Rivers are the roads in the Amazon rainforest and southeastern Peru is no exception. The Tambopata region features several rivers, the most important being the Madre de Dios and the Tambopata River itself. Formed with water that drains from the towering Andean mountain range, the Rio Tambopata flows all year long with large volumes of water that rushes over gravel beds in some areas, a few rocky zones that make small rapids, and a deep, soft channel in the lower parts of the river. We use this river on a daily basis to travel to and from our lodges as well as for several exciting rainforest activities, and often see caimans, herons, macaws, and other wildlife in the rainforest on its banks.
One of the activities that makes the closest connection with the river is kayaking. As with kayaking on the lakes and rivers of Canada and other northern destinations, all it takes to kayak is the kayak itself, a paddle, and a lifejacket. Sign up for this activity and we provide the equipment and a fantastic tropical locale to enjoy the Tambopata River by kayak. During the easy-going paddling downstream, you might see toucans, a caiman or two, river turtles, and other wildlife. The versatility of the small kayak can also make it easier to approach riverside vegetation that may hide exotic birds and other animals.
To do this activity, we start with a boat that brings us upriver, and then we will paddle down a portion of the Tambopata where there are a few small rapids interspersed with calm waters. On the way, we will also see some small farms near the edge of the forest, and will see some local people working on those farms. We finish off the day with a stop on a sandy, riverside beach where we can take a dip in the refreshing water. No experience is required for this activity other than swimming knowledge.