Peru: Tambopata Amazon Wildlife & Eco-lodges (7 Days)
In the heart of the western Amazon basin lies a series of protected areas that encompass over 30 million hectares shared by the countries of Peru and Bolivia.
Within the Peruvian side is the Tambopata National Reserve that is close to 300,000 hectares in size and was created to protect the massive watershed of the Candamo and Tambopata rivers. The Tambopata N.R. lies next to the massive Bahuaja Sonene National Park that protects over 1 million hectares of prime amazon wilderness.
Within this massive territory scientists have cataloged 32 species of parrots, 190+ mammals, 575+ bird species, 1100 kinds of butterflies and over 9,000 vascular plants (and counting) over the years. And this is only what has been cataloged, there is much to be discovered still.
To that end, a small group of dedicated people who love wilderness and come from all parts of the social, economic and spiritual worlds helped to build a series of lodges across this land – all connected by one highway – the Tambopata River.
We will be visiting two of these lodges – Posada Amazonas and Tambopata Research Center (TRC), all of which offer the amenities services and guides that will take us to the animals. We will spend one night in Puerto Maldonado at the beginning of the trip, one night at Posada Amazonas and four nights at the Tambopata research Center (TRC), the lodge furthest away but the one that has the best animal-viewing due to it’s location – far away from civilization.
We will have excellent beds, showers, food and guides that are experts in sighting and finding the animals that we are here to photograph. Normally people will fly into Lima then connect with a domestic flight to Puerto Maldonado, near the Bolivian border. From there we head upriver on the Tambopata to each lodge, making photos of unique, rare and beautiful animals and plants. We will spend most of the time at TRC where we can really explore the area. This is where the famous macaw clay licks are located and we will have the opportunity to photograph them early in the morning as they begin their daily activity – eating clay to combat the poisons and other effects of the fruits and plants they eat. It’s a spectacle of Mother Nature that many people want to see with their own eyes. There are great photo ops in the bathrooms as frogs hang out there all the time!
Tour Dates: April 23-29, 2017
Tour length: 7-days
Difficulty level: easy (all at low altitude), slightly challenging due to heat and humidity
Group Size Limit: 10
Tour Highlights: Peru, Tambopata River, wildlife, macaws, lodges, macaw lick, mammals, Amazon
Prices are in $ US Dollars:
7-10 people: $ 2,200.00/per person
4-6 people: $ 2,275.00/per person
2-3 people: $ 2,995.00/per person
1 person: 3,495.00
*Airfares are NOT included in the price.
Deposit:$ 500.00/per person (non-refundable administrative fee)
Inclusions: as per the itinerary: hotels, most meals (B,L,D), private transport, professional photographer guide, local bi-lingual guides, airport transfers, decades of experience
*Please note: We can run this trip on different dates, so please let us know your date preferences and we will create a custom departure date for you and your group, based on availability at the lodges.
The guides are local, bi-lingual and lovers of the natural world. We will spend parts of the day shooting and also downloading photos and seeing our progress in order to learn and improve. We return to Puerto Maldonado on the last day and you can either spend the night or catch the late-afternoon flight back to Lima, Cusco or wherever you may be headed next.
– ITINERARY –
Arrival to Peru: Fly from home to Lima or Cusco, Peru
Fly from home to Lima or Cusco, Peru. You may need to overnight in Lima or Cusco so you can catch the AM flight to Puerto Maldonado the next day. We suggest you try to get to Puerto Maldonado (PM) a day earlier if possible because flights to the Amazon basin can be delayed due to weather in the highlands and the lowlands. International and domestic airline tickets, meals pre/post flights and hotel nights before day # 1 are not included in the tour price. This is merely to let you know how to plan your flights so you arrive in the MORNING to Puerto Maldonado on day 1 of the tour.
Please consult Geo Travel at 800-938-7285 or your travel agent for booking airline tickets for both international and domestic flights to and within Peru.
