We are more than just a tourism business. Although we focus on offering the best experience for tourists in the Amazon, our true mission is the preservation of the region around us. In order to protect the immense biodiversity contained within this area, our efforts are geared both towards the aid of indigenous and ecological communities.
The indigenous people have a truly beautiful culture and way of life, but the addition of schools, clinics, and economic initiatives help them to advance without having to damage the ecosystems around them. Learn about our mission.
Our Guides Make All the Difference
Included in the cost of your trip is a personal guide who will accompany you throughout all of your activities. At the start of each day your guide will discuss a selection of activities that you can choose from. Based on the weather and general logistics of each day, different activities will be available, but your guide will always be there to help you to choose which activities best suit you. Your guide will be available from before dawn, throughout the day, until into the evening to allow you to fit in all of the activities you hope to, whether it be sunrise hikes, or to observe nocturnal activity.
Nixon Irarica Tello
Claudio Huayllahua Sánchez
Melisa Lima Sangama
Nelly Priscilla Pinedo Alvarado
Jungle Survival Guide
Adrian Gomez Villacorta
Javier Anibal Alván Arévalo
Rafael Campos Sinti
Almost forty years ago, a young Dr. Paul Beaver was conducting zoological field research when he learned from the natives about the incredible biodiversity in the upper Tahuayo River basin. His expeditions through the rainforest eventually led to the creation of Amazonia Expeditions a pioneer adventure travel company in the region.
To learn more the history of Amazonia Expeditions, click here.
Meet the Owners
Dolly Arevalo Shapiama is a native of the Amazon. Dolly is owner of the lodges, Tahuayo Lodge and Amazon Research Center, on the Tahuayo River. Her mother taught in a jungle village before moving to Iquitos city to provide higher education for her children. From a young age Dolly was passionate about charitable work. Dolly’s deep love of the women and children of the Tahuayo River communities motivated her to start the women’s Asociacion Manos Amazonica, as well as make substantial contributions to education (Chino Village High School; scholarships for continuing education in Iquitos) and medical care (Esperanza Clinic; paying for advanced care for Tahuayo residents in hospitals in Iquitos, Lima and the USA) and start the Angels of the Amazon foundation.
Paul Beaver, Ph.D.
Dolly’s husband Paul Beaver is owner of Amazonia Expeditions ecotourism company. Paul received his doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1976 and came to the western Amazon in 1980 to do zoological field research. In 1981 Paul started the Amazon’s first commercial adventure camping company, Amazonia Expeditions. Amazonia Expeditions now operates specialty travel excursions in wilderness and wildlife reserves throughout South America, as well as in Africa and Asia, but the primary focus remains the Amazon forest of the Tahuayo River basin. In 2015 Paul was honored by the University of Chicago for his contributions to conservation and humanitarian concerns with presentation of the prestigious Alumni Public Service Award.
Angels of the Amazon
Amazonia Expeditions has long provided aid to reciprocate the kindness, conservation ethic and assistance provided to us by the indigenous people of the Tahuayo River. To this end, Amazonia’s director Dolly Arevalo Beaver incorporated a non-profit organization, Angels of the Amazon (AOA), recognized by the (US) IRS as a legal non-profit. AOA has managed to raise funds to provide substantial support for the local communities. The aid provided can be categorized into three major spheres: medical and health care, educational assistance and economic programs. To learn more about our initiatives, or to make a donation, click here
At Amazonia we pride ourselves for 36 years in quality service given to our guests. We have been top-rated by Trip Advisor and others for many years, and have gotten several other mentions of our high quality service. Click the button below to learn more about our top rated service!
- What clothes should I wear in the jungle?
We simply recommend rain gear, short and long sleeved shirts and pants, a hat with a brim and a bathing suit. To be any more specific would be self-defeating because people have such great individual differences in what they feel is appropriate. For footwear in the forest though, you will be required to wear the boots that we provide to you. Bringing your own jungle footwear could introduce microscopic soil microbes that could harm our ecosystems. Most people like to have long socks to wear in our boots.
- What documents are required?
