Visit one of the most beautiful lakes in Peru, Sandoval Lake. Watch a family of giant otters as they swim, walk through forest trails and search for the rare caiman at night. Learn from the amazing Sandoval Lake Lodge guides as they teach you about the flora and fauna on this 4-day Amazon tour.
Learn the uses of dozens of medicinal Amazonian plants
Search for the black caiman along the lake's shore
Take a walk on a forest trail to see birds and butterflies
Sandoval Lake Lodge staff will meet you at the airport in Puerto Maldonado and drive you to the boat dock on the Tambopata River. Board a motorized canoe and head toward the nearby confluence of the mighty Madre de Dios River. After 30 minutes arrive at Sandoval Lake.
Take a two mile trail, stopping to watch birds and butterflies, up to a narrow canal boat. From there navigate the flooded forest of palm trees that leads to the open waters of this peaceful lake. The crew will row the boats across to the lodge. Under the surface of the lake you may see the huge Paiche, an Amazonian fish that can weigh up to 220 pounds! You may also hear the calls and see the heads of the giant otter.
After a short rest, continue to explore the eastern side of the lake. Follow the sounds of hundreds of blue-and-yellow and red-breasted macaws as they return to the palm forest for the night. The view from the boat allows close encounters with birds and mammals.
Search for caimans after dinner by rowing across the lake. On clear nights go farther into the lake for beatiful views of the sky and the Milky Way.
Just before dawn you will be on the lake for the sunrise and possibly an encounter with the giant otter. At this time most of the birds that inhabit the lake are also active. You will also be able to view the Shansho eating leaves.
Enjoy walking the trail through the cool understory of the primary rainforest that surrounds the lake. Witness the chestnut trees in the area.
After lunch explore the west side of the lake where you will have a chance to observe different species of monkey; including the most common capuchin monkey. Go back to the lodge for dinner and a video about the Peruvian jungle. Then take the opportunity to go spot caimans on the lake.
For another chance to see the giant otters, you may wake up early to look for them on the lake. After breakfast gaze upon beauty of the lake from a high point before going on a walk through a special circuit which will allow you to learn about the medicinal Amazonian plants. See the pamicho, a plant that provides the material for thatched roofs, the ginger candle for anti-inflammatory medicine and the cinchona tree, whose bark has saved millions from the agony of malaria. This path includes the wild jungle and a small botanical garden dedicated to the cultivation of some native species.
After lunch, walk through the most quiet and secluded part of the forest on the north shore of the lake. In the evening take one last opportunity to look for the black caiman along the lake shore.
Day 4: Depart for Home
Paddle through the palm swamps on the west end of the lake and return to the Madre de Dios River. Head towards Puerto Maldonado and then on to the airport.
*Please note that itineraries may vary slightly to maximize wildlife viewing, depending on the reports of the local researchers and experienced naturalist guides.
The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.