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Wilderness, Wildlife and Whitewater on the Rio Tambopata

$2,925$4,442

4.50 out of 5

This tour takes you into some of the most inaccessible and remote parts of the Amazon rainforest; only for true adventurers!

Length: 11 Days
Destination: Lake Titicaca, Tambopata, Peruvian Rainforest
Lodging: Tent camping
Activities: Expedition river trip, rafting, wildlife viewing

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Local Operator: Brands

WHY THIS TRIP

The Wilderness, Wildlife and Whitewater on the Rio Tambopata trip is an exceptional expedition that takes you into a rarely visited part of Peru, virtually from the shores of Lake Titicaca to the very heart of the Amazon rainforest.

TRIP DESCRIPTION

Your journey to the river takes you high into the Andes with breathtaking views of the Apolobamba and Carabaya mountain ranges, before dropping down into the Amazon rainforest. From our put-in on the banks of the Rio Tambopata, you soon bid farewell to all traces of civilization as you head into pristine jungle in search of wilderness, wildlife and wild water.

The first few days you tackle Class III-IV rapids. The rapids become less technical and more high-volume roller coaster as the river grows through the Amazon Basin foothills. As you reach the Amazon Basin, the last few days are spent drifting silently, spotting rare wildlife and exploring tributaries.

A night in a comfortable jungle lodge beside the spectacular Macaw lick gives you time to explore jungle trails, before heading downriver past gold miners and to Puerto Maldonado for a night before catching your flights back to home. Alternatively, you can break this flight in Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incas from where you can visit Machu Picchu, the amazing “Lost City of the Incas” and the beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas. Please inquire for options.

The Bahuaja / Sonene National Reserve is considered to be the world´s best-preserved tropical rainforest reserve and the “last human-free jungle on the planet.” It is home to jaguars, tapirs, giant otters and capybaras as well as over 800 species of birds and 1,200 different species of butterflies. Rafting the Rio Tambopata, through the very heart of this national park, has recently been described by the scientific world as “The Ultimate Jungle Experience.”

LOCAL OPERATOR: AMAZONAS EXPLORER

For more than three decades Amazonas Explorer has led high-quality trips and alternative adventures throughout South America. Based in Cusco, its professionally trained guides, cooks and support crew bring their passion and skills to the travelers they serve and, in turn, build rewarding careers for themselves. This talented staff of local experts is focused on providing you with safe and comfortable adventures, all centered on making your holiday as memorable as possible.

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DAY 1: Arrive Juliaca and Start Drive to River

On arrival in Juliaca airport (please book the early flight), you will be met by the Amazonas Explorer team to start the journey to the river. The team drives overland, high into the Andes, passing llama herds, glaciers and spectacular mountain ranges. As you cut through the Andes, you begin to descend through Inca terraces and to the cloud forest. You descend as far as possible into the cloud forest and camp overnight on the roadside (or stay in a local basic hostal) where the weather, road conditions and altitude dictates. (Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 2: Drive to River Put In & Start Rafting

From here to the launch site on the banks of the Rio Tambopata the road can be a real challenge. You drop deeper into the jungle and finally to Putina Punku.

Here you pass the permit office and, depending on water levels and road conditions, either start rafting here or continue on the road a little further to a small village called Curva Alegre. The group inflates the rafts and securely packs all gear and supplies. Following a full safety briefing and instruction in the art of whitewater rafting, you don a life jacket and helmet and head into the Amazon rainforest. Any excess gear can be sent back with the vehicle to await your arrival in Cusco. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 3-7: Rafting the Rio Tambopata

Leaving all traces of civilization behind, you raft exciting rapids by day and at night camp on pristine sandy beaches. The first days are full of Class II-III rapids, starting small and technical, giving you plenty of time to practice the necessary skills required to negotiate the harder rapids to come. As tributary after tributary joins the Tambopata the river increases in volume creating exciting and challenging Class IV rapids.

Plenty of time is allowed for scouting and photographing the harder rapids. Eventually the river relaxes and, for the last few days, the rafts float silently through the calmer stretches, giving you unequalled opportunities to observe and photograph wildlife. Here you hope to see families of capybaras, the world’s largest rodent, and bands of peccaries. Lone tapirs have also been known to walk through the campsite at night and monkeys watch from their tree top hideaways. Jaguars, jaguarondis, caiman, anteaters and giant river otters have also been spotted as well as countless species of rare birds and butterflies. Time is spent exploring beautiful side creeks and, if you wish, fishing for the delicious but elusive Paiche. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 8: Meet Motorboats

Where the Tambopata meets the Rio Tavara, the river becomes flat and thus hard work. This is the last night’s camp and where the group meets the re-supply boat. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 9: To Macaw Lick Lodge

Today the motorboat transfers you a few hours downriver to a comfortable jungle lodge situated beside the famous Macaw lick. Here you can enjoy the luxuries of a refreshing shower, a comfortable bed, fresh food and a cold beer. Resident expert guides are available for further jungle walks if desired. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Overnight at Tambopata Research Center.

DAY 10: Macaw Lick to Puerto Maldonado

Perhaps the wildlife highlight of the trip still awaits you as you rise just before dawn to see the truly extraordinary spectacle of hundreds of macaws, parrots, and parakeets feasting on the minerals contained in the cliff wall. After breakfast, the motorboat transfers you further downstream, passing groups of gold miners and finally to the frontier town of Puerto Maldonado and a well-earned night in a hotel. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Overnight at Hotel Wasai Lodge or similar.

DAY 11: Puerto Maldonado – Lima or Cusco

You are transferred to Puerto Maldonado airport in time for your flight back to Lima to connect with your international flight home. (Breakfast)

Getting To and From the Trip: 

To start this trip, you will need to arrive in Juliaca, Peru on the morning Day 1. You can arrive by domestic flight from elsewhere in Peru, bus, train, or by taxi from Puno, another town on Lake Titicaca. You may consider spending a night or two in Juliaca or the Lake Titicaca area before this trip begins. A hotel in Juliaca or the Lake Titicaca area is not included in the packaged trip, but it can be added upon request.

All international flights to Juliaca must route through Lima. Most likely, you will need to overnight in Lima the night before you fly to Juliaca. We can help you arrange a hotel and transfer services upon your request.

This trip ends on Day 11, with a transfer to the Puerto Maldonado Airport or bus station. From Puerto Maldonado, it is a short flight or 8 hours bus ride to Cusco. Or you can fly to Lima and connect to your international flight home or elsewhere in South America.

We can also help you add to your journey with a few days at Lake Titicaca before your rafting trip, or trips to Machu Picchu and Cusco, the Colca Canyon, the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, or any other destination in South America.

We do not sell international or domestic Peru airfare but partner with a flight specialty company, Exito Travel, who can arrange all of your flights for you, simplifying the process of this part of your trip.

Trip Start: Trip starts in Juliaca, Peru. You will be picked up from the airport on the morning of Day 1. All international flights route through Lima. Depending on your flight schedule, you may need to overnight in Lima the night before your arrival in Cusco. A hotel in Lima can also be added upon request.

Trip End: Trip ends in Puerto Maldonado, Peru. You will be transferred to the airport on the last day of the trip in time to catch your flight home or to your next adventure.


