5 days/4 nights Program - US$ 745.00|
The Tambopata Research Center (TRC) is an ideal setting for clients looking for a true nature experience in one of the last pristine bio-diverse rainforest left in the world. Because of its remote location in a Connecticut-sized tract of uninhabited wilderness, it contains stable populations of endangered wildlife. The small scale of its infrastructure and operations and the presence of researchers and naturalist guides make the Tambopata Research Center an excellent location for in depth explorations of Amazonian nature and wildlife. During your entire stay your Peruvian guides could be a biologist, a native or a naturalist according to your interests and expectations. In addition to being guides the resident biologists perform on-going research providing you with the opportunity to learn first-hand about their findings.
One of the highlights of your stay at TRC will be visits to the world's largest known mineral clay lick, where hundreds of parrots and macaws of up to 15 species congregate daily to ingest the detoxifying clay. The clay lick is less than 500 meters from TRC. Other attractions include: Five identified macaw nesting sites, seven distinct habitats easily accessible form TRC, numerous opportunities to spot primates and other larger mammals.
Access: Fly from Lima or Cuzco on a daily scheduled commercial jet flights to Puerto Maldonado and travel by bus and then by boat from the Tambopata River port to Refugio Amazonas. The following day, continue upriver to the Tambopata Research Center. The lodge is located than 10-12 minutes walking from the river.
All programs to the Tambopata Research Center (TRC) are combined with lodging at Refugio Amazonas (RAL). In case of lack of availability at Refugio Amazonas, we provide our clients with alternative lodging at Posada Amazonas or lodging within the area and always accompanied by our guides and boats.
Puerto Maldonado - Refugio Amazonas
Upon arrival from Lima or Cuzco, reception and transfer to the Tambopata River port in Puerto Maldonado. Puerto Maldonado is situated at the confluence of the mighty Madre de Dios and Tambopata Rivers and is a bustling, booming tropical frontier town. Its principal activities are gold mining, Brazil nut collecting, timber extraction, agriculture and ecotourism. After a brief stop at our offices we will depart on a 30 minute drive to the Infierno Community port, followed by 2-1/2 boat journey by motorized canoe to Refugio Amazonas. The ride from the Tambopata Port to Refugio Amazonas 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. Boxed lunch aboard the boat. During our voyage we may see bird species typical of the river or forest edge such as: Black Skimmer, Pied Lapwing, Capped Heron, Jabiru Stork, Roadside Hawk, and several species of kingfishers, swallows and flycatchers. When we arrive at Refugio Amazonas we will unpack and unwind. Refugio Amazonas is a comfortable yet unobtrusive lodge owned by Rainforest Expeditions. We will receive a short orientation and a complete briefing about the lodge trails and activities. Tonight we will be out at the river's edge scanning the shores with headlamps and flashlights to catch the red gleams of reflection from caiman eyes.
Note: Unless noted otherwise, our guides speak English. We assign guides at 6:1 ratio. This means groups smaller than 10 people will be merged with other groups under one guide. If you would like a private guide or a guide in a language other than English please let us know.
Refugio Amazonas -Tambopata Research Center
We are up before sunrise for our Canopy Tower activity. 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 our visit to the tower we return to the lodge for breakfast.
After breakfast we continue with our activities. Only a few minutes hike from the lodge there is 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. Our guide will demonstrate the whole harvesting process of one of the only sustainable harvested products in the rainforest.
From Refugio Amazonas we travel upriver in our boat to the Tambopata Research Center. After the first hour of our four hour boat journey we will leave the final traces of human habitation behind as we cross the northern boundary of the 700,000 hectare, completely uninhabited nucleus of the Tambopata National Reserve. Differences in wildlife abundance will be noted immediately: we will begin to sight macaws, herons, and kingfishers frequently and improve our chances of encounters with capybaras, caiman, storks, ducks and other wildlife. We will eat a boxed lunch on the boat. We will arrive at Tambopata Research Center in the afternoon, being greeted by the Chicos, our flock of semi-wild, rescued macaws. On arrival, we will hold an orientation session. After this we will hike the 1.5 mile Bamboo Trail, a trail that passes above the clay cliff and has beautiful views of the Tambopata winding its way down from the Andes. It is also the home of the frequently found Howler and Dusky titi monkeys. These are also good places to observe canopy birds like tanagers, jacamars, elaenias, guans, and oropendolas. We will return to TRC for dinner. After dinner we will learn about the macaw project.
