In the jungle town of Puerto Maldonado, as you begin your ecotourism adventure you will be met from your flight by our staff, who will escort you during the fascinating 68-kilometer road and boat trip along the Tambopata River to our Ecolodge (23 km by vehicle, 45 km by boat). Once we leave Puerto Maldonado behind, the forest vegetation will change from colonized deforested areas to virgin rainforest. Time spent on rivers is one of the highlights of any trip to a tropical forest ecosystem, offering the opportunity to observe native flora and look out for examples of Amazon fauna, with the help of one of our experienced naturalist guides. A box lunch will be served aboard our boat. After time to settle in your eco-lodge accommodation, your naturalist guide will invite you to explore the trails in the surrounding forest. Several giant brazil nut trees are located along these trails, while frequently seen fauna includes brown capuchin monkeys, agoutis, blue-morpho butterflies, trogons, toucans and other bird species. In the evening, a slideshow presentation will give you a thorough introduction to the many wonders of the rainforest. After an excellent buffet-style dinner, another guided trail walk in the forest will offer the chance to spot the world’s only nocturnal monkey species, as well as learning about the Amazon’s insects, while enjoying the unique sounds of the nighttime forest.
Following an excellent buffet breakfast and a short morning boat ride, we will set out along a forest trail to explore Condenado oxbow lake by canoe. Swathed in rich tropical vegetation, wetlands are among the best places in the forest for birdwatching and the observation of a variety of aquatic and terrestrial fauna. Birds abound at this lake, particularly rufescent tiger-herons, great egrets, wattled jacanas, hoatzins, and the noisy black-capped donacobius. Continuing our trail walk, tree species include the strangler fig and the mighty kapok, which rises high above the forest canopy. Following this experience and lunch back at the eco-lodge, we will board our boat for the trip upriver to our riverside campsite, where the isolated series of macaw and parrot clay licks which includes El Chuncho are situated. From our excellently equipped camp, in the company of our naturalist guide we will go out in search of animals such as capybaras, caimans, tapirs, and perhaps even a magnificent jaguar, as we explore along the banks of the Tambopata River.
Today’s activities will begin at first light. Having spent the night at our camp, we will make our way by boat to the clay licks, stopping first to check out the macaw and parrot activity at the clay lick known locally as Ocho Gallinas, before continuing to El Chuncho to observe the activity there. At each clay lick, we will position ourselves to witness and photograph the macaw and parrot activity present that day. Surrounded by typical rainforest flora, these riverbank locations are visited by parakeets, monkeys, deer, tapirs and peccaries. But it is the bright colors and raucous sounds of the different species of parrots and macaws which make this such a dramatic spectacle. Species often seen at these clay licks include red-and-green macaws, mealy parrots and blue-headed parrots. After plenty of time to appreciate and photograph this phenomenon, in the late morning we will return to the Ecolodge for an excellent buffet lunch. Following time to rest and relax, after dinner we will meet in the bar for a brief talk given by our naturalist guides on caiman, the imposing nocturnal predators that inhabit Tambopata’s rivers and lakes. We will then return to the river in search of nocturnal fauna, looking out for caimans using flashlights to pick out their “eye shine” as they hunt along the riverbanks. Snakes and capybaras are also often seen along the river at night.
Today the river will once again serve as our highway as we travel back to the town for our return flight to the outside world. This is an excellent time of day for wildlife observation, as the forest awakens and Amazon fauna makes itself heard. Looking out for rainforest fauna from our boat with the help of your naturalist guide is the perfect way to spend your final morning in southeastern Peru’s uniquely biodiverse tropical forests.
At Tambopata Ecolodge, our all-inclusive ecotourism programs include: all fully escorted transport from our guests’ arrival at Puerto Maldonado airport to their return to the airport; cabin-style accommodation with all the comforts of a hotel; all meals (most are buffet-style with a selection of traditional Peruvian cuisine) from lunch on day one of each itinerary to breakfast on the final day; all excursions described as part of our responsible ecotourism programs; the services of a professional, experienced bilingual naturalist guide.
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Prices shown are per person in US dollars. The entrance fee contributes directly to the Peruvian national government’s running of Tambopata National Reserve.