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Help choosing Puerto Maldonado jungle excursion?

G K
San Francisco...
4 posts
Help choosing Puerto Maldonado jungle excursion?

Hi all,

I am traveling to Peru mid-march (2 people), and we are looking to do a 3D/2N experience in the amazon. We are pretty adventure-driven, hoping to see a lot of wildlife and hopefully kayak, fish, do a canopy walk, maybe a zip line.

We are also in our early 20s and are on a budget! Hoping to do this for under 300 bucks. I have seen Yakari Canopy, which gets mixed reviews. I also found this company sandovallakelodge.com/tambopata-jungle-tour-… and their affiliate, Sandoval Lake Lodge, seems to get good reviews. I can't find any reviews for the Eco Tambo Lodge.

Any insight on those two choices, or other recommendations for Amazon on a budget for adventurous young people? Thank you!

Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
17 posts
20 reviews
1. Re: Help choosing Puerto Maldonado jungle excursion?

what did you end up doing? i too am on a budget and headed there soon. any input is appreciated!

Denver
Level Contributor
79 posts
26 reviews
2. Re: Help choosing Puerto Maldonado jungle excursion?

I'm going to contribute to this budget thread...I'm on a backpackers budget and will be out shopping today. But so far, I noticed one day trip for 60 Soles, and a couple others in the 120 soles range. I've been today a 2 day to see the Macaw claylicks is in the 500 Soles range. I'm going to shop some more and report back with the best prices I can find!

Edited: 08 August 2016, 00:12
Israel
Level Contributor
259 posts
9 reviews
3. Re: Help choosing Puerto Maldonado jungle excursion?

We were very happy with Monte Amazonico lodge, where we took their 3d/2n program. Beautiful surroundings, interesting activities, good food and comfortable rooms. We paid 180 USD per person (for the whole package). This is rather short, if you want to add zip and kayaking you should add a 3rd night, which at that time (end of June) was sold for 240 USD per person)

Denver
Level Contributor
79 posts
26 reviews
4. Re: Help choosing Puerto Maldonado jungle excursion?

Wow...great price Guy! I paid that much for a 2 day to the Chuncho Clay Lick today...wish I would have seen this. Did you see the clay licks?

Anyway, here is my "on the ground" shopping report:

Okay, here is my report for budget travelers in August 2016. I have been traveling all year in Central and South America, so my spanish is strong enough to negotiate upon arrival, and I have the skills to get an economical price (compared to what a local Peruvian would pay for the same tour). I say "Busco para tours economicos" to start which puts the agency in the right state of mind. I was shopping for myself as solo traveler, and I've already had several other jungle trips this year, and my priority was to get to the Chuncho Clay Lick which is supposed to be spectacular (if you get there on a day that the Macaws are feeding).

My priority was to see wildlife and skip on the adventure activities like kayaking, ziplining, canopy walks, etc. I did plenty of this kind of thing for very inexpensively in Banos, Ecuador, which was also spectacular (for example, a $25 day tour into the Amazon jungle- visiting a river village, a river dugout canoe ride, jungle hike to waterfall and swim, lunch, views of the jungle from above, jungle swing!)

There is one main area off of the Plaza de Armas that has all the tour companies - you can cycle through all of them to ask for information about their tour offering and take your pick. Because I was shopping on a Sunday, a couple of the offices were closed. But generally speaking, they are all in the same price range. If you tag on with another group, you can negotiate a lower price, so it's good to scan all the agencies to see what groups are going out during your stay. Most of the agencies has workers that spoke a little bit of English.

One Day Sandoval Lake tour

This seems to be the most popular one day tour you can book. I was told it is a must visit if you come into this area to see the giant river otters and more wildlife than you can see in thick jungle or on jungle rivers.

Expediciones La Lourte 110 Soles

Yakari Eco Lodge 130 Soles (the woman in the office here spoke perfect English, and gave me a little tip that the men running the tour get upset when she allows lower than a 130 Soles fee)

Carlos Expeditions 130 Soles

Eco Time Tambopata 130 Soles

Parrot and Parrakeet Clay Lick One Day Tour

This is not the famous Chuncho Macaw Lick that is deep in the jungle! It is closer to the city that needs to be done early in the morning, and you will see mostly parakeets, maybe a couple macaws if you are lucky. There may be an option to combine this early morning tour with a Lake Sandoval tour in the same day.

Expediciones La Lourte 80 Soles (70 Soles if you combine with Lake Sandoval in the same day)

Yakari Eco Lodge 60 Soles

Chuncho Macaw Clay Lick

This is the famous lick that is deeper in the jungle, and when I was shopping, not every agency had it available, or there were no groups going out on a one day there that I could tag along with. Because it is best to see the licks early in the morning, it is recommended to do a minimum 2 day trip to see the lick.

The only option I had was Carlos Expedition for this trek at the time of my arrival

Carlos Expeditions 550 Soles for 2 day expedition (only because another group was going out that I could tag along with).

I would like to stay that as a shopping customer, I was treated with most attention, respect and care in the Carlos Expeditions office. The woman working in there spoke strong English, and was very knowledgeable which led to my decision to book with them. Although Chuncho Lodge seems to have the strongest reputation in Trip Advisor, their office staff were not available (I had to wait an hour to speak with someone), and when the woman working finally did show up, she didn't seem to want to help me, and told me the soonest I could go out with a group was 3 days into the future. The Chuncho Lodge seems better equipped to deal with advanced booking, but not last minute requests from solo travelers. The other companies will send out groups everyday, perfect for the backpacking set.

I hope this helpful to someone out in Internet land!!

Edited: 08 August 2016, 04:00
Israel
Level Contributor
259 posts
9 reviews
5. Re: Help choosing Puerto Maldonado jungle excursion?

I also went to Chuncho lodge and took their 2d/1n programs. Unfortunately, there were no macaws in the clay lick that day, although there were colorful parrots. I paid 200 USD per person which is something like 660 soles, but I paid it months in advance so I did not enjoy the discounts that you may get if you're shopping around.

If you can, go to Sandoval lake. This was the highlight of our Amazon journey, so much wildlife and natural beauty it is hard to describe.

Edited: 08 August 2016, 04:15
Denver
Level Contributor
79 posts
26 reviews
6. Re: Help choosing Puerto Maldonado jungle excursion?

thank you! I think I will go to Sandoval Lake after I return from the Chuncho lick.... It is much more expensive in this region than the prices I was looking at in Quito or Banos, Ecuador, but I'm hoping for luck at the lick!!

7. Re: Help choosing Puerto Maldonado jungle excursion?

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