If you are a citizen of the USA or Canada all you need is a passport. You do not need a visa. If you are a citizen of another country you must check on-line with the Peru consulate. You do not need a vaccination card (unless you are also traveling to Puerto Maldonado in Peru).
- Do you have laundry service?
Yes we have a nominal charge, $10 USD, for a bag of clothes to be laundered. Clothes are laundered in a traditional jungle fashion, beaten on logs, and then hung out to dry by sun (may take a day to dry, or longer depending on the weather).
- Can my children come?
We have lots of children visit, from ages 6-17. At no extra cost, you can have your itinerary customized to include activities your children will enjoy. Families are assigned private guides who have experience working with children. Family cabins include two-story cabins, each floor with a private bath, or large single room cabins for very young children, in our main lodge, and two-room cabins at our research center. A list of references from families that have recently brought children the same age as your children can be emailed to you upon request. Children receive a 25% discount on the cost of their trip.
- What is the food like?
We serve buffet style, with a variety of western style and regional foods at every meal. Servings include some vegetarian dishes. Our culinary staff can also prepare special dishes–let us know at least a month in advance for special dietary needs. Please remember that we are in a remote location and can only procure foods that are locally grown or produced. Many food items that people are normally used to, and can be food most anywhere else, are not available in Iquitos city.
- Should I purchase travel insurance?
We strongly recommend the purchase of travel insurance. We have seen too many times people have to cancel at virtually the last minute because of health reasons or the illness or death of a family member. Problems with airlines as far as losses due to flight cancellation, delay or lost luggage is another common problem. Trips can also be cancelled due to problems beyond the control of the tour operator (and are thus non-refundable). These can include the closure of transportation venues due to labor strikes or political strife, or environmental disasters such as earthquakes, floods, and landslides. Please contact us via our email at [email protected] if you wish information about travel insurance.
- Can I request a salt free diet?
It is critically important to ingest sufficient quantity of salt in a rainforest environment. Most people from a northern clime sweat profusely, as the body attempts to cool itself in the hot, humid environment. The level of sodium lost during sweating must be replenished or a condition of hyponatremia will ensue. Essentially, the plunging level of sodium in the blood drives fluid into the body’s cells. In the cranium, the resulting swelling of the brain first leads to symptoms of dizziness and headaches, as well as mood swings. If untreated by the simple ingestion of salt, advanced symptoms include severe vomiting, coma and ultimately death.
- Do you charge a supplement to single travelers.
We do not charge anything extra for single travelers (does not apply to extensions to the Andes). We consider ourselves a tour operator, not a hotel. Lodging is incidental to the main objective of your trip, an experience in the rainforest.
- What are the guidelines for giving tips?
Tipping is optional. Our travelers enjoy their stay with no pressure or expectations about tipping. Our staff provides service for a salary. If you feel that the quality of services rendered was outstanding and you are highly motivated to tip, the amount is solely at your discretion. If you wish to give something to all of the behind the scenes people responsible for maintenance, cleaning, and cooking, a tip can be given care of the lodge supervisor.
- What gifts can I bring for the indigenous people?
Gift giving must be done very carefully, to ensure that the relationship between our guests and the natives continues to be one of mutual affection and does not degenerate into the natives becoming beggars for goods nor resentful because some of their neighbors receive special attention/gifts. The relationship of our tour company and the natives is managed by Dolly Arevalo, herself a native of the region. She makes sure that all of the people in the communities have access to medical care, that all qualified children have access to higher education, that the women are economically empowered and that the natives are incentivized and rewarded for contributing to the conservation of the region. Please read some more at www.angelsoftheamazon.org
We have a few ways to make a suggested contribution that does not interfere with cultural norms.
- Give a tax-deductible donation to AOA to buy some books the teachers want. We can have the books ready in Iquitos for you to bring to the school and give to the teacher. Suggested donation $30-100
- Host a nutritional breakfast at a school. Donation to AOA is $250
- Pay two weeks salary of a nurse at the clinic $400
You can donate through PayPal using the “Donate Now” button at www.angelsoftheamazon.org
- What if I have to cancel?
