Trip Code : tambopata-cultural-tour
As Seen In
Providing a platform for the interaction between guests and locals stands in the middle of our cultural programs.
Arrival & Reception by Guide
Our guides are biologists, tourism professionals, or community members. Unless noted otherwise, our guides speak English. We assign guides at 10:1 ratio in Refugio Amazonas. This means groups smaller than 10 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 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.
Upon arrival, the lodge manager will welcome you and brief you with important navigation and security tips.
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.
A daily presentation on the Infierno ecotourism project is available every night from a staff member.
Overnight at Posada Amazonas
Tres Chimbadas Oxbow Lake
Tres Chimbadas is thirty minutes by boat and forty five minutes hiking from Posada Amazonas. Once there you will paddle around the lake in a catamaran, searching for the resident family of nine giant river otters (seen by 60% of our lake visitors) and other lakeside wildlife such as caiman, hoatzin and horned screamers. Otters are most active from dawn to eight or nine AM.
Parrot Clay Lick
This clay lick is only a twenty minute walk from Posada Amazonas. From a blind located about twenty meters away you will see dozens of parrots and parakeets descend on most clear mornings to ingest the clay on a river bank. Species such as Mealy and Yellow- headed Amazon, Blue-headed Parrot and Dusky headed Parakeet descend at this clay lick. The clay lick is active at dawn, during the late mornings and mid-afternoons.
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.
Overnight at Posada Amazonas
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.
A thirty minute boat drive downriver takes us to the most complete farm in the community of Infierno. The owner grows a diverse variety of popular and unknown Amazon crops. In his garden, just about every plant and tree serves a purpose.
Overnight at Posada Amazonas
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.
Brazil Nut Trail and Camp
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 transportation to drying.
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.
Tambopata National Reserve Lectures
Nightly lectures prepared by the staff of Refugio Amazonas cover conservation threats, opportunities and projects in the Tambopata National Reserve.
Overnight at Refugio Amazonas
Transfer Boat - Refugio Amazonas to Tambopata River Port
Transfer Tambopata River Port to Hotel in Puerto Maldonado
We retrace our river and road journey back to Puerto Maldonado to our hotel.
Victor Zambrano's agroforestry farm
Fifteen years ago, visionary grassroots farmer leader Victor Zambrano replaced an almost bare manioc plantation with a combination of crops, medicinal plants, fruit trees and hardwoods. Today, a visit to his farm in the outskirts of Puerto Maldonado is hard to differ from a hike in the forest.
Puerto Maldonado City Tour
The signs of timber extraction, gold mining and rainforest agriculture are visible everywhere. We will explore the market, the town square, and the gold exchange street. Enjoying local ice cream and night life is mandatory.
Overnight at hotel in Puerto Maldonado
Visit to the Serpentarium
A short walk from the airport is the Serpentarium where the region´s principal snake species, including boas, bushmasters and fer-de-lances, are on display.
Transfer Hotel in Puerto Maldonado to Airport
Programmes based on double occupancy. Includes all meal, accommodations, and services, all river transportation, and transfer from and to the airport of Puerto Maldonado.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
*NOTE: $40 cost is for Posada Amazonas and Refugio Amazonas, and at $95 at Tambopata Research Center* 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.
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.
The Quebrada Gato, a twenty minute boat ride from Refugio Amazonas, is the only creek in all the Tambopata basin that consistently offers the chance to catch dogfish, a fighter, as well as large catfish and other local species.
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.
*NOTE: $40 cost is for Posada Amazonas and Refugio Amazonas, and at $95 at Tambopata Research Center* 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.
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 $60 per person charge for entrance into the national park. This applies for tours to Tambopata Research Center LodgeLodge 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
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 $60 por persona por la entrada al parque Nacional que aplica a los visitantes a Tambopata Research CenterTransfer 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.
Rooms at Refugio Amazonas Lodge
Rooms at Posada Amazonas
The Loft Area at Refugio Amazonas
Refugio Amazonas Dining Room
Tambopata Research Center Room
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
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