Explore Peru's vast jungle with a 3-night stay at an Amazon lodge. A short flight from Lima or Cusco brings us to the jungle town of Puerto Maldonado. Surrounding Puerto Maldonado are three wildlife reserves consisting of more than 8 million acres of primary rainforest. A motor canoe takes us down the Madre de Dios River to a trail leading to the lodge, perched above one of the most attractive lakes in the Peruvian Amazon. Our local guide teaches us some of the secrets of this ecological treasure as we look for monkeys, tapirs, capybara, macaws, toucans and more. At night, we'll search for caimans near the shores of our camp.
Stay at the biologically diverse, Sandoval Lake Lodge
Observe the local economy based on the Brazil Nut Tree
The employees of the lodge will pick you up from the airport and will transfer you to the Puerto Maldonado fluvial port, to take a 25-minute boat trip to the port of entry to the path that leads to Lake Sandoval. After trekking for about half an hour, you will arrive at the shores of the lake, from where you will board a canoe to be transferred to the Sandoval Lake Lodge. After checking in and enjoying lunch, you can board a catamaran to visit the Western side of the lake, and then the arrival of the macaws that approach to spend the night. There will be a night tour after dinner to look for black caimans, whose eyes stick up from the water and shine when they are lit up by the flashlights.
You will visit the lake in the early morning. Lake Sandoval is actually a meander abandoned by the river and, due to its particular ecosystem of calm waters; it is home to an exuberant fauna, which includes, among others, giant otters, caimans and shanshos, an exotic bird with a prehistoric appearance. After having breakfast, you will take a tour through the jungle to see wild chestnut trees, as this local nut represents an important income for native communities. There you will learn the harvesting, packaging and trading processes. You will then return to the lodge to have lunch and visit the lake to watch monkey species, especially the capuchin monkey. You will take a nighttime tour to watch the night fauna.
You will get up to watch the sunrise from the shore of the lake. Next, you will board the catamaran to explore the Western end of the lake, to look for a family of giant river otters, an endangered mammal that has found peace in these calm waters due to the absence of predators. Upon your return to the lodge to have breakfast, you will explore the neighboring paths together with a resident naturalist guide. After lunch, you will have a free afternoon to rest or explore the surroundings on your own, and you will subsequently board the catamaran to watch the sunset from the water.
Day 4: Return to Puerto Maldonado
After having breakfast, a motor boat will take you to Puerto Maldonado and the employees of the lodge will assist you with your check-in to catch your flight.
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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.