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Tambopata Research Center Reception

The best jungle lodges in South America will depend on your preferences.

There are jungle lodges that focus on wildlife, comfort, culture and closeness to town. There are also lodges that offer you a balance. The top priority for most people is nature, which means you can find abundant wildlife to see many animals and plants.

For this list, we will focus on wildlife, comfort, service and responsibility. The lodges include meals, transfers and guided tours in high wildlife areas. Most of the lodges also provide cultural experiences.

Jump straight to our selection of the 10 best lodges

As the Amazon is a large area that covers 40% of South America, we will mention some regions to focus on. One of the best regions to visit is named Tambopata, which is a wildlife-rich section of forest in southern Peru.

This region is fortunate to contain more claylicks than anywhere in Amazonia. Colorful parrots, monkeys and other wildlife regularly visit these areas. This means you have almost guaranteed wildlife sightings of iconic Amazon animals.

For Peru, see the top Amazon tours in Peru. And to focus on lodges, you can choose from top 10 jungle lodges in Peru.

Let’s get started with the top jungle lodges in South America.

We will start with Puerto Maldonado in the southern Peruvian jungle and work our way around Amazonia.

Best Jungle Lodges near Puerto Maldonado, Peru

Puerto Maldonado is a fantastic place for an Amazon Rainforest tour. This is because the town is in an area of Amazonia with the most clay licks of anywhere in South America.

Clay Lick - Amazon Rainforest, Puerto Maldonado, Peru

These licks are perfect places for you to see many different animals. Birds from parakeets to large macaw parrots flock to feed from clay. The clay helps the birds and other animals detoxify food they have eaten in the forest. It also provides a reliable source of essential salt, which is hard to find in Amazonia.

Not only visited by birds, clay licks are also frequented by different mammals. Capybara, monkeys and even tapir, South America’s largest land mammal, visit the licks. These large herbivores can in turn draw predators like jaguar. This markedly increases your chances of seeing these elusive cats.

One of the deepest lodges in the Amazon is the Tambopata Research Center. This is accessed from Puerto Maldonado and offers you fantastic wildlife experiences.

Click the video below for an introduction.

Tambopata Research Center

Not only providing access to one of the largest clay licks, the Tambopata Research Center offers you a 20% chance to see jaguar by the river.

Another lodge that provides access to this large claylick is access from Refugio Amazonas Lodge . This is a little closer to Puerto Maldonado and offers more cultural experiences.

Best Jungle Lodges for Tambopata
As the closest protected area to Puerto Maldonado, Tambopata National Reserve offers fantastic tours.

You can see beautiful, wildlife-rich lakes and claylicks visited each day by hundreds of parrots. You will also enjoy rainforest walks through the jungle to spot many animals and plants.

In the Tambopata region, you have options if you’re looking for a short 3 or 4-day tour. An excellent jungle lodge to choose is Posada Amazonas Lodge. This is in a private community-owned section of rainforest connected to Tambopata Reserve close to Puerto Maldonado. The lodge sits on a beautiful rainforest lake to see giant river otters.

Click the video below for an introduction.

Posada Amazonas

The community-owned Posada Amazonas offers a high chance of spotting giant otters and other lake-living animals. The lodge is located in an area of connected rainforest with Tambopata. And it’s a great option for 2-nights or more. This is also a good choice for cultural experiences.

A little deeper in the rainforest in the buffer zone of Tambopata Reserve is the Refugio Amazonas. This is a similar lodge offering the same high standard of service and comfort to the Posada Amazonas. Because this is deeper in the rainforest, there is a higher diversity of animals to find.

Both the Posada Amazonas and Refugio Amazonas are near wildlife-rich oxbow lakes.

The lakes are brimming with wildlife. As well as lake species like hoatzin birds, caiman and giant river otters, you can find other animals. The area is visited by monkeys like capuchins, squirrel monkeys, titi monkeys and large and loud howler monkeys.

Click the button below to check availability for your travel dates with the Posada Amazonas.

