Day 1 Puerto Maldonado
Upon arrival to Puerto Maldonado, you will be greeted by one or more of our guides and then taken to a waiting vehicle. You will take a short ride to the operations office in Puerto Maldonado to store your main luggage. Luggage is hand-carried at various stages in the trip for long distances, so please limit your weight to 15 kilos. You can pack separate bags and safely leave them at their offices in Puerto Maldonado on the first day so they can carry them around. Your bag will be waiting for you at the airport the day you leave. After taking care of luggage, take a 40-minute drive to the Infierno Community Port, board a long sturdy canoe equipped with outboard motors, and head upstream to Refugio Amazonas. The three-hour boat ride is pleasant and often includes our first sightings of macaws, herons, caimans, and capybaras. Once the boat arrives at the lodge dock, you will have officially come to the wild rainforest of Tambopata!
At Refugio Amazonas, your stay is complemented by up to three daily excursions, ensuring plenty of opportunities to explore the wonders of the Amazon jungle. With a guide-to-guest ratio of 1:10, the experienced guides will tailor an itinerary that takes into account your preferences and interests, allowing you to make the most out of your time at this remarkable lodge in the heart of the Amazon.
These are the available activities at Refugio Amazonas:
Macaw Clay Lick, Parakeet Clay Lick, Ox-Bow Lake Visit, Canopy Tower, Discover New Species, Mammal Clay Lick & Camera Trapping, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Canopy Climbing, Kayaking, Nature Trail Hike, Ethnobotanical Walk, Jungle Farm Visit, Children Rainforest Trail, Jungle Night Walk.
Please note there are optional activities that require pre-booking and incur an additional cost: Mountain Biking, Sunset Cruise, Kayaking, Canopy Climbing, Stand Up Paddleboard, and Rainforest Tattoo.
Day 2 Puerto Maldonado
Canopy Tower: A thirty-minute walk from Refugio Amazonas leads to the 25 meter scaffolding canopy tower. A staircase running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms above. The tower has been built upon high ground, increasing your horizon of the continuous primary forest extending towards the Tambopata National Reserve. From here, views of mixed species canopy flocks and toucans, macaws, and raptors are likely.
Brazil Nut Trail: Just a short hike from the lodge-this enchanting path leads you through a pristine old-growth patch of Brazil Nut forest that has been sustainably harvested for decades, if not centuries. Along the way, you’ll encounter the remnants of a seasonal camp once used by Brazil Nut gatherers. Our knowledgeable guides will walk you through the entire process of collecting this valuable rainforest product, offering a fascinating glimpse into the only sustainably harvested item from the rainforest.
Ethnobotanical Walk: Along this trail, we will find a variety of plants and trees used by the local population for at least the same purposes. You will learn about the medicinal (and other) uses of Ajo-Sacha, Yuca de Venado, Uña de Gato, Charcot-Sacha, Para-Para, among others.
You will have the option of hiking out at night when most mammals are active but rarely seen.
Day 3 Puerto Maldonado
Mammal 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. The chances of spotting them are low but well worth the short hike because we also will 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. This project is part of the Wired Amazon. The Wired Amazon is a collection of science projects that combine technology and citizen science to help scientists answer important questions about Amazonian ecology.
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 various popular and unknown Amazon crops – just about every plant and tree you see serves a purpose. He has also identified and cultivated many medicinal plants in the region in a little backyard garden.
Ox Bow Lake Visit: Paddle around the lake on a canoe or a catamaran, looking for lakeside wildlife such as 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.
Day 4 Puerto Maldonado
Retrace your river and road journey back to Puerto Maldonado. From Puerto Maldonado you will be transferred to the airport.