Private Amazonia Guides

One of the most important parts of your Amazon Rainforest experience will be the quality of your personal guide. Amazonia has taken the lead in staff treatment for guides and other employees in the Amazon Jungle, supporting our mission of providing beneficial support to the local community. Taking the unusual position of giving full benefits and supporting equal opportunity, employees remain with Amazonia for many years. The staff at Amazonia Expeditions has the highest credentials, and most professional conduct out of all other lodges in the Amazon, and they regularly update their knowledge at special training seminars. All of our guides are certified in wilderness first aid, and many have special focuses in specific types of amazonian wildlife, which is an achievement that is unique to Amazonia Expeditions.

First Equal Opportunity Employer

Amazonia Expeditions was the first tourism company in Iquitos to provide equal opportunity to both men and women in training and employment (we were told by other tour operators in the early 1980’s that it was a “crazy idea that would never be accepted”). The high morale and dedicated work ethic that people note among our staff is a result of the owners’ commitment to have a respectful, pleasant, professional and productive working environment for the staff.

We do not tolerate any ill treatment among the staff based on gender, age, experience (in most tourism companies more experienced staff members haze newcomers), position (staff who clean toilets, wash dishes and clean sheets are just as important for a pleasant tourist experience as guides and managers), strength, education, skin color (in much of Peru light skinned Peruvians enjoy privileges over dark skinned Peruvians), sexual preference, ethnicity (in much of Peru having Amerindian facial features or surnames is a basis for discrimination), or religious preference (we have Evangelical Christians, Catholics, believers in jungle mother spirits and atheists working respectfully together). New staff members are quickly taught the company’s ethic of treating everyone with respect.

Full Time with Benefits

In addition to providing our guides with regular opportunities to expand their knowledge at special training seminars, Amazonia Expedition also invests in offering full time positions to our guides and other staff members. This is an uncommon practice in the upper Amazon basin, as other lodges offer their guides 90 day contracts to avoid paying for workers benefits. In addition to offering salaries, we also invest in retirement pensions, full family health care insurance, annual paid 30 days of vacation, and long term employment with continued training and educational development for all of our employees.

Zipline platform

Most of our guides have been with us for many years, and have really gotten to know the ecosystems of the Tahuayo River Basin. Amazonia Expedition employees have particularly high morale as they appreciate the benefits of their employment.

Our Guides

Nelly Priscilla Pinedo Alvarado

Nelly grew up in various remote jungle villages as her mother was a teacher who moved around from one remote village to another. This gave Nelly a broader understanding of native cultures of the Amazon. As a young adult Nelly graduated from SENATI Institute with a degree in English and later worked as a translator for Doctors without Borders and then as a guide in another jungle lodge. She started with Amazonia as a trainee in 2011 and was promoted to head guide in 2012. Nelly has field research experience assisting with Rose Hores’ study of uakari monkeys. When not guiding she assists Dolly in her work for Angels of the Amazon www.angelsoftheamazon.com. In her third year as head guide Nelly has never had less than a 5 star review.

Edson Galan

Edson was born in Iquitos and went to study English in the Instituto Peruano Norteamericano in Lima. He has worked for Amazonia Expeditions for over ten years and during this time studied to become an expert in his passion of birding. He is assisted by a vast collection of bird vocalization recordings. Edson is our special guide for birders, although his gentle and humorous ways make him fun for family guiding as well.

Manuel Huayllahua

Manuel was born in Chino Village and studied at Los Andes Peruvian University. He has worked for several years with Amazonia and has two years field experience as a field assistant to primatologist Rose Hores as well as several summers as field assistant researching saki monkeys for primatologist Janice Chism. Manuel may be our best wildlife tracker and is skilled at wilderness camping and jungle survival training

Adrian Gomez Villacorta

Adrian comes from a small village on the Marañon River. His grandparents taught him skills to work and hunt in the jungle. After completing high school in Iquitos he studied English at SENATI Language Centre. He started as an intern then assistant guide with Amazonia, being promoted to head guide in 2014.

Weninger Pinedo Flores

Weninger was born in Diamante Village, located far up the Rio Blanco, a tributary of the Tahuayo River. He went to high school in Iquitos and then to the National University in Iquitos (UNAP). Weninger came to work with Amazonia in 2000 and became a head guide in 2005. He is the most accomplished arborist on staff, capable of free climbing any tree in the forest and has the responsibility of maintaining our canopy platforms and ziplines. Weninger has assisted in extensive research work with Amherst College research associate Bart Bouricius and University of Nevada ethnologist Barbara Land. He is often assigned to guests with an interest in trees, culture, or wilderness camping

Andy Bicerra

Andy graduated with a degree in Biology from the National University. He has investigated aspects of wildlife ecology for FUNDAMAZONIA (Fundación Latinoamericana para el Trópico Amazónico), the Ministry of Environment and the Wildlife Conservation Society and has conducted conservation education workshops in several native villages before coming to work for Amazonia in 2015.

Javier Anibal Alván Arévalo

Javier has worked at the Amazonia Expeditions lodges for 10 years, starting as a young teenager as an assistant in building repair, then moving up to motorboat pilot, then camping assistant and assistant guide, and after passing his guide exams with high grades was promoted to head guide in 2014.

Rafael Campos Sinti

Rafael grew up on the Tahuayo River in Esperanza Village. He learned about the jungle from his grandparents. As a young man he studied English in Iquitos at the American Computer Institute. After graduating Rafael began working as a guide for other Iquitos jungle lodges before finally winning an apprenticeship with Amazonia Expeditions then getting promoted to full guide in 2015.

Melisa Lima Sangama

Melissa grew up in the jungle in the village of Yanashi, upriver from Iquitos, half way to the border with Colombia. She always loved the jungle and wanted to work in the jungle and so went to Iquitos to study, earning her degree in tourism in 2015. She then came to work for Amazonia Expeditions, training for a year as assistant guide, being promoted as head guide in May, 2017. Melisa is proficient with a machete and is skilled at fabricating items from jungle plants and is also a fine motorboat pilot.

Claudio Huayllahua Sánchez

Claudio was born and grew up in El Chino Village on the Tahuayo River. He studied primary school in El Chino and continued his education in Iquitos, earning a technical degree from SENATI Institute. He started working for Amazonia Expeditions in 2014 as a field research assistant with several biologists and as an assistant guide. Claudio was promoted to head guide in 2017.

Nixon Irarica Tello

Nixon was born and grew up in El Chino Village on the Tahuayo River. He studied primary and secondary school in the village. He has worked with Amazonia Expeditions since 2012, including working as field research assistant of Fredrick Tegner’s research on poison dartfrogs, Ludvig Orson’s research on harlequin toads and Rebecca Sheehan’s study of pygmy marmosets. After a year as assistant guide, Nixon was promoted to head guide in 2017.

I... want to commend you on the open hiring you do at the lodge as well as your philanthropy. I was told that your organization was the first in the area to hire female guides as well as LGBTQ. This was wonderful news to us and we felt like the match of our trip and the Amazonia Expedition Co. was even more perfect than we realized. I was also told that you help give back to the villages and other organizations in the area and it just made us feel really great that we were able to experience this space.
Erica
All the staff were extremely welcoming and the food was delicious.
Rachel & Steven