Day 01: Arrival to Amazon
Arrival & Guide Briefing
Our guides are tourism professionals, or community members. Unless noted otherwise, our guides speak English. We assign guides at 10:1 ratio in Refugio Amazonas. 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.
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 we will ask you to pack only the most necessary gear for the next few days, and leave the rest in our deposit safe. This helps us keep the boats and cargo light.
Puerto Maldonado Headquarters to Tambopata River Port
Along the Puerto Maldonado, we will drive 20 kilometers to the Tambopata River Port, entering the native community of Infierno. The port is a communal business. Here we will eat a packed lunch.
Travel by 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 with a 1.3-million-hectare conservation unit.
Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips. We will eat dinner.
You will have the option of hiking at night, when most of the mammals are active but difficult to see. This is a fabulous time to find frogs by using their strange shapes and sounds.
Day 02: Amazon tour
Start the day with breakfast.
Oxbow Lake Visit
We will paddle around the lake in a canoe or a catamaran, looking for lakeside wildlife such as hoatzin, caiman and horned screamers. We hope to see the otters, although normally infrequently seen here. You may also have the opportunity to see macaws overhead.
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, we will see mixed species around the canopy passing in flocks; toucans, macaws and raptors are likely seen.
We will eat lunch.
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 as well as unknown Amazonian crops – just about every plant and tree you see serves a purpose.
On this tour, along the trail, we will find a variety of plants and trees that are used by the local population for a myriad 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.
We will eat a delicious dinner.
Tambopata National Reserve Lecture
Nightly lectures are prepared by the staff of Refugio Amazonas. These talks cover conservation threats, opportunities and projects in the Tambopata National Reserve.
Day 03: Amazon tour
Begin the day with breakfast before the day’s activities.
Parrot Clay Lick
A fifteen minute boat ride, and sixty minute walk from Refugio Amazonas, there is a clay lick used by both parrots and parakeets. We will be able to see parrots and parakeets descend into most clear of days to take in the clay on a bank. With any luck, we will also see some, or all of the following species in the early morning: Mealy and yellow-crowned amazons (parrots), blue-headed pionus, severe macaw and orange-cheeked (Barraband’s) parrots. We will visit the lick at dawn, when parrots are most active or in mid-morning or early afternoon, when they are active. We will enjoy lunch after this.
Brazil Nut Trail and Camp
A few minutes hike from the lodge is a beautiful, old brazilian nut forest that has been harvested for decades (if not centuries). Here, the precarious remains of a camp that is used two months in a year by brazilian nut gatherers can be visited. We will see the whole production process of the rain forest’s only sustainable harvested product; from collection through drying to transportation.
Mammal Clay Lick
Twenty minutes walking from Refugio Amazonas is a peccary clay lick. There are wild rain forest pigs that show up here in herds of five to twenty to eat clay in the late morning. Chances of spotting them are around 15%, but it is well worth the short hike. Other wildlife also shows up including deer, guan and parakeets. We will then enjoy dinner.
Refugio Amazonas – Overnight
Day 04: Amazon – Next destination
We will begin the day with breakfast. We will then travel to airport:
- Boat transportation – Refugio Amazonas to Tambopata River Port
- Tambopata River Port to Puerto Maldonado headquarters
- Puerto Maldonado headquarters to airport
We will retrace our river and road journey back to Puerto Maldonado, where our office is located and then to the airport. Depending on airline schedules, this may require dawn departures.
- Programs based on double occupancy
- Includes all meals
- All services as mentioned
- All river transportation
- Transfer from and to the airport of Puerto Maldonado
- English speaking guides
- 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
- Insurance of any kind
- Laundry services
- Phone calls or messages
- Reconfirmation of flights and items of personal nature
The boats are 20-foot long, roofed canoes. Outboard boat engines go 60 mph, equipped with 4 cycles, and are eco-friendly, low emission motors.
- Transfer-in (from Puerto Maldonado to lodge): we have two departures daily at 13:00 and 14:00
- Transfer-out (from lodge to Puerto Maldonado): Two daily departures at 07:00 and 08:00
For other schedule possibilities, please consult with our team.
Note: we reserve the right to change the order of activities.