Early this morning I flew out from Cusco very early to the jungle town of Puerto Maldonado. My friend Corbin met me on the flight and we set off together to Sandoval Lake Lodge in the Tambopata Reserve of the Amazon. Our guide, Klaus, met us at the airport and took us to the office in Puerto Maldonado, where we left the majority of our luggage and found our size of fashionable rubber mud boots - an important accessory for the next few days! Once on the river, it took about 25 minutes to reach the take-out for Sandoval. From there, we hiked over a mile through some mud and light rain on a trail to reach Sandoval Lake. Our guide put us in a canoe and rowed us to the opposite side of the lake to the lodge. The area was so serene - we could hear macaws calling overhead as they headed to the nesting area at one end of the lake. The lodge was quite nice with its high thatched roofs, hammocks, and a separate lounge and dining area. The rooms have a private bath with shower and hot water - a real luxury in the Amazon.
For our first outing, we went on a canoe ride around the edge of the lake to a tower that we climbed up into for awesome views of the lake at sunset. Klaus also took Corbin and me on a night hike with flashlights.