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“Drapes would have been nice”

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Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 January 2009

Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica is a pretty cool place, something like an expensive summer camp for adults. The bungalows are nice with screened porches with uncomfortable chairs and comfortable hammocks. Inside the louvered screens are beds with bug nets, behind the bedroom is the toilet and shower. In addition to the shampoo offered by most hotels, this hotel in recognition of it location also provided bug repellent and bottled water. You get assigned a guide on arrival and select the activities for your stay (archery is not one of the options at this camp).
Getting there is half the fun. The bus from the airport to the river, is open and not for tall folks, but interesting none the less. The boat ride is also interesting due to the power of the river, and the inability of first time “campers” to follow the simple instructions given help us to board the large canoe (sit on alternate sides, do not stand until the aisle is clear to allow you to disembark). Once there, you are essentially trapped, there is only one restaurant, and you left internet access at the butterfly farm in Puerto Maldonaldo. Being trapped in this quality of resort is not such a bad thing. The guides are good and walks can prove interesting particularly to birders. We found that it was easier to find wildlife from the boat or a canoe, rather than when tromping through the jungle on the jungle walks. The Lake Sandoval tour was the best for wildlife, but the walk can be pretty slippery following a rain.
In our group there was a debate about the quality of the restaurant. Some thought they did an excellent job so far from civilization in executing a pleasant, although limited menu (perhaps 3 appetisers, 6 entrees for lunch or dinner, 2 or 3 choices for dessert). The alternative opinion was that the food rarely arrived at the table hot. The feature that seemed to garner the most support from younger members of our group was the concept of free drinks. When we were there, they were offering a free Pisco Sour during the “Pisco Sour Hour”, and thereafter during lunch and dinner hours, there was a “mix and match” deal, consisting of free drinks from a list of types of booze (perhaps 10) which could be paired with items from a list of mixes (e.g. Rum and coke, scotch and water, or scotch with coke, etc.). Wine and beer appeared to be additional cost.
At this camp, there is a mandatory avian 5:00 wake up call. That is when the birds go nuts, waking all but the deepest sleepers. There are a lot of birds in the area. From looking at some of the reviews we had an above average success rate with finding wild life, although we missed out on the famous otters. There were a few mammals visiting the site of the hotel, including agouties and tapirs. The tapir that wandered about the grounds only to be chased by unruly children may be less interested in returning for the experience.
Now for the bad news. As noted by other commentators, these bungalows are very open, with no drapes in the shower or toilet areas. Most have a large window on one side of the bedroom area and a smaller one on the other side. The unit allocated to my daughter, was located on the main pathway, and was completely without drapes. On learning of this issue, I requested that the missing drapes be hung. They were able to hang the small on which faced the bungalow which I occupied, but did not hang one on the side of the path. On seeing this partial remedy, I asked to speak to the site manager his response was to propose to move us the next day to another bungalow. He did not suggest that he could have draped hung, nor additional sheets or towels provided to be laid across the bar. In my view, this was a completely ineffective response. While in many other ways this hotel is a 5 star operation, it lost a lot of points in my mind when they put guests in rooms without drapes and lacked trained staff who were able to muster a “fix” to a pretty obvious deficiency.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with family
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5  Thank dad54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 December 2008

We were booked to stay at the Inkaterra for the 4 day/3 night package, however, due to flight cancellations we ended up mising the first day.

Upon arrival at Puerto Maldonado airport we were whisked away to check-in at the Inkaterra office (2 minutes from the airport) before being taken to the port for the 45 minute trip downriver to the lodge. Unfortunately, our trip did not start out too well primarily due to the treatment we received from the reception staff. As we were the only English speaking guests arriving that day we unfortunately missed out on much information that was given to the other Spanish speaking guests. For example, on arrival at the port the receptionist spoke at length in Spanish and when we asked for a translation we were told to just get on the boat and we would be told there, unforunately we were told nothing. This was certainly not the most encouraging start to our stay.

