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What is the Best AMAZON jungle experience for wildlife?

What is the Best AMAZON jungle experience for wildlife?

Old Apr 30th, 2012, 04:28 PM
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What is the Best AMAZON jungle experience for wildlife?

Which country? Where? Why?

Gracias and Obrigada

(No Pantanal, Galapagos or Costa Rica suggestions instead of Amazon please. No headwaters of Amazon suggestions please.)
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Old Apr 30th, 2012, 04:54 PM
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Also mention months of the year to qualify your answers if possible.
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Old May 1st, 2012, 01:21 AM
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Hi,

in August 2010 I was in Peru and did a 2 night trip over the Andes from Cusco to the Manu Cloudforest, staying at Cock of the Rock Lodge. We saw the cock of the rock, a tayra and an emerald boa either at the lodge or on a day trip that we did down to the river. The birds around the lodge were spectacular, especially the blue necked tanagers. I really enjoyed the trip over the Andes and the descent into the Manu Cloudforest because it had a real sense of leaving civilisation behind and journeying into a truly wild area.

I'm currently thinking about the Amazon for 2013 and am considering the Amazon Rainforest Conservation Center http://expphoto.com/amazon-lodges/arcc.htm and Tambopata Research Center for macaws. At this stage Tambopata is in front as the ARCC is no longer as isolated as it used to be due to the Transoceania Highway. ARCC has a canopy tower, maybe a walkway. We are seeking opportunities for long river trips that afford opportunities to watch river life slip by in addition to spotting wildlife and birds. Maybe the decision is too hard and I will just have to do both I'm very keen to see a hoatzin.

I don't have a sense that wildlife in Manu is as prolific (or as easy to see) as it is in the Pantanal. From what I have seen and heard many of the species are the same in both destinations. For me, the attraction of the Peruvian Amazon is the sense of isolation, travelling on the river and the parrots and macaws.

I've also looked at Sacha Lodge and Napo Wildlife Center in Ecuador, however for logistical reasons I consolidated Amazon travel in Peru at Iquitos and Manu Cloud Forest. Both of these Ecuadorian lodges appear to offer a high standard of accommodation and guiding. I also looked at Uakari Floating Lodge in Brazil, however concerns that include the logistics of getting there (a long trek north through Manaus) led me back to Peru.

I have Chaparri Lodge for spectacled bears on my 2013 itinerary.


Regards,


Pol
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Old May 1st, 2012, 05:24 AM
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I should have known you'd respond with details, Treepol!

Thanks!
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Old May 1st, 2012, 09:23 AM
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Hey,

I spent a few nights at Sacha Lodge in the Ecuadorian Amazon. It was a great experience. The wildlife viewing was exceptional! We encountered an array of monkeys, birds, crocs, and ever a few sloths. My favorite part was the daily treks and the cute little thatched-hut accommodations. My wife enjoyed the piranha fishing.

Adam
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Old May 7th, 2012, 06:23 AM
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Thanks Adam. Sloths are intriguing.
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Old May 7th, 2012, 06:24 PM
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I'm lurking (is it still 'lurking' if I admit to it?)
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Old May 8th, 2012, 08:35 PM
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I'll report back for your lurking pleasure Femi, when I have something concrete.
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Old May 9th, 2012, 06:00 PM
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Old May 24th, 2012, 01:54 PM
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I've reconsidered my "no headwaters of Amazon." Anywhere in Amazon Basin is good.

Thinking Iquitos in Peru: lodge, boat or both; coupled with Heath River in Tambopata.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2012, 04:57 PM
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The Amazon experience was not one of my favorites, but the Posada Amazonas in Peru was a great eco-lodge.

The lodge is very isolated and is reachable by a motorized canoe from Puerto Maldonado, a ride of about an hour each way. We saw a cayman along the river bank, and many monkeys and birds.
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Old Jun 4th, 2012, 10:06 AM
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Hi travelynn

Just back from 3 weeks in Peru

we spent 5 days at the Inkaterra Amazona one hour approximately out of puerto maldonado. the accomadations were top notch and romantic!!

