Peruvians call Sandoval Lake “the Machu Picchu of the Amazon”, and with good reason. This shimmering, 413-acre (167-hectare) oxbow lake is a miraculous, wildlife-rich destination in the Connecticut-sized park complex of Tambopata. This lake is inside the protected Tambopata National Reserve and the parks of Tambopata are all thanks to the park creation work of SouthWild scientists between 1985 and 2000.
The lake itself includes a 2-km stretch of lake bank of majestic, 100-foot-tall Mauritia palms with hundreds of not just small and large macaws but also of three species of monkeys. Squirrel Monkeys jump on lake edge vines a mere 3-6 meters from our unique, silent, hand-paddled guest catamarans. SouthWild scientists were the first in the Amazon to construct and use stable, roomy guest catamarans, first in Manu, and then at Sandoval and other parts of the Peruvian Amazon. The energetic groups of 50-100 Squirrel Monkeys willingly follow troops of 14 Brown Capuchins, as the capuchins give early warnings of attacking eagles. High in the canopy on the lake-edge, large, deliberate, handsome Red Howler Monkeys browse on new leaves and occasionally blast out the loudest, lion-like roars of the world’s 15 species of Howlers. Guests who have never heard Red Howlers roar at dawn often are startled and scared by the impressive calls, but howlers are gentle, strict vegetarians who would not hurt a fly.
Sandoval also features a hyperactive family group of the most frenetic and powerful of the aquatic predators of the Amazon….Giant Otters. These top predators gang up and attack and even kill Jaguars, Anacondas, and Black Caimans. Each full-grown otter weighs 30 kilos (66 pounds), but a lone otter cannot take on those other large predators. A family of 6-10 Giant Otters, however, can and does stand its ground against those formidable killers.
SouthWild scientists not only created the Tambopata protected areas, but also created the only serious lodging actually at the lake, the Sandoval Lake Lodge, which features a stunning lake view and large overhead fans for excellent sleeping.
A visit to Sandoval Lake Lodge offers travelers to Peru the highest-quality Amazon experience with an extraordinary ease of access, as the lake is reached from Cusco by a 25-minute jet flight, a 20-minute boat ride, and a flat, two-mile stroll on a new, wooden walkway. Come see for yourself. We can customize your visit to offer a delightful tropical sojourn.