So you're coming to Iquitos, Peru? Pull on some gumboots (which we'll provide) and get ready for an authentic deep jungle experience at the Tapiche Reserve!
This is a sample itinerary for a 5d/4n trip to the Reserve. There may be variations based on season, water level and weather conditions. Our guides will always choose the best activities to maximize your time and experience in the jungle. Largest group size is 6, so you get personal attention, and we approach the animals in small groups. If you opt for a private guide, you can sleep in the treetops at our 32m/105ft high Canopy Observation Tower overlooking the forest and lagoon. We are also happy to arrange for larger groups or private customized activities (e.g. birding, mammalwatching, sport fishing for species like peacock bass or giant catfish) in advance, just contact us.
Day 1. The journey to the Reserve begins early in the morning from the city center of Iquitos Peru, traveling up past the Amazon River to the Ucayali River, arriving in Requena for lunch. Then we navigate up the winding Tapiche River with an outboard motor. The Tapiche is a narrow river with a unique landscape, giving us the chance to observe wildlife on the river side, including several species of herons, toucans, macaws, egrets, wild ducks, storks, grey dolphins (Sotalia fluviatilis) and pink dolphins (Inia geoffrensis). Depending on seasonal conditions and the opportunities to view wildlife, this last leg of the journey takes on average 4-6 hours. Learn more about the journey on our Location page.
Day 2. Light breakfast at 05:00, then embark on a 10km trek through the terra fime forest deep into the Reserve, where we will marvel at gigantic centenary huimba (Ceiba pentandra) trees 55m tall. We may encounter South American coati (Nasua nasua), saddleback tamarin (Saguinus fuscicollis), common squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus sciureus), and other land mammals. Terrain will be fairly level, but we will make our way over, under and around the jungle's many roots, vines and branches. Second breakfast will be picnic style around 09:00, providing the fuel we need to complete the trek and return to the lodge for hot lunch around 13:00.
After our long morning hike, you can relax in a boat that your guide will row silently along the edge of the jungle, looking for animals like monkeys, birds and sloths, which come to the water to catch the warmth of the last sunlight. Return to lodge for hot dinner.
Day 3. Light breakfast at 5am followed by a 12 km trek along the Chambira creek, where the giant otters (Pteroneura brasiliensis) make their home during the dry season. The hike will take us far into a different side of the Reserve through an amazing ciliar forest. Second breakfast will again be picnic style. There is a great concentration of mammals in the area, including the rare red uakari monkey (Cacajao calvus) and red howler monkeys (Alouatta seniculus). Along the way, we will also discuss medicinal plants growing in the wild and learn about their preparation and use. Return for hot lunch at the lodge around 1pm.
In the afternoon we will take a boat along the Tapiche River to what we call "dolphin corner," a spot where the pink dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) and gray dolphins (Sotalia fluviatilis) come every afternoon to hunt. Return to the lodge for hot dinner.
Day 4. All day out. Light breakfast at 05:00. We travel by canoe along stunning primary gallery forest to arrive at Garza Lagoon. Second breakfast is picnic style. Enjoy stunning views out over the canopy and lagoon from the top of our breathtaking 32m/105ft high Canopy Observation Tower, then explore the lagoon by boat. On the lagoon it is possible to observe the great black caiman (Melanosuchus niger) in broad daylight. During low-water season we fish for our lunch, which is often red-bellied piranha (Pygocentrus nattereri) grilled fresh over an open fire. After lunch, we will continue canoeing into the swampy areas of the reserve. This is the territory of more black caiman, dusky titis (Callicebus moloch), large groups of red howler monkeys, and eye-catching jungle birds like the macaw and hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin). Return at sunset for hot dinner at the lodge.
Day 5. Full breakfast at the lodge. Return transport to Iquitos, Peru.
Contact Us to start your booking.
For more reasons to come to the jungle with us, find out Why We're Different.
Visit the Biodiversity page to learn about the animals and plants you'll meet.
Banner photo: Black caiman (Melanosuchus niger)
© 2013 Deborah Chen