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Tambopata Research Center - Ecotourism & Nature Interpretation Seminar 8D/7N

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Trip Code : tambopata-research-center-peru-ecotourism
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This program is different from the other Academic programs. It focuses on sharing what we at Rainforest Expeditions have learnt about how to set up a successful ecotourism operation in a remote location that harmonizes with the environment and the neighbouring communities. Our partnership with the Native Community of Infierno in Posada Amazonas is an important aspect treated during this seminar.


NOTE: There is an additional $60 per person charge for entrance into the national park.

DAY 1

Arrival & Reception by Ecotourism Instructors - Lecturers Most Ecotourism Seminar lecturers are RFE managers and executives. In some cases, RFE guides or instructors are hired to host certain topics in which they excel at.

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

Behind the Scenes at Posada Amazonas The lodge manager will give us a one hour tour of the lodge getting into the processes which drive the housekeeping, food and beverages, transportation, staffing and administration of a remote rain forest ecolodge.

Overnight at Posada Amazonas



DAY 2

Breakfast

Communities 1 - A community profile Research on Infierno and a site visit are used to learn techniques to characterize agricultural systems, gender differentiation of roles, family health care and education, traditional values and ceremonies, government, and attitudes towards development and ecotourism. Results from past research are analyzed and discussed.

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

Communities 2 - The RFE - Community of Infierno partnership A long session divided into two – the project director will go over the environmental, social, and economic impacts of Posada Amazonas at a communal level. Afterwards a panel of two Infierno community leaders will join the project director in an informal question and answer discussion as to what went right and what went wrong with the Posada Amazonas project, as well as their vision of the future.

Overnight at Posada Amazonas



DAY 3

Breakfast

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.

Transfer Boat - Posada Amazonas to Tambopata Research Center Six and a half hours by boat from Posada Amazonas, in the pristine heart of the reserve, lies the Tambopata Research Center. 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 Three 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.

Boxed Lunch

Protected area management After a boat ride to one of the park’s control points we will listen to a park officer speak of the threats to the Tambopata National Reserve, the structure of the budget and the mechanics of park financing and administration within the Peruvian national system of protected areas. An account of the daily incidents in the life of a park guard will let us peek into the difficulties of physically patrolling one and a half million hectares of tropical rain forest.

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

Behind the Scenes at Tambopata Research Center The lodge manager will give us a one hour tour of the lodge getting into the processes which drive the housekeeping, food and beverages, transportation, staffing and administration of a remote rain forest ecolodge.

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.

Overnight at Tambopata Research Center



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

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.

Lunch

Ecotourism 1 - Architecture The architecture of our lodges will be scrutinized by our specialists. We will touch upon designing and budgeting ecolodges, implementing green technologies for water, energy production and waste disposal, bottlenecks endemic to construction projects in the Amazon and the use of traditional materials and construction techniques.

Ecotourism 2 - Financing Personnel from the finance department will focus on financial constraints inherent to ecotourism including incremental costs related to its small scale, inaccessibility and social and environmental requirements. Business planning and funding opportunities are also discussed.

Dinner

Overnight at Tambopata Research Center



DAY 5

Breakfast

Nature Interpretation 1 - Nature Guides and Interpretation Guides are the key to a great ecotour. The people in charge of training guides at RFE will lecture on how to recruit and select great guides, how to train them in the overwhelming diversity of the rain forest, and how to design activities so that they support our guides.

Lunch

Ecotourism 3 - Operations The operations staff of Rainforest Expeditions lectures on quality management in remote settings, food and housekeeping processes, maintenance plans, development of local suppliers, greening operations through suppliers, and the design and implementation of educational activities.

Ecotourism 4 - Human Resources Staffing with local people is easier said than done. Our HR people will explain how we recruit, select, train and evaluate staff from the community of Infierno. We will also analyze the intricacies of motivating a highly diverse staff that lives together around the clock, around the year and stress the importance of HR policies when working with communities.

Dinner

Overnight at Tambopata Research Center



DAY 6

Breakfast

Nature Interpretation 2 - Guiding Techniques An informal workshop conducted by experienced guides to get tips on guiding techniques. Topics include skills of a great guide, pre departure information, group management on and off a trail, case studies and troubleshooting.

Lunch

Ecotourism 5 - Marketing The Rainforest Expeditions marketers will share what we have learned about our clients and the evolution of the market in the past decade. We will also go over the logic behind our products, marketing materials and communication efforts.

Dinner

Overnight at Tambopata Research Center



DAY 7

Breakfast

Transfer Boat - TRC to Refugio Amazonas A three and a half hour boat ride brings us to Refugio Amazonas.

Boxed Lunch

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.

Dinner

Overnight at Refugio Amazonas



DAY 8

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.


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 hundred 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.
Macaw Project Lecture
As a guest of TRC, you will get the chance to experience the incredible, unique display of macaws as they visit the clay lick and will learn all about the macaw project later on during after dinner lectures. These presentations are given by macaw project volunteers and researchers who study them at the clay lick, climb trees to monitor their nests, and take notes on their behavior in the rainforest.
Palm Forest Tower
The palm swamps provide key habitat for a variety of creatures including beautiful treefrogs and spectacular Red-bellied and Blue and Gold Macaws. These big, beautiful, long-tailed parrots are dependent upon palm swamps because they won't nest anywhere else. Parrot lovers will be happy to know that the Tambopata Research Center is fortunate to have an old growth palm swamp deep in the rainforests behind the lodge.
Palm Platform
Accessible by boat, the pond at TRC is one of the most tranquil, peaceful spots in the forest. After a short hike through riparian forest, you reach a small wooden platform at the edge of the pond. As you quietly sit on benches, you may spot shy, beautiful birds that use this habitat such as the Agami Heron or Green and Rufous Kingfisher. Squirrel Monkeys are sometimes seen in the trees near the platform and you might even get a chance to fish for the small piranhas that lurk in the water or see one of the Spectacled Caimans that live in the pond. It’s a great way to end an exciting day at the Tambopata Research Center and perfect for every family eco vacation.
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.
Creek Trail
This is a different kind of Terra Firme forest, crossed by a number of creeks that will eventually reach the Tambopata River. Walking in the opposite direction of the river, we will focus on forest and creek ecology.
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.
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.
Jungle 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.
Relax at the Lodge
No matter how exciting your Amazon jungle tour is, it’s still good to take some time out to rest and relax. This is a vacation after all and as with any vacation, you should take some time out for yourself. Instead of going on another jungle hike, if you feel like resting, do just that in one of the hammocks at the lodge. Sit back in your room and read a book or take a walk down to the river and watch the water go by.

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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