Unless you’re more inclined to opt for a luxury river cruise, the best way to explore the steamy sights of the Amazon is to check in to a specially designed jungle lodge. In these opulent retreats, guests can kick back in comfort before joining their elite jungle guide for a real-life demonstration of the most biodiverse region on earth. Here are some of the best options throughout the entire Amazon rainforest – and all can be booked through Culture Trip.
Pick from 70 palm-thatched bungalows or 22 brick standalones, just down the Tarumã River from Manaus in Brazil. Don’t worry about getting to the resort yourself – the Amazon Ecopark Jungle Lodge offers transfers from town via bus and boat. When the river level is down, a small beach appears along the Tarumã’s shores, and the lodge has hammock-lined pavilions, a dock, and walking paths. Hang out around the hotel or take a guided hike, go for a canoe ride or try your hand at reeling in some river fish.
Stay on the river, literally, in this little village of houseboats and stilt huts in the middle of the Amazon. You’ll arrive by speedboat, after being picked up from Brazil’s Port of Ceasa. The Arowana Lodge is an eco-lodge, built from sustainable materials, and specializes in catch-and-release sport fishing and eco-classes about local food production, giant Amazonian lily pads, and wilderness survival.
Head deep into the Brazilian Amazon and stay at Juma Amazon Lodge, a secluded respite along the Paraná do Araçá River, filled with palm-lined bungalows on stilts facing the forest and the river. Relax in the hammock house, jump off the floating deck or laze around the river pool, or sign up for the lodge’s jungle hikes, boating, and cultural tours.
Located some three-and-a-half hours up river from Puerto Maldonado on the edge of the Tambopata Nature Reserve, Refugio Amazonas offers a high level of luxury amidst an array of exotic flora and fauna. Particularly popular with families, kids love exploring the jungle through a treasure hunt while adults can sink a few at the bar or indulge in a massage at the hotel’s spa.
Deep in the jungle down river from Refugio Amazonas lies the more serious Tambopata Research Center, a must for true wildlife aficionados. Although it may not have as many creature comforts as the above option, it happens to reside just a short distance away from one of the biggest clay licks in the Amazon. Here, an abundance of birds – most notably the Macaw – feast on the mineral-rich clay deposits in a spectacular and colorful display.
Harry Stewart contributed additional reporting to this article.
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