Back in 1991, we built our eco-lodge on the edge of what is now the biodiverse Tambopata National Reserve, where we operate the ecotourism itineraries we offer to our guests.
Tambopata National Reserve protects an area of more than one thousand square miles of tropical forests, guarding from multiple threats a corner of the Amazon basin that extends from the foothills of the Andes to the Peru-Bolivia border, where Peru’s neighbor has established the Madidi National Park, thereby completing a vast biological corridor.
It is Tambopata’s position between the Andes and the Amazon lowlands that makes it such a biodiversity hotspot. And it is its location in southern Peru, easily reached by air or by bus from Cusco, that makes it uniquely accessible for nature travel lovers. Nowhere else is it possible to visit the Amazon for 3 or 4 days, and see wildlife at the end of a Peru vacation, after visiting Machu Picchu and Cusco and hiking the Inca Trail.
As one of the most biologically diverse places on the planet, our jungle home is classified by biologists as a biodiversity hotspot, and in recognition of Tambopata’s status as home to healthy populations of typical lowland Amazon rainforest fauna and flora, the Peruvian government has named the region as the nation’s “biodiversity capital”.
Tambopata’s ecosystems are made up of more than 10,000 plant species. In these forest, wetland and river habitats, multiple research projects have enabled scientists to identify more than 160 species of mammals and over 650 bird species. Of the more than 3000 butterfly species known to exist in Peru, Tambopata is home to at least 1200, while its lakes and rivers are inhabited by more than 200 species of fish.
While species of major fauna have been driven to near extinction in other parts of South America, in Tambopata they are protected. Those who visit the rainforest and stay with us at our comfortable eco-lodge home can hope to see animals including tapirs, white-lipped peccaries, caimans, anacondas, giant river otters, giant anteaters, giant armadillos, yellow-spotted side-necked turtles, marsh deer, and even the Amazon’s apex predator, the jaguar, populations of which have actually increased in recent years. Our forests are also home to eight species of monkey, some of which are so abundant it is almost impossible not to see or hear them as they roam the forest canopy, including the trees that overlook our eco-lodge buildings.