Tambopata Research Center is one of the three lodges of Rainforest Expeditions and located deep in the Tambopata National Reserve in Peru. A place where luxury and nature come together in a beautiful way, including great attention to detail and service. You go out several times a day to experience the jungle in its purest form: You go for walks, sail on the Tambopata River, discover plants and trees, look for animals, birds and insects and become familiar with jungle sounds. The professional guides show you all corners of the Amazon rainforest in Peru. In this article I will take you to Tambopata Research Center jungle lodge and tell you more about Rainforest Expeditions, the activities, and what you can expect from life in the jungle of Peru.
The Tambopata National Reserve is located in the province of Tambopata, in southeastern Peru and consists of 274,690 hectares of nature. Because Tambopata is a remote and protected area, you will find a very large biodiversity here. Many consider Tambopata to be one of the most biodiverse places on Earth! Numerous plants and animals have been recorded, including 1,200 species of butterflies, 600 species of birds, 100 species of mammals, 180 species of fish, 100 species of reptiles and more than 1,200 trees and plants. It is incredibly special to spend time here! The city of Puerto Maldonado is the gateway to an adventure in the jungle of Peru, about which more at the bottom of this article.
The journey to Tambopata Research Center jungle lodge in Peru
From the Rainforest Expeditions headquarters in the jungle city of Puerto Maldonado, you will travel by bus to the small community of Filadelfia, in about one and a half hour. Here you board a boat and sail to Tambopata Research Center jungle lodge Peru. The trip takes 1.5 hours, but as there is a big chance of already seeing many caimans, monkeys, turtles, capybaras and birds on the way, you will stop several times to take pictures and get to know the beauty of the Amazon rainforest in Tambopata Peru. An amazing start of your Amazon experience.
Tambopata Reseach Center jungle lodge
From the Tambopata River, a staircase leads up, which turns into a jungle path. You realize immediately that you find yourself deep in the jungle.
Tambopata Research Center is made entirely of wood and and just like Posada Amazonas and Refugio Amazonas, the other lodges of Rainforest Expeditions in Peru, beautifully located! The lodge features 300 meters of elevated walkways that connect the rooms and the restaurant with each other. You can observe birds and monkeys everywhere along the way.
Tambopata Research Center is the only lodge in the Tambopata National Reserve, as the lodge was established before the area received National Reserve status in 1996. It is therefore the most remote lodge in South America, wich makes your stay extra unique. In addition, Tambopata Research Center is home to Wired Amazon, an institution that has been engaged in scientific research and conservation of the Amazon rainforest and jungle of Peru since 1989.
Introduction Tambopata Reseach Center
Upon arrival, after a welcome drink, a first briefing follows. Since you are staying deep in the Amazon rainforest of Peru, it is strictly forbidden to walk around the lodge by yourself. Also, we understand that all rooms are open to the outside, the same concept as in Posada Amazonas and Refugio Amazonas. This is to experience nature in its purest form. But don’t worry, animals don’t come in, except maybe for a frog, according the staff. At least if you don’t leave food in the room. Otherwise there is a big chance of encountering a opossums, something you don’t want to happen. You therefore have to put all your possible food in a specially developed safe. Besides that, there is also a mosquito net to keep the insects at an appropriate distance.
What is special is that hot water and electricity are available 24 hours a day. Electricity, internet, hot water: I can’t believe the amount of luxury in the jungle. Since Rainforest Expeditions is paying a lot of attention to nature and sustainability, it is important to use it responsible way.
The rooms– Tambopata Research Center
Tambopata Research Center has several rooms connected by long walkways, the same concept as the other Rainforest Expedition lodges. You will notice that the entire complex is located high above the jungle, because the water here apparently gets very high during the rainy season.
The rooms at Tambopata Research Center are incredibly beautiful. Especially if you stay in the suite. The room is huge and you have access to your own terrace, including a sitting area, warm outdoor shower and amazing bath. I couldn’t believe my eyes!
The beds are large and just lovely. There is also an indoor bathroom with shower. The room is completely open, which is quite a bit exciting. But after one night, you are used to it and appreciate it even more. In the morning you can watch the howler monkeys climb over the trees from your bed. Believe me, this is a room you don’t want to leave anymore! It is unique that you can spend the night in such a luxurious way in nature.
Food & Beverages
Every morning, afternoon and evening there is an extensive buffet in the restaurant of Tambopata Research Center. Fresh and local products are used and everything is taken care of. Also, many typical Peruvian ingredients such as yucca, potatoes, quinoa and tropical fruits are part of the menu. Lunch and dinner are served at set times. Breakfast time is something you discuss with your guide and is different every day, depending on your schedule. Even very early in the morning.
There is coffee and tea available 24 hours and a jar of Brazilian nuts, which grow in the area. Including an extensive fruit buffet, where you can always grab fruit for on the road. In addition, there are fresh juices and cake ready for you after every morning activity and snacks after an afternoon activity. You can enjoy this together with a delicious cocktail, made of typical Amazon ingredients of Peru.