Tambopata Research Center
At dawn we will cross the river and enjoy the world's largest macaw clay lick where hundreds of parrots and macaws of up to 15 species congregate daily. The January 1994 issue of National Geographic features an article on Tambopata Research Center and the Tambopata Macaw Project. It begins with a description of the daily spectacle at the clay lick:
" When the morning sun clears the Amazon tree line in southeastern Peru and strikes a gray-pink clay bank on the upper Tambopata River, one of the world's most dazzling wildlife gatherings is nearing its riotous peak. The steep bank has become a pulsing, 130-foot-high palette of red, blue, yellow and green as more than a thousand parrots squabble over choice perches to grab a beakful of clay, a vital but mysterious part of their diet. More than a dozen parrot species will visit the clay lick throughout the day, but this midmorning crush belongs to the giants of the parrot world, the macaws."
You can expect to see ten to twelve of the following members of the parrot family: Red-and-green, Blue-and-gold, Scarlet, Red-bellied, Chestnut-fronted and Blue-headed Macaws; Mealy and Yellow-crowned Amazons; Blue-headed, Orange-cheeked and White-bellied Parrots; Dusky-headed, White-eyed, Cobalt-winged and Tui Parakeets and Dusky-billed Parrotlets. This show will continue until the macaws sense danger, usually in the form of an eagle, and depart simultaneously in an explosion of sound and color. Around mid-morning, when the most intense clay lick activity is over for the day, we will return to TRC for breakfast.
After breakfast we will hike the 1.5 mile Ocelot Trail, a trail which exemplifies the quintessential rainforest . Although at this time of day mammals and birds are not as active as in the early morning, we will concentrate on the forest itself and discuss general rain forest ecology. This forest, which is estimated to be 200 to 300 years old and includes truly huge Ceiba trees and Strangler figs is home to several mammals that are occasionally encountered: Saddleback tamarins, Squirrel and Brown Capuchin Monkeys and Collared peccary. This trail is the one which most often sports ocelot, puma and jaguar tracks, although any one of these three large cats is extremely difficult to spot. We will return to TRC for lunch and take a short five minute boat ride to a small, drying oxbow lake where we will spend the morning on a platform in the middle of the pond observing some of its birdlife, which may include hoatzin, duck, ibis, woodpeckers, chachalaca, parakeets, oropendolas and numerous flycatcher species. After a lazy afternoon at the pond we will hike back to the lodge for dinner and a presentation on the macaw project.
Tambopata Research Center - Refugio Amazonas
We will wake up at dawn once again to visit the macaw clay lick and then return for breakfast. After breakfast we depart from the Tambopata Research Center to Refugio Amazonas. On the way we will visit Condenado Lake. From the Tambopata River bank we take a forty minute hike to Condenado Lake. We paddle canoes around the lake looking for lakeside wildlife such as hoatzin and caiman, hoping to see the otters which are infrequently seen here. You will also be rewarded with overhead sightings of macaws. From Condenado Lake we continue our journey to Refugio Amazonas. We will spend our last night in the rain forest in this wonderfully designed lodge enjoying its happy hour as we ponder over the exciting happenings of the past few days.
Refugio Amazonas - Puerto Maldonado
After an early breakfast we will return to Puerto Maldonado for our flight back to Lima or Cuzco.
Cost Per Person: Single supplement applies for people traveling alone.
Includes: Programs based on double occupancy. Includes all meals, accommodations and services, all river transportation, and transfer from and to the Airport of Puerto Maldonado.
Not Included: International or domestic airfares, airport departure taxes or visa fees, excess baggage charges, additional nights during the trip due to flight cancellations, alcoholic beverages or bottled water, snacks, insurance of any kind, laundry, phone calls, radio calls or messages, reconfirmation of flights and items of personal nature. Tips. INRENA Park + Special Operation fee for TRC US$ 50.00.
Boat Transportation: All our boats are 20 foot long, roofed canoes with 55 hp outboard motors. Daily arrivals and departures from every port are scheduled to meet every airline´s arrival and departure with a maximum two hour wait.
WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO CHANGE THE ORDER OF THE ACTIVITIES OR CHANGE TRAILS DEPENDING ON THEIR CONDITION DUE TO WEATHER OR EXTENSIVE USE.