Trees in the Peruvian rainforest can be pretty impressive. A hike through the rainforests around Posada Amazonas and Refugio Amazonas will take you past massive Brazil Nut trees that are 120 feet (40 meters) tall. You will walk past 500 year old Ironwood trees with huge trunks and massive branches used as nesting sites by macaws. You will feel dwarfed by old growth trees with a canopy so tall that birds and other animals are naturally hidden from the ground because they are simply too high up to watch without a telescope!
Even so, as impressive as the rainforest looks along trails near Posada Amazonas and Refugio Amazonas, there is one tree near this Amazon jungle lodge whose incredible size has to be seen to be believed. The tree is a very old Ceiba that has grown near the Tambopata River for hundreds of years. Ceibas (also called Kapoks or Silk Cotton Trees) are known and admired for their large size. The soft wood of these quick growing trees keeps them from being logged and they can grow to immense proportions. There are particularly larges one at the end of the Ceiba trail in Posada Amazonas and the edge of Condenado Lake at Refugio Amazonas. Although numbers don’t do it justice, this rainforest giant is at least 150 feet (50 meters) tall, and has a butressed root base so extensive that it would probably take at least 50 people holding hands to encircle it.
The incredible Ceiba is bound to be one of the largest trees you will ever see and is well worth the 2 hour hike it takes to reach them. The trail to the tree passes through beautiful, primary rainforest and you may very well see monkeys, birds, and other animals on the way. Your guide will talk about the the natural history of the forest and point out interesting trees and animals that are encountered. When you arrive at this massive tree, your guide will tell you all about the Ceiba’s historical and spiritual significance for native peoples throughout the Amazon.