Wasai Tambopata Lodge in Peru: Lodge Review

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A stay at the amazing Wasai Tambopata Lodge is an experience unlike any other. Here you can pass your time exploring, taking in the wildlife and enjoying the vast unknown of the Amazon rainforest.


Wasai Tambopata Lodge

Wasai Tambopata Lodge Peru

~ Heading down the Tambopata into the depths of the Amazon ~

Deep in the Amazon, along the winding Tambopata river, sits an Eco lodge retreat that’s unlike any other. There’s no highways, no telephones and limited power from a generator.  Access to this lodge is limited to the river.

You will start in Puerto Maldonado before taking a 3-hour boat ride to the Wasai Tambopata Lodge. Yes, 3 hours against the current. On the way back it’s slightly faster as you travel with the current.

The boat ride maybe 3 hours but it’s worth the time. You will see all kinds of wildlife living next to the river and flying above. It is surreal as you hear the sounds of the macaws echo through the jungle.

Keep your eyes out for Capybaras, they are everywhere. The boats are medium-sized and made of wood. They hold approximately 12-15 people if there are no supplies being carried.

Wasai Tambopata Lodge Capybara

~ Capybara on the banks of the river ~

Wasai Tambopata Lodge Peru Divergent Travelers

~ Enjoying a banana leaf lunch on the river ~

Wasai Tambopata Lodge continues the customer service by providing you with a hearty lunch of rice, chicken, and vegetables wrapped in banana leaves while you cruise up the river. The views slowly change as you get deeper into the jungle and you can watch the jungle rise around you.

The farther you get from the town the thicker it becomes and soon you will be somewhere only a few people before you have been.

There are a few locals still living along the river. So every now and then you will see a boat parked along the side of the river. It makes you wonder how can they live so basic. No computers, no phones, no cars and maybe even no power.

Their lives are simple and they rely on the jungle to sustain them. I must say, now that’s living!

Heading to Machu Picchu? Check out: Machu Picchu with a baby would be great

Wasai Tambopata Lodge Peru

~ Riverview of the Eco-Lodge ~

Arriving at the Wasai Tambopata Lodge

When you arrive at the Wasai Tambopata Lodge there is no dock. Just a place along the river where boats are docked and pulled partially ashore. You will see a walkway and many steps that lead up to the main lodge.

Along the side of the river, you will see a groundskeepers lodge. The building next to the river is raised around 30 feet in the air because the river rises depending on the time of the year.

It would be neat to see when the water is up that far. This lodge is manned at all times when there are guests at the lodge to watch over the boats, kayaks and other supplies that are near the river.

We were told that some nights people will sneak up the river and attempt to take supplies, boat propellers and other items like that. It never happened while we were there.

Wasai Tambopata Lodge Peru

~ Shared cabin at Wasai Tambopata Lodge ~

Where will you be sleeping?

The grounds has several Eco huts on the grounds. some have two rooms and others are private, all have decks with hammocks. We lucked out with hut 14, one of the farthest from the main lodge with an absolutely stunning view of the river.

Once you receive your key to your hut, grab your items and find your way through the grounds. There are many large tree trunk steps that make a path through the huts. These come in handy when it rains and the ground floods.

You can hop between them and stay dry. This happened the first day we were there. It rained for 1 hour and the whole grounds were flooded. It was amazing! The next morning, no sign of the flooding.

Wasai Tambopata Lodge Peru

~ Our private bungalow on the edge of the Amazon Rainforest ~

Wasai Tambopata Lodge Peru

~ Interior of Bungalow 14 ~

Our hut was very large and spacious with 2 twin beds and 1 queen bed.  The bungalows are well constructed of wood and palms with screen windows and a thatched roof.  All the beds have ceiling hung netting that you are advised to drop and tuck into the mattress at night.  Our advice? USE THE NETTING.

You are in the jungle, in an open-air bungalow. There are tons of crawling things that make their way into your hut. You won’t see them during the day, but at night, the jungle comes alive and you will be happy with that netting at night. You never know what will be on the other side of that netting.

Wasai Tambopata Lodge Peru

There are no glass windows, just window cutouts with soft mesh screens and curtains. This lets the humid jungle breeze flow through each hut. It is amazingly comfortable to just lay on your bed with the breeze blowing. Each hut also has a full bathroom with plumbing and a cold shower.

