Where We Be
|One of the best things about Tariri Lodge is getting to play
with all the animals on the premises, like this wooly monkey
|Tariri Amazon Lodge, Brazil
We had a terrific stay at Tariri Amazon Lodge,
which was remote enough from Manaus to feel
truly “out there” and far from civilization. It was
about a two-hour drive from Manaus -- across
the suspension bridge and deep into the
rainforest on the far side of the Rio Negro. Our
stay was short, only three days and two nights,
but it gave us a perfect taste of jungle living.
The cabins on stilts are simple, clean, and bug-
free, with screens that provide clear views of
the jungle and allow for a cacophony of insect
sounds. A covered deck near the dining area is
where all the cool kids hang out: two capuchin
monkeys, a wooly monkey, a playful toucan, and
numerous parrots and parakeets. They're fed
but free to come and go as they please and are
a tremendous delight to play with and hold.
How Fabiola manages to cook such a variety of
outstanding food in a remote jungle setting is
beyond us. The freshest of fish, of course, but
also heavenly chocolate cake, cabbage souffle,
pumpkin soup, corn flan, homemade bonbons,
chicken stir fry, and yes, even the piranha we
caught fried to tasty perfection.
|The wooly monkey will keep you company
hanging above you from the rafters
|Each day the animals get their own treats to enjoy
|Now if this isn't too cute -- the capuchin
monkey has his own hammock with a view
|This cabana with hammocks is the perfect place to
relax between activities. What a terrific natural setting!
|When it came time to leave, these
little guys didn't want us to go
|The parakeet loves gently biting our
fingers -- and our shiny gold rings
|Or have a parrot on one arm and a parakeet on the other?
|The staff does a good job making sure the
animals never bother guests at meal times
|It's hard to believe just a few days at Tariri Lodge
could create so many unforgettable memories
|Or get this up close and personal
with two uncaged parrots?
|Or carry a parrot around with you on a walk?
|Once it turned dark, we used a spotlight to navigate home. The bright light and sound of the motor
made the fish jump. We had piranhas flying around like popcorn in a frying pan! Several flipped
right into the boat, and a few whapped directly off us passengers! Again -- only in the Amazon.
|Because we were in the depths of the dry season, we had to
walk a bit to reach the parrot welcoming committee at the lodge
|In the wet season, the water would come right up to the lodge,
which is why the boardwalks and cabanas are all built on stilts
|Making new friends is easy here
|Your own private cabana offers another quiet retreat.
The rooms are clean and wonderfully bug-free.
|We loved the view of the rainforest from our screened cabana window,
and the cacophony of insects and birds was a delight at dawn and dusk
|Whether it's breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Fabiola (in the apron
towards the back) willl provide you with a meal to remember
|The dining area is open-air and welcoming
|Each day the bread is shaped like a different animal
|The breeze from the moving boat helped
tremendously as we explored the river
|On a less taxing excursion, we visited this lovely beach for some swimming
|It felt heavenly to float in the Rio Negro's warm waters.
Thankfully the piranhas all kept their distance.
|Each day there's a morning and afternoon
activity for you to enjoy. The rowing is optional!
|At a typical Amazon homestead we watched manioc being
made into cassava bread -- and got to eat the results
|On our way home we fished for piranha and actually
caught some. Our guide Germano caught the most.
|Sunset on the water while piranha fishing...only on the Amazon
|Where else can you play tug of war with a toucan?
|Germano's machete came in handy more than once on our two-hour jungle hike. We learned about
the source plants for menthol and milk of magnesia, saw a rubber tree "bleed," rolled the sticky sap
from a gum tree between our fingers, and did our best to avoid fire ants and spiny trees like this one.
|We had the chance to eat a live coconut grub inside a shell that Germano hacked
open with his machete. A member of our group tried it -- and for once it wasn't me!
|See what I mean? Watching the interactions between the
animals is fun, as long as you don't mind a little squawking.
|This adolescent toucan was surprisingly playful, and
the capuchin monkeys are always looking for trouble!
|Because the Rio Negro is acidic and keeps the mosquitoes away,
you can actually enjoy yourself resting outside on a hammock
|Homemade "bom boms" in the jungle!
|Even the piranha we caught was fried up and surprisingly tasty
|Or compare wooly and capuchin monkeys
side by side as they explore their environment?
|Or feed mangos to monkeys?
|As high as I got! The hike was hot, humid, and breezeless.
The Germans in our group broke out in song when it was over!