Today we sadly departed Cuzco on another adventure to Puerto Maldanado and the Amazon Jungle. On our arrival at the airport in Puerto Maldanado we were surprised to find the weather quite cool and raining, it was a huge contrast from my 2010 visit when the temperature reached a boiling 42 deg.
From the airport we were transferred to the office headquarters of our tour company where we were to leave our main luggage in storage. Our guide Gabrielle advised us to only take the necessities for the next 3 days. We were given a briefing before taking a 25 minute journey down the Madre de Dios River by motor canoe and the riverside trail head to Sondoval Lake Lodge. On board we were given a delicious lunch of rice, chicken and vegetable wrapped in a palm leaves. On arrival at the jetty we were presented with gum boots to help us walk the next 3.5 klms (by this time the rain had stopped although it was very muddy under foot) through secondary forest, after 5 minutes we arrived at a ranger station and check point where we had our passports stamped. Another 40 minutes hiking took us to a small canal where we boarded our canoes and paddled 200 meters through flooded forest of 30 meter tall Mauritia palms to our lodge on the lake.
Our accommodation was in timber thatched roof bungalows with attached bathrooms, mosquito nets for protection during the night. The following 3 days we went on hikes in the jungle, catamaran rides to explore the entire west, north and south end of the lake. In this flooded palm forest we drifted to the sounds of hundreds of macaw species which are found locally in parts of the Amazon. Between 500-800 of macaws live on Sandoval Lake and it is reported as the largest in the world. We also encountered Giant Otters and their families, and the rare Black Caiman gliding through the murky waters looking for prey. We also spotted many other species of birdlife both on foot and on the lake.
During our stay our guides Gabrielle and Jenni gave us informative nature and history talks on the different medicinal plants around the lodge. They demonstrated on how our hosts collect and open Brazil nuts which are readily available from the towering Brazil Nut trees surrounding the lodge. We also enjoyed two video presentations on the history of the jungle, the habitat of the Giant otters and Macaws. Although the weather was cold during our stay it remained fine with a little cloud which was perfect walking weather in the jungle of the Amazon. On the morning of our fourth day we sadly departed our lodge at Sandoval Lake to return on the same Catamaran, hiking trail, motor boat and vehicle to the airport for our flight to Lima.
Our last night in Lima we managed to do another couple of hours shopping at the local Andean Market, had a farewell dinner with our guide Dianna. Our group will sadly separate tonight where some of us will fly to Buenos Aires for 3 nights and 2 nights Iguazzu Falls. The other girls will fly onto Quito and the Galapagos Islands. I would like to say a big thank you to our wonderful guide Dianna who assisted us throughout our Peru tour, she was always there to lend a helping hand to everyone and made us all feel very special. I am looking forward to seeing her again on tour in 2012 Adios Peru and Dianna
Filed under: Adventure travel