The Iquitos Amazon Rainforest is a fantastic place to visit to see incredible wildlife spectacles. Although the wildlife closer into the city has long since fled to outer rainforest areas, you can reach these wildlife rich places from tours from Iquitos city to explore the more pristine Amazon Rainforest. One of our favorite Amazon lodges, and one of the best Amazon lodges for wildlife in Iquitos, is the Tahuayo Lodge, located 150 km from Iquitos next to the highly diverse Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve. The reserve contains an incredible diversity of wildlife and was established to protect the range of a strange looking monkey named the red uakari, which are even seen by a few lucky Tahuayo guests.
On tours of six days or more at the Tahuayo Lodge, you can also enjoy the Tahuayo’s Amazon Research Center, which is home to a 1000 acre primate research grid. Research from the grid by specialists from different universities has shown the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve to contain one of the highest diversities of primates of any protected area in Peru. This makes it a great place to visit to see animals and specifically a fantastic place to enjoy finding Amazon Rainforest monkeys, such as capuchins, squirrel monkeys, tamarins, marmosets, saki monkeys, howler monkeys, and the uakaris.
In addition to the larger wildlife, you will also visit Frog Belly in the terra firme rainforest where you will find different poison dart frogs, which are a firm favorite. On the boat ride to the area, we will be looking out for monkeys, macaws, sloths and more. The poison dart and colorful frogs you are likely to see include fantastic harlequin frogs, and yellow and red Dendrobates.
You will then head out from the main Tahuayo Lodge with your private guide to find Amazon Rainforest plants and animals by walking, hiking, boating and canoeing. From the main lodge you can also enjoy the canopy zip line system, the longest of its kind in Amazonia.
There are more excursion options close to the main Tahuayo Lodge, such as visiting different Amazon lakes, hiking flooded forest, a higher chance of spotting pygmy marmosets, the smallest monkey in the New World, and seeing yellow-crowned brush tailed rats, wire-tailed manakins, and barber bees. Larger wildlife you’re likely to see from the main lodge include black tamarins, saddle-backed tamarins, and colorful trogons in addition to many kingfishers, hawks, waterbirds, and more. On excursions we can then explore the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve and Amazon lakes to find different monkeys, hoatzin birds, and horned screamers.
Caiman spotting is a popular night-time activity and we can even visit a lake filled with caiman during the day to see where they rest from the observation platform. Enjoy seeing these prehistoric looking animals unchanged for millions of years lurking in the shallows.
After enjoying the main Tahuayo Lodge, we will now voyage to the Tahuayo Lodge Amazon Research Center to enter more pristine rainforest which houses more species in the surrounding forests. The wildlife spotting begins on the boat ride to the ARC where we will be spotting toucans, monkeys, sloths and raptors. The ARC then has 1000 acres of walking trails in species rich forest to find many different animals, such as several different monkeys, which are being studied by researchers from various universities.
These trails cross different ecosystems, such as bajial, high and low restinga, palm swamp and terra firme home to countless species. The monkeys you’re likely to see include brown and white capuchins, saki monkeys, titi monkeys, squirrel monkeys, pygmy marmosets, moustached tamarins, saddle-backed tamarins, and sometimes uakaris. The non-monkey mammals Tahuayo guests often see include giant tayra weasels, three-toed and two-toed sloths, and tamandua anteaters.
To see some of the rarer wildlife living around the lodges, you can see the article on Iquitos wildlife from the Tahuayo Lodge camera traps, which were placed in different sections of the reserve around the Tahuayo Lodge Amazon Research Center. The camera trap photos include several jaguars, puma, ocelots, deer and tapir, and the article includes some information on each animal.
The bird list of the reserve so far contains over 600 species, which we are happy to send any interested individuals for a reference. The list also contains different species that cannot be seen from other tours. As the ARC has been studying the monkeys on the research grid, the individuals living in the area include the following:
- 95 squirrel monkeys
- 170 tamarins (2 species)
- 90 titi monkeys (2 species)
- 25 brown capuchins
- 15 white-fronted capuchins
- 25 pygmy marmosets
- 25 night monkeys (2 species)
- 35 saki monkeys (2 species)
The favorite wildlife from the Tahuayo Lodge include the above mentioned species, but also the pink and gray river dolphins, often seen on lodge tours, the medicinal plants seen on the Tahuayo Amazon trails, visits to see the dancing manakin birds, the tanagers, especially mixed tanager flocks, cotingas, the large and colorful blue morpho butterflies, and different tree frogs.
If you have specific interests, don’t forget to mention these on the Tahuayo Lodge enquiry form to be assigned a guide best suited to your requirements. All the guides offer a fantastic experience, but some have specialties, such as medicinal plants, birds, photography, camping, monkeys, and reptiles.