Amazon Research & Conservation Center

A Guardian of Rare Species, Amazon Rainforest, Peru

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

A Noah’s Ark of Amazonian wildlife.

Paradise Tanager (Tangara chilensis), La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: Naun Amable. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

“Like a BBC wildlife documentary.”

–Quotes by David Laming

 

Private Tours (6 days/5 nights)

US$ 2,250 per person (Minimum of 2 guests). Single supplement: $355

US$ 3,450 (1 guest)

Shorter and longer stays are available upon request

The price per person is based on two people sharing a guest room. Travel insurance for residents of the United States through the age of 59 years is included (over that age, there is a supplementary fee). Residents of other countries will receive a 6% price reduction to purchase such insurance in their home country. See all inclusions. Season: April through December.

 

A photographer’s dream come true …

 

4-1/2 stars on TripAdvisor

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

An alternative to logging, gold mining and cattle ranching.

Night view of the lodge’s lounge, La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: ARCC. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

Peru’s newest and most notable Amazon lodge

Until now, Reserva Amazonica, noted for the excellent design of its rooms and main lodge, has been one of Peru’s most popular rainforest destinations. But, two critical features are missing: abundant wildlife and air conditioning. Now, a new, scientifically-designed ecolodge has been founded by one of the world’s leading conservation biologists to offer nature travelers a peak wildlife experience along with the comfort to enjoy it. It is Peru’s newest and most notable Amazon lodge — the Amazon Research & Conservation Center — and, crucially, it is surrounded by primeval rainforest.

Why is primeval rainforest crucial? Let’s start with the concept of deforestation. Deforestation occurs when the forest is cleared for agricultural fields and cattle ranches. Clearing the forest destroys the habitat for wildlife. Making matters worse, the owners and workers of those fields and ranches hunt in the surrounding forest. The combination of habitat destruction and hunting eliminates or severely depletes the wildlife in and around deforested areas. That is why Reserva Amazonica and many other lodges have so little wildlife, while ARCC’s primeval rainforest has a hundred times more. Not only does ARCC have a greater number of animals, it has a vastly greater number of species, especially rare species. Compare the deforestation surrounding Reserva Amazonica to the primeval rainforest at ARCC,

 

Feature Reserva Amazonica (RA) Amazon Research & Conservation Center (ARCC)
Primeval rainforest No. Extensive deforestation within 300 meters Intact primeval rainforest, including vast, surrounding tracts
Abundant wildlife 1% of that at ARCC 100 times the wildlife of Reserva Amazonica

Spider Monkeys

None Hundreds of wild Spider Monkeys
Other monkeys Almost no visible monkeys Thousands of monkeys of 7 other species
Wild macaws nearby No Hundreds of wild macaws
Macaw nest viewing tower No The world’s only tower at an active nest of wild macaws
Macaw clay licks No Access to more than 3 different macaw clay slicks
Private lake No Private oxbow lake
Giant Otters No Giant Otters on its private lake
Significant sightings from riverboat No. The short trip passes through populated areas Numerous wildlife sightings along the unpopulated Río Piedras
Chance to see a Jaguar No 50% chance of seeing a Jaguar on the riverbank
WiFi No Free WiFi
Proximity to other bungalows Close, limited privacy Distant, complete privacy
Air conditioning (critical detail) No Yes, in guest bungalows to ensure great sleeping

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

The Amazon: Earth’s most wildlife-rich zone.

Primeval forest, La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: Tom Ambrose. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

“This Truly Magical Place.”

 

Why choose our Amazon lodge?

How is the Amazon Research & Conservation Center (ARCC) different from the hundreds of other lodges in the Amazon? In general, ARCC has paid to protect its 26,000 acres from hunting for 16 years, thus guaranteeing large numbers of large animals. Furthermore, its 26,000 acres are surrounded by trackless, primary forest. Two indications that ARCC is located in an unhunted wilderness are its spider monkeys and macaw nest. Specifically, here are six major reasons why ARCC is unique and clearly is the lodge of choice for serious nature travelers in the Amazon.

Before you select your Amazon lodge, ask the other lodges whether they have abundant spider monkeys, a viewing tower next to an active macaw nest, multiple macaw clay licks, a private lake and Giant Otters. Important to your appreciation of it all, do they offer air-conditioned bungalows?

