Bolivian photographer Sergio Ballivian has 30 years experience in the outdoors. He will lead a workshop visiting all three of Rainforest Expeditions ecolodges – Posada Amazonas, Refugio Amazonas and Tambopata Research Center, all of which offer the amenities services and guides that will take us to the animals.
- ITINERARY -
TRIP # 1 - June 30 – July 8, 2012
Fly from home to Lima or Cusco, Peru. Overnight in Lima or Cusco so you can catch the AM flight to Puerto Maldonado. Airline tickets, meals and hotel are not included in the tour price. This is merely to let you know how to plan your flights so you arrive in Puerto Maldonado on day 1 of the tour. Please consult Geo Travel at 800-938-7285 or your travel agent for booking airline tickets.
Fly from Lima/Cusco/etc. and arrive in Puerto Maldonado. We will pick you up at the airport and transfer you to the office to sort out some paperwork first. Afterwards we will take you to your hotel in Puerto Maldonado so you can rest and re-pack your gear for the trip upriver tomorrow. We will have a group dinner together to get to know each other and answer any questions you may have. Overnight at Hotel Madre de Dios. (3*) (D)
After breakfast we will drive the 30 kms (45 minutes) to the port on the Tambopata River and head upriver on a comfortable motorized boat. The boat ride is about 45 minutes to Posada Amazonas, the closest lodge to Puerto Maldonado. We will check-in, get rooms assigned get a brief orientation and then have lunch at the lodge. Afterwards we head into the forest looking for animals to photograph. We will visit the canopy tower in the afternoon and in time for sunset as we are likely to see something interesting during that time of day. We return to the lodge for dinner. Overnight at Posada Amazonas (3*). (B,L,D)
After breakfast we head to the parrot clay-lick which is a mere 20-minutes from the lodge. There are blinds set-up so we should be able to shoot a great variety of parrots actively engaging in detoxifying themselves from the plants and fruits they eat by adding the minerals in the clay to their diet. We head out into the forest once again searching for animals doing their daily routine. Lunch at the lodge. It’s a good idea to visit the Canopy Tower in the afternoon as getting those canopy-level photos are really hard to get. Dinner at the lodge. Evening photography of nocturnal creatures. Overnight at Posada Amazonas (3*). (B,L,D)
After a very early breakfast we head to the river before sunrise and take a 30-minute boat ride and a 45-minute hike to see the Tres Chimbadas oxbow lake – home to resident river otters and a slew of other animals from birds to reptiles and diurnal bats. It’s like stepping back into Jurassic time period, especially early in the morning, when there may be fog. We will travel in the lagoon on a catamaran boat & platform that uses a moving keel to propel us quietly around the lake. After a few hours the sun get too hot and the animals move on. We head back to the boats and settle-in for the trip to Tambopata Research Center (TRC) which is six hours upriver from the oxbow lake. It’s a long way but that’s where we get to see a great variety of wildlife that see few people and we will spend a few days here exploring the jungle. Lunch en route in the boat. Upon arrival to TRC we will settle in and have a hike to some overlooks before sunset. Dinner at the lodge. Overnight at Tambopata Research Center (TRC) (3*). (B,L,D)
There are endless photo ops, so after breakfast we will head out to the river or the forest in search of animals that are willing to be photographed. A lot of the success in wildlife photography is having enough time in an area and the patience necessary to wait for an animal to do something interesting once you found them. Lunch at the lodge. We will search the local hot-spots for animal activity until sunset. Dinner at the lodge. Overnight at Tambopata Research Center (TRC) (3*). (B,L,D)
Today we begin before sunrise as we need to get over to the clay macaw lick before the birds do. We leave before breakfast with some snacks and a thermos. The location is maybe a 30-minute walk from the lodge, depending on river levels. We return to have a proper breakfast and regroup. We head out into the floodplain forest in search of animals. Return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon we head to a nearby pond where we can use a platform to have access to all sorts of local birds that inhabit the pond and are fairly predictable so your results should be quite good at the end of the day. We return to the lodge after sunset and have dinner. Overnight at Tambopata Research Center (TRC) (3*) (B,L,D)
There are countless photo ops around the lodge grounds itself as the opening in the jungle canopy attracts all kinds of insects, birds, reptiles, mammals and what-not. Always keep a camera handy as you never know what will show up. Lunch at an appropriate time. In the afternoon we may head to a palm tower next to a swamp where there are established macaw nests. The distance to the nests is very close and you should have no problem getting some great images. Depending on the time of year, there may be more or less activity in the area but we can always move onto other areas if these are not productive. Wild animals do as they wish, irrelevant of what our needs as photographers are but we will work hard to find suitable subjects all the time. Dinner at the lodge. Nighttime is the best time to find all kinds of strange-looking animals that make incredible noises. We will spend some time searching for interesting critters that are only active at night. Overnight at Tambopata Research Center (TRC) (3*) (B,L,D)
After an early breakfast we head down to the boat and settle-in for the three and a half hour ride to Refugio Amazonas, the last lodge we will visit in Tambopata. We will have lunch aboard the boat. Upon arrival to Refugio Amazonas we will check-in, get a briefing and then head out to shoot. There is a very interesting old-growth patch of forest nearby that has Brazil Nut trees and the remains of a seasonal harvesting operation that has been used for gathering Brazil nuts for a few centuries. We’ll take a little time to learn about this and shoot images of the massive trees as well. We continue into the forest to find animals to photograph. Dinner at the lodge. Nighttime shooting of nocturnal critters. Overnight at Refugio Amazonas. (B,L,D)
After an early breakfast we head out to the forest to take advantage of our last morning in the jungle. Afterwards we board the boat for the three-hour ride downriver to the port and continue back to ‘civilization’ with a 45-minute bus ride back to Puerto Maldonado. Upon arrival you will get your other belongings that you left here in storage and transfer to a hotel or to the airport, depending on your flight schedule. You may have to spend the night in Puerto Maldonado and take a flight the next morning. All of this will be sorted-out upon arrival so you need not worry about re-confirming flights, etc. We will be on top of it from the day you arrive in Puerto Maldonado. In any case, we will have transport to a hotel if you need one or to the airport so you can catch a flight back to Cusco/Lima, etc. this afternoon. (B)
End of our services
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
- 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
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
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