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“Great food, Great staff”

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Heath River Wildlife Center
Reviewed May 23, 2013

Probably not the place for cruise-loving folks, but great for relatively fit outdoor loving tourists. The birding is GREAT. If you are a birder, ask for William or Javier. There may be more guides that know birds well, but those two are excellent. The trip by canoe can be long, but the trip itself was a treat. There are many uneven passages, trails and stairs so this trip is not for the overweight or underactive. One woman in our group was in her late sixties, overweight, out of shape and complained the entire time. Clearly not in the right frame of mind, and poorly prepared.
Much fewer mosquitos/bugs than the Everglades, which is my yardstick for bugs. We did wear our jungle gear, tucked pants into long socks, lightweight long sleeved shirts, took Jungle Juice, head lamps. Did get some bites, but not bad. Mosquito netting on the beds worked well, no holes. Loved the experience and opportunity to see wildlife, great, great staff!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank JuliaCarmel_CA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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34 - 40 of 70 reviews

Reviewed December 27, 2012

Loved the proximity to nature- you can hear animal and insect noises all through the night and the lodge is really surrounded by the rainforest. All the staff were very helpful .The food was good and they prepared special meals for the vegetarians in the group. The Macaw lick was the highlight of the trip.
The downside is that there is no electricity (except for a couple of hours) and no connectivity (phone/ internet). So this is definitely not a place for someone who needs a fix of internet everyday and gets freaked out at the sight of a lizard / frog in the room

Room Tip: Carry Insect repellant and torches.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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10  Thank PriyankaGargav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2012

Don't go to Heath River Wildlife Center unless you like to rough it a bit. Be prepared to live without electricity in your room (bring a headlamp, not just a flashlight!), possibly without hot water, and get ready for a long (6 hour or so) but fascinating boat ride from Puerto Maldonado. You'll be rewarded by a rich variety of flora and fauna (especially birds), outstanding guides, friendly service, and great local food.

Room Tip: If you don't like walking in the dark, ask for a cabin near the dining hall.
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank viajeracuandopueda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2012

The trip from Puerto Maldonado was 7 hours in a boat, not 4, as the river was low so we arrived late. Comfortable cabins, but no electricity, so we unpacked by candlelight. There is electricity (for 2 hours at breakfast, lunch and dinner) in the lodge building where you eat, so you can charge cameras etc. Staff were very cheerful and helpful, and the food was fine. I especially liked the fresh fruit juice, including purple corn and wild tomato! Early mornings were normal, and this is the coolest time of day so worth making the effort. We had no. 10 cabin, nearest the forest, and there was a resident pair of bats along with a frog in the toilet (he jumped out when the lid was lifted, don't know how he got back in every day). Best morning was when we heard the howler monkeys, an unearthly surround-sound effect. Saw lots of parrots and macaws at the clay lick, 3 tapirs, capybaras, squirrel monkeys, loads of butterflies and birds. Expect insects in the cabins and you won't be disappointed... Our friends were good sports as it was me who wanted to go to the rainforest.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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6  Thank fairtrader
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2012 via mobile

We booked Heath River Wildlife Centre as part of a holiday via Audley Travel. Although quite an expensive upgrade it was worth every penny. We were lucky to be the only guests for two of the three nights that we were there and the peace and tranquility was wonderful. Waking to the forest sounds, especially the Howler monkeys is such a memorable experience. Our guide Plinio was great, so expert and eager to share his knowledge. Maybe we were just very lucky to see the incredible range of wildlife that we did in such a short time, nothing can be guaranteed of course. All staff at lodge friendly and helpful. Ok, so the hot showers aren't very, if at all, but who cares? The long boat journey is endlessly fascinating and part of the unforgettable experience, don't let that put you off. If you can, just do it!

  • Stayed: August 2012
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5  Thank NeilJ555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2012

I loved everything about Heath River Wildlife Center, but right when we were boarding we saw the baby, a 2 year old, that cried loudly the last hour of our 5 hour boat ride, and I heard the baby many times over our 4 day, 3 night trip. We paid $1100, so yes, it was very unacceptable. I was on the hammock trying to listen to the sounds of nature, and the baby would go goo goo dah dah, and yes, it was indeed very distracting and very problematic.

I came here for the tropic experience, but was left with a crying baby sound in my head.

As for the center itself it was awesome, food was incredible, best in Peru, our guide Oscar was out of this world and so attentive. The beds were very clean and the staff was incredible.

And we saw Parrots, monkeys, a tapir, various birds...many walks and the other thing that was not good is other people could not keep up so we were slowed down, could not do as many things as we like...guess that is what you get...but just want to warn you, it all depends who is on the boat..

Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
5  Thank 276Laurie276
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2012

We took this 4 day trip with Inkanatura Travel - very professional and curteous staff .Heath is a beautiful lodge away from the touristy area. We had to travel 5 hours by boat from Puerto Maldonado to get to this lodge at the Peru/Bolivia border but it was well worth it.Custom formalities at Bolivia border were no problem- we did not have to get off the boat or even show our passports. The trip down the Madre de dios river was nice with thick vegetation and lots of cayman and bird sightings. Once we got to the lodge, we found we were the only guests there. They have 10 double occupancy, very comfortable lodges, with clean, attached bathrooms. Hot water for showers was available all the time - no electricity in the bunglows though- only candles/flashlights. The main building has electricity for a few hours everyday during dinner when you can charge your camera batteries, etc. Staff was excellant- very friendly and polite. The cook, Mauro, and his staff went out of their way to make sure our group of 8 vegetarians had an absolutely delicious 4 course meal everyday! We got to see lots of caimans,several capybaras,turtles,howler & squirrel monkeys, tarantula spiders, beautiful butterflies and toucans. The early am trip to the Macaw lick was awesome but the highlight of our trip was the nighttime walk to the mammal lick where we got to see a huge Tapir! We had 4 kids in our group and they enjoyed the climb up to a tree house where they had a panoramic view of the entire jungle.And all this was made even more interesting by our very knowledgeable guide Javier who was very friendly and accomodative. The visit to the village is not worth the time or effort- there is nothing indigenous about the village. After the 3 days at Heath, we stayed for 1 day at Sandoval lodge which was an anticlimax- takes a long hike from the river followed by a canoe ride to get there and back, very crowded, touristy, saw some otters, birds and monkeys but after Heath, it felt like a theme park visit. If you have the time, it would be worthwhile to take the boat up to Heath instead of Sandoval which is only 45 min from Puerto Maldonado.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank natasha-neil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Heath River Wildlife Center

Address: Heath RIver | 6 hours by boat from Puerto Maldonado, Tambopata National Reserve, Peru
Location: Peru > Madre de Dios Region > Tambopata National Reserve
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 20 Specialty Lodging in Tambopata National Reserve
Price Range: $493 - $504 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Heath River marks the remote Amazon-region border between Peru and Bolivia. Bordering two radically different ecosystems of rainforest and lowland savannah.Heath River Wildlife Center is the only eco-lodge on this river. And it offers the world's only large macaw clay lick reachable in half a day from a jetport with daily connections to the outside world. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Heath River Wildlife Hotel Tambopata National Reserve
Heath River Wildlife Center Peru/Tambopata National Reserve

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