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“Fantastic Jungle Experience”

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Sandoval Lake Lodge
Ranked #3 of 10 Hotels in Puerto Maldonado
Certificate of Excellence
London
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Fantastic Jungle Experience”
Reviewed June 20, 2012

We travelled to Sandoval Lake in June and had a great time. The collection from the airport was well organised and as there was a little while to wait for another group to arrive we were taken to a lovely little butterfly house to pass the time. Once our bags were sorted we were on our way, the boat trip, walk and canoe all added to the adventure and experience. On the walk in we saw Howler monkeys, leaf cutter ants at work and many birds and once on the lake we were fortunate to see a large group of Squirrel monkeys feeding and jumping from tree to tree.
Each day was a mixture of trips on the lake and jungle walks to see the giant otters, caiman, turtles, monkeys, birds, agouti and to learn about all the trees and plants. To be able to watch the otters feeding and playing was amazing and we have to thank our brilliant guides Nico and Josie whose knowledge (and eyesight and hearing) was terrific.
The accommodation was clean and comfortable, I had my best nights sleep here while in Peru and the food was exceptionaly good and varied. The showers could be a little temperamental but the whole jungle experience was better than I expected, and not a single mosi bite!
The peace and tranquillity of Sandoval Lake is one of my favourite memories of Peru. Thank you :)

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank LondonTravellers68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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133 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
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English first
Upland, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 15, 2012

The food was great, the place is clean, everybody there is very friendly,nice tours, nice view,good Pisco Sours!!!!!

Room Tip: No drinks or food inside the room!!!!!
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank gina3861
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed June 14, 2012

We spent 4 nights at Sandoval Lake lodge and really enjoyed our time there. Considering where the lodge is the accomodation and the food are excellent. The beds were very comfortable, the bar well stocked and variety in the food. The setting is beautiful on the lake and you really feel in the middle of the jungle away from it all. As other reviewers have said takes a bit of effort to get to (with a boat, an hours walk on a muddy track and then a canoe) but this is totally worth it to be in the middle of the pristine jungle.

There is a huge amount of wildlife around the lodge. We were lucky enough to see the Giant Otter familly on a number of occasions, 5 types of monkey, Agouti (right our side the rooms!), spiders, caimen and so many birds (including the beautiful scarlet macaws). It really is a little slice of paradise.

My top tips would be to bring a good head torch for night walks and when the electricity is not on, ear plugs due to the open rooms, quick dry clothes (cotton just will not dry here) and your sense of adventure.

Room Tip: We had a room to the left of the main room (as you look at it) and this was very nice
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank JoJo088
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed June 12, 2012

A group of 12 traveled to the Sandoval Lake Lodge and althought the schedule of getting there was unduly tight it was a unique jungle experience ie lots of mud etc.
The lodge eating room was OK and the meals were very good for the environment. The lake was also a good platform for seeing and range of wildlife but there was not a large amount of wildlife around but the guides found what there was.
Up to this point we were all mostly happy with the exoerience.
However the living quarters were something else. They were dirty flea ridden and although one expects a few mozzies in the quarters there was not way of keeping them at bay at night. There was no place to keep spare clothes and the fleas and midges got into everything.
There showers that many had did not have hot water and it was a raffle as to how long the hot water would last if you were lucky enough to have any. In my room I never had hpt water at all.
I am reluctant to write this but I have done for those expecting a 3 star or above living quarters and in my view it was a 1 star only in this aspect. There is NO privacy for sound between rooms even a few rooms away from each other.
In addition the staffing has been reduced from 25 down by 10 and the maintenance is showing up and although the guides and porters carrying the gear and supplies in and out were fantastic they had to deal with the visitors grumbles which is unfair.

Room Tip: Dont go unless you are happy to be in poor accommodation just to experience the jungle. Note you ar...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank JATWellington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed June 3, 2012

The reviews i had read on Trip Advisor were very helpful in planning our stay at the Sandoval Lake Lodge. This is not a place that you want to be surprised by.

