The reserve stretches over 247,690 hectares and is located in Madre de Dios department, Tambopata province. Without a doubt, the reserve is one of the best places to discover the Amazon, offering one of the highest levels of biological diversity in the world (632 species of bird, 169 mammals and 1,200 butterflies). Additionally, the reserve is surrounded by the Bahuaja Sonene National Park on the south side, and together they form a very important conservation area in Peru.
Sandoval Lake is the most visited attraction in the park due to its closeness to Puerto Maldonado (only half an hour by boat). On the lake, which is home to macaws and a large river otter family, there are lodges for accommodation. There is also an observation tower that offers a panoramic view of the vast landscape.
Another attraction is the rock formations found on the river banks. Hundreds of birds (macaws, falcons and parrots) gather on the rocks between 5:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. Mammals such as wild pigs, peccary and tapirs can generally be seen at night on mountain or inland rock formations. One of these is the Colorado rock formation, the biggest in the entire Peruvian Amazon.
Tambopata is the home of the Ese Eja, an ethnic group that has lived in the area since ancient times and knows every inch of the reserve. They are currently grouped into three communities: Palma Real, Sonene and Infierno. The latter community works together with private companies to offer a variety of activities and tourism services including lodging and guided tours, among others.
Activities: Observation of flora and fauna, bird watching, hiking, camping, butterfly spotting, photography and filming.
Climate: The annual average temperature is 26°C (79°F), fluctuating between 10°C and 38°C (50°F and 100°F). The lower temperatures are caused by cold Antarctic winds that blow over the Andes and enter the Amazon basin. The most intense cold winds occur during the months of June and July. The rainy season occurs between December and March. The best time to visit is from April to November.
Access by Land:
- 4x4 - Distance: 25 km (15 miles) from Puerto Maldonado to the Infierno community. Time: 2 hours 30 minutes.
- By foot - Distance: 18 km (11 miles) from the Infierno community to the reserve. Time: 4 hours.
Access by Lake: Boat - Distance: 45 km (27 miles) from Puerto Maldonado to the reserve. Time: 2 hours.
Ticket Prices: Adult: 1 day: 30 soles; 2 - 4 days: 65 soles; 5 days: 100 Soles.
Services: Accommodation, information centre, public restrooms, park rangers and radio.