The travel around the world continued with an unplanned spontaneous travel trip to the Amazonas of Peru — funny thing as always I had no plan or whatsoever what to expect from a adventure trip to the Amazon. After already being in Nauta in the Amazon region for a couple of days. I decided to do a Amazon boat trip going deep into the Amazonas with my private guide Jose. This also included staying on the boat to see what the life deep in the amazon is about and all the other life-changing experiences that came with that being in the wild. Here I tell you how extraordinary locals live their life, what to expect and what can happen deep in the Amazonas…
Things to bring
After already being in Nauta in the Amazon region for a couple of days where it was less civilised than in Iquitos, I had no desire to leave just yet because for me (as one of the only tourists there) to bond with the locals, get to know them and see in how they make a sustainable living with what they have. In addition to that seeing the happiest kids I’ve ever seen and learning about their culture was something that had surely shaped my life! – so grateful for that travel experience !
My travel adventure with with only me and my private tour guide José to the famous Pacaya Samiria National Reserve started. I was really excited as I only met him the day before and didn’t really know what to expect. You may ask yourself: Why did I decide to do this trip by myself ? Simple answer: “I was just feeling some quiet time for myself and not having to talk to somebody for a couple of days !”
My travel guide Jose told me the things I would need to bring but also took care of the other things that we would need for the 4-day Amazon trip to Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Since he took care about the food and sleeping arrangements, I just had to bring the following:
- Insect repellent
- 2x long trousers and more layers – to cover yourself thick at night for not letting mosquitos suck all your blood!
- Rain jackets
- Couple pair of socks for the night
- Flip flops
- Some biscuits and cookies
- Toilet paper
I TRAVEL FOREVER tips during the day / night
When traveling around the Amazonas, it was very important to continuously top up sun cream and mosquito repellent. This is crucial that should be applied hourly before sunburned and eaten by all the nasty mosquitos out there – haha. Make sure you always top up because the sun is strong and the mosquitos graving for blood and there are plenty of them – trust me !
Note: sometimes its not enough to put thin long trousers and a longsleeve because mosquitos can get through it, so I recommend to double up with a hoody jacket for the evenings and nights otherwise you would get eaten.
One of the first stop on the Amazon adventure was the ‘El Mirador’ where the whole village was kind of flooded as it was rainy season. After hiking up, I then decided to jump in the river to see how deep it is. It was such a weird feeling because you can’t really see where you are walking because the water is so dirty but you can just feel that you walk across the plants. I actually really liked it and had a lot of fun all by myself. Normally, the streets of the village are free to walk on or kids play football but not during rainy season between August and March – for about 6 months it’s all just flooded. Could you imagine living in this environment ?
Wow, the beauty to see the kids so happy
Going to all those different communities along the journey, I was very amazed by the way how happy the kids live their lifes, very simplistic with the ‘many’ things that they have but they still are the happiest kids I have ever seen. It automatically made me very happy when I realised how many kids there were running around, playing beach volleyball or football together — in some places water volleyball — and all of them happy laughing with a big smile – this is amazing, they love everything that involves the water – so happy and so fearless. Really enjoyable moments for myself and hard to believe comparing the kids I know in my surroundings in Germany – wow.
Using Amazon water for everything
In the Amazon the villages use the water for everything: to clean, to wash their clothes, do the dishes, etc. but I realised that when people had to use the toilet or get rid off the rubbish, do you have an idea where it went ? Yes all and everything goes into the Amazon river and then just flows down the river. Very different way they live their life and I don’t think I could ever do that in the long term. How much do I love the feeling of being completely clean after a shower.
Unique Amazonas locals life
The locals live very minimalistic in their little communities in their shelters made out of wood. Most of them sleep in their hammock and grow fruit trees outside. Can you imagine to sleep in a hammock all your life ? Taken into consideration how the back bends after many years – crazy.
One night when we arrived back in one of the local communities it was so funny because it was already late ish (about 8:30pm) and when we were about to arrive people already spotted us with the torches and said: “la lancha en el parque”, which means the boat is here. Haha maybe they give each other a warning as a secret code meaning – the tourist has arrived – kidding. After dinner, we then all watched television together with the family and their kids sitting on the floor (I was even surprised they had one), then headed to “bed” – well, we slept on the boat, which was good. I really liked the idea to stay in a community tonight because I was able to bond with the locals and got the feeling and seeing of how they live their everyday life. They turned off the generator and went up to bed. It was before 9pm and they turned on the radio – to fall asleep I guess ? The whole village was dark and I realised that you can hear people in the other houses talking, which clearly shows a life with almost no privacy. This thought of having no privacy would actually make me go nuts. On the other hand they live in the nature where they grow all sorts of fruits, which makes it kind of a sustainable lifestyle.
Wow, this was incredible spotting these random colored pink dolphins. One of them actually just jumped next to me – that was pretty cool and weird at the same time haha.
Wild cheeky monkeys
After a good jungle breakfast with eggs, platano and rice, we continued the cruise and went to Laguna Huvos where we spotted some monkeys. Well I think my guide knew that there were monkeys but what happened next could have ended in a disaster. It was so funny because we put the rope around a tree, then saw the monkey coming, so José quickly ran to get some bananas quickly, the monkeys were so fast and so I could see that he stressed out a little bit because the monkey could have easily got on the boat. He quickly released the rope to go on distance and the wild monkeys very keen to jump onto the boat.
Beautiful peaceful sunsets
Headed back to the river to watch a very beautiful sunset, just relaxing on the boat until later at night – the quietness, the moon and the quiet river – just beautiful ! The stars in the clear sky later on was incredible to watch.
