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Tailor-made tours

Tambopata Research Centre

Amazon, Peru

4 days

Summary

The Tambopata Research Center (TRC) is one of the most remote rainforest lodges in South America, offering adventurous travellers an outstanding chance to engage with the natural wonders of the Amazon. It takes 3 hours to Refugio and further 4.5 hours (2nd day) to reach Tambopata. You will have the chance to experience one of the most remote and wildest areas in the country. The lodge itself is situated in beautiful, untouched flood plain rainforests that host healthy populations of Amazonian Tapirs, Jaguars, and seven species of monkeys. Six species of macaws abound, are often seen right around the lodge, and can show up in large numbers at a nearby clay lick that attracts thousands of parrots and parakeets and has been featured in National Geographic.

Highlights

  • Tambopata Research Center is the most remote lodge in the Amazon. There are no humans nearby so sightings of monkeys, macaws and other large species become more frequent.
  • Visit to the two most important clay licks in the region: Colorado and Chuncho. Visit these special portions of river bank while Macaws and Parrots make a raucous and colourful spectacle which inspired a National Geographic cover story.
  • Walks and easy hikes to bamboo, flood plain, terra firma, palm and riverine rainforest habitats.
  • During your stopover at Refugio Amazonas you will be able to climb the 30-meter scaffolding tower so you can get spectacular views of the rainforest and the colourful Toucans and Parrots against a green backdrop.

ITINERARY

Day 1 Puerto Maldonado

Upon arrival to Puerto Maldonado, you will be greeted by our local representatives and transferred to the operations office in Puerto Maldonado where you will store the luggage you don’t need. Luggage is hand-carried at various stages in the trip for long distance so please limit your weight to 15 kilos. You can pack separate bags and safely leave them at the offices in Puerto Maldonado. Your bag will be waiting for you at the airport the day you leave.
You will then take a 40-minute drive to the Infierno Community Port where you will board long, sturdy canoes equipped with outboard motors and head upstream to Refugio Amazonas. The three-hour boat ride is pleasant and often includes your first sightings of Macaws, Heron, Caiman and Capybara. Once the boat arrives at the lodge dock, you will have officially arrived at the wild rainforests of Tambopata! You can’t travel by boat in the dark, so you will spend your first night at Refugio Amazonas.
This afternoon you will have a tour.
Canopy Tower: A thirty-minute walk from Refugio Amazonas leads to the 25-meter scaffolding canopy tower. A banister 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 you will have spectacular views and you will be able to spot lots of mixed species canopy flocks as well as Toucans, Macaws and raptors are likely.

Day 2 Puerto Maldonado

Early this morning you will have a morning excursion with your guide before transferring to the Tambopata Research Centre (4.5hr boat ride)

Mamal Clay Lick: Twenty minutes walking from Refugio Amazonas is a peccary clay lick. These wild rainforest Pigs show up in herds of five to twenty individuals to eat clay in the late morning. Other wildlife also shows up including Deer, Guan, and Parakeets. Chances of spotting them are low but well worth the short hike because you will also have fun camera traps that will help San Diego Zoo scientists obtain data that will answer questions about the density and movement patterns of large mammals in Tambopata. During your stay at the Tambopata Research Centre you will enjoy up to three excursions per day. Guides are assigned at a ratio of 1:6 guests. Your guide will plan an itinerary that takes your wants and needs into account to maximize your experience at this Amazon jungle lodge.
These are the included activities at TRC:
Macaw Clay Lick, Nature Trail Hike, Palm Platform, Floodplain Trail, Creek Trail, Palm Swamp Trail, Sunset Cruise, Jungle Night Walk.

Day 3 Puerto Maldonado

Wake up this morning and choose from the menu if excursions that Tampobata Centre has for you. Naturalist Guides will explain to you every excursion so you can choose one that suits you best.

Ox Bow Lake Visit:
Oxbow lakes are an important and distinct habitat found in the Amazon basin. Formed when a bend in an Amazonian river gets cut off from its main channel, their waters are much more calm and clear than the silty, turbulent river. Shallow and tranquil, oxbow lakes provide perfect habitat for marsh grasses and a host of interesting animals that prefer these backwater lagoons. Many of these animals are also easy to watch and thus make great photography subjects for folks on a family eco vacation.
If you choose this activity, you will paddle around the lake on a canoe or a catamaran, looking for lakeside wildlife such a Hoatzin, Caiman, and Horned screamers, hoping to see the Otters which are infrequently seen here. You will also be rewarded with overhead sightings of Macaws and Parrots.