Don’t worry, the last thing you want in the humid heat of the jungle is a hot shower. The cold water was refreshing and much needed. They run a generator for power from 6-9 PM each night so you can charge those camera batteries.

Wasai Tambopata Lodge Peru

~ View of the Tambopata River and Amazon Rainforest from our bungalow ~

The hut doors lock and do not be worried, this is a safe place so feel free to just leave your items where ever you want. Overall the place was very clean with rustic amazon charm. However, remember you are in the jungle.

You are not at the Hilton. There will be bugs. There will be noises. You are in the middle of the upper Tambopata. Embrace this experience, you will not meet many others that have done it. Most of all, embrace the view. It’s stunning.

Wasai Tambopata Lodge Peru

~ Kayaking on the Tambopata River ~

Our stay with Wasai was wonderful. It runs to accommodate all ages of people and they offer all kinds of activities. When you book your adventure with them you will choose from one of their pre-designed packages. Each one includes certain activities.

However, they are very flexible and allow you to swap out activities to get the stay you want. If you do not like an activity just lay in your hammock on your deck or swap it out for something else.

We booked one of the adventure packages, so we participated in night hiking, day hiking, kayaking, swimming, macaw clay lick, zip-lining, and adventure activities.

Wasai Tambopata Lodge Peru

~ Macaws at the El Chuncho Clay Lick ~

Wasai Tambopata Lodge Peru

~Trekking in the Amazon ~

Activities at the lodge include night walks through the Amazon, day hikes, mammal clay lick observation, adventure activities, zip-lining, camping in the jungle, shaman ceremonies, boat rides, kayaking, fishing, local tribe visits, soccer, night Cayman watching, swimming, tree climbing, parrot clay lick, bird watching and many more.

After a long day exploring the jungle, you can belly up to the bar at the main lodge. There won’t be many people there with you, so you get a chance to meet everyone and get to know them. Including your awesome guides.

The main lodge also includes the mess hall with a large dining room and surprisingly delicious fresh-made meals. You will get fed well during your stay.

Wasai Tambopata Lodge Peru

~ Beautiful, fresh cuisine ~

Wasai Tambopata Lodge Peru

~ Polly, the resident Parrot, always there for dinner time! ~

Above the mess hall is a tower where you can lay in a hammock, staring at the stars or observe the jungle canopy. This company goes above and beyond to educate the people staying with them, so take advantage of the lodge displays that include maps, books, photos, animal and plant guides. Of course, you can always chat with your guide too.

They’ve grown up in the Amazon and can tell you pretty much anything you want to know about the area.

During our stay, we had two different groups. They will break you up based on the package you booked. Each group will have its own designated guide. They are happy to work with you to have the stay you dreamed of. 

Our group leader was one of the funniest, kindest people we had ever met. He has lived in Peru his whole life near the Amazon. He loves the area and has gone to school for research on the Amazon. He shared many stories of growing up and living in the jungle with us.

At the end of the day, he didn’t ditch you, he sat at the bar and shared a drink with you. It was a personal experience we will not soon forget.  All the staff rotates their time at the lodge and comes in as needed.

They love their jobs and they love soccer. Feel free to join in, the soccer field is behind the main lodge. They also live in the bungalows that are located closest to the main lodge.

Wasai Tambopata Lodge Peru

Overall our stay at the Wasai Tambopata Lodge was an amazing and an unforgettable experience that only a few people will experience in their lifetime.

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About David Stock

I have always been an outdoorsman so becoming an adventure traveler was just the next natural step. I love nature, I love to get off the beaten path and I like to explore. I enjoy scuba diving and cars. And yes, Lina and I have a naked dog.



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36 thoughts on “Wasai Tambopata Lodge in Peru: Lodge Review”

  1. Hello! I am not sure if I can book a 4 days 3 nights tour. I will arrive at Puerto Maldonado Airport around 9 am on 24 of OCT 2017.I have my flight back from Puerto Maldonado at 10.25 am on 27 of oct. So I will have 4 days and 3 nights but because the flight on 27 is too early, there is no risk I will lose it? As I said it is at 10.25 am. So to be sure I should be at the airport in Puerto Maldonado around 8 am. It is possible? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Personally, I think you could do a 4 day/3 day tour if you spend the 3rd night staying at their riverside lodge in Puerto Maldonado. So that would give you 2 nights deep in the Amazon and the last one in town so you can catch that earlier flight on the 27th. I recommend reaching out to them as well to discuss. Enjoy, that part of the world is fantastic!

