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6-day / 5-night Kayaking & Camping Deep Rainforest Experience

The adventure experience of a lifetime! This program combines a full night camping on a sandy beach near the ten-metre high Chuncho macaw clay lick with sea-kayaking, canopy climbing and mountain biking at the Tambopata Research Center and Refugio Amazonas Lodge. Two huge macaw & parrot clay licks, two fantastic lodges, amazing biodiversity, an incredible variety of adventure activities - experience raw nature at its best.

Day 1 - Click to View

Arrival & Reception by Guide. Our guides are biologists, tourism professionals, or community members. Unless noted otherwise, our guides speak English. We assign guides at a 6:1 ratio at the Tambopata Research Center. This means groups smaller than 6 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.

Transfer from the Airport to our Puerto Maldonado Headquarters. Upon arrival from Lima or Cusco, we will welcome you at the airport and drive you the ten minutes to our Puerto Maldonado headquarters. While enjoying your first taste of the forest in our gardens we will ask you to pack only the necessary gear for your next few days, and leave the rest at our safe deposit. This helps us keep the boats and cargo light.

Transfer from Puerto Maldonado Headquarters to the Tambopata River Port. Skirting Puerto Maldonado, we drive 20 kilometres to the Tambopata River Port, entering the Native Community of Infierno. The port is a local community venture.

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, the Tambopata National Reserve checkpoint and into the buffer zone of this 1.3 million hectare conservation unit.

Refugio Amazonas is a charming 32 bedroom lodge well placed adjacent to the Tambopata National Reserve. Each room has a private bathroom with a hot water shower. A limited number of special superior rooms are available, please enquire for details on this upgrade.

Boxed Lunch

Orientation. Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips.

Dinner

Caiman Search: We will be out at the river’s edge at night, scanning the shores with headlamps and flashlights to catch the red gleams of reflection from caiman eyes.

Overnight at Refugio Amazonas

Please read these important guidelines

Day 2 - Click to View

Breakfast

Canopy Tower:A thirty minute walk from Refugio Amazonas leads to the 25-metre high scaffolding canopy tower. A staircase with banisters running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms above. The tower has been built upon high ground, thereby maximising your view of the continuous primary forest extending out towards the Tambopata National Reserve. From here views of mixed species canopy flocks as well as toucans, macaws and raptors are likely.

Refugio Amazonas to Tambopata Research Center: Four and half hours by boat from Refugio Amazonas, in the pristine heart of the reserve, lies the Tambopata Research Center. One and half hours into our boat journey, as we cross the confluence with the Malinowski River, we will leave the final traces of human habitation behind. Within the 700,000 hectare uninhabited nucleus of the reserve, sightings of capybara, caiman, geese, macaws and other large species will become more frequent.

Chuncho Clay Lick. Three hours from Refugio Amazonas, deep in the Tambopata National Reserve we will stop at the Chuncho clay lick. After a brief walk (about 5 minutes) we will have the chance to see dozens of large macaws feeding on the special sodium rich clays of the riverbank. The Chuncho clay lick probably attracts more large macaws than any other clay lick in the world and the sight of dozens of macaws taking flight is truly unforgettable. The details of our stopover will depend on the weather and the amount of macaw activity, as the birds don’t visit the clay lick when it is raining, while the number of birds at the lick varies depending on the season.

The Tambopata Research Center is a comfortable 18-bedroom lodge situated a short distance from the world’s largest macaw clay lick (locally called a colpa) on the uninhabited frontier of the Tambopata National Reserve and the Bahuaja-Sonene National Park. Bathroom facilities here are shared, but are close to the rooms, very well maintained and sufficient to virtually guarantee availability at all times.

Lunch

Orientation. Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips.

Overlook Trail: A three to five-kilometre hike will lead us to overlooks commanding magnificent views of the Tambopata River winding its way into the lowlands. The forest on this trail, regenerating on old bamboo forest, is good for howler monkey and dusky titi monkey.

Dinner

Macaw Project Lectures: After dinner, scientists will provide an in depth look at the biology of macaws, their feeding habits, the theories for their clay lick use, their breeding and feeding ecology, population fluctuations and the threats to their conservation.

Overnight at Refugio Amazonas

Please read these important guidelines

Day 3 - Click to View

Macaw Clay Lick: On most clear mornings of the year dozens of large macaws and hundreds of parrots congregate on this large river bank in a raucous and colourful spectacle which inspired a National Geographic cover story. Discretely located fifty meters from the cliff, we will observe Green-winged, Scarlet and Blue-and-gold Macaws and several species of smaller parrots descend to ingest clay. Outings are at dawn when the lick is most active.

Breakfast

Floodplain Trail: This five-kilometre trail covers the prototypical rain forest with immense trees criss-crossed by creeks and ponds. Amongst the figs, ceibas and shihuahuacos we will look for squirrel, brown capuchin, and spider monkeys as well as peccaries. The Tamboapta Research Center itself is located within this habitat.

Lunch

Canopy Climbing: Replicating the daily work of macaw researchers, we will climb a 30- metre high tree with a rope, harness and jumar. From this vantage point we will have a macaw’s-eye view of the forest. This demanding exercise is perfectly safe and requires no previous experience.