Day 1: Arrival in Puerto Maldonado
Fly from Lima/Cusco/etc. and arrive in Puerto Maldonado. We recommend you arrive in the AM flights if at all possible! We will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to the office for a brief introduction to the plans. Afterwards we will take you to your hotel in Puerto Maldonado so you can rest and re-pack your gear for the trip upriver tomorrow. We will have a group dinner together to get to know each other and answer any questions you may have. Overnight at Hotel Madre de Dios. (3*) (D)
Day 2: Puerto Maldonado – Posada Amazonas
After breakfast we drive the 30 kms (45 minutes) to the port on the Tambopata River and head upriver on a comfortable motorized boat. The boat ride is about 45 minutes to Posada Amazonas, the closest lodge to Puerto Maldonado. We will check-in, get rooms assigned get a brief orientation and then have lunch at the lodge. Afterwards we head into the forest looking for animals to photograph. We will visit the canopy tower in the afternoon and in time for sunset as we are likely to see something interesting during that time of day. We return to the lodge for dinner. Overnight at Posada Amazonas (3*). (B,L,D)
Day 3: Posada Amazonas – Tambopata Research Center (TRC)
After a very early breakfast we head to the river before sunrise and take a 30-minute boat ride and a 45-minute hike to see the Tres Chimbadas oxbow lake – home to resident river otters and a slew of other animals from birds to reptiles and diurnal bats. It’s like stepping back into Jurassic time period, especially early in the morning, when there may be fog. We will travel in the lagoon on a catamaran boat & platform that uses a moving keel to propel us quietly around the lake. After a few hours the sun get too hot and the animals move on. We head back to the boats and settle-in for the trip to Tambopata Research Center (TRC) which is six hours upriver from the oxbow lake. It’s a long way but that’s where we get to see a great variety of wildlife that see few people and we will spend a few days here exploring the jungle. Lunch en route in the boat. Upon arrival to TRC we will settle in and have a hike to some overlooks before sunset. Dinner at the lodge. Overnight at Tambopata Research Center (TRC) (3*). (B,L,D)
Days 4 & 5: Tambopata Research Center (TRC)
There are endless photo ops in the area and during the three days spent here. Every after breakfast we will head out to the river or the forest in search of animals to photographe. A lot of the success in wildlife photography is having enough time in an area and the patience necessary to wait for an animal to do something interesting once you found them. Lunch at the lodge. We will visit the local hot-spots for animal activity until sunset. Dinner at the lodge. Overnight at Tambopata Research Center (TRC) (3*). (B,L,D)
Day 6: Tambopata Research Center (TRC
Today we begin before sunrise as we need to get over to the clay macaw lick before the birds do. We leave before breakfast with some snacks and a thermos. The location is maybe a 30-minute walk from the lodge, depending on river levels. We return to have a proper breakfast and regroup. We head out into the floodplain forest in search of animals. Return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon we head to a nearby pond where we can use a platform to have access to all sorts of local birds that inhabit the pond and are fairly predictable so your results should be quite good at the end of the day. We return to the lodge after sunset and have dinner. Overnight at Tambopata Research Center (TRC) (3*) (B,L,D)
Day 7: Tambopata Research Center (TRC) – Pto. Maldonado – Cusco/Lima, etc.
After an early breakfast we head out to the river and board the boat heading downriver to Puerto Maldonado. It’s a long ride and we’ll have lunch on board. Upon arrival to the port we finish the transport leg with a 45-minute bus ride back to the town of Puerto Maldonado. Upon arrival you will get your other belongings that you left here in storage and transfer to a hotel or to the airport, depending on your flight schedule. You may have to spend the night in Puerto Maldonado and take a flight the next morning. All of this will be sorted-out on your first day of arrival so you need not worry about re-confirming flights, etc. We will be on top of it from day one upon your arrival to Puerto Maldonado. In any case, we will have transport to a hotel if you need one or to the airport so you can catch a flight back to Cusco/Lima, etc. this afternoon. (B)
– End of our services –
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.