Lake Lodge and Macaw Clay Lick 6 Days / 5 Nights
Day 1 - Puerto Maldonado to Heath River Wildlife Center
We meet at the Puerto Maldonado airport and drive through town to the
Tambopata River port. After boarding motorized canoes, we travel
downriver to the mighty Madre de Dios, which we follow for approximately
four hours to the Heath River. We then travel up this wild and intimate
river, which forms the wilderness border between Peru and Bolivia, and
arrive at the Heath River Wildlife Center. Note that the Lodge is
located on the Bolivian side of the Heath River so passports are
required to clear Bolivian passport control. (L, D).
Day 2 - Heath River Wildlife Center
We rise early in the morning to board a motorized canoe for the
10-minute journey up the Heath River to the macaw and parrot clay lick.
Brightly-colored parrots and macaws fly in by the hundreds to feed on
the clay that detoxifies certain seeds and nuts they eat. 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 allows for
proximity and complete concealment -- so you can even have breakfast and
coffee while the birds are performing their morning ritual.
When we return to the lodge, the guide leads us on an ethno-botanical
walk through the forest, pointing out flora used in the daily lives of
rainforest people. The guide explains how certain plants are used for
medicinal or healing purposes, which ones can be made into the best bows
and arrows, and how to select trees and leaves for home construction.
After lunch and a short rest, we hike through the rainforest to the
Pampas del Heath, the largest remaining undisturbed savanna in the
Amazon. The contrast is striking as we emerge from the mature rainforest
onto the grassland plain of the Pampas. (B, L, D.])
Day 3 - Heath River to Sandoval Lake
We breakfast in the floating blind at the macaw and parrot clay lick for
a last round of looks and photos. Then we return to the lodge to explore
Afternoon dedicated to explore the trails. After dinner visit the Mammal
lick where we will have good chances to see Tapirs. (B, L, D)
Day 4- Sandoval Lake at Tambopata National Reserve
Early in the morning breakfast time to pack pack, and then back on the
Madre de Dios River, for the trip to Sandoval Lake Lodge, located on the
banks of one of the most beautiful lakes in Amazonian Peru.
During the river trip back downstream, families of Capybaras are often
spotted on the banks of the river. Weighing up to 120 pounds (55
kilograms), this giant, three-toed relative of the guinea pig is the
largest rodent in the world.
On the journey to Sandoval Lake Lodge we will also visit the Ese'Eja
native community of Sonene, where there will be an opportunity to
interact with the community and purchase local handicrafts.
We embark at the trail head to Sandoval Lake Lodge and walk for 45
minutes on a wide, flat trail through the forest, stopping to look at
birds, butterflies, and towering trees. At the end of the trail, we
board dugout canoes or catamarans, and are paddled across the lake in
the golden afternoon light. We drift through flooded palm forest and
listen to the babbling of Red-bellied Macaws overhead as they roost in
treetops for the night. We arrive at the lodge around nightfall, and
walk up the torch-lit path to dinner in the dining hall. (B, L, D)
Day 5 - Sandoval Lake at Tambopata National Reserve
After an early breakfast, explore the western end of the lake in the
catamaran or canoe. We might see Giant Otters that live on the lake, or
encounter a Black Caiman lazily crossing the water, or see the huge
splash of the Paichi, a 10-foot-long Amazonian fish, as it rises to the
surface of the water to gulp down bubbles of air.
Later that morning, your naturalist guide will lead 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 we once again
board the catamaran or canoe and set off to explore the eastern end of
the lake. Capuchin, Squirrel and Titi monkeys often forage along the
lake's edge, and energetic guests can take another hike through forest
on the other side of the lake.
After dinner, we go out on the lake to search again for the Black Caiman
since they are most abundant on the lake at night as they forage.
Floating in the middle of the lake, the brilliant stars light up the sky
as the night sounds of the rainforest surround you. (B, L, D).
Day 6 - Sandoval Lake to Cusco or Lima
After a dawn breakfast, we paddle across the lake, perhaps encountering
a family of macaws leaving their roost to forage or a troupe of monkeys
greeting the day. We hike back out to the river and return to Puerto
Maldonado for the flight back to Cusco or Lima. (B).