- This is a custom departure, meaning this trip is offered on dates that you arrange privately with the provider. Additionally, you need to form your own private group for this trip. The itinerary and price here is just a sample. Contact the provider for detailed pricing, minimum group size, and scheduling information. For most providers, the larger the group you are traveling with, the lower the per-person cost will be.
- Family oriented trip.
DAY 1 : AMAZON RAINFOREST CONSERVATION CENTER [ARCC]
Arrive Puerto Maldonado. Meet our rainforest naturalist guide and depart on a 15 minute drive through this tropical port city to cross the Madre del Dios River via traditional ferry. A 45 minute drive through lush tropical farmland brings us to the banks of the Las Piedras River. Board a comfortable motorized canoe for the 4-5 hour journey to the ARCC. Enroute watch for wildlife along the riverbank like capybara, caiman, turtles, brown capuchin and howler monkeys and birds along the shoreline. Lunch is served en route and by the early afternoon, arrive at the ARCC, a well-built lodge just steps from Lake Soledad. Guests are accommodated in 8 charming screened-in chalets adorned with thatch-roofs and local hardwoods with lights, fans, electrical outlets, a balcony, and private bath with hot water help you refresh from the long journey. If time permits, explore some of the surrounding trails, looking for a troop of the elusive Emperor Tamarin primates. This evening after dinner, join our naturalist for a nocturnal hike to view caiman and other denizens of the dark. Overnight ARCC [BLD]
DAY 2 : LAKE SOLEDAD
Rise at dawn to the distanct calls of Red-Howler Monkeys. Paddle along the shoreline of Lake Soledad, a classic ox-bow lake rich in wildlife activity. Our stable catamaran is the perfect platform to observe and photograph the resident family of Giant River Otters and monkeys such as Red Howler, Brown Capuchin, Squirrel and the large Black Spider performing acrobatics in the nearby trees. Fishing birds like Capped Heron, Amazon Kingfisher, Anhinga, Sungrebe and Osprey abound and the pre-historic looking Hoatzin birds clamber around overhanging branches while Jacana carefully tread over floating vegetation. Along the trails, a rustling overhead indicates a troop of spider monkeys on the move. Enjoy fresh local cuisine in the spacious and airy dining area including fresh fish dishes, exotic fruit juices, and delicious vegetarian options. Relax and refresh at the bar or lounge in hammocks between jungle excursions. Overnight at ARCC [BLD]
DAY 3 : MACAW AND MAMMAL CLAY-LICKS
Early departure at dawn for a 20 minute motor-canoe up river to visit a macaw and parrot clay-lick. Up to hundreds of parrots and macaws congregate in flocks to eat the mineral-rich clay of the river bank which cleanses them of toxins from rain forest seeds they have eaten. Bird activity at the clay lick continues (unless it is raining) until the parrots have had their fill or otherwise sense danger from a raptor at which point they fly off in an explosion of sound and color. After lunch at the lodge we cross the river by boat to a long trail which takes us to a large mammal clay-lick where huge groups of White-lipped Peccaries come to feed on the minerals along with tapirs, monkeys, pacas, deer and birds. Continue walking through the terra firma forest as our guide explains the ecology of this rich flood-plain area. After dinner at the lodge join a night walk to explore the nocturnal world of the tropical rainforest. [BLD]
DAY 4 : BAMBOO TRAIL
Rise before dawn and ascend to the canopy platform to see the sunrise, or view the sunrise on Lake Soledad if you prefer. This is the best time for viewing colorful canopy birds such as Orange-cheeked Parrot, Spangled Cotinga, Crimson-crested Tanager or Curl-crested Aracari. From this high vantage point you can sometimes see the giant river otters in the lake below and macaws flying by in large numbers on their way to the clay licks. Return to the lodge for a late breakfast and then walk the bamboo trail. The hollow Guadua bamboo is a breeding ground for insect larvae which in turn support a number of rare endemic bird species including Peruvian R
ecurvebill, Rufous-headed Woodpecker, White-lined Antbird and Goeldis Antbird. The dense bamboo forest is also preferred by the reclusive Dusky-Titi Monkey. This afternoon is open to walk trails or take the boat on the river or the lake. [BLD]
DAY 5 : WILDLIFE VIEWING
Wildlife viewing options abound on this day. Explore Lake Soledad again by catamaran, in search of the resident otters. In the tree-tops you may spot noisy Cuviers Toucans, Scarlet Macaws and Mealy Parrots or the dazzling Paradise Tanager and equally colorful Purple-throated Cotinga and Blue-crowned Trogan.
Return to the lodge for breakfast then join a walk along the forest and lake. Here we can see monkeys and occasional herds of White-lipped Peccaries. The bird diversity within the forest is extensive and sightings may include Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Pied Puffbird, Cream-colored Woodpecker, Blue-crowned Motmot or Pale-winged Trumpeter. Track animals in the soft soils which give an indication of the presence of mammal species such as tapir, jaguar, Red or Grey Brocket Deer, armadillo and paca.
After lunch and a brief siesta you can again head for the rainforest canopy tower to watch the sunset, take another walk through the forest or simply relax in one of the hammocks. After dinner take a starlit catamaran paddle on Lake Soledad looking for the elusive Black Caiman under a large spotlight. Overnight at ARCC. [BLD].
DAY 6 : DEPARTURE
Depart ARCC in the early morning hours and journey downriver passing a large clay-lick which may have macaw activity. We reach Puerto Maldonado by mid-day, in time to make afternoon flights to Cusco or continuing on to Lima.
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