This trip is a complete package. All services are included from your arrival at the Juliaca Airport to your drop off at the Puerto Maldonado Airport.

You may want to round out your adventure by arriving a few days early and exploring Lake Titicaca, and taking 4 to 6 days after the rafting trip to experience Cusco and Machu Picchu. We have hotel and other adventure packages that you can add on to this trip to make it easy to get exactly what you want.

International and domestic Peru flights are not included, but can be booked through our travel partner Exito Travel. Depending on your flight schedule, you may need to overnight in Lima. We can help you arrange a hotel and transfer services if this is necessary.

We can also help you add to your journey with trips to the Colca Canyon, the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, or any other destination in South America.

2015 PRICES:

GROUP DEPARTURES

$2,925.00 per person
Single Supplement: $260.00

Note: A minimum of 4 travelers per group departure is required in order operate a group departure. With a smaller group of 1, 2, or 3 travelers, the private trip rates will be applied until others join the departure. When 4 or more travelers join the group, rate will decrease to the group departure rate listed above. (Group sizes refer to the overall group, not just you and your travel companions.)

PRIVATE TRIPS

Rate is per person

1 Person: $7,869.00
2 People: $4,442.00
3 People: $3,974.00
4 People: $3,159.00
5 – 8 People: $2,812.00
9 – 16 People: $2,467.00
Single Supplement: $105.00

2016 PRICES: 

For 2016 pricing, please inquire using the “Request Trip” button above or by calling 1-866-386-4168.


INCLUDED: 

  • All airport transfers
  • Transport to the river in private vehicle, return from the river in shared motor boat and bus.
  • State of the art rafting equipment including self-bailing rafts, Hi-flotation life-jackets, helmets, spray jackets, dry bags for personal gear, special containers for cameras
  • All camping and cooking equipment including Therm-a-rests, spacious two-person tents, mosquito-netting dining tent, tables and stools.
  • An extensive first-aid kit
  • Professional English and Spanish-speaking river guides trained in first-aid, swift-water rescue and CPR.
  • Hotel in Puerto Maldonado, comfortable Jungle lodge on the banks of the Rio Tambopata.
    All meals as indicated in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).

NOT INCLUDED: 

  • Domestic Peru or International flights
  • Personal belongings
  • Sleeping bag (available for rent at $10 a night)
  • Tambopata National park fees approx $50 / S/150, payable on arrival
  • Airport taxes (if applicable: $6 local, $31 international) *
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Personal or medical expenses
  • Tips for guides and support team
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Optional trip to Machu Picchu and Sacred Valley of the Incas can be quoted for and added upon request
  • Lima hotels, airport transfers, day rooms, tours and all internal flights are not included but can also be organized and quoted for on request.

* Fees subject to change


ADDITIONAL EXPENSES TO CONSIDER:

  • Domestic Peru or international flights
  • Sleeping bag rental (or bring your own)
  • Tambopata National park fees approx $50 / S/150, payable on arrival *
  • Airport taxes (if applicable: $6 local, $31 international) *
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Tips for guides and support team (optional)

* Fees subject to change

 


 

 

 

Plan Your Trip

2015 GROUP DEPARTURE
September 5 – 15

PRIVATE DEPARTURES
Private trips can begin on any date in May through October, pending availability.

There are no set family departures. All departures are open to families to join. Private trips are also available to start on any day with a minimum of 2 travelers.

Trip Start: Trip starts in Juliaca, Peru. You will be picked up from the airport on the morning of Day 1. All international flights route through Lima. Depending on your flight schedule, you may need to overnight in Lima the night before your arrival in Cusco. A hotel in Lima can also be added upon request.

Trip End: Trip ends in Puerto Maldonado, Peru. You will be transferred to the airport on the last day of the trip in time to catch your flight home or to your next adventure.

How Do I Get To and From the Trip: 

To start this trip, you will need to arrive in Juliaca, Peru on the morning Day 1. You can arrive by domestic flight from elsewhere in Peru, bus, train, or by taxi from Puno, another town on Lake Titicaca. You may consider spending a night or two in Juliaca or the Lake Titicaca area before this trip begins. A hotel in Juliaca or the Lake Titicaca area is not included in the packaged trip, but it can be added upon request.

All international flights to Juliaca must route through Lima. Most likely, you will need to overnight in Lima the night before you fly to Juliaca. We can help you arrange a hotel and transfer services upon your request.

This trip ends on Day 11, with a transfer to the Puerto Maldonado Airport or bus station. From Puerto Maldonado, it is a short flight or 8 hours bus ride to Cusco. Or you can fly to Lima and connect to your international flight home or elsewhere in South America.

We can also help you add to your journey with a few days at Lake Titicaca before your rafting trip, or trips to Machu Picchu and Cusco, the Colca Canyon, the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, or any other destination in South America.

We do not sell international or domestic Peru airfare but partner with a flight specialty company, Exito Travel, who can arrange all of your flights for you, simplifying the process of this part of your trip.

For your transportation from Juliaca to the launching point, you will be in a private van with your guide, fellow travelers, and driver. From the Tambopata Research Center to the Puerto Maldonado Airport, you will have shared transportation by motor boat and bus with other travelers.

Lima Hotels: Depending on your international flight schedule, you may need to overnight in Lima.  We can help you arrange hotels, transfers, day rooms, and/or tours here upon your request.

Lake Titicaca Hotels: If you would like to spend a few days exploring Lake Titicaca before you begin your rafting adventure, we can help you arrange this.

Machu Picchu, Sacred Valley, & Cusco Hotels: If you would like to extend your stay in Peru and visit Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley, and  Cusco, we have adventure packages to make your trip exactly how you want it.

We can also help you add to your journey with trips to the Colca Canyon, Machu Picchu, the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, or any other destination in South America.

Make sure you take the time to visit Machu Picchu! From the trip end in Puerto Maldonado, it is easy to catch a short flight to Cusco. Cusco is great starting point to explore Peru. You can extend your stay and explore Machu Picchu, Cusco, and the Sacred Valley by mountain bike, stand-up paddle board, rafting and kayaking, horseback, and hiking.

If you arrive in Juliaca a few days before your river trip begins, you will have time to explore the Lake Titicaca area.  We recommending spending 3 or 4 days at Lake Titicaca, doing a homestay on one of the islands and experiencing the unique cultures of the area.

You can take a short flight or an overnight bus from Cusco to Arequipa, and from there explore the Colca Canyon, one of the world’s deepest canyons. We recommend spending 4 or 5 days in the Arequipa and Colca Canyona area.

A trip in Peru combines very well with a visit to the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. You will need at least 5 days, but preferably 8 days, to have a great trip in the Galapagos. Allow yourself a full day to fly from Cusco, Peru to either Quito or Guayaquil in Ecuador.  All trips to the Galapagos start in either Quito or Guayaquil, and you will need to spend at least one night in one of these cities before starting your Galapagos trip.

We work with local trip operators throughout Latin America, and we can help you plan the rest of your trip to where ever sparks your curiosity.

Countries Visited: Peru

Destinations Visited: 

Juliaca, Tambopata River, Tamboata Research Center, Puerto Maldonado

Green Certifications: 1% for the Planet

Trip Sustainability: 

Amazonas Explorer recognizes that tourism has the potential to create many problems. Here are their beliefs and goals to create more sustainable trips and to help eliminate these problems.

