Get Inspired, Peru, travel stories

My first taste of the Amazon Jungle – Iquitos and Jenaro Herrera (Local Village)

Welcome to the Amazon Jungle!

Preparing for this trip put me on edge a little bit, because I had NO clue what to expect. In my past travel experience, I never really used tours because I just like exploring and doing my own thing. However, this trip I wanted a bit more guidance as I was terrified in exploring the jungle on my own account. Not because it was dangerous (not too much), but I just didn’t know what to expect. You know?

I started looking for some tours online and I finally found one that I was happy with. It was “deepish” into the jungle. The tour included 4 days all inclusive food and the necessities. We were told we were going to fish for Piranas, swim and see Pink Amazon River Dolphins, eat a ton of good jungle food, night hikes with animal sigh seeing, river rides seeing wildlife, and a few extra things.

Arriving

I arrived in Iquitos airport terminal and there awaited my guide for my tour. I was the first one and greeted with water as it was HUMID and HOT. From there, I waited in the small bus and was told two German girls were coming and that was the complete group for our tour. Three people for a 4 days, heck yes!

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We drove towards the main plaza. I was informed that I needed to buy bug spray and a headlamp. I freaked out about the bug spray, but I totally didn’t even need it.

*Mosquitoes in Wisconsin are totally worse than the jungle, unless you are literally sleeping outside at night*

We arrived at the plaza and ate some food. Being a tour, they took us to an “American” food restaurant, and I was not happy about that arriving, but it was what it was, so whatever haha.

After lunch, we took the small van to the port of Iquitos. This place was soooo Interesting! Here there were locally caught fish, Alligator, other crazy foods and something that I was so excited to try – Suri! Jungle Worms! I ate them cooked over the grill, and I even tried an alive one! I would recoommend anyone to try it, but I will tell you what. I won’t eat them again. It wasn’t bad, it was just more of a psychological thing.

I definitely recommend exploring the local markets here, because they are FASCINATING!

Iquitos is the largest city in the jungle that is not accessed by car! You have to take a boat in from a neighboring city or you need to take a flight to access this area. Another interesting thing you will notice is that the buses are made of wood, because they only import the engine, and not the frames because it is too expensive! Also, they barely have any type of car. It is typically all motorcycles, mopeds, and mototaxis!

 

The Amazon River

Oof! This river is huge! The current is much faster and stronger than I would have imagined. I don’t know why that never really occurred to me, but it not a safe river by any means. On our way to our lodge, the driver was telling us the locals use smaller boats with smaller motors and that sometimes the current is too strong from the rains upriver that if a tree trunk comes down the river it can sink and kill the people aboard just like that. I didn’t notice that until later while I was in one of those smaller boats on the side of the river on a branching stream feeding into the Amazon!

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We took a boat maybe two hours upstream to one of the feeding rivers into the Amazon. 20190326_113026From there it took another 30ish minutes where we were quickly surrounded by different bird calls from the jungle canopies. We also entered local villages where kids were having fun canoeing in the handmade canoes. There were small markets on the side for the locals as well, with their chickens and other livestock roaming everywhere.

 

Activities (some)

  • Held a giant boa constrictor at the rehabilitation center
  • Held other animals like sloths, toucans, and others 
  • Hunted animals with a blow dart gun with the locals
  • Swam with PINK RIVER DOLPHINS!
  • SWAM IN THE AMAZON RIVER! 
  • Fished for piranhas
  • Settled into the lodge – greeted by monkeys
  • Night walk with many spiders and MOSQUITOES GALORE
  • Lunch in deep jungle with storms – SO PEACEFUL
  • Swung on a jungle vine like Tarzan – where was my long hair when I needed it?
  • Tried new foods
  • Listened to Jungle Myths and Legends
  • Returned to city
  • Explored the city of Iquitos (When I returned to the city life)

 

Honestly, there is too much to tell, and I could write too much about this, probably a small book about it. But what I highlighted in the bold are my highlights of entering the jungle on my tour.

Holding the wildlife was really cool! Check out some pics! 

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Local tribal people taught the group how to shoot a blow dart gun dipped in some poison to kill and harvest animals. 

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Fished and ate piranhas! 

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Check out this CHOMPER

Swam in the Amazon River and saw pink river dolphins! I don’t have a pic of the dolphins 😥 

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I PROMISE I WAS SWIMMING WITH PINK RIVER DOLPHINS!

Back in the city, I stayed one night before planning to go to the next place of Jenaro Herrera! A small local town. But before I went, I spent time on the boardwalk in Iquitos looking at little gifts for family and friends, enjoying a cold beer, and enjoying the local scenery and people watching! I was asked to marry someone’s daughter while shopping lol.

Well, this post has quite a bit of content on it, so I will make a separate one for Jenaro Herrera in the next one! This one is full of interesting stories of SNAKE ENCOUNTERS!

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Sorry, this post is all over the place. I have had so much caffeine, if you would like to know more about something, let me know in the comments here, Facebook, WhatsApp, or Email!

There is so much to tell and share. Here are some more pics!

Cheers,

Worldwide Chris

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