This trip will take you deep into the Reserved Zone of Tambopata. The Tambopata Research Centre was previously only used by Biologists but now this lodge is open to visitors. You will get a unique insight into the research that is carried out at this lodge by visiting the Worlds largest clay lick! Every morning hundreds of macaws and parrots gather at this lick to feed – its a beautiful experience!
You will stay at two different lodges on this journey and get a real taste of the jungle!
||Puerto Maldonado HQ – Tambopata Port – Refugio Amazonas
||Refugio Amazona – Brazil Nut forest – Tambopata Research Center
||Clay lick for parrots
||Macaw Clay Lick
Tambopata Research Centre is located four hours upriver from Refugio Amazonas and, therefore, offers the best chance of seeing Amazonian wildlife. If you are a bird enthusiast, this lodge choice will not dissapoint you – the worlds largest clay lick is located not far from the lodge!
Your travel via flight from either Cusco or Lima.
On arrival you will be welcomed at the airport and driven 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. A 2.5hr boat ride takes us from the Tambopata Port to Refugio Amazonas. A box lunch is included enroute.
After Dinner, 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.
Before breakfast, you will take a thirty minute walk from Refugio Amazonas to the 25 meter scaffolding canopy tower. From here views of mixed species canopy flocks as well as toucans, macaws and raptors are likely.
After breakfast, we visit 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.
A four and a half hours boat ride from Refugio Amazonas takes us to the Tambopata Research Center in the pristine heart of the reserve. A boxed lunch will be served on board.
After an orientation of TRC, 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.
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.
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.
After breakfast, we hike along the 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.
After lunch, we visit the 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.
After dinner, 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.
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 is taken after the early morning rise.
Terra Firme Trail: An entirely different habitat characterized by smaller, thinner trees atop hills and slopes is covered by this 5km trail. Saddleback tamarins are frequently found here. As we walk near the limits of the swamp we will also keep our eyes open for rare tapir tracks. We return to the lodge for lunch.
Palm Swamp Trail: 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. Dinner is served at the lodge.
Today we return to main Port and transfer to the airport for your flight back to Cusco or Lima.
Photographs courtesy of the talented: Lucas M. Bustamante
Superior Double : US$ 1,080 per person
Superior Single Room : US$ 1,310 per person
Comfort Double : US$ 1,200 per person
Comfort Single Room : US$ 1,560 per person
Amazon Suite Double : US$ 1,420 per person
Amazon Suite Single : US$ 1,730 per person
Upgrade 1st Night at Refugio Amazonas Superior
Suite Refugio + Delux Suite TRC Double : US$ 1,500 per person
Suite Refugio + Delux Suite TRC Double : US$ 1,930 per person
- English speaking Naturist Guide
- Includes National Park Fees ($65 per person)
- All transportation
- All meals and certain beverages
- All excursions
- Paypal fees for easy credit card payment
- Transfers in Lima or Cusco
An approximate cost for roundtrip from Lima/Cusco is US$250-$350 per person depending on airline and dates of travel.
The lodge has 2 transfers in and out per day – 1pm and 1.30pm. Please reserve flights to cooincide with departure times. Departure flights can be any time as transfers are out at 7am and 8am.
Do you have any questions?
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