3 day/2 Night Tour
If you have any questions about the tour please don't hesitate to get in touch. Tours can be easily customized to fit your every need!
Pick-up: One of our experienced English-speaking naturalist guides will pick you up on arrival at the airport or bus station in Puerto Maldonado then transfer you to the ARCC office. Here you can leave any luggage not required for your trip in our safe deposit (a lighter boat means lower carbon emissions too!) You’ll have time to freshen up before the journey, which is comprised of 2 hours by road followed by 2 hours by boat.
Road trip: We will drive from Puerto Maldonado to the Lucerna Port on the banks of Las Piedras River, firstly via the Interoceanic Highway through villages with names such as "Happiness" and "Beautiful Horizon" and then along a shady secondary road that winds (bumpily) through thick stands of giant Brazil-nut trees. We will stop off at a couple of places along the way to stretch our legs, admire the view, and gawp at an impressively large tree or two.
River trip: Once on our boat, with lifejackets on, box lunch, binoculars and cameras at the ready, we will head upriver past waterfalls, logjams, sandy beaches, and red-clay cliffs, with good chances of spotting capybara, caiman (a crocodilian), turtles, and numerous species of bird. After roughly 2 hours we will reach the ARCC at the heart of the 25,000 acre Las Piedras Wildlife Reserve.
Box lunch on the boat
Arrival at lodge: On arrival we will take the short path from the river to the ARCC reception area where we'll be met by the manager, other staff members, and a refreshing tropical fruit drink (or two!) We'll receive a quick briefing to help orientate ourselves before being shown to your room, each of which has a suite bathroom with hot water, air conditioning and a view of the tropical garden, Soledad Lake and the jungle beyond.
After we’ve settled in we will meet in the dining room and then go on a late afternoon walk along one of the forest trails that borders the Soledad Lake. Here we will take in the wildlife and the tropical scenery as flocks of birds ranging, from parrot to hoatzins return to their roosts. At this time the resident family of giant otters frequently ventures out into the center of the lake for a final meal of fish before heading into their den for the night.
Evening: After dinner we will move to the bar and relaxation area and our guide will explain some of the important research and conservation activities going on in the reserve, as well as ARCCs work with the native and mestizo communities. After this, and before its time to turn in for the night, you will be advised to plug in and recharge your camera s batteries near the bar!
Night at ARCC
Lake Ecology: After breakfast we will board the catamaran or paddle for a 2-hour excursion around the lake to visit several keys location from where it will be possible to observe the features, the plants and the animals that make this U-shaped water - body so productive and such a magnet for wildlife. We will not able to visit all corners of the lake, as a full quarter or it is off limit of tourists, at it is set aside for the sole use of Giant Otters and other wildlife. Only very occasionally do research access this area after dark to make a count species in the lake, and activity does not affect the otters.
Trail hike: Having returned from the relaxing lake trip it will be time for some exertion. We will make sure we have insect repellent on and full water bottle at hand, because we will be joining our guide on a circular around a trail that does a short 2 – km. loop through the nearby forest. Our aim is to spot some of the nine species of monkeys, identify the birds whole characteristic call make up the general background sound of the forest, and with further help from our guide we will begin to understand the value to wildlife of the palm species found here, don’t be surprised by our guide taking notes and GPS reading when encountering certain species, it is all part of broad effort to understand their ecology.
Monkeys Amphibians and Reptiles: in the late afternoon around 4 pm. After we have let our lunch go down, we will go out and learn firsthand about of some of the wildlife research being undertaken at ARCC. We will be able to see how amphibians and reptiles are sampled, and how monkeys group are followed thought the forest, as well the resident researchers try and understand undelaying species diversity levels and the home range pattern of different species.
The Lake at Night: With this optional, 1-hr nocturnal excursion on the lake (with our guide armed with a powerful flashlight) we will be able to observe at closer range the second top predator of the lake, the Black caiman. These South American alligators, a pair of which reach 4 meters in length on this lake, but can grow larger still, are to be found patrolling in the middle of the lake or feasting on fish near the bank. With the help of the light beam, reflected eye-shine, and our ears, we will also be able to observe, hear, and learn about nightjars, owls, fishing bats, and other creatures of the night.
Night at ARCC
Early Breakfast (5 am)
Transfer to Puerto Maldonado airport: We will board the boat for the last time and retrace our journey back to Puerto Maldonado, via the Lucerna Port where a bus will be waiting for us. Having picked up any left luggage at the office, we will be transferred to the airport in time to catch our return flight to Lima or Cuzco. An early departure from ARCC (pre-dawn) may be required depending on our flight schedule.