Location: the Candamo River is at the heart of the Tambopata–Candamo Reserve in the tropical jungle zone of Puno Department. The average altitude is 2,800 feet (850m) above sea level.
Climate: typically tropical, with two distinct seasons: ‘dry’ from May to October, with plenty of sunshine and the odd shower, making it an ideal time to visit; and wet from December to March, when you better bring an umbrella. Although river access is easier during the wet season, there are more mosquitoes.
Getting there: river-only access via the Tambopata River to its confluence with the Távara; from there, up the Távara to the Candamo River. It is a long relatively uncomfortable trip that can take anywhere from three to six days.
Accommodation: although the Candamo Reserve itself is devoid of any services, there are a few wilderness lodges and travel agencies based in Puerto Maldonado offering trips to locations near Candamo, such as the Upper Tambopata River and a macaw lick. The best–known lodges include the Explorer’s Inn and Posada Amazonas, both three hours by canoe from Puerto Maldonado); and the Parrot Research Cente, which is near a beautiful macaw lick some eight hours up the Tambopata. There are also freelance guides who can arrange trips up the Tambopata.
Entry permits: you will need a permit to travel inside the Tambopata–Candamo Reserve. These are available at the Inrena offices in Puerto Maldonado, which are housed on the premises of the Subregional Agricultural Office (Dirección Subregional de Agricultura).
Dos and don’ts: always travel in a group. If you decide to forego the relative luxury of a wilderness lodge, you’ll need to take a complete set of camping equipment, including your own food and water. Essentials include long-sleeved shirts, trousers, insect repellent, waterproofs, two pairs of hiking shoes, and binoculars. Some sort of hat, sunscreen, a swimsuit, and towel are also highly recommended. Before your departure check with your doctor what shots do you need.
Volume /Issue 15, Page 26
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