Activities at Tambopata Research Center jungle lodge
All activities are included during your stay. And every day you discuss your program for the next day with your guide. Programs are fully customized and only in small groups. Sometimes you go out with several groups, but you always have your own guide available. There is a morning program, which starts early, sometimes at 5 am, sometimes at 8 am. After lunch there is time for a short siesta (and yes, you really want to take this one), followed by an afternoon program. And in the evening you definitely want to go for a night walk. Keep in mind that programs are intense but trust me, you don’t want to miss anything here. This is an overview with the most beautiful excursions at Tambopata Research Center.
In Tambopata National Reserve you will find one of the very best clay licks: the Colorado Clay Lick. Every morning hundreds of macaws, parrots and parakeets gather to lick clay on this 100-meter long wall. They do this because of the minerals in the clay and the social aspect: Looking for a new partner. This is really an incredible phenomenon to observe, especially in the summer months. That’s when the parrots are most active, because the mating season is about to start.
It is interesting to see that there is a recurring ritual for the parrots. First, the birds gather in the trees, which goes together with a deafening sound. This is to see if it is safe to move on. The small parrots settle on the wall first, followed by the large parrots. It is all convenient to observe from the beach, on the other side of the river. The guides tell you all about the species and the colored parrots can be admired from very close through the telephoto lens.
Please note that you will depart at 4:30 am this morning, as the clay lick is located 1.5 hours by boat, deep in the Tambopata National Reserve in Peru. You have breakfast on the beach, with a view of the clay lick. So lovely! It is dark and chilly when you leave, so bring warm clothing with you. It is nice to see the jungle slowly wake up.
Combine your trip with a stay in Refugio Amazonas
If you plan to combine your jungle experience with a stay at Refugio Amazonas, one of the other lodges of Rainforest Expeditions, in Peru, then after your visit to the clay lick you can go straight to Refugio Amazonas. This saves you travel time. Rainforest Expeditions will arrange everything for you. In the next article you can read more about my stay at Refugio Amazonas in Peru.
Dozens of monkey species live around Tambopata Research Center. And how much fun is it to see monkeys in their natural habitat? You can head out with your guide one morning and look for different species. In many places, seeing monkeys is not guaranteed and of course it is not here either. But because there are so many monkeys in the area, the guides dare to speak out about seeing at least 4 species. We even saw 5: The howler monkey, capuchin monkey, tamarin monkey, spider monkey and a night monkey, that is actually difficult to see during the day.
Amazoncam Tambopata Peru
Do you want to feel like a real investigator? At Tambopata Research Center you can go out with the researchers from Wired Amazon. This team of scientists is engaged in different studies, including mapping the number of jaguars living in the area. By placing cameras, the animals can be observed. Together with Gabriel, I was able to learn more about placing cameras and collecting data. He also explained that most jaguars walk on the same trails, as we as visitors do. And of course I placed a camera myself as well.
After two weeks I received the results. And look at these images below. So happy to have a jaguar and ocelot walking in front of the camera that I placed.
Are you curious about Wired Amazon’s projects? Be sure to check out the Wired Amazone website for more information.
Learn about insects
Wired Amazon’s research team is also working on insect investigations. Insects are researched in collaboration with the Museum of Natural History in Lima. Hoping to discover new species. For example, around 15 new species were discovered in the past year (2022). At Tambopata Research Center you can join the team and learn more about insects.
In the evening, the lights of a large white screen are turned on, attracting countless insects. The insects are then collected, photographed and examined. Maybe a little scary but you will get used to it and it is a lot of fun!
Walk through the Amazon rainforest of Peru
There are several trails around Tambopata Research Center. You can walk through the bamboo forest, the swamp or along the river. The overlook trail along the river takes you to a number of viewpoints where you have a view of the river with the Andes Mountains in the distance, countless birds and monkeys. You also have the chance of seeing a jaguar drinking water from the river.
Since Tambopata Research Center is located deep in the Amazon rainforest of Peru, the chances of seeing animals are very high. This is the place where the jaguar is regularly spotted. And who does not want to see this incredible animal? Unfortunately, seeing animals is not guaranteed. In addition, the weather also has to be a bit in your favor. During my stay the weather changed from being extremely warm and humid to being cold because of a cold Patagonian wind. Resulting in observing less wildlife than hoped.
But still, every activity from Tambopata Research Center is worth it, because you never know what you will encounter along the way. Are you looking for a monkey? Then you suddenly see a snake. Did it rain? You will discover many frogs. Make sure you go join all the opportunities and get the maximum out of your stay.
Mammal clay lick
The mammal clay lick is a wall where animals often come together to lick clay and take in minerals. It is best to walk here several times a day to spot one of the species. Hiking through the Amazon rainforest of Peru is something you can’t do often enough. To enjoy the beautiful surroundings and take in the jungle sounds.
Moreover, it is moments like these that makes you realize what the value of a good guide is. The Rainforest Expeditions guides have the very best eyes and knowledge. Besides that, they can help you taking pictures through their special telephoto lens. Recommended!
Every guide at Rainforest Expeditions has knowledge and passion for birds. It is nice to see how patient the guides are and what effort they put into spotting the birds. They do this by using original bird sounds from a special application. More than 510 species have been reported around Tambopata Research Center. And there is a good chance that you will encounter the most beautiful species. Be sure to buy one of the field guide books. Here you can keep track of exactly which birds you have seen.
