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!
- 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