Birdwatchers will find that the Tambopata National Reserve (RNTAM) and its buffer zone (ZA) are a privileged site to observe a high diversity of Macaws, Parrots and Parakeets in the daily activity of feeding on mineral- rich clay licks along the Tambopata river banks (Colorado clay lick (trc), Chuncho and La Torre). Shining out Blue and Yellow Macaw Ara Ararauna,the Scarlet Macaw A. Macao, the Red and Green Macaw A. Chloroptera, the Chestnut Fronted Macaw A. Severa,the Red Bellied Macaw Orthopsittaca manilat andthe Blue Headed Macaw A. Couloni as well as the parrots Amazona Farinosa, A. Ochrocephala and Pionus menstruus.
The reserve and its buffer zone also constitute an important waypoint for more than forty species of migratory birds such as Ospreys Pandion haliaetus, Broad-winged Hawk buteo platypterus,White- rumped Swallowstachycineta leucorrhoa and others.
The patches of bamboo forest ( guadua weberbawaeri)are habitat of the rare and interesting Peruvian Recurvebill simoxenops ucayale, Rufous-headed Woodpecker celus spectabilis, Bamboo Antshrike cymbilaimus sanctaemariae, White- lined Antbird percnostola lophotes, White- cheeked Tody- tyrant poecilotriccus albifacies and Flammulated Pygmy- tyrant hemitriccus flammulatus.
Inotawa has created a special bird watching program tailored for you to fully appreciate and enjoy the enormous diversity of birds. The programs main characteristics are: a guide specialized in bird watching, bus with air condition and large windows, no time limits, we take our time to stop, observe and photograph whenever the group wishes.
Download BIRDS LIST (1.16 Mb)
Duration: 6 días / 5 noches
Activities: Visit Colorado Clay Lick, Chuncho Clay Lick, La Torre Clay Lick, Bamboo forest and Lake Tres Chimbadas.
Includes: Lodging, Camping, Transport, All meals and bilingual guide especialized in birds
Your guide will be waiting for you at the airport and take you to our office located approximately 5 minutes from the airport in the city of Puerto Maldonado. Here we will register and make some last minute shopping for things we might have forgot such as batteries or raingear.
Afterwards we will take an unpaved road to Puerto Nuevo, our port in the Infierno Community, for about one hour. On our journey we can see various types of woodland, traditional banana and citrus plantations, cattle ranches and small creeks.
Once in Puerto Nuevo we will embark on our one and a half hour boat trip up the mighty Tambopata. During the boat ride we will also have lunch consisting of delicious vegetarian Arroz Chaufa wrapped in the leaf of the bijao heliconia. There will also be fruit, crackers and a bottle of water.
We will then enter the buffer zone of the Tambobata National Reserve and the Bahuaja Sonene National Park. During your journey you can appreciate the banks vegetation consisting mainly of patches of canes, Cecropias and Ficus. We might also see wildlife such as river birds like the oropendulas and their hanging nesting colonies, egrets, herons. Others might fly over, toucans or the magnificent macaws for example. Occasionally we can spot mammals such as capybaras or monkeys, or reptilians like spectacled caimans and turtles.
Arriving Inotawa Lodge
Once we arrive at INOTAWA LODGE the manager will receive us and our guide will tell us about the dos and don’ts in the jungle in order for us to enjoy our stay to the maximum. He will also lead us around the installations and show us our room.
Trails around Inotawa
INOTAWA is surrounded by a web of trails of about 5km. Once installed we will head out, together with our guide to start looking for birds such as the rare Rufous- fronted Antthrush Formicarius rufifrons, birds following ant swarms such as the Plain- brown Woodcreeper Dendrocincla fuliginosa, the White- throated Antbird Gymnopithys salvini and the Black- spotted Bare- eye Phlegopsis nigromaculata. These last two species being dedicated exclusively to this type of feeding. We can also find the Striped Woodcreeper Xiphorhynchus obsoletus, the White- lored Tyrannulet Ornithion inerme, and the Slender- footed Tyrannulet Zimmerius gracilipes. On clearings we can spot certain species specialized in this habitat such as the Black- throated Antbird Myrmeciza atrothorax and the Blue- black Grassquit Volatinia jacarina.
Depending on the time of year we can also observe various species of migratory birds, among them the Eastern Kingbird Tyrannus tyrannus, the Streaked Flycatcher Myiodinastes maculatus, the Dark- billed Cuckoo Coccyzus melacoryphus, the Swainson’s Flycatcher Myiarchus swainsoni, the Double- collared Seedeater Sporophila caerulescens and the White- winged Becard Pachyramphus polychopterus.
