O'Donnell x 2 - Pumarinri Lodge & Chachapoyas Review

Here are the comments from California couple, the O’Donnells, on their itinerary to Northern Peru that included:

“We had a fabulous time - this was my 3rd trip to Peru and Tim’s umpteenth! It was so nice to have the itinerary all mapped out and followed exactly, hassle free!

I think when comparing our northern Peru adventure to the usual Cuzco / Machu-Picchu trip, the #1 thing was lack of crowds, and for us, lack of Americans too :-)

  • What was your favourite cultural destination in the itinerary?

Kuelap!

Tim & Andrea beneath Kuelap’s imposing outer wall.

Tim & Andrea beneath Kuelap’s imposing outer wall.

  • What was your favourite natural destination in the itinerary?

Gocta Falls

A view of Gocta Waterfall with the village of Cocachimba in the foreground.

A view of Gocta Waterfall with the village of Cocachimba in the foreground.

  • Who were your guides? How did they perform?

All very friendly, not great with names so I do not recall specifically - but very professional all around and knowledgeable.

  • Which was your favourite accommodation and why?

We really enjoyed both - each was comfortable and matched its environment: it was a tropical retreat compared to a mountain top get away (highly recommend both to everyone so they can taste the diversity of Peru)

View of Huallaga River from Pumarinri Lodge bedroom.

View of Huallaga River from Pumarinri Lodge bedroom.

  • Which was your favourite restaurant / dish / drink? Did you lose or gain weight over the course of the holiday!?

As a vegan, I was very pleased with how accommodating both lodges were to my diet needs. I enjoyed all of the potato dishes & even on outings restaurants were able to serve rice beans & plantains which honestly is a simple favorite!

Tim did the meat eating and he like everything he had.

A simple Amazonian breakfast, accompanied by  locally-produced coffee .

A simple Amazonian breakfast, accompanied by locally-produced coffee.

  • What forms of transport did you use? Pros/cons?

We were always in the shared van which were very comfortable

  • Did your itinerary involve any hiking? How would you rate it in terms of difficulty?

We did the Gocta Fall hike and it was perfect 1/2 day for us. We did not have any difficulty with the hiking however if one had, it would be easy enough to secure a donkey so it seemed - we always enjoyed physical exercise opportunities on our outing

The visit to  Revash  involved a short hike to the best viewpoint of the mausoleums.

The visit to Revash involved a short hike to the best viewpoint of the mausoleums.

  • What was the most pointless item in your luggage!?

Too many books - we were more active every day and didn’t have as much “sitting around” time as we thought; would have been nice to build in an extra day of nothing at both lodges … however work time off never allows for that!

  • What was your favourite natural encounter?

I loved the river boat tour and spotting lemurs, very cool

Taking a motorboat on the Huallaga River, near Pumarinri Lodge.

Taking a motorboat on the Huallaga River, near Pumarinri Lodge.

  • Did you suffer any insect bites? Other physical discomforts?

I thought I would have had more mosquito bites in the jungle; however it was worse at Gocta! No physical discomfort just the usual itching

  • Did you have much interaction with locals? Where and how did this occur?

I do not feel like I interacted much with locals, though my Spanish is pretty non existent. There wasn’t a huge opportunity for socializing outside of the workers/guides

Photo with local family at Kuelap.

Photo with local family at Kuelap.

  • Did you feel your money was going to local businesses and people?

I hope so!

  • Were you given any information regarding sustainability during the course of your trip (e.g. talks on environmental issues from guides)?

Not explicitly though we did ask those questions on our Amazon treks (*forgot to mention that we LOVED the waterfall hike, it was a wonderfully swimming destination!!)

Taking a dip at Pucayaquillo Waterfall, Tarapoto.

Taking a dip at Pucayaquillo Waterfall, Tarapoto.

  • Did you notice any areas where environmental practices could be improved?

I was actually impressed by lack of litter on our many excursions and how we could often expect bathrooms and trashcans every so often - not nearly as much trash as in the coastal towns from my experience.”

Panoramic view from Gocta Andes Lodge terrace.

Panoramic view from Gocta Andes Lodge terrace.