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“Amazon Jungle/Rainforest is Incredible!”

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Sandoval Lake Lodge
Ranked #3 of 10 Hotels in Puerto Maldonado
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Amazon Jungle/Rainforest is Incredible!”
Reviewed July 7, 2012

We thoroughly enjoyed our 3D/2N stay at Sandoval Lake Lodge, and even more the ability to learn a bit about the rainforest/jungle habitat.

First, getting there: Puerto Maldonado is a booming mining/ecotourism town. The streets are filled with motoskooters & tri-cabs. But you only spend a few minutes in PM, going from airport to SLL's office, and then to the dock.

You will need to fit your "stuff" into a "gym bag" sized duffle. 2-3 changes of clothing is all it will take. If it's rainy season, emphasize socks & tshirts. There's no need for fashion here! Your remaining clothing will be left in their office - no "secure facility", but a locked building in a gated compound.

The 45 minutes on the Madre de Dios river is comfortable; they gave us a nice boxed lunch for the ride. One warning - it's a steep, uneven walk to/from the boat.

Be sure to get good-fitting rubber boots when you check in at the office. Even in late June, well into dry season, the trail was a mess. It was about a 2.5KM walk - an hour, moving generally steadily - but no hills, of course. Then, we changed back out of the rubber boots for a canoe ride (single canoe, no doubles/catamarans here) across the lake.

The pix already on the site accurately depict the physical features of the lodge. Hot water was never a problem in the showers, and you really don't need much more than the 10+ hrs/day of electricity if, as you should, you participate in all the scheduled walks/hikes/lake tours.

We lucked out - our group mates were both self-described "science geeks" - one into insects, her husband into plants - so we benefitted from their expertise too!

Our guide, Plinio, was friendly & knowledgeable, and willing to adjust the plans based on our group's interests. On our one full day, we did a 2-hour pre-breakfast lake tour, a 3 hour jungle hike after breakfast, had some rest time from 2-4pm (interrupted by 2 troops of monkeys passing overhead!), and then did another canoe trip on the lake followed by a night walk thru the jungle. We also did a post-arrival sunset lake tour the first day.

That said, if you can fit in 4D/3N, it's probably worth it.

Also, do the rainforest at the END of your Peru trip (or right before heading in to see LIma); it's not worth having to readjust to altitude to fit it in the middle.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank CO_FF_from_FT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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132 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Norwegian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Los Altos, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed June 28, 2012

We visited end of May 2012, at the end of the raining season. The boat ride and the hike to the lake added to the overall adventure. The lodge itself is well maintained and the fact that the entire building is screened in makes it comfortable. We had no mosquito problem whatsoever inside the building. The food was plenty and good, the service excellent. Hot water can be a small issue.
All the excursions were excellent. We saw different kinds of monkeys, the giant otter family, a large variety of birds, butterflies and plants. The night hike was exciting with all the creatures, including tarantulas and caimans. During the evening boat ride on the lake our guide even discovered a baby anaconda.
The entire experience was excellent and highly recommendable.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Kurt06012012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed June 22, 2012

You are likely to be told by your travel agent to take a backpack as you cant take your big cases on the boat to the lodge. Be aware at the companies office in Puerto Maldonado you will have to unpack your backpacks and put your clothing etc in their supplied holdalls which they transport for you to the lodge. No problem with this - just for awareness.
They take good care of the large suitcases in their premises so no problem with security.
Sandoval Lake Lodge is the best resort to stay in as its right on the lake whereas others have to travel longer and further to get there.
We went when there had been recent heavy rain. Be aware once the boat reaches the landing stage for the 1.5km road to Sandoval Lodges there is a climb up on boards of around 8 feet and it hasnt yet been tarmac'd. You get plenty of help but it could be a concern for the old persons or less stable/fit/confident.
Similarly the 1.5- 2km walk is along an earth track which is fine if its been dry but extremely muddy if rain has fallen. You are provided with wellington boots and sticks to help balance but once again if elderly or unstable this could be a slight hazard. The staff are excellent and will help so its not a problem but you should be aware of it.
There are plans to improve both the landing stage and the walk but no set dates as yet.
The Sandoval lake Lodge guides speak excellent English are are very well versed in their subject. The tour programme is well put together. Jungle walks both day and night. Canoes and catamarans take you across the lake and moor up to walk in other parts. Its not a zoo so its pot luck what animals, creatures, birds flora and fauna you see but theres a large variety especially bird species. Giant otters and caimans are the highlight. Well worthwhile - not to be missed.
The lodges are looking a little tired so could do with and upgrade but are perfectly OK. The rooms are next to each other with an open area at roof level so it could be an uncomfortable nights sleep if you had a noisy neighbour but your so tired at lights out that probably wouldntbother you. They naturally have mosquito nets for windows and around the bed. Supply of hot water. Lights out at 10PM.
The grounds are delightful and you can take walks. The staff are excellent but with little English except for the guides. The food is unbelievably good. They have a bar and as its a captive audience the prices are a little high but not unbearably so.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank AndyUrb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank LondonTravellers68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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 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 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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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JATWellington
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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