Amazon Peru: Sandoval Lake Lodge
3 Days: Puerto Maldonado, Amazon Jungle
Enter the world’s most biologically diverse habitat within a natural kaleidoscope of lush tropical vegetation and spectacular, unspoiled vistas. Monkeys, macaws and Giant Otters share their homes as you trek by trail or canoe as a true jungle explorer.
Located deep in Peru’s Tambopata National Reserve, Sandoval Lake lodge overlooks sparkling, palm-rimmed Sandoval Lake, the most beautiful and wildlife-rich of all lakes in Tambopata-Madidi. This privileged location gives you exclusive access to the lake early in the morning and late afternoon, for wildlife viewing and photography. No other lodge in Tambopata-Madidi is on the banks of a protected oxbow lake. Sandoval Lake Lodge program includes two nights of fully-screened accommodation in 25 double-occupancy rooms complete with en suite facilities, hot-water showers, electricity, fans, meals, airport transfers in Puerto Maldonado, naturalist guides, lake excursions by day in search of Giant Otters, monkeys, and macaws, forest excursions, night excursions in search of caimans, and evening slide shows. The lodge specializes in small groups and individualized attention in our overriding quest to conserve the lake and surrounding rainforest. Sandoval Lake Lodge is built out of ecologically-correct driftwood mahogany and is owned jointly by a non-profit conservation group and five families of indigenous Brazil nut collectors.
Day 1 – Arrive Puerto Maldonado
Transfer from Puerto Maldonado airport to the river port on the Madre de Dios River. A 25 minutes journey down the Madre de Dios River by motor canoe brings you to the end of the trail in to Sandoval Lake Lodge. From here the trail takes you on a 2-mile walk/or rickshaw ride through secondary forest, until we reach a small canal where we board canoes and are paddled 220 yards through a flooded forest of 100-foot tall Mauritia palms. As the canal opens onto the shimmering surface of the lake, we transfer to a catamaran and are leisurely paddled across half the lake to the lodge. After lunch, once again board the catamaran and set off to explore entire west end of the lake. Here, in the flooded palm forest, we drift to the sounds of hundreds of Red-Bellied Macaws as they return to the palm forest for the night. We return to the lodge around nightfall for dinner.
After dinner return to the canoes to look for the large and extremely rare Black Caimans. Enjoy a clear starlit night, your will also be able to float in the middle of the lake and marvel at the brilliance of the sky. (D)
Day 2 – Amazon Jungle excursions
A pre-dawn wake-up call will enable to be on the lake for sunrise and a hopeful encounter with the family of Giant Otters which frequent the lake and are most active at this time of day. Most of the fish-eating water birds around the lake actively fish in the early morning as well, and this outing should provide excellent views, and photographs, of the prehistoric- looking Hoatzins. After returning for a late breakfast set off into the cool tall virgin forest near the lake to see some towering wild Brazil nut trees and a demonstration of how our hosts collect, open and commercialize this important natural product. After lunch once again board the catamaran to explore the eastern part of the lake, where we might see one or more of the five species of monkeys which live in the forest near the lake, such as the Brown Capuchin Monkey. There is a final chance after dinner to try and spot some Black Caimans on the lake, or to go on a short night walk through the primary forest. (BLD)
Day 3 – Depart Puerto Maldonado
After a dawn breakfast we take a final, shorter paddle around the west end of the lake to try and glimpse the Giant Otters before returning to Puerto Maldonado to catch the flight to Lima.
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