If you’re traveling as a family with young children, the Refugio Amazonas Lodge offers another reason to visit. The Refugio Amazonas has a children’s trail in the rainforest. This is the only trail of its kind in Amazonia. Young children can see information on the jungle’s plants and animals in an engaging and relatable way.

The Refugio Amazonas Lodge

The Refugio Amazonas Lodge

Puerto Maldonado, Peru

The best end to a fantastic intrepid trip in Peru…!! Wish we had of spent more time there… Staff were

If you’re after a deep jungle experience, the Tambopata Research Center is the best option. This provides one of the deepest and best rainforest experiences in the Amazon Rainforest. You are only a short distance away from one of the largest macaw claylicks in Amazonia.

Jaguar - Tambopata Research Center, Puerto Maldonado, Peru

As the name suggests, researchers are studying Tambopata wildlife from this lodge. Research is mainly on the macaws. The lodge also offers a 20% chance of spotting jaguar. However, there are many other Amazon Rainforest plants and animals to find.

Best Experiences for Manu National Park
Manu National Park is one of the largest national parks in Peru. However, unlike the Tambopata Reserve above, visitors are prohibited from entering the park itself.

There are different experiences surrounding the park. In the surrounding region, you can see several different monkeys, giant otters and beautiful macaws. Although the Manu lowlands are less accessible than Tambopata, you can visit the Amarakaeri Reserved Zone. You can also visit a cloud forest section of Manu from Cusco.

Best Jungle Lodges in Peru from Iquitos

Peru’s gateway to the rainforest along the Amazon River is Iquitos.

You can enjoy fantastic Amazon River tours from Iquitos, but the city is also a great place for a jungle lodge experience.

The best wildlife is further from the city. For the best experience, it’s best to visit the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve and adjacent Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve.

If you’re after a deep jungle experience from Iquitos, the top recommendation is the Tahuayo Lodge.

The Rainforest Alliance certified Tahuayo Lodge is highly regarded by wildlife enthusiasts. The lodge offers you attentive and friendly staff and knowledgeable guides. You then have an incredibly high diversity of animals and plants to explore. From the Tahuayo Lodge, you will have almost exclusive access to the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve.

Click the video below for an introduction.

Tahuayo Lodge

On tours of 6 days or more, you can experience two different areas. You will head out with your private guide from the main Tahuayo Lodge and Tahuayo River Amazon Research Center. See several primate species and many other Amazon Rainforest animals and plants. The Tahuayo Lodge boasts the most activities in Amazonia, including the rainforest’s longest canopy zipline system.

Best Jungle Lodges in Brazil from Alta Floresta

No other area in southern Brazil’s Amazon has been studied as much as the forest surrounding Alta Floresta. Naturalists have found that no other area in Brazil’s eastern Amazon has such a high number of bird species.

A favorite jungle lodge is the Cristalino Lodge. From here, you can explore the forest and waterways to see some of the region’s 500 bird species. This lodge has the highest canopy tower in Amazonia. From here, you will have incredible views of the forest. And it’s a fantastic place to spot birds flying over the rainforest.

The Cristalino Lodge has comfortable areas to relax while experiencing the rainforest. One of the favorite places is the floating deck, which is complete with loungers and parasols. The lodge protects surrounding forest, is committed to ecotourism and funds rainforest research. There are also programs to help educate the people of Alta Floresta about their forest.

Best Jungle Lodges in Bolivia from Rurrenabaque

Rurrenabaque is Bolivia’s gateway town to the Amazon Rainforest. The main protected area is Madidi National Park, which ranks as one of the largest parks in Amazonia.

From here, you can choose two excellent lodges. These include the budget conscious Serere Lodge with a high focus on conservation and the community-owned Chalalan Eco Lodge. Both of these lodges provide fantastic wildlife opportunities. They are also seeing jaguar and giant river otters returning to surrounding areas, which are the symbols of a healthy forest.

Best Jungle Lodges in Ecuador from Coca

El Coca is Ecuador’s gateway town to the Amazon Rainforest. And from here, you can experience the top lodges for Ecuador’s Amazon.

