Amazon lake tours and camping with Inotawa
Inotawa organizes mainly excursions to visit very interesting sites close to their Amazon Lodge. During these excursion you will able you to learn more about different ecosystems such within the Tambopata Amazon Reserve, incl. the Mauritia palm swamps, primary forest with rubber trees and Brazil nut harvesting areas.
However, during this adventures Amazon tour of 5 days you will not only visit local farms and beautiful oxbow lakes, but also the biggest mammal Clay-Lick of the Tambopata nature reserve! This Clay-Lick is named Soliraria Clay-Lick and is a popular place for the mammals of the Amazon to eat salts and minerals. Because the bigger mammals (incl. deer, tapir and boar) are in general shyer, it will be easier to spot them in the dark at the Clay-Lick, instead of during the day. For this reason we will be spending the night in tents close to this Soliraria Clay-Lick.
Short Amazon tour Itinerary:
Day 1: Puerto Maldonado – Inotawa Lodge
Day 2: La Torre Clay Lick, La Torre Lakes – Montes, Pato and Lagarto – Solitaria Clay-Lick – camping
Day 3: Camping – Lodge – local farm – Tres Chimbadas Lake
Day 4: Cocococha Lake Trek – evening tour in search of caimans
Day 5: Inotawa – Puerto Maldonado
Amazon lake tours and camping with Inotawa
Day 1: Puerto Maldonado - Inotawa Amazon Lodge
Your guide will be waiting for you at the airport and take you to our office located at approximately 5 minutes from the airport in the city of Puerto Maldonado. Here we will register and make some last minute shopping for things we might have forgotten such as batteries, sun block, or raingear.
Afterwards we will take an unpaved road to Puerto Nuevo, our port in the Infierno Community, for about one hour. On our journey we can see various types of woodland, traditional banana and citrus plantations, cattle ranches and small creeks.
Once in Puerto Nuevo we will embark on our one and a half hour boat trip up the mighty Tambopata. During the boat ride we will also have lunch consisting of delicious vegetarian Arroz Chaufa wrapped in the leaf of the bijao heliconia. There will also be fruit, crackers and a bottle of water.
We will enter the Buffer zone of the Tambopata National Reserve and the Bahuaja Sonene National Park. During your journey you can appreciate the banks vegetation consisting mainly of patches of canes, Cecropias and Ficus. We might also see wildlife such as river birds like the oropendulas and their hanging nesting colonies, egrets, herons and others might fly over such as toucans or the magnificent macaws- Occasionally we can spot mammals like capybaras or monkeys or reptilians such as spectacled caimans and turtles.
Once we arrive at INOTAWA the manager will receive us and your guide will tell about the dos and don’ts in the jungle in order for you to enjoy your stay to the maximum. He will also lead you around the installations and show you your room.
In the afternoon we head out into the jungle for a small walk in order to observe the flora such as immense Ironwood or Kapok trees and birds such as Trogons, quails and wild turkeys. Once night falls we can also find spiders such as tarantulas and other nocturnal creatures.
After dinner your guide will give you a small speech about what to expect and explain the various activities during your stay.
Day 2: La Torre Clay Lick, La Torre lakes - Montes, Pato and Lagarto - Solitaria Clay-Lick - camping
We leave the lodge very early on the morning to go fifteen minutes upriver in order to observe the activity of the macaws, parrots, parakeets and the occasional mammal feeding on the earth. La Torre Clay Lick is a mud bank about four meters high and twenty meters wide crisscrossed with veins of mineral rich clay essential to the diet of these animals.
On site we have a hideout at a distance of thirty meters which keeps us hidden while at the same time allowing us an unobstructed view of the display in front of us.
During the phenomenon we need to stick to the rules and guidelines set by our guide the previous evening.
From the Clay-Lick we take the boat for about fifteen minutes upriver towards La Torre Lakes.
The geographical characteristics with elevations, lakes and mammal clay licks plus the location deep inside the Tambopata National Reserve are the main reasons for the sites exceptional biodiversity.
We disembark at the La Torre Park rangers post and continue by foot. We cross the small Carachamayoc creek and continue into the jungle to eventually get to the lakes Montes, Pato and Lagarto. The trek will take us between 2 and 2:30 hours. Every step it turns more interesting as our local guide tells us about the surrounding plants and their practical and medicinal uses and preparation.
We will also get to a mammal clay lick deep inside the rainforest called Solitaria clay lick. It’s the last of a number of clay licks coming from the south and we can frequently spot peccaries, brocket deer and sometimes even tapirs.
