Community, sustainability & our story

Community, sustainability & our story

The lodge is above all a community based project.

The lodge was created in 2013 on the outskirts of the Libertad village.

Libertad is a small cocama The Kokama (also spelled Cocama, Portuguese: Cocamas) are an indigenous ethnic group of the Amazon that historically spoke the Cocama language. Today, the Kokama live in the countries of Peru, Brazil, and Colombia (source: Wikipedia) ethnic settlement on the banks of the Ucayali river. The village totals some 81 families, with 40% of the inhabitants being less than 18 year old.

Community based Tourism

According to UNWTO, “Community based tourism is tourism in which local residents invite tourists to visit their communities with the provision of overnight accommodation”.

This definition is pretty vague still, so we thought useful to be more specific and transparent about how we put this concept into practice:

  • The lodge was created and is 100% owned & managed by 12 socios (partners) from the community
  • The lodge is operated by the socios and several workers, but all are from Libertad or originally from similar villages
  • Everyone in the project is paid reasonable but fair salaries; more than 50% of the lodge revenues (what the guest pay for their stay) is used to cover these salaries (and hence stays locally); the rest goes to items that we inevitably we must buy outside of the community (transports, gasoline for the boats, food supplies, general supplies & maintenance items);
  • Depending on the economic circumstances, the lodge also contributes to projects and initiatives that benefit the community as a whole;
  • Most of the people involved in the project have also maintained, in part, their traditional livelihood (rice & yucca crops, fishing, ….)

What are the benefits of all this?

  1. It empowers the local people, in a respectful manner, by providing them with a fair and sustainable source of income within a project in which they are the active stakeholders; from there, there are many benefits, the main one being to develop a stability in a unique part of the world that is constantly threatened. Unsustainable and harmful sources of income are part of the main threats to this type of environement (exemple: illegal logging);
  2. The intercultural interactions between guests and the community create a space for learning, where environmental awareness is reinforced and the identity and the traditional way of life of the area are positively acknowledged.
  3. It gives the opportunity to create a unique experience for the visitors, where the experience is as genuine as can be and where the hosts are naturally highly motivated;

This kind of tourism project – genuine, off the beaten track, and respectful of its stakeholders – has many more advantages as you will find out during your visit!


Sustainable tourism means responsible tourism, where social, economic and environmental impacts are respectfully considered. Now, that’s a vast program!

  • On the social front, the fact to be community based, and patricipatively managed, intrinsically bring stability & sustainability. The community projects financed by the lodge also contribute to the social sustainability.
  • Operationally, we do our best to minimize the impacts on the environment linked to our activity, even if there always remains scope for further improvement;
  • The experience offered by Libertad Jungle Lodge has proved to attract travellers who value genuine tourism, respectful contacts and unique location. In this paradigm, everyone wins and some virtuous cycle is initiated, where guest satisfaction generates word of mouth, turning into a constant flow of visitors and from there, economic sustainability without which nothing would be possible!

Our story

The lodge project started in 2011 when a group of people from the village of Libertad decided, with very few resources, and after some epic adventures, to participate in the tourism activity that was flourishing in that part of the Amazon...

The soon-to-be socios (partners) wanted to work autonomously and manage their own project to help their families and the community. Most of them had only their traditional livelihood experience to bring, and a lot to learn. But all of them were full of motivation & kindness and, together, managed to strive for a common goal: build the Libertad Jungle Lodge.

A Belgian backpacker, named Oli, who had spent time in the village some years earlier, and had been deeply moved by the warmth of the welcome he had received, decided to join forces and contribute by offering the marketing and commercial support such a project needs: a website, efficient communication with guests and good follow up on the experiences to enhance the digital visibility.

The lodge became a reality in 2013 when it welcomed its first guests.

Initially the lodge was a single house, and it has since, gradually, grown to a fairly sized lodge with 8-10 nicely built private cabins and various common areas.

The lodge never really benefited from private funds nor significant public support and is exclusively sustained through its economic activity.

The genuine experience offered, the consistency of the operations (led from the beginning by Manuel, one of the socios) and the adequate marketing & sales work in the background all combined to generate the great success story that Libertad Jungle Lodge has become.

At this stage, the objectives and challenges for the lodge are:

  • Reinforcing the structure & the governance of the project to guarantee its sustainability;
  • Focusing on maintaining a small operation offering a consistent genuine & qualitative experience at a small scale;
  • Further contributing to the community and improving the environmental performance of the project;