Another biodiversity gem

Situated in the south-east region of Peru, Tambopata National Reserve has become one of the most popular wildlife destination for nature lovers. This reserve has over 678,000 acres (274000 hectares) and is one of the most popular amongst travelers in the Amazon Basin in Peru. It is, perhaps, one of the most biodiverse spots on Earth, since it is home to 632 species of birds, 1200 species of butterflies, 103 of amphibians, 180 species of fish, 169 of mammals and 103 of reptilian species, a huge amount of living species within a reasonably small space. Lake Sandoval, the most visited spot within the reserve, is the home to one of the few otter families in this region and getting to see them while they are fishing in the lake is one experience that will remain for ever in the visitor’s mind. La castaña, (Brazil nut) is one of the biggest trees in the Amazon rain forest and it can only be found in this reserve in Peru and it is part of the 1217 plant species at Tambopata.

Los aguajales are groups of a type of a native palm tree, a rich ecosystem, with its own small lakes or water streams, a perfect place for spotting macaws and caimans. Anacondas, otters, caimans, tapirs, capybaras, monkeys, squirrels, birds and insects are some of the most spotted animals during a visit to this true gem of biodiversity and the best time to do it is all the way from late April through late November as this is during the dry season in the Amazon rain forest. There is a wide supply for tourist accommodation at Tambopata National Reserve, ranging from high-end lodges to basic ones, and they all have a program that will suit most travelers needs.

Puerto Maldonado is the largest city near Tambopata National Reserve and getting there should not be a problem as it can be easily reached by bus if you are on a budget; from Cusco or Puno on a 10-hour ride in comfortable coaches with air conditioning and reclinable seats or if you prefer flying you can do so from Lima or Cusco, there are 3 air companies flying on a daily basis, it takes about 3 hours flying from Lima with a stopover in Cusco and it takes 35 minutes only from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado. Dare yourself by visiting this amazing place and treat yourself by just being there!


At Carlos Expeditions we are certain we can tailor

Chuncho Clay Lick

Chuncho Clay Lick, Describing the sight


“Without doubt, the most breathtaking sight that Carlos Expeditions has is the Chuncho Clay Lick. Clay Lick is, essentially, a light orange forest of clay formed due to the river’s erosion.”

Chuncho Clay LickAnimals in many places of Peru depend on the clay. The clay contains an important source of salt that allows to neutralize the heartburn and also to reduce its PH, this animal behavior is called  geophagy.

Every day, in the morning, a great diversity of species gathers in big numbers to feed on this clay. The first in arrive to the Chuncho clay lick always are the yellow headed parrot. Then they are followed by hundreds of blue headed parrots. These are, without any doubt, the most alerts to threats of any predator. When they identify the predator, they quickly jump from the clay and start flying away from there and are followed by the rest of the flock, making so an incomparable show when they leave the clay lick. We can hear the amazing sound they make, it is a concert that nature gives us, and is the most amazing thing.

It is very common that the false alarm about the sight of any predator happens; in that case they quickly return to the clay lick. Most of the cases, in company of big flocks of green parrots, whose sounds can be compared with an alien!

Chuncho Clay LickThe last species on visiting the clay lick are of course the stars of the “party”, the macaws. The great size of this bird makes the movements slowly than parrots. As they look for the best place in the clay lick, they are able to throw each other to get the best place. Their big wings allow them to have complete rotations which give us a great opportunity to take perfect pictures with the sunset. In a morning, more than 300 birds arrive to the Chuncho clay lick.

If this show cannot be better, there is always a chance to be! The great number of birds occasionally attracts predators. Falcons and eagles are the most known for attacking from the air, while jaguars, ocelots and monkeys have been seen jumping from the top of the clay lick to catch them, come and enjoy the nature with us, and do not forget to leave your comment…



TambopataPeruvian Jungle… Unforgettable days in paradise

The Tambopata Peruvian Jungle…

Few hours after my trip in the Peruvian Jungle. Today I want to remember my stay in Monte Amazonico Lodge, a beautiful lodge in the jungle located at many kilometers from Puerto Maldonado city.

ciudad estresanteEvery time I am in a faraway place, I remember this phrase: “Perfect my friend, while you wake up with the alarms and the traffic noises of the Capital and hurry to leave stressed today Monday, quickly to your office” so there I add: The wonder of waking me up lullabied by birds, insects and red howler monkeys sounds plus the rain: an incomparable symphony that few ears would be able to hear and enjoy.

There were 4 days in the tambopata Peruvian Jungle, in a non-glassed room, with an open balcony to the jungle; I slept covered for a roof and a musketeer. At 10:00 p.m. the light was turned off and we stayed surrounded by a huge darkness, a huge darkness that in particular wouldn’t create fear but peace instead. Waking up very early with the first sun light to start the walks in the jungle was something that I think, should be a life style and not just a phase.

