Starting as the western Amazon Rainforest’s first adventure camping company, the Tahuayo Lodge has operated incredible Amazon tours since 1981. Evolving from a pure camping focus and with the addition of the award-winning Tahuayo lodge itself, guests can now explore further into the Amazon and have a base to prepare and acclimatise to deep jungle for their Amazon survival tour.
The strength of the Tahuayo Amazon survival tour is the degree of personal attention, the diverse rainforest, and the custom itinerary to focus on your particular interests. Although most guests choose the softer rainforest experiences, such as as wildlife viewing and visiting native villages, the media attention on survival has drawn attention to the more adventurous tours in Amazonia.
Since the beginning, the Tahuayo Amazon survival tour has attracted a lot of attention and publicity with various TV programs and magazines, including the Discovery Channel and Outside Magazine.
The jungle survival training tour takes place in the remote Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Reserve in the northern Peruvian Amazon, which is about 100 miles SSE of the nearest city, Iquitos.
The survival tour includes acclimatization at the Tahuayo Lodge followed by 3 days survival training in deep jungle, and then a return trip to the Tahuayo Lodge to shower and relax at the lodge.
On the usual 8-day itinerary, your first day consists of collection from the airport or your hotel and traveling to the main Tahuayo Lodge. The next two days are spent hiking and canoeing from the main lodge so your professional guide can familiarize himself with your ability and you can get to know you guide and acclimatize to the hot, humid, and sometimes uncomfortable rainforest environment.
You will then spend days 4 to 6 on intense jungle survival where you will learn Amazon survival, which includes activities such as learning:
How to build a lean-to
Learn how to choose a base site by identifying drainage ability of soil and how to select wood to build your camp’s frame and roofing material using palm fronds from Lepidocaryum tenue.
How to make fire
One of the most important abilities, learn how to recognise suitable wood with a hard and dry interior then using copal resin as a fire starter
How to find drinking water
You will learn how to find drinking water by recognising immature yarina (Phytelephas macrocarpa) fruits and to identify the water vines of puca huasca vine (Doliocarpus dentatus) and cano huasca vine (Uncaria spp.)
How to find food
When you know how to recognise it, there is an abundance of food in the rainforest. Learn how to find edible beetle grubs, palm hearts, legumes from the Inga genus, how to stun fish with barbasco sap (Lonchocarpus species), build a fish trap with canabrava (Gynerium sagittatum), and make a small animal snare with tamshi vine (Carludovica devergens).
How to build a raft
In a survival situation, one of the best ways to navigate the rainforest is using the waterways and you will learn how to find balsa wood, tamshi vine to tie the wood together, and how to make an oar from remo caspii (Styrax acuminatum).
How to make natural mosquito repellent
Mosquitoes are one of the main annoyances and dangers in any tropical environment and you will learn how to find and use Nasutitermes termites to keep these pests at bay.
How to make hunting equipment
In a survival situation, you would need to know how to hunt for food and you can be taught how to make a bow using wood from cashapona (Iriartea exorrhiza), arrowheads from cumaceba, and arrow shafts from bamboo.
How to find medicine
Given the hot and humid environment and various problems that can arrise in the rainforest, knowledge of natural medicines can prove lifesaving. You will learn how to find various medicines, such as piripiri leaves (Cyperus articulatus) to treat venomous snakebites, curarina bark (Potalia amara) for venomous insects, sanango root (Sanango durum) to reduce fever, pichirina sap (Vismia angusta) for a disinfectant, fiber of machimango bark (Ceiba species) as a field dressing, oje sap (Ficus antihelmintica) for parasites, and hierba luisa leaves (Cymbopogon citratus) for gastrointestinal problems.
Day 7 will be spent returning to the main lodge where you can relax, have a shower, and wash your clothes. The last day, on day 8, is spent on a morning excurions and an afternoon boat ride back to Iquitos city for your return transfer to your hotel or directly to the Iquitos airport.