Not being able to book tickets to Machu Picchu for several days – the place gets rather busy – we pondered our options and chose to head into the jungle of Tambopata Reserve near Puerto Maldonado. We organized our tour through Macaw Adventure Peru Tours, a small agency in Cuzco. We booked a 4-day, 3-night tour including all transportation, accommodation and meals as well as a guide and activities.
To get to Puerto Maldonado, we had to take an overnight bus that took 10 hours. Upon arrival a member of Tarantula Expeditions met us at the bus station and took us to their base camp for breakfast. A couple from Germany on their honeymoon, Nina and Martin, joined our group and with our guide, Eloy, we boarded a boat for about an hour-long ride up the Rio Madre De Dios to the entrance of the Tambopata Reserve.
From there we walked about 90 minutes to the shore of Lago Sandoval where we paddled a kind of canoe around the lake to a lodge that would be our base for the next two days. From here we explored the lake during the day and evening looking for wildlife. There are many bird species that make the lake and surrounding jungle their home, as well as various species of monkey and one of the star attractions: black caimans.
On the third day we hiked back out to the Madre De Dios and after a short boat ride downstream we arrived at Yakari Ecolodge. From there we explored Monkey Island and went zip-trekking in the canopy of the jungle. It was a great four days and a nice break from the hustle and bustle of Cuzco.
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