Tambopata Travel

Amazonian Lakes & Macaw Clay Lick

A great rainforest experience offering a variety of habitats & good wildlife viewing. Great as an economical stand-alone experience or combined with another of our experiences.

Itineraries are customised depending on your requirements, from 2-day Lake Sandoval visits to longer 5-day combined Chuncho Clay Lick & Lake Sandoval visits. You can also combine Lake Sandoval with our Amazon Refuges or Deep Rainforest Experiences for a wider range of habitats & an excellent chance of seeing giant river otters & hoatzins. Many of our clients decide on, for example a combination 4 or 5-day Deep Rainforest Experience with a 2-day Lake Sandoval visit.

Lake Sandoval, inside the Tambopata National Reserve is a beautiful and rich Amazonian oxbow lake. On & around the lake you can view monkeys, black caiman, many species of birds such as the spectacular macaws as well as smaller wildlife. The lake is an excellent place to view the resident family of giant river otters & currently represents probably the best place to see these interesting animals. Here you enjoy scenic, relaxed excursions out on the water.

Sachavacayoc, Condenado & Tres Chimbadas oxbow lakes are both scenic & rich in wildlife, each with its own character & can be combined in our unique 5-day experience along with Lake Sandoval.

The Chuncho Clay Lick is currently the largest & most active macaw & parrot clay lick known. The flocks of large macaws & parrots which gather here are one of the Amazon’s great wildlife spectacles. We visit the Chuncho Clay Lick as an early morning outing from our new lodge downriver arriving before the best time of day for macaw & parrot activity. Our journey upriver is an experience in itself & can offer wonderful wildlife viewing. It is here that we may be lucky enough to see the truly wild jaguar & tapir.

We offer 3-day, 4-day, 5-day options. From 4 days & longer you visit oxbow lakes & the Chuncho macaw clay lick. Contact us so that we can organise the itinerary that meets your time & budget constraints while still resulting in an excellent overall Amazonian rainforest experience.

5-day/4-night Amazonian Lakes & Macaw Clay Lick Experience:

Our new lodge at Sachavacayoc has one of the best locations on the Tambopata River, bordering the Tambopata National Reserve. It has easy to access to two oxbow lakes (oxbow lakes are the best areas to see wildlife in the Amazon): Lake Condenado is close to the lodge and Lake Sachavacayoc is deep in the jungle, with night walks looking for tapir and other interesting and spooky creatures! We can see macaws roosting and nesting, and hear howler monkeys howling in the evening, and spot caimans at night on the river and the lake.

At Lake Sachavacayoc you get to see wildlife like no other place along the Tambopata River: monkeys, black caimans, possibilities for jaguars along the river, & different species of birds like the toucans. Romantic and relaxing excursions are enjoyed around the lake. The most spectacular clay-lick in the world, Chuncho, is included. A great combination to enjoy the jungle with active excursions, this itinerary combines all of this with the must-do lake of southern Peruvian jungle, Lake Sandoval. At Lake Sandoval you have an excellent chance of seeing giant river otters and black caiman in a picturesque setting with lovely sunsets. We offer this excellent combination itinerary with the highest operational support, safe, registered boats, top guides & above average accommodation.

Please read these important guidelines

Arrival and reception by our guide or transfer at the airport or bus station. Our guides are highly experienced professionals with deep knowledge of the area and rainforest, we provide 1 guide for a group of max 8 people. Transfer from the airport to our main office in town. Upon arrival in Pto. Maldonado City, our transfer or guide will welcome you and drive you for a few minutes to our office in town. At our office we recommend you pack only the necessary things you need for your next few days, the main luggage can stay at our safe deposit. Transportation its easier that way, and it keeps our boats and porter cargo light, we provide duffel bags at the office if necessary. Transfer from our office to Tambopata River Port. We navigate up the Tambopata River for about 2 hours to Sachavacayoc. On the way, we have the possibility of watching birds, caimans, capybaras, and monkeys. Boxed lunch in the boat. We can customize your boxed lunch with a vegetarian option & we also provide cold bottled drinks in the boat. In the full company and orientation of our guide, we get to our new lodge at Sachavacayoc. Accommodation and a little rest. After a rest, we will go for a jungle walk as an introduction to nature and get familiarized with the forest interior & wait until it gets dark to do a night walk looking for the elusive nocturnal creatures and critters, like the impressive ground bird eating Tarantula (as big as your hand) Please read these important guidelines

Today we visit the spectacular Chuncho clay lick, the largest in the world, with the three major species of macaws getting together at the same time, and many varieties of parrots, hundreds of parrots come together to eat clay – a special and unique behaviour that is only found in this part of the planet.

Early departure at 4 am, then 2 hours on our boat upstream of the Tambopata River – in order to enjoy the best of the parrot show is important to arrive early before the birds!