What I enjoyed most of my trip to the Peruvian jungle was to have visited the macaw clay lick where many macaws go to eat the clay (Feeding). That day was unforgettable, not only because I have seen those colorful and beautiful birds, but also because that day the nature taught me to “See” beyond my eyes.

tambopata Peruvian Jungle 2That Wednesday we woke up very early, at 5:00 a.m. approximately to do the walks to the clay lick where there is a kind of viewpoint (a bungalow where we would be camouflaged), we already walked for 20 minutes approximately, we downed a wooded stair in groups; with the expectation, I felt like the branches of the trees were making hurray to get where I had to: the viewpoint, and so it was, we arrived early to that kind of bungalow with some holes on it where we could “spy” the macaws. We were very quiet waiting for them for about 20 minutes, desperate for seeing those mented birds, I didn’t stop asking. Silence¡¡ said the guide and that moment we heard the sounds of a group of those beautiful birds coming to us (Clay lick), the first “actors” were the parakeets, then the colorful macaws,   an amazing show, I have no words to describe this natural phenomenon, I just can say that it exceeded my expectations, and the waiting was worthwhile.

After the sighting, the guide took us back by the same way, but this time to the Canopy walk Way, I had some difficulties to walk, but I had to. Once in front of that tower with more than 30 meters high, we had to climb it, step by step and I said: ¡What a nuisance! With the pain in my knees and the instep grazing the oilcloth I had to climb, I did it slowly but           I did. And from the top, the climax: the most beautiful views of the tambopata Peruvian jungle, collection of intact rainforest close to the river. The sun came out and started burning, and some shy birds started coming out and between the top of the trees: macaws, falcons, parakeets and monkeys. I got excellent pictures of macaws and unforgettable images of the Peruvian jungle that will last forever in my mind and in my heart. When I went up the canopy walk way I felt like a bird, flying over the green rug of the trees, noble and generous spirits.

tambopata Peruvian JungleI didn’t want to go down, unfortunately I had to, with pain and this time not only physically but also of the soul, I thought: Will I see them again?:   “We were used to this, but everything has its beginning and its end, some of them last more time, other less and when it is time to leave, it is time to leave, always taking a memory in the heart of the peruvian jungle”. And we had to go down. Take the same way back and get lost between the same trees I saw since the sky, but from a different perspective.

Walking by the trails we had the opportunity to find with a family of howler monkeys, they were watching us from the trees. This situation was very funny, we from the ground were watching them and taking some pictures, we were watching them, they were watching us… Who was watching each other? Who was the curious?  I asked myself: How do they feel? What strange human beings, look at them! Were they or we saying it…  after all this amazing experience, I was slowly getting away from the tambopata Peruvian jungle, from a paradise that I had the privilege to visit…

Geophagy : Why do animals eat Clay?

By now, you should be familiar with our consistent mentioning of our chuncho Clay-lick and our Mammal Clay-lick, where routinely, dozens -if not hundreds- of individual animals go on a daily basis to feed on clay.


is the scientific term that describes the behaviour of an animal feeding on soil-like substrates like clay or chalk. However, the reason on why animals actually do this, remains a mystery.

Geophagy macaw clay lick

The famous Chuncho Clay-lick


One of the most accepted hypothesis, on why animals -sometimes including humans- do this, is that they lack some essential nutrients and minerals in their diet.  Some of the most important minerals, are Salt and Magnesium, which are essential for the functioning of the nervous system, as well as the proper functioning of some muscles, the most important of all being the heart.

Another hypothesis to this estrange, but common behaviour is that Clay, more often than not, is a Basic substance (has high pH number). This fact could make sense, since there is an acidic fungi that attacks most of the fruits that exist in the rainforest. This acidic fungi is known to decrease milk and egg production, liver damage, and a lowered immune system. It is believed that some species feed on the clay for it to neutralize the acidic compounds, avoiding these health problems.

It is important to notice that this two plausible explanations are not mutually exclusive. It could be the combination of the two that actually drives fauna to perform such a bizarre action.

Geophagy collpa de mamiferos

A group of Capybaras feeding on the Clay at the chuncho Clay-lick.

If you happen to have any questions about any behaviours or you’re interested in any topic regarding the amazonian rainforest. You can send us a message though our Facebook page, we will answer you question and we might do a blog post about it.  Enjoy!




Tambopata Reserve ,Peru …..


tambopata reserve peruThe question of many people,   What is Tambopata?  The answer is: Tambopata is a River, a National Reserve and a District in Madre de Dios. The Tambopata Reserve located in the south east of Peru. This Reserve shelters one of the jungles with great Biodiversity in Peru (and possibly of all the amazon), huge protected areas, also it is home of many people (lucky people). Remote, wild, but even so with easy ways to get, this mixed contrast had helped this Reserve to become one of the main places for ecoturism.

You get an idea of why the Tambopata National Reserve is a wild area and owner of many flora and fauna, the answer was given by myself, just before landing at the airport of Puerto Maldonado. At the end of a quick flight from Lima to the Tambopata National Reserve, it is posible to see a green rug that is extended until the horizon. There are many farms, some roads, and the city is easy to see, but these are smallers compared with the inmensity of theamazon jungle. We can see the wriggle of the Rivers.

