Refugio Amazonas is a 32 bedroom lodge location 2 ½ hours upriver from Puerto Maldonado and is built on a 200 hectare private reserve on the buffer zone of the Tambopata National Reserve. It is becoming integrated to the communities of Brazil nut extractors that surround it, attempting to extend the benefits of ecotourism to the families that commit to the sustainable use of the forest within this buffer zone.
It takes over three hours to get there from Puerto Maldonado and most of your first afternoon is spent on the river. Therefore, you should spend at least three nights at Refugio Amazonas to have time to fully explore the surrounding primary forest.
Refugio Amazonas is built using a combination of traditional native materials (wood, palm fronds, wild cane and clay) and architecture and modern day eco-lodge technology. The lodge consists of three wings of 8 rooms connected by raised boardwalks to a central two story 20 foot tall common area. This area serves as the lobby, dining room, bar, shop and lounge.
This structure is the heart of Refugio’s atmosphere: it provides great canopy views of the surrounding forest – from a hammock … and a whistle away from a drink! The entire roof of the lodge is constructed using high quality crisneja palm fronds, whereas the floors are of tropical mahogany.
The rooms complex is built of four 32 meter long structures with eight rooms per facility, for a total of 32 bedrooms. The walls dividing each room are built using cane, and extend from the floor to about 2.5 meters height making each room private.
The side that looks out to the forest does not have a wall or screening of any kind, acting as a large window facing the forest. The reason we have been able to incorporate this "luxurious" design into our lodge is because mosquitoes are not really a problem around the lodge clearing and the open section allows for an intimate contact with the rain forest.
A second small window on the opposite side, set up very high, keeps the rooms well ventilated. Doors are replaced with drapes. Rooms are not soundproof. Each room has a private bathroom with cold water only. Rooms and bathrooms are separated by drapes. Each room has beds, mosquito nets, bedside tables and hammocks or lounge chairs. Refugio Amazonas has no electricity.
Light is provided by numerous kerosene lamps and candles. A generator is turned on once a day to recharge batteries for guests or lodge facilities. At night it is very dark, so we recommend good flashlights
Belmont House, 23 New Street, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 2BP