The Amazon River and its tributaries are home to about 3,000 freshwater fish species, almost a third of all the freshwater fish species in the whole world. This extraordinary aquatic biodiversity has also created the richest freshwater sport fishery in existence. Heliconia Amazon River Lodge offers you more than just sport fishing; it’s also about connecting with nature and the local host community, supporting their livelihood resources while maintaining cultural and natural assets. Sustainable fishing practices are ensured as you enjoy low impact fishing activities. If you are planning on going ice fishing make sure to get the best ice fishing boots. Discover. Learn. Help conserve and protect these rich protected areas. Important note: 'Catch and release' is a practice within recreational fishing intended as a technique of conservation. After capture, the fish are unhooked and returned to the water before experiencing serious exhaustion or injury.
Recommended Fishing season: Dry Season, from July to November
Day 1: Iquitos/ Heliconia Amazon River Lodge (L, D)
Welcome to Iquitos! Upon your arrival at Iquitos International Airport, you will be greeted by our staff and taken to our Heliconia office for and proceed to the docks to take a boat. En route, a short stopover in Monkey Island, a family social enterprise focused on conserving and protecting endangered monkey species in the Northern Amazon. The goal is to enlighten rainforest guests on the effort to reintegrate monkeys and their survival in the wild. See the monkeys free in this reserve, not in cages, their temporary stay here depends on their capability to adapt back to its jungle habitat. After a 90-minute boat ride, arrive at the Lodge where our staff will welcome you with an exotic jungle drink. Next check-in and settling in your room, at your leisure, taste your first Amazonia cuisine lunch. In the afternoon, begin your first excursion: set out to a jungle hike into the Yanamono primary rainforest reserve, for approximately two hours accompanied by our expert guides. They will show you identify several flora species such as Heliconia flowers, medicinal plants, and giant trees. You will also have the chance to see several bird species such as the Turkey Vulture (Cathartes Aura) and Black Fronted Nanbird (Monasa-Atia). With a little luck, you will be able to view a family of small monkeys such as marmosets (Saguinus fusicollis), the Titi (Callicebus Mollock Mollock) and the Squirrel monkey (Saimiri Boliviense). Return to the lodge for rest, and be enthralled by your first, must-not-miss Amazon Sunset. As the evening comes around, during high tide, take a boat ride along one of the Amazon River’s tributaries for an exciting evening in the jungle, with no lights, perhaps just some flora and fauna sparkling in the dark. You will have to trust your expert boat guide to take you where you can appreciate and listen to the magical sounds of the jungle. If it is a clear night, you will see the bright, magnificent moonlight, as well as observe the stars and constellations. With some luck, you can also see some falling stars which are quite common in the area. Shortly, go back to the Lodge to rest and relax for an early wake up the next day.
Day 2: Fishing at Atun Caño / Heliconia Amazon River Lodge (B, L, D)
You will wake up very early in the morning and after your energizing breakfast, get ready to take the boat downriver to the community of Santa Rosa on the banks of Atun Caño Reserve. Catch the magnificent sunrise at the lake, while your native guide will first offer a prayer to the jungle gods while smoking a black cigar. The Amazon River folks have a belief that each lake of the jungle has its god that takes care of them, protects the fishermen and helps them catch a bountiful of fish. In the oxbow lake, enjoy the first sounds of nature as the sun rises, then start to catch some fish, perhaps, the powerful and awesome Largemouth peacock bass (cichla monoculus), a real fighter and a challenge for sport-fishing fans. Locally known as Tucunare this fish has beautiful colors all over its body, three black stripes and a big dot similar to its eye found towards its tail. Aside from the Dragonfish (Arowana), another similar game fish is the Paiche (Arapaima Gigas) though you cannot catch it with a fishing bait. However, you can try to hook a Smallmouth bass, the famous Red-bellied piranha (Serraselmus nattereri) and other game fish species. At the same time, enjoy the enchanting scenery of the tranquil lake, the sounds of the animals and the bird calls, amplified in the peace and quiet of the area. Return to our jungle hut located in Santa Rosa where our cook is waiting for us for a nourishing lunch, served with refreshing cold distilled drinking water, soft drinks/sodas. In the afternoon, enjoy some more fishing at the lake and before it gets dark, go back to Heliconia Amazon River Lodge. Once at the lodge, you may rest and relax or enjoy a sunset cocktail at the bar (on your personal account). Dinner starts at 7:30 p.m. and a restful overnight at the Lodge
Day 3: Fishing at Atun Caño / Heliconia Amazon River Lodge (B, L, D)
Enjoy an energizing early morning breakfast, get ready to take the boat downriver to the community of Santa Rosa and then set off to the lake once again, for another delightful day of fishing. Take note that you will have chances to catch a 16 to 18 pounder (or more) Peacock bass on this lake. As a game fishing enthusiast you will realize that every cast brings you hope and excitement that you will be able to catch one big fish, even though the ones that usually get hooked average only 4 to 8 pounds. At noontime, return to the base hut where you will relish a nutritious lunch and afterward, get ready to depart by boat arriving late afternoon at Heliconia Amazon River Lodge. Once at the lodge, you may rest and relax or enjoy a sunset cocktail at the bar (on your personal account). Dinner starts at 7:30 p.m. and a relaxing overnight at the Lodge.
Day 4: Fishing at Isana Lake (B, L)
Wake up early and take a full breakfast, get ready to take the boat downriver to the community of Santa Rosa and then set off to Isana Lake for another pleasant day to catch some more fish. You may choose to fish the traditional way, with a stick made from a plant bark, line, and hook and bait. This way you will learn how to catch lots of piranha in a couple of hours. Otherwise, you may opt to cast and catch sport-style, so you can enjoy fishing as you wish. Afterward, return to the base hut and get ready to depart for Heliconia Lodge for a lunch. At a proper time depending on your itinerary or onward trip schedule, transfer to Iquitos city and/or to the airport or hotel.