      Reply
    • Hi Linda, we didn’t book on a per night basis. We bought one of their adventure packages that included accommodation, all meals and all activities during our 3 night stay. We still talk about our visit to the Amazon in Peru, was fantastic, and we loved the Wasai Tambopata Lodge and staff. Was a really great experience.

      Reply
  2. Lina,

    Did you have to take malaria pills to be in the amazon and at that lodge? Thoughts on bringing a 9 month old into the amazon and to that lodge?

    What did you do at night when you had to pee and knowing there were all those creatures waiting for you?

    Reply
    • Hi Aimee, Yes we def took malaria pills to visit the Amazon and also used high DEET repellent to avoid getting dengue. Also, make sure you get a yellow fever vax before going into the Amazon, you may be required to show proof of vax when leaving Peru. The lodge is nice and you would probably be fine with a 9 month old- perhaps a question to ask the lodge directly though. Peeing at night.. ha! Never did it. Stopped drinking early in the evening so I didn’t have to! LOL

      Reply
  3. Hi. I have made a booking and I’m so excited. I’m about to send them the payment but I am slightly worried about the payment methods: either Western Union or Bank Transfer! I’ve comet to realize that this is common for travel in Peru. But I’m still worried I will make a big payment and end up getting scammed. Was the payment method the same for you? And did it all work out OK?

    Reply
    • If I remember correctly, we made a small deposit to hold our spots and then paid them in cash when we arrived for the balance. But you are right, this is the way things are done in Peru a lot of the time but I don’t remember having too many problems making small down payments and then paying the balance in cash on arrival- as this saves everyone on fees.

      Reply
    • Kath, I’d like to hear how you made out with your payment and the trip itself. I’m just starting the planning process & am looking for tips.

      Reply
  4. Hey,

    Thank you for this post, it was really interesting. I was wondering though, exactly what package did you guys take? We emailed them and we found the description for a 3 days 2 night tour staying in Venado station. However I can’t seem to find the description they provided us on their website. I’m just wondering if you know anything about this and whether its okay to take it considering I can’t find the details online?

    Thank you 😀

    Reply
  5. Hi, can you tell me if there is any cell phone service. I know you said no telephones. Our daughter and a friend went there and this lodge was part of their trip. They were supposed to check in with us each day and we didn’t hear from them last night. I think because of the location that is why we didn’t hear from them.
    Thanks, Concerned Parents

    Reply
    • Sorry Bruce, I don’t know if there is cell service there. We weren’t carrying a travel phone when we visited Peru. They did have a very unreliable WIFI connection at the lodge that only worked for a couple hours at night, but we struggled to even check emails on that connection. I am sure they are fine, they are in good hands.

      Reply
  6. Hi there,
    I’m wondering what time of the year you went? We’re hoping to travel early January, but I know that’s the wet season – could this be good or bad trying to navigate to and from the rainforest?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • We visited in April and only got one day of real rain in the Amazon. Wet season will mean high water and flooding. The trekking might be quite muddy and difficult in the forest and the rivers will be high. When it rains there, it REALLY rains.

      Reply
        • Hi Lina/David,

          I have an upcoming tour booked with them. Per past reviews I had seen, originally, they only required a deposit payment, with the rest to be paid upon arrival by card or cash. However, they emailed me today saying they have a new rule that says all expeditions must be paid in full in advance and are asking me to pay the remaining balance in full before I even arrive.

          How reliable is this? I don’t want to pay in full only to have no one pick me up upon arrival in Puerto Maldonado and/or have the entire tour fall through.

          David – Since you just did the expedition, did they make the same request of you? How was your experience?

          Reply
          • Hi Chen,
            It is quite possible they have changed their policy. When we were there we paid the deposit in advance and then the balance in cash on arrival. Our flight was extremely delayed due to weather so when we arrived to PM there was no pickup. However, we took a tuk tuk and when we arrived at the lodge, they paid the fare. No big deal. We had an amazing time with them and I see that they have recently updated their website, so they are investing back into marketing for their company. Perhaps just send them an email, explain your concerns and let them know that you are happy to send the deposit to them with cash on arrival. Either way, enjoy, its amazing out there.