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

The world’s most astoundingly acrobatic monkeys …

Black Spider Monkey (Ateles fusciceps), La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: André Baertschi. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

1. Black Spider Monkeys

With their long, strong, prehensile tails, spider monkeys are the world’s most astoundingly acrobatic monkeys — and are a delight to observe as they move seemingly effortlessly through the rainforest canopy.The abundance and great tameness of Black Spider Monkeys at ARCC proves that the rainforest there has been protected from hunting for decades. In all of the Amazon, there are only three lodges where one can see abundant, visible spider monkeys of any of the various species without the need for a charter flight or extensive river travel. One is ARCC, in Peru, and the other two are in the south-central Amazon of Brazil.

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

An active macaw nest at eye-level.

A nesting pair of Red-and-Green Macaws (Ara chloropterus), La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: Nikhil Nagle. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

2. Macaw nest viewing tower

And in all the Amazon, there is no other lodge with a tower in front of a nest of large macaws, which can be viewed from a distance of only 15 meters. All travelers want to see and photograph large macaws in nature. Yet in the entire Amazon, ARCC is the only lodge with a viewing tower next to an active nest of large macaws. There is no such macaw nest viewing tower anywhere in Central America, either. Not even in Costa Rica! The birds that nest next to the ARCC tower are Red-and-Green Macaws, the largest and most powerful of the widespread Amazonian macaws. This nesting pair has been habituated by the biologists of ARCC and are spectacular for photography, even with small cameras.

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

A large variety of macaws, parrots and parakeets at four clay licks.

Colpa Loreto macaw clay lick, La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: ARCC. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

3. Four macaw clay licks

All travelers want to see and to photograph macaw and parrot clay licks. ARCC is the only lodge with access to four different macaw clay licks. We choose which of the four to visit depending on the photographic and viewing needs of the guests and on the seasonality of the macaw and parrot activity.

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

A private lake offers the best viewing conditions.

Lake Soledad, La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: Naun Amable. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

4. Private lake

Why is a private lake so important for the enjoyment of Amazonian wildlife, particularly for photographing animals? The short answer is that a private lake offers the best viewing conditions of the Amazon’s most photogenic species of large and small birds, mammals and reptiles. The long answer appears below:

More wildlife. There are only two kinds of open, well-lit habitats in the Amazon rainforest — riverbanks and lake margins. Of the two, lake margins offer many more species and higher concentrations of photogenic animals. As well, they harbor a set of large, attractive water birds, large caimans, sun-bathing turtles and Giant Otters, most or none of which are visible either on the riverbanks or in the forest interior.

Privileged photo opportunities. If the lake is private, your silent, hand-paddled canoe or catamaran does not have to compete with other tourist boats that might occupy the best viewing positions and scare off shy wildlife with their noise and movements.

Good light. All indigenous people, professional field biologists and experienced ecotourists know that light in the interior of any tropical rainforest can be dim and mottled, and animals are either in deep shade or are backlit when in the trees above. This poor lighting makes it a major challenge to get good views and photos of rainforest wildlife.

Good viewing angle. The most beautiful species of the interior of the Amazon rainforest are mainly arboreal, not terrestrial, and this means not only bad light and backlight, but also a bad photo angle. You end up having to point your lens more than 45 degrees upward, which means your photos look strange, with emphasis on bellies and undersides rather than eye-level photos that properly show the colors and body shapes. Photographing from below offers few chances to photograph the head of animals, which often is the most attractive part of the creature.

Unobstructed views. Even the most attractive monkeys and birds of the forest interior are better viewed and photographed on the well-lit curtain of vegetation of lake-edge forest than in the forest itself. Not only is the light much better, but there are no trees or branches blocking the view, and the viewing angle is 0 – 30 degrees, allowing natural-looking photos.

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

Endangered wildlife in abundance.