  • They try to further reduce their impact on the environment and conserve energy when possible.
  • They endeavour to become a paperless company and prefer the use of e-mail and on-line banking where possible.
  • They use re-cycled paper where available in the office, for brochures and adventure-dossiers. They make full use of the recycling paper and plastic rubbish has finally come to Cusco.
  • They are committed to running small groups tours, to exploring new routes away from the busiest areas and to operating these tours where possible in conjunction with local communities, maximizing the benefit to local areas and minimizing the impact on the environment.
  • They educate clients and locals on how to preserve the fragile environment and endangered species they encounter. This includes on-going guide and porter awareness programs, and thorough pre-departure information and in-country briefings for travelers.
  • They continue to carefully dispose of all their waste. All non-biological waste, and as much non-biological waste, as possible is carried out and disposed of correctly. On the Apurimac rafting trip, all human excrement is also carried out. On other trips they carefully bury all biodegradable waste below the high-water mark, at the official deposits on the Inca Trail, or as deep as possible elsewhere.
  • They employ as many locally trained guides as possible, using foreign guides only where their overseas expertise is essential.
  • All food produce is purchased locally and they try to minimize the amount of imported foreign goods on trips, using locally grown fresh produce where possible. They are developing new menus to minimize the use of canned and packaged products, and encouraging cooking with local Andean products. They bulk purchase items when possible to reduce excessive packaging and reduce the need for constant trips to shops.
  • They work to reduce the use of all plastic products (bags, bottles, etc) to the absolute minimum, and to recycle what little they do use.
  • They use as much locally made equipment as possible, designing and modifying equipment using local ideas and materials, and only importing equipment otherwise unavailable, or not of sufficient quality when available locally.
  • They encourage the most efficient use of fossil fuels, using the most suitable and efficient transport options available, ie cooking with gas not kerosene or firewood.
  • They have introduced recyclable glass bottles whenever possible on trips, and not disposable plastic bottles, while at the same time encouraging travelers to do likewise.
  • They continue to educate clients in local customs and languages where possible so as to promote local pride and not bring offense.
  • They are committed to encouraging sustainable tourism projects in conjunction with local communities.
  • They are committed to providing all staff a realistic wage and correct working conditions. This will include regular staff training in Responsible Tourism management, on-going assessments and quality control of Staff conditions, health insurance policies for porters, and correct clothing and equipment made available.
  • They encourage responsible tipping. Nothing for nothing – locals are rewarded for helping set up camp and pose for photographs but not for doing nothing.
  • They encourage the purchasing of local weavings directly from the local women encountered en-route.
  • They are actively looking at new ways to reduce their carbon footprint,and minimize the use of excessive transport where possible without compromising our service.
  • They have reduced our attendance at International travel shows and encourage ‘face to face’ meetings with our agents using Skype instead.
  • In 2007 Amazonas Explorer joined www.onepercentfortheplanet.org and chose to support the local NGO Ecoan www.ecoanperu.org for its 1% donations.

 

According to Peruvian legislation, the definition of a porter is “an independent worker who offers his services and who with his own body carries gear, personal equipment and other goods necessary for touristic expeditions.” Each individual can establish working relationships with one or more employer, subject to the laws being obeyed by the operating company.

  • The payment for porters has been established as a percentage of the UIT (an official tax code) by INRENA and the ministry of employment. Amazonas Explorer pay their porters the correct amount on time for their work done in accordance with this legislation. This wage has been agreed by Amazonas Explorer and their porters and is also accepted by the Porters’ union in Cusco.
  • Porters are contracted by a designated Head Porter, and payment is made directly by the Head Guide, thus avoiding any intermediaries or other possible conflicts.
  • While the legislation is unclear at present, Amazonas Explorer pays the $15.00 per person Inca Trail Porter fee, and they do not take this fee out of their wages.
  • The Inca trail rules state that porters can not carry more than 20kg (44lbs) of company equipment and 5kg (11lbs) of personal equipment. Amazonas Explorer abides by this, and it is enforced by the Inca trail governing body at several weigh stations on the way.
  • They provide a large communal tent with carry mat floor for the porters to sleep in. It is not the dining tent used by travelers.
  • They provide their porters with plenty of good food. This is not the same menu given to the passengers, but it is nutritious, abundant, and what they are used to eating. They have their own cooking facilities so do not have to wait for the clients to finish eating before they get their food.
  • They provide the porters transportation from Ollantaytambo to the trail head. They also provide them with return train tickets (with designated seat allocation) from Machu Picchu Pueblo to Ollantaytambo. They do not take this out if their wages.
  • They only use registered Inca trail porters (as Inca trail rules stipulate) – these porters have to pass several forms of ID, character reference, a letter of good health, and to have attended an Inca Trail Porter Awareness course.
  • All porters work freelance. Amazonas Explorer provides them with accident insurance and work contracts for each period of work they do for the company.
  • They provide each porter with a uniform, a back support, a carrying frame, and footwear. (Please note the porters often prefer their own sandals.)
  • As good quality sporting equipment is unavailable in Peru, Amazonas Explorer encourages travelers to donate any excess outdoor clothes, sleeping bags, etc directly to the porters.
  • Tipping porters is also encouraged and guidelines are provided at the pre-departure meeting. The tip is administered by the travelers with assistance from the head guide whose tip is completely separate.
  • Amazonas Explorer holds an annual, end-of-season, porters’ party and football tournament. The 2008 hotly-contested tournament had over seventy participants; the final winners were the red team captained by Anacleto Suclli, Cook.
  • Amazonas Explorer is a member of www.onepercentfortheplanet.org. We support a local native-tree re-forestation program www.ecoanperu.org and planted over 57 thousand trees in 2014. These native-trees are planted in the water-tables above our porters’ villages. The porters are proud to be essential part of achieving these goals and maintaining the projects.

Activities: Expedition, Rafting

Activity Description: 

Whitewater rafting in the Amazon River Basin.

Trip Difficulty: Strenuous

Fitness Level: 

While no experience is needed to enjoy this trip, the first 2 or 3 days have many Class III, IV and V rapids. After the first few days, the river becomes more mellow, with Class I and II rapids. You are traveling in a very remote part of the Amazon basin. It is hot, humid, and the bugs can be vicious. It is strenuous, and you will be very tired at the end of each day.

Minimum Age: 16

Maximum Age: 75

Minimum Group Size: 4

Maximum Group Size: 16

Typical Group Size: 10

Months Offered: May, June, July, August, September, October

Best Time to Go: 

This trip is great at any time, except during the rainy season and when the water in the river is high (November through April). The best time to run this river is in September, when the group departure is scheduled.

Food and Special Diets: 

Amazonas Explorer pride themselves selves on excellent cuisine, with a heavy emphasis on hygienically prepared, wholesome, and copious quantities of really tasty food. Vegetarian dishes are their specialty and any unusual dietary requirements can easily be accommodated. Each morning, you start with a hearty breakfast, around noon you stop for a leisurely lunch break, and by early evening, an excellent three-course dinner is served. Snacks are also provided in between meals. Amazonas Explorer’s aim is to source as much produce locally and organically as possible and their menus reflect a wonderful mix of delicious local recipes and international favorites. They regularly run catering courses for their cooks and chefs, and introduce new menus and ideas including the latest hygiene policies.

