Peruvian Amazon: Tropical Escape To Tambopata National Reserve

We topped off our amazing trip to Peru with a relaxing three-day stay in the Peruvian Amazon. A short boat ride from Puerto Maldonado lies Tambopata National Reserve, home to an abundance of wildlife. Limited accessibility makes this a relatively undiscovered part of Peru.

We flew into Puerto Maldonado from Cusco. The plane ride came with stunning views of both the Andes mountains and the Amazon.

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Our stay at Corto Maltes Amazonia included all meals and excursions. That way we could completely relax after two carefully planned and packed weeks. The comfort of the beautiful lodge was a nice change from our nights in buses and tents. Although it did come with its own discomforts; electricity for just a few hours a day and mosquito nets added to the jungle experience.

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We were picked up from the airport and taken to a little harbor. A 30-minute boat ride later, touristy Peru was like a world apart.

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After lunch and some relaxing by the pool, our small group was taken on a guided walk through the rainforest. The guide was very knowledgable, talking about the flora and fauna we came across. As we went deeper into the jungle, the walkway turned into a rougher path.

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At night, we went on a boat safari in search of caimans. With success. It’s amazing (and scary) to see how still they can keep, as if dead.

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The canoe-shaped boat became our best friend. The next morning, we sailed off to Lake Sandoval before sunrise.

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This was followed by a two-mile hike in the jungle. A bunch of squirrel monkeys kept us company along the road.

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A small rowing boat took us through the dense rainforest to Lake Sandoval. On the way, we passed a well hidden caiman luring at us.

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The lake was very peaceful, with just one other boat there. We spent more than an hour floating on the water, looking for all kinds of wildlife. Lake Sandoval is known to house a family of giant otters. When we were about to give up, the whole family emerged!

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On the way back, we made a stop at ‘Monkey Island’. It was just as horrendous as it sounds. The monkeys were ready to steal everything that didn’t stick to your body. I’ve had my share of traumatizing monkey moments in Asia, so I would have gladly skipped this stop if it was an option.

My favorite moments of our stay were the beautiful sunsets over the river. The delicious passionfruit martinis may have played a part in this.

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Our last morning in the Amazon we spent staring at a clay lick. The macaws were not in the mood to show off their colorful feathers. On the upside, we now knew it was not a tourist setup. Puerto Maldonado was the last stop on our Peru trip; we flew back to Lima and from there, back to Belgium. I’ll definitely be back to explore the Northern part of this wonderful country!

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