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jelapprand Iquitos - A travel report by Jules
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Iquitos,  Peru - flag Peru -  Loreto
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jelapprand's travel reports

Keep the Amazon alive and support her people

  7 votes
Dear friends, I would like to share with you some of my experiences I had last May (2008) in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. Not only that, but I'd also like to share about a new friend of mine, whom I consider dear, and whom I hope you can also meet.

It's off we go.
It's off we go.
My friend and I wanted to go to the Amazon very badly in early 2008. So, we planned our trip, by checking out travel blogs and information websites not unlike this one - to search for places to go, things to look out for, guides to hire. Well, a man named Gerson presented himself on one of these, and told us he was man from a small village about 260 km south of Peru's Amazonian port capital, Iquitos. Since the age of eight he and his family had been exploited by various jungle lodges and tour companies run by people from outside the rainforest - and who have been known to exploit local people before. A few years ago he decided to try and start a company of his own, but now works solo, offering tourists a first-hand experience of the Amazon. The money he makes goes to helping out many local people, as there is a strong sense of community in these villages. Gerson was such a genuine, honest and caring person and we always felt like we were in good hands with him. He truly showed us with pride his homeland that I know he holds dear and wants to protect as well as share with as many as possible from all around the world. As of yet Gerson has received recommendations from people all around on the net - he is becoming more and more well known. I hope you will contact him as well and try out the amazing experience that awaits you. Ask me for his email. Don't miss out on this unique opportunity - we certainly felt like the priviledged few going deep with this great guy. A rare treasure.

Favourite spots:
Monkeys at the clay lick
Monkeys at the clay lick
Now this was no ordinary trip - an unforgettable adventure! We left Iquitos in the early morning, took a taxi to Nauta, a port about an hour's drive away, then from there took a 2 hr boat ride to Base Camp, (Pueblo Libertad) which is the neighbouring village to Gerson's. After one night in Base Camp we headed on another boat into the jungle, via the many creeks that connect the various areas.
Be ready for the mosquitoes - they come in the thousands! However, malaria is apparently not an issue there. Travel light, bring few clothes, bring only what you'll need for the trip. Water and food is provided, but bring dental hygiene. I wouldn't recommend bathing in the creeks unless you're feeling bold. You might get sick or worse, since the water is opaque and full of caiman and other things.
Yes, the forest is full of monkeys, snakes, larges insects, incredible plants, giant butterflies, sloths, caiman, exotic birds. We saw some of all of these. In only four nights!

What's really great:
Family and friends in Libertad
Family and friends in Libertad
My favourite was when we arrived at Base Camp and when we left back to Iquitos - we had the rare priviledge of swimming with the Amazon River dolphins. These are a smaller, pink version of marine dolphins, but it was such a treasure to be around them. They didn't come close to us, but they were playfully coming up near us on one side, disappearing, then coming up the other side. They love to follow the boats and fish around them.
The people also were a treasure to meet - we had great hospitality in Base Camp from one of Gerson's friends, a young guy about my age (20-25) and we shared some interesting stories. Naturally Gerson was the only one who spoke English (remarkably well, I might add), but we got along and our Spanish improved along the way.

All in all the time and the people will always remain in my heart. Contact me for more info and if you want to try it out and visit the most breathtakingly alive and beautiful (and interesting) place on earth.


The place Gerson put us up was:

Hostal El Colibri S.R.L.

Jr Nauta 172 Telf. ( 065 ) 24 1737

Beautiful cozy place with good fans, bug-proof, showers, great rooms. 50 Soles/night (for 2 people that was 25 a night for us).

Friendly staff, safe area right downtown a block away from the plaza de armas, and there's a grocery store at the corner where you can buy everything you need generally food wise.

Published on Monday September 22th, 2008

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Sat, Sep 27 2008 - 06:39 AM rating by rangutan

More of a biography than destination but very useful info and a great tip! Reading up more about the dolphins, I just learnt that most of Peru lies in the Amazon basin and east of the continental divide.

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