Monthly Archives: June 2019

Relaxing in the Rainforest

After a week hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and spending nights camping on the ground along the trail, we decided to end our trip to Peru by treating ourselves to a cabana in the jungle!

We boarded the plane in Cusco and took the short flight over to Puerto Maldonado, the start of the Amazon in Peru. The airport here was tiny, so we quickly grabbed our bags and met our Adventures within Reach shuttle. From here, we travelled 15 minutes to the docks to catch our riverboat to the Inkaterra Lodge – Hacienda Concepcion. An immediate difference we noticed from Cusco was the humidity. It was 35+C here and so humid your clothes began sticking to you in a matter of minutes.

Thankfully we were soon cruising down the Madre de Dios River with a bit of a breeze on our 30-minute journey. We docked and made our way up to the main lodge to check in and have lunch (which was amazing!)

The photos I’d seen when booking at the Hacienda Concepcion certainly don’t do it justice. What a gorgeous spot! Our cabana was perfect with a screened in porch you could sit on and listen to the birds and other wildlife moving around outside while looking at all the beautiful vegetation.

After settling in, we met our guide, Plinio, for a tour around the property. As we walked, he explained that the grounds here used to be a cocoa and rubber plantation. They were owned by a Spanish doctor who started a Catholic mission here in the 1950s with the intention of improving the lives of the locals by using his boat as a ‘hospital’ and visiting communities along the river. After the boat sank and the doctor passed away, the grounds were left to decay until they were bought by Inkaterra in 1979 to develop it into a scientific research facility.

Our guide pointed out various types of vegetation we found and let us try some of the cocoa. We also saw birds, insects and a few monkeys!

We enjoyed coffee time in the lodge and then a traditional Pisco Sour at happy hour before heading out for our Twilight River boat excursion.

Here, we found some night birds and a bunch of caimans ranging in size from babies to five feet.

After another delicious meal here, we went back to our cabana for an early night and fell asleep listening to the sounds of the jungle!

I woke up around 3:30am to a huge crash of thunder and rain pouring down, followed by lightning lighting up the sky. It rained a good part of this day, which cooled everything off and sounded so cool pounding against the huge leaves and thatched roofs of both our cabana and the main lodge. Being in the rainforest during a rain storm is certainly quite the experience!

By 2:30pm, it was only spitting rain, so we set out on our next excursion, The Inkaterra Canopy Walk and Anaconda Walkway. We took a riverboat about 25 minutes up river and were greeted by Tamarin monkeys playing in the trees.

We climbed up the tower to the canopy walk, 120-150 feet up into the treetops of the jungle and went one at a time across the six long suspension bridges used by scientists to study the canopy. What a view! Looking down was freaky, but if you just looked straight out you got a unique view of the jungle canopy, looking out over it instead of looking up from the ground. I wanted to see a sloth so badly, but sadly it was not to be on the walk.

That night, we had our final excursion, Hidden Forest. We went for a walk around the property with Plinio, who stopped to point out all kinds of insects, a few chicken tarantulas, a bright green tree frog and a caiman in a little pond.

It was neat and also a little spooky wandering through the dark, listening to all the sounds of the jungle moving around you. On our way to dinner, we found more monkeys playing in the trees including a mama with a baby hanging on her back!

Our last morning, we had another amazing meal.

The food here was incredible and the coffee was delicious! Then, we got our stuff packed up and went for one last walk around the grounds.

It was such a beautiful spot – the perfect place to relax for our final few days in Peru.

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Childlike wonder

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A quick trip to Cabo

Sun, sand, stunning views and tacos…what’s not to love about Cabo? After years of taking planes full of bachelor parties, wedding groups and vacationers to this beautiful spot on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, I finally got the chance to spend a couple of days enjoying the beaches here myself.

Playa El Médano, Cabo San Lucas

While I was mainly looking to unwind, hang out at the beach and of course stuff myself full of tacos and guac and chips, a trip to Cabo isn’t complete without taking a boat out to see the famous El Arco – The Arch of Cabo San Lucas. Rum punch in hand, we set off on our sunset booze cruise to see the arch and hopefully spot a whale or two.

El Arco de Cabo San Lucas – also known as ‘Lands End’ – marks the spot where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez. We sailed past Playa del Amor, or “Lover’s Beach,” a secluded beach surrounding the Arch. Sea lions and pelicans could be found lounging on the rocks around the beach.

We stopped for a photo near the Arch before rounding the corner into the rougher waters of the Pacific Ocean. On the other side, we found what our Captain said was “Divorce Beach,” with waves and wind crashing in – quite a contrast to the calm “Lover’s Beach.” Here, we also spotted the first of several Humpback whales breaching!!

As we watched the sun begin to set, a mother Humpback and her calf came by and the baby put on quite a show, leaping out of the water, playing away. What an incredible sight!

Another great spot to check out is Art Walk in San Jose del Cabo. It’s a colourful spot to wander around any day, but on Thursday evenings it becomes even more colourful. Art Walk was established by the Gallery District Association to encourage art lovers and tourists to step away from the Main Square and explore the artwork and galleries found along the cobblestone streets. This event runs each Thursday evening from 5-9pm between the months of November and June.

I enjoyed our time checking out a few beaches, but one of my favourites was Playa Palmilla in San Jose del Cabo, a much quieter beach than some found in Cabo San Lucas.

Kayaking at Playa Palmilla

Here, we took kayaks out into the waves for a cruise around, looking up at the huge houses on the hills, and a Humpback whale came by to say hello. Even though it didn’t come too close, it was still incredible to be out on the water with a whale!

View from our condo
View from our condo

What a beautiful place in Mexico. I can’t wait to come back and explore some more of what Cabo has to offer!

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