All their fresh vegetables are washed in iodine water prior to serving and they provide only boiled, filtered, or iodized water for drinking.

Amazonas Explorer is trying to cut back on all packaging by buying in bulk, using recyclable containers for foodstuffs, and shopping sensibly. Where possible, they recycle all vegetable waste, tins, and plastic. They only use plastic bottles where no alternative is available and they provide water for you to refill yourself when needed.

By sourcing food locally, Amazonas Explorer aims to reduce the carbon footprint of their food and to encourage local farmers to provide quality products, which are often far superior to imported equivalents. Their cooks also produce a range of in-house delicacies from birthday cakes to quiches, biscuits, and pizzas. It is unlikely you will ever be disappointed by their range of delicious home-cooked meals and the variety of choice they can provide.

All dietary requirements from vegans, lactose intolerant, gluten allergies, and general dislikes can be catered for, so long as prior warning is given when booking the trip.

Drinking Water: 

Boiled, filtered, or iodized water is provided for drinking during your rafting trip. Please bring a refillable water bottle.

Equipment Provided: 

Camping gear includes spacious two person tents or single tents, mobile kitchen, portable camp toilet, Therm-a-rest inflatable mattresses, camping stools, utensils, etc. Sleeping bags and pillows are not included, but can be rented upon request. Rafting gear includes state-of-the-art self-bailing rafts, high flotation life-jackets, helmets, spray jackets, dry bags for personal gear, wetsuits, wet-suit booties, and special containers for cameras.

Special Equipment You Should Bring: 

  • Sleeping bag, 0C / 32F (available to rent)
  • Head lamp & spare batteries
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Swimsuit
  • Waterproof river shoes (or old sneakers) and socks
  • Personal first aid kit to include: painkillers, plasters (band-aids), moleskin, antiseptic cream, sunscreen, after bite, anti-diarrhea tablets, throat lozenges, re-hydration salts & personal medication. (Amazonas Explorer carries an extensive first aid kit & Oxygen on all trips, but these are generally for emergencies only)

For a complete packing list, see the Suggested Packing List under the More Info Tab.

 

HOTEL / LODGE AMENITIES:  Breakfast, Restaurant, WiFi

BOAT AMENITIES: You do not stay on a boat on this trip

CAMP AMENITIES: Single Tents, Double Tents, Sleeping pads/mattresses, Toilet Tent, Dining Tent, Dining Tables, Dining Chairs

ROOM AMENITIES: Twin Beds, Double Beds, Safebox, Hot Water, Shared Bathroom, Shower, Soap and Shampoo, Towels

ROOMING OPTIONS: Double, Single, Willing to Share, Single Supplement

DESCRIPTION:

CAMPING
Spacious 3 – 4 person tents are standard, but only sleep 2.  Single tents are available.  There is a dining tent and cook tent.  All camping and cooking equipment including Therm-a-rests inflatable mattresses and camping stools, tables etc. Camping toilets and toilet tents are provided. On rafting trips, the river is generally used for washing, and clean water is supplied for drinking and teeth brushing.

JUNGLE LODGE
The Tambopata Research Center is a comfortable lodge which was built with the object of lodging tourists and researchers alike, and of protecting the adjacent macaw clay lick. It’s a great place to relax after a week on the river.

PUERTO MALDONADO HOTEL
Wasai Maldonado Eco Lodge or similar

 

 

Local Tour Operator:

For more than 30 years Amazonas Explorer has used a different approach in leading high-quality trips and adventures in South America. While the company had its beginnings in adventure tourism, its success in building a strong team of knowledgeable guides has enhanced its ability to offer a range of innovative cultural tours. By raft, bike, foot, horse and even paddleboard, travelers are immersed in their surroundings to explore in unique ways the highlights of southern Peru, the company’s home turf. Every adventure with Amazonas Explorer is treated with impeccable care and top-notch services, all focused on the client’s comfort and safety.

The current owners, while originally from the United Kingdom, have lived and played in the Cusco region for more than 20 years. The itineraries they’ve crafted are based on places they love and activities they enjoy. Their obvious love for Peru shines through in the company’s efforts to maximize benefits to local economies and to promote responsible tourism across the country. Beginning in the home office, its professionally trained guides, cooks and support crew are well cared for as they build rewarding careers for themselves within the hierarchy of the company. With more than 20 office staff and a Peruvian team total of nearly 200, Amazonas Explorer prides itself on being a great place to work. On an Inca Trail hiking trip, for instance, it is likely you will have the support of porters who have been with the company more than 10 years. Amazonas has a porter protection policy in place and all employees enjoy the provisions of proper working conditions, fair wages, quality gear, and insurance.

Dedicated to sustainable tourism projects in alliance with local communities, Amazonas Explorer purchases local food and, when available, local equipment and gear. Its exceptional cultural experiences include engagement with local people and opportunities for travelers to purchase local crafts and weavings directly from their source. The largely paperless company takes significant steps to further reduce its carbon impact by minimizing its impact to the environment with small group sizes, smart transportation choices, recycling whatever it can, cooking with gas not kerosene or firewood and carefully disposing of all waste generated on trips. Above all, the entire crew of experts holds collective focus on safety and on providing memorable experiences that are equal to none. Amazonas Explorer is also a member of One Percent for the Planet, donating annually its time and money to reforestation efforts in Peru’s Lares Valley.

Guides:

Amazonas Explorer staff are true professionals dedicated to making your trip an unforgettable experience. From your first contact with our office sales staff to your guide’s briefing, the driver who picks you up from your hotel to the porters who carry your camping equipment, the cooks that prepare your meals to the muleteers who load the mules, our aim is to make your stay with us as comfortable and as memorable as possible. We love what we do, we love where we live and above all we love to share our knowledge of and respect for all the beautiful places we are going to show you.
Efrain Valles, Amazonas Explorer Guide

Efrain Valles – Trek guide and Tour Conductor
A graduate of Cusco’s Tupac Amaru University, Efrain’s knowledge of Peruvian history, culture and fauna together with his fluent English makes him one of our most popular trekking guides and tour conductors. His latest trip involved exploring the central highlands of Peru to set up a new trip for Christian Aid and he also leads all of our “Traidcraft- Meet the people tours”. His dream is to compete in the London Marathon.

Zacarias de Ugarte – Trek guide and Tour Conductor
Zacarias comes from a family of guides who were amongst the first to explore Peru and its potential as a travel destination. His ability to share his love of Peru, his wild sense of humour and deep love of all things Peruvian makes him one our most popular trek leaders and tour conductors. Several of the photos on this website were taken by “Zac” whilst leading trips for Amazonas Explorer.

Wilo Cardenas – Trek and Cultural tour guide
Wilo started out as a porter but decided to put himself through college where he met up with Efrain and Zacarias and then joined Amazonas Explorer as a trainee trek leader. Several years later, he leads his own treks, tours and has even been seen on a bike. His wicked sense of humour makes him great fun to be around but you might not want to believe everything he says!

Ruben Apaza – Trek and Cultural tour guide
“Chino” as he likes to be called once taught Peruvian history at uinversity but decided he preferred the great outdoors and joined Amazonas Explorer where he has excelled himself leading treks and tours throughout Peru. To travel with Ruben is like having your own friendly professor along to show you round.