Giant River Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis), La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: ARCC. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

5. Giant Otters

ARCC’s private lake, Lago Soledad, has a nearly-permanent family of visible Giant Otters. This lake is the only private lake in the world with nearly year-round Giant Otters. ARCC offers Giant Otters 11 to 12 months a year. In some but not all years, the Otters leave the lake for one month in February or March. Those months are in the rainy season, which corresponds with the low season of tourism to Peru. The only other lake with year-round Giant Otters is located five hours up the very remote Manu River in the public access lands of the Manu National Park.

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

Glassed-in, air-conditioned bungalows.

A view of Lake Soledad from one of the bungalows, La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: ARCC. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

6. Air-conditioned bungalows

In all of the Amazon of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, ARCC is the only lodge in primary forest that has glassed-in, air-conditioned bungalows. On hot days and warm nights, air conditioning is essential for a good afternoon nap or night’s sleep. It is a continual source of wonder to us how hundreds of other lodges get away without offering air conditioning. For those who prefer a fan, the glass windows open and there are two pedestal fans in each room that guests can move around and point where they wish.

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

Highly-visible and abundant wildlife.

Macaw nest viewing tower, La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: ARCC. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

Wildlife

“I witnessed awesome wildlife …”

 

The world’s only macaw nest viewing tower

In February 2015, the Amazon Research & Conservation Center (ARCC) manufactured and erected a unique, custom-built, 33-meter-tall (110-foot-tall) macaw nest viewing tower at 15 meters from an active nest of the largest and most powerful of the widespread Amazonian macaw species — the Red-and-Green. The tower features ergonomic stairs for easy walk-up access without any complications such as rope techniques or vertical ladders.

ARCC staff spent weeks gradually habituating the proud nesting pair of these brilliantly-colored, one-meter-long parrots. By the time our first wildlife photographer guest of 2015 arrived in March, the birds were very relaxed, and we were able to watch and photograph them at will without even having to hide ourselves in a closed blind.

Red-and-Green Macaws visit, protect and work on their nest sites every day, all year, even when they do not have eggs or nestlings in the cavity. As this nest tree is a long-lived hardwood tree that should survive for decades or possibly centuries more, and because natural nest cavities big enough for large macaws are quite rare and fought over by macaws, we expect that this nest tower will offer spectacular photo ops of these large macaws for decades to come.

Despite the fact that ARCC’s biologists showed as far back as the 1980s and 1990s that the best way to watch and habituate breeding pairs of macaws is from towers placed near their nests, in all the range of all 15 species of wild macaws, from Mexico to Brazil and Bolivia, the only tower in front of any macaw nest is the one at ARCC.

As large macaws are easily the Amazon’s most colorful species of large birds (or of large Amazonian vertebrates of any kind), and 100% of nature travelers to the Amazon wish to see and photograph them well, it is surprising that only ARCC is properly showcasing the predictable spectacle of a nest of habituated macaws.

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

Wildlife-rich primeval forest.

Red Howler Monkey (Alouatta seniculus), La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: ARCC. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

“A natural history extravaganza.”

 

Las Piedras rainforest wildlife

The Amazon Research & Conservation Center (ARCC) is located 6 hours up the remote Las Piedras River from Puerto Maldonado, in the Amazon Rainforest of southeastern Peru. The Las Piedras Rainforest contains some of the highest densities of wildlife in the Amazon. This is because the Las Piedras soils are richer and, therefore, its forest more productive in every aspect.

Within this area of highest densities, the ARCC reserve encompasses 26,000 acres of primeval rainforest, A primeval forest is one that has attained great age without significant disturbance and, thereby, exhibits unique ecological features. Such forests are often biologically diverse, and home to many rare species, threatened species and endangered species of plants and animals. That is especially true of the ARCC reserve. Its endangered wildlife includes large populations of Giant River Otter, Black Caiman, Black Spider Monkey, Jaguar, Puma and Scarlet Macaw. All have CITES Appendix I status — the highest international protection category for species in danger of extinction. As well, the lodge protects dozens of CITES Appendix II mammal species and innumerable other species.

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

The Royal Flycather, one of the Amazon’s more than 500 bird species.

