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Tambopata Research Center – Parrot Lovers Program – 7D/6N

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7 Days
Availability : Jan 16’ - Dec 16’
Puerto Maldonado
Tambopata National Reserve
Min Age : +15
Max People : 8

This 7 days expedition takes you to the heart of the southeast Peruvian Amazon rainforest within the only lodge inside the National Reserve of Tambopata, the Tambopata Research Center.

The rainforest of Tambopata has gained a reputation of being a hotspot for parrot and macaw lovers due to the healthy population of the species and the ongoing research project at the Tambopata Research Center, the most remote lodges in South America, that has been working with macaws for more than 20 years. A huge clay lick lays less than a kilometer from TRC. Up to 17 species of parrots have been observed at this clay lick.

The expedition immerses you where all the Rainforest Expeditions dream began, with the scarlet macaws, who during this time of year are in their breeding season using the natural and artificial nests around the ecolodge.

The lodge’s pristine location means that it’s surrounded by the best wildlife the Amazon jungle has to offer.

  • Domestic flights LIMA – PEM - PEM – LIMA
  • Hotel accommodations
  • Professional bird guide with song library
  • River and land transportation
  • Meals from day 2 to (day 7, breakfast at Hotel only)
  • Snacks for each day and water
Tour Details

This 7 days expedition takes you to the heart of the southeast Peruvian Amazon rainforest within the only lodge inside the National Reserve of Tambopata, the Tambopata Research Center.

The rainforest of Tambopata has gained a reputation of being a hotspot for parrot and macaw lovers due to the healthy population of the species and the ongoing research project at the Tambopata Research Center, the most remote lodges in South America, that has been working with macaws for more than 20 years. A huge clay lick lays less than a kilometer from TRC. Up to 17 species of parrots have been observed at this clay lick.

The expedition immerses you where all the Rainforest Expeditions dream began, with the scarlet macaws, who during this time of year are in their breeding season using the natural and artificial nests around the ecolodge.

The lodge’s pristine location means that it’s surrounded by the best wildlife the Amazon jungle has to offer.

Departure & Return Location

John F.K. International Airport (Google Map)

Departure Time

Before noon 

Price Includes

  • Lodge accommodations
  • Professional bird guide with song library
  • River and land transportation
  • Meals from day 1 to day 7
  • Snacks for each day and water

Price Excludes

  • Domestic Flights
  • Alcoholic beverage
  • Travel and Medical Insurance
  • Other items of personal nature
  • Tipping
What to expect on a 7 days 6 nights expedition in the Amazon?

All our naturalist interpreters are parrot lovers and have a deep knowledge of how the story starts, the first macaws around the Tambopata Research Center, and the Macaw Project. They are not only familiar with the different species of psittascines, but are also well acquainted with macaw biology and conservation. They also have plenty of anecdotes of the macaw around the Tambopata Research Center.

  • This trip is only available from December to March
Itinerary

Day 1Welcome to the Amazon - Tambopata Research Center

  • Arrive in Puerto Maldonado, capital of Madre de Dios, and join a 1-hour bus and a 2.5 boat journey till the lodge. Your first taste of the Amazon culinary will be in the river while you leave the city to enjoy the amazing jungle landscapes.
  • As we cross the confluence with the Malinowski River, we will leave the final traces of human habitation behind. Within the 700,000 hectares uninhabited nucleus of the reserve, sightings of capybara, caiman, geese, macaws and other large species will become more frequent.
  • Tambopata Research Center awaits – a spacious boutique eco-lodge, with bar, a massage center, and buffet service in the heart of National Reserve of Tambopatabeing the only lodge inside the reserve surrounded by dozens of macaw nests belonging to the Macaw Project.
  • Accommodation includes rooms from 21 mts to 83 mts suites with a private bathroom and an open window facing the forest.
  • Your stay includes three meals daily, teas, coffee, guided excursions and activities, refreshments upon arriving, and transfers to and from the airport. We assign guides on private small groups of 6:1
  • This afternoon join the Overlook 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 the old bamboo forest, is good for Howler Monkey and Dusky Titi Monkey.

