The Tambopata National Reserve protects 274,690 hectares of rainforest in the Madre de Dios province of eastern Peru. It encompasses the former Tambopata Reserved Zone (TRZ), 5,500 hectares of undisturbed subtropical moist forest within which the Explorer’s Inn was built. Research over the last four decades has concluded that this area of forest has the greatest diversity of wildlife of any single locality on Earth. It has more species of birds (600 spp.), butterflies (over 1200 spp.) and many other animal groups than any other location of its size. This exceptional diversity is due to its privileged location at the meeting point of three important biomes: lowland tropical Amazon forest, the humid Pampas savannah, and extensive seasonally flooded palm swamps, not to mention the close proximity to premontane cloudforest of the Andean foothills just 100 km to the south.
Indeed, at least nine major forest types can be distinguished around the Explorer’s Inn, each with own community of distinctive plants and animals. The forests of the Reserve were originally set aside in 1977 for long-term protection by the Peruvian government as a direct result of research undertaken at the Explorers´ Inn.
In 1990, the Tambopata-Candamo Reserved Zone (TCRZ) was created. This conservation area has since been superseded by the Tambopata National Reserve and the Bahuaja-Sonene National Park, the latter of which was created in 1996. These internationally important protected areas would not have been created without the biological studies and other educational initiatives undertaken around Explorer’s Inn in Tambopata Reserve. Together the Tambopata National Reserve and Bahuaja-Sonene protect more than 1.3 million hectares, and abut the Madidi National Park in Bolivia, forming one of the largest contiguous protected areas of tropical forests in South America.
Day 1: Tambopata
Guests are met at the airport by our specialist guide, and taken to our office, where you will be able to repack and leave in storage anything that you will not be needing on this part of your trip. We then continue on to the port in the native community of Infierno, at about 45 minutes from the city of Puerto Maldonado. During this journey we may make some stops in order to make sightings of the Great Pootoo, Purus Jacamar and White-Throated Jacamar.
Once at the port, while we are waiting to embark, we have a chance to see species of oropendolas, tanagers and flycatchers, etc. During our boat trip up to Explorer’s Inn guests will receive a boxed lunch, and we will also have the opportunity to see riverine birds such as the Cocoi Heron and Capped Heron; as well as some parrots and macaws in flight. There is the chance to see a variety of bird species during this journey, with luck we may even spot a flock of Sand-Colored Nighthawks, or other rare species.
Upon arrival guests will be greeted by the lodge manager, who will give useful recommendations and information to ensure an enjoyable stay. After a short rest we will make a short introductory walk to search for some nocturnal species, such as the Tawny-Bellied Screech-Owl, and with some luck we may observe the Great Horned Owl. Dinner at hotel and time to rest.
Day 2: Tambopata
There will be a very early breakfast before visiting the parrot claylick, located at a 10 minute boat ride from the main lodge, after which we will return on foot.
At the claylick we may see Yellow-Crowned Parrot, Orange-Cheeked Parrot, Chestnut-Fronted Macaw, Blue-Headed Parrot and on occasion we may even get to see Scarlet Macaws. During the walk back we will be searching for some specialist varieties of birds that inhabit the surrounding areas, such as bamboo forest, primary forest, high forest and stream areas. Some of the species to be found include Striated Antbird, Pectoral Sparrow, Rufous-Fronted Antthrush, Pale-Winged Trumpeter, Blue-Crowned Motmot and Musician Wren, among others. Time to lunch.
We will visit Lake Chica at a 20 minute walk from the lodge, to look for species of toucans and aracaries. We will also have the chance to spot other species such as Black-Capped Donacobius and Little Cuckoo. Upon our return we will attempt to sight some species of owls. Dinner at lodge.
Day 3: Tambopata
We have an early breakfast before embarking on a full-day hike, complete with boxed lunch, exploring the primary and secondary forests found on our trails “Main” and “Taipir”. We will be walking approximately 6 km in total, in order to search for the largest variety of species possible, hopefully including some mixed flocks which could include Semicollared Puffbird, White-Winged Shrike-Tanager, Red-Crowned Ant-Tanager, Pavonine Quetzal, Round-Tailed Manakin, Scale-Backed Antbird, White-Throated Antbird, Blue-Crowned Trogon, Curl-Crested Aracari, Golden-Collared Toucanet, and many others.
The return to the lodge will be around 4pm, in order to rest before dinner.
Day 4: Tambopata
We will have an early breakfast before visiting the 42 meter high tower, in order to view canopy birds. Some species which can be observed include Gilded Barbet, Amazonian Pygmy-Owl, Purple-Throated Fruit Crow, White-Necked Puffbird, Paradise Tanager, Turquoise Tanager, Green and Gold Tanager, as well as the chance of seeing species of macaws, parrots, toucans and aracaries, and with a lot of luck the extremely endangered Harpy Eagle.
We will then return to the lodge, looking for understory and ground-level birds on the way. Time to lunch. Then, we will embark on a walk of the Lake Chica trail, entering the Big Tree trail and leaving from La Torre trail. This walk will pass through various distinct forest types, allowing us the chance to see perhaps the Blue-Throated Piping Guan, Black-Spotted Bare-Eye, Pale-Legged Hornero, Band-Tailed Manakin, Fiery-Capped Manakin, Cream-Collared Woodpecker and many other species. Dinner at lodge.
Day 5: Tambopata
An early breakfast where we will also be given boxed lunches for the day. We walk directly to Lake Cocococha, a 5.5 km hike, which we will attempt to make as early as possible in order to enjoy birdwatching during the sunrise, where we may see Horned Screamer, Hoatzin, Anhinga and various types of jacanas, kingfishers, and perhaps Red-Bellied Macaw and Blue and Yellow Macaws. With luck we may see the rare Agami Heron, Point-Tailed Palm Creeper and Long-Billed Woodcreeper.
There are various other specialist lake birds that may accompany us, as well as the chance of seeing endangered Giant River Otters.
After a couple of hours rowing around the lake we will return to the lodge, exploring the forest on the way for new species. We will arrive at the lodge at around 4 pm for a rest before dinner.
*After dinner there is the option of a boat ride on the river for caiman spotting, with the possibility of seeing species of nocturnal birds such as Ladder-Tailed Nightjar, Common Potoo and Tropical Screech-Owl.
Day 6: Tambopata
We will make the most of this last chance to walk the trails in order to search for species that have not yet been seen, explore some of the different areas of the forest, or perhaps repeat any of the activities that guests would like to experience again. Either before or after dinner we will embark on a night walk to search for owls and other nocturnal species.
Day 7: Tambopata – Out
We have an early breakfast and get ready for our departure from the lodge. The time of departure is programmed according to the flight times for guests finishing their tour on the same day. Guests are taken from the port to our Puerto Maldonado office, and then on to the airport.
- All transfers.
- Tours as described.
- All meals.
- Private guiding and assistance.
- All lodging.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Tips and taxes.
- Insurance and airline tickets (where applicable).
- Hotel in Puerto Maldonado.
If you are planning to go on this birdwatching experience, don’t forget to pack:
- Valid passport.
- Pack light.
- Drip-dry cotton or safari clothing, including one long-sleeved shirt and sweater.
- Hiking shoes or sneakers, (jungle trails are frequently muddy)
- Plastic raincoat or poncho.
- Include insect repellent, toilet articles, sunglasses, sunscreen, a wide brimmed hat, binoculars and small flashlight or head lamp for reading.
- Flip flops
- Extra socks.
- Camera to capture the memories.
Prices from USD (per person based in double occupancy)
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