Royal Flycatcher (Onychorhynchus coronatus), La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: Naun Amable. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

The Amazon Rainforest is one of the world’s most delicate and complicated ecosystems as well as being the most diverse, with over 500 bird, 1,200 butterfly and 13 monkey species. Plant, fungus, amphibian and insect diversity is also staggeringly high. While walking in the forest, one notices the lack of light and the multitude of tree and plant species — no two of which seem alike. Army and Leaf Cutter Ants are always busy, Giant Millipedes cross the trail, Tarantulas lurk in their holes and colorful butterflies dance between the spots of light.

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

Bird life is plentiful.

Hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin), La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: Naun Amable. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

The forest around the reserve’s focal point, Lake Soledad, harbors huge groups of White-lipped Peccary, a forest boar, numbering up to 400 animals — the sight, sound and smell is incredible! Commonly-seen monkeys include Black Spider, Red Howler, Squirrel, Brown Capuchin, White-fronted Capuchin, Saddle-backed Tamarin and Night Monkey. A range of other distinctive forest animals can be seen, including Brazilian Tapir, Brocket Deer, Anteater, Agouti, Tayra and Armadillo. Forest birds are also incredibly diverse — species include the Peruvian Recurvebill, Blue-crowned Trogon, Cream-colored Woodpecker, Red-billed Scythebill and Collared Forest-falcon, to name just a few. See our bird list for hundreds of other species.

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

Giant River Otters — the stars of Lake Soledad.

A Giant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) in Lake Soledad, La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: ARCC. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

A chance to observe rare wildlife face to face

 

Lake Soledad wildlife

Lake Soledad is long, intimate and winding — and a real hotspot for observing an immense variety of spectacular wildlife, including Giant River Otters, eight species of monkeys, Black Caimans and a plethora of bird species.

The Giant River Otter is the world’s largest otter and most endangered of the otter species — the world population could be as low as 1,000. The stars of Lake Soledad are the Giant River Otters. The otters are seen daily and close encounters are guaranteed. They can be seen fishing and sometimes resting and playing on fallen tree trunks around the lake’s edge. The otters can be watched from a respectful distance and, being inquisitive, will often come close to investigate us.

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

A place for discovery, renewal and adventure.

Full moon over Lake Soledad, La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: Tom Ambrose. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

At night, Black Caiman, sometimes of up to 4.5 meters (15 feet) can be seen in our spotlights. Elsewhere it is rare to find such large individuals. The Black Caiman, like the Giant River Otter, was hunted close to extinction.

Bird life is plentiful — the lake attracts many species, including Blue-and-Yellow Macaws, Grey-necked Wood-rails, Rufrescent Tiger-herons, Wattled Jacanas, Amazon and Pygmy Kingfishers, Green Ibis and Black-rumped Casiques.

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

More macaw clay licks than any other river.

Red-and-Green Macaws (Ara chloropterus), La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: ARCC. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

Macaw clay licks

The 700-kilometer-long Las Piedras River has approximately 30 to 40 macaw and parrot clay licks — more than any other river. This is a simple reflection of Las Piedras’ high macaw populations, resulting from the fruit-laden rainforest. There are four macaw and parrot clay licks in the vicinity of the lodge, which can be observed from the beach, special hides and our macaw clay lick tower. Species include Red-and-Green, Scarlet, Chestnut-fronted and Red-bellied Macaw; Mealy, Yellow-crowned, Orange-cheeked, Blue-headed and White-bellied Parrot; and Dusky-head, Colbalt-winged and White-eyed Parakeet.

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

Numerous species of monkeys around your bungalow.

Brown Capuchin Monkey (Sapajus apella), La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: ARCC. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

Wildlife around the lodge

From your bungalow, you may see monkeys, including Brown Capuchins, Saddle-backed Tamarins, Squirrel, Red Howler or even Black Spider Monkeys. Sometimes, a group of White-lipped Peccaries will pass through. You may also hear the Giant Otters whining. The area around the lodge is great for leisurely birdwatching of Largebilled Woodcreepers, Crimson-crested Woodpeckers, Cuviers Toucans, White-bellied Parrots, Blue-and-Yellow Macaws, Paradise Tanagers and Fork-tailed Woodnymphs. At night, one can often see Night Monkeys, Armadillos, Porcupines and tree frogs. There is an incredible array of nocturnal noises — the chirping of large crickets, the croaking of frogs, the hooting of owls, the “coughing” of roosting hoatzins, the loud “belching” of large caimans or, occasionally, the roar of a Jaguar.

