Day 1: Puerto Maldonado / Refugio Amazonas
Transfer Airport to Puerto Maldonado Headquarters Upon arrival from Lima or Cusco, we will welcome you at the airport and drive you ten minutes to our Puerto Maldonado headquarters. 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. Transfer Pto Maldonado Headquarters to Tambopata River Port Skirting Puerto Maldonado, we drive 20 kilometers to the Tambopata River Port, entering the Native Community of Infierno. The port is a communal business.
Transfer Boat – Tambopata River Port to Refugio Amazonas The two and a half hour boat 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.
Orientation Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips. Dinner.
Caiman Search 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 in Refugio Amazonas.
Day 2: Refugio Amazonas
Breakfast. Oxbow Lake Visit We will paddle around the 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. Lunch 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. Lunch Farm Visit Five minutes downriver from the lodge lies a farm owned and managed by charismatic Don Manuel from the neighbouring community of Condenado. He grows a variety of popular and unknown Amazon crops – just about every plant and tree you see serves a purpose. 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. 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.. Dinner Tambopata National Reserve Lectures Nightly lectures prepared by the staff of Refugio Amazonas cover conservation threats, opportunities and projects in the Tambopata National Reserve. Overnight in Refugio Amazonas
Day 3 : Refugio Amazonas
Breakfast. Parrot Clay Lick 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. Lunch Brazil Nut Trail and Camp A few minutes hike from the lodge 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. We will be demonstrating the whole process of the rain forest’s only sustainably harvested product from collection through transportation to drying. Mammal Clay Lick Twenty minutes walking from Refugio Amazonas is 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. Dinner Night walk 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 in Refugio Amazonas
Day 4 : Refugio Amazonas / Puerto Maldonado
Breakfast.Transfer Boat – Refugio Amazonas to Tambopata River Port. Transfer Tambopata River Port to Pto Maldonado Headquarters. Transfer Puerto Maldonado Headquarters to Airport We retrace our river and road journey back to Puerto Maldonado, our office and the airport. Depending on airline schedules, this may require dawn departures.
Departures: Daily, all year Posada Amazonas: What is included and what to bring
Tour includes: Programmes based on double occupancy. Includes all meal, 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 or messages, reconfirmation of flights and items of personal nature.
2015 Rates per person in US$: Standard room: $723 in double, $976 in single. Add $13.00 per person for the entrance fee to Tambopata National Reserve.
USEFUL PRE-DEPARTURE INFORMATION FOR POSADA AMAZONAS AND TAMBOPATA RESEARCH CENTER
The lowland rain forests of Tambopata lie far enough south of the Equator to provide a cooler, drier winter season between May and October, which also happens to be the major season for international travel. The general weather conditions, are warm and humid. In Tambopata the average daytime high temperature is between 82° and 93° F (25° and 31°C) and the average nighttime low is between 62° and 73° F (16° and 22°C). Nevertheless between May and September, cold fronts from Argentina can sweep into southwestern Amazonia and push daytime highs down to 50° F (9° C) and the nighttime lows to 43° F (5° C). Thus, during that season always be potentially prepared for cold and drizzle. During the rainy months of November through April, always be prepared for heavy rain that can continue for hours or days. Around 80% of the annual average 2000 mm rainfall occurs during this season.
WHAT TO BRING
We recommend that each visitor limit gear to good binoculars; camera gear; tight-weave, light weight, light colored, long cotton pants; long sleeved, tight-weave, light colored cotton shirts; undergarments; absorbent socks; ankle-high hiking boots; sneakers; a powerful flashlight with batteries; a small toilet kit; a water bottle; sunblock lotion; sunglasses; a secure, broad-brimmed hat; 100% waterproof, head-to-ankle rain suit; insect repellent; yellow fever inoculation certificate; small denomination bills and a small daypack.
Yellow fever inoculation is required for travel to Tambopata. It is necessary that you bring your yellow fever inoculation certificate to prove to the airport officials in Puerto Maldonado that you are vaccinated. Leishmaniasis is present throughout the rain forests of southeastern Peru. It is a skin lesion caused by a protozoan transmitted by a certain kind of small biting fly. There is no vaccination against it but it is curable in every case. The selected cure, injections of pentavalent antimony (Glucantime), is uncomfortable. Leishmaniasis is also very easy to prevent by wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, and repellent on exposed skin at all times, and sleeping under mosquito nets. If you are interested in receiving complete information on leishmaniasis contact us before your trip. For precautions against malaria consult your physician or a specialist in tropical medicine.It is vital that persons with medical problems or special diet requirements make them known to us well before departure.