If we buy your airfare at a discounted price that is usually non-refundable. Depending on your itinerary, 50-75% of your other trip fees are refundable until 40 days before travel. We do not automatically include trip cancellation insurance with your fee, so if you want to protect your investment against cancellation we recommend that you buy trip cancellation insurance.
- Should I purchase travel insurance?
We strongly recommend the purchase of travel insurance. We have seen too many times people have to cancel at virtually the last minute because of health reasons or the illness or death of a family member. Problems with airlines as far as losses due to flight cancellation, delay or lost luggage is another common problem. Trips can also be cancelled due to problems beyond the control of the tour operator (and are thus non-refundable). Peru has enjoyed political and economic stability and peace for the last two decades, except in the region of Lake Titicaca, where labor strikes typically close access for 1-2 weeks every year. In 2001 a strike closed access to the Inca Trail for a couple of weeks. Several years ago protests in Iquitos shut down the airport for a few days. More common are environmental disasters. Earthquakes are common in Peru and in the 1990s several landslides closed the train tracks to Machu Picchu for periods of days to weeks. Floods typically have more far reaching consequences. In 2010 a January flood of the Urubamba River damaged the train tracks to Machu Picchu and access to Machu Picchu was closed until June. In February 2012 the Urubamba flooded again and access to Machu Picchu was closed for several days. The time of highest weather risk in visiting Machu Picchu are the months of January and February, although if train tracks are damaged access may be closed through June. The Inca Trail has sometimes been closed any time of the year due to rockslide avalanche, snow, freezing rain, etc. In the Amazon basin a record flood in April 2012 closed virtually all jungle lodges, though ours remained open. The season of greatest flood risk in the Amazon is late March through the end of May. Please contact us via our email at [email protected] if you wish information about travel insurance.
- What is a typical day like in the jungle?
There is no typical day. You will appreciate this before traveling if you complete all of your required reading. Every day is different, every week is different. The wonder of the Amazon is the incredible biodiversity. We have the world’s greatest biodiversity of species but a low abundance of any one species. It is not possible for an environment to support both high biodiversity and high abundance. As a result, common wildlife encounters are rare, while rare wildlife encounters are common. The Amazon is a dynamic, ever-changing environment. There are hundreds of interesting things that you could take place during your trip. This is why many people do return trips; we even have several guests who have done more than 10 trips in the past three decades. Every trip to the Amazon is a completely different and often unpredictable experience.
- How long should I stay?
We are in a region of mega-biodiversity so there is a lot to see and do. We recommend a minimum stay of 8 days. But we do have people staying as short as 3 days and some as long as 3 months. For people staying 5 days or less we only use the main lodge. There is a great variety of activities from the main lodge, hiking in varzea and terra firme ecosystems, canoe in flood forest, canopy zipline, swim in a lake, visit native communities, etc.. But the wildlife is better and the forest more pristine at our remote Research Center Lodge. You must stay a minimum of 6 days total to include a visit to the Research Center Lodge.
- Where should I put my valuables for safe keeping?
We have never had a theft at the lodge. But if you are worried you can give items to the lodge supervisor to hold.
- Will my camera by affected by humidity?
Years ago cameras would sometimes be affected by the humidity. People used to bring silica gel to put inside zip lock bags with their cameras. But the new cameras that operate with digital chips don’t seem much affected by humidity. Remember when you go by boat or canoe to keep your camera in a water-tight floatable when not taking photos. We are not responsible for damage done to cameras, cell phones or other personal items by the jungle environment.
- Do you have the latest in technology?
Iquitos city is the world’s largest city not connected to any other city by road. It is surrounded by huge rivers and impenetrable Amazon flood forest and would be cut off from the outside world if not for air flights and incredibly long boat travel up 2000 miles of river. So one should not expect that we have access to all goods and services that other parts of the world has access to. Surprisingly we do have access to some technology and have installed solar power, outlets to charge camera batteries, LED lighting, satellite connected wifi and computer stations and even modern flush toilets. Other technologies, such as electric boat motors or quiet 4 stroke motors do not yet exist for sale in Iquitos.