Peru 6: Puerto Maldonado for a trip into the Amazon Jungle

 

We still had jungle fever, especially due to the cold nights in Cusco.This time round we decided to drive to Puerto Maldonado and not fly.

Uns hatte der Urwaldtrip nach Madidi besonders gut gefallen, jedoch wollten wir mehr Papageien und auch die Riesenottern sehen. So machten wir einen Abstecher nach Puerto Maldonado und von dort aus zu dem Lago Sandoval.

We had heard about the scenic road going down the escarpment from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado and that the tarred road was in very good condition –which it was indeed and the mountain passes are spectacular.

As we drove the landscape changed from barren and cold mountains covered in snow  to the lush and green forested escarpment ending in the jungle around Puerto Maldonado. Here we camped at the Anaconda Lodge with Donald and Wadee Traeris with a small Thai restaurant run by the Wadee.

Next to us our closest neighbours were 4 Tarantulas that were territorial and came out after dark, resident Agoutis and the red howler monkey Oscar. Unfortunately an open-air disco had opened close to this property with blaring music into the early morning hours, even during the week. For this reason we cannot recommend to stay here in a tent or rooftop tent despite the fact that it is within walking distance to a mariposario (butterfly farm) and it being possible for us to leave the vehicle.

Our guide Luiz Salazar came to the lodge to negotiate the various outings and work closely with the Anaconda Lodge. Next day at 5am our first outing was boating up the Rio Madre de Dios to a claylick of parakeets and parrots.

Following day we went by boat for 30min downriver into the Tambo Pata National Parque from where we went on foot for 1.5hours to reach the shore of Lago Sandoval. Luiz then paddled us to Sandoval Homestead Lodge, a small lodge run by an indigenous family. For lunch we were served chicken with rice and egg rolled up in leaves plus fresh fruit juices.

The afternoon we rowed around the lake, saw various birds, black caymans and freshwater rays.

Next morning we started at 6am, came across an Anaconda in a bush under which we passed, observed families of giant otters fishing and playing plus many birds.

During the afternoon we walk we came across a dead coral snake(very venomous) and leaned how Brazil nuts grow (only in the wild on tall trees and Agoutis are the only animals cracking the nuts).

Our evening outing by boat brought us again close to the giant otters and we observed a marvelous sunset from a viewing platform at the rangers post. No boats are allowed further in on Lago Sandoval. No motorized craft are permitted on the lake which results in the lake being very quiet and serene.

During an evening walk we searched for insects and came across a seldomly-seen  armadillo.

Next morning we started at 5am, rowing across the lake to see Macaws which we saw flying overhead and observed Capuchin monkeys.

Boating back we also saw large white Caymans on the riverbank.

On the return journey to Cusco we again wild-camped at a stream halfway up the escarpment and finally arrived back in Cusco mid day.

This blog covers 19th July to 27th July 2016

Author: Dieter

A passionate traveller and photographer with an urge to share the beauty of our planet.

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