WHY THIS TRIP
On this journey to the Heath River you encounter the best and most astonishingly varied pristine rainforest that the Upper Amazon Basin has to offer, while staying at the small and intimate Heath River Wildlife Center. This is the only eco-lodge on the remote Heath River, the wild rainforest frontier where Peru and Bolivia meet. Few other Amazon lodges can offer this unbeatable combination of remoteness, and yet reachable distance by river from an airport with daily scheduled passenger-jet flights.
The lodge lies within the Tambopata-Madidi reserve areas of Peru and Bolivia. Bolivia’s Madidi National Park totals 18,900 sq. km./7,297 sq. miles, while the adjacent reserves of Tambopata-Candamo and Bahuaja-Sonene across the border in Peru add up to more than 13,700 sq. km./5,290 sq. miles. Taken together, they form the second largest, and by far the most biologically diverse nature conservation area in all of South America.
This is an active rainforest visit, with some trail walking required to get the most from the experience. At the Heath River Wildlife Center you witness one of nature’s most spectacular displays — a tumultuous gathering of brightly colored macaws and parrots at the nearby Heath River macaw clay lick.
The lodge offers an array of options almost too numerous and varied to be taken on one visit. You may spot wildlife along the lightly-used trails of this remote forest, and perhaps stake out one of the lodge’s mammal clay licks, in hopes of sighting an elusive Lowland tapir, the Amazon’s largest mammal. You can visit the abundant birds and monkeys of a secluded oxbow lake, travel upriver and float stealthily downstream with the engine off, and walk through the astonishing change of environments to be experienced on the short journey from the river to the Pampas del Heath – an excursion that also takes in a rare nesting site of the Red-bellied and Blue-and-yellow Macaws.
LOCAL OPERATOR: INKANATURA
InkaNatura Travel is the only leading tour operator in Peru owned by a nonprofit conservation group, Peru Verde. The mission of InkaNatura is to to provide the best travel services in Peru for those particularly interested in nature, culture, and archaeology. Its work is part of Peru Verde’s overall strategy to protect the country’s unique cultural and biological diversity. InkaNatura contributes heavily to the maintenance of national parks, reserves, and archaeological sites while at the same time treating local people with respect and dignity.