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“Great experience!”

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Tambopata Research Center
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
2 reviews
“Great experience!”
Reviewed March 11, 2014

Was a wonderful four days. Excellent guide! In the heart of the forest, saw many animals including jaguars, monkeys, spiders and so forth. The staff went out of their way to cater for our needs. Food was amazing! Thoroughly recommend this to everyone.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank KobsS
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513 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (113)
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Palmdale, California
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed February 10, 2014

The guides, food and lodging were fantastic. We stayed 4 days so we were able to visit the clay lick several times. They had electricity on long enough for our electronic devices to get recharged. They provided the boots and you could borrow a walking stick from the box. The lodge was clean and a very peaceful place to be. It's amazing how great the food was considering how far from a store they were. Our 21 and 25 year old sons loved hanging out in the hammocks after a hike. It was the rainy season and our guide said the group before us had to spend time in the lodge (they have many rainy day activities to choose from) but we were not affected by the rain - it rained one evening after we returned from our hike. The guides bring a telescope to the clay lick and if you have a camera phone or something similar they are able to put it up to the eye piece and you end up with a great close up photo. Would love to go back someday.

Room Tip: Room 6 and 7 are right off the lobby where the groups get together to put on boots and talk with the...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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Thank dandelion2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RainforestExp, Public Relations Manager at Tambopata Research Center, responded to this review, February 24, 2014
We are glad you enjoyed your stay with your family in TRC in the rainy season. It is also very relaxing listening the rain and the noises of the jungle from your hammock. Great that you liked our meals as well. Just as you described, the rainy season is not boring at all. And in this part of the year are nesting the macaws around TRC as well. Special thanks for posting so many pictures about your visit.
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Seattle, Washington
1 review
Reviewed February 10, 2014

TRC was incredible - a truly special place on earth. The wildlife is unbelievable. A once in a lifetime experience that I hope to make happen more than just once. Our guide was great and the hospitality at the research center was terrific. Highly, highly recommended.

  • Stayed January 2014
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Helpful?
Thank JRD55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cullowhee, North Carolina
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2014

I loved my stay at tambopata. The food was so fabulous, I'll never forget it. And the coolest thing is that the recipes are posted and you can take pictures or hand copy them. I'm a vegetarian and my friend is lactose intolerant and they had no problem adjusting the food prep accordingly. The cook and servers were so gracious. Everyone was, really. Our guide was responsible for just four of us all four days. Took us on nature walks four times a day, including the early boat ride over to the clay lick. There was plenty of time to relax and read, and since I went in the rainy season, I was particularly glad I had some books on my ipad. It never rained all day, of course. We were out in the jungle every day. We were there four nights and while three probably would have been enough (and two nights rather than one at ollantaytambo), still we were never bored. It's a memory of a lifetime.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

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2 Thank Beth J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
toronto
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2014

our family of 4 and my aunt/nephew had the best experience at TRC. We booked our trip with Ecologistica Peru. TRC was a natural wonderland. The sounds were incredible! a testament to the incredible biodiversity. We saw so many animals, the macaws are so beautiful and they come right to the lodge, a treat to watch so up close! the monkeys are incredible to watch. We lucked out and saw a Harpy Eagle on her nest. We were fortunate to observe the researchers doing their work and got to see baby macaws. The accommodations were perfect! The food YUMM! I would recommend it to anyone up for an adventure, our group range in ages from 11 years old to 70 years old! Everyone enjoyed it!The tree climb was pretty challenging but totally worth it. The trip to the macaw lick was magical, to see the macaws arrive and fly with the gorgeous early morning sun, perfect to photograph. TRC was a cozy perfect spot! and the hammocks are a great place to relax after our morning walks.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
1 Thank cloudsToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2014

I think this place is 5 star in every way and our experience with Rainforest Expeditions, both in booking the trip and in their logistical ability was flawless. They are the best, hands down, if you want to go to the Tambopata Reserve.

We booked to go during the rainy season but got very lucky and didn't have to cancel any of our activities during our 5 night stay due to rain. It was hot and humid but it added to the experience and we got to see such diversity that would be a wildlife photographers dream.

My only negative comment did not detract from my rating but somewhat tainted how good the experience could have been. The research that is being done in Tambopata is what started the center but now it seems a little unnecessary. Macaws are thriving in Tambopata so I don't understand the justification for handling them so roughly and disturbing them. They take the chicks out of their nests daily to measure, weigh, and photograph them (I was shocked at how rough these small blind helpless birds were handled). Their idea of "sterile" technique is in no way sterile and if one nest developed a dangerous infection I'm certain all chicks in Tambopata would be exposed.

Beyond the basics of the research we took issue with some of the researchers themselves. There were actual scientists there studying intently but a lot of their volunteers are like kids at summer camp (I assume they are undergrads) that seem to be there to play with pretty birds and hang out. The lodge at Tambopata is small and it can't be expanded since the surrounding area is protected so I understand some overlap in tourists and the volunteers but many times they took over the entire lodge despite having their own quarters. There are effectively 4 relaxing areas in TRC, two with couches/padded chairs that each seat about 4 people, one group of 5 hammocks, and the bar area. It was rare that the volunteers didn't completely occupy at least half of the seating, we didn't have as much interaction with other guests because many time we had to go back to our rooms when the common areas were full of entitled obnoxious children. One seating area was effectively "off limits" to guests because the research crew camped out there. The head honcho researcher was also there with his family and gave some perspective on why the crew was so obnoxious. He would occupy an entire guest table for himself, spread out his child's dishes and make an event of feeding her. When he would find time to "work" he had someone (I assume the childs aunt) drive her around in a stroller that played lullaby music for a couple hours. Everyday during the typical siesta time we;d try to take a nap and everyday this woman with a stroller playing music would trapse up and down the guest hall playing intermittent music. Every time you'd almost get to sleep the music would be back and wake you up.

