Inotawa Lodge down the Tambopata river about an hour by boat from the jumping off point in the Infierno community, which is about 40 minutes by bumpy bus from Puerto Maldonado.
The lodge is located in the buffer zone between civilization and the Tambopata Reserve, which is a nationally protected conservation area. The folks at Inotawa are heavily invested in conservation projects in the area and partner with neighboring communities to provide economic opportunities that are sustainable options to mining and deforestation.
Amtuset is one of these partner programs. They’re working with a community of 19 families to provide ecotourism experiences in which the communities teach traditional practices in a way, and in a specially designed place, that protects their way of life and educates the outside world at the same time. We spent the day hiking at Amtuset, studying the flora and fauna, and painting ourselves jungle purple… scroll down, you’ll see.
Okay… so there’s this leaf…
Jaime handed us each a few, poured a little water into our hands and instructed us to start crushing and rubbing the leaf… it’s a green leaf, mind you: