Day 1: Arrival and reception by guide. Our guides are biologists, tourism professionals, or community members. Unless noted otherwise, our guides speak English. We assign guides at 6:1 ratio in Tambopata Research Center. This means groups smaller than 6 people will be merged with other groups under one guide. If you would like a private guide or a guide in a language other than English please let us know. Transfer Airport to Puerto Maldonado Headquarters. Upon arrival from Lima or Cusco, we will welcome you at the airport and drive you ten minutes to our Puerto Maldonado headquarters.
While enjoying your first taste of the forest in our gardens we will ask you to pack only the necessary gear for your next few days, and leave the rest at our safe deposit. This helps us keep the boats and cargo light. Transfer Puerto Maldonado Headquarters to Tambopata River Port. Skirting Puerto Maldonado, we drive 20 kilometers to the Tambopata River Port, entering the Native Community of Infierno. The port is a communal business. Transfer Boat - Tambopata River Port to Refugio Amazonas.
The two and a half hour boat ride from the Tambopata Port to Refugio Amazonas will take us past the Community of Infierno and the Tambopata National Reserve´s checkpoint and into the buffer zone of this 1.3 million hectare conservation unit. Boxed lunch. Orientation: Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips. Dinner. Caiman Search: We will be out at the river’s edge at night, scanning the shores with headlamps and flashlights to catch the red gleams of reflection from caiman eyes. Overnight at Refugio Amazonas.
Day 2: Canopy Tower. A thirty minute walk from Refugio Amazonas leads to the 25 meter scaffolding canopy tower. A bannistered staircase running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms above. The tower has been built upon high ground, therefore increasing your horizon of the continuous primary forest extending out towards the Tambopata National Reserve. From here views of mixed species canopy flocks as well as toucans, macaws and raptors are likely.
Brazil Nut Trail and Camp: A few minutes hike from the lodge is a beautiful old growth patch of Brazil Nut forest that has been harvested for decades (if not centuries) where the precarious remains of a camp used two months a year by Brazil Nut gatherers can still be experienced. We will be demonstrating the whole process of the rain forest's only sustainably harvested product from collection through transportation to drying. Transfer Boat - Refugio Amazonas to TRC: Four and half hours by boat from Refugio Amazonas, in the pristine heart of the reserve, lies the Tambopata Research Center.
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. Boxed lunch. Orientation: Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips.
Overlook Trail: A three to five kilometer hike will lead us to overlooks commanding magnificent views of the Tambopata winding its way into the lowlands. The forest on this trail, regenerating on old bamboo forest, is good for Howler Monkey and Dusky Titi Monkey. Dinner. Macaw Project Lectures: After dinner scientists will provide an in depth look at the biology of macaws, their feeding habits, the theories for clay lick use, their breeding and feeding ecology, population fluctuations and the threats to their conservation. Overnight at Tambopata Research Center.
Day 3: Macaw Clay Lick. On most clear mornings of the year dozens of large macaws and hundreds of parrots congregate on this large river bank in a raucous and colorful spectacle which inspired a National Geographic cover story. Discretely located fifty meters from the cliff, we will observe Green-winged, Scarlet and Blue-and-gold Macaws and several species of smaller parrots descend to ingest clay. Outings are at dawn when the lick is most active. Breakfast. Floodplain Trail. This five kilometer trail covers the prototypical rain forest with immense trees criss-crossed by creeks and ponds.
Amongst the figs, ceibas and shihuahuacos we will look for Squirrel, Brown Capuchin, and Spider Monkeys as well as peccaries. TRC is located within this habitat. Lunch. Pond Platform. Ten minutes upriver from the lodge is a tiny pond with a platform in the middle. It is a great place to spot waterfowl such as Muscovy duck, sunbittern and hoatzin along with the woodpeckers, oropendolas, flycatchers and parakeets that call this pond their home. Dinner. Night walk. You will have the option of hiking out at night, when most of the mammals are active but rarely seen. Much easier to find are frogs with shapes and sounds as bizarre as their natural histories.
Overnight at Tambopata Research Center.
Day 4: Time - off. Time off to relax and enjoy the lodge surroundings, try out a new trail, or repeat your favorite activity. Breakfast. Transfer Boat - TRC to Refugio Amazonas. A three and a half hour boat ride brings us to Refugio Amazonas. Boxed lunch. Oxbow Lake visit: We will paddle around the lake on a canoe or a catamaran, looking for lakeside wildlife such as hoatzin, caiman and hornerd screamers, hoping to see the otters which are infrequently seen here. You will also be rewarded with overhead sightings of macaws. Dinner. Tambopata National Reserve Lectures. Nightly lectures prepared by the staff of Refugio Amazonas cover conservation threats, opportunities and projects in the Tambopata National Reserve. Overnight at Refugio Amazonas.
Day 5: Breakfast. Transfer Boat - Refugio Amazonas to Tambopata River Port. Transfer Tambopata River Port to Pto Maldonado Headquarters. Transfer Puerto Maldonado Headquarters to Airport. We retrace our river and road journey back to Puerto Maldonado, our office and the airport. Depending on airline schedules, this may require dawn departures.
- Boat transportation. All our boats are 20 foot long, roofed canoes with 55 hp outboard motors.
- Daily arrivals and departures from every port are scheduled to meet every airline´s arrival and departure with a maximum two hour wait.
- We reserve the right to change the order of activities.
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