PERU TRAVEL PLANNER
Puerto Maldonado Tour
- Madre de Dios
Two Ecosystems 5 days
TWO ECOSYSTEMS 5 DAYS AND 4
Fixed Departures on Mondays and
Per Person Prices:$1109 based on Double occupancy
Per Person Prices:$1309 based on Single occupancy
Note: We require minimum two passengers traveling together If single
traveler ask for the supplement.
Our lodge lies within the
Tambopata-Madidi reserve areas of Peru and Bolivia. Bolivia’s Madidi
National Park totals 18,900 sq. km./7,297 sq. miles, while the adjacent
reserves of Tambopata-Candamo and Bahuaja-Sonene across the border in Peru
add up to more than 13,700 sq. km./5,290 sq. miles. Taken together, they
form the second largest, and by far the most biologically diverse nature
conservation area in all of South America.
||5 Days & 4 Nights
||Not included, available upon request
||YES, feel free to ask for extra
DAY 1: PUERTO MALDONADO TO
HEATH RIVER WILDLIFE CENTER
Our staff welcome you at Puerto Maldonado airport and we drive through this
bustling Upper Amazon Basin city to the Tambopata River boat dock. Here we
board a powerful motorized dugout canoe and set off to the nearby confluence
of the mighty Madre de Dios River, where we head downstream for
approximately three hours to the Peru-Bolivia border at the mouth of the
remote Heath River. Even beneath the vast sky of this major Amazon tributary
we glimpse the diversity of the riverine environment, with its forest-capped
red-earth cliffs, alternating with low banks thick with Cecropia trees and
giant grasses. Now, after brief frontier-crossing formalities, we motor for
about two more hours up narrower and wilder waters, suddenly enjoying the
intimacy of mysterious forest looming close on either side. Occasional views
of native villages and children splashing by the banks, are interspersed
with long, quiet stretches where we may spot herons, hawks, cormorants,
Orinoco Geese, and perhaps a family of Capybaras -- the world’s largest
rodent, weighing up to 55kg./120lb, and looking like an enormous Guinea Pig.
We reach our simple, charming and comfortable quarters at the Heath River
Wildlife Center in time for dinner. (Box lunch, D)
(Please note that the lodge is located on the Bolivian shore of the Heath
River, so passports are required to clear Bolivian passport control.)
DAY 2: HEATH RIVER
Today we make an early start to visit the lodge’s most spectacular feature:
the Heath River parrot and macaw lick. Here these colorful birds gather to
eat a type of clay from the cliff-like river banks that neutralizes certain
toxins in their diet. They congregate early each morning, sometimes by the
hundreds, jostling and squabbling over the best eating spots on the clay
lick. This noisy and unforgettable show can go on for two or three hours,
and may begin with up to five species of parrot and two varieties of
parakeet, followed by Chestnut-fronted Macaws and their larger, more
boisterous cousins, the Red-and-green Macaws. This extraordinary wildlife
display occurs at only a handful of sites in the Upper Amazon Basin, and
nowhere else on the planet.
Our floating hide platform provides comfort and complete concealment, so
that we can eat a full breakfast here during pauses in the bankside
spectacle. For ultra-close-up viewing, our guides carry a tripod-mounted
spotting scope, which can also be used to get telephoto pictures with even
the simplest camera.
