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Peru's Sacred Valley and Tambopata National Reserve -- May-June 2018


amybatt
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Where:  Peru’s Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu and Tambopata National Reserve in the Amazon Basin

 

When:  May-June 2018

 

How:  I booked through Greentracks out of Colorado.  George Ledvina there had booked a couple of trips for @atravelynn so I contacted him.  He has pre-set packages with InkaNatura, the ground operator in Peru, for both the Sacred Valley and Tambopata.   The Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu had long been on my bucket list, but only took up 6 days and I had time to spare, so tacked on the Amazon, figuring “why not?”

 

Logistics:  I traveled on JetBlue Boston – Fort Lauderdale – Lima.  It was surprisingly easy and relatively quick (3 hour and 5 hour flights, respectively).  I overnighted in Lima and flew to Cuzco the next morning (1 hour flight) on LATAM.   To get to Tambopata, I flew Cuzco to Puerto Maldonado, where InkaNatura guides transferred me via boat to Sandoval Lake Lodge.  A day later we took another boat to Heath River Wildlife Center for 3 nights, then returned to Puerto Maldonado for a flight to Lima, then back home.

I’ll focus primarily on the Tambopata piece as that’s likely what you came here for.  I will share some wildlife photos from the Sacred Valley though, as you’ll see I became an inadvertent birder at points.

 

Lodgings: 

Inkaterra Macchu Pichu in Aguas Calientes:  this was a gorgeous lodging set in very tropical rainforest setting.  Lots of greenery, endemic birds, pools, etc.  The “rooms” were cabins that had three units in each.  Meals on site in the dining room trended towards high end.  This is a pricy establishment but I felt well worth it.  They handle all your luggage transport to/from the train station (which is great, since it, like anything related to the Incas, required a lot of up and down stairs).  What I wish I’d known was how many naturalist walks/tours were available here to do when you’re not at Machu Picchu (that’s really why you’d stay in Aguas Calientes anyway).  They have spectacled bear rehabilitation facility that you can visit, which I did not have time for.  All the walks, tours, visits cost extra but seemed very interesting with subjects from orchids, birds, bears and flora.  Recommendation:  look at what they have to offer before you decided to zip in and out and only stay one night sandwiched between two Machu Picchu visits.

 

Heath River Wildlife Center:  Each cabin was raised up about 10 feet off the ground, with steps up to it.  Walls were screens, the whole thing felt like a screened in porch.  Bathroom had plumbing for shower and toilet, but like everywhere else in Peru, you’re discouraged from flushing anything but natural waste.  Waste baskets are available for toilet paper and anything else you’d normally flush.  The food here was EXCELLENT, especially for this pescatarian/vegetarian diner.  Avocado and fresh fruit like I’ve never had.  Excellent use of seasonal vegetables like asparagus and local specialties like many species of corn and potato.  Fresh fruit juices to die for:  Purple corn, mango, papaya, pineapple.   The staff were incredibly accommodating and friendly, much like I’ve come to know on safari in Africa.  Only real “con” was that the rooms were wired for electricity but until they are at full capacity, they won’t turn it on.  Bathroom was lit by taper candle, bedroom by a “tap light”.

 

Sandoval Lake Lodge:   This felt like dorm style lodging, with long rows of rooms with walls that didn’t reach the ceilings.  That promoted air flow but meant you could hear your fellow guests all day and night long.  Absolutely no hot water to speak of, weak meals, uneven staff attention. 

 

My biggest problem with Sandoval Lake Lodge is getting to/from it.  I’d read it was a hike.  I’d read that you downsize your luggage to a backpack so porters can carry it from you. I even read that they give you Wellies to wear so you don’t ruin your own shoes in the mud and deep puddles on the 3 mile trek on the path from where the motorboat from Puerto Maldonado leaves you to the dock where you get in the canoe to get on Sandoval Lake (no motors allowed there) .  I’m fit, I’d just spent 3 days climbing Inca ruins and hiking to the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu without a problem.  And I loathed just about every minute of the hike in and out.  It was ridiculously hot on the way in and the guy leading me had a deadline of some sort, so he set a feverish pace that I couldn’t keep.  The ground is uneven/unsteady and flooded in many parts.  You can’t see where you’re stepping or how deep.   I arrived at Sandoval Lake soaked through to the bone with sweat, unable to wear the clothes I had on again since they were so sweated through and it was too humid to even think about them drying out.  Fine, that’s just once, right?  Nope, the next day, on the way out, it started to rain hellaciously but there was no chance of waiting it out.  We had a schedule to keep so less than 24 hours later, I was back on the path, getting even more soaked through with rain, only to arrive at the motorboat when the rain abruptly stopped.  To think that had there not been some sort of strike going on in Puerto Maldonado, I would have been then flying to Lima and getting on a plane home dressed in soaked clothes?  Thankfully, Sandoval was made the first stop rather than the last and I ended the stay with 3 days in Heath River.

