Tambopata Macaw Lick
A fabulous lodge-based rainforest adventure inside Tambopata National Reserve including a visit to one of the most amazing macaw licks providing a fantastic birding spectacle (min. 2 people), USD 1,625.- per person in double or twin room. 6 days/5 nights.
Upon arrival at Puerto Maldonado airport, you will be met and welcomed by your naturalist guide (our guides are biologists, tourism professionals, or community members). First, we drive to our office where you are asked to leave any excess luggage in our safe deposit for the next few days. This helps us keep the boats and cargo light. We drive 20 km to the Tambopata River Port, entering the Native Community of Infierno. The boat ride from the Tambopata Port to the lodge will take us past the Community of Infierno and the Tambopata National Reserve´s checkpoint and into the buffer zone of this 1.3 million hectare conservation unit. You will be welcomed by the Lodge manager upon arrival who will provide orientation and security tips. After dinner, you may attend a presentation on the Infierno ecotourism project by a staff member.
You will have the option of hiking out at night when most of the mammals are active but difficult to see. Easier to find are frogs with shapes and sounds as bizarre as their natural histories. L, D
4 1/2 hours by boat from the lodge, 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 hectares uninhabited nucleus of the reserve, sightings of capybara, caiman, geese, macaws and other large species will become more frequent. Deep in the Tambopata National Reserve, we will stop at the Chuncho clay lick. After a brief walk, 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. A 3-5 km hike in the forest will take us to a viewpoint with magnificent views of the Tambopata 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. After dinner scientists will provide an in-depth look at 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.
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 colorful 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. After breakfast, we explore one of the trails with immense trees crisscrossed by creeks and ponds. Amongst the figs, ceibas and shihuahuacos we will look for Squirrel, Brown Capuchin, and Spider Monkeys as well as peccaries. After lunch, we travel ten minutes upriver from the lodge to a tiny pond with a platform in the middle. It is a great place to spot waterfowl such as Muscovy duck, sunbittern, and hoatzin along with the woodpeckers, oropendolas, flycatchers, and parakeets that call this pond their home.
An entirely different habitat characterized by smaller, thinner trees atop hills and slopes is covered by this five-kilometer trail. Saddleback tamarins are frequently found here. As we walk near the limits of the swamp we will also keep our eyes open for rare tapir tracks. In the afternoon we explore an aguaje palm swamp, providing both arboreal as well as terrestrial mammals with fruits throughout the year. The aguaje palms are one of the most important food sources in the rainforest. Demand for these fruits and great conditions for planting rice makes the palm swamp also one of the most threatened habitats. 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.
Day 5 We go out exploring one of the trails in the morning, looking for monkeys and other animals. We will walk through a Terra Firme forest crossed by a number of creeks that will eventually reach the Tambopata River. Walking in the opposite direction of the river, we will focus on forest and creek ecology.
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.
Prices per person:
Superior: USD 1,625.- in double or twin, USD 2,100.- in single
Comfort: USD 1,925.- in double or twin, USD 2,595.- in single
Suite: USD 2,285.- in double or twin, USD 3,105.- in single
Deluxe Suite: USD 2,645.- in double or twin, USD 3,575.- in single
- 5 nights at rainforest Lodges
- Full board
- English speaking naturalist guide
- Transfers from/to Puerto Maldonado
- Excursions as described
- Flights to Puerto Maldonado (roundtrip)
- Entrance fee to Tambopata National Reserve (USD 75.- per person)
- Extras not included in the itinerary
- Tips & gratuities