Dinner

Night Walk: You will have the option of hiking out at night, when most of the mammals are active but rarely seen. Much easier to find are frogs with shapes and sounds as bizarre as their natural histories.

Overnight at Refugio Amazonas

Please read these important guidelines

Day 4 - Click to View

Breakfast

Canopy Tower: A thirty-minute hike from TRC in the Terra Firme forest leads a 17-metre high scaffolding canopy tower.  From the top you will obtain spectacular views of the vast expanses of standing forest.  Toucans, parrots and macaws may be seen flying across this green horizon.  Flocks of mixed species of birds may also be seen flying and landing in the treetops next to you.

Lunch

Sea-kayaking to the Chuncho Clay Lick Camp: No previous experience is required. After a few practice strokes with our kayaking guide, you will be ready to navigate the Tambopata at a natural pace for a few hours downstream to the Chuncho Camp. Wildlife sightings increase in quality – the silent kayaks do not intimidate.

Camping on the Chuncho River: A full night on a sandy beach, under the stars (on clear nights). We provide a two person tent with mattresses and blankets.

Dinner: served inside a large tent.

Please read these important guidelines

Day 5 - Click to View

Transfer by Private Boat - TRC to Refugio Amazonas: A three and a half hour boat ride brings us to Refugio Amazonas.

Lunch

Jungle Mountain Biking: Enjoy the forest from a different perspective, and get on a mountain bike. Our ride begins 10 minutes from the lodge, and then loops 10 kilometres through mature forest and numerous creek beds. The muddier it is, the more fun we will have!

Dinner

Overnight at Refugio Amazonas

Please read these important guidelines

Day 6 - Click to View

Breakfast

Transfer by Boat - Refugio Amazonas to Tambopata River Port.

Transfer from the Tambopata River Port to Puerto Maldonado Headquarters.

Transfer Puerto Maldonado Headquarters to Airport. We retrace our river and road journey back to Puerto Maldonado, our office and the airport. Depending on airline schedules, this may require dawn departures.

* IMPORTANT: Transfer times. Due to our set program start and end times, we will send you suggested flights for your rainforest experience. Other flights incur extra fees for private boat transfers which would need to be added at your cost.

Transfer-in (From Puerto Maldonado to Lodge): we have two departures daily at 13:00 and 14:30 and your flights need to link up with these.

Transfer-out (Lodge to Puerto Maldonado): Two daily departures at 07:00 and 08:00

Private transport by bus and boat can be arranged at extra cost for families or groups.

Please read these important guidelines

Costs & Details - Click to View

Cost per person sharing double or triple room: US$1797 + US$75 park entry fee

Single (if you do not wish to share accommodation): US$2081 + US$75 park entry fee

In private if only one participant: US$2489 + US$13 park entry fee

Included: All meals, accommodation, and services as detailed above, all river transportation, as well as transfers from and to the airport in Puerto Maldonado.

Not Included: 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, snacks, insurance of any kind, laundry, phone calls or messages, reconfirmation of flights and items of personal nature.

We reserve the right to change the order of activities or trails due to weather or other local conditions.

Please read these important guidelines

Extra Activities - Click to View

A number of add-on activities are available at the different lodges, please contact us for more details, to confirm availability and to pre-book:

At Tambopata Research Center

Stand-up Paddle Boarding on the Tambopata River, cost US$145  per person.
We will paddle up an easy portion of the Tambopata River. At the shores we will observe the rainforest and will be accompanied by the sounds of nature. Some of the wildlife we may observe includes birds, caimans and turtles. To finish our experience, we´ll stop on a sandy beach and have a well-deserved swim. No previous experience is required, only swimming knowledge.

Rainforest Tatoo, cost US$30 per person.
At the lodge, we will prepare a paste from the fruit of huito and achiote to draw dark blue and red tattoos on ourselves. They last several days.

Sunset Cruise, cost US$85 per person in a shared boat.
An incomparable sunset experience amid tropical rainforest of Tambopata. Take out one of our canoes and float down the Tambopata River while enjoying wine and and hors d’oeuvres.
Note: Only available at the Tambopata Research Center

Includes:

  • 2 hour boat ride
  • 1/2 bottle of wine per person + snack (soda is available for people who don't drink wine
At Refugio Amazonas

Stand-up Paddle Boarding on the Tambopata River, cost US$75 per person.
We will paddle up an easy portion of the Tambopata River. At the shores we will observe fragmented parts of the forest and be accompanied by. the sounds of nature. Some of the wildlife we may observe includes birds, caimans and turtles. To finish our experience, we´ll stop on a sandy beach and have a well-deserved swim. No previous experience is required, only swimming knowledge.

Rainforest Tatoo, cost US$30 per person.
At the lodge, we will prepare a paste from the fruit of huito and achiote to draw dark blue and red tattoos on ourselves. They last several days.

Spa Treatments.
A variety of holistic treatments ranging from aromatherapy to mud baths, massages, herbal baths and meditation. Available at the Wellness Center.

Please read these important guidelines

Please read these documents for more details about the lodge:
Refugio Amazonas Factsheet (PDF doc)
Refugio Amazonas Conservation Impact (PDF doc)

Please see traveller reviews on Trip Advisor here:

Refugio Amazonas:
Trip Advisor

Amazon Refuge - Photo Gallery