Our Amazonia Team

Amazonia Expeditions was the first tourism company in Iquitos to provide equal opportunity to men and women in training and employment. We continue to provide opportunity to all, regardless of ethnicity, belief or sexual orientation. 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.

Dolly Beaver

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 a presentation of the prestigious Alumni Public Service Award.

 

 

Meet Our Guides

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.

 Avita Celeste Taricuarima Greyfus

 Avita Celeste Taricuarima Greyfus, more commonly known as Celeste, is of native Cocama ancestry. She studied at the Superior Education Institute El Milagro in Iquitos city. As part of her training as a guide, Celeste worked as a field research assistant to Fredrik Tegner in his study of poison dart frogs and to Ludvig Orsen in his study of harlequin toads. She has a special fondness for herpetology.

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.

Eduardo Jackson Rodriguez Castillo

It was always Eduardo’s dream to become a guide. Since he was a young boy, he saw tourists visiting his village and the guides working with them. He always liked to study English and at first wanted to study languages, however, college was too expensive. Luckily after graduating high school Eduardo was able to qualify for a scholarship at a technical school where he could improve his English and learn to become a guide. Eduardo worked as a tour guide near the city of Nauta for several years until he began working for Amazonia in 2018. Eduardo was promoted to head guide in 2019.

Fernando Manihuari Tapullima

Fernando was born in a small Kukama village along the banks of the river Ucayali river. Years later he began to work hunting and fishing in the surrounding area of his village. Fernando grew up in an environment where he was constantly learning about his family’s rich cultural traditions. Although Fernando spent most of his life hunting and fishing in 2005, he began to change his ways of thinking and decided that he no longer wanted to kill and take from the jungle. He now wanted to become a guide. In order to reach his goal Fernando went to high school and then after to technical school where he training to become a tour guide. He wanted to make up for all those years hunting by now doing what he could to protect the forest. In 2013 he had his first guiding job where he worked for 6 years until beginning his work at Amazonia.

Hersog Chavez Yuyarima

Hersog first got the idea of becoming a guide after watching the tourist boats going by his village every day. He was fascinated that tourists would come to see his home and he loved the way that the guides he saw did their work. He knew that someday he wanted to be just like them. Hersog studied at technical school for 3 years leaning the basics of guiding. After graduating, Hersog worked as a guide for several years working with Peruvian tourists, later coming to work for Amazonia in 2017. Hersog was promoted to head guide in 2019. He has worked as a field research assistant in the study of the elusive pygmy marmoset. Hersog is known for his sharp eyes and his unique stories about the jungle.

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. Javier is also our Canopy Zipline specialist.

Jhonatan Eliu Guevara Linares

Jhonathan studied tourism in Iquitos city and graduated with a degree in tourism in 2009. After this he worked at several lodges near Iquitos city where he worked as a guide and translator for several years. Jhonathan came to work with us in 2017 and has proven himself as an outstanding head jungle guide with a special interest in reptiles as well as a good knowledge of medicinal plants of the jungle.

Juan Walter Lomas

Juan was born and grew up in a small town near Nauta, a city south of Iquitos. Here he studied tourism at a local university and became an official licensed tour guide. Before starting at Amazonia in 2017 Juan worked at several other lodges in the region. Juan is now one of our head guides and has a special interest in improving his knowledge of 600+ birds in our region.

Kid Yahuarcani Ricopa

Kid was born in a small Kukama village along the Amazon river. At the age of 5 he began to live with his uncle who taught him all that he knows of the jungle. By the age of 9 he was working with his uncle in the jungle hunting and learning about medicinal plants. After many years hunting and fishing during his teenage years, Kid eventually found a place as a guide at a small tour company. He worked for many years as a guide sharing his knowledge with many travelers including working with a group of National Geographic photographers. He improved his English after taking several classes at the local university.

Lander Juan Peña Ramirez

 Lander was born in the remote jungle community of Santa Victoria. His boyhood dream was to become to best jungle guide in the Amazon. Lander studied at a local institute for several years where he learned basic English and the foundations of the being a tour guide. Later he worked for several years at other jungle loges as a guide, honing his skills as a survival camping guide. Lander came to work for Amazonia Expeditions in 2017 and along with a strong interest in birding and fishing is also one of our lead camping and survival guides.

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.

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.

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. Additionally, Nelly has spent significant time in Africa, now serving as the trip leader for our Africa safaris. In her seventh year as head guide Nelly has never had less than a 5 star review. Nelly is also a published author of a scientific paper that appeared in the Journal of Ecological Anthropology in 2018.

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.

