Sandoval Lake Lodge

4 Days / 3 Nights

Sandoval Lake Lodge: Located a 30 minutes motor canoe ride down the River Madre de Dios from Puerto Maldonado, Sandoval Lake Lodge is perched above what many rainforest specialists feel is the most attractive lake in Southern Peru, if not in the entire Peruvian Amazon. The whole complex is housed in one structure and includes 25 double occupancy rooms with private bath, hot showers, and a spacious dining room overlooking the lake.
For a more relaxed, complete introduction to the rainforest, we recommend a two nights stay. However, with the easy access from Puerto Maldonado, for the first time it is possible to spend only one night in the rainforest and still get a good preliminary idea of the splendor of the Peruvian Amazon.

Day 1: Puerto Maldonado to Sandoval Lake

Our staff will welcome you at the airport in Puerto Maldonado and drive you through the city to the boat dock on the Tambopata River. Here we board a motorized canoe and head towards the nearby confluence of the mighty Madre de Dios River, the source of the Amazon tributary. Just 30 minutes down river is landing at the port that will lead to Sandoval Lake.

We walk a trail of 3 Km (2 mi), stopping to watch birds and butterflies, up to a narrow canal boats. From there, we navigate the flooded forest of palm trees that leads to the open waters of this peaceful lake. Our crew will row the boats across to the lodge (motors are prohibited on the lake). Under the surface of the lake we may see the huge Paiche (an Amazonian fish that can weigh up to 100Kg/220lbs). Or you may hear strange and unsettling screams and see heads peering from the lake surface, which will mark our first encounter with Pteronura brasiliensis, the Giant Otter of the Amazon.

After a brief rest, we start again by boat to explore the entire eastern end of the lake, following the sound of hundreds of Blue-and-Yellow and Red-Breasted Macaws as they return to the palm forest for the night. Our view from the boat often allows close and extensive encounters with birds and mammals. In Sandoval Lake the Capuchin Monkey, in particular, has nearly lost its fear of humans.

We return to the lodge at dusk for dinner. Afterwards we take the boat again, in search of caimans, which are now extremely rare in the Amazon, but are still common in this protected lake. They grow up to 4m long, and dispute their share of fishing with the otters. On clear nights we go by boat farther into the lake for a view of the vast southern sky, unobstructed, with its magnificent views of constellations and the Milky Way. (Box Lunch, D)

Day 2: Sandoval Lake Lodge

Just before dawn we will be on the lake for what is often a spectacular sunrise; and hope for an encounter with the Giant Otters that roam the lake in a close-knit family, very active at this time of day. At this time most of the birds that inhabit the lake are also very active. There will be time and tranquility to observe the birds fishing; while they stalk and capture prey. We will also have close-up views of the primitive Shansho (Ophistocumus hoazin) eating leaves.

After enjoying a late breakfast, we’ll walk the trail through the cool understory of the impressive primary rainforest that surrounds the lake. We will see the great Chestnut trees that abound here.

After lunch we rest for an hour and then explore the west side of the lake where we will have chances to observe different species of monkey; including the most common Capuchin Monkey.

Before dinner there is a video presentation on the Peruvian Jungle and after dinner we will have the opportunity to spot caimans in the lake. (B/L/D)

Day 3: Sandoval Lake

This can be a very relaxed or very active day according to your desires. If you are one of the many visitors who love this lake and its unique environment or if you’d like to get a closer meeting with the Giant Otters, we can make another early start in the day.

We return to the lodge for breakfast and afterwards take a break and enjoy the panoramic view from a high point in the lake before leaving to walk through a special circuit which will investigate and learn the use of dozens of medicinal Amazonian plants. We will see the Pamicho, the plant that provides the material for thatched roofs of our houses; the ginger candle for anti-inflammatory medicine, and the Cinchona tree, whose bark has saved millions from the agony of malaria. This path includes the wild jungle and a small botanical garden dedicated to the cultivation of some native species.

After lunch we take a break and prepare for a walk through the quietest and most secluded part of the forest on the north shore of the lake.

In the evening we have one last opportunity to seek the Black Caiman along the lake shore, or go for a short walk for your last night in the woods. (B/L/D)

Day 4: Sandoval Lake to Puerto Maldonado

After breakfast we make a final paddle through palm swamps on the west end of the lake. On the clearer mornings a glorious sunrise and its reflection can be seen in the lake. We return to the Madre de Dios River and head towards Puerto Maldonado and from there on to the airport. (B)

Departures: Daily

Tour includes: Jungle explorations, lake visits in stable catamaran, full board, accommodations and entrance fee to Tambopata National Reserve, services with Spanish/English speaking guides.

Not included: Air tickets, airport taxes, excess baggage charges, additional nights during the trip due to flight cancellations. Alcoholic beverages or bottled water, snacks, insurance of any kind, laundry, phone calls, radio calls or messages.

2017 Rates per person in US$:
$613 in double. Single supplement: $157
Sandoval Lake Lodge: What to bring, please

USEFUL PRE-DEPARTURE INFORMATION FOR SANDOVAL LAKE LODGE

WEATHER CONDITIONS
Rainfall in the Tambopata National Reserve is around 2500 - 3500 millimeters per year, with most rainfall occurring in the rainy season months from November to April. The average temperature in the National Reserve is 28° C (82° F), with daily highs of 34° C (94° F) and nightly lows of 22° C (72° F). During the dry season cold fronts from the South Atlantic (friajes) occur every month or so, with daily temperatures dropping as low as 16° C (59° F) and nightly temperatures to 13° C (55° F).

WHAT TO BRING

  • Good binoculars
  • Camera gear (ASA 50, 100 and 200 recommended)
  • Two or three pairs of long pants
  • Four pairs of absorbent cotton socks.
  • Rain suit or long poncho (100% waterproof - test before you leave home)
  • Three or four long-sleeved cotton shirts
  • Two or three T-shirts
  • Sunscreen lotion (high factor)
  • A bottle or canteen to carry water on outings
  • A hat that will not come off in windy boat-rides
  • One pair of shorts
  • Sunglasses
  • A pair of sneakers or hiking boats (with good gripping soles) and sandals
  • Insect repellent (Skin-so-soft for river, and 20% or more deet for forest)
  • A photocopy of your passport
  • A large, bright flashlight
  • Personal toiletries and medications
  • Rubber Boots for the rainy season from November to April.
  • Money for souvenirs at the lodge´s PeruVerde stand, alcoholic beverages.

Please note
Guests should arrive in clothes which they do not mind getting slightly dirty or wet, and should wear footwear that is suitable to walk on a rain forest trail. Sun cream, insect repellent, hat and waterproof clothing should be carried in hand luggage and kept accessible for the journey to the lodge.