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Refugio Amazonas - Biology Workshop - 6D/5N

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Trip Code : refugio-amazonas-biology-workshop-6d5n
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Our Academic programs provide students with first hand exposure to subjects such as ecology, wildlife inventories, monitoring of macaws and giant river otters, in addition to an insight of threats and opportunities to sustainable development in the region. In this program a morning is spent at the Native Community of Infierno providing a great opportunity for interaction with your hosts. The other activities of the program are mainly focused at data collection.


DAY 1

Arrival & Reception by Biology Instructors - Lecturers For workshops and seminars, guides with a background in biology and / or research experience are selected as instructors, who then conduct the workshops or lectures in the field in which they are specialized in.

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 Posada Amazonas The forty five minute boat ride from the Tambopata Port to Posada Amazonas will take us into the Community´s Primary Forest Private Reserve.

Boxed Lunch

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

Canopy Tower A twenty minute walk from Posada Amazonas leads to the 30 meter scaffolding canopy tower. A bannistered staircase running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms above. From atop you obtain spectacular views of the vast expanses of standing forest cut by the Tambopata River winding through the middle. Now and then toucans, parrots or macaws are seen flying against the horizon, or mixed species canopy flocks land in the treetop next to you.

Dinner

Ecotourism Lecture A daily presentation on the Infierno ecotourism project is available every night from a staff member.

Overnight at Posada Amazonas



DAY 2

Breakfast

Infierno Community Visit Forty five minutes downstream from Posada Amazonas, close to the port, lies the community of Infierno´s hub. Although homes are scattered over 10,000 hectares, the “hub” centralizes the shared infrastructure – school, store, medical post, and meeting room. We only visit with community authorization.

Soccer game A soccer game is the perfect way to cap off a day at the community and the most fluent form of communication. The athletic and well adjusted rain forest kids are difficult to beat and have teams for every age group.

Lunch

Ethnobotanical Tour A twenty minute boat drive downriver leads you to a trail designed by the staff of the Centro Ñape. The Centro Ñape is a communal organization that produces medicines out of forest plants and administers them to patients who choose their little clinic. They have produced a trail which explains the different medicinal (and other) uses of selected plants.

Dinner

Overnight at Posada Amazonas



DAY 3

Breakfast

Otter Monitoring We paddle a canoe around an oxbow lake, filling out standard Frankfurt Zoological Society otter monitoring cards. If we see giant river otters during our outing we register their location and direction on a map of the lake, we track and time their activity (swimming, fishing, resting, alarm call) and we attempt to trace their white throat marks, which are distinct for each individual.

Transfer Private Boat - Posada Amazonas to Refugio Amazonas The one hour and forty five minute boat ride from Posada Amazonas to Refugio Amazonas will take us past the Community of Infierno and the Tambopata National Reserve´s checkpoint into the buffer zone of this 1.3 million hectare conservation unit.

Macaw Population Census The macaw project has been counting individuals present in trail transects and river transects in an effort to estimate macaw population variations with seasons. During our river voyage we will be given data registration cards to note species of macaws sited, number of individuals and location. This data will be plugged into the general macaw project data set.

Boxed Lunch

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

Introduction to tropical ecology Rather than a workshop this is a comprehensive lecture describing the basics of rain forest structure and function. Topics include the structure of the forest (ground, understory, canopy), adaptations of plants (aerial palms, epiphytes, tabular roots), ecology of gaps (succession of fallen trees), interrelations between plants and animals (Strangler figs, tangarana ants, spiders consumed by fungi), interrelations between animals (mixed troops of brown capuchin and squirrel monkeys). Props are common floodplain forest trail sightings.

Dinner

Overnight at Refugio Amazonas



DAY 4

Clay lick monitoring Following macaw project research procedures that have been applied for several years, we monitor parrot presence at the clay lick. From the clay lick observation site, we will repeat scan sampling methods every ten minutes, registering data such as start time, point of sampling, meteorological conditions, number of birds observed by species, and conduct characterization.

Breakfast

Seed dispersal and predation Seed dispersal and predation fulfill an important role in the process of natural regeneration and maintenance of vegetable populations. The theory is that the recruitment of plants and seeds near adult trees is limited by herbivore predators. In this workshop we will count seeds and sapling in expanding concentric circles centered around an adult mother tree. We will prove with this simple experiment how predators concentrate their activities in zones with high density of seeds and how those seeds that are dispersed further from the mother tree have greater survival possibilities.

Lunch

Flora and Fauna 5 - Fish From a platform in a small pond we will sample fish using nets. We will learn the essentials of the identification key, as well as the properties of the principal families and the adaptation of fish to the extreme conditions of seasonal water formations in the Amazon.

