Welcome to the Jungle

I hate complaining in this blog, but our flight situation was a real nightmare- delays, extra lay overs, missed flights, and a ticket purchase on the last flight from Lima to Puerto Maldonado 30 minutes before departure. It’s a miracle we made it, but thank goodness we did.

To kick off our trip, we spent 4 days in the Amazon at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica, an amazing eco-lodge on the bank of the Madre de Dios river (which feeds into the Amazon). Your stay includes all your excursions & food, and each couple has a little cabin with a screened in porch and hammocks. They try to be carbon neutral, so there isn’t always power and there definitely isn’t AC. Which meant we were sweaty for 4 days straight. But hey, it made it a more authentic experience, right? Plus, the heat put me right to sleep during nap time. I adored the cabins and wish I had one situated one a lake here in TX for weekend trips. No lock, limited power, no reception/ wi-fi. Our mid-day siestas were so relaxing. The food was also great, especially considering they have to bring everything in by boat. We even had a pisco sour making lesson and a specialty cocktail lit on fire ๐Ÿ™‚
The excursions were typically laid out with one in the early morning, one in the late afternoon, and one in the evening after it got dark. We got lucky and had a great, fun, group to tour around with- couples from New Zealand and the UK. We actually ran into the UK couple in Cusco and at Machu Picchu- crazy!
The first night, we went out on a boat to stargaze and look for caymens (they looked like little, white alligators).
We woke up at the crack of dawn the next morning to a little knock on our door, in place of an alarm. Then we took a boat upriver (this is pretty much the beginning of every excursion) and hiked to Sandoval Lake, where we kayaked around and looked at wildlife. Throughout the trip, we saw monkeys, birds of all kinds, scorpions, and turtles. Watching the spider monkeys play in the treetops was definitely a highlight.
That afternoon, we climbed wayyy up to go on a canopy walk. I thought I would be terrified because I don’t do well with heights, but I was surprisingly fine even with Dan critiquing the engineering of the bridges (eek)! Maybe I’m finally growing up and facing my fears.
My favorite morning was spent at their “farm” where we got to see everything that grows in the area and try some of it! Then we leisurely made our way down Gamitana Creek, which was really enjoyable.
During our afternoon boat ride (see a theme here), Dan was videoing a cayman on his go-pro and he jumped up at us!! Definitely jumped big time. We also got to taste some local plants used as medicine- one made our mouth numb and was super odd.
One of the coolest things was a night walk of the grounds. Our guide pointed out tons of different creepy crawlers (like scorpions) and my favorite, a tree frog. We all wore our own headlamps, and Dan kept spotting things our guide didn’t. He has the best eyesight ever. After returning to our cabin, we even had a little visitor in our bathroom in the form of a tarantula- I freaked and made Dan catch him and take him outside. He’s a true hero!

It was such an adventurous and HOT time!ย Inkaterra was a pretty stellar place to stay toย experience the Amazon and this was a great introduction to Peru. From Puerto Maldonado, we were off to Cusco to see just how diverse Peru is!

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