Sandoval Lake Lodge and Macaw Clay Lick 6D/5N

  • Tour Description

    Tambopata, Peru.

    Day 1 - Puerto Maldonado to Heath River Wildlife Center
    You will be met at the Puerto Maldonado airport and transported through town to the Tambopata River port. You will board a motorized canoe and travel down river to the mighty Madre de Dios River, which you follow for approximately four hours to the Heath River. You then travel up this wild and intimate river, eventually arriving at the Wildlife Center.

    Please note that the Heath River forms the wilderness border between Peru and Bolivia. The lodge is located on the Bolivian side of the river, so passports are required to clear Bolivian passport control.

    Day 2 - Heath River Wildlife Center
    You will rise early in the morning and board a motorized canoe for a 10-minute journey up the Heath River to the macaw and parrot clay lick. Here brightly-colored parrots and macaws fly in by the hundreds to feed on the clay that detoxifies certain seeds and nuts they eat. You will marvel at the cacophony of sound and color as red-and-green macaws vie for the best clay-eating position. A specially designed floating blind completely conceals you—so you can even eat breakfast while watching the birds perform their morning rituals!

    You return to the lodge from where your guide leads you on an ethno-botanical walk through the forest. He/she will point out flora used in the daily lives of indigenous rainforest dwellers. Your guide will explain how certain plants are used for medicinal purposes, which ones can be crafted into the best bows and arrows and how to select trees and leaves for home construction.

    Day 3 - Heath River Wildlife Center
    This morning you will take the motorized canoe back to the floating blind, where you will eat breakfast and have one last opportunity to observe and photograph nature’s activities at the macaw and parrot clay lick. Then you will return to the lodge from where you will head out to explore more trails.
    In the afternoon you will continue to explore the trails around the lodge. After dinner you will visit the mammal lick, where there is a good chance you will see tapirs.

    Day 4 - Heath River Wildlife Center
    Early this morning your will pack, eat breakfast and embark on your next jaunt. Your journey will take you via the Madre de Dios River to the Sandoval Lake Lodge, located on the banks of one of the most beautiful lakes in Amazonian Peru.

    During this river trip, you will likely spot Capybaras on the riverbanks. Weighing up to 120 pounds (55 kg), this giant, three-toed relative of the guinea pig is the largest rodent in the world! On the way, you will also visit the Ese’Eja native community of Sonene, where you can interact with the community and purchase local handicrafts

    At the head of the trail leading to the Sandoval Lake Lodge, you will begin a 45 minute walk along a wide, flat pathway through the forest. You will be delighted to observe birds, butterflies and the towering trees along the way. At the end of the trail you will board a dugout canoe or catamaran, in which you are paddled across the lake under the golden afternoon sunlight. Drifting through the flooded palm forest, you will listen to the babbling of red-bellied macaws overhead as they roost in the treetops for the night. You arrive at the lodge around nightfall, where you will walk up the torch-lit path leading to dinner in the dining hall.

    Day 5 - Sandoval Lake at Tambopata National Reserve
    After an early breakfast, you will explore the western end of the lake in a catamaran or canoe. During this excursion you might see the giant otters that live on the lake or encounter a black caiman lazily crossing the water. You might also see the huge splash of the Paichi, a 10-foot long Amazonian fish, as it rises to the surface of the water for a gulp of air.

    Later in the morning, your naturalist guide will lead you on a hike through the forest, pointing out plants with medicinal uses, interesting insects and colorful birds and butterflies.

    Following lunch and a short siesta, in the late afternoon you will once again board a catamaran or canoe and set out to explore the eastern end of the lake where capuchin, squirrel and titi monkeys often forage along the lake’s edge. If you are still energetic, you might take another hike through the forest on the other side of the lake.

    After dinner, you will go back out onto the lake to search again for the black caiman. Black caiman are abundant in the lake at night as they forage for food, so you will now have a better opportunity to site them. While floating on the lake, you will marvel at the brilliant starlit sky and the nocturnal sounds of the rainforest that surround you.

    Day 6 - Sandoval Lake to Cusco or Lim
    After breakfast at dawn, you embark on your return journey to Puerto Maldonado. While you are paddled across the lake, you will perhaps encounter macaws leaving their roost to forage or a troupe of monkeys greeting the day. You will hike back out to the river and return by motorized canoe to Puerto Maldonado. From the port, you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight to Cusco or Lima.

    Prices are per person, based on double occupancy. All accommodations have private bath.

    Tour begins and ends at Puerto Maldonado airport. Tour price includes all lodging, meals and transportation from the time of pick up to drop off at Puerto Maldonado airport. Gratuities are not included and are appreciated by your guides.