Following our exploration of the amazing ruined city of Machu Picchu, none of the other ruins around Cuzco seemed impressive anymore and we quickly lost interest in spending more time in the area. We decided instead to take a detour to explore the amazing Amazon jungle.
Luckily the Inka Terra Lodge, a 5-star eco-lodge located near Puerto Maldonado was having a last-minute sale. A quick trip to a local travel agent and we secured a couple cheap flights to Puerto Maldonado, a boat transfer and were all set to spend 3 nights, 4 days in the jungle.
We arrived on a small flight, bussed to the pier and then hopped on a boat to take us downriver to the lodge. Our first impression of Inka Terra was fantastic. The rooms are stand-along huts facing the river, each fitted with hammocks, big queen beds, mosquito nets and a nice hot water shower. We were in paradise.
The lodge is all-inclusive, providing all accommodation, food and guided half-day and full-day tours in the jungle. We decided to pack in as much as we could, so we opted for a canopy walk, night-time boat cruise, boat tour of Gambitana Creek and a night-time jungle walk. We also did a full day hike which included a boat ride on Lake Sandoval, where we saw such an incredible array of animals and amphibians.
The flora and fauna in the amazon are truly incredible. Huge butterflies and amazing flowers are everywhere, and the sound of the jungle is unforgettable. There are layers and layers of noises coming from beyond. The monkeys were so fun to watch swinging between trees, and our guide was fantastic at pointing out animals and explaining the different types of plants.
A particularly memorable moment was seeing the milky way while floating down the Amazon river at night, surrounded by fireflies and the buzz of the jungle. Just the memory gives me shivers, I have never seen so many stars. It was impossible to get photos, but I will always have that memory.
I was hesitant to go to the Amazon at first (not a fan of gigantic spiders), but it turned out the be one the most memorable parts of my entire 4-month stay in South America. I’m so glad I had the chance to see it. And the spiders really only came out at night. So if you aren’t a fan of spiders, maybe just skip the night tour.