We will take breakfast in the boat.

Along the journey to the clay-lick we have excellent possibilities of seeing capybaras, caiman and maybe if lucky a jaguar or tapirs (the two largest rarest terrestrial mammals of the Amazon).

We stay in the clay lick area as long as possible if conditions are right until we get to see the macaws & parrots.

Return to the lodge for lunch.

After a short rest, we get ready for Sachavacayoc Lake.

We will visit the spectacular Lake Sachavacayoc, which is in the heart of the Tambopata National Reserve, two hours away from the lodge (walking slowly watching things), Sachavacayoc has very good wildlife such as monkeys, caimans, options of tapirs, hoatzin, and lots of blue and yellow macaws roosting and nesting all over – no other lake you see so many blue and yellow macaws roosting and nesting.

On arrival we take a paddle-canoe and leisurely enjoy the deepest and wildest jungle, watching monkeys and macaws being loud.

On the way back, we return to the lodge doing a night walk looking for tapirs or just enjoying the spooky- romantic- intense, silent and loud jungle.

Dinner at the lodge.

Overnight Sachavacayoc lodge.

Please read these important guidelines

After breakfast at our comfortable lodge we take our boat back downriver to Lake Sandoval, we navigate the Tambopata river. (we pass by the city of Pto. Maldonado to the entrance trail to Sandoval Lake on the Madre de Dios River). The trail takes us on a 1.6 mile (2.5 km) walk through a successional forest, former giant natural bamboo forest, habitat for monkeys, sloths and macaws, until we reach a small canal where we board our paddle-canoes. We paddle for 100 meters through a palm-forest swamp with an abundance of “aguajes” (Mauritia palms). These palms provide the most popular fruit of the Peruvian rainforest, the aguaje, highly consumed by locals as drinks and ice-creams.

Once onto the glass-like surface of the lake, we continue leisurely around the lake to the lodge.

A briefing of the lodge at the reception area, and your accommodation.

Accommodation and a short rest in your room or on the hammocks.

Before dinner depending on arrival time, we set off to explore part of the lake, looking for monkeys or black caiman (black caimans are the biggest of the caiman and alligator family, the biggest one seen at the lake was 6 metres/20ft long). In the flooded palm forest we can see flocks of red-bellied macaws as they return to roost. One the few species of macaws that live in flocks and Mauritia palm swamps such the one at Lake Sandoval.

We also have the option of a night walk into the forest behind the lodge.

Dinner at the lodge.

Overnight lodge at Lake Sandoval.

Please read these important guidelines

An early wake-up call and meeting at the lodge’s dining room to visit the lake for sunrise and a hopeful encounter with the friendly family of giant river otters who are highly active at this time on the lake. Giant river otters each eat an average of 8 pounds (4kg) of fish a day. Lake Sandoval offers an abundance of wildlife including: 6 species of monkeys, black caiman, over 40 species of birds resident to the lake shore, all 5 species of the kingfishers of Peru, and probably the largest flock of hoatzins. The animals here are relatively easy to photograph from the boats. Return to the lodge for breakfast. By mid-morning we set off into the jungle to see giant trees like the kapok and Brazil nut trees the two biggest trees of the Amazon. Our guide will show you and demonstrate how we collect, open and commercialise this extremely important product to our local economy. We return to the lodge by midday. Lunch. A short rest in the bungalows or hammocks. In the late afternoon we take our paddle-canoe and explore a different area of the lake in search of the different troops of monkeys, highly active at this time of the day, brown capuchin monkeys and squirrel monkeys live in the forest near the lake. Before dinner we will again enjoy a nice night walk looking for the spooky tarantulas and snakes. Dinner. Overnight lodge at Lake Sandoval. Please read these important guidelines
Wake up at 4:30am to cross the lake by row-boat and take a trail to a place where parrots & macaws congregate to feed in the old palm trees. On our return we row around the lake to observe wildlife before returning to the lodge for breakfast. Note: this is an optional excursion as by now we have seen many macaws at Chuncho & Lake Sachavacayoc – we can opt to change this activity for a longer lake visit to look for the giant river otters, caiman & sloths instead. 8:00am Breakfast at Casa Sandoval. Transfer back to the office and the airport. Hot water showers available at the office before going back to the airport. Note: In order to maximize the experience and base on weather predictions, room availability, and operational conditions we can modify the order of the itinerary. Overnight lodge at Lake Sandoval. Please read these important guidelines

Your cost depends on the itinerary we design for you, but excellent rates are guaranteed along with top-quality guided services.

Included: All meals, accommodation, and services as detailed above, all river transportation, as well as transfers from and to the airport or your hotel 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 with 60hp outboard 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

Photo Gallery