Nilo Gamarra – Trek and Cultural tour guide
Nilo’s quiet confident manner with clients has made him a firm favourite to guide many of our cultural tours and treks. His knowledge of Machu Picchu, Cusco and surrounding ruins and his ability to share his love of all things Peruvian, make Nilo a very popular guide.

Alain Abril – Multi-Activity Guide
Alain has been studying tourism for so many years now, we are wondering if he’ll ever finish his course as for much of that time, he’s been delighting our clients, families and travellers with his amazing abilities as safety kayaker, head river guide, bike guide, family trip leader, charity trek leader and full on expedition leader. There are very few trips Alain hasn’t been on and if he doesn’t tire you out by day, his “Cusco by night” knowledge is truly impressive too.

Efrain Castro – Head River Guide
Efrain has been guiding the rivers of Peru and South America for over two decades and his unflappability on and off the river makes him a plus to have on any river journey. He also cooks a delicious camp meal and makes a mean Pisco Sour for the all important “Happy Hour” when on multi-day raft trips.

Jose Soldevila – Multi-Activity Guide
“Pepe Negro” has been guiding Rivers and Bike trips throughout Peru and Central America since early nineties and has been seen in a number of TV shows guiding celebrities such as Bruce Parry in his “Amazon” series in 2008 and the BBC wildlife unit’s “Wild and Dangerous” series in 1999. Fluent in English and German, Pepe loves to guide our Jungle rafting trips and is a skilled ornithologist as well as excellent camp cook and has enough stories up his sleeves to make even the rainiest day a truly memorable journey.

Juan Carlos Salazar – Mountain bike guide and Trek leader
I first met JC or “El chato” at the tender age of 16 in 1993 when I dragged him out of his brother’s bike shop to become our first bike mechanic. 15 years later, he’s gone to university and graduated in tourism, learnt English and travelled all over Peru with Amazonas Explorer. His infectious smile and competent manner with groups makes him always popular and he is still a legend on a bike, coming second in his category in the 2009 Mega Avalanche downhill race. He looks after all our bikes, cooks a delicious Spaghetti and can tell you all about the Incas too.

Simon Leishman – Mountain Bike Guide and Tour Conductor
Originally from Cornwall in the UK, Simon has been living in Cusco for over ten years. He is a highly experienced mountain leader and expert Mountain bike guide and leads many charity trips each year as well as running trips for Amazonas Explorer.

Javier Salazar – Bike Guide and Mechanic
Juan Carlos’s little brother works for us as a bike guide and mechanic and is studying English and tourism in his spare time. Amazing on a bike, he recently came first in a local Cusco downhill race despite breaking his collarbone crashing only a few months previously.

Gabriel Gygax – Bike and Tour guide
Gabriel studied tourism in Lima and did his internship with Amazonas Explorer. Since then, he has led bike trips, coordinated treks and school groups, and swum down most of the rivers chasing his kayak. He is at present helping to develop our “Green Policy” and recently joined us on our latest recce trip to cycle from Titicaca to Cusco.

Richard Pethigal – River Guide
Richard originally hails from California but has lived on the beach in Brazil and in Cusco for as long as we can all remember. When not taking our gear boat skilfully through the dangerous rapids of the Rio Apurimac, he can be found high above the Andes, flying customers in his tandem Paraglider.

Marcia Cardenas – Trainee Guide
Wilo’s little sister, Marcia joined us as a trainee trek guide a few years ago and now helps out on the Inca trail where possible. Her infectious smile and good nature has encouraged many an exhausted traveller to make it up Dead woman’s pass and as her English improves she will become regular and sure to be favourite amongst Amazonas Explorer groups in the years to come.

Aaron Zarate – River, Trek and Climbing guide
Aaron’s fluent English and competent river and mountain skills has led him to become first choice for many of our trips and he has been reported to have been able to talk the hind legs of a llama so there’s never a dull moment when Aaron is around!

John Leivers – Trek leader and TV Fixer
There’s hardly a country in the World that Australian John hasn’t travelled in, driven across or lead expeditions to but he now calls Peru his home. His in depth studies of the Incas and never ending fascination with all things Peruvian makes travelling with John like having your very own Peruvian encyclopaedia on board. John has helped “fix” several of our latest TV programs from Bruce Parry’s “Amazon” to the BBC’s Human Planet filming of the ritual battle called Chiaraje. His ability to micro-manage complex projects like this makes him an invaluable member of our team. When not working, John is always off exploring in search of Inca ruins, ancient trails and one day we are hoping he will write a book about it so we can find out where’s he’s been!

Other guides, logistics and Support staff
Besides the above mentioned, Amazonas Explorer support staff include cooks, porters, drivers, hotel transfer staff, horse wrangler, muleteers, tree planters and other specialist guides etc. In fact enough to provide at least 5 football teams at our annual get together and when added to wives and children, the extended Amazonas Explorer team has well over 200 of us all involved. We like to think of it as one huge family with the common shared aim of making sure your holiday to Peru is as memorable as possible. We love what we do and we hope you’ll enjoy the time you spend with us as much we will enjoy spending it with you.

TMI (Too Much Information)

On the Tambopata River, both on and off the river, we recommend you wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to avoid the strong tropical sun and persistent sand-flies. Wet suits, splash jackets, and wetsuit boots are provided. Dry bags are provided to store your gear in and Pelican cases for cameras while on the rafts.

IN GENERAL

  • Comfortable clothes for traveling
  • Nice clothes for in town
  • Sunglasses with attaching string
  • Peaked cap
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Socks & underwear
  • Sunscreen SPF 15+
  • After sun care
  • Chapstick
  • Binoculars (optional)
  • Camera & spare batteries
  • Pocket knife
  • Book, notebook, & pen (optional)
  • Spare eye glasses or contacts
  • Money, passport, etc
  • Personal toiletries
  • Personal first aid kit to include: painkillers, plasters, moleskin, anti-septic cream, after-bite, anti-histamine, anti-diarrhoea tablets, throat lozenges, re-hydration salts & personal medication.  (Amazonas Explorer guides carry an extensive first aid kit & Oxygen on all trips, but these are generally for emergencies only)

FOR PUNO & DRIVE TO THE RIVER

  • Trekking pants
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Warm fleece or down jacket
  • Warm hat, gloves, & scarf
  • Raincoat & rain pants
  • Good, worn-in hiking boots

RAFTING

  • Thermal long johns & long sleeve top
  • River shorts (quick drying)
  • River sandals or old sneakers
  • Socks to wear with river sandals or old sneaks (for insect protection)
  • Change of clothes for the evening after rafting (light weight & long sleeved)
  • Spare set of clean clothes for when you get off the river
  • Fleece jacket
  • Raincoat & rain pants and/or rain poncho
  • Sleeping bag (0C / 32F), can also be rented
  • Insect repellent (high DEET)
  • Small towel
  • Head lamp & spare batteries
  • Swim suit

 

HOW TO PACK 

At your pre-raft trip briefing, your guide will provide you with dry bags. In these, you will want to put all your clothing and gear that you will need for the trip. Please try to bring as little as possible.

