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“A fabulous experience”

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Sandoval Lake Lodge
Ranked #3 of 10 Hotels in Puerto Maldonado
Certificate of Excellence
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“A fabulous experience”
Reviewed 4 May 2011

My stay in the Peruvian jungle was one of the highlights of my trip. The lodge itself is very tranquil and I enjoyed the guided walks and lake trips that we undertook with the guides working at the lodge.
The rooms themselves are fairly basic, but clean and pleasant. The bed was comfortable and the rooms are screened. It's the jungle, there are bound to be some things that get into the rooms, especially when people open their doors and insects fly in and then enter communal "air space" above the rooms.
Take a torch (as electricity is only available at certain hours). Be prepared for about an hour's walk between the river and the leaving point for canoes to the lake - rain boots are provided, but wear appropriate clothing to protect against insects.
I stayed for two nights and wished that I'd stayed for 3!

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
4 Thank Um_Thandi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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133 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Norwegian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Timbuktu, Mali
Level 5 Contributor
77 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2011

This hotel seems highly overrated, perhaps because we had just come from Heath River Lodge as part of our tour, and it was like falling off a cliff quality-wise. The walk into the property, when you get off the boat and trek to the other boat, was longer than expected and very muddy and hot, but this is the Amazon and they warn you. The food was nothing special, unlike Heath River Lodge, and the room was a real disappointment because we were invaded by the biggest flying cockroach I have ever seen, and I have lived in the tropics. The staff did come and get rid of it for us, but clearly the screens are inadequate, again unlike Heath River Lodge. So, if you are going on a multiple day tour, try to spend the most time you can at Heath River Lodge, and just come here for one night so you can see the gorgeous lake and wildlife, especially the river otters, which gave us a wonderful sighting, and the many birds.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Christauria W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2010

My friend and I are not backpackers and we usually stay in luxury hotels so when we signed up for this lodge we were very sceptical. The reviews on TripAdvisor mentioned hikes, a rickshaw, knee high mud, a crowded location and a very remote location.

On the whole I will agree, there was a rickshaw (that transported your bag so you didn't need to carry it), a hike (which was a leisurely two kilometre walk at your own pace), knee high mud (not in the month of July - though I can believe that this can happen when going in the rainy season), a very remote location (which was perfect for a jungle experience) though we couldn't agree with the crowded statement because there was 20 guest in total whilst we were there.

Upon arrival at the airport we were met by our personal guide for the duration of our stay (his name was Oscar - his English was excellent, he was very knowledgeable, friendly and was really keen on nature so very enthusiastic) and we were transported to their office.

Here you had to pack into a carry bag the items you would need for the duration of your stay leaving the rest of your luggage locked up in their office. Then we took a motorised boat trip up the river for 45 minutes or so. During this time you could enjoy the view and the delicious lunch that was provided.

At the other end of the river you had to sign the national park register (note: you can get a tourist stamp in your passport!) and then we walked the 2km to a small river where we had to board a canoe. Then the Sandoval staff (who were with you the whole time and were transporting your bags and fresh food for your stay) paddled you across the beautiful lake thus taking you to the lodge.

The lodge was basic - electricity was available three times a day which was fine, mosquito netting was provided for all beds, fresh water was available and the bathrooms were very clean.

There is a bar available serving delicious cocktails which you could enjoy whilst using the hammocks for an afternoon siesta or alternatively you could go on a nature walk on one of their many paths.

There are enough activities planned for you though there is lots of time to rest and appreciate your surroundings.

I won't go into detail about everything that you do there but trust me, it's a great experience.

A few tips for you though:
1. Bring a decent torch (for the evenings).
2. Bring flip-flops to walk about the lodge.
3. Bring cash to pay for the bar.
4. Bring suntan cream and your toiletries.
5. Bring a jacket for the morning activities.
6. Enjoy the jungle experience.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
9 Thank jalex_20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Darlington, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 August 2010

Excellent trip. Rather humid, as you would imagine in a rainforest, but days are well split with boat trips and little hikes, with time for siestas in between. Rooms are quite basic but fine with mosquito nets and a jug of pure water. You only have electric at certain times of the day to conserve energy which was fine as it is mainly off when you’re out and about. Delicious food and lots of lovely fresh fruit juices. Try the cocktails too! Guides were very friendly and knowledgable. After they collect you from the airport you visit their offices to pack enough for the trip, and leave your main luggage behind though secure. So you can prepare for this & pack accordingly before you arrive.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
5 Thank PBGB24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Pete Beach, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2010

My husband and I recently travelled to Peru and stayed here for two nights. The boat/hike/boat was not bad but we did have perfect weather. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and even took my husband and I on an extra hike when everyone else went to bed. Also good food and best pisco sour I had in Peru! Accomodations are rustic but comfortable-hot showers and electricity for a good portion of the day. I recommend this place to anyone looking for an Amazon lodge.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank awhite0304
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
Level 5 Contributor
31 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 January 2010

