June 28 Fly from Newark Airport, arriving in Lima in late evening; transfer to Hotel Carmel, in Miraflores. D
June 29 After breakfast we travel by bus to the Pantanos de Villa reserve, located within Lima's city limits this reserve, which attracts about 150 different species of birds, is a wetland created by seepage of Lima's Rimas River. Hotel Carmel, B, L.
June 30

After breakfast we travel by bus to Lomas de Lachay National Reserve (1.5 hours). We will explore the desert ecology with an oasis that attracts an interesting diversity of wildlife. Hotel Carmel, B, L.

 

July 1

Morning transfer to airport and fly to Cusco. Afternoon excursion around Cusco. The city is characterized by much pre-Columbian construction. The massive stone walls erected by the Inca formed the foundation of colonial and post-colonial settlement here. There are many sites to see in the city, churches, museums, ruins, plazas, but more importantly, Cusco is the gateway to the wonders of the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Tour includes the most significant sites in and around Cusco City, such as: the massive Inca sanctuary of Sacsahuaman, the amphitheatre of Qenqo, the fortress of Pukapukara, the springshrine of Tambomachay, the Cathedral of Cusco with its magnificent colonial art, and the Korikancha, which displays the best Inca stonework in the city. Centenario Hotel, B.

 

July 2 Transfer to train station in early morning. Ride down the Urubamba
Canyon to Machu Picchu. The sacred Inca city of Machu Picchu is famous for its dramatic setting among spectacular peaks and lush cloud forest. Hotel Machu Picchu Inn. B, L

July 3 Morning return to Machu Picchu and climb up winay Wayna, overlooking the ruins. In the afternoon we return to Cusco. Hotel Centenario B, L
July 4

Transfer to airport and fly to Iquitos. Following our arrival in Iquitos, gateway to the western Amazon, we will be greeted by our Peru Field Course Staff. We will then travel by boat up the Amazon and Tahuayo Rivers to the Tahuayo Lodge complex. The trip upstream takes ~8 hours. Following dinner, there will be a general orientation session to our Peru Field Course. This evening, our group will take a moon-light cruise on the Tahuayo River. Here, we will listen for and attempt to observe nocturnal birds, including nightjars, spectacled owls and boat-billed herons. We will be staying at the Tahuayo Lodge until June 12. B, D.

 

July
5,

6,
7,
8,
9,
10,
11

During our stay at the Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Reserve we will do most the following (pending weather and time restrictions):

TAMSHIYACU-TAHUAYO RESERVE-CHARRO LAKE. We will hike along a trail behind the Lodge. Here, we often view at very close range, pygmy marmosets….great specimens for photographers. As we make our way through varzea and flooded forest habitats many interesting plants will be seen, such as heliconia, giant kapok trees and the parasitic "strangler fig". Our group will also travel by boat to Charro Lake, where pink freshwater dolphins are commonly seen. Also, be on the lookout for a great variety of bird species, including the common egret, green ibis, yellow-headed caracara and chestnut-eared aricari.

PRE-DAWN CRUISE on the TAHUAYO RIVER-BLANCO RIVER-HIKE in TERRA FIRME RAINFOREST. Before sunrise, we will travel by boat along the Tahuayo River. As we float with the current and dawn breaks, many different kinds of birds and other forms of wildlife can be observed in trees near the river's edge, as they bask in the early morning sunlight. Following breakfast at the Lodge, we will travel by boat to the Blanco River, a tributary of the Tahuayo and then on to a trail where we will disembark and hike into terra firme rainforest. This will be a full day hike, including lunch in the rainforest. We will be on the lookout for several species of primates, anteaters, peccaries and forest-birds, such as the cotinga and trumpeter. We will also pass by a small oxbow lake inhabited by electric eels.

RAINFOREST CANOPY EXPERIENCE. We will spend the day exploring the upper rainforest canopy using a tandem zip-line system that is connected to several old-growth emergent trees located behind the Tahuayo Lodge. We will be mechanically hoisted about one hundred feet onto a platform located in the canopy of a large Ceiba tree. From the platform, individuals are then connected to a system of stainless steel aircraft cables, enabling easy movement from treetop to treetop. This will provide participants the opportunity to observe a wide variety of flora and fauna that can't be seen from ground level. Complete safety is assured, however, this is a completely voluntary activity.

CAIMAN LAKE CANOE TRIP-RAINFOREST WILDLIFE OBSERVATION. We will travel by canoe to Caiman Lake and observe the very unusual and primitive hoatzin bird. The young have claws on their wings that they use for climbing. As we canoe close to shore, numerous crocodile nests will come into view. Following lunch at the Lodge, our group will again travel down the Tahuayo by boat, to observe sloths, several species of monkeys, giant river otters and birds such as the spectacular scarlet macaw.

