Posada Amazonas

The Amazon through the eyes of the true people

Mar 1, 2003
Outside Magazine

AT THE EDGE OF AN OLD-GROWTH forest the size of Connecticut, Posada Amazonas is run and staffed mainly by members of the native Ese'eja community. Ese'eja means "true people," and these indigenos are expert river navigators who support themselves by hunting, preparing forest medicines, and gathering wild Brazil nuts to sell to tourists.
Because of the lodge's community ownership, guests have ample opportunity to "go local." This might mean taking ethnobotanical walks—during which Ese'eja guides explain which seeds and barks are traditionally used for hammocks, fans, arrows, and medicines—or visiting the neighboring 1.8-million-acre Tambopata National Wildlife Reserve to search for giant river otters and parrots. Those who prefer altitude can climb the lodge's seven-story, 115-foot canopy tower and stop at each level to observe tanagers, jacamars, guans, and oropendulas in action.

"The low-impact eco-lodge has prompted the Ese'ejas to undertake their own conservation efforts, such as protecting the large eagle nests in the vicinity," says Kurt Holle, general manager of Rainforest Expeditions, the company that operates the Tambopata Research Center in southern Peru (a 13-bedroom facility dedicated to macaw research). Rainforest Expeditions, also the catalyst for the construction of Posada Amazonas, splits the profits from Amazonas 40/60 with the 400-member Ese'eja community.
There's no electricity or hot water at Posada Amazonas, but hurricane lamps serve as night-lights and mosquito netting covers the beds. The lodge is constructed from local clay and wild cane and roofed with palm fronds. Each of its 30 bedrooms opens directly onto the rainforest, but the howler monkeys usually refrain from entering the rooms. Contact: Rainforest Expeditions, 877-905-3782, www.perunature.com. cost: $95 per person per night; includes three meals a day.

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