Summary : A private, semi-escorted tour, with flexible departure days, our 'Amazon in Depth' adventure is the ideal rain forest tour for nature enthusiasts. Visit the world's largest clay lick, hike to a macaw nesting colony, and explore the forest's trail system at leisure with expert naturalist guides. Spend seven nights in the Peruvian jungle experiencing two amazing eco-lodges: Posada Amazonas and Tambopata Research Center. Surrounded by the Amazon's biological diversity, you will discover endless birding opportunities-macaw sightings can be found in the hundreds-and captivating flora and fauna.
NOTE: These trips fill quickly as premier hotel space is very limited.
(Requires 2 person minimum to operate.)
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking
Flight to Lima, Peru. A Peru representative will be at the airport to meet you for your transfer to your hotel, in the heart of Miraflores, the bustling retail district.
Casa Andina Private Collection - Miraflores
Upon arrival from Lima or Cusco, you are met at the airport and transferred to the Puerto Maldonado headquarters. You will be asked to pack only the necessary gear for your next few days, and leave the rest at a safe deposit. This helps keep the boats and cargo light. Skirting Puerto Maldonado, you will then drive 20 kilometers to the Tambopata River Port, entering the Native Community of Infierno. The 45-minute boat ride from the Tambopata Port to Posada Amazonas will take you into the Community's Primary Forest Private Reserve. Boxed lunch will be served en route.
Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips. A 20-minute walk from Posada Amazonas leads to the 30-meter scaffolding canopy tower. A bannistered staircase running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms above. From atop you obtain spectacular views of the vast expanses of standing forest cut by the Tambopata River winding through the middle. Now and then toucans, parrots or macaws are seen flying against the horizon, or mixed species canopy flocks land in the treetop next to you. B, L, D
Tres Chimbadas Oxbow Lake is 30 minutes journey by boat and 45 minutes hiking from Posada Amazonas. You will paddle around the lake in a catamaran, searching for the resident family of nine giant river otters (seen by 60% of lake visitors) and other lakeside wildlife such as caiman, hoatzin and horned screamers. Six-and-a-half hours by boat from Posada Amazonas, in the pristine heart of the reserve, lies the Tambopata Research Center. Sometime into your boat journey, as you cross the confluence with the Malinowski River, you 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 served en route.
Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips. Following orientation, enjoy a three-to-five-kilometer hike discover magnificent views of the Tambopata winding its way into the lowlands. The forest on this trail, regenerating on old bamboo forest, is good for spotting howler monkey and dusky titi monkey. 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. B, L, D
Tambopata Research Center
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 50 meters from the cliff, you 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. Return to the lodge for breakfast.
Later this morning, discover the Floodplain Trail, a five-kilometer trail covering the prototypical rain forest with immense trees crisscrossed by creeks and ponds. Amongst the figs, ceibas and shihuahuacos you will look for squirrel, brown capuchin, and spider monkeys as well as peccaries. Return to the lodge for lunch. This afternoon, travel 10 minutes upriver from the lodge to 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. Return to the lodge for dinner. You will have the option of hiking at night after dinner, when most of the mammals are active, but rarely seen. B, L, D
Tambopata Research Center
After your second visit to the macaw clay lick at dawn, you have breakfast before embarking on a hike on the Terre Firme Trail. An entirely different habitat characterized by smaller, thinner trees atop hills and slopes is covered by this five-kilometer trail. Saddleback tamarins are frequently found here. As you walk near the limits of the swamp, you will also keep your eyes open for rare tapir tracks.
You return to Tambopata for lunch and then embark on a hike to the palm swamp, a nesting colony and preferred roost for Blue and Gold and Red-bellied Macaws. Nesting season is generally from October to March, but there are varying degrees of macaw activity year round. An elevated boardwalk and scaffolding tower allow for eye level observation of the macaws as they fly in and out of their nests. After an afternoon with the macaws, you hike back to the lodge for dinner. B, L, D
Tambopata Research Center
Embark on a Palm Swamp Trail hike after breakfast. Growing on the remains of an oxbow lake and providing both arboreal, as well as terrestrial mammals with fruits throughout the year, the aguaje palms are one of the most important food sources in the rainforest. Demand for these fruits and great conditions for planting rice, makes the palm swamp also one of the most threatened habitats.
After lunch, discover the Creeks Trail. This is a different kind of Terra Firme forest, crossed by a number of creeks that will eventually reach the Tambopata River. Walking in the opposite direction of the river, you will focus on forest and creek ecology. After dinner, you will have the option of going on a night hike where you may see and hear fascinating nocturnal wildlife. B, L, D
Tambopata Research Center
Enjoy breakfast at the lodge before transferring to the boat to begin your five-hour boat ride back to Posada Amazonas. Boxed lunch served en route. You will go on an Ethnobotanical Tour, a 20-minute boat drive downriver leads you to a trail designed by the staff of the Centro Ñape. The Centro Ñape is a communal organization that produces medicines out of forest plants and administers them to patients who choose their little clinic. They have produced a trail which explains the different medicinal (and other) uses of selected plants. Dinner at Posada Amazonas. Tonight, enjoy ecotourism lectures prepared by staff on the Infierno ecotourism project. B, L, D
After an early breakfast, return to Puerto Maldonado for your flight back to Lima. B
Meals as indicated in itinerary, B=Breakfast; L= Lunch; D=Dinner; All hotel and lodge accommodations based on double occupancy; all scheduled land and river transportation; all transfers; all scheduled excursions with English-speaking guide services.
International or domestic airfares; airport departure taxes or visa fees; excess baggage charges; additional nights during the trip due to flight cancellations; any meals not indicated in itinerary; alcoholic beverages or bottled water, snacks; insurance of any kind; laundry; phone calls; radio calls or messages; reconfirmation of flights and items of personal nature.
Lima - Puerto Maldonado - Lima: $350-$450 per person