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Refugio Amazonas is the latest addition to Rainforest Expeditions Tambopata portfolio. As a charming 24 bedroom lodge, it is well placed immediately adjacent to the Tambopata National Reserve.
Surrounded by a mosaic of waterways and habitats and a worked Brazil Nut concession it presents an ideal balance for naturalist exploration and observations of sustainable forest use by local populations
The Tambopata National Reserve features an amazing –and almost incredible-- biodiversity. Numbers for the 275,000-hectare reserve are extraordinary: 160 mammal species, 630 bird species, 200 fish species, 100 amphibian species, 1,200 types of butterflies... Jaguars, ocelots, giant armadillos, and other endangered species have found a refuge within the reserve boundaries.
A major hotspot for birding along with the Manu Biosphere reserve, the Reserva Nacional Tambopata has over 600 known species of birds. Other species frequently sighted include butterflies jaguars, parrots, parakeets, and caimans.
Easily accessible via a two to four hour boat ride from Puerto Maldonado, the Reserva Nacional Tambopata is well set up for the tourist. There are several jungle lodges servicing the Reserva Nacional Tambopata ranging from high end to very rustic.
Peru Jungle Tours
Arrival & Reception by Guide. Our guides are biologists, tourism professionals, or community members. Unless noted otherwise, our guides speak English. We assign guides at 10:1 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.
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.
Puerto Maldonado 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.
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.
Orientation. Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips.
Caiman searches. 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.
Oxbow Visit: We will paddle a round 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.
Farm Visit: Five minutes downriver from the lodge lies a farm owned and managed by charismatic Don Manuel from the neighboring 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 Garden: 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.
Tambopata National Reserve Lecture. Nightly lectures prepared by the staff of Refugio Amazonas cover conservation threats, opportunities and projects in the Tambopata National Reserve.
Overnight in Refugio Amazonas.
Parakeet clay lick: A fifteen minute boat ride and sixty minute walk from Refugio Amazonas is a parakeet clay lick. From a blind you will see 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. We visit the lick at dawn, when parrots are most active or in midmorning or early afternoon, when they are active.
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. 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.
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.
Night walk. You will have the option of hiking out at night, when most of the mammals are active but rarely seen. Much easier to find are frogs with shapes and sounds as bizarre as their natural histories.
Transfer Boat - Refugio Amazonas to Tambopata River Port.
Transfer Tambopata River Port to Pto Maldonado Headquarters.
Transfer Pto Maldonado Headquarters - 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.
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.
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.
All hotel and lodge accommodations based on double occupancy.
All scheduled land and river transportation.
All scheduled excursions with English-speaking guide services.
Meals as specified in the itinerary, B=Breakfast; L= Lunch; D=Dinner.
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