 

The Weather:  this ended up being the biggest player in this story.  The paraphernalia that came with the travel documents indicated that usually the Tambopata region at this time of year is in the 90s with near 100% humidity, but “periodically” the Amazon can get hit with a cold blast where the temperatures fall into the low 50s and it rains ridiculously.  Well, that happened when I was there.  I got that first warm, humid day at Sandoval Lake and then the clouds moved in.  And overnight the temperatures plummeted.  Sleeping at Heath River meant borrowing comforters and blankets from the vacant cabins since there were no walls to keep out the driving wind and rain.  Everything was wet.  Clothes safely stowed in Ziploc bags, damp.  Passport in my travel wallet, soaked.  Cash to tip, dripping wet.  It was impossible to keep dry and stay dry.  The saving grace was the delicious warm food at HRWC and the piping hot showers there.

 

Why is The Weather the biggest player here?  Because as those of you who have been on safari know, heavy, torrential rain and unexpected cold snaps often yield no wildlife sightings.  And that’s precisely what happened to me.  Take this as a warning, my Peru-going friends.  It can, and does, happen.

 

I’d expected that I'd be doing a much more fulsome trip report.  I’m only posting the wildlife-related photos from Machu Picchu, where I experienced perfect, enjoyable weather, and from the few wildlife sightings I managed to have in Tambopata.  I won’t discount those entirely because I felt two were truly epic, it’s just hard to swallow the amount of downtime and wasted time we spent not seeing anything at all.

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Machu Picchu

I had absolutely picture-perfect weather for the entire time in the Sacred Valley, for which I'm thankful.  I'm thrilled with my photos and glad that I decided to schlepp the heavy Sony RX10 iii even all over the ruins we visited.  My InkaNatura guide for the entire Sacred Valley stay, Armando, was wonderful.  He knew more than I could ever endeavor to know about the ruins, the Incas and Cuzquenan culture. I was sorry when I had to leave him.

 

Typical Machu Picchu roving alpaca shots:

 

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We found this chinchilla trying to hide from us within one of the Inca temples:

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A green and white hummingbird, endemic to the region but hard to spot with the crowds.

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This next photo ended up being my favorite photo from this trip.  I was walking along this path when the two alpacas jumped up in front of me and stopped as if to say, good thing your camera is ready, here's your shot.  I got two shots off before they jumped down again.

 

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Blue and white swallow:

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Sandoval Lake

This oxbow lake is truly beautiful.  Due to the prohibition on motors of any kind and the limited number of lodges on the lake, this is peace and quiet at its finest, and insanely beautiful.  Interestingly, it's only 45 minutes by motorboat to Puerto Maldonado.

 

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Pre-sunrise day 2:

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This is where I started to become a birder.  That's about all there was for a while.  This is a hoatzin, or stinky bird (for their smell) or asthma bird (for the sound they make).  They fly like wild turkeys, very bottom-heavy:

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I'm not sure what this is.  I'm posting this for birders who may want a taste of what Tambopata has to offer:

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More hoatzin:

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Caiman approaching the canoe:

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One of the big draws of Sandoval is the giant river otter.  There is a family of 5 that live on the lake.  They are fairly well habituated, so didn't give two thoughts about us.  It was fun to watch them fish, pull it up on their bellies and hear them crunch away at it.  This was one of the two sightings I really loved:

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Baby caiman trying for us not to see it:

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We started to drift through a very narrow channel that led back toward the dock where the Walk from Hell led us back to the motorboat.  Pepe, our guide, heard  a commotion up in the trees and we drifted quietly following it.  It turns out that it was a massive male howler monkey and his troop invading the space of another troop.  The noise the males made to intimidate each other was truly other-worldly.  I have never heard anything like it before, I hope I never do again unless I know it's from wildlife!  These shots are more documentary evidence than anything.  The howlers were way up in a tree and I was on a moving canoe, so the chances they'd come out at all were slim.

