforest Trail: Ania & The World´s Voice. An exciting journey designed for children aged from four to nine years. We travel with our guide on a challenging (but short) walk, where we follow maps, solve riddles and find clues that will lead to ‘Ania’s Treasure’. The path includes a visit to the houses of Ania and Tawa , the grandfather of the woods. Searching for the ‘lost Brazil nut’, the ‘city of ants’ and other fun games teaches children how people live in the rainforest and why we should conserve it, while leaving them with a valuable message: ‘Ania, a child born in the jungle to fill our hearts with hope.’ The concept, story and methods belong to ANIA, a non-profit organization with the aim of creating 100,000 hectares of ‘Children’s Land’ – private, protected areas managed for children.
Night Walk: You will have the option of hiking out at night, when most of the mammals are active but difficult to see. Easier to find are frogs with shapes and sounds as bizarre as their natural histories.
Overnight at Refugio Amazonas
Oxbow Lake Visit: We will paddle around the lake on a canoe or a catamaran, looking for lakeside wildlife such as hoatzin, caiman and horned screamers, hoping to see the giant river otters which are infrequently seen here. You will also be rewarded with overhead sightings of macaws.
Ethnobotanical Tour: Along this trail we will find a variety of plants and trees that are used by the local population with at least the same variety of purposes. We will learn about the medicinal (and other) uses of Ajo-Sacha, Yuca de Venado, Uña de Gato, Charcot-Sacha and Para-Para, among several others.
Rainforest Tattoo: At the lodge, we will prepare a paste from the fruit of huito and achiote to draw dark blue and red tattoos on ourselves. They last several days.
Caiman Search: We will be out at the river’s edge at night, scanning the shores with headlamps and flashlights to catch the red gleams of reflection from caiman eyes.
Overnight at Refugio Amazonas
Parrot Clay Lick: A fifteen minute boat ride and sixty minute walk from Refugio Amazonas is a clay lick used both by parrots and parakeets. From a blind you will see parrots and parakeets descend on most clear days to ingest the clay on a bank. Species such as dusky- headed and cobalt-winged parakeet descend at this clay lick. With luck we will also see some or all of the following species in the early morning rush: mealy and yellow-crowned Amazons, blue-headed Pionus, severe macaw and orange-cheeked (Barraband`s) Parrot. We visit the lick at dawn, when parrots are most active or in mid-morning or early afternoon, when they are also active.
Mammal Clay Lick: Twenty minutes walking from Refugio Amazonas is a peccary clay lick. These wild rain forest pigs show up in herds of five to twenty individuals to eat clay in the late morning. Chances of spotting them are around 15%, but well worth the short hike. Other wildlife may also arrive, including deer, guan and parakeets.
Farm Visit: Five minutes downriver from the lodge lies a farm owned and managed by charismatic Don Manuel from the neighbouring community of Condenado. He grows a variety of popular and unknown Amazon crops - just about every plant and tree you see serves a purpose.
Tambopata National Reserve Lectures: Nightly lectures prepared by the staff of Refugio Amazonas cover conservation threats, opportunities and projects in the Tambopata National Reserve.
Transfer by Boat from Refugio Amazonas to the Tambopata River Port.
Transfer from the Tambopata River Port to our Puerto Maldonado Headquarters.
Transfer from our Puerto Maldonado Headquarters to the Airport.
We retrace our river and road journey back to Puerto Maldonado, our office and the airport. Depending on airline schedules, this may require dawn departures.
* IMPORTANT: Transfer times. Due to our set program start and end times, we will send you suggested flights for your rainforest experience. Other flights incur extra fees for private boat transfers which would need to be added at your cost.
Transfer-in (From Puerto Maldonado to Lodge): we have two departures daily at 13:00 and 14:30 and your flights need to link up with these.
Transfer-out (Lodge to Puerto Maldonado): Two daily departures at 07:00 and 08:00
Private transport by bus and boat can be arranged at extra cost for families or groups.
Cost per person sharing double or triple room: US$908 + US$13 park entry fee
Single: (if you do not wish to share accommodation): US$1196 + US$13 park entry fee
Children sharing a triple or quadruple room with their parents: US$744 + US$13 park entry fee
More luxurious room upgrades also available
Included: All meals, accommodation, and services, all river transportation, and transfers from and to the airport in Puerto Maldonado.
Not Included: International or domestic airfares, airport departure taxes or visa fees, excess baggage charges, additional nights during the trip due to flight cancellations, alcoholic beverages or bottled water, snacks, insurance of any kind, laundry, phone calls or messages, reconfirmation of flights and items of personal nature.
Boat Transportation: Our boats are 20-foot long, roofed canoes. Outboard boat engines are 75hp 4 stroke, eco-friendly, low emission motors
We reserve the right to change the order of activities or trails due to weather or other local conditions.
A number of add-on activities are available at the different lodges, please contact me for more details and to confirm availability:
At Refugio Amazonas
Kayaking on the Tambopata River, cost US$75 per person.
No previous experience is required. A boat will bring us upriver and then we will paddle down a portion of the Tambopata River with some rapids, although most of the progress presents low difficulty. At the shores we will observe fragmented parts of the forest and come across with locals that work at the few farms in the region. To finish our experience, we´ll stop on a sandy beach and take a well deserved bath. No experience required, only swimming knowledge.
Canopy Climbing up a 30m high tree, cost US$75 per person.
Replicating the daily work of macaw researchers, we will climb a 30-metre high tree with a rope, harness and jumar. From this vantage point we will have a macaws eye view of the forest. This demanding exercise is perfectly safe and requires no previous experience.
Stand-up Paddle Boarding on the Tambopata River, cost US$75.
We will paddle up a portion of the Tambopata River that presents no difficulty. At the shores we will observe fragmented parts of the forest accompanied by nature sounds and some wildlife we may observe, like birds, caimans and turtles. To finish our experience, we´ll stop on a sandy beach and take a well deserved bath. No experience required, only swimming knowledge.
Jungle Mountain Biking, cost US$75 per person.
Our ride begins 10 minutes from the lodge, and then loops 10 kilometres through mature forest and numerous creek beds.
Rainforest Tatoo, cost US$30 per person.
At the lodge, we will prepare a paste from the fruit of huito and achiote to draw dark blue and red tattoos on ourselves. They last several days.
A variety of holistic treatments ranging from aromatherapy to mud baths, massages, herbal baths and meditation. Available at the Wellness Center.