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

A lodge, hidden amongst virgin rainforest, at one with its environment.

Lodge, La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: ARCC. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

The lodge

A defender of endangered wildlife

 

The lodge was built near Lake Soledad to protect its endangered wildlife, The elegant constructions consist of raised wooden structures built on stilts, palm-thatched roofs, beautiful polished hardwood walls and ceramic-tiled bathrooms. The dining hall complex is elegant and lofty, with a cavernous roof and large screened windows. The kitchen offers delicious local dishes, fresh fruit juices and vegetarian options to please.

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

Seven charming, hexagonal bungalows.

Bungalows, La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: ARCC. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

Guests are accommodated in seven charming, hexagonal bungalows, hidden inside the forest. Each air-conditioned bungalow contains a comfortable double room, with soft electric lighting, mosquito netting and large screened windows with forest views. The bathrooms are lined with ceramic tiles and polished hardwoods, and boast hot-water showers and flush toilets. The balcony is perfect for relaxing and enjoying the tranquility of the bungalow’s private garden.

The lodge is small and exclusive, aiming to provide the very best in personal attention and service to our guests. The ARCC staff will work hard to make you feel at home.

Working with indigenous communities, biological researchers and eco-tourists, ARCC has one simple vision: the survival of the Madre de Dios province of Peru as the most diverse rainforest region in the world, with respect to both its ecology and indigenous cultures. For that to happen, it is necessary to develop sustainable resources, offering economic alteratives to the traditional, but destructive, practices of logging, gold-mining and cattle ranching. The lodge now protects the outstandingly rich, virgin rainforest surrounding Lake Soledad, employs local people, benefits the economy of Madre de Dios, works to promote sustainable development, implements practical rainforest conservation and furthers scientific research. But threats to the rainforest and its wildlife abound — not only in the area around the reserve but even within it.

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

Wildlife in the lake.

Black Caiman (Melanosuchus niger) can be seen in Lake Soledad, La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: Naun Amable. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

Explorations

Endangered wildlife in sbundance

 

Lima – Puerto Maldonado, Day 1, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm, Lan Peru LA 2075

(Arrive in Puerto Maldonado no later than 1:00 pm)

Riverboat wildlife search

Day 1: Flight from Lima (or Cuzco) and riverboat to the Amazon Research & Conservation Center (ARCC). Your naturalist guide will meet you at the Puerto Maldonado airport for the drive to a local port and a 50-minute, motorized, dugout canoe ride across the Madre de Dios River to the small jungle town of Alegrai. There, we transfer to a comfortable, air-conditioned van for a 1-hour drive on the new Interoceanic Highway and a short turnoff to the Las Piedras River. Box lunch. We board another comfortable, motorized canoe for the 2-hour journey to the Amazon Research & Conservation Center (ARCC). En route, watch for wildlife along the riverbank, such as Capybara, caiman, turtles, Brown Capuchin or Red Howler Monkeys, and shore birds, including Horned Screamers, Kingfishers, Black Skimmers or Red-and-Green Macaws flying overhead. Arrive mid-afternoon at ARCC. Its well-constructed lodge is just steps from Lake Soledad. Walk the trails around the lodge at dusk, relax and refresh at the bar, or lounge in a hammock before dinner. Overnight in a Bungalow. L, D.

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

An excellent mobile viewing platform.

Humans (Homo sapiens) on Lake Soledad, La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: Naun Amable. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

Day 2, 3, 4 & 5. Wildlife Explorations. Four full days at ARCC to continue your wildlife sightings. You can select from the following activities programmed for early morning, late morning, afternoon and evening — and you can opt for some unprogrammed time for relaxation, too! A catamaran tour on Lake Soledad is a good opportunity to experience the lake and forest at night. Flashlights can pick out the shining eyes of the otherwise difficult to see Black Caiman and other nocturnal species. Night tours typically last an hour.