Once you arrive, you will know to the protagonists of this spectacular activity. Hidden Under the trees are many mokeys tropos, toucans, colorful macaws including the jaguars and many more. We never know what you will find in the Tambopata rainforest, but the Sightseeing from the airplane promise adventure and an uforgettable experience.

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Sandoval Lake – Tambopata

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Considered the most beautiful Lake of the peruvian amazon and boast of its reputation. Despite of being close to Puerto Maldonado, it is inside the Tambopata National Reserve and adjacent to the Bahuaja Sonene National Park. This Lake gives an excellent experience of the amazon and wildlife. If you travel to Puerto Maldonado you should visit it. Carlos Expeditions offers daily tours.

sandoval lakeWe can accede to this sandoval Lake by a trail of 3.5 km long that crosses secondary forests where many birds, monkeys and a very big variety of butterflies can be seen. As for the flora, the huge trees will astonish us, trees that have thousand years such as the kapok tree, the brazil nut tree, cedar Wood and many more which offer rufuge to many animals, making balance between the flora and fauna of the peruvian amazon. The Sandoval Lake is a pristine horseshoe lake where many species of animals such as giant river otters, black caimans, sandoval lake - giant river ottertortoises, monkeys and more live in. It is located at 20 minutes of Puerto Maldonado, inside the Tambopata National Reserve. This is one of the favorite tours for those people that go Sightseeing in the amazon. While touring it is posible to see the 90%, of the flora and fauna of our amazon rainforest.

sandoval lake - red howler monkeyThe tour guides row close to the shores of the sandoval Lake looking for caimans, birds and many more species that live in this part of the jungle.

We give you a good choise of lodging, this is  MONTE AMAZÓNICO lodge, Puerto Maldonado,  located at 20 minutes of trip by boat  at the shore of the river.

The comments will convince you:



Officially established in 1990 as Tambopata – Candamo Reserve Zone. It is located in the East and in the South of Puerto Maldonado. The Tambopata National Reserve and has 1,5 million hectares in the Madre de Dios and Puno regions.

The Tambopata National Reserve has been object of many TV documentaries. We invite you to visit one of the biggest Macaw clay lick around the world. You can also visit the pristine Sandoval Lake. In this region you can walk for a mile through the jungle and never find two trees of the same species. The most important reason of this diversity is because of the flora, the million species such as insects and animals and the warm and humid weather.

This reserve is almost as large as the Manu National Park and protects a huge diversity of landscapes and wildlife, including creeks with different species such as egrets, kingfishers, caimans and giant otters, spectaculars cascades, beautiful clay licks that are visited by hundreds of macaws, monkeys and tapirs; marshes full of palm trees where many birds live in, rivers with beautiful beaches to go camping. All those things attract tourists, scientists and photographers of wildlife.

reserva nacional de tambopata

The Tambopata – Candamo region owns many worldwide records in flora and fauna with 632 species of birds in just 5,500 hectares, 1200 species of butterflies, 151 species of dragonflies, 29 species of tiger beetles, 180 species of fishes and 169 species of mammals.

In 1996, part of the Tambopata Reserved Zone was stated Bahuaja-Sonene National Park. This new protected area that limits with the Madidi National Park in Bolivia is part of the biggest binational Park around the world.

Tambopata – Candamo puede ser visitada durante todo el año..

Macaw Clay Lick

The “Collpa” (Clay lick) is a Quechua name where many species of animals gather to get mineral salts from the ground. Scientists believe that this behavior is the dietary supplement of these animals. However, others believe that the ingestion of the ground reduces toxic effects of some wild fruits and seeds.

The Tambopata National Reserve become famous because of the spectacular clay licks in the Tambopata river. Hundreds of species of parrots and macaws gather in this place. Also there are smaller clay licks in the Heath River.

Some of the common species seen in these places are blue and yellow macaw, scarlet macaw, red and green macaw, blue headed macaw and some parakeets. Monkeys, tapirs, deers and capybaras are also seen very frequently.

The Chuncho clay lick is a small Cliff located lengthwise of the Tambopata inflowing, 5 hours upstream from Puerto Maldonado. (40 minutes from Monte Amazonico Lodge).

The “Colorado” clay lick is located to 1 hour upstream from the Chuncho clay lick; it is bigger than the Chuncho clay lick too.

Las Pampas del Heath

They are located close to the border with Bolivia and have huge grassland zones with more than 100.000 hectares. There are no rainforest, just bushes. The fauna is very rich and two endemic species live here, the Maned Wolf and the Marsh Deer. This is the only zone that shows these characteristics, unique inside the Peruvian jungle. That’s why it was not considered as a National Sanctuary at the beginning and recently it was included as part of the Bahuaja Sonene National Park.

 Tambopata National Reserve, area protegida