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The 4-day / 3-night Deep Rainforest Experience

Due to our new boat schedules you can now visit one of the most remote lodges in South America on a sohrter 4-day/3-night rainforest experience. If you are looking for a more in depth Amazon experience, then the Tambopata Research Center is for you.

Day 1 - Click to View

Arrival & Reception by your Guide. Our guides are biologists, tourism professionals, or community members. Unless noted otherwise, our guides speak English. We assign guides at a 10:1 ratio. 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.

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 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.

Puerto Maldonado to 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 and the Tambopata National Reserve´s checkpoint, continuing into the buffer zone of this 1.3 million hectare reserve.

Refugio Amazonas is a charming 32 bedroom lodge well placed immediately adjacent to the Tambopata National Reserve. Each room has a private bathroom with hot shower. Prices given are for our Superior rooms with room upgrades available at extra cost.

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 on 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 banister 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 a 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 small, comfortable 24-room lodge situated near a large macaw clay lick (locally called a colpa) on the uninhabited frontier of the Tambopata National Reserve and the Bahuaja-Sonene National Park. It has recently undergone a complete renovation & rebuild. All rooms offer private bathrooms with hot water showers. Prices given are for our Superior rooms with a number of more luxurious room upgrades available including Deluxe Suites.

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 Rover 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 viewing.
Dinner

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

Overnight at Tambopata Research Center.

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 metres 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 squirrels, brown capuchin, and spider monkeys as well as peccaries. The lodge itself is located within this habitat.

Lunch

Pond Platform:
Ten minutes upriver from the lodge is a small pond with a platform in the middle. It is a great place to spot waterfowl such as muscovy ducks, sun bitterns and hoatzin along with the woodpeckers, oropendolas, flycatchers and parakeets that call this pond their home. Spectacled caiman and predatory fish may also be seen.

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 Tambopata Research Center.

Please read these important guidelines

Day 4 - Click to View

Breakfast

Transfer by boat from the Tambopata Research Center to the Tambopata River Port.

Transfer from the Tambopata River Port to our Puerto Maldonado Headquarters.

Transfer from our Puerto Maldonado Headquarters to the 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): Early transfer out at about 5:00 AM in order to be on time for your flight out that should depart after 13:00 hrs please be sure not to purchase an early flight out of Puerto Maldonado to Cusco or Lima.

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, twin or triple room: US$885 + US$75 park entry fee

Single (if you do not wish to share accommodation): US$1125 + US$75 park entry fee

Extra nights available, please enquire.

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 a personal nature. 

Boat Transportation: Our boats are 20-foot long, roofed canoes. Outboard boat engines are 75hp 4 stroke, eco-friendly, low emission motors.

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

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

Canopy Climbing up a 30m-high tree, cost: US$75 per person. 
Replicating the daily work of macaw researchers, we will climb a 30-meter 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.

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.

At Refugio Amazonas

Kayaking on the Tambopata River, cost US$75 per person.
A boat will take us upriver and then we will paddle down a portion of the Tambopata River with some rapids, although most of the progress presents low difficulty. At the shores we will observe fragmented parts of the forest and come across local people who work at the few farms in the region. 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.

Canopy Climbing up a 30m-high tree, cost US$75 per person.
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.

Jungle Mountain Biking, cost US$75 per person.
Our ride begins 10 minutes from the lodge, and then loops 10 kilometres through mature forest and numerous creek beds.

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