Deep green canopies stretch overhead this secluded access point to one of the most preserved parts of the Amazon rainforest. Located deep in the Peru jungle, the Tambopata Research Center is one of the most remote lodges in the Amazon and even the whole of South America. The isolated location makes it an extraordinary place to observe the nature and wildlife of the rainforest, largely undisturbed by humans.
Situated in the Tambopata National Reserve in the Madre de Dios region of Peru, the lodge doubles as a research and visitor center. The Tambopata province is one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet, and the region is so secluded that few roads can reach so far in the dense jungle. Therefore, visitors and researchers at the center are stunned by the proximity of rare creatures.
Within the reserve, you’re able to observe animals with a Planet Earth-style intimacy—only without the screen of separation (or the captivating narration of Sir David Attenborough).
The reserve is home to more than 670 species of identified birds including Macaws on their clay lick and the Harpy Eagle, a raptor that preys on sloths. Many of the thousand-plus species of insects are unknown to science. There are also 200 species of mammals, including jaguars, tapirs, and giant anteaters. Poisonous and colorful frogs hop among the trees where rainbow boas hide. Swimming in the oxbow lakes are giant otters, a threatened species of weasel that is 5.5 feet long. Over 10,000 species of plants live in the Tambopata region, making it one of the most diverse places in the world for plant life.
While few indigenous Peruvians lived in this region, a small population still lives off the land. Many are given the opportunity to work in ecotourism at the center. However, this sometimes results in workers being ostracized from their community. Indigenous peoples also harvest Brazil Nuts on local farms supported by nonprofits that help prevent deforestation. Despite these efforts,…