Pro Tip: We recommend carrying on all of your most essential items on your flights to Peru. This way, if your checked luggage is lost in transit, you will still be able to do the raft trip comfortably. For example, carry on any prescription medications, sunglasses, and anything else that is irreplaceable for you. Everything else required for your trip (sleeping bags, sandals, jackets, etc. can be found in Peru).

 

NOTES

  • We recommend you take around 600 soles in local currency for any emergencies and expenses on your trip.
  • We implement a ‘staff protection policy’ that ensures all staff are well treated, paid, insured, fed and looked after.
  • Most good quality sporting equipment is unavailable in Peru so if you wish to donate any outdoor clothes, sleeping bags, etc they will be gratefully received by any of our staff.
  • 1491 – Charles Mann
  • Turn Right at Machu Picchu – Mark Adams
  • The White Rock or Cochineal Red – Hugh Thomson
  • Exploring Manu or Where the Andes Meets the Amazon – Kim MacQuarrie & Andre Bartschii
  • Field Guide to the Birds of Machu Picchu – Barry Walter
  • Exploring Cusco – Peter Frost
  • Lost City of the Incas – Hiram Bingham
  • The Inca Trail – Richard Danbury
  • Neo-Tropical Companion – John C. Kricher
  • Running the Amazon – Joe Kane
  • The Last Days of the Incas – Kim MacQuarrie
  • Birds of Peru – Clive Byers
  • The Bridge of San Luis Rey – Thorton Wilder
  • Conquest of the Incas – John Hemmingway
  • Into the Forest of the Night – John Simpson
  • Touching the Void – Joe Simson
  • Heart of the Amazon – Yossi Ghinsberg
  • Inca Kola – Matthew Paris
  • Inca Gold – Clive Cussler
  • Realm of the Incas – Max Milligan
  • Peruvian Wildlife  – Gerard Cheshire, Huw Lloyd & Barry Walker
220 Volt outlets are standard in Peru, although outlets in most hotels and tourist areas can accommodate 110 Volt appliances. Peru uses two styles of outlets: two-pronged plugs with flat, parallel blades (same as the US), and two round prongs. Most outlets are designed to accommodate both styles. You will not have access to electricity during your rafting trip.

You won’t be rafting through any small communities or villages, but you will be driving through communities on your way to and from the river. Bring cash in soles in small denominations.

Smoking is not allowed in rooms or enclosed public areas.

Safety:

SAFETY FIRST
Amazonas Explorer pride themselves on their safety record, and plan to maintain their claim as being the safest and best equipped team on any expedition. While rafting, safety kayaks and cata-rafts are present wherever deemed necessary, and guides carry an extensive emergency first aid kit and satellite telephones on all remote expeditions.  The key to Amazonas Explorer’s Safety Policy is their highly trained and superbly motivated staff. The guides make decisions that put safety above all else. These decisions include walking around rapids, waiting out for better weather, route changes, and limiting trip participation if a traveler is too sick to continue. They expect travelers to abide by these decisions.

RISK ASSESSMENT
Amazonas Explorer has undertaken a risk assessment for all activities that they offer. Individual risk assessments per activity are available on request. Travelers should be aware they are taking part in adventurous activities in remote locations with inherent risks including possible personal injury. They should be prepared to accept such inherent risks and personal injury that may occur on a trip of this nature. A prerequisite of joining an Amazonas Explorer trip is all travelers must take out personal travel insurance that will cover personal injury (including search & rescue) should any accident occur while partaking in an adventure, details of which must be given to their tour guide at the start of the trip.

GUIDE TRAINING
Amazonas Explorer considers training to be vital investment to ensure the security and safety of all their trips. They also believe that trained guides are confident guides which help them to relax and enjoy the trip which the company firmly believe will massively enhance your own personal enjoyment. Their guides are all qualified in first aid qualifications, the more senior guides in Wilderness First Aid by NOLS, and the majority by multi-day local courses run by medical organizations in the local area such as Hampiland, O2, Clinica Paredes, Clinicas Pardo, and San Jose. With all of these organizations, Amazonas Explorer has close contacts and experience this ensures that they are able to organize visits by doctors and treatments as quickly and as comfortably as possible.

WHITEWATER GUIDES
All river guides hold the internationally recognized “Swift-water Technician” qualification. Staff training on safe river-running techniques is constantly being reviewed. All guides are deemed experienced and capable to raft at the high levels necessary on these demanding rivers. All have up to date Wilderness first aid certificates, have agreed to abide with our commitment to maximum risk reduction and are aware of emergency and evacuation procedures at any point.

SAFETY RESPONSIBILITY OF PASSENGERS
People traveling with Amazonas Explorer are expected to abide by certain basic safety rules including:

  • Informing the guide of any medical condition or any other factors that may affect your or another traveler’s safety
  • Respecting the guide’s decisions
  • Being responsible and taking care of individual equipment that is assigned you
  • Keeping covered to avoid sun exposure and insect bites
  • Drinking plenty of water to avoid sunstroke and dehydration
  • Understanding that you are entering National parks and there are certain rules concerning, litter, waste, and wildlife that you must abide by
  • Being honest with yourself concerning how comfortable you are and if your limits are being pushed.
  • Advising your guide if any medical emergency arises that it left untreated could jeopardize the safety of the entire group.

LASTLY, PLEASE NOTE
The Apurimac river expedition travels through a remote and rarely visited part of Peru and Amazonas Explorer believe travelers should be aware that the remoteness that makes the Apurimac so very special could also cause certain problems. Thus, while Amazonas Explorer endeavours to minimize the chances of anything unexpected happening, it has to be noted that no itinerary can or should be rigidly adhered to. This is the very nature of adventure travel and they expect travelers to be prepared for delays and slight alterations in the itinerary.

Specific to the Apurimac is the possibilities of delays due to the difficulty in reaching the river. Should Amazonas Explorer deem the rafting portion of the Rio Apurimac to be too high to be safely navigated, they reserve the right to offer an alternative river. In all cases we will advise you of any changes in the itinerary as early as possible. Amazonas Explorer have taken all these possibilities into account when planning this expedition and have allowed sufficient leeway to enable them to successfully run this exceptional trip.

The majority of dietary and medical requirements can be catered for, but Amazonas Explorer must be notified of these at the time of booking. Obtaining the correct vaccinations and visas required for Peru is the responsibility of the travelers.

You should also be aware that adventure travel, in particular white-water rafting in remote areas such as Southern Peru, does carry with it certain inherent risks that you, the traveler, will have to assume. You will have to take out adequate travel insurance to cover these risks and any costs incurred due to sickness, delayed flights, and other factors out of Amazonas Explorer’s control.

A pre-departure meeting will be held on the day before departure. It is highly recommended you attend. All travelers will be asked to sign a release and waiver form and must provide a photocopy of their passport, Peru entry stamp, and details of their travel insurance.

Medical Attention:

All river guides hold the internationally recognized “Swift-water Technician” qualification. Staff training on safe river-running techniques is constantly being reviewed. All guides are deemed experienced and capable to raft at the high levels necessary on these demanding rivers. All have up to date Wilderness first aid certificates, have agreed to abide with our commitment to maximum risk reduction and are aware of emergency and evacuation procedures at any point.

Staff/ Crew on Trip: You will have one guide for a group of 1 to 7 travelers. You will have one guide and one assistant guide for groups of 8 to 16 travelers. You will also have support staff, including a cook, safety kayakers, drivers, etc.

