Amazon Refuge Wildlife Conservation Center
This research and conservation center inside the Peruvian Amazon caters to photographers, research teams, and wildlife enthusiasts who want to experience the untouched jungle, while working to employ local people and allow visitors to access the Amazon sustainably and in harmony with nature. Naturalists lead educational walks through the rainforest to view hundreds of species of unique plants and animals.
Part of the ancestral territory of the San Juan de Yanayacu indigenous community, the Amazon Refuge Wildlife Conservation Center lies inside one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world. Visits to the center must be arranged and booked prior to arrival. Guided treks go deep into the jungle and combine hiking and cruising on the river to spot native creatures such as jaguars, monkeys, pink dolphins, caiman, and over 500 species of birds. Day trips from Iquitos are worthwhile, though it’s recommended to stay overnight in one of the cabins.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Amazon Refuge Wildlife Conservation Center is an ideal spot for nature and animal-lovers, students, researchers, and wildlife photographers.
- Be prepared to hike through the rainforest with proper clothing and insect repellent.
- Expect humble meals and lodgings with no electricity or WiFi.
- The guides are mostly Spanish-speaking, though a few can understand English.
How to Get There
The Amazon Refuge Wildlife Conservation Center is located along the Yanayacu River in Iquitos. Iquitos is a unique inland city that can only be reached by air and river transport. Visits to the center must be arranged in advance where you will be provided with transport and on-site accommodation and other necessities for your trip.
When to Get There
The centerxa0is open daily. Iquitos is a year-round destination, with the rainy season lasting from December to May. During this time, the rainsxa0 may get heavy and the rivers are at their highest, however, this is the best time to observe the incredible wildlife. The dry season runs from June to November, and has fewer showersxa0 and mosquitoes. Some of the smaller rivers may be more difficult to navigate, making it a more favorable time for trekking.
Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm
Located on the banks of the Nanay River, this butterfly farm is a conservation and breeding center for a variety of Amazonian butterflies, and is connected to the Amazon Animal Orphanage where rescued and orphaned animals sold in the streets are brought to be rehabilitated. To find the farm and the orphanage, take a boat from Puerto Bellavista-Nanay to Padre Cocha and follow the signs.