Wilderness, Wildlife and Whitewater on the Rio Tambopata

Trip Operator : Amazonas Explorer

Quick Overview

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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Price From: $3,088.00

Rafting the Rio Tambopata, Peru

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  • Locals on the Rio Tambopata, Peru
  • Camp on the Rio Tambopata, Peru
  • Tapir on the Rio Tambopata, Peru
  • Rapids on the Rio Tambopata, Peru

This exceptional expedition takes you into a rarely visited part of Peru, virtually from the shores of Lake Titicaca to the very heart of the Amazon Rainforest. Our journey to the river takes us 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, we soon bid farewell to all traces of civilisation as we head into pristine jungle in search of wilderness, wildlife and wild-water.

The first few days we tackle grade III-IV rapids. The rapids become less technical and more high volume roller coaster as the river grows through the Amazon Basin foothills. As we 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 us time to explore jungle trails, before heading downriver past gold miners and so to Puerto Maldonado for a night in time to catch your flight to back Lima and your international flight. Alternatively one can break this flight in Cusco - the ancient capital of the Incas from where we can visit the amazing "Lost City of the Incas" - Machu Picchu and the beautiful Sacred Valley of the Incas. Please enquire 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 eight-hundred species of birds and twelve-hundred 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”.

Green Certifications 1% for the Planet
Activities Expedition, Rafting
Trip Length 11 Days
Countries Visited Peru
What's Included / Not Included

INCLUDED

•    All airport transfers
•    transport to and from the river in private vehicle
•    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.
•    3* Quality hotel in Puno, 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

•    National 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
•    personal expenses and tips.
•    Optional trip to Machu Picchu and Sacred Valley of the Incas.
 
Lima hotels, airport transfers, day rooms, tours and all internal flights are not included but can also be organised and quoted for on request.


ADDITIONAL COSTS

•    National or international flights
•    Sleeping bag rental (or bring your own)
•    Tambopata National park fees approx $50 / S/150, payable on arrival
•    Airport taxes
•    Travel insurance (required)
•    Tips (optional)

Trip Start Days Various
Maximum Passengers 16
Trip Difficulty Difficult
Comfort Level Roughing It
Bilingual (English Speaking) Guides Yes
Trek Style / Comfort Level Backpacking Camping
Months Available March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
Dates Prices and Options

DEPARTURE DATES

2014 Private Departures
Private Trips can start on any date.  

2014 Group Departure
September 7 - 17

 

PRICE PER PERSON

2014 Group Departures: $3,088.00
Single Supplement: $268.00

2014 Private Trips: 
1 Person: $9,665.00
2 People: $5,225.00
3 People: $3,809.00
4 People: $3,035.00
5 - 8 People: $2,809.00
9 - 16 People: $2,468.00
Single Supplement: $269.00

Accommodations Description

CAMPING

Spacious 3 - 4 person tents are standard, but only sleep 2.  Single tents are available.  There is a dining tent, cook tent, camp toilet & toilet tent.  All camping and cooking equipment including Therm-a-rests inflatable mattresses and camping stools, tables etc.


WASHING & TOILET FACILITIES

Camping toilets and toilet tents are provided on all but the remotest expeditions.  On rafting trips, the river is generally used for washing, and clean water is supplied for drinking and teeth brushing.


Minimum Age 16
Typical Day

TYPICAL RAFTING DAY

7:00 am - Wakeup call and time to pack up gear and tents.

8:00 am - Breakfast whilst guides load kit on the rafts.

8:30 – 9:00 am - Begin rafting*

11:00 am - Snack time

12:30 – 1:30 pm - Lunch break

3:30 pm - Stop rafting and set up camp

6:00 pm - Dinner

*Rafting is at the speed deemed safe by the raft guides at the water conditions at the time. Plenty if time is allowed for portaging/walking the rapids deemed to dangerous to run.

Typical Menu / Food
Rooming Options Doubles , Single Supplement, Willing to Share Single
Electricity 220 Volt
Drinking Water

Please bring a refillable water bottle or two, as we don't allow disposable plastic water bottles on the river.  We provide plenty of purified water (boiled, filtered or iodized) for you to fill your bottles multiple times per day.