At dusk we will set up camp in the jungle and have dinner.
Day 3: Return to Inotawa - Visit a farm - Visit to Tres Chimbadas lake
Breakfast and break down camp. Afterwards we will hike back to the Tambopata River where we will embark on native rafts and float downriver back to the lodge.
In the area of the lodge they practice traditional agriculture. This is a great opportunity to see harvest and try various exotic fruits from the amazon such as Copazú, Arazá, Pijuayo, Yucca, and Pineapple. There are also various herbs such as pallilo and false cilantro as well as a range of medicinal plants such as piñón, caña caña and piri piri that are traditionally and widely used by the local people. The farms also create open spaces for papaya and banana plantations. This is the preferred habitat for birds such as silver beaked tanagers, oreoles, oropendulas, toucanets and various woodpeckers.
In the afternoon we visit the Tres Chimbadas Lake. The entrance trail to this Lake is located fifteen minutes downriver from INOTAWA . After arriving at the trail, we walk about 45 minutes to the lake located deep in the jungle. We will pass an eco-tourism concession held by the native people of the Infierno community. They guard and maintain the area thanks also to the income generated by entry fees from tourists.
At the lake itself we will board a traditional catamaran with a single oar in order to move around on the lake following the route indicated by our guide. We can see luscious vegetation and birds such as Snakebirds, herons, kingfishers etc. We might also find reptiles and mammals, above all the illusive giant river otter. The lake happens to be the territory of a clan that can frequently be spotted.
Day 4: Cocococha Lake trek - nocturnal boat ride and caiman spotting
The two and a half hour trek to the Cocococha Lake is very interesting. We will pass different types of jungle with key species to biodiversity of Madre de Dios such as the Rubber tree and the Brazil nut. Cocococha Lake is located deep in the Tambopata National Reserve and covers an area of approximately 60 ha surrounded by swampland lowlands and hills. This change in elevation and vegetation in combination with minimal human influence leads to a very high level of biodiversity. It also forms an important habitat for many of the endangered and emblematic species such as macaws, black caimans and giant river otters that can feed and reproduce in peace here.
We will be back at INOTAWA in time for lunch. After some rest we will walk around the trails and look for old big trees, while our guide explains their use.
At night we head out in the boat to enjoy ourselves and the sounds of the Amazonian night, we might see a thunderstorm spilling out on the horizon or marvel at constellations like the Southern Cross or Scorpion.
We are also carrying a powerful searchlight in case we come across some nocturnal animals such as caimans, bats, nightjars, capybaras, or maybe even a wild cat on the banks and meanders of the Tambopata River.
After the evening tour dinner will be served.
Day 5: Inotawa Amazon Lodge – Puerto Maldonado
After breakfast we will return to the INOTAWA office in Puerto Maldonado and then on to the airport. Your guide will accompany you until the airport and help you with the check-in process for your flight back to Cusco or Lima.
Important: The actual itinerary of this tour can be subject to unpredictable local (weather) circumstances.
Inclusive and recommended to bring into the Amazon:
- 4x Breakfast, 4x lunch, 4x dinner, infusions, coffee, tea, milk and seasonal fruits
- Transfers: Puerto Maldonado – airport – bus terminal – hotel and visa versa
- Transport during the tour
- Overnight in double, triple rooms, with private bathroom (single room is additional price)
- One night in a two-person tent
- Incl. the use of camping equipment
- An English speaking guide for excursions to the nature reserves and the expeditions
- A local guide to visit the local communities
- Transport to/ from Puerto Maldonado (by bus or plane)
- 10 + 10 + 10 + 50 soles (around 30 US$) on local entrance fees
- The use of a sleeping bag
- Things not mentioned in the tour itinerary
- Alcoholic drinks, soft drinks and other personal spending
- (International) bank transaction fees
Recommended to bring with are:
- Camera (+ something to back-up pictures)
- Flashlight, or better a Head Light
- Day (back)pack
- Cap or Wide-Brimmed Hat
- 2 pair of light trousers
- 2 pair of shorts
- 3 T-shirts
- Bathing Suit
- Rain Coat/ Poncho
- Water Bottle
- Insect Repellent (you can also buy in Cusco)
- Certificate of Yellow Fever Vaccine!
- Bills/ notes (soles) of small amounts
- Good walking shoes/ boots **
- Sandals or alternative footwear for use at the lodge
In the rainy season it is usually necessary to walk in rubber boots / wellies, which are provided by the lodge (up to size 10 (44), bigger is difficult to get). During the dry season it may be possible to walk in walking boots.