Dinner

Night Insects Night is commonly known as “the insect hour“ because they leave their diurnal hiding places in order to feed, reproduce, etc. In this activity, participants will collect species of Orthoptera (grasshoppers) Mantids (Praying Mantises) and Coleoptera (beetles), with the aid of headlamps, gloves, magnifying glasses and recipients. A second sampling method used will be light traps to attract insects. Each insect will be thoroughly examined, so participants can learn the basics of their identification and their particular structures, survival strategies and roles in the ecosystem.

Overnight at Refugio Amazonas



DAY 5

Breakfast

Rate of Construction of Termite Nests Ants and termites are the animals with the most biomass per square meter in the rainforest. We will study the rate at which termite workers can degrade wood and build their nests by finding several nests, breaking off pieces of them, and then weighing and measuring the amount of matter that is reconstructed after a determined period of time.

Lunch

Rainforest Tattoo At the lodge we will prepare a paste from the fruit of huito and achiote to draw dark blue and red tattoos on ourselves. They last several days.

Dinner

Amphibian Inventory Nocturnal inventories are conducted using Visual Method Encounter Surveys. Transects are established in humid areas or near ponds. All amphibian occurrences are registered, annotating species, time, location, height from ground, substrate, size, weight, sex and presence of nuptial calluses (in case of the males) or pregnancy (in case of the females).

Overnight at Refugio Amazonas



DAY 6

Breakfast

Transfer Boat - Refugio Amazonas 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.

NOTES

Included

Programmes based on double occupancy. Includes all meal, accommodations, and services, all river transportation, and transfer from and to the airport of Puerto Maldonado.

Not Included

International or domestic airfares, airport departure taxes or visa fees, excess baggage charges, additional nights during the trip due to flight cancellations, alcoholic beverages or bottled water, snacks, insurance of any kind, laundry, phone calls or messages, reconfirmation of flights and items of personal nature.

Boat Transportation

All our boats are 20 foot long, roofed canoes with 55 hp outboard motors.
  • Transfer-in (From Puerto Maldonado to Lodge): we have two departures daily at 13:00 and 14:30
  • Transfer-out (Lodge to Puerto Maldonado) : Two daily departures at 07:00 and 08:00 For other schedule possibilities please consult us
Spanish:
  • Traslado de llegada (Puerto Maldonado – Albergue): Tenemos dos traslados diarios a las 13:00 hrs. y 14:00 hrs.
  • Traslado de salida (Albergue – Puerto Maldonado) : Dos salidas diarias a las 07:00 hrs. y 8:00 hrs. Para otras alternativas de traslados por favor consúltenos.
We reserve the right to change the order of activities.

Although not valid for the rainforest part of Peru, we recommend that all foreign travelers bring their original passports in order to avoid the payment of national taxes (IGV 18%) at Hotels.


Canopy Tower
A thirty minute walk from Refugio Amazonas leads to the 25 meter scaffolding canopy tower. A bannistered staircase running through the middle provides safe access to the platforms above. The tower has been built upon high ground, therefore increasing your horizon of the continuous primary forest extending out towards the Tambopata National Reserve. From here views of mixed species canopy flocks as well as toucans, macaws and raptors are likely.
Mammal Clay Lick
Twenty minutes walking from Refugio Amazonas is a peccary clay lick. These wild rain forest pigs show up in herds of five to twenty individuals to eat clay in the late morning. Chances of spotting them are around 15%, but well worth the short hike. Other wildlife also shows up including deer, guan and parakeets.
Caiman Search
We will be out at the river’s edge at night, scanning the shores with headlamps and flashlights to catch the red gleams of reflection from caiman eyes.
Brazil Nut Trail
A few minutes hike from the lodge is a beautiful old growth patch of Brazil Nut forest that has been harvested for decades (if not centuries) where the precarious remains of a camp used two months a year by Brazil Nut gatherers can still be experienced. We will be demonstrating the whole process of the rain forest's only sustainably harvested product from collection through
Farm Visit
Five minutes downriver from the lodge lies a farm owned and managed by charismatic Don Manuel from the neighbouring community of Condenado. He grows a variety of popular and unknown Amazon crops - just about every plant and tree you see serves a purpose. He has also identified and cultivated many of the medicinal plants used in the region in a little backyard garden.
Jungle 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.
Ox Bow Lake Visit
We will paddle around the lake on a canoe or a catamaran, looking for lakeside wildlife such a hoatzin, caiman and hornerd screamers, hoping to see the otters which are infrequently seen here. You will also be rewarded with overhead sightings of macaws and parrots.
Parrot Clay Lick
Parrots are pretty easy to watch at ecotourism family destinations in the Amazon jungle as long as the jungle lodge has a canopy tower and access to a clay lick. Guests of Refugio Amazonas get to experience both of these options and thus have an excellent chance at seeing dozens of parrots, parakeets, and spectacular macaws.
Rest and Relax
During your eco travel stay at Refugio Amazonas, you can expect to enjoy and experience the Peruvian rainforest with dozens of fun, exciting activities. Your guide will plan an itinerary that takes your wants and needs into account to maximize your experience at this Amazon jungle lodge.
Ethnobotanical Walk
Along this trail we will find a variety of plants and trees that are used by the local population with at least the same variety of purposes. We will learn about the medicinal (and other) uses of Ajo-Sacha, Yuca de Venado, Uña de Gato, Charcot-Sacha, Para-Para, among several others.