We flew into the Puerto Maldonado airport (which is about the size of an airplane hanger, and looks it too!) and the lodge shuttle took us to the main office. Despite reading that we would need to pack compactly for this leg as well as the Machu Picchu leg, we still had to scale down from our carry on size luggage. They provide you with a large green duffel bag to basically put only what you'll need for your stay into. The rest of your items they will store at the main office until you return. This was our first full day in Peru and im not very trusting, so i was not pleased to be leaving anything behind and only left clothes. This meant that i would be carrying everything i chose not to put into the green duffel. I had read about the 2mile hike to get to the lodge and had worn my hiking boots to be ready, however they insisted that i use their tall generic boots. I was glad they did.
Once we had repacked it was off to the boat where it was about a 45min ride across the river. they provided a lunch (banana and the equivalent of fried rice) for the ride. We then reached the entrance to the trail. Put on our boots, grabbed a walking stick and prepared for the hike. The porters would carry the green duffel bags. There is no other way to the lodge except on foot. It was now the middle of the day and hot. Our first few feet into the trail was already muddy. My friend and i figured this was the worst of it, tucked our pants into the boots and continued on. The trail only got worse. My biggest mistake was the extra 40pds of crap that i had insisted on carrying with me instead of either shoving into the duffel or leaving behind. Im not the most fit, but im not a weenie and this hike was hard. Not to mention, aside from being drenched in mosquito repellant (be sure to get your typhoid shot. i opted for the highly concentrated mosquito lotion vs malaria pills) and in long pants and sleeves to avoid being bitten.
Here's what i learned:
1) as long as you have repellant, you might be ok without long clothing
2) none of the mud was so deep that you would get sucked into it farther than your knee. it's much easier to just walk straight through it than try to avoid it. oh, and there will be mud.
3) dont carry extra crap.
4) avoid going during the hottest part of the day. we didnt want to get up early so we didnt take the first flight in. not the best decision.
Once you get to the end of the trail it's about a 20min canoe ride to the Lodge. We were lucky and were the only people there for almost a full 24 hrs.
The place is super relaxing and quiet. the staff is really friendly and the food was really really good.
Our guide, Oscar, was super knowledgeable and really made this first leg of the trip wonderful. Ask for him if you can, because he'll go above and beyond. Oh, and give him a nice tip.
You'll sleep under mosquito netting, and it's true that they only have power three times a day. I never did get used to the fact that after 10pm there is zero light. no ambient anything, your eyes will never adjust. have a flashlight if you need to pee.

It's true that the walls dont touch the roof, so if there are a lot of guests you'll likely hear them talking, but again we were lucky and the only other guests arrived at the end of our second day.
It is the amazon and it's hot. they dont have hot water in the shower, but it's a welcome change from the non stop sweating. the only time i wasnt sweating was when i was in the cold shower.
All in all i would highly recommend this place. It was a great experience even tho a tough one. It's luxury camping.
The only time it rained was a full 12hours of pouring before our hike out to catch our flight. The weather was cooler in the morning and despite the pouring rain and muddy trail we made it through in record time because at that point, who cares!? how many times in your life do you get to slosh through mud!
If you visit Peru and want to see some Amazon jungle, this is a good option.

Room Tip: If it's busy, a room away from the dining area would be a good idea. We had a room with a priva...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
7 Thank Jen H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 28, 2012

My wife and I had a great jungle experience at Sandoval Lake Lodge. It exceeded all of our expectations in terms of wildlife and jungle surroundings. The lake is quiet and remote - we loved the adventure getting there on day one (boat, hike, boat). The food was very good and they had no problem accommodating my wife's vegetarian diet. Our guide was smart, friendly and knowledgeable. We were broken up into small groups based on the number of nights we were staying and language spoken, which makes it a nice and intimate experience. The accommodations were a little like sleep away camp. The rooms are private, with private bathrooms, but the walls are thin and don't go all the way up to the ceiling. You will hear your neighbors. The rooms are sparse, but comfortable. We've raved about Sandoval Lake Lodge since we returned and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a jungle experience.

Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank David M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2012

I won't repeat what others have said about the reasons for visiting Sandoval Lodge. They are well covered. Suffice to say that we greatly appreciated the opportunity to observe the wildlife on and around the lake. An experience not to be missed!

Unlike others, we found the lodge far better than we expected. Yes it was basic but well appointed with comfortable beds, hot water and good food. They even had a selection of wine.

Considering that everything has to be carried into the lodge along the track mentioned elsewhere and across the lake, we thought it was very well done.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tambo_10
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

Property: Sandoval Lake Lodge
Address: Puerto Maldonado Peru, Puerto Maldonado, Peru
Location: Peru > Madre de Dios Region > Puerto Maldonado
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 10 Hotels in Puerto Maldonado
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Sandoval Lake Lodge 2.5*
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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