 

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I took this video primarily to capture the sound of the howler monkeys.  When a friend of mine saw it, she says it plays like a Blair Witch Project short film.  She was expecting something to leap out and attack me.  That doesn't happen, so no worries there.  Enjoy this for the sound (which really was a highlight of this trip for me) and the gentle trip through the jungle channel.  

 

 

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So glad you are posting this, thank you! We'll be in Peru in late August, and I'm hoping for drier weather than what you experienced. GreenTracks arranged our trip too, and we'll have a week in Sacred Valley (sadly, only 1 night at Inkaterra Macchu Pichu in AC, sandwiched between 2 MP trips) and 1 week in Manu. Hoping for lots of wildlife, animals and birds. 

How common were hummingbirds in Sacred Valley?

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Birds ID: The brown-headed Heron is Rufescent Tiger-Heron. The one with black head is Striated Heron. The Ibis is Green Ibis. But second opinion(s) is (are) welcomed.

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Thank you, @xelas!  Good to know.  I will try to update the posts with that info.

 

@xyz99 the hummingbird we saw in Machu Picchu is common to the area, but tough to spot in Machu Picchu due to the crowds.  There is one very small garden with trees and bushes on the floor of Machu Picchu, and that's where I saw this.  I also spent about an hour after my second MP visit but before the train left sitting in the gardens of Inkaterra.  There's an area with about 4 hummingbird feeders set up.  I saw several at once there and they are quite adjusted to people, so it was easy to walk up to them sitting on branch and shoot from very close range.  I'd also take a look at the area outside the dining room where breakfast is there.  I saw quite a few new to me birds out there, including some hummingbirds.

 

If you're also going on to Tambopata, the bushes outside the common area at Heath River are chock ablock with hummingbirds, particularly a species that is black with a red beak.  I never got photos of it since it was always lashing down rain when I saw it and I didn't want to take my camera out.

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The next morning, Pepe our guide gave us a half hour talk about Brazil nuts.  The pods were everywhere on the grounds and he used a machete to break one open, show us the nuts I'm used to seeing before I take a nutcracker to them.  He explained the industry, how little paid the people are who pick and shell them and then he cracked some open for us.  Doesn't get much fresher than that.  They were delicious.  All the while, rumbles of thunder were off in the distance and getting closer.  Both the Australian couple I was paired with and I inquired if maybe we shouldn't skip this and head out, knowing we'd have to cross the oxbow lake and do the Hike From Hell before we got to our covered motorboat to take us the 5 hours to Heath River.  There would be no skipping the lecture.  We made it across the lake without getting wet or struck by lightning overhead, but the entire 3 km hike was in utter downpour.  We were soaked through within minutes.  I managed a faceplant into a huge puddle at one point, fully immersing my camera bag (camera appears to be fine), which I was less that pleased about.  Profanity ensued.  Something along the lines of "I didn't sign up for this" came from the female half of my traveling companion pair.  No rest for the weary though.  Despite the rain letting up just as we caught sight of the motorboat, we now had to sit in those wet clothes in an open boat for the next 5 hours until we reached Heath River.  No one ever said Mother Nature always deals a fair (or fun) hand!

 

One interesting point on this trip.  Sandoval Lake is on the Peru side of the river, while Heath River is on the Bolivian side.  So technically, I slept for 3 nights in Bolivia.  There is a border crossing.  Two, in fact.  We had to check out with Peru, check in with Bolivia and then check in with the Heath River rangers before we got to our lodge.  Yes, there were passport stamps at each point, for those who get into that sort of thing.

 

We arrived in time for dinner and a hot shower.  Meals here were excellent, even my carnivore friends agreed.  Sleeping here was not so much fun, as I mentioned above.

 

The next morning it was pouring rain.  We met at 7 with the best of intentions for the macaw clay lick.  We agreed to a rain delay until 10 and again until 3.  We did nothing for most of this day, other than read, play board games (the lodge is outfitted with plenty, just like safari camps are) and nap.  Finally at 3 we agreed the rain had let up enough to go out on another oxbow lake nearby.  Pepe mentioned "catamaran" which was in reality just a porch laying across two canoes.  It could have held about 20 people easily.  We had two staffers rowing us.