Thankfully on arrival at the lodge things improved significantly and were split into different groups depending on language. The lodge itself is beautifully laid out and the rooms are well appointed for a jungle lodge. Please be aware, however, that you are really here to enjoy the jungle experience. This means that there is limited electricity, no air conditioning, no windows (bug screens are used to keep the creepy crawlies out) and no front door key (although valuables can be kept at the gift shop).

We had opted for a Tambopata suite which included a private plunge pool. This was unheated (though this was not a problem given that it wsa 38c during our stay and so a cold dip was just what was needed!), however, as another reviewer has written the plunge pool is very cloudy and you can´t see the bottom or tell how deep it is. Although we did see it being cleaned so I´m sure it was fine.

One of the main problems with the individual lodges is a lack of privacy. Whilst the bedroom area is screened off at night there are no such screenings over the bathroom windows above waist height. This means that you can clearly see into the bathrooms/showers of neighbouring properties especially as this is the only area that is brightly illuminated.

Our guide during the time we were there was Ivan who was absolutely fantastic and really tried to give us the real jungle experience. As others have also mentioned there is actually not much wildlife around the lodge. We went on the Lake Sandoval tour and whilst we did see the giant river otters we saw only limited birds and no monkeys at all. Similarly on our Canopy Walk trip we also saw no wildlife at all. Our river by night trip to see Caymans was also completely unsuccessful. If it had not been for Ivan going above and beyond to try to help us see wildlife we may have left without actually seeing anything at all. This is obviously not the fault of the hotel as animals are by nature unpredictable and much can be determined by the time of year/day when you visit. The guiding during the time we were there was definitely the highlight.

Having said all this we did encounter some wildlife in our rooms when we were woken at 3am on our first night of stay by rustling noises in the roof of the lodge which went on for about an hour. It wasn´t unitl getting up in the morning and shining our torches at the roof that we realised that we had two tarantulas staying with us. The hotel were excellent at dealing with this and sent someone immediately to remove them from the room.

Food at the hotel was adequate given that they are catering for numerous guests in the middle of the jungle. As other reviewers have mentioned you should be aware that the menu stays the same everyday. Not too much of a problem if you are only there for 3 days but if you are staying for longer this could be a real pain as choice is limited on the menu. The lunch menu is definitely the better of the two.

One final point I would make is that there appears to be no-one in charge at the lodge. Whilst all the staff are pleasant, friendly and helpful there does appear to be an absence of an overall manager. This at no stage gave us any problem, however, sometimes it is comforting to know that there is a person to speak to who has overall responsibility.

Overall, we did have an enjoyable stay at the Reserva Amazonica. It was a completely different experience to the rest of the trip and gave us a chance to see the jungle in good accommodation.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank RobM74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 December 2008

We stayed for two nights and had a wonderful time. There is more than enough to see and do and the canopy walk is amazing. Our guides Carlos and Ivan were such good company and so knowledgeable. They did everything to make our stay a memorable one. My husband had a wonderful time bird watching and Ivan knew all the names and was an excellent spotter. The cabins are rustic and the beds comfortable. There could be a privacy issue if you are shy as they have no curtains or blinds, though you can block out the front at night and get changed in the shower area.

There have been some negative comments about the food but we were impressed with what they served-fresh, wholesome and tasty, with a choice for each course. The yucca chips with dips were a real taste sensation.

We also had a free pisco sour each evening and spirits and mixes were included but not wine or beer, but this could have been our particular deal as we travelled with a group.

All in all this is a wonderful place to visit if you want a rainforest experience without the hardship.

