Amazon and Savannah (EA 42)
The Heath's unique combination of comfort, macaw lick, pristine forest, pampas, and traditional culture offers what we believe is the Amazon's finest all-around value for money.
- Fixed departures Monday and Thursday
- Available throughout the year
- Day 1: Puerto Maldonado to Heath River Wildlife Center
- We meet at the Puerto Maldonado airport and drive through town to the Tambopata River port. After boarding motorized canoes, we travel downriver to the mighty Madre de Dios, which we follow for approximately four hours to the Heath River. We then travel up this wild and intimate river, which forms the wilderness border between Peru and Bolivia, and arrive at the Heath River Wildlife Center. Note that the Lodge is located on the Bolivian side of the Heath River so passports are required to clear Bolivian passport control. (L, D).
- Day 2: Heath River Wildlife Center
- We rise early in the morning to board a motorized canoe for the 10-minute journey up the Heath River to the macaw and parrot clay lick. Brightly-colored parrots and macaws fly in by the hundreds to feed on the clay that detoxifies certain seeds and nuts they eat. Marvel at the cacophony of sound and color as Red-and-green macaws vie for the best clay-eating position. A specially-designed floating blind allows for proximity and complete concealment -- so we can even have breakfast and coffee while the birds are performing their morning ritual. When we return to the lodge, the guide leads us on an ethno-botanical walk through the forest, pointing out flora used in the daily lives of rainforest people. The guide explains how certain plants are used for medicinal or healing purposes, which ones can be made into the best bows and arrows, and how to select trees and leaves for home construction. After lunch and a short rest, we hike through the rainforest to the Pampas del Heath, the largest remaining undisturbed savannah in the Amazon. The contrast is striking as we emerge from the mature rainforest onto the grassland plain of the Pampas. (B, L, D)
- Day 3: Heath River Wildlife Center
- Today is our first day as a full day in at the lodge we can choose from a wide range of activities available in this diverse and unique tropical environment. Many people choose to make a second visit to the macaw clay lick or spend more time on the trails. Later we can take a canoe tour around the Cocha Platanillal, an oxbow lake which is located a short distance downriver from the lodge. We return by boat after dusk, most likely to caimans; a crocodile cousin that lives in the Amazon. This region is home to the Black Caiman which is endangered, and almost always distinguishable along the river’s edge with its glowing orange eyes. (B, L, D)
- Day 4: Heath River-Cusco (or Lima)
- We leave at dawn for the return journey downstream. This is the peak of wildlife activity, so keep a sharp eye on the banks of the river where we may see families of Capybaras; and perhaps be rewarded with a rare glimpse of a Jaguar or Tapir swimming through the stream. We return to Peru through the Madre de Dios River and head upstream to Puerto Maldonado, where we will be transferred to the airport for flights to Cusco or Lima (B)
- Roundtrip transportation from Puerto Maldonado airport to Heath River Wildlife Center
- Private bungalows with private bathrooms
- All meals and snacks
- Purified drinking water and juices
- Native and bilingual guide services
- Visits to macaw clay lick
- Lake and rainforest excursions and all park entrance fees
- Domestic flights within Peru
- International flights
- Please note that all macaw and parrot licks in southern Peru are less active in May, June and early July than in other months.
- Prices per person in double accommodation with private bath. Reduced rates available for bookings of 5 or more people.