If you decide to take a trip to the Amazon and your number priority is to see animals then Tambopata Research Center is the place to go. However, I would not recommend the TRC for those who have not spent anytime in the jungle and are not use to rugged conditions. A first time trip to the jungle might be better served if you went to a lodge closer to Puerto Maldonado or in Costa Rica. You have to take a 6 hour boat ride up the Tambopata River which is a rather large river (several hundred yards wide at certain points), and I would highly recommend very warm clothing for the early morning boat trips as it can be quite chilly in July (Peru's winter months).
We were very fortunate to have Paula as a guide, she is the best! She loves being in the jungle and gets very excited when we find animals. She is a guide during the busy season, and lives in Lima during most of the year as a cooking instructor. I would request her as your guide and you will not be disappointed. We saw a jaguar, 7 types of monkeys, red deer, capybara's, peccary, caimans, paca rodents, red Amazon squirrel, agouti, poison dart frog, gold crested toad, a 2 1/2 foot long golden tegu lizard, and many types of parrots and macaws. There are many scarlet macaws around the TRC compound and they are very entertaining and can be quite mischievous. Apparently many of these scarlet macaws were hatched at TRC in the 90's, and even though they were released into the jungle they still frequent TRC. The macaws have learned how to steal food from the guests (even though you are provided a locked food storage box in your room. As all rooms are open air at TRC ( no windows or ceilings), the macaws have learned how to walk across the beams above your room and look for food very quietly. In the room beside us,one macaw found a Power-bar and flew away with it to a nearby tree. He proceeded to neatly rip off the wrapper, drop it on the ground and then very calmly eat the Power bar. Also seeing the hundreds of parrots and macaws at the clay lick was truly amazing. During all our hikes we wore mud boots because all of the trails are very mud (actually many of the trails will mud over one foot deep in them). Generally we got up before 5 AM so as to be in the jungle before sunrise and on the late afternoon hike we stayed in the jungle until after dark. Since we were in the jungle during the winter months, which is the dry season and we had very muddy trails and one day when it got into the 80's the Mosquitos got quite challenging. ( everyone had mosquito spray and stay protected) but this made me wonder if we were in the jungle during the "dry" winter months, how muddy would this be in the summer and I can only speculate how bad the Mosquitos would be.
It was stressed to our party that we were very fortunate to see a jaguar as the odds are less than 1 in 20 , and I do not want to mislead anyone that seeing a jaguar is a common occurance.
Also the TRC innkeeper was excellent and very attentive to everyone's needs and the meals were excellent. At dinner you would have thought you were in a large city having a gourmet meal! The facility was kept very clean.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Tambopata Research Center (TRC) is a spartan yet comfortable 18 bedroom lodge with 8 shared bathrooms. Because of its remote location in uninhabited wilderness, housing stable populations of endangered wildlife, the small scale of its infrastructure and operations and the presence of researchers and naturalist guides, Tambopata Research Center is an excellent headquarters for in depth explorations of Amazonian nature and wildlife. It is located in a half hectare clearing in the middle of the uninhabited portion of the Tambopata National Reserve, less than a kilometer from the world's largest and most diverse macaw claylick. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Tambopata Research Hotel Tambopata National Reserve
- Tambopata Research Center Peru/Tambopata National Reserve