One of the highlights of this introduction to the Peruvian rainforest environment is the trip to Collpa El Gato. What makes this excursion unique is the opportunity it offers our guests to experience both a mammal clay lick and a macaw clay lick.
Many forest animals gather at these sites in search of the minerals essential to their diets, and during the walk through the forest we will have the chance to observe troops of monkeys and many species of birds.
The mammal clay lick is often visited by White-lipped Peccaries, which are renowned for forming large groups, sometimes ranging from fifty to more than a hundred individuals.
This trip also enables our guests to explore the forest around the Lodge, observe the rich aquatic and avian life around an oxbow lake, search for nocturnal fauna such as caimans on the river, and relax and enjoy the facilities of our comfortable Lodge, located in the heart of the forest.
Macaw Clay Lick Program
Day 1 - Flight to Puerto Maldonado, and journey to the lodge.
Following your morning flight to Puerto Maldonado from Lima or Cusco, you will be met at the airport by your naturalist guide and transferred to a dugout canoe for the trip up the Tambopata River to the lodge. On the journey, the vegetation changes from colonized deforested areas to virgin rain forest. A box lunch is provided on board. On arrival, you'll have a welcome drink and meet the rest of the staff. In the late afternoon you set off for an introductory walk into the "terra firme" forest behind the lodge (Trail 2), dominated by giant Brazil-nut and Dipteryx trees. Frequently seen mammals on this trail are Saddle-back Tamarinds, Brown Capuchins, Agoutis, Pacas, Blue-Morpho butterflies, Trogons, Toucans and many other species of birds. After dinner, a night walk to find nocturnal animals or insects by the eye-shine a specialization for increasing the light and see better, about 50% of the animals are nocturnal in the rainforest. (L,D)
Day 2 - Trip to the Macaw Clay-lick (Collpa).
After breakfast, you return to the canoe to continue the journey upstream, a further 4 hrs, to an area deep within the National Reserve where the isolated Collpa is situated. The Collpa is actually one of the large clay cliffs lining the Tambopata River in this area. After lunch, you and your guide have the afternoon to explore the trail system in the area. Camping on the beach near the Collpa. (B, L, D).
Day 3 - Full day at Collpa and explore the forest trails. A pre-dawn start is needed to get to the clay-lick before the birds.
They arrive in search of minerals and salts and the digestive properties of the clay particles themselves. On average several hundred Macaws and smaller parrots visit the clay-lick daily, including Scarlet, Blue and Yellow, Red and Green, Chestnut-fronted and Blue-headed parrots, among others. This clay-lick is considered one of the largest in the world. Following a late morning hike in the trail system in search of some of the nine species of monkeys present in the area, including Spider monkeys, Squirrel monkeys, and Dusky titi monkeys as well as the elusive large mammals like Tapir, White-lipped peccaries, and Jaguar. After lunch a rest time taking a trip up river to explore a clear forest stream where you can take a bath. Camping on the beach near the Collpa. (B,L,D).
Day 4 - Visit the Collpa, return to Tambopata Eco Lodge and hike to an Oxbow – lake
A second opportunity to witness the wonders at the lick. You will return to the Tambopata Eco Lodge in the early afternoon on time for lunch. After lunch, you will hike to the Condenado Oxbow – Lake, where you will see a special kind of ecosystem created in hundreds of years for the chance of the river source, rich in bird and aquatic life. A family of Giant Otters lives in the vicinity of the lake and are often observed. Birds abound especially Rufescent Tiger-herons, Great Egrets, Wattled Jacanas, Hoatzin, the noisy Donacobius and many others. Remember to bring your hat and sun cream for there is no shade out on the water. You will return to the lodge on time for dinner. At night you will go searching for Caiman (alligators) and other nocturnal animals by canoe along the Tambopata River. Night in the Tambopata Eco Lodge. (B,L,D).
Day 5 - Departure.
Time to return to the city of Puerto Maldonado is scheduled according to the flight time of the group. In the mornings you can see the wildlife that is particularly active at this time, are frequently heard howler monkeys or stop. Your guide will give support to his arrival in Puerto Maldonado and will relocate to the airport and assist you on your flight.
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