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“Loved, loved, LOVED it!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sandoval Lake Lodge

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Sandoval Lake Lodge
1.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Puerto Maldonado Peru, Puerto Maldonado, Peru   |  
Hotel amenities
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Loved, loved, LOVED it!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

I will start by acknowledging that this place is a little pricier than some alternatives, but it is well worth the extra cost. We booked with the Green Tambopata agency in Puerto Maldonado the day before we left for the jungle, and between the tour guide we booked through them and the accomodation here, our stay could not have been better.

The location of the lodge makes it a clear winner... Just getting to it is a fun experience!! It's about an hour by boat from Peurto Maldonado down the Rio de Madre, then a 3km walk through a trail in the jungle and then by a paddle boat through the mangroves and across Sandoval Lake. Once you arrive everything is on your doorstep.

The lodge itself had nice but basic rooms, and the electricity was more than enough for us to charge everything. Having said that we took two adapters between us to use as we knew the electricity was limited. As other reviewers have pointed out, this is the jungle and about as exciting as it gets. Don't get hung up thinking about the occasional bug you might find in your room... they cannot touch you once you are under the mosquito net over the bed! The lodge has done everything they can to keep most of them out so you shouldn't have a problem anyway.

Our guide, Paul (booked through the Green Tambopata agency) was both friendly and extremely knowledgeable. He made our experience there perfect! We saw too many birds to mention, went caimen spotting in the dark, saw river otters playing about and feeding, we fished and then ate our catch of yellow piranha and lizard fish for lunch, we then went swimming in the lake (despite it being full of piranha, caimen and having the occasional anaconda and stingray it is apparently safe enough - and we're living testimony!!) we saw (and climbed) massive trees, we did a nocturnal walk and saw all the jungle's creepy crawlies and then on our last day we went to another lodge to zip-wire through the tree top canopy and kayak to Monkey Island.

The food is served at set times, so if you are used to grazing through the day you might want to take a small amount of supplies. Fresh drinking water is freely available so bottles can be re-used. The food served is of a high standard and we had some of our best meals in Peru here!
The only slight negative is that my husband and I wanted to stay up one night to have a couple of beers, but the staff member with the key to the bar had decided to go to bed early at 8:30pm despite it supposedly being open until 10pm. My husband politely pressed the matter though and the key was fetched without any trouble.

Activities generally start very early in the morning til 1pm, and then start again at 4pm as it is very hot. Much to my husbands delight the staff all play football in a small clearing in the jungle shortly after lunch. Guests are invited to play as well. It is quite something to be able to say that you played football with local jungle natives whilst monkeys in the trees above looked down curiously!!! This was as good as it could get for my husband!

On our early check-out from the lodge we stupidly left an Ipod and mobile in the bedside drawer and didn't realise until we arrived back in Peurto Maldonado early evening. With help from the tour agency we arranged for someone from the lodge to bring them all the way to the Port in Peurto Maldonado the following morning and Paul, our guide, collected them for us and tried to bring them to us at the airport before our flight left at midday. However our airline decided to leave early so we missed the drop-off. To cut a long story short though, both the lodge and Tambopata were instrumental in us being able to retrieve these items from Lima airport before we left Peru. For this reason alone, we cannot fault the customer service at Sandoval Lake Lodge.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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88 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

This is a great place to come to experience the southern Peruvian Amazon; this is not a place to come if you want to experience luxury. Our room was basic but comfortable, and it had electricity for enough hours to be useful. The lounge/dining area was large and nicely set up, and the food was great. The animals, birds, insects, fish, and plant life were over the top, and since that's what we came for, we were ecstatic. Our guide was wonderful and made the whole visit truly enriching. (If you want to get even more removed from "civilization" and see other flora and fauna, consider Heath River Center as well. The two can be combined with the same guide, which I highly recommend.)