Palm Swamp Trail: Many of the trails at TRC lead to hidden gems of the rainforest and one such treasure is an old growth Aguaje palm swamp. Believed to be the remnants of an ancient oxbow lake, this natural wetland deep in the rainforest has become habitat for thousands of palm trees. Reaching 30 meters or more in height, the Aguaje palms act as nesting sites for Blue and Gold Macaws and their smaller Red-bellied cousins. Monkeys and many of the animals that visit the swamp go there in search of one of the most nutritious and important fruits in the Amazon jungle, the fruit of the Aguaje palm.
Also known as the Moriche Palm, its fruit is eaten by Monkeys, Macaws, Guans, and Many other animals. This fruit is also a staple for people in many parts of the Amazon basin and acts as a source of vitamin C. Made into jam, ice cream, juice, and even fermented into palm wine, the Aguaje is one of the more widely used plant species in Amazonia. Nevertheless, wetland habitats for this important plant are threatened in many areas because they are commonly converted into rice paddies.
Access to the beautiful palm swamp on an Amazon jungle tour to TRC is made easy with a boardwalk. When you visit this important habitat, your guide will tell you about the importance of this tree while pointing out the animals that occur in the swamp.

Day 4 Puerto Maldonado

Very early this morning we board the motorboat and head back downstream to Puerto Maldonado. This is a 5 to 5.5 hour journey with stops for bathroom breaks; breakfast is served on board. You will be transferred to headquarters to pick up your luggage and then to the airport for your onwards flight.

Reviews

Enquire Now

Tailor-made tours

Tambopata Research Centre

Amazon, Peru

5 days

Summary

The Tambopata Research Center (TRC) is one of the most remote rainforest lodges in South America, offering adventurous travellers an outstanding chance to engage with the natural wonders of the Amazon. It takes 3 hours to Refugio and further 4.5 hours (2nd day) to reach Tambopata. You will have the chance to experience one of the most remote and wildest areas in the country. The lodge itself is situated in beautiful, untouched flood plain rainforests that host healthy populations of Amazonian Tapirs, Jaguars, and seven species of monkeys. Six species of macaws abound, are often seen right around the lodge, and can show up in large numbers at a nearby clay lick that attracts thousands of parrots and parakeets and has been featured in National Geographic.

Contours Travel suggests a minimum stay of four nights to explore this area.

Highlights

  • Tambopata Research Center is the most remote lodge in the Amazon. There are no humans nearby so sightings of monkeys, macaws and other large species become more frequent.
  • Visit to the two most important clay licks in the region: Colorado and Chuncho. Visit these special portions of river bank while macaws and parrots make a raucous and colourful spectacle which inspired a National Geographic cover story.
  • Walks and easy hikes to bamboo, flood plain, terra firma, palm and riverine rainforest habitats.
  • During your stopover at Refugio Amazonas you will be able to climb the 30-meter scaffolding tower so you can get spectacular views of the rainforest and the colourful toucans and parrots against a green backdrop.

ITINERARY

Day 1 Puerto Maldonado

Upon arrival to Puerto Maldonado, you will be greeted by and transferred to the operations office in Puerto Maldonado where you will store the luggage you don’t need. Luggage is hand-carried at various stages in the trip for long distance so please limit your weight to 15 kilos. You can pack separate bags and safely leave them at the offices in Puerto Maldonado. Your bag will be waiting for you at the airport the day you leave.
You will then take a 40-minute drive to the Infierno Community Port where you will board long, sturdy canoes equipped with outboard motors and head upstream to Refugio Amazonas. The three-hour boat ride is pleasant and often includes your first sightings of macaws, heron, caiman and capybara. Once the boat arrives at the lodge dock, you will have officially arrived to the wild rainforests of Tambopata! You can’t travel by boat in the dark, so you will spend your first night at Refugio Amazonas.
This afternoon you will have a tour.
Canopy Tower: A thirty-minute walk from Refugio Amazonas leads to the 25-meter scaffolding canopy tower. A banister 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 you will have spectacular views and you will be able to spot lots of mixed species canopy flocks as well as toucans, macaws and raptors are likely.

Day 2 Puerto Maldonado

Early this morning you will have a morning excursion with your guide before transferring to the Tambopata Research Centre (4.5hr boat ride)
Mamal 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. Other wildlife also shows up including deer, guan, and parakeets. Chances of spotting them are low but well worth the short hike because you will also have fun camera traps that will help San Diego Zoo scientists obtain data that will answer questions about the density and movement patterns of large mammals in Tambopata. During your stay at the Tambopata Research Centre you will enjoy up to three excursions per day. Guides are assigned at a ratio of 1:6 guests. Your guide will plan an itinerary that takes your wants and needs into account to maximize your experience at this Amazon jungle lodge.
These are the included activities at TRC:
Macaw Clay Lick, Nature Trail Hike, Palm Platform, Floodplain Trail, Creek Trail, Palm Swamp Trail, Sunset Cruise, Jungle Night Walk.

