On this journey to Heath River we encounter the best and most astonishingly varied pristine rainforest that the Upper Amazon Basin has to offer, while staying at the small and intimate Heath River Wildlife Center. This is the only eco-lodge on the remote Heath River, the wild rainforest frontier where Peru and Bolivia meet. Few other Amazon lodges can offer this unbeatable combination of remoteness, and yet reachable distance by river from an airport with daily scheduled passenger-jet flights.
The lodge lies within the Tambopata-Madidi reserve areas of Peru and Bolivia. Bolivia's Madidi National Park totals 18,900 sq. km. / 7,297 sq. miles, while the adjacent reserves of Tambopata-Candamo and Bahuaja-Sonene across the border in Peru add up to more than 13,700 sq. km. / 5,290 sq. miles. Taken together, they form the second largest, and by far the most biologically diverse nature conservation area in all of South America.
We meet at the Puerto Maldonado airport and drive through town to the Tambopata River port. After boarding motorized canoes, we travel downriver to the mighty Madre de Dios, which we follow for approximately four hours to the Heath River. We then travel up this wild and intimate river, which forms the wilderness border between Peru and Bolivia, and arrive at the Heath River Wildlife Center. Note that the Lodge is located on the Bolivian side of the Heath River so passports are required to clear Bolivian passport control. (L, D).
We rise early in the morning to board a motorized canoe for the 10-minute journey up the Heath River to the macaw and parrot clay lick. Brightly-colored parrots and macaws fly in by the hundreds to feed on the clay that detoxifies certain seeds and nuts they eat. Marvel at the cacophony of sound and color as Red-and-green macaws vie for the best clay-eating position. A specially-designed floating blind allows for proximity and complete concealment -- so you can even have breakfast and coffee while the birds are performing their morning ritual.
When we return to the lodge, the guide leads us on an ethno-botanical walk through the forest, pointing out flora used in the daily lives of rainforest people. The guide explains how certain plants are used for medicinal or healing purposes, which ones can be made into the best bows and arrows, and how to select trees and leaves for home construction.
After lunch and a short rest, we hike through the rainforest to the Pampas del Heath, the largest remaining undisturbed savanna in the Amazon. The contrast is striking as we emerge from the mature rainforest onto the grassland plain of the Pampas. (B, L, D)
We breakfast in the floating blind at the macaw and parrot clay lick for a last round of looks and photos. Then we return to the lodge to explore some trails.
After lunch we could visit the Ese'Eja native community of Sonene, where there will be an opportunity to interact with the community and purchase local handicrafts or explore the trails.
After dinner we'll explore the forest by flashlight, including a visit to a small mammal clay lick if it is active. (B,L,D)
Early morning departure to Puerto Maldonado. During the river trip back downstream, families of Capybaras are often spotted on the banks of the river. Weighing up to 120 pounds (55 kilograms), this giant, three-toed relative of the guinea pig is the largest rodent in the world. Upon arrival, reception and transfer to the airport for the flight back to Cusco or Lima. (B)
|Programs||Nights at HRWC||Fixed Departures||Departures on other days||Single Sup.|
|4 days/ 3 nights||3||Mon/ Thu||US$786||US$1136||US$978||US$786||US$731||US$163|
|5 days/ 4 nights||4||Mon/ Thu||US$1090||US$1354||US$1217||US$1019||US$951||US$218|
Rates may fluctuate in accordance with current exchange rates.
For further information or booking inquiries please contact Sacred Earth Travel