  • Stayed: November 2008
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1  Thank Wrinkly one
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 December 2008

Our family of five stayed for three nights at the Inkaterra in November. It was our first stop after a long journey that took us from San Francisco to Miami to Lima to Cusco to Puerto Maldonado and then to the property. Needless to say we were very tired when we arrived. The property itself is awesome; the rooms very functional and common restaurant and bar area was a great hang out area. It was top notch; food, service, activities, rooms. Even though it was the most expensive choice in the area, we felt like we got good value. One note is that it is hot, very hot. There is a fan in the rooms but during the day it is just plain hot. Night time sleeping was fine, however. Not much problem with mosquitos; we just deeted up and it was fine.
There is a wide range of activities that would keep you going for a week if you had the time and interest. We went on a local hike where we spotted many monkeys and ate live termites (taste like...bark!), did a night Caiman (like a Crocodile) spotting, hiked on a high up canopy tour with many bridges, went to a local lake called Sandoval, and went canoeing down a river after a long hike (the rope swing assembled by the guide was the highlight of the trip!). We also tried our hand at piranha fishing.
Overall, would highly recommend.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank davezCalifornia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 December 2008

I originally wanted to book Corto Maltes because the expeditions listed seemed more numerous than Inkaterra's and I figured "I'm in the jungle, I don't need luxury". Good thing for me Corto Maltes was sold out. So I went with Plan B, Inkaterra. And I learned that "I'm in the jungle, I need luxury".

I can't figure out why Corto Maltes was sold out in this economy. Inkaterra had about 15% - 20% occupancy for my stay in early December. The staff was amazing (I'm not sure how much attention I would get during a busy period). The food was better than could be expected for the jungle. The accomodations were fantastic. Electricity almost all day and up until 11pm. Why is this important? If you are a photo nut and bring a laptop to edit pics you need to recharge your camera, laptop, etc. Also, it's so darn hot the ceiling fan helps you get to sleep. Plus, after a hot day sweating w/ bug repellant all over you, nothing is better than a warm shower.

As for the reason I was initially hesitant about Inkaterra - the excursions. They are back to doing Monkey Island. They do have a clay lick nearby although I'm sure you could find better one's if you prefer to spend several hours commuting to a lodge that is farther out. And they seem to have it all. I wanted to do a local village - check, 20 minutes away. I wanted to do a canopy walk - check, they own the longest, highest and safest one in all of the Amazon. I wanted to do Sandoval - check, just a 20 minute boat ride to the trail head. I wanted to do a botany tour of exotic plants and medicinal uses - check, they own Concepcion, a botanist garden. The guides were amazing. I'm sure they are the best of the best as Inkaterra probably pays the most for these guys.

Stayed: December 2008
2  Thank OC_Adventurer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 December 2008

