In the jungle town of Puerto Maldonado, 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 the 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 an experienced naturalist guide. A box lunch will be served aboard our boat. After time to settle in at the Ecolodge, 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 provides a thorough introduction to the rainforest. After an excellent buffet-style dinner, another guided walk in the forest offers the chance to spot nocturnal monkeys, 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 donacobius. Continuing our trail walk, tree species include the strangler fig tree and the mighty kapok, which rises high above the forest canopy. After lunch, we will board our boat again and journey two hours upstream to an area deep within the Tambopata National Reserve, where the isolated “El Chuncho” macaw and parrot clay lick is situated. This is the second-largest clay lick on the Tambopata River. After dinner at our excellently equipped camp, we will go out in search of animals such as capybaras, caimans, tapirs, and perhaps even a magnificent jaguar, as we walk along the banks of the Tambopata River.
Today’s activities will begin very early in the morning. Having spent the night at our camp, we will position ourselves in time to witness the scenes at the clay lick. Surrounded by typical rainforest flora, this riverbank is 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 this clay lick 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 fascinating 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.
All meals (most are buffet-style with a variety of local Peruvian cuisine) and accommodation from lunch on day one of your itinerary to breakfast on the final day. All fully escorted transport from your arrival at Puerto Maldonado airport to your return to the airport. All excursions described in the itinerary, accompanied by an 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.