The journey begins with an impressive boat trip from Libertine, up the Madre de Dios River, to reach the rarely visited Huitoto Lake regional conservation area. The vastness and scale of the region is something to witness, and the tranquility of the environment relaxes you the moment you begin your journey. Upon arrival, you'll be taken to an eco-lodge by the shore of the lake.
Huitoto has an extraordinary wealth of flora and fauna and is also a great destination for dedicated birdwatchers and animals spotters. On the banks of the lake, you will see different types of monkeys, including maquisapa, coto, saki and huasita monkeys. Birdlife here includes hoatzins, cormorant ducks, heron, macaw, toucan and more. Black caimans, taricayas (a type of turtle), lion river turtles and a variety of fish also exist in the lake. Amateur biologists will appreciate the extraordinary range of flora found by the lake: you will see palm trees, chestnut, mahogany, ceiba trees and more.
Getting There & Around
There are a few options to reach the lake, which is located in the province of Tambopata. You can take a domestic flight from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado or take a comfortable overnight sleeper bus. Private transport can be arranged on arrival to Puerto Maldonado or you can take a Combi bus to Laberinte, the last village before the lake. From here you will take a riverboat to Huitoto Lake. Once at the lake, different areas can be visited by boat or kayak.
Huitoto Lake in 3 Days
Upon arrival in Puerto Maldonado, you will be transferred to Huitoto Lake Lodge by boat. The ride offers terrific views of the jungle and its rich biodiversity. After settling into the lodge, take a jungle walk to observe the fascinating life of nocturnal creatures, including tarantulas, snakes and a variety of insects and birds – take a moment to appreciate the glorious cacophony of the jungle.
Depart the lodge early on Day 2 to enjoy a brilliant sunrise over Huitoto Lake while listening to the morning songs of macaws and other birds. Then go on a wildlife watching excursion along the Aguajal Trail to spot birds, monkeys and other animals. In the early afternoon, it's back to the relaxing environment of the lodge to enjoy the lake from the viewpoint.
In the late afternoon, you'll visit an enchanted island on the lake to discover giant trees, insects, birds, alligators and monkeys, such as the coto or howler, capuchin monkey, maquisapa. You can fish for piranhas, croakers and many other types. Finally, take an evening catamaran ride to see alligators inhabiting Lake Huitoto.
On Day 3, enjoy an early morning excursion near the lake before returning to the Madre de Dios to see parrots on the banks of the river. Continue by boat two hours to the port of Laberinte, where you'll transport for 45 min back to the airport or the city of Puerto Maldonado.
Huitoto Lake in 4 Days
Follow the aforementioned two-day visit of the lake, then on Day 3 take another early morning walk through the forest to look for lion river turtles, alligators and monkeys. Take a close look at the unique plants and trees of the rainforest, including the giant ceiba tree.
After breakfast, hike along the Lupuna Trail to observe wildlife and medicinal plants. Halfway along the trail is a salt lick where animals gather. You will have the opportunity to observe white-lipped peccary (a hog-like animal), peccaries and tapirs. More wildlife trips and rides along the lake continue throughout the day. Jacamar, motmots, eagles, toucans and herons are some of the birds commonly sighted along the lake.
On Day 4, either return to the airport or Puerto Maldonado.
Huitoto Lake in 5 Days
Spend your first few days as mentioned above, and use your fourth day for continued exploration of the lake, relax around the lodge and dining on delicious food. Then on Day 5, depart the lake for the airport or Puerto Maldanado.