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The strength of Amazonia Expeditions program is the degree of personal attention given to our clients. We are able to customize an itinerary to the needs and interests of individuals. Most of our travelers choose from among the softer alternatives available; peacefully swimming with pink dolphins, visiting native villages and canoeing along tranquil rivers while watching monkeys and parrots frolic in the trees above. But the current public fascination with “survivor” themes is currently focusing attention on our more adventurous offerings.
Long before our award-winning lodge was constructed in the Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Reserve, Amazonia Expeditions gained renown as the Amazon’s first commercial wilderness adventure camping company. Among the alternatives available in wilderness jungle camping is the jungle survival training itinerary. This option is still available for our most adventurous clients. Guests interested in camping or the jungle survival experience must plan this itinerary well in advance at the time the initial deposit is made.
Our jungle survival program has attracted a lot of publicity. A feature article, “The Teachings of Gerineldo Moises Chavez” on Amazonia’s jungle survival program, written by Robert Earle Howells, premiered in January 2001 Outside Magazine. A TV program of the same name premiered on cable TV January 10, 2001 (video or DVD copies can be purchased from us). Another TV program filmed at our lodge premiered on Discovery Channel’s Science of Survival series April 14, 2006. Bear Grylls also did a survival episode with us for Man vs. Wild. Finally, Amazonia Expeditions owner, Paul Beaver, Ph.D. had his autobiography published, “Diary of an Amazon Jungle Guide,” which relates many tales of jungle camping and survival aspects.
Amazon jungle survival training program details:
The jungle survival training program takes place in Peru’s remote Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Reserve. This reserve is famous for having the highest diversity of mammals of anyplace studied in the Amazon. It is located approximately 100 miles SSE of the nearest city, Iquitos. Some aspects covered:
Construction of lean-to
How to select site, soil and drainage aspects. What woods to use to set up framework; how to use irapay palm (Lepidocaryum tenue) fronds to rainproof
Construction of fire
Recognition of wood that will have hard, dry interior even when the exterior is waterlogged by rainforest humidity; use of copal resin as fire starter
Sources of pure water
Immature yarina (Phytelephas macrocarpa) fruits; puca huasca vine (Doliocarpus dentatus) and cano huasca vine (Uncaria spp.)
Sources of food
Palm fruits; palm hearts from Euterpe and Iriartea genera; edible beetle grubs; legumes, especially from Inga genus; using barbasco (Lonchocarpus species) sap to stun fish; canabrava (Gynerium sagittatum) to build fish trap; tamshi vine (Carludovica devergens) to make animal snare
Recognition of balsa wood, tied together with tamshi vine, oar from remo caspii (Styrax acuminatum)
Made from Nasutitermes termites
Fishing spear from cumaceba (Cesalpina echinata); bow from cashapona (Iriartea exorrhiza), string from chambira (Astrocaryum chambira), arrowshafts from bamboo and arrowheads from cumaceba.
Venomous snakebite–piripiri leaves (Cyperus articulatus)
Venomous insect–curarina bark (Potalia amara)
Fever–sanango root (Sanango durum)
Disinfectant–pichirina sap (Vismia angusta)
Field dressing–fiber inside bark of machimango (Ceiba species)
Antiparasitical–oje sap (Ficus antihelmintica)
Dysentery or gastrointestinal distress–hierba luisa leaves (Cymbopogon citratus)