I have written a useful ,20 page travel log with photos that can be seen at on my private website at www.Michellespix.com. We were at Inkaterra for two 1/2 days on April 10-11 th. Weather- no rain. Highs of 102 degrees and lows of 85 degrees. We arrived at Puerto Maldonado airport where we were greeted by our extended Land Rover type vehicle. (open air) This was our transportation provided by Inkaterra Amazonica Reserva. There was to be luggage weight restrictions imposed by Inkaterra at this point because of the small canoes we were taking into the jungle. People were looking for the storage room at the airport to store the luggage that they had brought for the entire Peruvian trip but were not allowed to take on the canoes to Inkaterra. (every person packed two bags, one to store, one to take) At this point they were told that they could take all of their luggage and that weight was not an issue. Strange as Inkaterra stressed this luggage issue fully in their confirmation documents. Oh well. They drove us to the Inkaterra welcome center where they gave us all a cool drink, signed our release forms and visited their Butterfly Garden (3800 Species) while people finished up their paperwork. A short Land Rover ride later with 12 other people, we were at the port- Puerto Maldonado. The town of Puerto Maldonado appears very poor but very clean. The "port" itself looks like a small canoe livery with an open air 12ft by 12ft. snack shack crowded with locals enjoying themselves. That's it, that is all that is there. The luggage porters took all of the luggage off the vehicle cared it on their backs down to the canoes. All of the luggage on one canoe and the 12 of us boarded another. The canoe had a canvas top guarding us from the harsh sun. It was a very pleasant 1 hour canoe ride. Albeit, the wooden planks were hard on the butt, and the mandatory lifejackets where pretty warm. Do not stand up in these canoes as they tip very easily. Thankfully our ride was uneventful. We arrived at Inkaterra Amazonica Reserva. It is a beautiful place with thatched huts dotted around the very lush, floral grounds. Our hut or cabin was very nice, king bed, stark white fine linens, bedding and towels, the finest bathroom amenities, fresh flowers and even a whistle on the back of the toilet door in case of nasty creators that could invade in the night. The sign on the back of the door told which creatures were worthy of blowing the whistle. Very cute. Yeah, like I would take the time to read it to find out if an Anaconda wrapped around the beams over my head was worthy of a whistle blow!!! Too funny. The screened in hut was all lantern lit at night (very romantic) with only two hours of electricity in the morning for getting ready. The hot water for the bathroom is from solar tanks next to each hut. The sinks and countertop is solely carved out of one piece of wood. Very cool! A bucket of sand in the bathroom is provided in case one of those lanterns goes aright. Everything they provide is made of something recycled. The robes, the rubber tire sandals, the hand fan, the rugs, hammocks etc. We never saw housekeeping but they did a fantastic job. Even lighting all of the lanterns every night at dusk, before your return from dinner. Our only complaint about the room was that the much needed ceiling fan was broken and the heat was stifling, day and night! This is an all inclusive place with exception of alcoholic drinks. All of the food is apparently local, native food and most meals were kind of bland and boring but we were starving from the excursions so enjoyed it nonetheless. We found ourselves eating a lot of raw Brazil nuts meant for the wild Agotis. (looks like a guinea pig). We did have one exceptional dinner, some kind of chicken and vegetables steamed in bamboo. We went on several of the provided tours within our 2 ½ day stay all with our guide Ivan (Pronounced E-Von). Ivan is very knowledgeable about the entire Jungle ecosystem, having grown up there. He also spoke very good English. We did the daytime walk (TRAIL SYSTEM EXCURSION) - around the outskirts of the reserve, much enjoyed seeing the insects, birds and vegetation pointed out by Ivan and hearing the facts and folklore of the ecosystem. We did a night walk (RAINFOREST BY NIGHT EXCURSION) in search of night creators, we heard all sorts of jungle creatures but only saw giant ant mounds, tarantulas, fluorescent insects and snakes. The best part was standing completely quiet to hear the incredible noises of the jungle in the pitch black and looking up at the breathtaking stars. We have never seen so many stars. We went on this tour with an English couple that we met and we laughed our butts off at each others, wigged out reactions, to very large bugs that would fly into your hair or face. Hysterical!! We also did the LAKE SANDOVAL EXCURSION. This requires a two mile walk each way and in April the mud on the path was sometimes 6 inches deep. This made it difficult to walk in the mandatory rubber boots that go up to your knees. The boots would get stuck in the mud. Sometimes, leaving your feet!
This made the 4 mile walk feel physically, like an 8 mile walk. Even wearing thick socks in the boots, your feet sweat so much from the rubber and the 100 degree temps, that your feet are dripping wet and the boots rub your feet raw with blisters. We reached the canoe on Lake Sandoval and shoved off to see, Red howler monkeys, Tree bats all lined up in a row on the trunk of a tree sleeping, we saw from a distance the Endangered Giant Otters, White Cayman, turtles and what they call a "Stinky Bird". All and all, still not sure if it was worth the blisters. If I had it to do over, I would demanded that we wear our own sacrificial tennis shoes and then just thrown them away after the tour. On another night we went on the TWILIGHT RIVER EXCURSION in search of Anacondas and Cayman. That was a bust as we only saw a white cayman on the muddy banks of the river for a brief second. At night there is not much to do, nor did you have the energy since you are up at 5 am for excursions, but had the best time drinking Pisco Sours, and talking and laughing with Inkaterra's best employees Ivan and Lucia (very sweet girl). I highly recommend that you tip anyone that makes your trip more enjoyable. They deserve it and are underpaid!

