Ambassador Advice: Experience Nature in Tarapoto, Peru
Tarapoto is a charming city right at the gateway to the gorgeous Peruvian Amazon. Full of life, it is a great stop to explore the incredible natural heritage on offer at its very doorstep.
My partner and I wanted to experience this unique and special place in a way that supported sustainable tourism, and have the least amount of negative impact on the jungle as possible. We chose a 2 day trek to Peru through Visit.org with Asociación de Protección de Fauna y Flora. We have been travelling for over 5 months now and amongst other treks, this one really stood out for us. Instead of rushing through and hardly having time to look around, we took our time to stop and learn about the plethora of flora and fauna present.
Tarapoto, Day One
Our guide Miguel, making sure the experience was interactive, was very knowledgeable about every detail of life there. He knew where the boa constrictors were hibernating (they have a massive meal, then sleep for 6 months), and which animals and insects were poisonous (everything is). Not to worry though, as each guide carries a natural antidote. The antidote is made from tree sap that works for everything that could possibly bite you. As extra precaution, we were also provided with long rubber boots to avoid snake bites and to cross the rushing river that cut through at various points.
We hiked to a waterfall, where we swam and lay in the warm sun. Heading back to the little wooden cabin where we would sleep, we had a delicious lunch of fish. We then relaxed in a hammock together until dark. The jungle is teeming with life – from transparent butterflies to fluorescent caterpillars and tiny frogs the size of your big toe; giant ants and ‘walking trees’ that move a few centimetres each year due to their absorbent roots. It’s magical!
At night you can explore the jungle close by with a guide to see tarantulas the size of dinner plates and various serpents. Although we trusted our guide 100%, we still didn’t feel like it so we rested in our tent instead after another lovely meal.
Tarapoto, Day Two
The next day, we had a new guide, Juver, and started off on a hike up to the mirador viewpoint. On the way he pointed to several monkeys in the trees. All of a sudden, three gorgeous spider monkeys, about waist-high with long spindly limbs were above us in the trees. It was a real privilege to see them up so close.
Finally, we left their territory and looked out over the mirador to see Tarapoto city. The other side was just an expanse of jungle as far as the eye can see. We sat on a rock reminiscent of Lion King to look out onto the natural world. The feeling was indescribable to realise how small we all are and how vast and powerful nature is. We had the chance to speak to Juver, who was born in this forest, about the great initiative they are running to protect their homes. Illegal logging and poachers are all threats to this place and by supporting this organisation we were able to help fight back in a small way. We sat there for some time contemplating the world before heading back to the city. We felt a strong affinity to this jungle that will always have a place in our hearts.
Thank you Visit.org for this unforgettable experience.