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PER SANDOVAL view of lake.gif (35617 bytes) PERUVIAN RAINFOREST

Lago Sandoval

About Tambopata-Candamo
Map of the area
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ABOUT SANDOVAL LAKE LODGE

Sandoval Lake is acclaimed as one of the most beautiful lakes in Peru, and it certainly lives up to its reputation. It is also a true surprise so close to major civilization - because of the ease of getting there and the ease of being there, and yet the wildlife experience far exceeds most rainforests .

No other lodge in Tambopata-Madidi is on the banks of a protected oxbow lake.

GETTING THERE

You can actually say "Getting there is half the fun" and mean it! Fly into Puerto Maldonado, which is just a 35 minute flight from Cuzco.

Then transfer to the port (15 minutes) and then 30 minutes by motorized launch on the Madre de Dios River to their riverside port. Excellent, easy to negotiate steps up steep bank to wide, well groomed, level trail  through the forest - at several points there are benches or palapas to rest or get in out of the sun or rain. You can stroll the trail with your naturalist guide or you can have the unique experience of an Indian rickshaw transfer.

Once at the end of the trail, small canoes take you 220 yards along a narrow canal to the Lake and special native catamaran for leisurely float across the lake to the lodge pier and finally steps up to the lodge. Sounds like a lot but it is easy, interesting and "do-able".

LODGE FACILITIES

The lodge is constructed almost entirely of ecologically harvested "driftwood" mahogony trees collected from the floods that naturally carry logs downriver out of Manu National Park.

The lodge is one extended structure consisting of a large screened main dining room and lounge area, one wing with 16 rooms with private bathrooms and another wing of 9 rooms also with private bathroom facilities. The rooms are screened; all showers have hot water.

All rooms have electricity, supplemented by kerosene lamps and candles. There are several strategically placed sitting areas overlooking the lake.

WHAT TO DO

Despite the fact that it is close to civilization, Lake Sandoval is in the protected Reserved Zone of Tambopata and the adjacent Bahuaje-Sonene National Park, which makes it an excellent rainforest and wildlife experience.

While there are 15 miles forest trails to explore, the lake is the center of activities, with dawn and dusk native catamaran glides to various parts of the lake for spectacular wildlife:

  • six species of monkeys inhabit the surrounding forest
  • one of the largest and most accessible populations of Giant Otters and are regularly seen fishing in the lake
  • a large flooded palm grove harbors hundreds of Red-Bellied macaws
  • the chicken-sized almost pre-historic looking Hoatzin is a frequent sighting
  • and at nightfall Black Caimans, the rarest of the crocodilians, head out into the lake to fish