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Tambopata Research Center – 5D/4N Classic Programs

If you are looking for a more in depth Amazon experience, then the Tambopata Research Center suits you best. After staying the first night at Refugio Amazonas, reach on of the largest known macaw claylick on the second day of your trip and explore the trails of the Tambopata Research Center in the heart of the Tambopata National Reserve.

DAY 1
Arrival & Reception by Guide
Our guides are tourism professionals, or community members. Unless noted otherwise, our guides speak English. We assign guides at 6:1 ratio in Tambopata Research Center. This means groups smaller than 6 people will be merged with other groups under one guide. If you would like a private guide or a guide in a language other than English please let us know.

Transfer Airport to Puerto Maldonado Headquarters
Upon arrival from Lima or Cusco, we will welcome you at the airport and drive you ten minutes to our Puerto Maldonado headquarters. While enjoying your first taste of the forest in our gardens we will ask you to pack only the necessary gear for your next few days, and leave the rest at our safe deposit. This helps us keep the boats and cargo light.

Transfer Pto Maldonado Headquarters to Tambopata River Port
Skirting Puerto Maldonado, we drive 20 kilometers to the Tambopata River Port, entering the Native Community of Infierno. The port is a communal business.

Transfer Boat – Tambopata River Port to Lodge
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.

Orientation
Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips.

Night walk
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.

Lodge on the way – Overnight
Meals: Boxed lunch & Dinner

DAY 2
Morning activity

Transfer Boat – Lodge to TRC
Four and half 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 hectare uninhabited nucleus of the reserve, sightings of capybara, caiman, geese, macaws and other large species will become more frequent.

Chuncho Clay Lick
Two hours from Refugio Amazonas, deep in the Tambopata National Reserve we will stop at the Chuncho claylick. After a brief walk (~5 minutes) we will have the chance to see dozens of large macaws feeding on the special sodium rich clays of the riverbank. The Chuncho claylick probably attracts more large macaws than any other claylick in the world and the sight of dozens of macaws taking flight is truly unforgettable. The details of our stopover will depend on the weather and the amount of macaw activity, as the birds don’t visit the clay lick when it is raining.

Lunch

Orientation
Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips.

Overlook Trail
A three to five kilometer hike will lead us to overlooks commanding 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.

Dinner

Macaw Project Lectures
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.

Tambopata Research Center – Overnight

DAY 3

Macaw Clay Lick
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.

Breakfast

Floodplain Trail
This five kilometer trail covers the prototypical rain forest with immense trees criss-crossed by creeks and ponds. Amongst the figs, ceibas and shihuahuacos we will look for Squirrel, Brown Capuchin, and Spider Monkeys as well as peccaries. TRC is located within this habitat.

Lunch

Pond Platform
Ten minutes upriver from the lodge is 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.

Dinner

Night walk
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.

Tambopata Research Center – Overnight

DAY 4

Macaw Clay Lick
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.

Breakfast

Terra Firme Trail
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.

Lunch

Palm Swamp Trail
Growing on the remains of an oxbow lake and 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.

Dinner

Tambopata Research Center – Overnight

DAY 5

Breakfast

Transfer Boat – TRC to Tambopata River Port

Transfer Tambopata River Port to Pto Maldonado Headquarters

Transfer Puerto Maldonado Headquarters to Airport
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.

As Seen in

WIRED
BBC RADIO
National Geographic
Telegraph
The Huffington Post
engadget
yahoo News
Popular Science