Feel the natural atmosphere and hear the music of the wildlife in the middle of the jungle enjoining the comfortable Amazon lodge that welcomes you to this great adventure. Let our local guide to teach you some of the secrets of this ecological treasure and look for monkeys, beautiful birds, caimans, macaws, parrots, mammals, parakeets, frogs, etc.
Upon arrival from Lima or Cusco, our guides will welcome you at the airport and drive you ten minutes to our Puerto Maldonado headquarters. Our guides are biologists, tourism professionals, or community members. Unless noted otherwise, our guides speak English. We assign guides at 10:1 ratio in Refugio Amazonas. This means groups smaller than 10 people will be merged with other groups under one guide. If you would like a guide in a language other than English please let us know.
While enjoying your first taste of the forest in our gardens we will ask you to pack only the necessary gear for your next few days, and leave the rest at our safe deposit. This helps us keep the boats and cargo light. Skirting Puerto Maldonado, we drive 20 kilometers to the Tambopata River Port, entering the Native Community of Infierno then two and a half hour boat ride from the Tambopata Port to Refugio Amazonas lodge that will take us past the Community of Infierno and the Tambopata National Reserve´s checkpoint and into the buffer zone of this 1.3 million hectare conservation unit.
Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips.
We will be out at the river’s edge at night, scanning the shores with headlamps and flashlights to catch the red gleams of reflection from caiman eyes. Overnight at Refugio Amazonas Lodge.
We will paddle around the Oxbow lake on a canoe or a catamaran, looking for lakeside wildlife such as hoatzin, caiman and hornerd screamers, hoping to see the otters which are infrequently seen here. You will also be rewarded with overhead sightings of macaws. Later on we will enjoy the canopy tower. A thirty minute walk from Refugio Amazonas leads to the 25 meter scaffolding canopy tower. A bannistered staircase running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms above. The tower has been built upon high ground, therefore increasing your horizon of the continuous primary forest extending out towards the Tambopata National Reserve. From here views of mixed species canopy flocks as well as toucans, macaws and raptors are likely.
After lunch, we will visit the farm owned and managed by charismatic Don Manuel from the neighbouring community of Condenado, which lies five minutes downriver from the lodge. He grows a variety of popular and unknown Amazon crops – just about every plant and tree you see serves a purpose. We will learn about the medicinal (and other) uses of Ajo-Sacha, Yuca de Venado, Uña de Gato, Charcot-Sacha, Para-Para, among several others on the Ethnobotanical tour. Along this trail we will find a variety of plants and trees that are used by the local population with at least the same variety of purposes.
Nightly lectures prepared by the staff of Refugio Amazonas cover conservation threats, opportunities and projects in the Tambopata National Reserve.
Overnight at Refugio Amazonas
A fifteen minute boat ride and sixty minute walk from Refugio Amazonas is a clay lick used both by parrots and parakeets. From a blind you will see parrots and parakeets descend on most clear days to ingest the clay on a bank. Species such as Dusky headed and Cobalt winged Parakeet descend at this clay lick. With luck we will also see some or all of the following species in the early morning rush: Mealy and Yellow-crowned Amazons, Blue-headed Pionus, Severe macaw and Orange-cheeled (Barraband`s) Parrot. We visit the lick at dawn, when parrots are most active or in midmorning or early afternoon, when they are active.
A few minutes hike from the lodge we will arrive to a beautiful old growth patch of Brazil Nut forest that has been harvested for decades (if not centuries) where the precarious remains of a camp used two months a year by Brazil Nut gatherers can still be experienced. We will be demonstrating the whole process of the rain forest’s only sustainably harvested product from collection through transportation to drying.
Twenty minutes walking from Refugio Amazonas we will visit a peccary clay lick. These wild rain forest pigs show up in herds of five to twenty individuals to eat clay in the late morning. Chances of spotting them are around 15%, but well worth the short hike. Other wildlife also shows up including deer, guan and parakeets.
After dinner, you will have the option of hiking out at night, when most of the mammals are active but difficult to see. Easier to find are frogs with shapes and sounds as bizarre as their natural histories.
Overnight at Refugio Amazonas
Transfer by boat from Refugio Amazonas to Tambopata River Port, followed by a transfer to Puerto Maldonado Headquarters and then to the Airport.
MAKE IT DIFFERENT (OPTIONAL)
Ask our experts about an extension to the impressive Colca Canyon; to Titicaca, the higuest navigable lake in the world; the magestic city of Cusco and Machu Picchu, the enigmatic Amazon or the mysterious Nazca lines.