EXPEDITION AMAZON: PERU

The Amazon is one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet, with something new to discover around every corner, behind every tree, and under every leaf. From butterflies drinking turtle tears to macaws chowing down on clay, from the distinct aroma of a peccary herd to the haunting early-morning call of a howler monkey, a week exploring the jungle will engage each of your senses, sometimes all at once. With early-morning wake-ups while it's still dark out, to late night treks in search of nocturnal frogs and spiders, our itinerary is packed to allow you the opportunity to observe and learn about as many critters as possible.

After arriving from Lima in the riverside jungle town of Puerto Maldonado, your close-knit crew will cruise up the Tambopata River by motorized canoe—the only way to reach the still-untouched Tambopata National Reserve. After leaving civilization behind (don’t worry, our lodges have comfy beds, warm showers, delicious food, and wi-fi), you’ll have a chance to observe some of the most breathtaking wildlife the Amazon has to offer. 

Expedition Highlights:

  • From capybaras to capuchins, howler monkeys to harpy eagles, we’ll get up close with some of the most charismatic wildlife on the planet on daily treks, boat rides, and climbs up the canopy tower.

  • Head out at dawn to witness the world’s greatest parrot show as dozens of macaws visit a massive claylick, and wander through the rainforest after dark to shine a light on nocturnal frogs, spiders, scorpions, and other creatures of the night.

  • Watch scientists present their research, ask them as many questions as you can think of, and even assist as they conduct field research. Think: macaw researchers weighing newly hatched chicks, or aerobotany researchers programming their drones. Get a taste of life as a field biologist by helping to set up a camera trap, searching for rare spiders, and investigating jaguar tracks left behind in the mud.

  • Float across an oxbow lake in a hand-powered catamaran as you watch the sun rise over the jungle canopy. Keep your eyes and ears open for herons, egrets, and hoatzins and try your hand at some catch-and-release fishing to get a closer look at the colorful piranhas. It’s harder than it looks!

  • Visit an ethnobotanical garden and learn from the shaman how the indigenous Esa-eja people utilize forest plants for everything from alleviating headaches to treating ulcers. We may also get a first-hand look (and taste!) at the community’s efforts to develop a sustainable fish farm.

Traveler Feedback:

“Amazing opportunity to experience the rainforest with people who are knowledgeable about and who get truly excited by plants, animals, birds, insects and spiders; and who care deeply about conserving the environment and fragile ecosystems; and want to support sustainable practices around ecotourism.” —Julie Siepmann

“Unique, exciting, educational, exhausting, fun, amazing. —Mike & Peggy Barclay

“It's like visiting another planet, full of creatures you never dreamed possible, with habitats and lifecycles that blow your mind. There are more leaves of more varied shapes than you can imagine, in infinite shades of green. Creatures great and small everywhere, filling every ecological niche: over your head in the air and in the trees, in the river, on the riverbanks, by the lodges, underfoot, and right next to your hand - watch where you put it! The symphony starts at dawn with the howler monkeys; the macaws and toucans take over during the day; the insects crescendo at night. Be prepared for hot, hot, wet, wet inside your clothes. You'll come to love your gumboots the way a soldier in combat comes to love his rifle. —Arthur Manzi

”One of the most memorable trips ever.” —Mark Bauer