Day 3 Puerto Maldonado

Wake up this morning and choose from the menu if excursions that Tampobata Centre has for you. Naturalist Guides will explain to you every excursion so you can choose one that suits you best.

Ox Bow Lake Visit:
Oxbow lakes are an important and distinct habitat found in the Amazon basin. Formed when a bend in an Amazonian river gets cut off from its main channel, their waters are much more calm and clear than the silty, turbulent river. Shallow and tranquil, oxbow lakes provide perfect habitat for marsh grasses and a host of interesting animals that prefer these backwater lagoons. Many of these animals are also easy to watch and thus make great photography subjects for folks on a family eco vacation.
If you choose this activity, you will paddle around the lake on a canoe or a catamaran, looking for lakeside wildlife such a hoatzin, caiman, and horned screamers, hoping to see the otters which are infrequently seen here. You will also be rewarded with overhead sightings of macaws and parrots.

Palm Swamp Trail: Many of the trails at TRC lead to hidden gems of the rainforest and one such treasure is an old growth Aguaje palm swamp. Believed to be the remnants of an ancient oxbow lake, this natural wetland deep in the rainforest has become habitat for thousands of palm trees. Reaching 30 meters or more in height, the Aguaje palms act as nesting sites for Blue and Gold Macaws and their smaller Red-bellied cousins. Monkeys and many of the animals that visit the swamp go there in search of one of the most nutritious and important fruits in the Amazon jungle, the fruit of the Aguaje palm.
Also known as the Moriche Palm, its fruit is eaten by monkeys, macaws, guans, and many other animals. This fruit is also a staple for people in many parts of the Amazon basin and acts as a source of vitamin C. Made into jam, ice cream, juice, and even fermented into palm wine, the Aguaje is one of the more widely used plant species in Amazonia. Nevertheless, wetland habitats for this important plant are threatened in many areas because they are commonly converted into rice paddies.
Access to the beautiful palm swamp on an Amazon jungle tour to TRC is made easy with a boardwalk. When you visit this important habitat, your guide will tell you about the importance of this tree while pointing out the animals that occur in the swamp.

Day 4 Puerto Maldonado

Today you can go for a walk and enjoy a very educational excursion with your Naturalist Guide.
Ethnobotanical Walk
You will learn about the medicinal aspects of the Amazon plants as they are incorporated in the daily lives of local people as food, medicine, clothing and also used as building materials!
Prepare to be amazed because nowhere else on the planet can one find a forest with more than 600 species of birds, well over 100 species of mammals, and more than 100 species of reptiles and amphibians. The insect diversity is even more incredible with literally thousands of species of beetles, bugs, and other six-legged creatures. There are more than 1,000 species of butterflies in the rainforests of Tambopata and the number of shapes, colours, and types of katydids seems to be simply endless.

Kayaking
Rivers are the roads in the Amazon rainforest and southeaster Peru is no exception. The Tambopata region features several rivers, the most important being the Madre de Dios and the Tambopata River itself. Formed with water that drains from the towering Andean mountain range, the Rio Tambopata flows all year long with large volumes of water that rushes over gravel beds in some areas, a few rocky zones that make small rapids, and a deep, soft channel in the lower parts of the river. One of the activities that makes the closest connection with the river is kayaking. As with kayaking on the lakes and rivers of Canada and other northern destinations, all it takes to kayak is the kayak itself, a paddle, and a lifejacket. Sign up for this activity and you will be provided with all the equipment and a fantastic tropical locale to enjoy the Tambopata River by kayak. During the easy-going paddling downstream, you might see toucans, a caiman or two, river turtles, and other wildlife. The versatility of the small kayak can also make it easier to approach riverside vegetation that may hide exotic birds and other animals.
To do this activity, start with a boat that brings us upriver, and then you will paddle down a portion of the Tambopata where there are a few small rapids interspersed with calm waters. On the way, you will also see some small farms near the edge of the forest, and will see some local people working on those farms. Finish off the day with a stop on a sandy, riverside beach where you can take a dip in the refreshing water. No experience is required for this activity other than swimming knowledge.

Day 5 Puerto Maldonado

Very early this morning we board the motorboat and head back downstream to Puerto Maldonado. This is a 5 to 5.5 hour journey with stops for bathroom breaks; breakfast is served on board. You will be transferred to headquarters to pick up your luggage and then to the airport for your onwards flight.

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