Day 67: Cusco to the Amazon, Puerto Maldonado (Peru)

Saturday, March 3rd, 2018

Day 14 of G-Adventures Inca Heartland tour

Day 1 of G-Lodge Amazon – 3 day independent adventure

Tambopata ecolodge Jungle extension: LatAm Flight to Puerto Maldonado, and journey to the lodge.

Following your morning flight to Puerto Maldonado from Lima or Cusco, you will be met at the airport by your naturalist guide and transferred to a dugout canoe for the trip up the Tambopata River to the lodge. On the journey the vegetation changes from colonized deforested areas to virgin rain forest. A box-lunch is provided on board. On arrival you’ll have a welcome drink and meet the rest of the staff. In the late afternoon you set off for an introductory walk into the “terra firme” forest behind the lodge (Trail 2), dominated by giant Brazil-nut and Dipteryx trees. Frequently seen mammals on this trail are Saddle-back Tamarinds, Brown Capuchins, Agoutis, Pacas, Blue-Morpho butterflies, Trogons, Toucans and many other species of birds. After dinner a night walk to find nocturnal animals or insects by the eye-shine a specialization for increasing the light and see better, about 50% of the animals are nocturnal in the rainforest. (L, D)”

We go for the amazon. Our flight to Puerto Madonaldo is scheduled at 12:00 from Cusco International Airport. Gladys already checked us in online and took care of transportation. We will be picked up from our Cusco Hotel El Puma at 10:00 am by minibus. So we packed light for 3 days only and decided to go for breakfast to Jack’s Cafe again. Gianni and the girls got home late yesterday, so we go alone.

We check out our hotel room early before 8:00 am and put our luggage in the hotel locker room again. We use my deuter flight cover as flight luggage and only the small backbags as carry on. There is a power down in our Cusco district, cell phones and tablets didnot charge over night.

First we use RedBanc free ATM once more to have full pockets, then we walk up to Jack’s. Because the cathedral is open and free entrance (like all churches in cusco from 6 am to 9 am) we go in. No photos please.

At Jacks we plugin our charger and charge tablet and smartphones. We have light lunch (as always in this place).

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Best is the coffee here, yes, it is a real Gaggia …

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We still have time, so we go to the market. Some ginnipigs for my little brother as holiday giveaway, ready for barbecue. They have less cholesterol than pork and are good for front teeth they say. I hope they go through Austrian customs …

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Then we go home, pick up Kong and get our ride to the airport:

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At the airport everything is easy. We buy some cards to play shithead …

FLIGHT15: LatAm LA2075 Cusco (CUZ) 12:00 – Puerto Madonalto (PEM) 13:00, 1h00min, on time, 260 OneWorld miles

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We arrive in Puerto Madonaldo international airport. Exactly 2 rooms. Our guide Hugo picks Kong and us up from the airport and we get into a waiting minibus. It is super hot and humid.

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First we drive to the office of Tambopata Ecolodge in Puerto Maldonado. The city looks like taken out of Africa. Cheapest buildings, max 1 floor, dusty and green. No big shops. Main transport is moped taxi and tuktuks. We can use the toilets, buy some water, change currency.

03.03.2018 13:30 S 12°35.0692′ W 069°11.6546′ altidude 453 m,

Then we go to Inferno harbour by minibus. It is a one hour drive along a narrow and really bad road with lot of opposite traffic.

03.03.2018 14:40 S 12°43.6180′ W 069°12.9827′ altidude 423 m

At inferno harbour we change on a motor canoe. It is well built, so we sit in the shadow, nothing gets wet and ride another hour upstream to the national park entry. On the boat Hugo gives us a lunch package, yummy, fried casava and chicken. We start an easy ride up the amazon in the sun and go closer to the river bank as Hugo spots something interesting.

03.03.2018 15:45 S 12°49.6864′ W 069°17.4627′ altidude 421 m

Hugo registers us and then we go 30 minutes more to the small pier of g lodge tambopata. Actually it is not the g lodge but g adventure books aroud 95 % of the guests.

We see some birds and monkeys on the rivercruise:

We arrive at tambopata ecolodge and get bungalow 133B.

03.03.2018 16.27 S 12°49.5058′ W 069°24.1516′ altidude 447 m,

Hugo explains us basics about the lodge. More or less we have to go to a presentation room where a video is played.

The bungalows have power infrastructure, but it is cut off. Light is only available via headlamp or candles. There is a charging station for cameras and cell phones at the bar with plety of plugs. There is strong claro hsdpa+ signal there. Tje have cusquenja (usd 5 per big bottle), no coke zero, choice of drinks is very limited.

If it rains and it gets muddy on excursions you get wellingtons for free. The lodge has plenty of them.

The matrimonial room:

All lights are candles. There is no window, only mosquito nets and carpets. It is very warm at night, so windows are not necessary.

All bungalows are double rooms.

In the lunch/dinner room there is a water filter where we can take as much water as we want for free. It is not recommended to drink water from the tap. They even put a can of water to tje bath for tooth brushing.

Matrimonial room with mosquito net. We didnot use it because the mosquito protection of the room was so good.

Plenty of storage room.

A table and one possibility to hang out for a 4 person bungalow. Anyway, as we have been there our bungalow was empty, so it was all ours.

Cleaning water and brush for muddy boots.

Bathroom

Hot water around the clock.

And eco shampoo.

The rooms are open to the roof. Both. So if your neighbour has digestive problems, you will know every detail. Same you share the light. Might be annoying.

We have dinner (soup, meat, 2 kinds of vegetables, desert, fresh juice) with kong and hugo.

After dinner we met Hugo to do a short walk through the bush in darkness. Guinnipigs everywhere.

We were told to wear long sleeve, put repellent on.

First lesson: never stop on an ant highway. You will be the highway then and the bite nasty.

Todays trip:
2018-03-03-mymaps

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