Recently, I have had the pleasure of lodging at the amazing Refugio Amazonas while on an adventure on the rio Tambopata in the Peruvian Amazon.

The lodge at Refugio Amazonas.  Photo Credit Peru Top 10

I am going to tell you a bit about Refugio Amazonas should you be looking for a cool place to go.

Describe Refugio Amazonas

I would describe Refugio Amazonas as a deep jungle research facility (they do research on tiger moths) and glamping paradise.

Glamping At Its Finest

Glamping being glamorous camping, you see.

Just because you are in a wild place doesn’t mean you have to live like a filthy beast.  No judgement if living like a filthy beast is your thing!

What Are The Traits Of Glamping?

  1.  Great food
I have no idea what this deliciousness was called, but it was amazing.  Every meal at Refugio Amazonas was incredible!  Trust me on the subject of deliciousness as I’m a level-10 porker who sometimes has to unbutton my pants while I’m eating.  STOP JUDGING ME!      

The food, served buffet style thrice daily, was absolutely perfect for an early morning expedition into the jungle or for a later dinner after you have worked up a big appetite from a long day of adventuring.  Man, did I punish that buffet!

2.  Great drinks

If you are in Peru then pisco sours are a must.  Refugio Amazonas had incredible pisco sours that we hammered back one after another after another.  One member of our party might have had a few too many pisco sours and projectile spewed.
This was a shot of coca moonshine.  Yes, THAT coca.  It tasted like liquid cocaine.  Just kidding!  It tasted like liquid cocaine.

The bar is definitely open in the jungle serving mixed drinks, shots, and domestic/international beer.  If I didn’t have so much adventuring to do I could have spent all of my time at the bar like the old booze jockey that I am.

3.  A great lodge

If you have never been on an adventure the lodge is generally the hub or operations.

At the lodge people eat, drink, gather, and hangout (you can’t sit in your room the entire time).  The lodge at Refugio Amazonas was one of the best glamping lodges that I have ever seen.

4.  Comfortable rooms

When you are going hard on your adventures you need a comfortable room to relax in.  Now here is where things get interesting…

The rooms at Refugio Amazonas are “open air”.  Open air means there are only three walls.  Where the fourth wall should be…there is no wall.  It’s just open.  With the jungle on that other side.  Yes, THAT jungle!

I know that you are thinking, “WHAT THE WHAT??? The room is open so that the jungle critters can get in?”

Yes.  Check this out…

Ah, but don’t panic.  Literally zero critters came into our room.  Zero.  It would have been nice to have some lovely visitors.  I mean, you are on a jungle adventure.  Why not wake up to a jungle critter tooling around in your mouth?

Sadly, we received no tarantula visitors
Or scorpions
Or whip tail scorpions.  I’m just showing off with the creepy crawlies that we encountered.  Look at the eye on that thing!

Seriously, the open air rooms were wonderful.  Despite the lack of animals that entered the rooms we could see plenty of jungle animals while laying in our beds. Monkeys and agoutis were the most bountiful around the grounds.

Hi, I’m incredibly handsome!  I took this picture of a brown mantled tamarin while lounging around Refugio Amazonas.  I wish I was that handsome.

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Cool Stuff To Do

This list isn’t all inclusive, but here is some of the cool stuff to do at Refugio Amazonas…

Hike through the jungle to the observation tower.  The top of the tower is slightly above the canopy.  The view and bird watching up here was wonderful!

The camp also launches a drone from the tower that they use to survey the canopy.  Guests get to participate in said droning.

Peeps high atop the observation tower scanning the Amazon.  Everyone is wearing jackets because it was the winter.  It’s gets chilly in the jungle during the winter time.

If you go the observation tower be prepared for the climb up the stairs to the top.  It is a bit of a hike.

There is a large network of trails surrounding Refugio Amazonas.  The jungle hiking is really great there!

You can go on a hike in the day…

Look at this massive ficus tree we encountered on a jungle hikes.

Or at night…

The night hikes are so amazing.  There really is nothing like the jungle at night.  The best part of the night hikes was cutting the lights and just looking up at the South American night sky.  I’ll never forget that.

There are several clay licks either within walking distance of the camp or up the river a little.  Tons of animals come to the licks to ingest the clay.  They clay is filled with minerals and also helps birds that eat a lot of toxic fruits.

The mammal lick has a blind so that you can sit back and watch without anything detecting you.
I got a good shot of these turkeys eating some clay.  Animals eat the clay as it is full of minerals.  Mmmm, clay.

As the lodge also serves as a base of operations for research that is conducted in the jungle, a different researcher gives a talk each night about the work that they do.

She gave us a nice talk about the research the lodge does on tiger moths.  They use citizen scientists to assist in identifying new species.  Basically, if you are staying at the lodge and want to participate in the research then you join the researchers at night to look for new species of tiger moths.  Several guests have discovered new species.

And what trip to the jungle wouldn’t be complete without a trip to a jungle farm.  This farm consists almost entirely of fruit trees.  You get the fruits that you would expect like avocado, oranges, lemons, limes, and cocoa; you also get really exotic fruits whose names I cannot possibly remember.  So good!

That is don manual.  He lives alone in the jungle on a farm that he built himself.  It is a massive farm with quite a few acres of land and couple of hand built buildings.  He said that he used to have a regular day job and decided it wasn’t for him.  So, he peaced out and it’s been the jungle life ever since.  I’m a little jealous.

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An Eco Friendly Facility

Power is generated via a mix of solar and generator.

To completely power the camp via solar energy would require some level of deforestation to allow for the needed panels.  Thus, they use a mix of solar and a diesel generator.

The solar panels
Yes, we asked to see the generator.  Why?  Because we are nerds, that is why!

The camp had power in the morning when guests were leaving for their adventures and at night when guests were returning.  Otherwise, it was blackout rules.  That includes a blackout at night.  Better bring a flashlight or headlamp.  (I seriously love that headlamp I just linked to.  That thing cut through the jungle darkness like a light saber!).

The lodge gets its water from a well.

The water storage tower.

Yes, there are running showers (with hot water) and commodes, but you can’t drink the water.  If you do drink the water then be prepared for explosive ape-like diarrhea.  No one wants jungle rhea-rheas.  No one.

If you get a case of “jungle tummy” the staff will hook you up with an electrolyte remedy.  No one wants to be pooping their guts out in the jungle!


Despite being in the middle of the jungle there is WIFI.  It’s weak and only runs when the power is on, but it was enough to FaceTime with minimal latency.

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One Thing To Watch Out For

Refugio Amazonas is located up a significantly steep hill.  The only way up is via a massive set of stairs.  Keep this in mind if you have limited mobility or you are just a pork chop as there is no escalator.  You have to walk it.

The Best Part

The lodge, the adventures, and the wildlife at Refugio Amazonas are all fantastic.  The best part of the experience is being with similar adventure enthusiasts.

Think about it – how many people in your life will ever do something like stay at an open air facility in the Amazon? Here, everyone is like you in that regard!

You will meet awesome people.  And that is the best part!

We didn’t know these nice folks when we arrived at Refugio Amazonas, but they became our jungle family.  They made a great trip even better!  Yayyyy, Fam!