 

Catarmaran tours

A popular first activity is a daytime tour on Lake Soledad. We use a catamaran powered by two local paddlers, who keep a lookout for the Giant Otters, the highlight of the lake, and other wildlife. Tours depart from the boat jetty, close to the lodge, and last 1 to 3 hours. The catamaran provides an excellent mobile viewing platform, suitable for photography and telescopes. Lake excursions will normally leave early in the morning or late afternoon. Guests often opt to have several excursions during their stay, as it is a relaxing way to get good observations of wildlife and the surrounding forest. Lake Soledad harbors good fish stocks, including piranha and catfish. A canoe tour of the lake also gives good opportunities for seeing the Giant Otters. Most visitors observe the otters fishing, playing, grooming or resting.

Bird life on the lake is plentiful. Species include Blue-and-Yellow Macaws, Grey-necked Wood-rails, Rufrescent Tiger-herons, Wattled Jacanas, Amazon and Pygmy Kingfishers, Green Ibis, Black-collared Hawk, Black-capped Mockingthrush and Yellow-rumped Casiques. You might also spot Hoatzins, Red-capped Cardinals and Ringed Kingfishers. Other lake wildlife includes Black Caiman, Side-necked Turtles and dragonflies.

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

Brown Capuchin Monkeys feast in the fruit-rich trees.

Brown Capuchin Monkeys (Sapajus apella), La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: ARCC. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

Forest walks

An alternative activity for the first afternoon is a guided forest walk. Led by your naturalist guide and often accompanied by a native Piro indian, you can explore the trails around Lake Soledad and the surrounding forest, learning about medicinal plants, ecology and conservation, and spotting birds, mammals, butterflies and other wildlife. Trails cover a variety of habitats from rich floodplain to stands of bamboo, giving you a broad introduction to the diversity of wildlife in the rainforest. Tours regularly afford good observations of Black Spider Monkeys, a species sensitive to human disturbance and absent from destinations closer to more populated areas. At ARCC, they are often seen in the forest immediately surrounding the lodge or on a short walk from the lodge. Other monkey species include Red Howler, Brown Capuchin, White-fronted Capuchin, Squirrel, Night, Dusky Titi and Saddle-backed Tamarin Monkeys. The rich fruit-laden floodplain forests surrounding Lake Soledad support high mammal densities. Other mammal species in the forest include White-lipped Peccary, sometimes in groups passing through the forest. Tayra, Agouti and Anteater may also be encountered. Animal tracks give an indication of the existence of harder-to-see species, such as Brazilian Tapir, Jaguar, Red or Grey Brocket Deer, Armadillo and Paca.

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

An incredible diversity of forest birds.

Long-tailed Potoo (Nyctibius aethereus), La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: Tom Ambrose. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

Birding around the lodge

The lodge clearing is ideal for leisurely birding — sightings might include Long-billed Woodcreeper, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Cream-colored Woodpecker, Cuviers Toucan, Curl-crested Aracari, White-bellied Parrot, Blue-and-Yellow Macaw, Paradise Tanager, White-vented Euphonia, Swallow Tanager, Blue Dacni, Bilded Barbet, Fork-tailed Woodnymph, Rufous-breasted Hermit (hummingbird), Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Striated Puffbird, Blue-crowned Motmot, Pale-winged Trumpeter and Blue-throated Piping Guan. There are stands of Guadua bamboo easily accessible on the trail system, close to the lodge. The hollow bamboo segments are full of water, and are the perfect breeding ground for insect larvae, which in turn support a number of rare endemic bird species, only found in these special bamboo stands. Such secretive species include Peruvian Recurvebill, Rufous-headed Woodpecker, White-lined Antbird and Goeldi’s Antbird.

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

Elusive nocturnal creatures.

Polka-dot tree frog (Hypsiboas punctatus), La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: ARCC. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

Night walks

In the evening, there is an opportunity for a night walk. A short excursion into the forest at night is quite a different experience than a daytime walk. Accompanied by your guide, you will experience the sounds and sights of the rainforest at night, with the chance to see elusive nocturnal creatures, particularly if you visit a mammal clay lick. A good flashlight is essential. There is the chance to see Night Monkeys, Armadillos, Porcupines, Brocket Deer or tree frogs, as you hear an incredible variety of nocturnal noises — crickets, frogs, owls, hoatzins, caiman and even a Jaguar! Overnight in a Bungalow. B, L, D.

