Dawn in the Tambopata National Reserve, accessible only by boat, one and a half hours up river from Puerto Maldonado we find ourselves in the heart of one of the best preserved tropical rainforests in the world. The songs of hundreds of birds resonate in the ancient trees and the unique sound of the Howler Monkey reverberates in the jungle. So the peace of the early morning fog lifts in the jungles of the Peruvian Amazon.
After a 30 minute boat ride along the Tambopata River from our Eco Lodge we arrive at Tres Chimbadas Oxbow Lake with the anticipation of seeing for the first time the giant Otter, Caiman, Horned Screamers and an array of birdlife. The elusive Otter remained elusive this morning, however we were treated to a spectacle by the Horned Screamer and the Black Caiman while gently and silently floating across the lake.
For those with a quick reflex, a spot of fishing saw us catch Piranha from the Lake. These small fish with very sharp teeth turned out to be not quite the man eating fish that Hollywood has been known to portray, but I still would not like to be in the water with them.
The 3 days spent at the Eco Lodge were amazing, with our comfortable accommodation open to the sights and sounds of the jungle. Our group of women’s own adventure travelers were treated to nature walks through the jungle where we observed the Parrot clay lick from a specially built blind. To our amazement there was a flurry of birds frightened away, and in the blink of an eye we had the absolutely unique sighting of an Ocelot (a large cat related to the Leopard) attempting to pounce on the unsuspecting Parrots and Macaws. It was right there in front of our blind, a mere 15 metres away and in clear view. We held our breath as the sighting lasted about a minute before the Ocelot disappeared back into the jungle.
That was certainly a once in a lifetime experience for us all. The Amazon Jungle, The Final Frontier was also the final part of our amazing Chile and Peru Adventure.
– signing off, Marika Martinez – Women’s Own Adventure