We headed back via Canoe to Puerto Maldonado and then drove back to the Puerto Maldonado Airport. At the airport we saw dozens and dozens of people covered litterally head to toe with insect bits. Every inch of their bodies that we could see was covered and they looked miserable!
Advice: We never got bitten by bugs but took a lot of precaution since we were not vaccinated before hand for such things as Malaria. We sprayed all of our clothing with Permethrin Repellent before leaving home as you must saturate the clothing and line dry for a day. No odor. (found it on eBay) Sealed the clothing in ziplocks and packed it. We took and used 100% deet, Binoculars & Afterbite -works great on insect bites in case you do get bit (found at sporting goods stores) Headlamps (like miners wear) they come in very lightweight powerful versions (found them on eBay). No need to buy new expensive "hiking boots". Tennis shoes are fine, and bring one sacrificial pair. No need to bring a water bottle. A nice lightweight aluminum, clip-on one if provided by Inkaterra.
Note: We paid $532.00 including taxes for two nights in the basic superior room, at Inkaterra plus alcoholic beverages and tips. We waited and got the last minute special online. If I would have booked ahead of time, and paid the regular rates we would have paid $760.00 for 2 nights. Taking into consideration the air to get to Puerto Maldonado from Lima/Cusco, it was an expensive 2 ½ days. ($880.) In Peru where everything is so reasonable this is crazy expensive. Would we do it again? perhaps, at the price we paid $880. No, if it were the regular rates totaling $1108. It was a once in a lifetime experience, but expected to see much more wildlife in the jungle.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank michelleatthebeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 November 2008

we had a 3 week trip planned for Peru. it was my husband who wanted to go to the jungle. i am not a fan of critters and creepy crawlies, so wasn't expecting much. well Inkaterra definitely wowed me!!! accommodations are perfect - little huts on stilts with hammocks and great water pressure. there is very little electricity, so reading at night is next to impossible, but those who complain about this - i wonder what they were doing all day?? as the minute we showered and went to bed - there was not an ounce of energy for reading! the kerosene lanterns provided all the light we could have ever needed. our guide Cesar was amazing. his passion for the outdoors could be felt every time he pointed something out. and for those people who were disappointed about not seeing animals - this is a rainforest not a zoo. no scheduled show times. you see what you see when you happen to be strolling by. this is the beauty of this place. it's magical. you have to keep your eyes open - for in one corner you may see some crazy red ants on a leaf, in the other you may see some howler monkeys.. if you are expecting to see large animals, yes you may be disappointed, but the beauty of the jungle comes in all sizes... the staff were great. they work so hard to make it a wonderful experience for everyone. imagine - you are paddling around a lake and the late day heat is getting to you and then out of nowhere your guide passes you freezing cold face clothes and snacks. above and beyond!!!
don't get me wrong - it wasn't all sugar sweet. the food sucks and yes we paid alot to be there.. but turns out we didn't really care. we were not there for the food, we were there for the magic of the jungle.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
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2  Thank yvrgirl2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica

Address: Rio Madre De Dios Km15, Puerto Maldonado, Peru
Region: Peru > Madre de Dios Region > Puerto Maldonado
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 64 Speciality Lodging in Puerto Maldonado
Price Range: $490 - $818 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica 3.5*
Number of rooms: 35
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Remote and pristine, yet easily accessible; a welcoming haven of 494 acres, Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica offers a range of land and river excursions that introduce guests to the magic of the rainforest, including the spectacular 1,129-ft. long and 100-ft. high Canopy Walkway, which allows an incredible experience from over the tree tops. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica Hotel Puerto Maldonado
Reserva Amazonica

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