DAY 1 DISCOVER THE JUNGLE
Transfer from Puerto Maldonado airport to the river port on the Madre de
Dios River. A 25 minutes journey down the Madre de Dios River by motor
canoe brings you to the riverside trailhead to Sandoval Lake Lodge. From
here the trail takes you on a 2-miles (3,2-kilometers) walk through
secondary forest, until we reach a small canal where we board canoes and
are paddled 220 yards (201 meters) through a flooded forest of 100-foot
(30-meters) tall Mauritia palms. As the canal opens onto the shimmering
surface of the lake, we transfer to a catamaran and are leisurely
paddled across half the lake to the lodge.
After lunch and a brief rest to avoid the early afternoon heat, we will
learn about the history of the lodge and the philosophy of its founders.
Then we once again board the catamaran and set off to explore the entire
west end of the lake. Here, in the flooded palm forest we drift to the
sounds of hundreds of Red-Bellied Macaws as they return to the palm
forest for the night. This macaw species is found locally in parts of
the Amazon, always living in flooded palm forests such as the beautiful
palm stand at Sandoval Lake. At 500-800 birds, this flock of macaws at
Sandoval Lake is currently the largest reported in the world for this
As night falls we will look for the large and extremely rare Black
Caimans. If it is a clear starlit night, we will also be able to float
in the middle of the lake to marvel at the brilliance of the sky and
listen to the sounds of the forest.
We return to the lodge for a short video or slide presentation and
dinner. At any point, you could step out from the bar to admire the wide
variety of nocturnal moths, beetles and praying mantis attracted to our
black light in the lodge clearing.
For those with lots of energy, our guide will take us on a short
night-walk into the forest behind the lodge. (L,D).
DAY 2 SANDOVAL LAKE
A pre-dawn wake-up call will enable us to be on the lake for sunrise and
a hopeful encounter with the family of Giant Otters who frequent the
lake and are most active at this time of day. Sandoval Lake offers
abundant wildlife including over 40 species of birds resident to its
lake margins, most of the fish-eating water birds around the lake
actively fish in the early morning as well, and this outing should
provide excellent views, of the prehistoric- looking Hoatzins, These are
easy to observe and also photograph from the paddled canoes or
After returning for a late breakfast we set off into the cool under
story of the tall virgin forest near the lake to see some towering wild
Brazil Nut trees and a demonstration of how our hosts collect, open and
commercialize this important natural product.
After lunch and an hour or so to relax we once again board the catamaran
to explore the eastern part of the lake, where we might see one or more
of the five species of monkeys who live in the forest near the lake,
such as the Brown Capuchin Monkey and Squirrel Monkey.
Before dinner we will again enjoy an informative natural history video
or slide presentation. We will leave after dinner to try and spot some
Black Caimans on the lake, or to go on a short night walk through the
primary forest. (B,L,D)
DAY 3 RAINFOREST
After a dawn breakfast, we will cross the lake by catamaran and take a
short walk into the interior of the Mauritia palm forest to stand
beneath and closely view the impressive morning congregations, this
place has a very interesting concentration of parrots, parakeets and
large and small macaws that can be observed using dead Mauritia palm
trees, some of them are resident nesters (Yellow headed Parrot, Mealy
Parrot, Blue headed Parrot, Scarlet Macaw, blue and Yellow Macaw, Red
and Green Macaw, Chestnut fronted Macaw, Dusky headed Parakeet, Red
bellied Macaw, Cobalt winged Parakeet, Tui Parakeet).
Returning from the macaw show we will cross the lake to explore a
primary forest trail and admire the impressive ancient rainforest trees
and lianas with our knowledgeable resident naturalist guide. As we walk,
the forest will be brought to life as your guide explains the ecology of
the rainforest and its diverse flora and fauna.
We return for lunch, and then there is an optional rest for those who
would like to escape the early afternoon heat. For those still full of
energy, there is an option to independently explore some of the forest
trails using our trail map. You might stroll through our medicinal plant
garden or watch hummingbirds visiting the nectar feeders, or the
tanagers visiting our fruit feeders.
In the cooler late afternoon we will once again board the catamaran to
explore the eastern end of the lake, and hopefully experience a
spectacular sunset over the lake before returning to the lodge for
dinner. For some people, an alternative afternoon activity would be to
relax on benches inside the forest perched above a clear running stream
in which a variety of bathing hummingbirds and forest birds visit.
After dinner, there is a final chance to look for Black Caiman on the
lake, or to go on a short night hike through the forest. (B,L,D)
DAY 4 TRANSFER OUT
After early breakfast we leave near dawn and we take a final, shorter
paddle around the west end of the lake to try and glimpse the Giant
Otters before returning by motor canoe for the 35 minutes return trip to
the Puerto Maldonado Airport, taking advantage of valuable early morning
wildlife activity along the river. From here you fly to Cusco or Lima,
where your jungle adventure ends. (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
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Tambopata National Reserve