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Sandoval Lake Lodge
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Reviewed April 29, 2013

Sandoval Lake Lodge offers an unforgettable experience of the rain forest and its wildlife in the Tambopata National Reserve. It is somewhat difficult to reach, even in April when the dry season starts: 30 minutes by motor boat from Puerto Maldonado, a 6 km walk with rubber boots, another boat transfer across the Lake Sandoval. The Lodge has an appealing wooden structure, the rooms are simple, clean, with mosquito protection. Food is simple, very good. Guided tours along the shores of the lake (morning, evening), at night in the forest with pocket lamp. The guide was very experienced, helpful and friendly (ask for Pepe). Booking and information through http://www.inkanatura.net/programas02A1.htm. Follow the advices of the organizer, take little luggage.I thoroughly enjoyed a three days/two nights stay. Expensive.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank Exp_Trav_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2013

We stayed at Sandoval Lake Lodge for one night during December, it was an enjoyable experience. The lodge is very rustic, right off the lake, in the middle of the forest. You get to it by walking down a muddy path through the forest for about an hour. When we visited, it hadn't rained much the previous night, so the path wasn't too bad, it was actually fun squelching through the mud :-) Our room in the lodge was very cozy - mosquito nets over the beds to keep bugs from getting in. Like other reviewers mentioned, the rooms open out on top, so you can hear people talking in the neighbouring rooms. We weren't bothered by this though - you're completely surrounded by the forest and the sounds of nature, it isn't too hard to ignore people talking in the next room :-) The bathrooms had running water, but we found that the hot water supply wasn't great - the shower would suddenly go from warm to cold without much warning. We also had a cockroach problem at night, we suddenly noticed that there were 5-6 of them in our room and they got into our bags. We had to dust out our clothes to make sure we didn't carry the roaches back with us. Apart from that, we had a peaceful night, the nets did a good job of keeping the bugs at bay.
Our guide Oscar was great, he took us on two boat rides on the lake. We saw several monkeys, some caimans, an otter family and many different kinds of birds. We also did a night walk in the jungle around the lodge where we saw tarantulas and frogs and other insects. If you stay for longer, they also take you to a clay lick to see macaws.
The food at the lodge was so-so. They had different kinds of juices made with local fruits, those were delicious. The main courses were a bit bland, we had fish for lunch and chicken for dinner. I was hoping for local Peruvian food, but it was mostly nondescript 'chicken-with-potatoes-and-rice' kind of food. My husband, however, really enjoyed his meals - he's vegetarian so they made him different main courses and he said they were very good. Breakfast was good - eggs to order, pancakes and a delicious quinoa juice.
Overall, I would say that our stay at Sandoval Lake Lodge was a pleasant, enjoyable experience. We knew what to expect, and there were no unpleasant surprises (except for the roaches!) If you want to experience the Peruvian Amazon but don't have too much time, I think this is a great option.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank K R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 18, 2013

The thing that I remember most about this was the horrendous walk in and out. It had rained and indeed rained during our walk and the very poorly maintained path was 3 k of mud. (The path is not the responsibility of the Lodge.) My wet weather gear was in the bag with the porter who was quite a distance ahead of us so I also got soaked. I had the feeling that the lodge was on its last legs - there was no feeling of vitality about the place. The quality of the food was very patchy and 2 of our party got sick. The rooms were adequate. Given the situation I did not expect luxurious surroundings or every comfort but I did expect the basic requirements advertised to be provided. This did not always occur. However the river otters were magnificent and our guide, Javier, was one of the best.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Skiltsey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2013

Well our experience at lake Sandoval was truly something I will never forget. I guess I didn't really fully understand what it was. Let me explain...

Lake Sandoval was the only resort located in the actual rainforest reserve area. All the others are on the outskirts and do day trips inside. Really people, you do not need to be sleeping inside the actual forest. There is a reason people don't live in there. I am a pretty adventurous person but this was definitely beyond my comfort level.

To arrive a lake sandoval you have to take a boat for an hour down the Madre de dios river. Then hike two miles into the rainforest. Then take a canoe across the lake to get to the lodge. All this, I was excited for. I like this kind of thing. But our flight was delayed so it started to get dark as we were hiking. Imagine being in the rainforest, where just about everything is poisonous, in the pitch dark! It was crazy. If you ever wanted to leave this place or, God forbid, you are injured during your stay, you have a very hard time getting out.

That night when we finally arrived, we were met by the manager who told us that there were only a few periods during the day of electricity and after 11 lights out. We were not aware of this and the flashlights we brought were certainly too small and inadaquate. Then there is the water situation. The manager said it would take a few moments for the hot water to start coming out so to just leave it running for a little while. We never had hot water while we were there. Not even Luke warm. It was cold.

Then we got to our room. At first glance it looked ok but then we looked up. There are no ceilings to the rooms. There is only one main roof covering the whole lodge meaning that whatever bugs or critters were running around that place would have full access to your room and stuff. And that is exactly what happened to us. The bathroom was infested with cockroaches. They were all over the walls, the shower and God knows where around the toilet. Just try and feel comfortable doing your business in a place like that. Also, don't even let your mind wander to imagine what the kitchen of the lodge looks like. cockroaches are attracted to water.

Then, that nigh while we were trying to sleep, an animal was walking on the wall that enclosed our room right above our heads. It was positively terrifying!! We could hear it breathing, smacking its mouth and all we had was a thin mosquitoe net between us!! Needless to say we didn't get much sleep while we were there.

Anyway that was our intro to the Sandoval lodge and it pretty much set the tone for our stay there.

You do see a lot of wildlife. After all, you are living amongst it. There was even a tarantula's nest right outside our room door in the garden and this thing was the size of a rabbit. Actually we saw many tarantulas in the garden, as well as poisonous snakes and killer ants of different variety. On the dock in front of the lodge, don't even think about dangling your legs in. There are pirañas and a very large cayman that lives under there. We noticed him one day which kind of freaked us out but our guide just nonchalantly told us " oh ya, his name is coco. He's always under there." It would have been nice to know. If you want to see wildlife, you have come to the right place just be ready to live with it!

  • Stayed: November 2012
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15  Thank Magellansmuse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2012

We stayed at the Sandoval Lake Lodge for 3 nights in January. For us. We did not find the hike in to be too bad, but rather, it added to the adventure. You have to consider where you are and what you are doing. It's definitely not the Four Seasons. But for a lodge in the middle of the wilderness, we felt that it was very well appointed and took care of all of our needs. Be aware that the walls do not go all the way to the ceiling, so privacy can be limited. It didn't really bother us all that much as we were exhausted and falling into bed each night! This lodge felt very authentic to us and we both loved spending the hot afternoons sleeping in the hammocks in the common area. We would definitely recommend this place to anyone looking for an authentic adventure in the area.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Sarahbean108
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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