            Reply
  7. Hi, great blog!

    My boyfriend and I (both 27) have 12 days in Peru – 3 in Cuzco pre inca, then 5 for the inca trail leaving a few left over which we’re not sure what to do with. Is 12 days too long in Cuzco? We thought about rafting etc to keep entertained. Or can we fit in an amazon stay?

    Would love your advice.

    Sarah

    Reply
    • Hi Sarah, A trip into the Amazon is highly worth it. you can take that spare 4 days and head to Puerto Maldonado. Easily accessible from Cuzco by plane. Since you’re doing the Inca trail, I would try to see the Amazon. Have fun, great country.

      Reply
  8. Hi Lina,

    Let me start by saying, how usefull ur detailed descriptions have been. My husband and I are planning a 10 day trip to Peru in December (2014) along with our 2 sons (14 and 10yrs). After reading a bit, I found Amazon forests accessible from Iquitas, The Manu national reserve and Puerto Maldonado. Do you have any information regarding which would be better. We plan to do Cuzco, apart from the Amazon. That would be enough for a 10 day trip,I think. Any suggestions.

    thanks in advance
    Radhika

    Reply
    • Hi Radhika, I wouldn’t be able to tell you which is better. To date, we have only visited the Amazon through Puerto Maldonado. Manu is also accessible from Puerto Maldonado in the other direction than what we visited. Iquitos looks great, plan to visit that part on our next trip to Peru. Puerto Maldonado is the most accessible from Cuzco. Have fun, the Amazon is incredible.

      Reply
  9. This looks fantastic! We are planning a family trip to Peru and Uruguay in November. Do you think this location would be appropriate for two adventurous boys ages 5 and 8? I too can’t find much help on their website.

    Reply
    • Yea, it should be suitable for that as long as they can follow the rules! It is the Amazon after all. 🙂 But you will have a fabulous time there, the staff is great and the location is just to die for. Have fun, still one of our favorite trips to date and we plan on returning to the area when we are back in Peru.

      Reply
  10. Wow this looks so awesome! The husband and I are seriously considering a trip to Peru but I’m a little worried. I have a horrible fear of tarantulas….I can do bugs and everything just don’t think i could stand it if we were constantly running into tarantulas. Did you guys see a lot?

    Reply
    • Hi there! Thanks for stopping by. The only place you will see tarantulas in in the Amazon. They aren’t running around all over, but you do have a high chance of seeing one. We saw 2 while we were there.

      Reply
  11. Hello! me and my wife are planning a 10 day trip to Peru. Amazon Raiforest is one of the places we were wondering if we should go, or the Salkanty 5 day trail. Its either one or the other, we can not do both. So, while i was reading te description of your trip i saw you wrote that there are shaman ceremonies.
    what kind?
    Thanks a lot,
    Wilfredo.

    Reply
    • Hi there! That is a tough one. Are you visiting Machu Picchu already in your plans? If so, I would go with the Amazon if you are interested in seeing a part of it. The shaman ceremonies involve ingesting indigenous plants and having a trippy experience. You can look it up online to get more specifics. Enjoy Peru, it is amazing.

      Reply
  12. Hi Lexie! We booked via email. There should be an email that you can email directly, you can also try calling them too. They do a lot of business through tour agencies that sell their packages also. The Amazon is amazing and you won’t regret a visit to that area! Shoot me an email if you have more questions, happy to help. 🙂

    Reply
  13. This looks like a completely different side of Peru than what we saw, even though we were in the country for 3 months, we didn’t make it to the Amazonian region. Looks amazing!

    Reply
    • Oh you really missed out Sam!! It was unforgettable. We visited the usual areas of Peru but I was just drawn to the opportunity of visiting the Amazon while we were there. It was easy to get to Puerto Maldonado from Cuzco- short flight and cheap. We plan to revisit this region again on our RTW. We want to stay a little deeper in the Amazon- about 5 hours by boat at the Tambopata Research Center and do some volunteer work with the macaws there. 🙂

      Reply

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