I visited the Tambopata area of the Peruvian Amazon between the 13th and 22nd of January 2015 and stayed at three lodges during that time. The first span of days was with ‘Rainforest Expeditions’ for 6 nights the first of which was spent at their Refugio Amazonas lodge on the way to the ‘Tambopata Research Center’ (TRC). The other guests an myself were picked up at the airport in Puerto Maldonado for a brief stop at their office after which their bus took us to the river port of Infierno. There we transferred to a covered and motorized boat for the roughly three hour trip up the Tambopata river to the Refugio lodge. We had enjoyed a snack on the bus, then had lunch on the boat and arrived at Refugio just before nightfall.
The first section of photos just below documents the journey starting at the Puerto Maldonado airport. For those who wish to go directly to photos of plants and animals simply click a link below to go directly to the section indicated:
MAMMALS, PLANTS, VIEWS & General
REPTILES & AMPHIBIANS
Transportation from the Puerto Maldonado airport
We were provided a snack on the way from the office to the river port.
Transfer to the boat at the Infierno River Port
Infierno River Port
The lunch provided on the boat was both delicious and filling!
Refugio Amazonas Lodge
After exiting the forest trail from the boat we were greeted by the dramatic entrance to the TRC’s ‘sister lodge’, Refugio Amazonas. The first night was spent here on our way to the TRC which is further up the Tambopata from Puerto Maldonado.
View from the room at Refugio Amazonas. One wall is open air so that one can experience the forest first hand. For those wondering, the bed comes with a mosquito net. The hammock can be seen above.
MAMMALS, PLANTS, VIEWS
White Lip Peccaries just outside the TRC Lodge at the forest boundary.
On top of the 27 meter canopy tower and the views at Refugio Amazonas
On the way the next morning from Refugio to the TRC we stopped at the check point. We are definitely inside the protected reserve now. The next two images were shot near the sign.
Buttress Tree above and below
Not one of the largest trees, just a photo op.
base of a forest palm tree
Fresh Jaguar prints!
three species of macaw at the famous clay lick
stump sprouting life…
REPTILES & AMPHIBIANS
This frog above almost blends into the background.
Along the walkway from the dinning hall to the rooms at Refugio Lodge.
On the way from the tower we stopped at this pond which probably contained hundreds of small yellow frogs. Frog eggs could be seen on the leaves and floating upon the water.
This beautiful Rainbow Boa Constrictor was our greeter along the trail to the canopy tower on the first day in the forest!
yellow side neck turtles
This spectacled caiman was seen a short distance upriver from the Infierno River Port which is itself about a half hour’s drive from Puerto Maldonado.
A type of wandering spider I believe
My guide, Edson and I were quite taken with this little spider with the golden abdomen (coloring on top surface only). Spotted in the forest it was like a golden nugget catching light.
These striking guys (or gals) were found on the bottom side of a leaf.
This caterpillar will probably turn into one of the thousands of beautiful butterflies which inhabit the Tambopata area of the Peruvian Amazon.
Shot on the lodge floor at the TRC(just waiting for my bare foot!)
I christen thee “happy flyer.” It hangs inverted on the underside of leaves.
This lacy cocoon was hanging by a thread along a trail
We did not harm this large grasshopper but someone had bit its head off before I found it at the perimeter of the TRC compound. I found it interesting that it could still move about.
This guy’s antennae were so long I could not get the full length in the frame.
I would say it is a tossup as to which is more striking, the leaf or the insect.
This is one of the images that I am most proud of. It represents my first sighting of a cordycepts fungus. If I understand correctly a spore will enter a host and when the host dies the fruiting bodies emerge to release new spores starting the process over again. I believe the fungi are species specific and target arthropods. This image was taken on the forest floor at the Tambopata Research Center.
Another cordycepts fungus, this time on a moth
Phallaceae fruiting body
Cookeina tricholoma I believe
I saw what looked like tiny (3mm) flowers on the forest floor
growing on a dead leaf – obviously it is a fungus
Closer still, one can see at the black threadlike stalks
This is a type of cup fungus, genus Cookeina possibly.
Meals at the Tambopata Research Center
Sandbar in the middle of the Rio Tambopata