Amazon Rainforest Lodge History
THE AMAZON RAINFOREST LODGE, Momon River, 23 KM from Iquitos, Department of Loreto, PERU
Welcome to our lovely lodge in the middle of the Peruvian rainforest! We would like your visit to be as pleasant as possible and for you to enjoy all the creature comforts. During your stay please take time to sit on the balcony of our grand restaurant (by far the largest in the whole of the Peruvian jungle) overlooking the Momon river. Also climb up to the top of BOTH of our towers to enjoy the fabulous view. Your guide will be most happy to accommodate you with your needs during your stay. You just have to ask!
The story of the Amazon Rainforest Lodge started way back in 1983 soon after I arrived in Peru from Lesotho in Southern Africa. I heard about an amazing place up in the high Andes mountains called: MARKAWASI (MARCAHUASI) where there are hundreds of stone statues of human heads, animal faces , Egyptian sphinx’s and even figures of dinosaurs. I formed a travel agency called ‘Peru Mystic Tours’ together with Erick Mendosa, Juan Jose Bozzo and Edith Miguel who were my original guides when I first travelled up to see this great mystery of Peru. However the tourists didn’t just want to go up the mountain to 4’000 meters above sea level and camp out for three or four nights, they also wanted to go to the Nazca lines, to see Machupicchu and Cusco, and they wanted to come to the jungle to do the Shamanic ceremonies plus visit all the other places that Peru has to offer.
So I first came to the Momon river to do the ceremony and stayed at a nearby lodge which does not exist anymore called the ‘Anaconda Lara Lodge’. A group of South Korean businessmen had just built this lodge and called it ‘Chung Pung’, later changed to ‘Family Land’. When I purchased it in 1996 the first thing I did was change the name again to ‘The Amazon Rainforest Lodge’ which far more accurately reflects what we have here. Fortunately we are built on a relatively elevated piece of land which means that even when the river is really high we are still above the water level.
The first thing I realized was that the lodge was poorly built. Twice we had to rebuild the wooden look-out tower and one night the water tower came crashing down and we were without water for several days!! So the decision was made to completely rebuild the lodge from top to bottom, and what you see today is the new version. Nothing of the old lodge exists anymore! This time we used good quality materials and top Peruvian craftsmanship. The large restaurant was designed by top Peruvian arquitect Jorge Burga and built by artisan Sr. Victor Ochoa.
Today the Amazon Rainforest Lodge is a family lodge: children are welcome, youngsters, adults, everybody. All the walkways are on just one level so that a wheelchair can be used anywhere. We have delicious fresh food, a mixture of local and international, prepared by our wonderful chef, great drinks both local and international, prepared by our talented barman, and snacks available between meals from our kiosk. And since recently we also offer ice cream! (the freezer is powered by solar panels). Although we are a ‘jungle lodge’ we try to provide as many facilities as a good hotel would also provide (internet – a bit slow I apologize , Direct TV, etc).
The biggest attraction is our swimming pool which is by far the largest in the Peruvian jungle, also the longest water slide (34 meters) in the rainforest, with fresh water coming from an underground well. Whilst digging for water we found a whole layer of ancient fossil fish and sea shells which means that millions of years ago this whole area was undergrand! So after your trek through the rainforest a dip in the pool will refresh you! If you want to just relax then just enjoy sitting in one of our many hammocks scattered around the area. For kids we have the ‘Sapo’ (frogs) game which is a lot of fun, a kids’ pool, and a trampoline. Besides the treks and canoe boat rides there are sporting facilities. For example when groups of youngsters arrive they sometimes play football (soccer) against the local teams from the nearby villages of Gen Gen and Centro Fuertes.
I also acquired a large piece of land about a 15 minute boat ride down the Momon River towards Iquitos. It is called ‘Piranha Park’ and with much care and love we have built five artificial lakes. One has piranhas which you are welcome to fish (mind your fingers!), another has small crocodiles (all fenced in) and we have a compound with local animals. There is a 1.4 km jungle trek which includes a large tree with swings and lots of beautiful wooded scenery. Just one thing: Remember that we are in secondary rainforest so you will not see and hear any large animals in our area, but we do have around 60 species of birds flying around. I highly recommend the early morning (dawn) boat tour where you will see the birds and small animals in all their glory.
I hope that you enjoy your stay here at the lodge. Our staff are wonderful; some are from the local villages and a few from the city of Iquitos. Many have been with us for many years. If there is anything that we can do for you to make your stay more pleasant you just need to ask!
Peter E. Schneider (Swiss / British), the owner, Amazon Rainforest Lodge, Momon River, near Iquitos (Amazon River), Department of Loreto, Peru.
PS. Please take time to look at my book on the Markawasi statues written together with the wonderfully talented late Katty Doore from the U.S.A. You will find it on the table by the couches.