Day 2 La Torre Clay Lick
We leave the lodge very early on the morning to go fifteen minutes upriver in order to observe the activity of the macaws, parrots, parakeets and the occasional mammal feeding on the earth. La Torre Clay Lick is a mud bank about four meters high and twenty meters wide crisscrossed with veins of mineral rich clay essential to the diet of these animals.
On site we have a hideout at a distance of thirty meters which keeps us hidden while at the same time allowing us an unobstructed view of the display in front of us.
During the phenomenon we need to stick to the rules and guidelines set by our guide the previous evening.
Returning to the lodge we will have breakfast and after a short rest head for the La Torre Lakes.
La Torre Lakes
Lakes Montes, Pato, Lagarto and Solitaria clay lick
This program is organized in cooperation with the La Torre community. It’s them that have traditionally used this area in to provide for themselves in a sustainable manner. Here they find materials for building their huts, implements for handicrafts and medicinal plants used to cure diseases. In the last few years they also started to use the area to generate a sustainable income whilst maintaining the environment with the help of eco-tourism.
We take the boat for about fifteen minutes upriver. Along the way we pick up our guide from AMTUSET, the association founded by the community members
for eco- tourism. They know the trails around the lakes and mammal clay licks best.
The geographical characteristics with elevations, lakes and mammal clay licks plus the location deep inside the Tambopata National Reserve are the main reasons for the sites exceptional biodiversity.
We disembark at the La Torre Park rangers post and continue by foot. We cross a small creek and continue into the jungle to eventually get to the lakes Montes, Pato and Lagarto. The trek will take us between four and five hours. Every step it turns more interesting as our local guide tells us about the surrounding plants and their practical and medicinal uses and preparation.
We will also get to a mammal clay lick deep inside the rainforest called Solitaria clay lick. It’s the last of a number of clay licks coming from the south and we can frequently spot peccaries, brocket deer and sometimes even tapirs.
Back at the lodge we will have lunch and after a well deserved rest we will visit the farm.
In the area traditional agriculture is practiced. We will visit Don Aurelio and his family on their farm. This is a great opportunity to see harvest and try various exotic fruits from the amazon such as Copazú, Arazá, Pijuayo, Yucca, and Pineapple. There are also various herbs such as pallilo and false cilantro as well as a range of medicinal plants such as piñón, caña caña and piri piri that are traditionally and widely used by the local people.
The farms also create open spaces for papaya and banana plantations. This is the preferred habitat for birds such as silver beaked tanagers, oreoles, oropendulas, toucanets and various woodpeckers.
Nocturnal boat ride
At night we head out in the boat to enjoy ourselves and the sounds of the Amazonian night, we might see a thunderstorm spilling out on the horizon or marvel at constellations like the Southern Cross or Scorpion.
We are also carrying a powerful searchlight in case we come across some nocturnal animals such as caimans, bats, nightjars or capybaras on the banks and meanders of the Tambopata River.
Afterwards dinner will be served