Arrive to Lima on the flight of your choice today. After picking up your luggage and clearing customs, walk across the street to the comfortable and conveniently located Ramada Costa del Sol Hotel. Settle into your room and rest up after your travels. You have an exciting trip ahead, filled with some of the wildest parts of the Amazon in existence!
Begin your Amazon tour with an early morning flight to the frontier town of Puerto Maldonado. From here travel up the Tambopata River to Refugio Amazonas, located in a 120 hectare private reserve surrounded by the community of Condenado. Refugio Amazonas is a comfortable yet unobtrusive 24-room lodge built using a combination of traditional native materials (wood, palm fronds, wild cane and clay) and modern eco-lodge technology. After arriving to the lodge and settling into your cabin, it's off to search for caiman! These elusive animals can be seen along the river's edge at sunset.
This morning, it's off to the canopy tower and oxbow lake! A 30 minute walk from the lodge will bring you to the canopy tower, a 75 foot high structure from which you can catch glimpses of toucans, macaws, and raptors! The tower has offers multiple levels to allow you to get as close to wildlife as possible! After the canopy tour, it's off to the Sachavacayoc oxbow lake, where you will take a tranquil canoe ride in search of resident giant river otters, turtles, hoatzin, and wading birds.
After lunch, you will transfer to the Tambopata Research Center. The 4.5 hour trip by boat will take you into the pristine heart of the reserve. Leave all traces of human habitation behind as you enter the confluence with the Malinowski River. Within the 2,702 square mile reserve, sightings of capybara, caiman, geese, macaws and other large species become more frequent. Upon arrival at the Tambopata Research Center, enjoy a brief orientation and settle into your room. You will go in search of howler and dusty titi monkeys this afternoon - hiking the overlook trail which overlooks the entire reserve.
Relax this evening at the Research Center and enjoy the sounds of the rainforest as you drift off to sleep.
Rise very early this morning to visit the Macaw Clay Lick. On most clear morning 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 store. Discretely located 150 feet from the cliff, you can observe Green-winger, Scarlet and Blue-and-Gold Macaws and several species of smaller parrots descend to ingest the nutrient-rich clay. Outings are at dawn when the lick is most active.
Return to the lodge for breakfast. Afterward, hike the floodplain trail which covers 3 miles. This trail covers the prototypical rainforest ecosystem with immense trees criss-crossed by creeks and ponds. Amongst the figs, ceibas and shihuahuacos you will find squirrel, brown capuchin monkeys and spider monkeys as well as peccaries.
This afternoon, you will take a 10 minute ride upstream to the pond platform. This is a great location to spot waterfowl such as moscovy duck, sunbittern and hoatzin along with woodpeckers, oropendolas, flycatchers and parakeets that call this pond their home.
You will have another opportunity to return to the clay lick this morning, if you wish. If not, sleep in and enjoy a more leisurely morning. After breakfast, it's time to see an entirely different habitat characterized by smaller, thinner trees atop hills and slopes. Hike the Terra Firme trail to see saddleback tamarins and the tracks of the rare tapir.
In the afternoon, you will visit the palm swamp. Growing in the remains of an oxbow lake and providing both arboreal as well as terrestrial mammals with fruits through 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 found here.
The evening is free for a night walk. You will have the option of visiting the rainforest 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!
A thirty minute hike from the Tambopata Research Center leads to a 60 foot scaffolding canopy tower. From the top, you will obtain spectacular views of the cast expanses of standing forest. Toucans, parrots and macaws can be seen flying against the horizon. Flocks of mixed species of birds can also be seen flying and landing in the treetops next to you!
The afternoon will feature a different kind of hiking experience This trail leads to the Tambopata River and features a forest type crossed by multiple creeks that is home to many different wildlife species.
You will retrace your river and road journey back to Puerto Maldonado, where you will board a plane and fly to Lima. With more time, extend your trip to see other areas of Peru!
$485 single supplement