Tingana: Adventures in the High Jungle of Peru
By James Lantz, International Ecolodges
Our journey started from Moyobamba, known as the City of the Orchids. Speeding by coffee and cacao farms our colectivo made it safely to Rio de Mayo. From there we hopped on a boat that slowly cut through the river’s current to our destination. At the entrance, outside the river, our guide turned into a little canal toward Tingana that anyone else would have missed.
Located in the high jungle of Peru, Tingana was started by seven families with the objective of preserving the natural resources of a municipal conservation area called Asociacion Hidrica Aguajal Renacal del Alto Mayo. With the support and leadership of the community, Tingana was developed to promote conservation and ecotourism. Tingana’s 8,596 acres not only offer an important piece of conservation for the local wildlife, but helps protect the local water supplies for nearby cities.
As we pulled up to the ecolodge others from the community were busy preparing our breakfast. Two ecolodges, which looked like tree forts, were built high up in the trees where bugs would not bother us at night.
One of the Tingana ecolodges
The breakfast was amazing, and the local hosts kept on trying to fill our plates with local dishes from the jungle. After having coffee, bread, eggs, yucca, and smoothies made by freshly picked fruit, we started our tour in hand-dugout canoes.
Canoe tour through Tingana
The tour was spectacular; it reminded me of canoeing through small rivers of Florida; large trees with their arms stretching out over the streams, all filled with bromeliads and orchids. Chirps of birds filled the forest everywhere, and we spoke to one another quietly so as not to disturb the wildlife. Our guide would point out birds that we would have never noticed had it not been for his trained eye. He could even identify the birds by their call.
When it was time to turn around we made a couple of stops, we stopped at a very relaxing lookout point that overlooked Tingana. Being high up in the trees was very enjoyable, as I could have spent all day there. From there we could hear monkeys in the distance.
Another stop was at a small landing where we climbed up in a tree and swung down from its vines. It was hard at first to trust
my guide when he told me it was safe to jump from a tree and swing down from its vines. Especially when they had me go first. However, I took the leap and a safely made it back to the canoe.
When we made it back to the main lodge, we transferred ourselves from the canoe
to the hammocks, and after our siesta we headed back to Moyobamba. On our way out, Tingana gave us one more treat; monkeys came running across the
treetops to give us a visit.
Tingana offers a very unique experience that is a one of a kind to Peru. In fact,
of all the places that I visited in Peru,
I have to say Tingana was my favorite.
I would have changed my itinerary to
stay there a few nights if I knew how much I would have loved Tingana. If you ever travel to Peru this is one place you want to see.
Photos by James Lantz
About International Ecolodges
International Ecolodges is devoted to promoting ecolodges around the world as an environmentally sustainable and economical way for ecotourists to travel and communities to earn income. The International Ecolodge website allows ecolodge operators and their communities to promote their business, with the goal of locating qualified ecolodges around the world and promoting them to the ecotourism community. International Ecolodges only supports ecolodges that meet the International Ecotourism Society’s standards with the understanding that many ecolodges are a work in progress and have not met their potential because of a lack of support. International Ecolodges’ services are free and 10% of the gross income made through other revenue streams is devoted to supporting projects at existing ecolodges to help improve their facilities.