 

Pepe caught us a piranha, using a stick and some of tonight's meat for the main course.

 

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These were my Aussie traveling companions, he trying his hand at fishing.  You can sort of see how the "catamaran" was built.

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The oxbow lake was huge but not quite as big as Sandoval.

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This was the dock from which we boarded the catamaran.

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A nice surprise were a family of giant river otters.  They saw us before we saw them, and they proceeded to "charge" us huffing and puffing to tell us to get lost.  Ultimately they just swam off.  They were not as habituated to humans as the ones in Sandoval.  Pepe says he almost never sees these otters on this lake.

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The white mark under the chin is like a fingerprint; it's different for every individual otter and is how researchers recognize them.

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It was almost dark when I took this, so bad image quality, but the underside of this log is all bats!

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How cold did it get?  Well, the lake was so warm and the air so cold, there was steam coming off the lake!

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Interesting report, I will look forward to reading more.

 

I agree with @xelas regarding the birds, but, I'm afraid @amybatt if you don't mind, I have to disagree with a couple of your mammal ID's, your alpacas are actually llamas and your chinchilla is a close relative called a viscacha, I think it's a southern viscacha, there are other species but I think the southern is the one found at Machu Picchu, you can be forgiven for these very minor mistakes because viscachas and chinchillas do look very similar and llamas and alpacas, the latter taste rather better, but that's not much help when you're looking at them. :lol: This website might be a bit more helpful should anyone want to know how to tell them apart  10 Differences Between Llamas And Alpacas - Llamas vs Alpacas

 

I hope the weather didn't completely spoil your wildlife viewing at these amazing places, no matter how carefully you plan a trip the weather is the one thing you can't predict, and as you say it can really mess things up.

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@inyathi, thank you for following up and for setting the record straight!

 

Not much left to read now, only one last day.  Things do not improve either for weather or wildlife, I'm afraid.  For me the priority #1 was the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, and I had absolutely perfect weather for all of that time, so I really can't complain, although I'm disappointed in how little I saw in Tambopata.

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The Last Day

 

We'd agreed at dinner the night before (Pepe the guide, the Australian couple and me) that it would be macaw clay lick or bust on the last day, no matter the weather.  I heard rain most of the night although it seemed to quiet down around 3 a.m.  Next thing I know, I heard my neighbor's alarm go off and they started to get ready for the day.  A full hour early!  I wrapped myself further down in the three blankets I had and dozed off again, only for Mrs. Australian to come yell at me to get up or we'd miss the macaws!  I threw clothes on and ran to the meeting point, to find Mr. and Mrs. Australian there, but no staff and no Pepe the guide.  "Everyone slept in today but us," said Mr. Australia.  Yet both my iPhone and iPad were telling me that I still had an hour left to sleep, I was in no place to argue, I was up now.  It was then that I realized that Mrs. Australia did not have her phone in Airplane mode and the GPS had recognized that she was in Bolivia and a different time zone!  So going forward, clarify what time zone you're agreeing to meet in!

 

Off we went to the clay lick, with a picnic breakfast packed.  Motorboat took us to a dock where we boarded a canoe to cross into the lick which was an elevated open house built above the water.  It was mid-way across the river, and was perfectly situated for the clay lick:

 

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Pepe said the smaller parrots come in earliest, usually just as sunrises.  We were there by 5:45 so well ahead of sunrise.  But Pepe also said no birds will come to the clay lick when hawks are around.  And here, we have a hawk.  I thought he said "roadside hawk" but I may have misunderstood.

 

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The hawk left, only to be replaced by a vulture.  Bad shot, but I was desperate to do something besides eat pancakes while I waited.

 

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Periodically we would hear what was very clearly parrot and macaw calls.  They circled a few times and landed behind the clay lick, where they made some noise for a while.  The next photo will be the only shot I managed to get of any parrot or macaw.  Honestly, I can't make this up.

 

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These two flew off but Pepe still had hope that they'd come back.

 

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We sat there from just after 5:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.  Pepe continued to give us hope, but ultimately he decided to call it when we were almost late for lunch.  I think if it were not for the prospect of warm soup and a hot shower, we'd still be sitting there.  I was blessed to be with two people who were great to talk to, well-traveled and very nice.  They helped pass the time well.

