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Peru: The Amazon Basin Jungle

«Cuzco and The Sacred Valley Machu Picchu»

1 – 5 August 2005

Over half of Peru’s land lies in the Amazon basin, which is located east of the Andes. However, only about 5% of Peru’s population lives there. The infrastructure in this region is characterized by very few paved roads, so river travel and flying are the preferred ways to get around.

We began our jungle adventure by flying 25 minutes from Cuzco to Puerto Maldonado, which is located in south east Peru. From there we met our guide, Cesar, who accommodated us on a five night trip up the Rio Tambopata. We went upstream the first day to Posada Amazonas, which is located on the Infierno native community land. This lodge contained rooms with private baths and unglassed windows that open up to the jungle on one side. While we were there we climbed the 120 foot observation tower to view the rainforest jungle. We also got up before dawn to take a two hour boat ride on the Tres Chimbadas oxbow lake to observe birds and giant river otters.

We then continued up the Rio Tambopata another six hours into the Reserva Nacional Tambopata and to the Tambopata Research Center. This lodge, containing only 16 rooms, is also the home to researchers who study macaw and parrot activity. The main attraction here is a nearby clay lick that attracts up to ten species of parrots and macaws at dawn each morning.

We visited the clay lick twice and saw many types of birds, including the scarlet macaw, blue and yellow macaw and red and green macaw. As we hiked around the lodge or rode along the river, we also saw many birds, capybaras, a tapir and spider monkeys, brown capuchin monkeys, squirrel monkeys and red howler monkeys. An afternoon of fishing also resulted in Darren catching a fish that we all enjoyed for dinner.

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