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

A bird’s-eye view of the rainforest.

Rainforest canopy platform, La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: ARCC. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

Macaw nest viewing tower and rainforest canopy platform

In February 2015, the Amazon Research & Conservation Center (ARCC) manufactured and erected a unique, custom-built, 33-meter-tall (110-foot-tall) macaw nest viewing tower at 15 meters from an active nest of the largest and most powerful of the widespread Amazonian macaw species — the Red-and-Green. The tower features ergonomic stairs for easy walk-up access without any complications such as rope techniques or vertical ladders. ARCC staff spent weeks gradually habituating the proud nesting pair of these brilliantly-colored, one-meter-long parrots. By the time our first wildlife photographer guest of 2015 arrived in March, the birds were very relaxed, and we were able to watch and photograph them at will without even having to hide ourselves in a closed blind. More about the macaw nest viewing tower.

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

Colorful mixed flocks of tanagers and other birds, which pass close by.

Masked-crimson Tanager (Ramphocelus nigrogularis), La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: Naun Amable. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

The canopy platform is a sturdily-built wooden structure, 35 meters (120 feet) up an ironwood tree at the edge of Lake Soledad, giving impressive views of the forest canopy and the lake below. Ascent is by a comfortable cage chair raised by a pulley system by the attentive staff, or, for the more atheletic, a cable ladder can be climbed. All ascents are carefully supervised and safety harnesses are used, allowing any guest with a head for heights to enjoy this rarely seen view of the rainforest canopy. Once up on the platform, you are secured with a safety rope and are free to enjoy the view and see the tree top wildlife at eye level. Ascents at dawn and dusk are popular, but the platform can be enjoyed at any time of day.

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

The Ladder-tailed Nightjar, one of the Amazon’s more than 500 bird species.

Ladder-tailed Nightjar (Hydropsalis climacocerca), La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: Naun Amable. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

From our spectacular canopy platform, the undisputed highlight is the colorful mixed flocks of tanagers and other birds, which pass close by. Species include Blue Dacnis, Plum-throated Cotinga, Paradise Tanager, Green-and-Gold Ganager, White-shouldered Tanager, Turquoise Tanager, Opal-crowned Tanager and Masked Crimson Tanager. Other species include aracaris, Scarlet Macaws, Bare-necked Fruit Crows and Swallow-wing Puffbirds. Monkeys can be seen high in the canopy — the acrobatic Black Spider Monkey is often seen swinging through the trees in search of fruit, or the passive Red Howler Monkey just laid out on a branch. Looking down from the platform, you are undetected by the lake wildlife. The Giant Otters are regularly seen from the platform, and sometimes the rare and elusive Black Caiman make an appearance. The largest Black Caiman is up to 4.5 meters (15 feet) long, and is an impressive sight if it surfaces and reveals its full size before submerging into the water moments later.

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

The Green Anaconda can reach a length of more than 17 feet.

Young Green Anaconda, La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: ARCC. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

Macaw clay licks

There are four clay licks near the lodge, the most impressive is a macaw and parrot clay lick just 20 minutes upriver by boat. A hide (blind) on top of the cliff just 25 meters (80 feet) from the clay lick affords excellent opportunities for observations and photography. Macaw clay licks are best experienced early in the morning, hence our tours usually leave the lodge pre-dawn to catch the best of the day, with a few hours of high-quality bird watching. The species regularly visiting this clay lick include Red-and-Green Macaw, sometimes a flock of 20 or more at a time, and flocks of up to 200 other birds, including Dusky-headed Parakeet, Cobalt-winged Parakeet and Tui Parakeet. Other species visiting the clay lick include Chestnut-fronted and Red-bellied Macaw; Mealy, Blue-headed and Yellow-crowned Parrot, White-eyed Parakeet, Orange-cheeked Parrot, White-bellied Parrot, Scarlet Macaw, Blue-and-Yellow Macaw, Piping Guan and Chachalaca.

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

Piranhas.

Rufrescent Tiger-heron (Tigrisoma lineatum), La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: Tom Ambrose. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

Piranha fishing

Fishing is not a major activity for visitors at the lodge — we prefer to leave the fish for the Giant Otters! But, if you want to see that famous Amazon fish, the piranha, the guides can try and catch one — and then return it to the water. Overnight in a Bungalow. B, L, D.