Posada Amazonas and Tambopata Research Center are in daily radio contact with our offices in Puerto Maldonado and Lima. We have HF radios at these four stations. From Lima and Puerto Maldonado we are able to communicate by fax or phone with the rest of the world. In some cases, cellular phones will have a signal when we´re standing on top of the canopy tower at Posada Amazonas.
PASSPORTS, MONEY, AIR TICKETS
You may need your passport upon arrival at Puerto Maldonado in the event authorities want to spot check tourist entries, as the local airport is officially an international airport. Upon arrival, a Rainforest Expeditions representative will collect your domestic air tickets to confirm your return flights. At the end of the trip, he/she will collect cash from you to pay for the airport tax.
We provide all meals during the trip. Meals consist of soup or appetizers, salad, main course, dessert, and coffee or tea. All fresh fruits and salads are thoroughly disinfected before serving. We also provide at all times unlimited amounts of boiled, cooled drinking water. If any visitor has special dietary requirements, we are happy to make individual arrangements, but please notify us early. Upon request we will furnish a complete description of our menus.
ACCOMMODATIONS AT POSADA AMAZONAS
Posada Amazonas is located on the banks of the Tambopata River in the grounds of the Community, adjacent to the Tambopata National Reserve. It is owned jointly by Rainforest Expeditions and the Ese’eja Native Community of Tambopata. Posada Amazonas is built using a combination of traditional native materials (wood, palm fronds, wild cane and clay) and architecture and modern day eco-lodge technology. The lodge itself consists of a complex of four sections: rooms, dining area and kitchen, relaxation area and internal support facilities. The entire roof of the lodge is constructed using high quality crisneja palm fronds, whereas the floors are of tropical mahogany. The rooms complex is built of four 9 X 24 meter structures with six rooms per facility, for a total of 24 double bedrooms. The rooms are 7 x 4 meters so they can comfortably hold three beds, although they are set up for two. The walls dividing each room are built using cane and clay, and extend from the floor to about 2.5 meters height making each room private. The combination of clay and cane achieves two important objectives: regulating heat and providing a charming final appeareance. However, sounds can be heard from room to room. The side that looks out to the forest does not have a wall or screening of any kind, acting as a large window facing the forest. The reason we have been able to incorporate this “luxurious” design into our lodge is because mosquitos are not really a problem around the lodge clearing and the open section allows for an intimate contact with the rain forest. A second small window on the opposite side, set up very high, keeps the rooms well ventilated. Beds are sized for Americans or Europeans (1.05m X 2.05m) with mosquito nets. Each room has a private bathroom with cold water only. Rooms and bathrooms are separated by drapes. The dining room and lounge is spacy and offers ample area for resting and socializing.
ACCOMODATIONS AT THE TAMBOPATA RESEARCH CENTER
Tambopata Research Center is located in a half hectare clearing 50 meters from the Tambopata River and 300 meters from the macaw clay lick. It is composed of four interconnected, thatch-roofed buildings designed after traditional low-impact native architecture. All buildings and interconnecting passageways are raised on four-foot stilts built from palm trunks. The main building is a 33 foot by 100 foot platform divided into 13 double rooms. Each bedroom is furnished with two beds draped in mosquito nets, a chair, a night table with a kerosene windlamp, and a table for luggage and clothing. Each room does not have a wall on the side that looks into the forest: it is also designed to have an optional, permanent, unobstacled view of the forest surrounding the clearing in order to maximize wildlife observation time. To the left of the main building a 20 foot-long, roofed passageway connects to the bathrooms containing flush toilets and shower stalls. To the right of the main building a 15 foot-long, roofed passageway connects to the dining room and meeting room which in turn is connected to the kitchen.
Neither Posada Amazonas nor Tambopata Research Center have electricity. Light is provided by numerous kerosene lamps and candles. A generator is turned on once a day to recharge batteries for tourists or lodge facilities. At night it is very dark, so we recommend good flashlights.
TRAVEL BY BOAT
Our boats are 20 foot canoes with foldable couched seats and a roof. They are powered by 65 hp outboard motors which allow for a travel time of two hours from Puerto Maldonado to Posada Amazonas and four to five hours from Posada Amazonas to TRC. Passengers are protected by the sun and rain by the roof but we suggest keeping your rain gear and sunblock handy in case the sun’s rays or rain drops come in slanted. There are life vests in every seat.
In case of emergencies we have a first aid kit that is equipped to deal with most cases that may reasonably arise in the area. For snake bites, an unheard of at Tambopata so far, we have a stun gun, extractors and an anti-venom at the lodges. In case of evacuation, we are three and a half hours from Puerto Maldonado and medical attention, in case we´re at TRC.