One second every day of October. Includes Peru, San Francisco and New Zealand! Featuring my beautiful family right at the end <3

Our friend Paulo from Tarapoto showed us Chazuta on an awesome day out visiting one of the most beautiful waterfalls I have ever seen. We knew we wanted to return with more time to explore. We left Lamas and two mototaxi rides, two collectivos and a boat ride later, we had arrived in paradise – Munay Selva in Llucanayacu, sleepy jungle village not far from Chazuta. Jungle streams, hammocks, birds, animals, walks, chocolate factories, great food (thank you Yumi, Vicky and Melissa), great dog (shout out to Luna) and some great new friendships (hi Jordi and Sena!). We loved it here and our only regret is having to leave a week early for Lima to sort out some problems with flights, man, what a sudden jarring to reality that was!

With 4 weeks left in Peru, we decided to split our time between Lamas and Chazuta, two towns local to Tarapoto (and therefore our upcoming 29 hour bus back to Lima). We wanted to spend the last month CHILLING. Lamas was great for this. We had many walks, visited the local Chapawanki waterfall (we hated this because there was a monkey chained up there), checked out Museo Chanka for native history, and were surprised to find an Italian castle was one of the main attractions. We bought local pottery, had pizza two nights in a row and in general tried to take a load off after the intense three months we have had!

 

Yurimaguas and Tarapoto, another two successful hits on our adventurous tour of Peru.

Yurimaguas is a tranquillo amazon river-side city that offers up, for the first time in some time, more home comforts than we’d become accustomed to. Pizza, red wine and the like. Ash and Tom essentials. This city was a welcome relief and here we felt our batteries truly recharging, courtesy of a nifty little hotel we stayed at the very, very top in. It was a ramshackle tower of sorts, a stones throw away from the dirt-strip airport and bustling market streets, and had savagely fast WiFi. Perhaps, oddly enough, the best we’d ever seen? Anyway. Netflix was awesome for just a little while.

Down an hour or two of winding mountain jungle road is Tarapoto. Tarapoto is to us Huanuco meets Tingo Maria, a blend of frenzied street life with omnipresent views of surrounding and epic mountain jungle. Tarapoto is a badass Andean city. Here we met some stunning people and close new friends (Paolo!) and could use the city for easy access to our next volunteering opportunity (a short lived stint trying to help some mountain families run a tourism drive) and, more importantly, access local towns such as Lamas and Chazuta. Both of these places we love so much, the latter containing Tom’s “Most Beautiful Place on Earth” nomination, Tunumtunumba Waterfalls. Don’t expect to find any video or photos of this magical and mystical place though; it’s for visitors eyes only and must be experienced first hand. At least thats what I (Tom) says. Many an adventure was had in and around Tarapoto, not the least our biggest hike yet up to a fabled mirador in Alto Shilcayo Nature Reserve. Hours and hours of vertical climbing in high humidity, attacked by mosquitoes and getting lost. The end result was more than worth it; naked celebrations atop a mountain with a panoramic view of pure, virgin jungle.

Although our experience camping in the jungle was immense, we didn’t see as much wildlife as we’d originally hoped (I still hadn’t seen a sloth!). So we returned to Iquitos and decided that we probably could squeeze another smaller tour into our budget if we bargained hard. So we did and it worked and we ended up going with My Amazon Lodge for 3 amazing jam-packed days of wildlife watching with our awesome guide Ruber!

10/09/19 – 12/09/19

10/09/19 – 12/09/19

We weren’t ready to leave the Amazon Basin after our first tour so we decided to treat ourselves and booked another tour, this time with My Amazon Lodge. This one was just for three days and was more about spotting as much wildlife as possible. It did not disappoint. We saw loads of monkeys, tarantulas, scorpions, caiman, toucans, porcupines, coatis, sloths, pink and grey river dolphins, a huge range of stunning birds, insects, some huge and old trees and a lanky Englishman. It was so incredible seeing this stuff in the wild having only ever seen them in zoos before.