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

A plethora of bird species.

Sungrebe (Heliornis fulica), La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: Naun Amable. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

Riverboat wildlife search

Day 6: ARCC – Puerto Maldonado – Your Next Destination. Rise before dawn for an early breakfast and depart the lodge downriver, connecting by car and boat again to arrive at Puerto Maldonado. Box lunch en route. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Lima (or Cuzco). B.

Puerto Maldonado – Lima, Day 6, 4:10 pm – 5:50 pm, Lan Peru LA 2080

(Depart from Puerto Maldonado no earlier than 1:00 pm)

 

 

ARCC: primeval rainforest with no deforestation

The rainforest around ARCC, showing primeval rainforest.

 

Reserva Amazonica: extensive deforestation

The rainforest around Reserva Amazonica, showing agricultural fields (“agro”) within 300 meters.

 

“The forest is calling… and I will answer.”

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

ARCC is located 48 miles northwest of Puerto Maldonado, Madre de Dios, Peru.

ARCC and its surroundings, Amazon Rainforest, southeastern Peru,
Map: David Johnston, ARCAmazon. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

Details

 

Frequently asked questions


What meals are included?

Lunch and dinner are included on Day 1, all meals are included on Day 2 – 5 and breakast is included on Day 6.

Do you offer bottled water? How much does it cost?

Although bottled water is available at a cost of $1.50 per bottle, we discourage its use. A more ecological approach is to use the drinking water we provide for free in large water coolers. Please bring a Nalgene or metal water bottle to refill.

Is there air conditioning in the bungalows?

The bungalows are air-conditioned as are the public areas of the lodge.

Are there mosquito nets over the beds?

Yes.

Do the guides speak English?

Yes.

Will you pick us up and drop us off at the airport in Puerto Maldonado?

Yes.

Are there certain times we need to consider when booking our flights?

It is best to arrive in Puerto Maldonado no later than 1:00 pm and to depart no earlier than 1:00 pm.

Why are we having trouble finding any reviews of ARCC?

ARCC was remote and little visited until 2014, when the new asphalt road to Brazil cut the travel time to ARCC by 65% and finally made it accessible in less than half a day’s travel from Puerto Maldonado. Therefore, few formal reviews are online yet.

 

Inclusions

The price includes escorted transfers, excursions with a naturalist guide, entrance fees, specified accommodations, specified meals, all land and water transportation, free WiFi Internet and travel insurance for residents of the United States through the age of 59 years (over that age, there is a supplementary fee). Residents of other countries will receive an allowance to purchase travel insurance in their own country. All prices are per person based on two people sharing a guest room.

 

Exclusions

The price excludes passorts and visas, tips, any flights, airport departure taxes, drinks, alcoholic beverages, meals other than specified in the itinerary, personal expenses for extra services (such as laundry and phone calls), optional activities, changes in your itinerary for reasons beyond our control and any other item not mentioned as being included.

 

Flights

Air flights are not included. Most flights arriving in Puerto Maldonado originate in Lima or Cuzco, Peru. Upon request, we can arrange the flights in Peru for an additional cost.

 

Passports and visas

A passport valid for six months from your date of entry is required to enter Peru. No visa is required for residents of most countries. However, please check with your nearest Peruvian Consulate to see if a visa is required for residents of your country.

 

Health advice

No vaccinations or prophylactic treatments are required or recommended. Take an ample supply of your medications with you and your doctor’s prescription for each, in case you need refills. Further health information for travelers to Peru is available from the Centers for Disease Control.

 

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

Poisonous frogs, whose venom may hold a cure for cancer.

Three-striped Poison Frog (Ameerega trivittata), La Piedras Rainforest, Amazon, Peru,
Photography: ARCC. Peru’s ARCC Amazon Rainforest Wildlife Lodge.

 

 

“Dreaming of that next epic wildlife adventure? Here are your go-to guys.”

–Condé Nast Traveller

 

Contact

 

peru ARCC amazon rainforest wildlife lodge

Arcana Mundi Expeditions

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