After dinner our guide will give us a small speech about what to expect and explain the various activities during our stay.
Chuncho clay lick
The Chuncho clay lick is located deep within the Tambopata National Reserve at about 4 hours upriver from INOTAWA.
We will leave right after breakfast and first pass the La Torre ranger post and later on its equivalent at the Mouth of the Malinowski River. Both times we will get out quickly to register. We also have the possibility to use the bathrooms or visit the interpretation center.
We will have lunch in the boat during the last hour of our trip. Meanwhile we can observe the changing scenery. The river disperses into various arms and inlets that form islands overgrown by colonizing species and wide pebble stone beaches where we can spot the rare and spectacular Orinoco Goose Neochen jubata and the Neotropic Cormorant Phalarocorax olivaceus among others.
Once at the clay lick we directly head out for a small walk in the surroundings while our camp is set up. During this walk we can find imprints from mammals such as peccaries, tapirs and picuros on their way to the clay licks. And their predators like the jaguar are never far behind.
We will dine and our guide will explain the following day’s activity at the Chuncho clay lick.
At dawn we will walk about 20 minutes to get to a hideout that enables us to have an unblocked view of the spectacle of the feeding birds which might last anywhere from one to three hours.
Chuncho clay lick
The Chuncho Claylick is an approximately ten meter high mud bank on a side arm of the Tambopata River where various species of parrots, macaws and parakeets congregate in a magical display. The most emblematic bird being Peru’s biggest macaw the Scarlet Macaw Ara chloropterus.
These birds have to reunite every morning to feed on the clay before flying out to look for fruits and seeds in the jungle. This show lasts between one and three hours and follows a specific order. First the small species like parakeets arrive. Later on the parrots appear to be followed eventually by the significantly bigger macaws bringing this exceptional explosion of color and sound to a worthy ending.
Back at the camp we have breakfast and head upriver for another three hours to the Colorado Clay Lick
Journey to Colorado clay lick
We will set up camp right opposite the clay lick. Here we will have lunch.In the afternoon there is time for us to stroll along the river and explore the surroundings before heading back for dinner.
By dawn we will cross the river by boat to get to the observation post where we will camouflage and follow the unfolding display of the birds that join together here in even bigger numbers than seen before.
Colorado clay lick
The Colorado clay lick is the biggest in the world and one of the very few places left to observe the Blue- headed Macaw Primolius couloni.
Colorado clay lick is a red mud cliff with veins of clay rich earth. The birds need the containing minerals to survive and therefore get together in massive numbers performing this incredible show rarely seen in the animal kingdom.After returning to the camp we will have breakfast. Afterwards we will pack up and return to Inotawa Lodge.
Fifteen minutes downriver from Inotawa and after a 40 minute hike we emerge at a typical Amazonian oxbow lake, Lake Tres Chimbadas.
At the lake itself we will board a traditional catamaran with a single oar in order to move around on the lake and look for species tied to this type of luscious habitat like the Least Grebe Tachybaptus dominicus, the Anhinga Anhinga anhinga and the Osprey Pandion haliaetus. As well as others like Pale- vented Pigeon Patogioenas cayennensis, the Black- capped Donacobius Donacobius atrocapilla andthe colorful Hoatzin Opisthocomus hoatzin that is restricted exclusively to this habitat. There are also several species of Kingfishers, Herons and egrets, as well as several reptiles and mammals. Tres Chimbadas Lake is also home to a family of the illusive Giant River Otter that can be spotted frequently here.For lunch we return to the lodge.
Bamboo Forrest Guadua weberbaweri.
In the afternoon we will explore the concession of the Infierno community that surrounds the lake. This bamboo forrest holds a lot of specialized species such as the Peruvian Recurvebill Simoxenops ucayale which has evolved a specialized upwards curved beak that allows it to perforate the bamboo and feed. We must also mention the Manu Antbird Cercomacra manu that is restricted to this habitat. It is also one of the only two sites in the area where the Rufous- headed Woodpecker Celeus spectabilis has been recorded. Other species associated with bamboo thickets are the Bamboo Antshrike cymbilaimus sanctaemariae, the White- lined Antbird percnostola lophotes, the White- cheeked Tody- tyrant poecilotriccus albifacies and the Flammulated Pygmy- tyrant hemitriccus flammulatus, the latter two once again being exclusive for this type of habitat.We can also find migratory birds like the Eastern Wood- pewee Contopus virens and the Yellow- green Vireo Vireo flavoviridis in their corresponding seasons.
After an early breakfast we will return to the INOTAWA office in Puerto Maldonado and then on to the airport. Your guide will accompany you until the airport and help you with the check-in process for your flight back to Cusco or Lima.