During our time in Cusco, we booked a 4-night stay in a jungle lodge just outside of Puerto Maldonado. Just like trekking, I am extremely sick (carsick) of taking buses. I was pleased to find out that domestic flights in Peru are fairly cheap, so we are flying to all of our destinations in Peru! Jeff had done a little bit of research on different lodges, but we didn’t ask many questions about what activities we would be doing in the jungle. At this point, we are so go-with-the-flow that nothing really phases us. They could have told us that we were supposed to scavenge for food in the jungle and we would be cool with it (luckily, that didn’t happen). Both of us are pretty tired of planning activities, and are willing to throw money at someone and have them tell us what to do!
We flew into Puerto Maldonado and were picked up at the airport by Eco Amazonia staff (the lodge we booked). They took us into town and let us explore the town and market. After seeing the small town, we were glad that we did not book an extra night there- there isn’t anything going on in Puerto Maldonado!
Around 1:30pm, we were bused to the river and hopped on a boat and cruised for an hour and a half downstream to the lodge.
Even though we paid a considerable amount of money for the 5 days ($505 pp), this is Peru, so we weren’t expecting much. We were pleasantly surprised when we arrived and were greeted with welcome drinks and a delicious buffet lunch! We had great food for the few days we were there and our little cabin was great!
We went on guided excursions in the mornings and the afternoons- sometimes hiking and sometimes by boat. Our guide David, was awesome! He spotted some crazy things- small frogs and a baby anaconda for example, and taught us about local plants.
One afternoon we took a short boat ride to 'Monkey Island,' right across from the lodge. We fed the monkeys bananas! There was one group of brown and black capuchin monkeys, and only 5 spider monkeys. These monkeys had been rescued from the black market, and used to be domesticated, so Jeff and I felt a little bit better about feeding the wildlife.
We enjoyed being off the grid again- electricity only ran for a few hours at night, and we relaxed in the hammocks by the river, and Jeff played soccer in the evenings with the guides.
The Madre del Dios river that the lodge is on runs through Bolivia and then on to Brazil where it meets up with the Amazon before dumping into the Atlantic Ocean. It was great to see so much tropical wildlife. On our last full day at the lodge, we went fishing for piranhas! Only our boat driver and our guide ended up catching piranhas, but I snagged a duck fish, and Jeff caught a baby duck fish. Duck fish might be a type of catfish (they call most fish ‘catfish’ here if they do not have scales). The best part was that we took the fish back to the lodge and the cook fried them up for our dinner! Jeff and I both liked the taste of the piranha the best. Delicious!