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|DURATION||7 days / 6 nights
(Puerto Maldonado - Puerto Maldonado)
|ACTIVITIES||Nature observation with an ecological focus|
If you are looking for an in-depth Amazon experience, then the Tambopata Research Center is your best option. Known for the last 20 years for its macaw research, there is so much more to see and experience at the Tambopata Research Center. The best rule to follow in the Amazon region is: the farther away from the cities one goes and the longer one stays, the more the forest will reveal its complex life and provide opportunities to observe wildlife.
The Tambopata Research Center (TRC) is one of the most remote rainforest lodges in Peru. Its remoteness offers adventurous travelers an unmatched opportunity to engage with the natural world. It is a comfortable 18-bedroom lodge, built more than fifteen years ago to provide accommodation for travelers and researchers alike.
From the beginning, the Center's mission was the protection of the nearby macaw clay lick, and to this day the uninhabited wilderness around the TRC continues to provide a safe haven for a stable population of endangered wildlife. With its dedicated researchers and naturalist guides, the Tambopata Research Center is the best starting point for in-depth exploration of the flora and fauna of the Peruvian Amazon. The lodge is designed with the infrastructure necessary for the smooth running of the center, while keeping to a minimum any negative impact on the surrounding forest.
Upon arrival in the town of Puerto Maldonado, you will be met by our guides and transferred to the river port, where our boat journey to Refugio Amazonas will begin. The two-hour and thirty-minute boat ride from the Tambopata river port to Refugio Amazonas will take us past the community of Infierno and the Tambopata National Reserve checkpoints, before we enter the buffer zone of this 1.3 million hectare protected natural area. Upon arrival at the lodge, the manager will welcome the group and provide you with a brief presentation which includes safety information. After dinner, we will return to the river and scan the banks with headlamps and flashlights, in search of the red eye shine of caimans.
Overnight stay at Refugio Amazonas
At dawn, we will visit the Canopy Tower located just a thirty-minute walk from Refugio Amazonas. A secure stairway provides access to the canopy platforms of this twenty-five-meter tower. The tower is situated on high ground, thereby increasing the panoramic views of the primary forest of Tambopata National Reserve. From here it is possible to observe the flight of mixed species flocks of birds in the canopy, as well as toucans and macaws. After breakfast, we will take a short hike to an old growth patch of brazil nut forest. This forest has been harvested for decades, possibly centuries. Here we will find a camp used only two months a year by brazil nut gatherers. We may even be lucky enough to meet some of these local people and witness the harvesting process, from collection through to transportation and drying.
During the mid-morning, we will begin our 4 ½ hour boat ride to the Tambopata Research Center. Around one and half hours into our boat journey, as we cross the confluence with the Malinowski River, we will leave the final traces of human habitation behind. Within the 700,000-hectare uninhabited nucleus of the reserve, sightings of capybara, caiman, geese, macaws and other large species will become more frequent.
Upon our arrival at the Center, the lodge manager will brief us regarding important navigation and safety information. In the afternoon, we will hike a trail that will provide us with magnificent views of the Tambopata River, meandering through the lowland forest. The vegetation on this trail includes regenerated old bamboo forest, creating an ideal environment for the howler monkey and dusky-titi monkey. After dinner, scientists will provide us with an in-depth look at the biology of macaws, their feeding habits, the theories regarding the importance of the clay lick, breeding habits, population fluctuations and threats to conservation.
Overnight stay at Tambopata Research Center
At dawn, we will visit the fascinating macaw clay lick. On most clear mornings throughout the year dozens of large macaws and hundreds of parrots congregate on this high riverbank in a raucous and colorful spectacle. The best sightings are made at dawn when the lick is most active. This gathering of birds inspired the National Geographic Society to honor it with a cover story. Discretely located around fifty meters from the cliff is a place from where we can observe green-winged, scarlet and blue-and-gold macaws and several other species of smaller parrots, as they descend to ingest clay.
After breakfast, we will follow a trail through the rainforest, passing creeks and ponds. Among the fig, ceiba and shihuahuaco trees, we will look for squirrels, brown capuchins, and spider monkeys, as well as peccaries. In the afternoon we will visit a small lake platform ten minutes upriver from the lodge, which is a great place to spot waterfowl, including Muscovy ducks, sunbitterns and hoatzins, as well as woodpeckers, oropendolas, flycatchers and parakeets. After dinner at the lodge, you will be offered the chance to take part in a guided night walk in the forest, in search of nocturnal fauna.
Overnight stay at Tambopata Research Center
After breakfast, we will walk the terra firma trail and explore a different habitat. The smaller trees and sparser vegetation here create a unique environment. Saddleback tamarins are frequently sighted in this part of the forest. As we walk close to the edge of wetlands, we will keep our eyes open for tapir tracks.
In the afternoon, we will walk the palm wetlands trail. This area of new growth on the site of an old oxbow lake provides fruit for both arboreal and terrestrial mammals throughout the year. The aguaje palm is one of the most important food sources in the rainforest. The growing demand for this fruit and the fact that such areas are ideal for rice growing mean that this type of habitat is facing increasing pressure from humans. After dinner, you will be invited to join your guide on a nocturnal walk. Listening to the sounds of the forest at night is a particularly special experience. Nocturnal mammals are difficult to spot, but you will hear the chorus produced by the many species of nocturnal frogs which inhabit the forest around the lodge.
Overnight stay at Tambopata Reseach Center
After an early breakfast, we will hike for thirty minutes through terra firma forest to a 17-meter canopy tower. From the top, you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the vast expanses of surrounding forest. Toucans, parrots and macaws can often be seen flying against the horizon. Flocks of mixed species of birds may also be observed here and, if you are lucky, they may even roost on adjacent treetops.
After lunch at the lodge, we will walk the creek trail. This part of the forest is crossed by a series of creeks that flow into the Tambopata River. Walking upstream, we will focus on the trees of the forest and creek ecology.
Dinner and overnight stay at the Tambopata Research Center
After breakfast, we will depart for the 3 ½ hour return boat ride to Refugio Amazonas. In the afternoon, we will visit the nearby oxbow lake by canoe or catamaran, in search of lakeside wildlife such as hoatzins, caimans and horned screamers, and hoping to see the giant river otters sighted here occasionally. You will almost certainly be rewarded with sightings of macaws flying overhead. After dinner, you will be invited to attend the nightly lecture at Refugio Amazonas.
Overnight stay at Refugio Amazonas
After an early breakfast, we will return to Puerto Maldonado by boat, where you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Cusco or Lima. Depending on airline schedules, this may require a dawn departure.
|TRANSPORT||Transfers and Boat for the tours|
|OVERNIGHT||Jungle Lodge 6 / Total Nights 6|
|TOURS||According to program + expert guide|
|ENTRANCE FEE / PERMITS||To the places included in the program|
|TRANSPORT||International / domestic flights|
|EXTRAS||Travel insurance, additional nights at lodge due to bad weather or flight cancellations,tips, tours & meals not mentioned in the itinerary.|
2019 cost per person in US dollars
|Service||1 Pax||2-3 Paxs|