Trip Start and End Details

BEGINNING YOUR TRIP

The trip begins in Juliaca, Peru.* On arrival in Juliaca airport, you will be met by the Amazonas Explorer team to start the journey to the river.  


ENDING YOUR TRIP

The trip ends in Puerto Maldonado, Peru.*  We will transfer you to the Puerto Maldonado airport in time for your departing flight.  


*Domestic flights in Peru can be arranged by your trip operator.

Trip Operator / Guides

RIVER GUIDES

All our river guides hold the internationally recognised “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.


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.


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.


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!

Abbreviated Itinerary

DAY 1: ARRIVE JULIACA AND START DRIVE TO RIVER
DAY 2: DRIVE TO RIVER PUT IN POINT & START RAFTING
DAYS 3-7: RAFTING THE RIO TAMBOPATA
DAY 8: MEET MOTORBOATS
DAY 9: TO MACAW LICK LODGE
DAY 10: MACAW LICK TO PUERTO MALDONADO
DAY 11: PUERTO MALDONADO – LIMA OR CUSCO

Itinerary

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. We drive overland, high into the Andes, passing llama herds, glaciers and spectacular mountain ranges. As we cut through the Andes, we begin to descend through Inca terraces and so to the cloud forest. We descend as far as we can get 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. (B,L,D)


DAY 2: DRIVE TO RIVER PUT IN POINT & START RAFTING

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

Here we pass the permit office and depending on water levels / road conditions either start rafting here or continue on the road a little further to a small village called Curva Alegre.  We inflate the rafts and securely pack all our gear and supplies. Following a full safety briefing and instruction in the art of white water rafting, we don our life jackets and helmets and head into the Amazon rainforest. Any excess gear can be sent back with our vehicle to await our arrival in Cusco. (B,L,D)


DAY 3-7: RAFTING THE RIO TAMBOPATA

Leaving all traces of civilisation behind, we 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 us plenty of time to practise the necessary skills required to negotiate the harder rapids to come. As tributary after tributary join 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, our rafts float silently through the calmer stretches, giving us unequalled opportunities to observe and photograph wildlife. Here we hope to see families of capybaras - the world's largest rodent, herds of peccaries. Lone tapirs have also been known to walk through the campsite at night and monkeys watch us pass from their tree top hideaways. Jaguars, jaguarondis, caiman, ant-eaters 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. (B,L,D)


DAY 8: MEET MOTORBOATS

Where the Tambopata meets the Rio Tavara, the river becomes flat and thus hard work. This is our last night’s camp and where we meet our re-supply boat. (B,L,D)


DAY 9: TO MACAW LICK LODGE

Today the motor boat transfers us a few hours down river to a comfortable jungle lodge situated beside the famous Macaw lick. Here we 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. (B,L,D)


DAY 10: MACAW LICK TO PUERTO MALDONADO

Perhaps the wildlife highlight of the trip still awaits us as we 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 motor boat transfers us further downstream, passing groups of gold miners and finally to the frontier town of Puerto Maldonado and a well earned night in a hotel. (B,L)


DAY 11: PUERTO MALDONADO – LIMA OR CUSCO

We transfer to Puerto Maldonado airport in time for your flight back to Lima in time to connect with your international flight home. (B)


Or for those with more time consider one or more of our excellent extensions to Cusco, the scared valley, Machu Picchu, Arequipa and the Colca canyon, Nazca and the Ballestas islands or more adventures by bike, foot, canoe, raft or horse. Please contact us for more details.

