Image Map

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Tarapoto Jungle Adventure Pt. 1

Good morning friends!  I know its been a while since I blogged!  We got home late Sunday night (after a minor being locked out of our apartment debacle) and I was so sick Monday and Tuesday (I think I picked up some sort of nasty parasite in the jungle) that I did not feel like doing anything!  So enjoy part one of our jungle blog and check back in the next few days for part two!

On Wednesday Josh and I left for Tarapoto.  It is a small city just at the start of the jungle (Amazonias) in Peru.  The area is called the cloud forest because it is on the high jungle plateau and is absolutely beautiful.  The jungle scenery reminded me a lot of Kauai in Hawaii.  So green and lush.  Since we got the shaft on getting to go home for Christmas, and because it was our first wedding anniversary, we thought we would take a little getaway to do some relaxing and see a bit of the jungle.  
When we got into Tarapoto, we were greeted at the airport by the hottest weather EVER! It was 39c (102F) with the humidity.  Our driver picked us up and took us to Tucan Suites in the heart of Taropoto.  It was beautiful.  We had a two floor sweet overlooking the pool and of course the first thing we did was head straight for the pool to cool off and enjoy some fruity drinks.

It started to get dark very quickly because we were so close to the equator.  Actually closer to the equator than both Josh and I had ever been.  About only 6 degrees away from it. To put that in perspective, Kyle, Saskatchewan is at about 50 degrees, Presque Isle ME is at 46 degrees and even Key West Florida is at about 24.5 degrees.  So we were really close.  We headed to the restaurant for a bite to eat and were very pleasantly surprised at how amazing the food was!  We really had no idea what to expect, but wow!  We started with a shrimp cocktail (it came with a hard boiled egg and one olive, random but that is pretty Peruvian), I ordered a mixed platter, which came with smoke pork, chorizo sausage, steak, a fried plantain ball and yucca fries.  Josh got Patarashca, a dish with shrimp, onions, peppers and spices wrapped in banana leaves.  Delicious!


After dinner we headed back to the room and enjoyed the sunset and view.  It was gorgeous, but unfortunately, Tarapoto's power lines were in the way of the sunset.  We also had our first little wildlife visitor, a cute little lizard on our outside wall.

We awoke early the next day and went for breakfast, it was lots of tropical fruits and some more traditional yummy Peru dishes.  It was here that I was introduced to my favorite food of the trip, Tortilla de plantano.  Egg, onion and peppers and plantain fried in peanut oil.  They also had this cute little honey holder.

I had to grab a picture of this, the Christmas tree in the lodge.  I need one!

 Our fist excursion was to the Ahuashiyacu Waterfall, about 12km from town.  We drove most of the way and it was just a short walk up to the falls and pool.  It was our first real taste of the jungle and was amazing.  The legend of the falls is also kind of interesting.  It is said that a local leader had a beautiful daughter and didn't want anyone to enjoy her beauty, so he asked a witch doctor to turn her into a stream.  The witch doctor didn't think that was fair, so he turned her into a beautiful waterfall instead.  My only complaint was the other people that were there.  In true Peruvian fashion, they would walk or swim into our pictures and not care.  But we are pretty used to that haha.  We made a quick stop at a lookout point for some pictures first.  If you look closely near the top of the mountain right above Josh's shoulder, you can see the falls.

At this lookout point we also saw something that only I probably thought was cool.  Sensitive Plant growing wild!  I grew this several times when I was a kid and so did grandma Evelyn.  Its the one where you touch the leaves and it closes up.  Love it!

When we arrived we started the short hike to the falls.


These signs told us the wildlife and plants that we may see and the legend of the falls.

We reached the waterfalls, gorgeous!  Our guide (the only one we had the entire week that spoke some english)  Took some photos for us.


We didn't waste anytime heading up to check out the back of the falls and get some more pics.

After we had a nice swim in the water, we got dried off and kind of wandered around.  I found some interesting bugs!  The ants were like an inch long, and they were just babies!

We also saw of first ever in the wild tarantula.  I was actually kind of hunting through the bushes looking for interesting things when I stumbled on this guy.  I went and got our guide to confirm it was indeed a tarantula and he told us that if it bites you and you are not treated in 30 hours, you die.  I backed up a little bit. Josh found out that the spider gets a little annoyed if you use the camera flash a foot from it's head.

After that, I was looking for something a little less deadly, and spotted this hummingbird.  I love hummingbirds!

The area was also covered in this plant, which I love and have grown at home, indoors of course.  Beautiful!

We got back to the lodge and had some lunch and packed up.  We were headed to our second lodge, about 45 minutes outside of Tarapoto, the Pumarinri Amazon Lodge.  In true Peruvian style, our shuttle was almost 2 hours late, and instead of telling us, they let us sit there for the 2 hours.  So that was two hours lost!

When we finally arrived, it was straight out of a movie.  Huts with thatched roofs, a pool overlooking the river and a gorgeous view of the jungle.  This was our hut.  When we got in there were only us and one other family at the lodge so it was nice and quiet.  We did some exploring right away.  We also found this little Mister wasp (he wasn't little actually, like over an inch long!)

We got down to the river level, and found this little pool there, so nice and serene.

After some exploring we headed to the pool of course!  We had it all to ourselves.  Just lovely.  Unfortunately, the jungle blocked out the sun by about 5:30pm. But it was still so hot it didn't matter.  We then enjoyed a bit of hammock time before another fantastic dinner.

We both got a porkchop with a mustard sauce, plantain ball and rice followed by some ice cream for dessert.  The ice cream was amazing, but for some reason it seems to melt really quickly in the jungle.

The lodge has a nightly dinner visitor, a cute little kitty with a freakishly long tail and tiger like markings.  We decided he was bred with some sort of small jungle cat.  He was adorable and would howl until someone gave him food.  Made me miss my little babies!

We retired early to our room to relax and enjoy the jungle noises.  I must say, that the lodge was amazing, but our service was not great.  It was very evident that they did not want white/english people there at all.  All of our correspondence with them, and  the website was in english, yet not one person there spoke a word of english and even though our spanish is not the best, we were making a huge effort to communicate with them.  The main manager was rude, and dismissive to us, while being sweet as pie to the guests that were peruvian/spanish.  I will talk more about that in part two.  I would love to tell everyone to check out Pumarinri for a nice get away, but I can't Tucan hotel for sure, they were fantastic, but the Pumarinri needs to work on their service!  

Check back tomorrow for more of our adventure!


  1. I absolutely LOVE the pictures, such an amazing experience and such a beautiful place to be. It definitely reminds me of Hawaii, the road the Hana and all those waterfalls! Incredible!! You got a lot closer to the bugs then I would have!
    Looks like an incredibly relaxing and peaceful time!
    Funny - We got shafted for going home for Christmas! Its because you don't have kids.. that makes us less important.. I thought you knew?!?!

    1. We have a pretty good zoom lens on the camera! haha. Although we did get too close to the tarantula!
      You are right that obviously since we don't have kids, no one else at home wishes we were there to spend Christmas with them... like our parents, siblings and grandparents!