The Tapiche Reserve is the only conservation project in Iquitos, Peru funded entirely by eco-tourism. There are countless companies that offer "jungle tours," but here's what sets us apart from all the rest:
NOTICE: There may be scammers in Iquitos selling tours under our name. We are the only company that operates in our private property. Book directly here on the website or at our office in Iquitos inside the Green Track Hostel. Do not trust the mototaxi and taxi drivers or the "guides" on the street in Iquitos, for your own safety and well-being!
1. Location, Location, Location
You simply will not see wildlife in its natural habitat at any other lodge the way you will at the Reserve. No other company has access to a property as deep in the jungle as ours is. No other lodge has the same population density of healthy wild animals, particularly rare and endangered species, that we do.
Some lodges are more luxurious, and what you pay for are the amenities, not the wildlife experience. Other lodges may promise a list of similar species, or if you ask them about a rare monkey, they may say "of course, we have that, too." What they don't tell you is that you will see it in a cage or on a leash, or in a manipulated environment where the animals are tamed and fed, or maybe kept as a pet at the lodge.
Some companies take you to a "lodge" just around the bend from Iquitos and then bring you back to town to visit a zoo, because that's the only way you will see animals close to Iquitos. (Yes, it really happens; we've heard plenty of first-person accounts from guests at our hostel in Iquitos.) It may feel like you spent hours traveling far, but that's because they take you with a slow peque-peque motor at 5-10km/hr. At 404km from Iquitos, the Reserve legitimately IS far, and we use outboard engines to get you there as fast as possible. When you visit the Reserve, it feels like you've traveled a long way because you actually have.
2. Private Property
We take you to our own private reserve, where you will never bump into other tour companies wandering the grounds or clustered around the same lagoon. We take small groups (max 6 people). We keep human impact at a minimum, which we can do because we are the ones monitoring the property and the only ones allowed to enter. This also gives us the flexibility to design and customize private trips, like fishing or birding, without needing any additional permits or guides. The entire 6000 hectare property is ours to roam.
3. Our Philosophy
Some people show their "love" for animals by domesticating and dominating them. We think the best way to show our love for jungle animals is to protect their habitat, so they can be free and undisturbed in their natural environment. Wild animals belong in the wild, not in cages or on leashes for the sake of pleasing humans. We don't keep pets at the lodge, we don't cut tree branches to bring a sloth for you to hold and we don't catch snakes so that you can pose with it in a photo. You won't get photos of yourself holding exotic animals on our trips, but you will get shots of animals displaying their full beauty naturally, in their real homes. Sadly, Iquitos and the region of Loreto is still a fairly eco-hostile place in terms of culture, politics and economy. By coming to the jungle with us, you are playing an important role in shaping the local economy and changing the consciousness of the region.
4. Real Animals, Real Photos
Everything you see on this site is a genuine representation of the Reserve. There are no stock or stolen photos and no photos of species that are not found at the Reserve. All of the photos on this site were taken during guest outings and activities around the property. All of the animals you see here are part of the unique and compelling rain forest memories of the visitors who witnessed them during their trips. We know the biodiversity at the Reserve is naturally astounding, so there is no need to exaggerate.
Header photo: Crested eagle (Morphnus guianensis)
© 2013 Deborah Chen