The Amazon, the largest rainforest in the world, is home to more than 1 million native people. Over the centuries, this community has acquired a unique knowledge for fishing. Discover how Marcelo Pérez, owner of Tsimane Lodge, is working with indigenous tribes to promote fishing in an exclusive way.
Fishing is an ancestral activity. For centuries, Indians of the Amazon have been fishing using bows and arrows, as well as plant-based poisons to stun fish. Throughout the years, natives even developed the unique ability to spot fishes in a matter of seconds, when most fishermen would need the help of polarized sunglasses. Sadly, the world bears the risk of losing the tribal knowledge of these millenarian fishing techniques, considered by some people one of South America's most precious heritage.
Fortunately, some people decided to take action and help to change this reality. This is the case of Marcelo Pérez, a passionate fisherman, and entrepreneur, who decided to work in cooperation with the natives in order to share the secrets of the Amazon with anglers from all around the world.
Marcelo Pérez is an Argentinean trained angler who grew up in the Argentinean Paraná waters. From an early age, he became fascinated with the Dorado, a powerful game fish. "I was an imaginative boy, always dreaming about the crazy plans to catch a bigger fish", he recalls. The devotion to this species motivated him to travel and explore throughout South America's environments on the search of the fish.
During one of these trips, he finally comprehended that the best fishing spots were on indigenous territories. Even more than that, he realized that the natives' expertise combined with the plentiful fishes in the Amazon's waters could be a big opportunity to work with his passion and help the locals: "So I began to work on a project model that could open the gates of that places for the fishing world."
A unique project
Located in the Bolivian part of the Amazon forest, the Tsimane Lodge is the very first joint venture between a private company and indigenous tribes in the world of sports fishing. More than that, it is the tourism project that provides the biggest economic benefits to native communities in Latin America. Marcelo proudly explains the concept:
"The Tsimane natives participate actively in the operation, mostly as guides, sharing with the guests their ancestral knowledge. This way, they can show their skills to the outside world. They feel really proud to be partners of Tsimane, as it is a way to protect and share their culture."
The Tsimane Lodge’s destinations have nothing to do with a typical fishing lodge. The partnership with the natives and their involvement in the tourism activity creates by itself a unique experience. "They can see, smell, move, and interpret the signs of the forest, the relationship between the elements, the birds, the mammals, and the fish behavior, in a way that looks unreal for us.", emphasizes Marcelo.
Catching Dorado in the company of native people: that is exactly what Marcelo and his team make possible for their guests to live an incredible experience at Tsimane Lodge.
Our editor’s choice
By hearing Marcelo’s stories, it should be clear by now to anyone reading this article the reasons why Tsimane Lodge is so special. At Fishtripr, we dedicate our time selecting the best fishing experiences around the globe. Of course, there are many reasons why Tsimane Lodge is one of our main partners, but here are the highlights that make us proud of working with them:
1. They preserve indigenous culture
The Tsimane Lodge project (and other projects such as Untamed Angling) provides the natives a better quality of life and are empowering their traditions. They participate actively in different areas of the project, the most important being guiding, a practice that allows them to share their ancient skills as hunters and fishermen.
2. They provide premium accommodations in nature
The area where the Tsimane teamwork is completely untouched and wild and provides the best in the Amazon forest. Despite this wild environment and conditions, we love the fact that Marcelo found a way to provide a first-class service for their guests. Each lodge is equipped with comfortable beds, private bathrooms, hot water, electric lights, and even Wi-Fi. Moreover, guests can enjoy an international cuisine paired with great Argentinean/Chilean/Bolivian dishes.
3. They propose authentic fishing experiences
At Fishtripr, we promote guided fishing trips because we believe that the expertise of a guide can totally change the fishing experience. At Tsimane Lodge, all guests receive the help of not only one guide, but two: one English-speaking professional guide and a native guide, working together as a team. This provides the technical knowledge of the pro, plus the ancient knowledge of the indigenous. Together, those two personal guides bring the whole experience to another level.
You too can discover the Amazonian secrets
Their carefulness with every detail certainly does not go unnoticed by their guest who describe how lucky they feel for having the opportunity to have such an amazing experience: "I have been fortunate to experience unique places with great fishing but Tsimane left me speechless. The beauty of the jungle, the challenge of the river and the greatest freshwater gamefish on earth make this adventure one of a kind", describes Carter Andrews, one of the guests of the lodge.
Val Atkinson, a fisherman and photographer, also recalls his times there as being among the very best experiences in a lifetime of world travel: “Great fishing with the chance to experience a vanishing way of life are memories for a lifetime”.
Going fishing in such especial place sounds almost impossible for those who live so far away. Gladly, though, Fishtripr works to bring you closer to these opportunities. So, if you too would like to discover Tsimane Lodge experiences and go fishing with the indigenous people of Amazon, you can book it on our website.
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