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

The lodge has much going for it - the location, the wlid life and the guides. With a little effort the hotel itself could be greatly improved, especially when you consider the cost to stay. I think much has to do with the general manager and the front office manager who both seem dis interested and out of their depth. The general manager in particular is off putting when he walks throughthe hotel with shorts, short socks and no shirt.
The rooms are fine except that there is nowhere to put your clothes (not even a shelf) nowhere to put your clothes bag and no chair to sit on (you cannot sit on th ebed as the mosquito netting is in the way.
Food is served at fixed times and there is no choice. The food is fine except that there is too much starch.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

The lodge is excellently located by the lake itself allowing early start of activity around the lake. The food is good, and the staff very friendly. The guides are also great.
the lodge is basic, but that is what you expect in a place like that

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Town
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

We have just returned from an amazing trip to Peru and we took the option of going to the Amazon. We were advised to stay at Sandoval Lodge, but used Tripadvisor to look at other options where we discovered the Inkaterra Amazonica.We stayed there for 3 nights and had an amazing experience taking all their excursions, one of them being to the Sandoval Lake to try to see the Giant Otters...we were lucky as we got the most amazing sighting of them mid morning in and out of the water. We still knew that we had one more opportunity, as we had booked one night at the Sandoval Lodge. Firstly one must know that the Lodge is 3.5 km walk away from the drop off point, so if you are not physically able, this could turn your holiday into a nightmare, especially in the rainy season (Dec-March) When we arrived at the Sandoval we were shocked by the condition of the hotel. The rooms are all adjoining with no ceilings, therefore no privacy, the rooms are dirty and the towels one could use as tea strainers, they were so thin. The manager was so disinterested in his job, and his staff followed his example.The food was like boarding house fare of the worst kind. The only good thing about this lodge is where it is situated, as it allows you to have an evening and morning cruise on the lake . In our case we had a great guide John who made up for the terrible lodge facilities and showed us the otters once more, sloths and amazing bird life. If you must stay, only stay one night for the lake experience, otherwise enjoy the Inkaterra which could not be faulted

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
InkaNaturaTravelWeb, Senior Travel Advisor at Sandoval Lake Lodge, responded to this review, July 21, 2014
Thank you so much. We are pleased that you enjoyed the experience-
Best regards
InkaNatura Travel Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle, Australia
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2012

We agree with most other reviews about the lodge but could only give this place an average to good recommendation.
The lodge has a unique setting with much wildlife and good guides. Perhaps the arrival of the new generator (8 men to move it to the lodge in 2 days) should improve the electricity arrangements with the old one in the blink.
Mosquito nets on the beds were in good condition with no holes but the place overall looked like it needed an overhaul. The meals were quite basic with no choice.
If your looking for an Amazon experience that's different this is the place, just be prepared for it's limited facilities.

Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gainsborough
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012

3 days at the Sandoval Lake Lodge is something we will never ever forget. If you want an Amazon adventure, then this is the place to go. If you want 5 star luxury, don't go, simple. We found staying at the lodge to be part of the whole experience. It was fun, comfortable, clean and very friendly. You expect bugs in the jungle and we got them, we took photos of many of them lol! Those who berate this place should remember - it is basically wooden huts in the jungle! Posh wooden huts though - in my opinion.

Our guide Sonia was brilliant, waking us early in the morning for a hike through the forest or for a trip out on a canoe. This is what we went for. I didn't expect much before we went so I was more than happy with absolutely everything. Nothing disappointed me except of course that I should have taken a better camera! It was brilliant!

Room Tip: The rooms are open topped but it all added to the whole experience. It didn't cause us any probl...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sandoval Lake Lodge

Address: Puerto Maldonado Peru, Puerto Maldonado, Peru
Location: Peru > Madre de Dios Region > Puerto Maldonado
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Hotels in Puerto Maldonado
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:1 star — Sandoval Lake Lodge 1*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sandoval Lake Lodge: Located deep in Peru's Tambopata National Reserve, our Sandoval Lake lodge overlooks sparkling, palm-rimmed Sandoval Lake, the most beautiful and wildlife-rich of all lakes in Tambopata-Madidi. 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. No other lodge in Tambopata-Madidi is on the banks of a protected oxbow lake. Our short Sandoval Lake Lodge program includes two nights of fully-screened accommodation in 25 double-occupancy rooms complete with en suite facilities with hot-water showers, electricity (*), fans, meals, airport transfers in Puerto Maldonado, naturalist guides, lake excursions by day in search of Giant Otters, monkeys, and macaws, forest excursions, night excursions in search of caimans, and evening slide shows. Our lodge specializes in small groups and individualized attention in our overriding quest to conserve the lake and surrounding rainforest. Sandoval Lake Lodge is built out of ecologically-correct driftwood mahogany and is owned jointly by a nonprofit conservation group and five families of indigenous Brazil nut collectors. (*) Three times per day: from 5:00 to 6:00 am, from noon to 4:00 pm and from 17:30 to 22:30 pm. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sandoval Lake Hotel Puerto Maldonado

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