G Lodge Amazon - 6 days
Day 1 Puerto Maldonado/G Lodge Amazon (L,D)
Arrive in the morning to Puerto Maldonado from Lima or Cusco, meeting your naturalist guide at the airport. Take the van to the lodge office in town (if necessary) where you can store larger luggage or things you don't need for the lodge. You will be given a duffle bag to pack and take to the lodge. You may have other G Adventures travellers sharing the same transport as you. Travel about 1 hr to the port where you'll switch to a motorized canoe (covered) for the approx. 2 hr trip up the Tambopata River to the lodge. On the way, the vegetation changes from colonized deforested areas to virgin rain forest and there's a chance to start spotting wildlife right away. A delicious box-lunch is provided on board. Be prepared to protect yourself from the sun and bugs before you get on the boat. It's quite pleasant with the covered roof and breeze but you can still get sunburned. It's recommended to wear light long sleeves and trousers on the boat. On arrival, enjoy a welcome drink and meet the rest of the staff. Wander around the lodge grounds and check in to your bungalow. Before dinner, enjoy a slideshow familiarizing you with the area's vegetation and wildlife. head back to the dining area for a delicious buffet-style dinner of locally sourced (when possible) ingredients. After dinner, head out on a night walk around the lodge. The forest is dominated by giant Brazil-nut and dipteryx trees. About 50% of the animals are nocturnal in the rainforest and you're likely to see spiders, snakes, frogs, crickets and other tiny insects you'd miss without your local guide. INFORMATION ABOUT THE G LODGE THE AREA: The G Lodge Amazon is situated within the Tambopata National Reserve (TNR) and is on the edge of the Bahuaja Sonene National Park, creating an immense area totaling more than 3,000,000 acres of sub-tropical moist rainforest. The area has became part of a cross border park system, joining with the Madidi National Park in Bolivia, together they constitute the largest protected zone of tropical forest on the continent of South America. THE LODGE GROUNDS: The buildings or cabins of the lodge have been designed to exist in complete harmony with this exotic environment. They are made from wood and thatched with woven leaves and screened in to protect you from insects. Each bed is protected by a mosquito net and the cabins all have a private bathroom with running water (solar heated) and flush toilets. The lodge compound and buildings are lit at night with flame lanterns and candles but it is recommended that you keep your own flashlight handy. Guests are welcome to explore the trails maintained by the lodge during their leisure time. The trails on the other side of the Tambopata River can only be reached by boat. FOOD & DRINK: The dining room serves food, usually buffet-style, as well as drinks and snacks all day. All meals are prepared by the lodge's own specialized professional staff using a blend of forest products and more traditional recipes. Some of the dishes are typically Peruvian and international food is also served. There are plenty of vegetarian options and most dietary restrictions can be catered for if notified ahead of time. There is a cash bar (accepting Soles or USD) where you can buy soft drinks, alcohol, water and snacks. Do not bring your own snacks or food to the lodge as they attract bugs and animals. WATER, ELECTRICTY, ETC: Tap water in the rooms comes from the clear stream near the lodge. The water is chlorinated and fit for showers and swimming only. The lodge supplies purified water for drinking and also sells bottled water at the bar. There is electricity from a generator in the main lodge from 6pm-10pm. There are outlets available to charge any devices you may have. TRANSPORT: Transport to and from the lodge is by boat. All boats are protected from both sun and rain by a roof and side closures. Boat seats have back rests and seat cushions for greater comfort. Wooden boats will be used on shorter excursions in shallow water. These boats have a roof and bench seating along the sides. All passengers will be provided with a life jacket, and all the drivers used are qualified, experienced and possess a great knowledge of the river and its fauna. PACKING LIST: For walks in the forest it is recommend that you bring light clothing (not black), long loose-fitting trousers, long-sleeved shirts, a wide-brimmed hat and walking boots or tennis shoes. The early mornings can be cold, especially when on the river so you should bring along a windbreaker or a sweater. Come prepared with a rain jacket or poncho, as heavy rain may fall at any moment. You can easily wear shorts, sandals, skirts, etc around the lodge but for excursions be prepared to wear long sleeves and trousers to protect from sun and bugs. *Please note that you need to arrive into Puerto Maldonado by 1pm at the latest.
