Tambopata National Reserve, Peru
Four hours by boat from Puerto Maldonado, Refugio Amazonas is a 32-room rain forest ecolodge ideally located for exploring the Peruvian Amazon. Travelers to the Tambopata Research Center also stop off at the Refugio on the way to and from a stay at the center. Refugio Amazonas is located in a 500-acre private reserve within the buffer zone of Tambopata National Reserve. The lodge owners partner with local families, who sustainably harvest Brazil nuts from the surrounding rain forest, to ensure that they share in the benefits of ecotourism.
Refugio Amazonas was constructed using a combination of traditional native materials such as wood, palm fronds and clay, and modern technology ensuring ecological operations. The lodge has been recognized with TripAdvisor's highest GreenLeader Platinum award for its leadership in sustainable operations. Four wings of eight rooms each are connected by raised boardwalks. All rooms have private bathroom facilities with hot showers, beds with mosquito nets, bedside tables and a personal safe deposit box. And while rooms are discreetly separated from one another, each has one wall open to the forest, allowing for intimate contact with the sights and sounds of nature. A 110-volt generation is turned on daily so guests can recharge batteries, but lighting is provided by plentiful lanterns and candles. The dining room is a huge open building with a second-story loft for an eye-level view of the surrounding rain forest canopy. A wellness center offers massages and aromatherapy.