On our return we can land partway downriver and walk back along a section of
the lodge’s extensive network of forest trails. We encounter numerous
gigantic Brazil-nut, kapok and fig trees, along with the scary strangler fig,
whose life strategy is as sinister as its name suggests. Our guide will
point out and explain the medicinal and commercial uses of dozens of plants
and trees, while we keep our eyes and ears open for birds, or one of the
eight species of monkeys found in this region. We might come upon a small
herd of White-lipped or Collared peccary – two kinds of wild pig that are
quite common in this area. For purposes of territorial marking they deploy a
“stink gland” so potent that they are often smelled long before they are
After lunch we typically hike or bicycle along a major trail to a point
where the forest abruptly gives way to the spacious plains of the Pampas del
Heath, part of Bolivia’s Madidi National Park. This unique environment --
the result of very poor soils, plus an extreme seasonal cycle of dryness and
flooding -- is the largest remaining undisturbed tropical savannah in the
Amazon, and is home to rare endemic birds and mammals, such as the
Swallow-tailed Hummingbird and the highly endangered Maned Wolf. Shortly
beyond the edge of the forest we can climb a raised platform that allows us
a grand view of this vast expanse of grassland and shrub, studded with palm
We can continue another hour or so to a swampy area thick with Mauritia
flexuosa palm trees, whose oil-rich palm nuts and hollowed-out dead palms
provide vitally important food and shelter for nesting pairs of Red-bellied
and increasingly rare Blue-and-yellow macaws. We aim to arrive toward dusk,
when the macaws are returning from their day’s foraging to congregate in
this very special breeding site.
We return to the lodge by night, using our flashlights, and perhaps pausing
here and there in total darkness, to listen to the ever-changing orchestra
of animals, frogs and insects, and to experience the magic of the night-time
rainforest. We may come upon such bizarre nocturnal creatures as camouflaged
frogs disguised as dead leaves, toads the size of rabbits, hairy tarantulas
peering out of their dirt holes, night monkeys lurking among the tree
branches, and a seemingly unpredictable array of other nightlife.
After dinner some guests may choose to visit one of our mammal lick hides,
in hopes of seeing a Lowland Tapir, the rainforest’s largest mammal. Hardy
adventurers can choose to camp here with their guide, in order to experience
a full night in the heart of the rainforest and increase their chances of a
major wildlife sighting. (B, L, D)
DAY 3: HEATH RIVER
Our second full day at the lodge allows us to choose from a wide range of
activities available in this exceptionally diverse tropical environment.
Many people choose to make a second visit to the macaw clay lick. Later we
can take a canoe tour around Cocha Moa, an oxbow lake that lies a short way
downstream from the lodge.
The reeds, fallen trees and forested shoreline of this lake teem with birds
and other wildlife. Red Howler Monkeys may peer at us through the branches
of the giant trees above us, while herons lie in wait among the fallen trees,
cormorant-like Anhingas watch from the forest branches, and an Osprey may
circle overhead. Flocks of brilliant Red-capped Cardinals gather on dead
branches, and a colorful, primitive bird, the Hoatzin, hops its ungainly way
along the swampy water’s edge.
In the afternoon we may travel an hour or so downriver to visit the Ese’Eja
native community of Sonene, where we can meet these descendants of nomadic
forest tribes, and catch a glimpse of those traditional ways of life that
they manage to maintain in the modern world. We can also purchase their
handcrafts, made from a wide range of seeds collected from the forest.
After dinner we can board our canoe once more, for an evening of spotting
for caiman, the Amazonian cousin of the alligator. This region is home to
the endangered black caiman, and we nearly always pick out a few with our
powerful spotlight as we patrol the river. (B, L, D)
DAY 4: HEATH RIVER
Today we follow pathways new to us, and explore fresh areas along the
lodge’s extensive network of forest trails, deepening our acquaintance with
the forest and its ways, and searching for birds, mammals, and other
creatures we may not yet have seen. Perhaps we will run across peccary for
the first time, or add two or three species to our monkey list. Our guides
will point out new species of trees and plants, explaining their medicinal,
commercial or ritual uses. Towards the end of our walk we will visit one of
the lodge’s several mammal clay licks, which may provide a surprise
encounter with a tapir, or a Red Brocket Deer.
After lunch we plunge deeper into the wilderness, boating up the Heath River
into areas that are completely unpopulated, and seldom visited by anyone
except an occasional park ranger, and the indigenous Ese’Eja river people.