Sacha Lodge Canopy Walkway, Coca, Ecuador

Ecuador’s Amazon Rainforest is arguably the most species-rich area of land on Earth. Research has found a higher diversity of life across a range of animals and plants than anywhere else. The Yasuni National Park is the area where many of the records were set.

The Yasuni National Park is the jewel in the crown of Ecuador’s Amazon Rainforest. This is an impressive rainforest area home to an incredible amount of animals and plants.

The park covers 9,820 km2 (2.4 million acres) and sits along the Napo River at the north eastern edge of the country. The Napo River joins with others in Peru to become the Amazon River for its journey across the continent. The Napo is the river you will travel down for your transfers to your jungle lodge or while aboard your Amazon River cruise.

The best way to experience the Yasuni National Park itself is aboard a river cruise. And there are two to choose from in Ecuador. These are the Manatee Amazon Cruise and its sister vessel the Anakonda. Both offer a fantastic experience with guided tours in Ecuador’s Amazon, delicious meals and comfortable suites.

The surrounding rainforest is where you find the recommended jungle lodges for Ecuador’s Amazon.

The premium lodges for Ecuador’s rainforest are the Sacha Lodge, with its impressive canopy walkway and wildlife-rich 5,000 acre reserve, and the very comfortable La Selva Lodge.

The Sacha Lodge sits within a 5,000 acre private reserve next to the Yasuni National Park.

Offering spacious cabins and an incredible canopy walkway, the lodge is a favorite experience. The walkway reaches 940 feet (275 meters) into the rainforest. And you will be walking 94 feet (30 meters) above the forest floor.

For a short introduction, click the video below.

Sacha Lodge

The walkway provides a fantastic perspective and is a great place to spot some of the 587 different birds. Incredibly, the birds you can see from Sacha Lodge represent 37% of all the birds in Ecuador.

From the Sacha Lodge, you will explore the rainforest with your expert guide to find many animals and plants.

Find caimain crocodilians, delicate tree frogs and fascinating lizards. Yo will also see the many different monkeys, including capuchins, squirrel monkeys, howler monkeys and tamarins.

To check availability for your travel dates, send the Sacha Lodge a request using the button below.

Sacha Lodge

The Sacha Lodge

El Coca, Ecuador

Located in a 5000 acre private ecological reserve, Sacha Lodge provides a safe and comfortable base for you and your

The Top Jungle Lodges in South America

  1. Popular
    Sacha Lodge

    The Sacha Lodge

    El Coca, Ecuador

    Located in a 5000 acre private ecological reserve, Sacha Lodge provides a safe and comfortable base for you and your

  2. La Selva Lodge

    La Selva Lodge

    El Coca, Ecuador

    I wanted to let you know that we had an amazing experience at Le Selva! The service, accommodations, guides, tours,

  3. The Refugio Amazonas Lodge

    The Refugio Amazonas Lodge

    Puerto Maldonado, Peru

    The best end to a fantastic intrepid trip in Peru…!! Wish we had of spent more time there… Staff were

  4. Amazon Villa Suite

    The Amazon Villa

    Puerto Maldonado, Peru

    Explore the Amazon Rainforest in comfort on a premium experience at the Tambopata Amazon Villa. The Amazon Villa is a

  5. Placeholder Image

    The Cristalino Lodge

    Alta Floresta, Brazil

    Currently, TourTheTropics.com cannot help you book this experience. However, you can visit the tour operator's website for more information.

  6. Placeholder Image

    The Sandoval Lake Lodge

    Puerto Maldonado, Peru

    Currently, TourTheTropics.com cannot help you book this experience. However, you can visit the tour operator's website for more information.

  7. Placeholder Image

    The Chalalan Lodge

    Rurrenabaque, Bolivia

    Currently, TourTheTropics.com cannot help you book this experience. However, you can visit the tour operator's website for more information.

Ash - Author & Travel Advisor About the Author: Ash Card is a frequent visitor to the Amazon and has a passion for helping visitors get the best experiences from tropical destinations. Ash has interests including tropical destinations, rainforests and wildlife. Feel free to contact Ash for tour help in the Amazon. When not helping tourists with tours and info, Ash can be found salsa-ing the night away or posing near waterfalls.
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