November 12, 2012
The idea of travelling deep into the heart of the Amazon Jungle to explore is a dream of many. On the other hand, the Jungle is a wild, rugged, filled with different wildlife, reptiles and insects, not exactly the first place one may want to rest their head at night. Here we´ll try to dispel some of the myths of staying in a Manu jungle lodge, you may be surprised at the realities of travelling here.
Do I have to Camp?
At some Lodges, camping is an option and rustic accommodations certainly are possible depending on where you decide stay and what your budget is. Many lodges actually offer optional excursions to camp in the jungle for one or multiple nights. In general, this is as stated, an option. Types of lodging in the jungle will always vary with different levels of comfort and service, however in most cases, basic lodging, beds and bathrooms are provided to each traveller. In addition, there are typically common areas for dining, relaxing and even enjoying an evening Pisco Sour at happy hour.
What about water?
Water and safe drinking water is most certainly a concern for many travellers, not just in the jungle, but in any foreign country. Travellers can expect that their lodge will be equipped with enough safe, clean drinking water at all times. This is the case with many lodges throughout the Amazon Jungle. The majority of properties actually bring in cases of water bottles to provide travellers rather then purifying their own water.
Will I have hot water and flushing toilets?
Most travellers to the jungle are looking for adventure, but adventure is a broad word and means something different to each person. Travelling to the Amazon is certainly an adventure, but to many, they don´t want to sacrifice all of the creature comforts.
Hot water and flushing toilets tend to be important. Generally lodges will have some sort of water heating system to provide a warm shower to travellers. This could be as technologically advanced as a solar heating system or as simple as a reserve tank that gets warmed by the sun each day.
At the same time, in the heat of the jungle, a cold shower might be the refreshing jolt you need on a hot day, especially if you are coming back from a hike. Flushing toilets are also generally provided, but again, the system of flushing can vary from which lodge you choose.
Some lodges offer an actual flushing system for the water, while others may simply offer a pale of water to dump down the toilet after doing your business. If these things are important to you, it´s important you ask these questions prior to making your arrangements. Once you´re in the jungle, it´s not so easy to turn back and in most cases, you are stuck with your choice.
Do I have to worry about animals, insects and reptiles in my room?
People fly from around the world to visit the Amazon Jungle, however, in most cases, people prefer the jungle stays outside and doesn´t enter their sleeping quarters. In any lodge, you normally sleep surrounded by the jungle. Insects, reptiles and other wandering creatures can certainly make their way into the grounds of the lodge. Most of the rooms in lodges will provide a mosquito net to keep the bugs out while you´re sleeping and this is usually enough. In addition, most of the rooms are closed off making it difficult for outside creatures to enter. It´s important to keep things like garbage and food out of your room, these things attract animals and insects. As long as you take the advice of your guides and the lodge, and keep your room neat and tidy, free of food, you should definitely expect a good night sleep, free of interruptions from the jungle creatures.
What kind of food is there?
We´ve all seen a number of television programs where travellers venture into the jungle and try the local fare. We´ve seen people eat bugs, rodents and worms struggling to keep it down after swallowing. Most travellers are interested in experiencing the Amazon rainforest first hand, but there are certain limits, and food is generally one of them. Any jungle lodge will offer an array of local cuisine, as well as some of the more common types of food one may expect anywhere. Expect fresh fruit juices from various fruits indigenous to the Amazon. At the same time, scrambled eggs and bacon should not be a problem either. Another popular jungle dish travellers enjoy is Juane. Juane is a dish of rice and chicken wrapped in a banana leaf, this is dish enjoyed by many travellers. It´s a local dish, but isn´t too far outside most peoples comfort zone. In general, expect to have local options to try, as well as some common international options. Again, something you really should check before you make your decision on where to travel.
The jungle is indeed a rugged place, and not the first place one may wish to sleep at night. Many travellers do it every year, but is this type of travel just for backpackers and the more adventurous? You might be surprised just how comfortable you are during a trip into the largest rainforest on the planet.