Many activities too choose from, and we had our own naturalist for 4 days
Lots of jungle hikes, canoe trips on lakes, creeks and lagoons

animal and bird sighting OK and flora and fauna great

We were also considering Iniquitos, but Puerto Maldonado was 30 minutes by plane from cusco

we thoroughly enjoyed it a and were happy with the decision

they also have a great jungle canopy suspension bridge (7) walk-amazing!

Sandy
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Old Oct 21st, 2012, 08:09 PM
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Here's what I learned after my trip. The Inkaterra canopy walk and jungle mentioned by sb1020 is lovely.

A boat, meaning a big boat along with motorized and paddle canoes, is an excellent way to see the jungle and river north of Iquitos. We did walks in the jungle too. Pacaya Samiria is a fantastic reserve in this region. The primary rivers used were Marañón and Ucayaly, but there was time spent on the actual Amazon. Good option for pink dolphins especially.

In Tambopata a great combo is Heath River Wildlife Center and Sandoval Lodge. The macaws on clay licks are at HRWC. A variety of wildlife lives around Sandoval Lake, including those very odd Hoatzins (birds.)
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Old Oct 21st, 2012, 08:09 PM
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The above places are all in PERU.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2012, 05:16 AM
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How does it compare to the Pantanal?
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Old Oct 22nd, 2012, 06:40 AM
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Are you going to write and submit a trip report? I am considering a similar trip in the future and have been watching for solid information about the region. I need to hear that other travelers had a better experience than my sister who complained of the mud and the difficulty of seeing wildlife high in the canopy of trees when she went to the Amazon. ZZ
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Old Oct 22nd, 2012, 07:08 AM
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I will do a fodors report. In the meantime, here's an photo-illustrated safaritalk report, which included Machu Picchu by train.

http://safaritalk.net/topic/9397-per...jungle-lodges/

Mud--I went in Aug, the dry season and there had been very little rain. There was virtually no mud. There may be Wellington boots provided for you by lodges/boat if there is mud. Check in advance.

High up wildlife--It is true the MAMMAL wildlife was in the canopy and generally not at eye level. Birds were all over, including some at eye level. Pink dolphins were where they belonged in the water. The pink ones were mostly underwater but surfaced on occasion randomly and without warning.

If you look at the photos in the safaritalk report, you'll see that I still saw quite a few animals. I saw lots more than I could photograph. Dry season puts the most distance between you, on the ground or in a boat, and the canopy. Wet season has higher rivers, closer to the canopy.

My experience was excellent. So was the experience of those I shared the trip with, which ranged from experienced nature travelers to those on their first trip anywhere. I used Green Tracks for the Amazon/Pacaya Samiria river cruise by boat, for a private Cuzco/Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu visit, and for Tambopata jungle, river, and lake, with the macaws on clay licks.

Compare to Pantanal? Much more visible/accessible/photographable/abundant wildlife in the Pantanal. No pink dolphins or macaws on clay licks, though, in Pantanal, which is open with patches of jungle.

Pantanal and Peru jungles are complementary, offering different experiences.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2012, 08:43 AM
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That's a wonderful report, with fantastic photographs (except for the anaconda!). It provides just the kind of information that I have been seeking. After reading so many of your previous posts, it's good to have a photograph of you to go with them. ZZ
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Old Oct 22nd, 2012, 03:16 PM
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Very nice report, I am quite jealous of those hoatzin photos.

If you ever go back to Peru, the Chaparri Ecolodge, Bosque de Pomac, and Chachapoyas area (including Kuelap and continuing to Leymabamba) have some great options for wildlife spotting and photography.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2012, 04:39 PM
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mlgb, I am familiar with Chaparri, but please elaborate on the other options you mention. Thank you.
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