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, your first full day in Tambopata National Reserve will begin with a fascinating 4- to 6-hour boat ride, as you venture even deeper into the forest, looking out for Amazon fauna on the riverbanks and i�n the treetops, with the help of your naturalist guide. This valuable time spent on the river offers one of the best opportunities visitors to Tambopata National Reserve will have to spot fauna that would be much harder to see from inside the forest. In addition to Orinoco geese and other birdlife, riverbanks are often used by species ranging from capybaras to jaguars. Our destination today is remote Colorado, the world’s largest known macaw clay lick. We will camp on the beach in the vicinity of the clay lick, with Ecolodge personnel taking care of every detail. After lunch, you and your guide will spend the afternoon exploring the forest trails in the area, in search of Amazon fauna, including monkeys, tapirs, caimans, oropendolas and other birds. After our evening meal, we will relax at our camp and enjoy the sounds of the forest, in expectation of the scenes awaiting us the next morning.
A macaw clay lick in the first few hours after dawn is an incredible sight. As soon as the morning sun begins to shine on the sheer riverbank, hundreds of parrots and macaws belonging to ten or more species arrive and perch in nearby trees. They come in pairs or in flocks hundreds strong, depending on the species, and the time of year. Then, with a flapping of wings and ear-splitting squawks, they begin landing on the face of the cliff to consume small portions of clay, creating a unique spectacle of color and sound. Back at the Ecolodge in the afternoon, you will have time to relax and enjoy once again the comforts of your cabin. 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 caiman 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.
We will leave the Ecolodge in the morning for the return by river to Puerto Maldonado. 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 a final morning in the biodiverse tropical forests of southern Peru.
At Tambopata Ecolodge, our ecotourism programs include: all fully escorted transport from our guests’ arrival at Puerto Maldonado airport or bus station to their return to the airport or bus station; cabin-style accommodation in comfortable rooms; 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. (English and Spanish. Other languages are available on request, at time of booking –rates may vary.)
Flights / bus services to and from the town of Puerto Maldonado; entrance fee to Tambopata National Reserve; any drinks ordered at the Ecolodge bar; tips.
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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.