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. We drive overland, high into the Andes, passing llama herds, glaciers and spectacular mountain ranges. As we cut through the Andes, we begin to descend through Inca terraces and so to the cloud forest. We descend as far as we can get 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. (B,L,D)


DAY 2: DRIVE TO RIVER PUT IN POINT & START RAFTING

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

Here we pass the permit office and depending on water levels / road conditions either start rafting here or continue on the road a little further to a small village called Curva Alegre.  We inflate the rafts and securely pack all our gear and supplies. Following a full safety briefing and instruction in the art of white water rafting, we don our life jackets and helmets and head into the Amazon rainforest. Any excess gear can be sent back with our vehicle to await our arrival in Cusco. (B,L,D)


DAY 3-7: RAFTING THE RIO TAMBOPATA

Leaving all traces of civilisation behind, we 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 us plenty of time to practise the necessary skills required to negotiate the harder rapids to come. As tributary after tributary join 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, our rafts float silently through the calmer stretches, giving us unequalled opportunities to observe and photograph wildlife. Here we hope to see families of capybaras - the world's largest rodent, herds of peccaries. Lone tapirs have also been known to walk through the campsite at night and monkeys watch us pass from their tree top hideaways. Jaguars, jaguarondis, caiman, ant-eaters 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. (B,L,D)


DAY 8: MEET MOTORBOATS

Where the Tambopata meets the Rio Tavara, the river becomes flat and thus hard work. This is our last night’s camp and where we meet our re-supply boat. (B,L,D)


DAY 9: TO MACAW LICK LODGE

Today the motor boat transfers us a few hours down river to a comfortable jungle lodge situated beside the famous Macaw lick. Here we 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. (B,L,D)


DAY 10: MACAW LICK TO PUERTO MALDONADO

Perhaps the wildlife highlight of the trip still awaits us as we 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 motor boat transfers us further downstream, passing groups of gold miners and finally to the frontier town of Puerto Maldonado and a well earned night in a hotel. (B,L)


DAY 11: PUERTO MALDONADO – LIMA OR CUSCO

We transfer to Puerto Maldonado airport in time for your flight back to Lima in time to connect with your international flight home. (B)


Or for those with more time consider one or more of our excellent extensions to Cusco, the scared valley, Machu Picchu, Arequipa and the Colca canyon, Nazca and the Ballestas islands or more adventures by bike, foot, canoe, raft or horse. Please contact us for more details.

DEPARTURE DATES

2014 Private Departures
Private Trips can start on any date.  

2014 Group Departure
September 7 - 17

 

PRICE PER PERSON

2014 Group Departures: $3,088.00
Single Supplement: $268.00

2014 Private Trips: 
1 Person: $9,665.00
2 People: $5,225.00
3 People: $3,809.00
4 People: $3,035.00
5 - 8 People: $2,809.00
9 - 16 People: $2,468.00
Single Supplement: $269.00

INCLUDED

•    All airport transfers
•    transport to and from the river in private vehicle
•    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.
•    3* Quality hotel in Puno, 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

•    National 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
•    personal expenses and tips.
•    Optional trip to Machu Picchu and Sacred Valley of the Incas.
 
Lima hotels, airport transfers, day rooms, tours and all internal flights are not included but can also be organised and quoted for on request.


ADDITIONAL COSTS

•    National or international flights
•    Sleeping bag rental (or bring your own)
•    Tambopata National park fees approx $50 / S/150, payable on arrival
•    Airport taxes
•    Travel insurance (required)
•    Tips (optional)

CAMPING

Spacious 3 - 4 person tents are standard, but only sleep 2.  Single tents are available.  There is a dining tent, cook tent, camp toilet & toilet tent.  All camping and cooking equipment including Therm-a-rests inflatable mattresses and camping stools, tables etc.


WASHING & TOILET FACILITIES

Camping toilets and toilet tents are provided on all but the remotest expeditions.  On rafting trips, the river is generally used for washing, and clean water is supplied for drinking and teeth brushing.


RIVER GUIDES

All our river guides hold the internationally recognised “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.


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.


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.


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!

  1. Exciting and fun Review by Caron S
    Accommodations (relative to class of trip)
    Itinerary and Activities
    Meal Quality
    Quality of Equipment
    Overall Rating of Trip
    Value of Trip
    Social & Environmental Responsibility of Trip
    Guides and Service

    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. (Posted on 12/10/12)

  2. Rio Tambopata-Wilderness, Wildlife, and Whitewater Review by kafindle
    Itinerary and Activities
    Quality of Equipment
    Meal Quality
    Guides and Service
    Overall Rating of Trip

    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! (Posted on 4/16/06)


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