DETOUR’S DISCLAIMER
Detour acts only as an agent for the various independent suppliers that provide hotel accommodations, transportation, sightseeing, activities, or other services connected with this tour. Such services are subject to the terms and conditions of those suppliers. Detour, LLC and their respective employees, agents, representatives, and assigns accept no liability whatsoever for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay, or any other incident which may be caused by the negligence, defect, default of any company or person in performing these services.  Responsibility is not accepted for losses, injury, damages or expenses of any kind due to sickness, weather, strikes, hostilities, wars, terrorist acts, acts of nature, local laws, or other such causes.  All services and accommodations are subject to the laws and regulations of the country in which they are provided. Detour, LLC is not responsible for any baggage or personal effects of any individual participating in the tours /trips arranged by Detour, LLC. Individual travelers are responsible for purchasing a travel insurance policy, if desired, that will cover some of the expenses associated with the loss of luggage or personal effects.

DETOUR’S CANCELLATION POLICY
If you cancel the trip at any point after confirmation, you will owe a $100 per person handling fee to Detour.  This is separate and in addition to the fees, deposits, and payments potentially owed to the tour operator (see information below).

AMAZONAS EXPLORER TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Amazonas Explorer’s trips travel through remote and rarely visited parts of Peru and they believe travelers should be aware that the remoteness that makes these trips so very special could also cause certain problems. Thus, while Amazonas Explorer endeavors to minimize the chances of anything unexpected happening, it has to be noted that no itinerary can or should be rigidly adhered to. This is the very nature of adventure travel and they expect travelers to be prepared for delays and slight alterations in itineraries. At certain times of the year, these trips may be run with the activities (walking, trekking the Inca trail, mountain biking, rafting and jungle) taking place in a slightly different order to those indicated in the itinerary. This is to best suit the weather, take in any local fiestas, or due to availability of permits for the Inca Trail. In all cases, they will advise you of any changes in the itinerary as early as possible. They have taken all these possibilities into account when planning your expedition, and have allowed sufficient leeway to enable them to successfully run these exceptional trips. You should also be aware that adventure travel, in particular trekking, white-water rafting, inflatable canoeing, mountain biking and traveling in remote areas such as southern Peru, does carry with it certain inherent risks that you, the traveler, will have to assume. You will have to take out an adequate travel insurance to cover these risks. National flight time tables are also subjected to local weather conditions. Please ensure your travel insurance covers any cost incurred due to delayed and cancelled flights. Excess baggage is also at the traveler’s expense. A pre-departure meeting will be held upon your arrival in Peru. It is highly recommended you attend. All travelers will be asked to sign a release and waiver form and must provide a photocopy of their passport, Peru entry stamp and details of their travel insurance.

AMAZONAS EXPLORER’S CANCELLATION POLICY
1: We will invoice you on confirmation of your trip at which time a 20% deposit is required to hold your reservation or payment in full if less than two months prior to departure.
2: Full payment is required two months prior to trip departure unless previously negotiated credit terms with Amazonas Explorer.
If the trip is cancelled by yourselves, we reserve the right to charge:
A) A $200 or 20% non-refundable deposit. This covers the cost of Inca Trail clients’ and porters’ permits purchased on client’s behalf.
B) 60-15 days prior to departure we charge 50% of price.
C) 14 days or less we charge 100% of net price
In exceptional circumstances and entirely at our discretion, we can offer up to 50% off net price as an advance towards a future Amazonas Explorer fixed departure trip.

INCA TRAIL CANCELLATION POLICY
With the new Inca Trail regulations in force, Machu Picchu has become a very expensive and inflexible place to visit. Any last minute cancelling or dropping out of the Inca Trail during the trip has certain repercussions. An outline of extra expenses incurred as a result of cancellation and continuing to Machu Picchu via the Sacred Valley is detailed below. These extra expenses may be paid for directly by the client in situ. Full payment in cash US dollars will be required prior to agreeing to make any changes or alternative arrangements. A full receipt from Amazonas Explorer can be given to the passengers to claim of their insurance to cover all expenses incurred.

AMAZONAS EXPLORER’S BOOKING CONDITIONS
The purchase of Inca Trail permits is strictly controlled by the Peruvian Institute of Culture (INC). There are only 500 permits for guides, porters, and trekkers per day. This has led to very competitive demand with permits often being sold out three to four months in advance. With regard to any trip that involves trekking the Inca Trail, we are therefore introducing the following booking conditions.
1: Space on the trip cannot be confirmed until:
A): Full client information (Full name, Passport number, Nationality and Date of Birth) are sent to us in order to purchase your Inca trail permit.
B): Amazonas Explorer has confirmed that an Inca Trail permit is available for the trip of your choice.
C) The USD $200 non-refundable deposit has been paid.
2: Clients must bring with them the passport with which the permit was issued – ie the passport number that was provided us with at time of booking – otherwise entry to the Inca Trail will not be permitted.
3: Inca Trail, Machu Picchu and local ruins entrance fees for 2015 have not yet been confirmed and should there be a significant increase, Amazonas Explorer will not be able to assume this extra cost and the extra will  have be passed onto the clients
4: Any changes will be entirely at the discretion of the INC and, if possible, will incur a penalty fee of $50 per change.

INCA TRAIL CANCELLATION
Amazonas Explorer reserves the right to charge the following additional costs for a full alternative service. Discretion may be used by Amazonas Explorer as to the implementation of these costs.
1. More than five days before: (100% of permits is lost, pax food can be cancelled, admin fee). Alternative arrangements for a private Sacred valley tour, hotels and a train (if available) to join group in Aguas Calientes would incur costs of approx $150 extra.
2. Less than 5 days before. (100% of permit & porters is lost, food may be cancelled, admin fee). Alternative arrangements for a private Sacred valley tour, hotels and a train (if available) to join group in Aguas Calientes would incur costs of $250 extra.
3. The day before: (100% of permit, porters and food is lost). Alternative arrangements for a private Sacred valley tour, hotels and a train (if available) to join group in Aguas Calientes would incur costs of $350 extra.
4. Day 1 of Inca trail: (100% of permit, porters and food is lost). Alternative arrangements for a private Sacred valley tour, hotels and a train (if available) to join group in Aguas Calientes would incur costs of $350 extra. The travelers, if turned back on the Inca trail, are accompanied to KM88 by an Inca trail guide and put on the train back to Cusco or Ollantaytambo (with or without the guide depending on the health and attitude of the client.) The Guide would then have to catch up with the group to ensure their continued safety & enjoyment.
5. Day 2 of Inca trail: (100% of permit, porters and food is lost). Alternative arrangements for a guide to accompany passenger to join group in Aguas Calientes would incur costs of $350 extra. The passenger involved would have to continue on the train to Aguas Calientes (again with or without a guide depending on passenger condition), and catch a bus up to Machu Picchu and enter Machu Picchu on their Inca trail permit (this is valid only 1 day, the next day is $32 entrance payable in cash). They could if desired then walk back up to the sun gate and wait for the remaining Inca trail groups to arrive.
6. Day 3 of Inca trail: (100% of permit, porters and food is lost). Alternative arrangements for the guide to accompany passenger to join group in Aguas Calientes would incur costs of $350 extra. The guide would then be unable to return to the main group.
7. Day 4-5: This evacuation is to Machu Picchu. No extra cost incurred. Passengers should note an emergency evacuation helicopter is not always available in Cusco, depending on where in Peru the helicopter is. The Inca trail is a serious undertaking with very steep, high & remote passes. Passengers should not expect an easy evacuation at any point. Passengers are advised to be educated in the symptoms of High Altitude sickness and have the strength of character to turn back if considered too sick to continue or a danger to other clients’ safety. Our Inca trail guides have the final decision regarding passenger safety.