VISIT JUNGLE COMMUNITY of SANTA ANA-TOUR PINEAPPLE and MANIOC PLANTATIONS-GIANT LILYPADS of BARBASCO LAKE. We will travel down the Tahuayo River to visit the jungle community of Santa Ana. After learning about the culture and traditions of these villagers, participants will tour a local school and a small plantation of manioc and pineapple located in the buffer zone of the Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Reserve. After lunch at the plantation, which will include a desert of fresh pineapple, participants will hike through the forest and cool off in a small waterfall created by a natural clay shelf. Along our route, we will observe many interesting bromeliads, as well as a variety of under-story plants such as the "ajo-sacha" and "sanango". In the late afternoon, a visit to Barbasco Lake will allow us to see giant lily pads found in the region.

WILDLIFE of TAPAJE LAKE-FISH for PIRAÑHA and PEACOCK BASS-HIKE THROUGH VARZEA and TERRA FIRME RAINFOREST-MEDICINAL USES of RAINFOREST PLANTS-SHAMAN VISIT. We will depart very early this morning for Tapaje Lake to observe sloths, monkeys and the wide variety of bird-life found here. We will also have the opportunity to fish for pirañha and beautiful peacock bass.

MARKET DAY-CHARRO LAKE-FAREWELL DINNER. In the morning villagers from throughout the region come together bringing many unusual arts and crafts for trade or sale. Items may include local pottery, decorative gourds and handmade canoe paddles. Following lunch, we will hike through a combination of varzea and terra firme rainforest with a Native Guide who specializes in the medicinal uses of rainforest plants. In the evening we will be treated to a Farewell Dinner. A Shaman, from a nearby village, will join us this evening and demonstrate a native "good luck-good health" ceremony.


June 12 Early this morning, we will pack up, say farewells to our Peru Field Course Staff and return to Iquitos by boat. Upon arrival, we will be transferred to the Iquitos airport for your return flight to Lima and home. B, L.
June 13 Return home to Newark

INFORMATION ABOUT the TAMSHIYACU-TAHUAYO RESERVE
The Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo Biological Reserve is located in Loreto Province, 80 miles southeast of Iquitos, Peru. It is a region unequaled in biological wealth, as the 800,000 acre Reserve contains 15 species of primates, greatest number of any South American protected area and possibly the world. Igapó, varzea and terra firme lowland forest types are found in close proximity and this plays a major role in producing the extremely high biodiversity of the region. Aside from the large number of primate species found here, other animals include jaguar, margay, ocelot, tapir, giant anteater, peccary, brocket deer, paca, agouti, manatee, pink river dolphin, giant river otter, paiche (Arapaima gigas….the world's largest freshwater fish) and over 700 species of birds, including the harpy eagle. The rare bush dog has also been sighted. The Amazon River flood-plain and numerous oxbow lakes dominate the west side of the Reserve. These lakes are home to large numbers of fish and bird species and are very important to the indigenous people of this region. Aquarium fish, such as oscars, angel fish, tetras and pirañha are common. An innovative and successful conservation project has been implemented in the buffer zone surrounding the Reserve. Here, extension personnel working closely with local villagers have developed a sustainable management plan involving native natural resources. As a result, local customs and traditions are being maintained without damaging forest and animal populations.

Documents
The only document required is a tourist passport. Please bring two copies of your passport picture page for help in reconfirming flights and as entrance requirement for the reserve. No visa is required. No vaccination certificate is required. In our 19 years working in this region we have not yet had a traveler become sick with a tropical disease. There is malaria in the reserve but we attempt to avoid regions at risk. The taking of malarial prophyllaxis is at your discretion.

Clothes for jungle
Long and short pants; long sleeved shirts and tee shirts (tee shirts with our full color logo can be prepurchased here for $20); rain gear; hat with brim; swim suit; sneakers and hiking shoes (we have jungle rubber boots in various sizes available for loan), canoe enthusiasts like reef walkers or water moccasins. Daytime high temperatures are 80-88 F.

Clothes for Cusco
Be prepared to dress in layers as the temperature can quickly change from 50-75 F; evenings can get down to freezing. Good windbreaker; good hiking shoes; sunglasses.

Other recommended
Sun block (you are close to the equator where there is less atmospheric protection from UV); insect repellent (taking garlic and vitamin B1 helps); canteen or water bottle; flashlight with spare batteries; personal first aid kit; personal toiletries; daypack or small backpack. For Cusco we recommend that you talk to a physician about a prescription for diamox to help with altitude adjustment.

Optional
Binoculars; elementary school items to donate; camera (most underestimate the amount of film to bring); video (there is a generator for recharging batteries).

Money
Needed for airport taxes, some meals, tips and optional purchases such as souvenirs. US currency is good for all of that, but make sure your bills are in virtually new or mint condition.

Recommended reading
Diary of an Amazon Jungle Guide; Amazing Encounters with Tropical Nature and Culture (includes a history of Amazonia Expeditions) by Paul Beaver $30 per copy or if ordering 10 or more bulk rate of $23 per copy all costs include shipping

Recommended viewing
"The Teachings of Gerineldo Moises Chavez" a TV documentary made about our guide Gerineldo Moises, acclaimed as 'the most famous jungle guide in the entire Amazon.' Video copies available here for $25.
This TV program won the Silver Teddy as Best Outdoor Documentary televised in 2001.


Note: Due to weather conditions and circumstances beyond the control of Field Course Staff, certain activities may be changed or done on different days in the best interest of the group.

MEAL CODES: B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner


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