Jungle Mountain Biking
Enjoy the forest from a different perspective and get on a mountain bike. The muddier it is, the more fun we will have!
Kayaking
*NOTE: $75 cost is for Posada Amazonas and Refugio Amazonas. No previous experience is required. A boat will bring us upriver and then we will paddle down a portion of the Tambopata River with some rapids, although most of the progress presents low difficulty. At the shores we will observe fragmented parts of the forest and come across with locals that work at the few farms in the region. To finish our experience, we´ll stop on a sandy beach and take a well deserved bath. No experience required, only swimming knowledge.
Canopy Climbing
Replicating the daily work of macaw researchers, we will climb a 30 meter tree with a rope, harness and jumar. From this vantage point we will have a macaws eye view of the forest. This demanding exercise is perfectly safe and requires no previous experience.
Rainforest Tattoo
At the lodge, we will prepare a paste from the fruit of huito and achiote to draw dark blue and red tattoos on ourselves. They last several days.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding in Tambopata
We will paddle up a portion of the Tambopata River that presents no difficulty. At the shores we will observe fragmented parts of the forest accompanied by nature sounds and some wildlife we may observe, like birds, caimans and turtles. To finish our experience, we´ll stop on a sandy beach and take a well deserved bath. No experience required, only swimming knowledge.

Included Programs based on double occupancy. Includes all meal, accommodations, and services, all river transportation, and transfer from and to the airport of Puerto Maldonado.

Not Included International or domestic airfares, airport departure taxes or visa fees, excess baggage charges, additional nights during the trip due to flight cancellations, alcoholic beverages or bottled water, snacks, insurance of any kind, laundry, phone calls or messages, reconfirmation of flights and items of personal nature.

Notes: Programs to Refugio Amazonas : There is an additional $13 per person charge for entrance into the national park. This applies for tours to Refugio Amazonas Lodge Programs to Tambopata Research Center : There is an additional $75 per person charge for entrance into the national park. This applies for tours to Tambopata Research Center Lodge

Lodge Transfers

  • Transfer-in (From Puerto Maldonado to Lodge): we have two departures daily at 13:00 and 14:30
  • Transfer-out (Lodge to Puerto Maldonado) : Two daily departures at 07:00 and 08:00 For other schedule possibilities please consult us

ESPAÑOL

Incluido Programas en base acomodación en habitación doble. Todos los transportes terrestres y acuáticos de acuerdo al itinerario. Traslados Aeropuerto – Albergue - Aeropuerto. Todas las excursiones con guía bilingüe. Re-confirmación de vuelos nacionales desde Puerto Maldonado. Comidas especificadas en el itinerario.

No Incluido Vuelos internacionales o nacionales, impuestos aeroportuarios, exceso de equipaje, noches adicionales por mal tiempo o cancelación de vuelos, bebidas alcohólicas, gaseosas o agua mineral embotellada, snacks, seguro de cualquier tipo, lavandería, llamadas telefónicas nacionales o internacionales, reconfirmación de vuelos internacionales.

Notas: Programas a Refugio Amazonas : Hay un pago adicional de $13 por persona por la entrada al parque Nacional que aplica a los visitantes a Refugio Amazonas Lodge Programas a Tambopata Research Center : Hay un pago adicional de $75 por persona por la entrada al parque Nacional que aplica a los visitantes a Tambopata Research Center

Transfer a los Albergues:

  • Traslado de llegada (Puerto Maldonado – Albergue): Tenemos dos traslados diarios a las 13:00 hrs. y 14:00 hrs.
  • Traslado de salida (Albergue – Puerto Maldonado) : Dos salidas diarias a las 07:00 hrs. y 8:00 hrs. Para otras alternativas de traslados por favor consúltenos.



Superior Room at Refugio Amazonas Lodge
Superior Room at Refugio Amazonas
The Loft Area at Refugio Amazonas
Refugio Amazonas Dining Room
Tambopata Research Center Room
Tambopata Research Center
Posada Amazonas Commons Area
Posada Amazona Classic Room
Refugio Amazonas Loft
Motorboats are used for transport on the river
Beautiful Butterfly
Macaw Clay Lick (click to enlarge)
A Baby Capybara
Side Necked Turtles
A Big Caiman
Parrots at Clay Lick
Learning About Wildlife in the Amazon
A Happy Guide with a Happy Visitor
Bat Falcon (Falco rufigularis)
A Jaguar near TRC
Squirrel Monkey
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