As we left civilization to enter the mysterious world of the Amazon jungle we had high hopes of seeing a wild capybara in its natural habitat.
However we quickly ditched our expectations and opened our minds to a new kind of adventure after an hour long boat ride on the sewage filled Rio Madre de Dios. We arrived to Yakary an isolated ecolodge early on a Monday and were promptly greeted by a friendly collared peccary (jungle javelina) named Lucy that thought she was a dog.
After a refreshing glass of tropical fruit juice, we briefly zipped and walked through the tree canopies while being attacked by mosquitos who seem immune to deet and all other forms of repellant. Without much instruction, wifi, electricity, and hardly any English we survived 3 days of similar activities.
The jungle itself wasn’t all bad though. The highlights included a canoe ride around Sandoval Lake and sightings of countless monkeys, a snake, tarantulas, an amardillo, tree trunk bats, and hundreds of colorful parrots.
All and all Tambobata National Reserve is worth the trip, but unfortunately Puerto Maldonado is a necessary stop over to get there. More unfortunately, we chose mediocure accommodations. As usual though, new friends were made and conversing and bonding with fellow international travelers over the comical conditions made the experience more enjoyable.
Yet again, I was reminded why I love traveling and simultaneously how much I appreciate the standards of living in the United States.