Day 2 G Lodge Amazon (B,L,D)
After breakfast you will board the motorized canoe for the short journey to the trail head to begin a morning's exploration by foot and paddle canoe of the lake system of Condenado, rich in bird and aquatic life. Birdlife is abundant especially rufescent tiger-herons, great egrets, wattled jacanas, hoatzin, the noisy donacobius and many others. Remember to bring your hat and sun screen for there is no shade out on the water. With luck you might see giant river otters, black caiman, anaconda or other rare species. Return to the lodge in time for lunch. The afternoon is free for exploring close to the lodge (with or without your guide), relaxing in the local swimming hole, lounging in a hammock or visiting our tree platforms, going up with ropes and harnesses for a bird's eye view of the forest and for close-ups of arboreal orchids and the many other species of plants and animals that are never seen near the ground (extra cost). Another optional is to visit a local working plantations nearby. After dark, go searching for caiman (alligators) and other nocturnal animals by motorized canoe along the Tambopata River.
Day 3 G Lodge Amazon (B,L,D)
Depart after an early breakfast for a short boat ride down river. Embark on a longer trail which leads to a spectacular hidden lake, Lake Sachavacayoc (Tapir Lake), requiring the crossing of streams and swampy ground, past the giant lupuna trees (kings of the jungle) which abound in this part of the forest. On the walk you are introduced to more aspects of the forest and its animals. At the lake you may spot the elusive black caiman and giant otters. We return for lunch and the afternoon is free for relaxing and swimming.
Day 4 G Lodge Amazon (B,L,D)
Today's excursion will take us to the Collpa de Guacamayos, Bird and Mammal Clay Licks. After a six ‘o clock breakfast at the Lodge, we will board our launch for the 9-kilometer ride upriver to the trailhead. From the banks of the Tambopata it is a 1.7 kilometer hike to our destination. We will spend an hour walking this trail, with plenty of time to observe Amazon flora and fauna along the way. After about 800 meters, we will leave this trail and walk 300 meters through the forest to the mammal clay lick, or Collpa. Close to the wall of clay, we will await the arrival of the White-lipped Peccaries which tend to congregate in large groups to feed on the mineral deposits found here. After about 45 minutes, we will continue our walk to the nearby macaw clay lick, arriving at around 8:30 am. It is in the early morning that groups of Scarlet and Red-and-Green Macaws often gather to feed on the clay deposits essential to their diet, creating a colorful and noisy show. After having had plenty of time to observe the birds, we will take a light snack before returning to the river via another trail and taking the boat back to the Lodge, arriving before lunch. The afternoon is free for relaxation and bathing
Day 5 G Lodge Amazon (B,L,D)
Today we will walk to the private concession for the conservation of Brazil nut trees (4-5 hours). After an early breakfast, we walked 2.5 km. the protected area of Brazil nut trees. On route we will observe flora and fauna typical of a primary forest. Within the area will appreciate the various activities that we do to protect the forest. Return to the lodge by another trail. The tour includes a demonstration of opening the coconuts, fruit peel and product use, including the local cuisine. During the harvest season (January to March) we carry machetes and baskets to collect the fruits. Participants must wear helmets because the fruit falls from the trees spontaneously. The Brazil nut tree it is native to Venezuela, Brazil, eastern Colombia, eastern Peru and eastern Bolivia. The Brazil nut is a large tree, reaching 30–45 meters (100–150 ft.) tall and 1–2 meters trunk diameter, among the largest of trees in the Amazon Rainforests. It may live for 500 years or more, and according to some authorities often reaches an age of 1,000 years. The stem is straight and commonly unbranched for well over half the tree's height, with a large emergent crown of long branches above the surrounding canopy of other trees. Brazil nut trees produce fruit almost exclusively in pristine forests, as disturbed forests lack the large-body bees of the genera Bombus, Centris, Epicharis, Eulaema, and Xylocopa which are the only ones capable of pollinating the tree's flowers. The fruit takes 14 months to mature after pollination of the flowers. The fruit itself is a large capsule 10–15 centimeters diameter resembling a coconut endocarp in size and weighing up to 2 kilograms and inside contains 8–24 triangular seeds. The capsule contains a small hole at one end, which enables large rodents like the Agouti to gnaw it open. They then eat some of the nuts inside while burying others for later use; some of these are able to germinate into new Brazil nut trees. Most of the seeds are "planted" by the Agoutis in shady places, and the young saplings may have to wait years, in a state of dormancy, for a tree to fall and sunlight to reach it. It is not until then that it starts growing again.
Day 6 Puerto Maldonado (B)
Start early (depending on your flight time) for the canoe trip back to Puerto Maldonado. Lookout for the early morning wildlife which is particularly active at this time. Howler monkeys are frequently heard, as they stakeout their territories. Arrive back to the port and journey by van back to the lodge office to collect your luggage (if necessary) before heading to the airport. Your guide will be with you and can assist with any logistics at the airport. *Please do not book any flights out of Puerto Maldonado until 11am or later.