Sandoval Lake Lodge is in a fabulous position right on the banks of Sandoval Lake in Tambopata National Reserve. This is one of the most beautiful oxbow lakes in Tambopata-Madidi, famed for its fringe of palm trees whose fruit attracts red-bellied macaws. This location gives you exclusive access to the lake in the early morning and late afternoon, the choice hours for wildlife viewing and photography.
Sandoval Lake Lodge is constructed almost entirely of ecologically-harvested driftwood mahogany trees collected from the floods that carry logs downriver. The main building is one extended structure consisting of a large screened dining room/lounge with chairs, tables and hammocks. The bedrooms are arranged in two wings, all under one communal high roof and the space above the room walls (not soundproofed), is open to this communal roof. This simple construction is very much in keeping with the location but you need to be comfortable with this lack of privacy if you are going to enjoy your stay here.
The food here is Peruvian cuisine with an occasional international twist. The experienced kitchen personnel can also cater for special dietary requirements on request.
This area within the Tambopata National Reserve is home to over 20,000 plant species, over 900 species of birds (more than all the species in the continental USA), 91 mammals, 1230 butterflies, 127 amphibians and reptiles, and much more! Of course you are not going to see them all and some of the rarer species recorded here like jaguar and harpy eagle are only very very occassionally observed. None-the-less on a 3-night stay it is often possible to see 6 species of monkeys - red howler, saddleback tamarin, dusky titi, squirrel, brown capuchin and night monkeys, and watching the lake's resident family of giant otters, an endangered species, is a real treat, There is a tremendous variety of bird life here,, from the numerous macaws to osprey which come to fish in the lake. There are also agouti, sloths and at nightfall black caimans, the rarest of the crocodilians, head out into the lake to fish.
Sandoval Lake Lodge can be visited on its own or as part of a longer trip to the remote Heath River Wildlife Centre.
Open: Sandoval Lake Lodge is open all year.
Location: Sandoval Lake Lodge is fairly close to Puerto Maldonado although it can seem a bit of an expedition to get there. It's about a 45 minute motor-boat ride along the Madre de Dios river to the forest trail head. From here it's a 3km walk along a flat forest trail which can take about an hour, especially if you stop to look at monkeys along the way. This is followed by a boat ride of about 20 minutes as you are paddled through flooded forest and across the lake to the lodge.
Rooms: The 25 fully-screened double-occupancy rooms have private bathrooms with hot shower and flush toilets. The bedrooms have a fan, an electric point, bed with mosquito netting, safety deposit box and lockable door. All rooms and communal areas have electricity (from 4-6am, 12-4pm and 6-10.30pm), supplemented by kerosene lamps and candles.
Activities: Birdwatching in the palm forest, lake catamaran trips, rainforest hikes, night hikes and nocturnal boat rides.
Facilities: Communal areas and guest rooms have electricity from 4am –6am, then from 12pm–4pm, and from 6pm –10:30 pm. Precise times may vary.
Dining: Meals are taken at individual tables in the dining room.
Children: Childern of all ages are welcome, although the long journey to reach the lodge imay not be suitable for young children.
Health: We recommend malaria prophylactics and a valid Yellow Fever certificate is needed.
Communication: There is no internet access.
Cusco and Machu Picchu plus the Peruvian Amazon. History, culture and nature.
This Amazon rainforest lodge is owned partly by Peru Verde, a non-profit organisation, and partly by the small Brazil nut collecting community at Sandoval. The lodge therefore benefits the local people and preserves a large area of rainforest. The local community receives a percentage of the net profit from the lodge, and community members earn salaries as lodge employees.
"We thoroughly enjoyed our time here, infact we would have liked to have stayed longer. The wildlife watching from the canoe was spectacular. The food was excellent too."