Luckily we survived the day and last nights storm
Last night we slept on the boat in a small village called San Josè. When we arrived I said to him:
“We’ve actually been very lucky with the weather, no rain!” – I wished I wouldn’t have said my thought out loud.
Actually, we tried to sleep because I was woken up by the lightnings and some thunders. Josè was still sleeping but I wasn’t sure whether it’s a good idea to be staying on the boat in this weather. I had to call his name many times until he woke up and I asked him “if we gonna be fine on here?” At first a quiet voice said yes but then jumped up and took off my mosquito net. He grabbed the mattress and said lets be quick and we just entered the house where we parked the boat. A standard storm with heavy rain started and the roof leaked, so water got into the house. We first quickly fixed the front of the house with a plastic curtain to stop the rain entering from there and then put plastic foil on the floor to set up our beds with the mosquito nets. I then really couldn’t sleep much because the mosquito net was a little bit wet and almost fell down because it was to heavy to be hold by the lines. In addition the storm went all-nightlong.
Ioska plant in the Amazonas
The last stop was when he showed me the Ioaska plant. It was ok to see but I’m not a fan of the whole self healing treatment and so I wasn’t very interested to know more about it. We got back to the community where we had lunch. We arrived back in Nauta at around 3pm.
Unfortunately, the motor of the boat on the way there broke and so Josè gave another boat a message to let one of his colleagues know to pick us up. I actually thought at that point that this was the end of the trip, but it wasn’t. We played cards while waiting for Alex. After waiting for over an hour, he arrived and pulled us with the help of a tow rope, where we stopped in Santa Cruz to do the jungle walk. It’s funny because at this stage I wasn’t up for it anymore, a little bit down. However, we went for a walk in the jungle again but this time it was different because it was flooded with water. We tried some fruits on the way, looked for spiders and scorpions – unfortunately without success. He walked really fast at first and so I couldn’t follow him because how can you? when you want to enjoy, look around but at the same time watch where you step – I told him to slow down.
Some sights and activities along the trip
El Mirador Community
A tower in the Amazon with an amazing view all across the village and the Amazon River. It was rainy season and so everything was under water and kids weren’t able to play football. When going back down, the women who sells some accessories wanted to take some promotional photos with me and so we did – so much fun but unfortunately I am unable to show here because my SD card broke with the photos. To enter you have to pay 10 Soles = $3.
After a good jungle lunch, gaining back energy, it was time to canoe around the community on a tiny canoe – it was so small and very tough the hold the balance but I managed not to fall in. This was actually pretty cool because we stopped at some places where we checked for spiders, he showed me a guy constructing a new canoe and then we stopped at a older ladies house where we drunk a traditional self made liquor called Chi Cha de Yuca – it was pretty thick, tasted a little bit like coconut. After one big jug I was already extremely full but before I could even say I was full, I already had another filled up jug in my hands, which of course I couldn’t reject because I didn’t want to be rude – ended up drunk, cheers !
The biggest water plant
At Lagune Victoria Reja we also spotted the probably biggest water plant I’ve ever seen called Victoria Reja – it’s solid and giant if you take the comparison to a pair of shoes.
Yanayacu – The black Amazon river
We then turned into a different river with black water Yanayacu where we finally went for the jungle walk. The walk was really exciting on the lookout for some cool animals, anacondas and I was wearing these big galoshes because the water was pretty deep, which went all the way up to my hips. While walking Josè told me about the different trees, animals and ate some really sweet fruit from the water – delicious.
Definitely a really cool experience and when we left, the boat was really close to wasps nest and me sitting in the front, so a bunch of wasps attacked me but only one got me on my neck. Never seen these white wasps before.
Then back on the Amazon River, we played a card game, which he taught me and watched the sunset – so bromantic haha.
Beautiful lagunes and on the lookout for anacondas
Another day in the Amazon started early because it was daylight at 5:30am but the chickens already made the waking up noise at 4:30am. I’m really happy that I had brought a proper mosquito net. It was very hot at first but then a little bit chilly last night.
I TRAVEL FOREVER’s VIEW & RECOMMENDATION
A crazy travel Amazon adventure came to an end and to sum up was a pretty cool cultural experience. I was very happy with the duration of three days because after that long you kind of know how it is and can continue traveling to other places. Well, this is the end of my trip and I’ve gotta say it was a pretty adventurous experience and indeed have to take a long shower haha.
You may have realised that it was just me on the trip but this time I wanted again enjoy the trip rather than being tied up in a touristy trip schedule. I actually really liked it because it was quiet and whatever I wanted to do, we did. I was pretty much just chilling and enjoying the of the many different types of birds.
Usually a travel trip to the amazon takes about 3-4 days but depending if you travel down the river to reach Colombia or Brasil as a destination, then it can be expected to be on a boat for a couple of days or weeks, isolated from the outside world, sleeping with a lot of strangers on the boat. I almost planned to head from Iquitos to Brasil or Colombia but apparently the boat rides are unreliable, so I spontaneously flew back to Lima.
With regards to price value, I think it was $30 (total = $260) overpriced but that’s just my feeling. At the end I don’t care much about it because I appreciate the experience too much. Josè is a nice guy who took good care of me but was at the end a little bit annoying with his funny questions haha. To everyone that is wondering about if there was internet, yes there is but only in the biggest cities such as Iquitos and even Nauta but expect having to pay.
Amazonas, thanks for showing me how happy kids can be without all the things and valuables of nowadays life, what an incredible experience.