Ok, to all those other reviewers complaining of mud and bugs: DO YOU EVER LEAVE YOUR OWN HOUSE??? For everyone else - you must go here! Yes, it's remote, but that's why it's such a cool place.
My wife and I did the 3D/2N trip here through InkaNatura. It was the last part of our vacation in Peru, and probably the highlight for both of us - yes, even more so than Machu Picchu! Getting to the Lodge is an experience in itself, but not really difficult or long. Just bring plenty of bug spray and lightweight clothes and you'll be fine.
The lodge itself is actually pretty incredible. No luxury status or Michelin stars here, but considering the location it's actually a really nice place to stay. Upon arriving, you quickly feel the slow pace of life in the jungle. Nature walks are at your own speed, and the canoe trips around the lake practically define serene. The amount of wildlife and the incredible variety within astounded me. You really feel like you're in some sort of documentary - which makes sense when you are told the BBC has filmed here. We saw otters, caimans, leaf-cutter ants, walking palms, macaws, spider monkeys, Brazil nut tree, termites, lizards, agutis...need I go on? I seriously doubt I can every enjoy a zoo again. Being on Sandoval Lake was so very cool!
I should also add that our guide, Cesar (provided through InkaNatura), was absolutely amazing. He was very patient with us, and seemed to thoroughly enjoy his job. However, the best part was his voluminous knowledge of the jungle life. You'd only have to walk a few feet with him before he was pointing out some unusual plant or animal that you'd only every seen on TV (if you'd ever seen it at all).
We never had any problems with the staff, the lodging, or the food. Our room was comfortable, and the turn-down service was a pleasant touch. Hot water was available, but not always long-lasting. The intermittent periods of electricity were never an issue (this is the jungle, folks - electricity is a luxury, not a necessity). The food was very tasty, and always just the right amount.
While I heartily recommend Sandoval Lake Lodge for a taste of the jungle, it has whet my appetite for viewing wildlife and next time I might dedicate a whole week and go somewhere even more remote. But for 1-3 day excursions, you really can't beat this place!
- 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