It's a haul to get here - not for sissies - but what a beautiful and special place! We were game for the boat ride down the huge river and canoe trip across the lake, but slogging through the mud for 1.5 hours in the rain nearly did me in. That said, the kids loved the slipping and sliding, and the lodge (thankfully) provides the rubber boots. The lodge itself is rustic but very clean and comfortable. Beds are excellent, hot water and private baths, with rooms connected by a thatched porch for reading or watching the flora and fauna. Three good, square meals are served, and you eat with your assigned guide. There is also a small bar in the lobby. We took jungle tours in the morning and evening, and saw 4 kinds of monkeys, several caimen, the famous river otters, all sorts of birds and parrots, and a cute little jungle creature hopping around the grounds. Our guide ("Pepe") also insisted on a jungle-in-the-dark tour, which turned up more creatures than I cared to see (don't worry - you feel very secure in the rooms). All in all, a wonderful place and a totally cool experience!

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank BagzRPkd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 January 2010

I agree with the majority of the reviews on Sandoval Lake Lodge. So long as you have an idea of what to expect, Sandoval Lake Lodge will not disappoint. It is a very fine jungle lodge with affordable rooms, quality guides and plenty of opportunity to see and experience the Peruvian jungle.

We are 37 and 40, respectively, we're both fairly fit, and both of us had been to "the jungle" before. With an active sense of humor, you can get through the airport, bus, opportunistic "snake" sanctuary (complete with pet puma and a chicken or two), timing issues and various other mildly chaotic moments. Still, the "3km hike" that people here describe was no laughing matter--especially during the rainy season.

The hike: Upon arrival, you will be asked to re-pack your gear into hotel-issued bags not to exceed roughly 15-20 lbs. This is the limitation for the porters that transport your gear through the Hades-inspired mud hike. Anything else you will need to carry everywhere yourself - and you WILL be sorry. Then you are asked to pack your expensive hiking boots away and slip on pair of rubber ducky boots, which are used to prevent you from slipping in 6 inches of mud. The tricky part isn't the mud, but the gigantic tree roots buried in the mud, or the 2-3 inches you have to avoid giant, sinking mud-holes.

Once you survive the hike, everything else is smooth sailing, so to speak. The rooms are kept clean and the showers work fine albeit bit chilly during "prime time."

The food served at Sandoval Lake Lodge was some of the best we experienced in our 3 week visit to Peru. Excellent!

If you have never been to the jungle, you should trust that the jungle is not Disney, epcot, or the climate controlled local zoo. It is vibrant, animant, and unpredictable--looking for same. We saw the amazing giant otters, reptiles, black caymans, birds of all sorts, 6 species of monkeys, flora, fauna, spiders (and, yes, plenty of spider bites to boot).

The lodging at Sandoval is exactly as advertised: clean, hospitable, quasi-public in the sense that your conversations might very well be overheard. We had two irritating women from Chicago and Phoenix guessing various Rob Reiner/Penny Marshall films one night ad nauseum, and two guys from Spain that would not stop singing a la 3am-6am. Again, use your sense of humor and you'll be just fine. The rest of the guests had very nice hotel etiquette and you will meet people from all over the world: USA, UK, Aussies, Spain, Russia, Sweden, and Singapore were all represented while we were there.

Bring your 100% DEET, your best 18-200 and 300 lenses, anything Gortex or Paclite (cotton is not your friend in the jungle) and you will have a terrific experience with the Peruvian wildlife of Lake Sandoval. Enjoy!

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank macandginger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sandoval Lake Lodge

Property: Sandoval Lake Lodge
Address: Puerto Maldonado Peru, Puerto Maldonado, Peru
Region: Peru > Madre de Dios Region > Puerto Maldonado
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 10 Hotels in Puerto Maldonado
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Sandoval Lake Lodge 2.5*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sandoval Lake Lodge: Located deep in Peru's Tambopata National Reserve, our Sandoval Lake lodge overlooks sparkling, palm-rimmed Sandoval Lake, the most beautiful and wildlife-rich of all lakes in Tambopata-Madidi. This privileged location gives you exclusive access to the lake in the early morning and late afternoon, the choice hours for wildlife viewing and photography. No other lodge in Tambopata-Madidi is on the banks of a protected oxbow lake. Our short Sandoval Lake Lodge program includes two nights of fully-screened accommodation in 25 double-occupancy rooms complete with en suite facilities with hot-water showers, electricity (*), fans, meals, airport transfers in Puerto Maldonado, naturalist guides, lake excursions by day in search of Giant Otters, monkeys, and macaws, forest excursions, night excursions in search of caimans, and evening slide shows. Our lodge specializes in small groups and individualized attention in our overriding quest to conserve the lake and surrounding rainforest. Sandoval Lake Lodge is built out of ecologically-correct driftwood mahogany and is owned jointly by a nonprofit conservation group and five families of indigenous Brazil nut collectors. (*) Three times per day: from 5:00 to 6:00 am, from noon to 4:00 pm and from 17:30 to 22:30 pm. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandoval Lake Hotel Puerto Maldonado

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