The Amazon's Big Five

 caiman

Africa has its Big Five and now Peru's visionary leader in sustainable tourism, Rainforest Expeditions, helps guests locate and view the Peruvian Amazon's Big Five wildlife species while on excursions along the Tambopata River, as far away from civilization as one can get. These include the Harpy Eagle, Black Caiman, Tapir, Giant River Otter and Jaguar.

Tambopata Research Center, an eco-lodge in the Peruvian Amazon about as far away from civilization as one can get in this part of the world. The center focuses on one of the top wildlife spectacles of the world, the largest known clay lick in the Amazon and frequented by hundreds of parrots, parakeets and macaws, just 500 yards from an 18-room eco-lodge.

Rainforest Expeditions' string of three jungle lodges is accessed from Puerto Maldonado airport arriving from Lima or Cusco on daily commercial flights lasting 45 or 90 minutes respectively. A bus transports guests to the Infierno River Port to board motorized wooden canoes for a 45-minute trip to the first lodge, Posada Amazonas. Refugio Amazonas, the second lodge, is a 3.5-hour boat trip after departing the bus. The third and most remote is Tambopata Research Center, requiring a four-hour additional upriver boat ride from Refugio Amazonas.  Each lodge is only a few minutes on foot from the river bank. There is a four-night minimum to visit here because of travel time.

 

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