The Wasai Tambopata Lodge is by far one of the coolest places I have ever stayed. Taking a small plane and arriving at Port Maldanado’s small airport with only a gate or two with baggage claim carousels half inside and half outside.

This is where we met Carlos, our guide for the rest of our stay at Wasai Lodge. From the airport, we headed through Port Maldanado to the lodge in the city. We signed in and received our rubber boots and waited for the boat to take us to the lodge in the rainforest. Unfortunately, Chad wears shoes that are larger than any rubber boot size they had. He took their largest size even though his toes were completely curled in the boot. While we waited, we saw a three-toed slaw in the trees around the lodge. Carlos asked me if I liked teddy bears before taking me to see it. I took a few pictures.

Three-Toed Sloth

Finally we headed to our next form of transportation to get to the lodge: boat. We rode down the Rio Madre de Dios to the Rio de Tambopata; both were milk chocolate brown. As we made our way into the Amazon tributary, we saw small river villages and wildlife on the banks. There were tons of butterflies on the riverbanks due to the high level of minerals.

Silhouette of Wasi Lodge tour guides Peru 2010

Our guides served us lunch on the boat ride, which was chicken stir fried rice wrapped up in a banana tree leaf. It was delicious and flavorful. As a side, we were given plantain chips, a banana, and Oreo cookies.

Wasai Lodge

Wasai Lodge

After an hour and a half on the boat, we stopped at the Reservation de Tambopata, where we could use the restrooms and get passport stamps for entering. It was a quick stop before being ushered back to the boat.

Wasai Lodge

We started to see larger wildlife along the riverbanks. We saw a capybara from a distance. Andy had his 400mm lens with him and was able to get a decent photograph. We also saw some white caimans, which is a species of crocodile, along the way.

Caimen, Tambopata 2010

After roughly three hours on the river, we finally arrived at Wasai Lodge. The first view of the lodge from the river showed little huts on the bank overlooking the river. There was a storage hut going up to the stairs holding kayaks and rafts.

Wasai Lodge

After lounging around the lodge as the guides unloaded the boats, we were shown to our bungalows by Carlos. The lounge was completely open without windows. There were doors to keep out the land animals, but I thought it was interesting there were little screens. Screens did surround the dining, bar, and kitchen areas.

Wasai Lodge


Wasai Lodge

Dining Room

Wasai Lodge

Kitchen and Dining Room

Our bungalow had two separate rooms and was attached to the room that Chad was staying in. We had a great view of the river and had a hammock on the porch. The porch also had some wooden chairs to lounge on while on the porch enjoying the sounds of nature.

Wasai Lodge

Chad Napping

Our beds were covered by mosquito nets, and we were instructed to tuck them under the mattress when going to sleep at night. The bungalows had private, simple bathrooms. The showers were heated by solar energy. Since it was unseasonably cool during our stay, we had a hard time showering under the ice cold water.

Wasai Lodge

Double Bed

Wasai Lodge

Single Bed and Bathroom

Wasai Lodge

Getting “Tucked” Into Bed

Walking in between the main lodge and our bungalow, we walked on paths of chopped trees. It was a really unique area. The roofs of all the buildings were made of straw and were similar to the ones that were reconstructed to the ones in Machu Picchu.

Wasai Lodge 2010

Walking the Grounds

Even though we had to take our rubber boots or shoes off while entering the main lodge and indoor areas, it was still very clean. With spotty wifi connections, we tried to connect whenever the generator was on. Since I did not have a smart phone, it did not matter to me. However, both Chad and Andy had them, so I was able to use theirs.

A loft above the dining room allows guests to look out for animals in the canopy. I spent some time lounging in the hammock and taking pictures of a weaver bird building its nest in the open loft.

Wasai Lodge 2010

Weaver Bird Building Its Nest

We also met Pepa, a macaw that was injured and cared for at the lodge. Even though she is not the lodge’s pet, she is tame and use to being around humans. She lost her ability to communicate with other macaws.

Pepa, Wasai Lodge 2010


The accommodation was a great deal since the price included meals, guided excursions, transportation to and from, and lodging. We received excursions consisting of a night-crawler walk, clay licks, zip-lining, fishing (instead of kayaking), and walking around the paths through the trees for monkey spotting. Carlos was an excellent guide and pretended to “allow” us to walk off by ourselves. They are not permitted to let tourists wander off because of an unlikely animal attack. He was knowledgeable, candid, and flexible. Chad loves to fish, so they set up an impromptu fishing trip in lieu of the kayaking tour and even cooked the fish for us to eat!

Wasai Lodge

Chad, Andy, and Me at Dinner

The excursions during our stay are another post within this series.

More in this series:

Would you stay in a bed surrounded by mosquito nets?

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