Tambopata is one of the provinces of the department of Madre de Dios (also called ´Mother of God´, a synonym for the Virgin Mary).
You will fly from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado, the capital of the region. Puerto Maldonado is located in the east of Peru and just 55 kilometers from the border to Bolivia. It is not too far from Brasil either. Tambopata is perhaps not as famous as Manu. Nevertheless there are more than 10,000 species of plants, 600 different birds, 200 mammals and thousands of insect species. In addition, Tambopata is located near the Tambopata Research Center, one of our destinations including the largest parrot clay lick in the world. A place where even the filmmakers of National Geographic go to!
Tambopata National Reserve tours
Tres Chimbadas Lake with visits to La Torre Clay Lick and Farm.
Tambopata – 4 Days/3 Nights
On the first day, your guide will be waiting for you at the airport to take you to our office. The office is only 5 minutes from the airport in the city of Puerto Maldonado. Here we will register and have the possibility to make some last minute shopping.
Afterwards we will take an unpaved road for about one hour to Puerto Nuevo, our port in the Infierno Community. On our journey we can see various types of woodland, traditional bananas and citrus plantations, cattle ranches and small creeks. Once we arrive in Puerto Nuevo, we embark on our one and a half hour boat trip up the mighty Tambopata. During the boat ride you get lunch. The lunch consists of delicious vegetarian arroz chaufa wrapped in the leaf of the bijao heliconia. Furthermore we provide fruit, crackers and a bottle of water.
We find Inotawa on the banks of the Tambopata River in the Buffer zone of the Tambobata National Reserve and the Bahuaja Sonene National Park. During your journey you can appreciate the banks vegetation which consists mainly of patches of canes, Cecropias and Ficus. We might also see a bit of the wildlife such as river birds like the oropendulas and their hanging nesting colonies, egrets, herons. Others might fly around like toucans or the magnificent macaws. Occasionally we can spot mammals such as capybaras or monkeys or reptilians like spectacled caimans and turtles.
Once we arrived in Inotawa, the manager will receive us and your guide will tell you about the do’s and don’ts in the jungle, so you can fully enjoy your stay. He will also lead you around the installations and show you your room. In the afternoon we head out into the jungle for a small walk in order to observe the flora such as immense Ironwood or Kapok trees and birds (Trogons, quails and wild turkeys). When it becomes night, we can also find spiders such as tarantulas and other nocturnal creatures. After dinner your guide will give you a small talk about what to expect and explains about the various activities during your stay.
Day 2: La Torre Clay Lick
We leave the lodge early in the morning to go for about fifteen minutes up the Tambopata River. Here we can observe the activity of the macaws, parrots, parakeets and the occasional mammal feeding on the earth. La Torre Clay Lick is a mud bank of about four meters high and twenty meters wide. It is crisscrossed with veins of mineral rich clay essential to the diet of these animals. On the site we have a hideout at a distance of about thirty meters. This keeps us hidden and at the same time allowing us an unobstructed view of the display in front of us. The phenomenon last two to three hours. We need to stick to the rules and guidelines set by our guide the previous evening. Returning to the lodge we will have breakfast and after a short rest head to the Tres Chimbadas Lake.
Tres Chimbadas Lake
The entrance is located fifteen minutes down the Tambopata River from Inotawa. Our walk will be about 45 minutes to the lake located deep in the jungle. We will pass an eco-tourism concession held by the native people of the Infierno community. They guard and maintain the area thanks to the income generated by the entry fees from tourists.
At the lake itself we will board a traditional catamaran with a single oar in order to move around on the lake following the route indicated by our guide. We can see luscious vegetation and birds such as snake-birds, herons, kingfishers etc. We might also find reptiles and mammals, above all the illusive giant river otter. The lake seems to be the territory of a clan that we can frequently spot. It’s also possible to practice to catch and release fishing and maybe catch a piranha. Once back at the lodge, we will serve the lunch and after a short rest we are leaving for an excursion to a local farm.
In this area traditional agriculture is practiced. We visit Don Aurelio and his family. This is a great opportunity to see harvest and try various exotic fruits from the Amazon such as copazú, arazá, pijuayo, yucca, and pineapple. There are various herbs such as pallilo and false cilantro as well as a range of medicinal plants such as piñón, caña caña and piri piri that the local people use a lot. The farms also creates open spaces for papaya and banana plantations. This is the preferred habitat for birds like silver beaked tanagers, oreoles, oropendulas, toucanets and various woodpeckers.
Day 3: La Torre Lakes
Immediately after breakfast we will head for La Torre Lakes.
La Torre Lakes
Lakes Montes, Pato, Lagarto and Solitaria clay lick. This program is organized in cooperation with the La Torre community. Traditionally they use this area to provide themselves a sustainable way of life. Here they find materials to build their huts, implements for handicrafts and medicinal plants to cure diseases. In the last few years they also started to use the area to generate a sustainable income whilst maintaining the environment with the help of eco-tourism.
We take the boat for about fifteen minutes up river. The geographical characteristics with elevations, lakes and mammal clay licks, plus the location deep inside the Tambopata National Reserve, are the main reasons for the sites exceptional biodiversity. We disembark at the La Torre Park rangers post and continue by foot. We cross a small creek and continue into the jungle to eventually get to the lakes Montes, Pato and Lagarto.
The trek will take between four and five hours. Every step deeper in the jungle will be more interesting. During the walk our guide tells us about the surrounding plants and their practical and medicinal uses and preparation. We will eventually get to a mammal clay lick deep in the rain forest, which is called Solitaria clay lick. It’s the last of a number of clay licks coming and we can frequently spot peccaries, brocket deer and sometimes even tapirs.
Back at the lodge we have lunch. In the afternoon you have enough time to relax, to go for a swim or catch up on your reading in the hammocks.
Nocturnal boat ride
At night we head out with the boat to enjoy ourselves and listen to the sounds of the Amazonian night. We might see a thunderstorm spilling out on the horizon or marvel at constellations like the Southern Cross or Scorpion. We are also carrying a powerful flashlight in case we come across some nocturnal animals such as caimans, bats, night jars or capybaras on the banks and meanders of the Tambopata River. Afterwards we will enjoy dinner.
Day 4: return to Cusco
After an early breakfast we will return to the Inotawa office in Puerto Maldonado and then drive to the airport. Your guide will accompany you until the airport and helps you with the check-in process for your flight back to Cusco.
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