It is recommended to take a boat trip on the Tambopata River in Peru. You sail deep into the Tambopata National Reserve until the place where you can go no further because of indigenous peoples, who live here completely cut off from the outside world. Along the way you have the chance to see jaguars, caimans, turtles and many birds.
The tours are always scheduled in the afternoon so that you can enjoy a romantic sunset. The colors above the jungle and river become so incredibly beautiful. Ask for a cool box, so you can drink a nice glass of wine on the way.
Tip: Depending on the weather, you can also wake up early and watch the sunrise in the morning on the edge of the river.
Every evening at 6:30 pm, a lecture is given by the scientists of Wired Amazon. Subjects range from jaguars to insects and monkeys. I listened to a lecture about different types of monkeys living in the Tambopata National Reserve. It is truly nice to attend these lectures and gain some extra knowledge during your stay.
In the jungle you should never touch a plant or tree. But after a night walk, you don’t even dare to do this anymore. In the evening you see the most fascinating, yet somewhat scary insects on trees, underneath leaves and on twigs. You wonder where these creatures stay during the day. From Tambopata Research Center, you go out in the evening almost every day.
We were able to observe countless spiders, including the tarantula, stick insects, snakes, leeches, fluorescent mushrooms and insects of which I do not know the name. I couldn’t get enough of these hikes.
Guides Rainforest Expeditions
It will not surprise you when I tell you, that a good and professional guide is important when you are in the Amazon rainforest of Peru. And over the years, I have been on the road with many great and mediocre guides. But at Rainforest Expeditions you really realize what a great guide means. I was able to go on expeditions with different guides at Tambopata Research Center and they all had their own unique skills. But what they have in commun, is their professionality, knowledge and passion. The Rainforest Expeditions guides really show you all corners of the jungle in Tambopata Peru, and more than that.
How long do you want to stay at Tambopata Research Center jungle lodge
Depending on your budget and time, I would recommend staying at Tambopata Research Center for a minimum of 2 and ideally 3 nights. On the first day you leave around 2 pm from Puerto Maldonado to Tambopata Research Center jungle lodge Peru. You get a simple but tasty lunch on the boat and on arrival you immediately set out for a first introductory walk and sunset moment.
On day 1 and/or 2 you have plenty of time to discover the Amazon rainforest in Peru by going on different activities. On the last day, you can opt for an early morning excursion before returning to Puerto Maldonado. To catch your flight or continue your overland adventures.
It is recommended to leave your large luggage at the Rainforest Expeditions office and only travel with small luggage. Do you want to know what to take with you during an Amazon rainforest trip in Peru? In the next article you will find an extensive packing list. It is good to know that there also is a small shop at the Rainforest Expeditions office for your last purchases.
Are you planning to visit the Amazon in Colombia as well? Then you want to spend the night at Calanoa Amazonas jungle lodge. This boutique hotel is on the Condé Nast list of the most beautiful hotels and that is for a good reason. In the next article I will tell you more about my experiences at Calanoa Amazonas jungle lodge and give you tips for your visit to the Amazon of Colombia.
How to reach Tambopata Research Center
From the Rainforest Expeditions headquarters in Puerto Maldonado, you will travel by bus to the small community of Filadelfia, in about one and a half hour. Here you board a boat and sail in 1.5 hours to Tambopata Research Center jungle lodge Peru. Puerto Maldonado is the capital of the Madre de Dios department. There are daily flights from Lima and Cuzco to Puerto Maldonado.
Puerto Maldonado can also be reached by land from Cuzco, but this is a long road with a lot of bumps. So the question is whether you want to go for this option.
More about Rainforest Expeditions
Rainforest Expeditions is a Peruvian travel company, committed to sustainable tourism. The conservation of the tropical rainforest plays a leading role. In addition, local communities are involved in their protection and care. Rainforest Expeditions has three lodges in and around the Tambopata National Park, each with its own atmosphere and character. Refugio Amazonas and Tambopata Research Center, also serve as a major research institute, Wired Amazon, where scientists and researchers are active in the field of wildlife. With your visit you contribute to the projects and researches of Rainforest Expeditions and this has a direct impact on the local indigenous population.
Want to read more about Rainforest Expeditions? Have a look at the website and follow them on instagram and facebook. Curious about a stay at Tambopata Research Center jungle lodge Peru? You can find the availability and latest rates here Make sure to also read my reviews about jungle lodge Refugio Amazonas and Posada Amazonas, where you can see the giant otter.
Are you looking for useful tips for your stay in the Amazon Rainforest jungle of Tambopata Peru? In the next article you will find everything you want to know.
More about Peru
Do you want to discover more of Peru? Check out my city guide with things to do in Lima and experience the city the best way! Are you planning to visit Cusco? Don’t forget to check out the best restaurants & cafes in Cusco and Cusco’s coolest places to shop. For all articles about Peru, have a look in the Peru archive.
Disclaimer: I was invited to stay at Tambopata Research Center jungle lodge Peru but this review is based on my personal view and is independent from the invitation.
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