The Coolest Jungle Lodges to Stay in the Amazon Rainforest

Immerse yourself in the most biodiverse region on Earth with a stay in an Amazonian jungle lodge
Immerse yourself in the most biodiverse region on Earth with a stay in an Amazonian jungle lodge | Courtesy of Sébastien Lecocq / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Kylie Madry
30 April 2021

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.

Amazon Ecopark Jungle Lodge, Brazil

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Amazon Ecopark Jungle Lodge, Brazil
Courtesy of Amazon Ecopark Jungle Lodge, Brazil / Expedia.com

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.

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Amazon Arowana Lodge, Brazil

Lodge
Amazon Arowana Lodge
Courtesy of Amazon Arowana Lodge / Booking.com

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.

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Juma Amazon Lodge, Brazil

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Juma Amazon Lodge, Brazil
Courtesy of Juma Amazon Lodge / Expedia.com

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.

Napo Wildlife Center, Ecuador

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Napo Wildlife Center, Ecuador
Courtesy of Napo Wildlife Center, Ecuador
Leave the city behind and enter the lush, 2.5 million acres of rainforest in Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park. The eco-lodge’s cabins sit on the banks of the river, overlooking the waters, while the resort’s central tower offers an unbeatable view from the top. Head out on the forest trails or canoe paths, or plan a several-day birding, photography, or culture tour offered by the Napo Wildlife Center.

Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica, Peru

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Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica, Peru
Courtesy of Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica / Booking.com
Travel deep into the heart of Peru’s Tambopata National Reserve, near the Bolivian and Brazilian borders along the Madre de Dios River. The lodge’s 35 wooden cabanas are built in the same style as those by the area’s indigenous Ese’Eja Nation, with high, palm-thatched roofs. Once in your suite, you’ll find touches like plush robes and Andean rubber-soled slippers awaiting, along with canopied beds and a dedicated siesta spot on a covered patio.

Chalalán, Bolivia

Lodge, Hotel, Eco-Lodge
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Chalalán, Bolivia
Courtesy of Chalalán Eco-Lodge
As one of the few lodges permitted to operate within Bolivia’s pristine Madidi National Park, this indigenous Quechua-Tacana community-run project is famous for providing the most immersive jungle experience in the country. Aside from daily canoe excursions to spot caimans, turtles, river dolphins, and a stunning array of birdlife, Chalalan’s expert staff are adept at explaining the medicinal qualities of the native fauna. Have you seen the film Jungle starring Daniel Radcliffe? Its protagonist, Yossi, is the real-life founder of the lodge.

Refugio Amazonas, Peru

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Refugio Amazonas, Peru
Courtesy of Refugio Amazonas / Expedia.com

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.

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  • Tambopata Research Center, Peru

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    Tambopata Research Center, Peru
    Courtesy of Tambopata Research Center / Expedia.com

    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.

    Yachana Lodge, Ecuador

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    Yachana Lodge, Ecuador
    Courtesy of Yachana Lodge, Ecuador / Expedia.com
    For the sweet-toothed among us, there is no better Amazon jungle experience than Ecuador’s Yachana Lodge. Aside from typical excursions like swimming with river dolphins and hiking to hidden waterfalls, guests can visit the nearby cocoa fields to learn how the gourmet Yachana brand is made; from planting the seeds to the final production process. Best of both worlds, really.

    Sani Lodge, Ecuador

    Lodge
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    Sani Lodge. Close to Yasuni National Park. Napo River Amazon Rain Forest. Ecuador. South America
    Courtesy of Danita Delimont / Alamy Stock Photo
    Built alongside a pristine river near the Cuyabeno Reserve, this wildlife-rich region is a paradise for birdwatchers thanks to some 500 species that inhabit the area. At least 100 of these can typically be ticked off on any given stay, more than any other resort in the entire Amazon. Aside from our colorful feathered friends, there are giant otter and turtles to spot, as well as an insightful cultural excursion which allows for interaction with indigenous Amazonian locals.

    Cristalino Lodge, Brazil

    Lodge
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    Cristalino Lodge, Brazil
    Courtesy of Cristalino Lodge, Brazil
    The Cristalino Lodge is hidden away among 27 acres (11ha) of private reserve, in Brazil’s northern Mato Grosso along the River Cristalino. Here you’ll catch glimpses of native species that can’t be found anywhere else: the white-cheeked spider monkey, the red-nosed saki, and the cryptic forest falcon. Some rooms include private gardens, hammock hang-out spots, and solar showers, while the lodge also has a wide-windowed reading room, low-key bar, and fire pit on a floating deck.

    Harry Stewart contributed additional reporting to this article.

    These recommendations were updated on April 30, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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