 

TYPICAL RAFTING DAY
7:00am: Wake up call and time to pack up gear and tents
8:00am: Breakfast while guides load kit on the rafts
8:30am – 9:00am: Begin rafting*
11:00am: Snack time
12:30pm – 1:30pm: Lunch break
3:30pm: Stop rafting and set up camp
6:00pm: Dinner
* Rafting is at the speed deemed safe by the raft guides at the water conditions at the time. Plenty of time is allowed for portaging/walking the rapids deemed too dangerous to run. 

You will not have access to wifi during your raft trip. Your guide will have a satellite phone in case of emergencies. You will have access to wifi at the Tambopata Research Center and your hotel in Puerto Maldonado.

PERU TIPPING
Tipping in many countries can be a problem and can add a great deal of stress to your holiday. This is a rough guideline to try and help you work out how much you should tip. Remember Tipping is entirely voluntary and how much you give depends on how you feel about the service you have received.

For background, Peru has a minimum salary of 800 Nuevo Soles (US$300) monthly for a 6 day 48 hour week. However in many of the lower paid jobs (eg waiters, porters etc) this is not always enforced. 2.60 Peruvian Soles are roughly the equivalent of GBP 60p, USD$1 and 1 Euro.

AIRPORT BAGGAGE CARRIERS
Strictly this is not a tip as these people make their living by carrying your luggage from the carousel to your bus. The general rule is one or two soles per bag.

HOTEL STAFF
If the hotel staff are helpful and friendly a tip of roughly one / two Soles per bag for the porters helping carry bags to your room, and for the breakfast staff, leave on the breakfast table a tip of roughly one Sol per person per breakfast. In many hotels this is not expected but the staff will be grateful.

DRIVERS
Generally drivers doing transfers from the airport to hotel or vice-versa don’t expect tips.  However if you have a driver for a few days then it is generally expected to tip. Again the service supplied (ie. did he drive safely, did he help with luggage, was he friendly) should determine the size of the tip. A reasonable average would be a total of 10-30 Soles a day from the group.

SPECIALIST GUIDES
On many trips you will have a number of specialist guides e.g. cultural, jungle, rafting, biking, or trekking guides. In most instances these guides have spent a number of years studying at Colleges or Universities to qualify as guides. Generally these guides will be with you for a few days but sometimes just for a day trip.

As a general guideline it would be expected to tip each specialist guide US$10-30 a day in total from the group. Again the group size, depth of knowledge of their area or specialist skill, command of English and friendliness should help determine the tip.

TOUR CONDUCTORS
On some of our bigger tours you will be accompanied by a Tour Conductor who will help deal with all the small problems that crop up when travelling in a foreign non English speaking land. Again it would be expected that the group would tip the tour conductor around US$10 – 30 per day. The group size, their friendliness, patience, availability and ability to resolve your problems should help determine their tip.

RESTAURANTS
As with most places in the world it is normal to tip in restaurants if the service was reasonable and the food good. A tip of 5% would be adequate, 10% is normal and 15% would be considered excellent.

SUMMARY

Airport porters Minimum 1-3 Soles per bag – compulsory
Hotel staff 1-2 Sole per bag / per breakfast
Transfer drivers Generally not expected
Drivers 10-30 Soles per day total from the group
Specialist guides US$10-30 per day total from the group
Inca trail cooks, porters 100-200 Soles per client divided up following advice of guide
Tour Conductors US$10-30 per day total from the group
Restaurants 5-15% for adequate to excellent food and service

We hope you find the above information useful, remember this information is a general guide, the only rule with tipping is that:  IT IS VOLUNTARY

Laundry: You will not have access to laundry services on this trip.

Food and Special Diets: 

Amazonas Explorer pride themselves selves on excellent cuisine, with a heavy emphasis on hygienically prepared, wholesome, and copious quantities of really tasty food. Vegetarian dishes are their specialty and any unusual dietary requirements can easily be accommodated. Each morning, you start with a hearty breakfast, around noon you stop for a leisurely lunch break, and by early evening, an excellent three-course dinner is served. Snacks are also provided in between meals. Amazonas Explorer’s aim is to source as much produce locally and organically as possible and their menus reflect a wonderful mix of delicious local recipes and international favorites. They regularly run catering courses for their cooks and chefs, and introduce new menus and ideas including the latest hygiene policies.

All their fresh vegetables are washed in iodine water prior to serving and they provide only boiled, filtered, or iodized water for drinking.

Amazonas Explorer is trying to cut back on all packaging by buying in bulk, using recyclable containers for foodstuffs, and shopping sensibly. Where possible, they recycle all vegetable waste, tins, and plastic. They only use plastic bottles where no alternative is available and they provide water for you to refill yourself when needed.

By sourcing food locally, Amazonas Explorer aims to reduce the carbon footprint of their food and to encourage local farmers to provide quality products, which are often far superior to imported equivalents. Their cooks also produce a range of in-house delicacies from birthday cakes to quiches, biscuits, and pizzas. It is unlikely you will ever be disappointed by their range of delicious home-cooked meals and the variety of choice they can provide.

All dietary requirements from vegans, lactose intolerant, gluten allergies, and general dislikes can be catered for, so long as prior warning is given when booking the trip.

Drinking Water: 

Boiled, filtered, or iodized water is provided for drinking during your rafting trip. Please bring a refillable water bottle.

 

2 reviews for Wilderness, Wildlife and Whitewater on the Rio Tambopata


  1. Caron S
    4 out of 5

    :

    This was also a wonderful trip. The guides were good, the meals were fine as were the tents and the rafts. We were not comfortable with the driver at the start of the trip. He was driving too fast and probably too long at the wheel. The overall trip was exciting and fun.

  2. kafindle
    5 out of 5

    :

    This trip has everything, from cultural, natural and historic wonders to whitewater adventure. Accommodations range from comfortable hotels in cities like Cusco and Puno to fairly primitive lodging in backcountry villages to rustic (but nice) open air lodging at the Tambopata Research Center to tents on the Tambopata River. The trip is an expedition, but can be handled by anyone with an adventurous spirit who doesn’t mind getting wet and dirty and doesn’t need comfort all the time. I went with both my 13-year-old son and my 67-year-old mother and they both loved it (although admittedly my mother is a tough one). I have done a fair bit of traveling throughout the world, and this is probably the most memorable and exciting of all my travels. We saw incredible sites, including Inca ruins, Machu Picchu, and more wildlife than I have seen anywhere before. While rafting the Tambopata River through stretches of the rainforest inaccessible to humans except by raft we saw tapir, caymans, monkeys, capybarras, macaws, parrots, parakeets, giant river otters, and even a jaguar. Oh, and our local guides were great!

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