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After lunch it was still not raining but cold and Pepe offered to take us on a jungle walk.  He thought maybe we'd bump into some parrots there or maybe small mammals.  It turns out this walk was a bust too.  Even the "very reliable" tarantula that lives outside Pepe's cabin was missing in action.

 

Just some random foliage shots:

 

Bark on a tree, fire-red!

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I loved to see how the vines would wrap themselves around a tree.

 

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I think this is diffenbachia, I took it because my mother has it as a house plant.  Although not this big.

 

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Again with the vines wrapping the tree branches:

 

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The twisted trunk of this tree was neat, as was the moss.  I wonder if it will stay twisted as it grows?

 

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The next day dawned sunny and clear and somewhat warmer.  We didn't need nearly the layers of clothes and blankets on the 5 hour boat ride back to Puerto Maldonado.  And to add insult to injury, this massive caiman was on the shore near one of the border checkpoints:

 

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Edited by amybatt
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Puerto Maldonado

 

The airport at PM is quite small and there are all of 4 flights in or out in a given day.  We were there for my traveling companions' 1 p.m. flight but mine wasn't until 5, so I had some time to kill.  The Inkanatura rep dropped me at the butterfly sanctuary, which is about a 10 minute walk to the airport.  I spent about an hour there then had a cold drink in their cafe before walking back to the airport.

 

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@amybatt thanks for the hummingbirds notes, I really like these little guys. Sorry the weather did not cooperate on your visit. We have high hopes for the parrot click too, but I know you can plan a lot, but there's nothing you can do about the weather.

 

I have a bunch of questions regarding logistics at MP, so I hope you will not mind a PM. Thanks.

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@xyz99 I'm trying to be all stoic about what a bust Tambopata was.  I'm disappointed, but I know how out of everyone's hands this was.  It would almost be easier to blame someone for a screw-up, but this is what happens when you travel with Mother Nature as your co-pilot!

 

Absolutely open to talking about Machu Picchu offline!

Edited by amybatt
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I know what you mean...we experienced the same on our trip to Honduras a few years ago. It was the dry season, supposedly hot and dry, but the "front" from US hit them and brought in cold and rain. It rained for all 5 days we were at the Lodge at Pico Bonito, and the sun happily came out the day when we left. No birds, no hiking; luckily the lodge's restaurant had good food and drinks, and lots of hummingbird feeders around.

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Shame about the weather - glad you enjoyed Machu Pichu!

Lovely shots of the Giant Otters - wonderful animals. I also enjoyed seeing the Howler Monkeys.

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Inkaterra has a good reputation - sorry your trip wasn't stellar @amybatt.   I have heard that it's possible to see Spectacled Bears at Macchu Pichu but I guess you were not so lucky.  

 

Thanks for posting the TR - jealous of your trip.

 

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Really sorry the weather turned on you in Tambopata. There’s just no realistic solution to that. Most unfortunate. 

 

This same trip —essentially —was my first trip report on Safaritalk, so I know where you’re coming from @amybatt. During portions and in the immediate aftermath, I kind of hated it.  We had taken our first trip to Africa the year before, and it was just completely different from the Amazon  (e.g. lots  of wildlife in the open in Africa). So, in comparison, the Amazon was extremely frustrating — smaller,  more secretive  wildlife in much more challenging conditions. 

 

They're just totally different environments.  Africa we fell in love with immediately. On the other hand, the rainforests of Central and South America  took more time and effort before striking a chord in our hearts. Eventually, we got there. A huge benefit with the Amazon is that you can walk and actually immerse yourself in the environment, which you don’t often get to do in Africa — for very good reasons.  But, obviously, you were derailed from this opportunity due to the cool and very rainy weather. Again, just very unfortunate.  So sorry to hear this. 

 

The humidity when we were there was close to debilitating. When people ask my advice about traveling in this region, I just say, “Showers. Take lots of cooling showers, and change clothes several times a day.”

 

On the other hand, we found Machu Picchu to be worth every bit of the hype, so I’m heartened that the weather conditions cooperated with you there. I agree with your assessment — I love that photo of the llamas with the Machu Picchu panorama in the background.   The chinchilla (which is what the locals all call it , although, yes, it is a viscacha) is supposed to bring good luck — but you never know when!