The negatives are largely out of the control of Rainforest Expeditions. The researchers are there but I think there should be some more boundaries to keep paying customers happy. The food was excellent, we got to sample a lot of traditional food we may not have been exposed to, the guides were amazing and made the experience something we'll remember for the rest of our lives. They never stop working when you're there and go out of their way to make sure everything runs smoothly. If you have the time go to TRC, the entire package is so much better than staying down at Refugio (also nice, just not the real amazon experience). I desperately want to go back.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank slc-john
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauderhill, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
349 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 180 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2014

Just back from a trip organized by Adventure Life and Rainforest Expeditions--the latter of which handled the logistics pretty much perfectly. The trip had us fly into Puerto Maldonado, where we met our guide for the week. We were lucky to get Saay, a quiet young man with excellent English and great skill at spotting wildlife and explaining to us the life in the jungle. Then we took a bus to the aptly known port of Inferno, then a boat to Refugio Amazonas for a day, then the next four days at the Tambopata Research Center. TRC's primary mission is to study Macaws, particularly their reproductive cycles, and the researchers, mostly faculty and students from Texas A&M Veterinary School, do their work and kindly share a great deal of it with the tourists. They were a great bunch! Their secondary purpose is to promote ecotourism, and they are succeeding at both.
Let's get the bad out of the way first. It was hot and humid (yes, it's the bloody Amazon jungle, so that shouldn't be a surprise). There's not much escape, and it's compounded by the need to wear long sleeves and pants and socks whenever you were outside of the compound, or when sleeping (under mosquito netting). It was pretty oppressive, but it worked--I went a week there with no bug bites at all, and my wife only had one. So whatever parasitic diseases one can get, we avoided neatly.
The forest has two seasons, rainy and dry. The dry, though technically winter, is actually hotter. We were at the rainy season, but were lucky to only have two rains, neither of which was during an activity time. They don't hike in the rain, for good reason...we were passing one spot, and Saay pointed to a large tree that had fallen during the last hour's rain. You don't want to be under that when it falls. There's always the possibility of lots of rain, and lots of abandoned hikes, but we were lucky.
Rooms were pleasant with three walls and one open to the forest. Baths were shared, but there was never a problem with access or privacy. For what little down time there was, you had a small collection of books, a few hours electricity/internet access available, even a range of massages (which I don't recommend in the sweltering heat).
The food? Nothing short of incredible! They publish their weekly menu on the net, with pictures that are quite accurate. Food is traditional Peruvian, expertly prepared in beautifully balanced meals. A small but luscious dessert with every lunch and dinner, and a bewildering variety of fruit juices, each more delicious than all the others. And the bar is well stocked and affordable...the only thing that really cooled me down was a nice large Cusqueña beer before dinner! The director, Eric, was filling in for the bartender, who was having medical treatment in Puerto Maldonado--he could whip up an impressive range of cocktails.
The real draw here is the Clay Lick, a wall of clay that attracts hundreds and hundreds of Macaws and parrots every day. We viewed from about 300 meters (bring a superzoom camera), with amazing views. We went several times, and each was dramatically different. Even one day, an eagle scared all the parrots off...but that was brilliantly sunny, and the sight of the Macaws flying across at dawn with the sun catching them from below was amazingly beautiful. Sometimes there would be only Macaws, sometimes only a mix of Mealy Amazons and other smaller parrots. Even the Peccary, the wild boar of the Amazon comes for the clay.
The other highlight was watching the researchers do an inventory on the Macaw chicks. Some poor person (they actually fight for the "privilege") gets to climb up about 100 feet to the nest, take the chicks out over the objections of their parents (who have very strong and sharp beaks), and lower then to the floor, where they are measured, checked for parasites, checked to make sure they're being fed well, and generally keep tabs on their development. They do this every day, and others watch on a closed-circuit security camera 24/7 to monitor what goes on in the nest. They're a delightful and charming bunch, and we were happy to meet them and the two featherless chicks, Franz 1 and Franz 2.
On the other walks, we encountered all but one of the local monkey species (the
Red Howler greeted us from the forest when we arrived, with a terrifying roar like some huge Cthonic beast from nether regions...they're actually only about 2 feet tall), capybara, agouti, bats, more peccaries, innumerable non-parrot birds, exotic insects, frogs, plants, millepedes, and an 8-inch tarantula. The hikes, at least those we went on, were not at all strenuous, except for the heat. And the mud. Lots of mud. But they provide knee-length rubber Wellington boots for all, so it's never an issue.
I can't say enough positive about the people running this center, and the amazing experience we got to enjoy. Thanks Saay, Eric, Annie, Erin, Cameron, and all the rest of you, and best wishes for your work!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank KentheEnchanter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tambopata Research Center

Property: Tambopata Research Center
Address: Collpa Colorado, Tambopata National Reserve 084, Peru
Phone Number:
Location: Peru > Madre de Dios Region > Tambopata National Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 21 Specialty Lodging in Tambopata National Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Tambopata Research Center 3*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Tambopata Research Center (TRC) is a spartan yet comfortable 18 bedroom lodge with 8 shared bathrooms. Because of its remote location in uninhabited wilderness, housing stable populations of endangered wildlife, the small scale of its infrastructure and operations and the presence of researchers and naturalist guides, Tambopata Research Center is an excellent headquarters for in depth explorations of Amazonian nature and wildlife. It is located in a half hectare clearing in the middle of the uninhabited portion of the Tambopata National Reserve, less than a kilometer from the world's largest and most diverse macaw claylick. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tambopata Research Hotel Tambopata National Reserve
Tambopata Research Center Peru/Tambopata National Reserve

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