HELICONIA LODGE ACTIVITIES
A Sampler of Activities you will enjoy at Heliconia Amazon Lodge.
Pink Dolphin Watching
Take a twenty-minute boat ride down Amazon River to try to spot some Pink Dolphins as they breach and swim about. The Amazon River dolphins are one of the few species of fresh water dolphins. They range in color depending on their age; juveniles are gray and then turn pink as they mature. These dolphins are medium sized, with long snouts, a stocky body, and prominent forehead. Watch as they gregariously bound and show off sometimes even alongside the boats.
See Giant Water Lilies
Embark a boat towards a lake in Yanamono island where you will be able to see the Amazonian Giant Water Lily, the Victoria Amazonica. These native plants are mostly found in oxbow lakes and ponds. You may see some flowers that are white as they bloom on the first night and some that have turned pink on the second night after blooming. They can grow up to 40 cm in diameter.
Daytime Nature Hikes
Set out on a jungle hike into the Yanamono primary rainforest reserve, for approximately two hours, accompanied by our expert guides. They will show you how to identify several floral species such as Heliconia flowers, medicinal plants and giant trees. You will also have the chance to sight several birds species such as the Turkey Vulture, Black Fronted Nanbird and with a little luck you will be able to view a family of small monkeys such as marmosets, the Titi Monkey and Squirrel Monkey.
Nighttime Nature Hikes
Go on an enchanting evening trek within the secure periphery of the lodge and you will witness the transformation from daytime to a night atmosphere. As you adjust to the dark environment you will be aware of the existence and habits of nocturnal jungle animals. It’s the best time to see stunning tree frogs, possibly some Night Monkeys and other rainforest creatures. Listen to magical sounds of insects, birds, and night owls.
You will wake up very early in the morning to go bird watching in the area of Amazon River and its tributaries home an amazing number of bird varieties. You will start with a boat ride to one of the several tributaries of the Amazon River. Look out for birds such as the Tuki, Ringed Kingfisher , Black-Collared Hawk, Parrots and more. There are a great number of bird species found just within the lodge area including a newly recorded species for Peru, the Bare Face Ibis.
Native Community Immersion
Visit a riverside village on the Amazon River to see an indigenous tribe of Yaguas Indians where you will learn about their way of life. You will have the opportunity to purchase their handicrafts. Visit their homes, school, church and learn their techniques of fishing and farming. We will also take some time to fish for piranhas.
Take a ten minute boat ride to visit a family farm with a rustic sugar cane rum distillery located along the banks of the Amazon River. Watch how the locals process sugar cane using horses to turn to press and then let the sugar juice ferment in wooden vats for a period of time to transform to an alcoholic drink. Get a taste of the varied exotic beverages made from the sugar cane liquor, including the famous Siete Raices (Seven Roots). They also make a delicious molasses.
Night Boat Ride
During high-water season, take a boat ride along one of the Amazon River’s tributaries for an exciting evening in the jungle. You will have to trust your expert boat guide to take you where you can appreciate and listen to the magical sounds of the jungle. If it is a clear night, you will see a vast number of stars. With some luck you can also see some falling stars which are quite common in the area.
Embark on a pleasurable native fishing trip into one of the small tributaries of the Amazon River. Learn the local techniques of fishing, with a stick, nylon line, hook and bait. Try your luck at catching piranha. The larger ones caught can be brought back to the lodge and cooked up for you to try. During this excursion you can also have the opportunity to look out for the Pink River Dolphin.
Visit a family enterprise focused on conserving and protecting endangered monkey species in the Northern Amazon. The aim is to enlighten rainforest guests on the effort to save endangered and injured species, rehabilitate and reintegrate them to the wild when possible. See the monkeys free in this reserve, not in cages.