The Tambopata river
Or why eight chicken will completely endear you to this part of the rainforest.
But first things first, Puerto Maldonado is the most popular gateway to access the lower Peruvian Amazon. In compare to the Manu park it is more developed with lodges and a well established infrastructure for tourism. The downside, it is less wild and untouched than the regions of the Manu and Palotoa rivers. For those with less time, it is however a sensible option to visit the Amazon rainforest.
A personal experience. From Puerto Maldonado we took a boat and travelled 2 hours upstreams to make halt in a nice and comfortable lodge. On the way, we were lucky to observe Scarlett Macaws and a happy family of Capybara. A two hours early morning boat ride upriver took us to the “ocho gallinas” (eight chicken) clay lick. Over the next two hours we enjoyed how the clay lick transformed itself into a paradise of different flocks of Macaws and parrots moving in and out to get their nourishment from the clay. To our delight we counted Red-and-green, Blue-and-gold, Scarlet, Red-bellied, Chestnut-fronted and Blue-headed Macaws. Then there were large numbers of parrots and parakeets. We also observed Toucans, capped Herons and a large Caiman basking on the river bank. We also recommend the excursion to the Sachavacayoc Lake, even if its a 90 Minutes walk from the river. The lake has some canoes that can be used to get a great view of the trees and palms along the shore. We were lucky to the cutest of all jungle dwellers, the cat sized Squirrel Monkey and their larger cousins Red howler Monkeys making their ways from tree to tree. Towards the evening the Blue-and-gold Macaws come in to settle into their nests.
For just a two night stay there are lots of different species to see and experience. Definitely worth a trip if you are short of nights.