Tambopata National Reserve

Easily accessible top Amazon wildlife destination.

Tambopata Area


Accessed from Puerto Maldonado in Southern Peru, three extraordinary, contiguous Amazon reserves - the great Tambopata National Reserve, Bahuaja Sonene National Park, and Madidi National Park, all lie along the Peru-Bolivia border. Taken together, these parks are two-thirds the size of Costa Rica and protect the most species-rich natural habitats in the world (January 1994 and March 2000 cover stories, National Geographic Magazine). No other area can offer you as much wildlife viewing as the greater Tambopata - Madidi region.

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The Heath River running along the Peru-Bolivia border provides the fastest and easiest route to the uninhabited, un-hunted core of these parks, a vast 2.5-million-acre wilderness full of the five top predators of the Amazon... Jaguar, Giant Otter, Black Caiman, Harpy Eagle, and Anaconda. The un-hunted region of Manu (the other great Peruvian nature reserve) is only 750,000 acres and demands more money and time to visit.

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The Heath River features the world's most accessible large macaw lick, which has registered up to 260 large macaws in one day, making it one of the five largest recorded macaw licks in the world. Though all five of these licks are spectacular, the Heath Lick is by far the most economical to visit, making it ideal for a short Amazon itinerary to combine with the Inca sites of Cusco and Machu Picchu. While the Macaw Clay Lick is active year-round, the best months are July through October.

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Travelers enjoy warm pancakes and coffee while viewing the photogenic Heath Macaw Lick from a comfortable floating blind anchored only 100 feet away, a fraction of the distance from which one views the more remote clay licks in Tambopata. Finally, the rainforest on both sides of the Heath River is fully representative of the world's most biologically diverse habitat - the Amazon forest at the foot of the eastern slope of the Andes.

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Tambopata Tours and Lodges

Sandoval Lake Lodge
2, 3 and 4 Day programs.
Located in Peru's Tambopata National Reserve, yet easily accessed from Puerto Maldonado, the Sandoval Lake Lodge overlooks sparkling, palm-rimmed Sandoval Lake, the most beautiful and wildlife-rich of all lakes in the Tambopata-Madidi region. This privileged location gives you exclusive access to the lake in the early morning and late afternoon, the choice hours for wildlife viewing and photography.

Heath River Wildlife Center with Macaw Clay Lick
4 Days / 3 Nights or 5 Days / 4 Nights
Visit Puerto Maldonado’s closest large Macaw Clay Lick (from a comfortable floating blind) at the new Heath River Wildlife Center – visit the extraordinary savannah of the Pampas del Heath.

Heath River Wildlife Center & Sandoval Lake Combination
5 Days / 4 Nights or 6 Days / 5 Nights
Combines a trip to the Heath River Wildlife Center, a visit to the biodiverse Pampas del Heath (a savannah eco-system), Puerto Maldonados’ closest large macaw clay lick and Sandoval Lake. Lodging at Heath River Wildlife Center and Sandoval Lake lodge.

More Information

Tambopata Lodge Comparison Chart

Tambopata Map

Our Trip to Heath River & Sandoval Lake

Video of a Jaguar at Heath River