Ronaldo Ricopa

Ronald grew up in the town of Padre Cocha just outside of Iquitos City. In this area he worked at several rainforest lodges before coming to work with Amazonia Expeditions in 2017. Ronald has proven himself as a talented head jungle guide with sharp instincts and a special interest in medicinal plants of the region. In addition, his kind and humorous ways make him fun for family guiding.

Welister Perez

Welister grew up in the small community of Padre Cocha just outside of Iquitos City. He lived there for most of his life, and later worked at several jungle lodges before starting at Amazonia Expeditions. Welister has proven himself as both a talented jungle man and team player with an eagle eye for spotting wildlife. After several months of training with Amazonia he was promoted to a head guiding position in 2017.

Our Professional Staff

Lina Marcela Lugo Silva

Environmental/Sustainability Specialist

Lina Marcela Lugo Silva – Environmental/Sustainability specialist – It is part of our mission as an ecotourism operator to be Green Leaders in the industry. Lina’s primary focus is the management and improvement of all environmental issues pertaining to our company. She works with staff, local community, and outside contractors on environmental issues such as new construction, waste disposal, recycling, energy consumption and other issues related to the long-term sustainability of our site.

Andy Bicerra

Staff Biologist

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. Andy also conducted conservation education workshops in several native villages before coming to work for Amazonia in 2015. During his time working at Amazonia, Andy has published several scientific publications including one paper on the birds of the Tahuayo. In addition to working as permanent staff biologist for our lodges, Andy is also the trip leader for our yearly Ecuador and Galapagos trips.

Malika Gottstein

Research Associate

Malika studied Biology at Phillips University Marburg (Germany) and San Marcos University (Lima), focusing on plant ecology and nature conservation. After finishing, she worked in an animal rescue center and research projects in Peru and in the Philippines. She then obtained her master’s degree in ecology, evolution and conservation in Potsdam University (Germany) and worked on a research project on animal plant-interactions in the Peruvian Amazon. Malika is currently doing a project on taxonomy and ecology of saki monkeys at Amazonia’s Amazon Research Center.

Our Amazonia Team

Amazonia Expeditions was the first tourism company in Iquitos to provide equal opportunity to men and women in training and employment. We continue to provide opportunity to all, regardless of ethnicity, belief or sexual orientation. 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.

Dolly Beaver

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 a presentation of the prestigious Alumni Public Service Award.

 

 

Meet Our Guides

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.

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.

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.

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. Additionally, Nelly has spent significant time in Africa, now serving as the trip leader for our Africa safaris. In her seventh year as head guide Nelly has never had less than a 5-star review.

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.

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.

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. Andy also conducted conservation education workshops in several native villages before coming to work for Amazonia in 2015. During his time working at Amazonia, Andy has published several scientific publications including one paper on the birds of the Tahuayo. In addition to working as permanent staff biologist for our lodges, Andy is also the trip leader for our yearly Ecuador and Galapagos trips.

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.

Welister Perez

Welister is a full guide

Juan Walter Lomas

Juan is a full guide

Ronaldo Ricopa

Ronaldo is a full guide

Lander Juan Peña Ramirez

Lander is a full guide

Jhonatan Eliu Guevara Linares

Jhonatan is a full guide

Erika

Our time in the jungle was an absolute highlight on our trip to Peru! Truly amazing! …Again, we had the most wonderful time. Almost more than words can say. The jungle and the Tahuayo Lodge hold very special places in our hearts and CAN NOT WAIT to return. Thank you again for offering such an amazing trip.

Renee

Our trip was INCREDIBLE. The lodge was great, the food was amazing, and the staff were all so friendly. We loved our stays at the B&B, the main lodge, and the ARC.

Tia & Paula

It was incredible and a trip of a lifetime Paul! My sister Paula and I had an amazing time and loved everything — your facilities and staff are top notch and I want to come back with my husband and daughters!!

What Our Guests

Have to Say…

Erika

Our time in the jungle was an absolute highlight on our trip to Peru! Truly amazing! …Again, we had the most wonderful time. Almost more than words can say. The jungle and the Tahuayo Lodge hold very special places in our hearts and CAN NOT WAIT to return. Thank you again for offering such an amazing trip.

Renee

Our trip was INCREDIBLE. The lodge was great, the food was amazing, and the staff were all so friendly. We loved our stays at the B&B, the main lodge, and the ARC.

Tia & Paula

It was incredible and a trip of a lifetime Paul! My sister Paula and I had an amazing time and loved everything — your facilities and staff are top notch and I want to come back with my husband and daughters!!