Five Nigth Cultural Program
National Park Tambopata
Arrival & Reception by Community Guide. An English-speaking guide from the Communities of Infierno or Condenado on the Tambopata River provides unsurpassable wildlife spotting skills and an insight into daily life in the forest.
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.
Puerto Maldonado 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.
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.
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.
Ecotourism Lecture. A daily presentation on the Infierno ecotourism project is available every night from a staff member.
Overnight in 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.
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.
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.
High School Bingo - BINGOP. Our way to pitch in with the Senior Prom at Infierno. Two representatives of the Infierno high school show up at Posada Amazonas to host a bingo - proceeds benefiting the high school senior prom.
Overnight in 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.
Farm Visit. 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.
Visit by the Mapachos and the High School Dance Group. The Mapachos are the official, and picturesque, music group from the community. Three musicians play variations of a jolly rhythmic tune as the high school seniors well practiced representation of traditional local dances is played out. This is how they fund their senior prom.
Overnight in Posada Amazonas
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.
Rainforest Tattoo. Five minutes from the lodge lives Don Manuel, who grows a variety of popular and unknown Amazon crops - just about every plant and tree you see serves a purpose. At Don Manuel's farm, 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 Lecture. Nightly lectures prepared by the staff of Refugio Amazonas cover conservation threats, opportunities and projects in the Tambopata National Reserve.
Overnight in Refugio Amazonas
Transfer Boat - Refugio Amazonas to Tambopata River Port.
Transfer Tambopata River Port to Hotel in Puerto Maldonado.
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 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 the Butterfly Farm. A short walk from the airport is the Japipi Butterfly Farm and Exhibits, where farmed butterflies are displayed in a giant forest enclosure.
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 - Airport.
Boat Transportation. All our boats are 20 foot long, roofed canoes with 55 hp outboard motors. Daily arrivals and departures from every port are scheduled to meet every airline´s arrival and departure with a maximum two hour wait.