HISTORY AMAZON RAINFOREST LODGE
The story of the Amazon Rainforest Lodge started way back in 1983 soon after I arrived in Peru. I heard about an amazing place up in the high Andes mountains called: MARKAWASI where there are hundreds of stone statues of human heads, animal faces, Egyptian sphinx’s and even figures of dinosaurs. I formed a travel agency called ‘Peru Mystic Tours’ together with Erick Mendosa and Edith Miguel who were my original guides when I first travelled up to see this great mystery of Peru. However, the tourists didn’t just want to go up the mountain to 4’000 meters above sea level and camp out for three or four nights, they wanted to go to the Nazca lines, to see Machu Picchu and Cusco, and they wanted to come to the jungle to do the Shamanic ceremonies.
So I first came to the Momon river to do the ceremony and stayed at a nearby lodge which does not exist anymore called the ‘Anaconda Lara Lodge’. A group of South Korean businessmen had just built this lodge and called it ‘Chung Pung’, later changed to ‘Family Land’. When I purchased it in 1996 the first thing I did was change the name to ‘The Amazon Rainforest Lodge’ which far more accurately reflects what we have here. Fortunately we are built on a relatively elevated piece of land which means that even when the river is really high we are still above the water level.
The first thing I realized was that the lodge was poorly built. Twice we had to rebuild the wooden look-out tower and one night the water tower came crashing down and we were without water for several days!! So the decision was made to completely rebuild the lodge from top to bottom, and what you see today is completely new; nothing of the old lodge exists anymore! This time we used good quality materials and top Peruvian craftsmanship. The new restaurant was designed by top Peruvian arquitect Jorge Burga and built by artisan Sr. Victor Ochoa.
Today the Amazon Rainforest Lodge is a family lodge: children are welcome, youngsters, adults, everybody. We have two bungalows for movement impaired persons. All the walkways are on just one level so that a wheelchair can be used anywhere. We have delicious fresh food, a mixture of local and international, prepared by our wonderful chef, great drinks both local and international, prepared by our great barman, and snacks available between meals from our kiosk. Although we are a ‘jungle lodge’ we try to provide as many facilities as a good hotel would also provide (internet connection, Direct TV, etc).
The biggest attraction is our swimming pool which is by far the largest in the Peruvian jungle, also the longest water slide (34 meters) in the jungle, with fresh water coming from an underground well. Whilst digging for water we found a whole layer of ancient fossil fish and sea shells which means that millions of years ago this whole area was underwater!! So after your trek through the rainforest a dip in the pool will refresh you! If you want to just relax then just enjoy sitting in one of our many hammocks scattered around the area. For kids we have the ‘Sapo’ (frogs) game which is a lot of fun, plus TVs with games in each of the bungalows, a kids’ pool, swings, and trampoline. Besides the treks and canoe boat rides, there are sporting facilities. For example when groups of youngsters arrive they sometimes play football (soccer) against the local teams from the nearby villages of Gen Gen and Centro Fuertes.
Recently I acquired a large piece of land about a 12 minute boat ride down the Momon River towards Iquitos. It is called ‘Piranha Park’ and with much care and love we have built five artificial lakes. One has piranhas which you are welcome to fish (mind your fingers!), another has crocodiles (all fenced in), we have an iguana compound, and our very own monkeys which live on a small island with plenty of trees to play in. There is a 1.4 km jungle trek which includes a large tree with swings, and a shorter route where you can see orchids in their natural glory. Just one thing: Remember that we are in Secondary rainforest so unfortunately you will not see any large animals in our area, but we do have around 60 species of birds flying around. I highly recommend the early morning (dawn) boat tour where you will see all the birds and small animals in all their glory.
I hope that you enjoy your stay here at the lodge. Our staff are wonderful; some are from the local villages and a few from the city of Iquitos. Many have been with us for many years. If there is anything that you can do for you to make your stay more pleasant you just need to ask.
Peter E. Schneider (Swiss / British), the owner Amazon Rainforest Lodge
Momon River, near Iquitos (Amazon River), Department of Loreto, Peru