Day 2Tambopata Research Center

  • 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.
  • This five-kilometer trail covers the prototypical rain forest with immense trees crisscrossed by creeks and ponds. Amongst the figs, ceibas, and shihuahuacos we will go for a monkey search Squirrel, Brown Capuchin, and Spider Monkeys as well as peccaries. TRC is located within this habitat.
  • Ten minutes upriver from the lodge explore the island where 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.
  • After dinner scientists will provide a night lecture, 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.

Day 3Tambopata Research Center

  • Two hours from Tambopata Research Center, is the Chuncho clay lick. 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 clay lick probably attracts more large macaws than any other clay lick 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.
  • We will head out along the bamboo trail for up-close looks at Scarlet, Blue-and-gold, and Green-winged Macaws as they loaf in the trees. This will give us wonderful opportunities to watch the social behavior of these birds as pairs fight, preen, and feed. At the end of the trail, we will visit an isolated area of clay lick rarely used by Cobalt-winged Parakeets and the rare Dusky-billed and Amazonian Parrotlets.

Day 4Tambopata Research Center

  • Get the opportunity to visit Colorado clay lick for a second time, as every morning is different than the one before. At dawn we will cross the river and enjoy the closest clay lick where many parrots and macaws of up to 17 different species have been seen. Here we will watch as the parrots fly in from all directions and land in the trees above the clay lick. When a few hundred have gathered and the noise builds to a crescendo a small group of Severe and Red-bellied Macaws will break free from the loafers in the trees and make long slow circles in front of the lick. Once these first brave pioneers land on the lick the parrots will rain down by the dozens to join them. Mealy Amazons, Blue-headed Caiques, conures, and macaws will mix in a noisy blur of colorful wings as they rush in to get their fill of the precious clay. Then about one hour after it began, the birds will drift away and leave the area in an eerie silence. Once this early morning rush of activity ends we will head back to the lodge for breakfast.
  • An entirely different habitat characterized by smaller, thinner trees atop hills and slopes is covered by this five-kilometer trail of terra firme forest. 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.
  • A night to relax and enjoy the natural soundtrack around you.

Day 5Tambopata Research Centre

  • We will head out to the clay lick at 8 AM and wait for the arrival of the large macaws. By 9 or 10 AM over 100 Scarlet, Blue-and-gold and Green-winged Macaws should gather in the trees. Before descending to eat the clay the entire group usually flies en masse across the front of the lick. When the late morning sun lights up the birds, it is one of the most spectacular sights in the Amazon. Once the birds choose a safe spot, they will descend by the dozens to the lick. The Blue-and-golds grab bites of clay and fly back to the safety of the trees while the Scarlets and Green-wings sit on the lick and squabble over the best bits of clay. When the birds finish their visit to the lick we will return to the lodge.
  • Growing on the remains of an oxbow lake and providing both arboreal and terrestrial mammals with fruits throughout the year, the aguaje palms swamp 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.

Day 6Tambopata Research Centre

  • A different kind of Terra Firme forest on a half-day activity is available daily. Crossed by several creeks that will eventually reach the Tambopata River, walk in the opposite direction of the river, where you will focus on forest and ecology on this creek trail.
  • Twilight descends early in the jungle. Under the thick tree cover of the rainforest, darkness falls quickly, when the light cannot slip through the foliage any longer. Now, as afternoon slips into evening, you’re about to see one of the world’s most spectacular sunsets. The Sunset Cruise floats down the wide river, countless oranges and pinks reflecting off the water in lovely patterns.

Day 7back to Puerto Maldonado

  • It is time to say goodbye, as the expedition comes to an end.
  • Your visit will make a direct contribution to Wired Amazon and the National Reserve of Tambopata.
  • You will take the journey back to the city to the airport for your national flight onwards.
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