 

I will second your enthusiasm for Machu Picchu Inkaterra Pueblo. Just fabulous, and their tours are great. However, the spectacled bear release program was still in its relative infancy when we were there. We saw one bear  in captivity (as part of their release program), totally relaxed in the presence of humans, but I’m not sure one could count on seeing a rehabilitated wild one In the National Park just yet. 

 

 

Edited by Alexander33
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@Alexander33 I'm slowly starting to think differently of the trip.  I'm lucky I had that one beautiful morning to see the Amazon in its glory and the otters and howlers were great.  I did have higher hopes for the wildlife.  I also contracted a parasite which I've been fighting now for 2 1/2 weeks and only now starting to feel better, so I think that colored a lot of my initial thoughts when I came home.  The Sacred Valley part of the trip was perfect and I can still feel that when I look at the photos.  For that I'm thankful!  Yes, Machu Picchu was definitely worth the hype.  I'd worried that I'd be disappointed having wanted to go for so long!

 

Yes, the humidity was something else in Tambopata that first day there.  I was prepared for that with a lot of light clothing and taking it easy.  I can imagine that it really slows you down.

 

Having talked to the couple I was with for so much of our downtime, I learned a lot about other places I want to see in Peru.  They'd been there for a month and left no stone unturned.  Their photos were amazing and I would consider going back to see more of the rest of the country, and maybe another part of the Amazon.  Not to mention I found the food to be fabulous.  I'll go back, but not until I go back to Africa!  ;)

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Glad to hear you feel better about it. Time does that :)

It happened to us too, after the Thailand trip - it was hot and very tiring, but now I feel so lucky we got to see and experience so much!

 

The parasite that you contacted...was it a stomach bug? Anything that you would recommend doing (or not doing) to prevent something like that? Any idea where you contracted it?

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@xyz99 yes it was an intestinal parasite.  There were a few times I ate foolishly.  Street food (corn on the cob with a slab of cheese) in Pisac market, freshly shelled Brazil nuts a few times opened with a not so clean machete.  But the doc said we’d probably never know where it came from, but it was a parasite usually found in water.  I didn’t drink any water but he said it could be just from keeping my mouth open in the shower too.  I’m usually good about that, but who knows.  It took about 5 days for it to start to respond to Cipro, but it finally did.  7 pounds lost overall, so not an entirely bad thing!

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@amybatt not all trips are 100% success stories, unfortunately. I am sure each of us have their own "bad weather, slow wildlife day"; annoyed while on the spot,  and angry when back home, but with time, it makes for a great travel story (not the parasite thing). 

The two red birds are Scarlet Macaws;  the hawk is indeed Roadside Hawk; and the vulture is (probably) Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture. No help for butterflies, sorry!

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Great report and glad you had a fantastic time in the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. It brought back memories, I have shots too with those alpacas (well, their forebearers!) Its such an awe-inspiring site.

 

Sorry that the Amazon was a disappointment. We've had trips with endless rain too, and in the moment it can be so disheartening. I remember one time in Alaska, after five days of straight, cold, rain, I just burst into tears and said "I want to go home!!" (Luckily it got a little better...) It's especially disappointing when you feel like its a once-in-a-lifetime chance, but I've learned to never think that way about trips--one can always return (well, except maybe to somewhere like Antartica...that is probably a one-time deal for nearly everyone.) So maybe one day you'll get back to the Amazon...perhaps in Ecuador or Brazil. And choose a lodge without a  long slog through the jungle to get there :) That's definitely one of my requirements!

 

BTW you did great with your new camera, those lessons and all that practice really paid off!

 

 

 

 

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22 hours ago, amybatt said:

@xyz99 yes it was an intestinal parasite.  There were a few times I ate foolishly.  Street food (corn on the cob with a slab of cheese) in Pisac market, freshly shelled Brazil nuts a few times opened with a not so clean machete.  But the doc said we’d probably never know where it came from, but it was a parasite usually found in water.  I didn’t drink any water but he said it could be just from keeping my mouth open in the shower too.  I’m usually good about that, but who knows.  It took about 5 days for it to start to respond to Cipro, but it finally did.  7 pounds lost overall, so not an entirely bad thing!

 

If I could lose 7 pounds, I would not mind the parasite. But he'll have to come on the last day of my trip and leave me soon after that. :) I'm amazed that it took so long for Cipro to kick in. Good thing everything is well now.

I have to admit, street food is sometimes hard to resist. Corn on the cob...yum!

 

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