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Posada Amazonas

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Leaving all traces of human habitation behind you will reach Posada Amazonas. Nested adjacent to one million hectares of protected lowland rainforest and cloud forest, Posada Amazonas offers outstanding opportunities to experience the world’s most biologically diverse ecosystem and engage with the natural wonders of the Amazon.

 

Posada Amazonas is located in the Amazonian state of Madre de Dios, in Peru, which hosts one of the world’s richest wildlife area with over six million hectares of protected forests formed by the Tambopata National Reserve and the Bahuaja Sonene National Park, among others.

 

Near the Tambopata River, 30 beautifully decorated cabins are dotted around the area perfectly blending in the splendid rainforest. Built using natural materials and traditional techniques the lodge is a testament to the local communities’ spirit of endeavour. Guests can experience the jungle in all its glory and reality: bugs, lack of electricity, rough trails, lots of mud and early morning starts in return for sightings of macaws, monkeys and giant river otters, and the opportunity to glimpse into and understand native culture. What a great trade off! 

Being surrounded by a protected area larger than all of Costa Rica’s protected areas combined, biodiversity conservation is at the heart of Posada Amazonas’s activities. The highly diverse lowland rainforest and cloud forest are not only home to more than 200 species of mammals, 600 species of birds, and hosts the world record for butterflies with 1230 species but the world’s highest concentration of parrot and one of the largest populations of giant river otters can also be found in this area.

To protect the rainforest ecology, conservation activities are focussed on charismatic keystone species such as macaws, parrots and giant river otters. However, their most important line of conservation work is the integration of their neighbours - 194 indigenous families from the community of Infierno and settlers - into their business to enable them to find value in the conservation of standing forest and its diversity.

As a result of the joint venture between Posada Amazonas and the Native Community of Infierno the community made a commitment not to hunt or cut timber in the 2000 hectares surrounding the lodge. Increasingly realising the significant value and high importance of the forest the community also purchased a concession of 1100 hectare adjacent to the community expelling land grabbers and timber extractors from it. Today the community is spearheading the conservation work in the area, actively protecting it for future generations.

Posada Amazonas is owned by the indigenous Ese-Eja community of Infierno, a mixed ethnic community made of up of the native Ese’eja (meaning “true people”), who had inhabited the area since the 16th century, ribereños (colonists), who were migrants from other areas of the Amazon and mestizos, who were of mixed indigenous and Andean descent.

Posada Amazonas was established as a joint venture between Rainforest Expeditions and the Native Community of Infierno with the goal to transfer the lodge, and its entire management and operation, to the community. The establishment of the lodge has created a strong commitment within the community to conserve the 3,000 hectare communal reserve, created employment and generated money for community and social development programmes.

As part of the joint venture a community management committee was created to ensure that all decisions pertaining to Posada Amazonas would be made jointly during monthly board meetings. The community also receives 60% of the lodge’s profits of which 20% are invested into education resulting into the construction of the first rural secondary school outside of Puerto Maldonado in the area. The community has also invested in potable water, an ethnobotanical centre, land titling issues, insurance and other education related projects.

The Tambopata National Reserve is home to three cultures: the Ese’eja native culture, the ribereño culture and the Andean migrant culture. Posada Amazonas’s traditional architecture reflects that of the Machiguenga people of Manu and young artists, inspired by the stories of the Ese’eja elders, created beautiful sculptures which decorate the lodge.

Not only guests get the chance to read about the local culture in the lodge’s well stocked library but local guides share their knowledge about the rainforest and their life’s in it throughout their stay. Guests can also visit the Ñape Ethnobotanical Center, a traditional medicine clinic which administers ethnobotanical remedies to anyone who wished to stay, and the Cultural Rescue Center, a place where school children could play, learn the Ese’eja alphabet, and read about the Ese’eja Myths and Legends.

Run by Rainforest Expeditions, one of the world’s pioneering ecotourism operations, Posada Amazonas has been regularly showcased as a model community ecotourism project and has won numerous international awards.

Rainforest Expeditions’ vision is simple: they want more macaws, monkeys and old trees in the forests they steward. To do this, they create great vacation experiences and share the income from their clients with their neighbours through business partnerships, supply contracts, and employment. Their neighbours are either indigenous peoples or second or third generation settlers that use the same forests they use. By including them as partners in their business they create a strong commitment to the conservation of these forests, including such difficult practices as the enforcement of no hunting zones.

Through their commitment guests and lodges have added significant value to the tropical rain forest turning it into a competitive alternative to unsustainable economic uses.