When you arrive in Puerto Maldonado, you will check in at the Inkaterra Lounge, just 10 minutes from the airport, and then it's off to the docks where you will take ship for the 45 minute boat ride on the Madre de Dios River to your lodgings. A delicious lunch made from local ingredients will be served when you reach the lodge. Afterwards, there is time for a nap before heading off on your first excursion, a guided hike into the jungle on the Trail System of the Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica. This walk about is an excellent introduction to the jungle ecosystem, and you will hike past extraordinary trees, like the shihuahuaco and the strangler fig, as well as have great opportunities to see exotic birds and insects. For your first night, we suggest you take a guided canoe ride on the Madre de Dios River, looking for nocturnal birds and animals. As the banks slowly pass by, be on the lookout for nightjars, owls, capybaras, and three species of caiman. When you return to the lodge, you will eat a fabulous dinner in the dining hall and afterwards, have the choice to turn in early or share your experiences with the guides and other guests.
Sleep in or get up early. The choice is yours. For those who want to beat the heat and enjoy nature to the max, breakfast is served early. In the morning, you will take a trip into the Tambopata National Reserve to paddle a canoe on Lake Sandoval, home to many endangered species like the giant otter, red howler monkey, red-bellied macaw, anaconda, and yellow-spotted river turtle. Back at the lodge, you eat a hearty lunch and later, in the afternoon, can experience something extraordinary: the Inkaterra Canopy Walkway. You will climb the tower's 29 meters, which opens up the world of the tree tops and its inhabitants. You will literally walk through the rainforest on a network of bridges that connect eight observation platforms.
While you are on the walkway, pay close attention for red billed toucans, woodpeckers, surucua trogons, monkeys, and sloths. If you wish, you can stay longer to watch the sunset from one of the towers. Upon your return to the lodge, you will enjoy a nature presentation at the Ecocenter. The day ends with a refreshing dinner.
25 minutes from the lodge, on a motorized canoe, is Gamitana Creek. You will take a pleasant ride down this snaking stream, exploring the jungle for an hour and a half, observing the lush vegetation and exotic wildlife, until stopping at Sanipanga. The area is home to piranhas, caimans, turtles, and birds. Later on, you will have a guided visit of the Gamitana model farm to learn more about it. You return to the lodge for lunch, and then head off to Inkaterra Hacienda Concepcion, home to a remarkable botanical garden with over 200 different species of plants. There, you will learn about the use and benefits of local plants. Next on the plan is a 30-minute canoe trip to look for turtles, nightjars, and exotic herons.
Afterwards, you venture into the jungle at night on the Inkaterra Reserva Ecological trails. It lasts about 2 hours and takes you through the secondary forest, where you will experience the mystery of animal activity as the sun sets in the rainforest, listening to the nighttime sounds of the forest and discovering species that only come out in the darkness of night. You return to the lodge after this exciting adventure.
A full breakfast awaits you on this last day, and then there is a 45 minute motorized canoe ride back up the Madre de Dios River to the city of Puerto Maldonado, where you will visit the Inkaterra butterfly garden. In terms of butterfly species, Peru is the world leader, with 3700 known varieties, many of which can be spotted at the garden that is a sampling of these fascinating insects' diversity, beauty, and adaptation capacity.