This journey is always an adventure – especially in the dry season months of
June through October, when our crew may frequently have to push the canoe
across sandbanks and gravel shallows. Wildlife spotting from the canoe is
comfortable, effortless and productive, as many birds and animals patrol the
river banks, and not infrequently swim across the river. Along with
countless bird species, we usually spot families of Capybara, the giant
three-toed relative of the guinea pig, which can weighs up to 55kg./120 lbs.,
and is the world’s largest rodent. We are often even more successful after
we reach the upper limits of canoe navigation, when we can turn the engine
off for long spells and float soundlessly downriver, catching the forest
We return to the lodge for some leisure time before dinner. Later we have
the option of a night trail walk in search of the numerous creatures,
including frogs, toads, owls, nighthawks, spiders and night monkeys, that
make the forest such a busy and different place during the night. (B, L, D)
DAY 5: TRANSFER OUT
We leave at dawn for the return trip downstream. This is peak hour for
wildlife so we keep a sharp eye on the riverbanks, often spotting families
of Capybara, and perhaps being rewarded with a rare jaguar sighting, or a
tapir swimming across the current. We reach the Madre de Dios River,
re-enter Peru, and set off upstream for Puerto Maldonado, where we are
transferred to the airport for our flight to Cusco or Lima.(B)
Please note that the program may vary slightly so as to maximize your
wildlife sightings, depending on the reports of our researchers and
experienced naturalist guides based at the lodge.
END OF OUR SEVICES
INCLUDES: All hotel and lodge accommodations based on double occupancy.
All scheduled land, lake and river transportation. All transfers. All scheduled
excursions with English-speaking guide services. All entrance fees. Meals as
specified in the itinerary. B=Breakfast;L=Lunch;D=Dinner.
NOT INCLUDED IN THE FEE
International or Domestic airfares, airport departure taxes or visa fees, excess
baggage charges, additional nights during the trip due to flight cancellations,
alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages or bottled water, snacks, insurance of any
kind, laundry, phone calls, radio calls or messages, reconfirmation of
International or Domestic flights and items of
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Published articles and reviews about us
Date : Sunday, March 24th, 2013
everything. It was a great trip and everything worked...
Date: Monday, March 04th, 2013
I’ve been meaning
to email you to thank you for the Lima tour that you arranged for us
Date : Sunday, February 17th, 2013
Hi Miguel. The trip
to the North of Peru came out great more than what we expected...
Date : Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
Hello Luis , our
Inka trail was great thanks for planning such a incredible...
Date : Wednesday, January 30th, 2013
Hi Jenny thanks you
made that our honey moon came out fantastic ,we will never forget
such wonderful and important moments...
Hugh Alan Baskin
Date: Thrusday, January 24, 2013
Thank you for all
your help. We most appreciate your services. The guides were good
Date : Monday, January 21st, 2013
Hello Yen Seng ;
just a few words to thank you for the great trip we had thanks to
your itinerary and being after...
Date : Sunday, December 30th, 2012
We had an
incredible trip thanks for everything...
Date : Friday, December 14th, 2012
Jenny thank you ,
You did a great job planning our trip we are grateful...
George & Alison Markgraaff
Wilderness, South Africa
Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
My husband and I would like to thank you and your
organisation for a memorable trip to Peru. ...
Date : Monday, November 12, 2012
I just wanted to say that I had a fantastic trip to Peru. You and
your staff did an excellent job with everything ...
Date : Monday, October 01, 2012
My wife and myself wish to Thank you personally for
the fantastic and organized ‘Honey Moon’ holiday. We have enjoyed
Date : Monday, August 06, 2012
Thanks for a great trip, my three weeks in Peru was
awesome. Although my
Date : Monday, July 30, 2012
finally, ...there is so much catching up to do when i
come back home from a trip....
Date : Thursday, Jun 28, 2012
I just wanted to drop you a note
and thank you for all the help that you had extended the group...
Date : Tuesday, Jun 05, 2012
Our trip was FANTASTIC!!!! You did an outstanding
job. We loved every part of it. The hotels in the Sacred Valley and
Cusco were nicer than any hotels I have ever stayed in the the USA!
The tour guides were great...
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