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Expedition Macaw in the Amazon Rainforest

August 8 - August 17

| $2,175


This expedition will be taking place in the Madre de Dios region of Peru, one of the most bio-diverse areas on earth, at the Las Piedras Biodiversity Station. The main focus of this expedition will be macaws, the beautifully colored members of the parrot family. The goal of this expedition is to get a better understanding of the macaw population on the river and their use of the clay lick near the station. You’ll be able to see red and green, scarlet, chestnut-fronted, and blue and yellow macaws all in this one forest.

Macaws are intelligent and social birds that are often found in flocks with other birds. Macaws typically mate for life, which includes breeding, sharing food, and grooming their partner. Macaws can often be seen flying over the Las Piedras River close to their mate, even when with other birds, showing a pairs strong bond. A macaws diet includes things such as nuts, seeds, ripe and unripe fruit, flowers, plants, insects, and snails. Although varied, a macaws diet lacks the critical nutrient sodium, which is needed for normal nerve and muscle function. To supplement their diet, macaws gather at clay licks and eat the clay, which contains a much higher quantity of salt then their normal diet.

Just a short boat ride from where the expedition group will be staying is the location of a clay lick that macaws frequent. It is this area where the group will spend time observing the macaws and their behavior. At the clay lick, the group can expect to see red-and-green macaws, scarlet macaws, blue-and-yellow macaws, and chestnut-fronted macaws. Macaws gather here in the early mornings, making it the best time to observe the birds.

Although the Madre de Dios has one of the largest populations of macaws in the world, their population numbers have been decreased and are continually threatened. The biggest threat to macaws is destruction of their habitat. Macaws only nest in ironwood trees which is a problem because illegal loggers have been cutting them down for years across the Amazon. Once an ironwood tree is cut down, it takes many years for another to grow, leaving macaws without anywhere to nest which significantly decreases their numbers. Poaching of macaws is also a huge problem because of the illegal pet trade.

Our team is committed to protecting these magnificent birds on the Las Piedras River and this expedition will contribute to their protection. The rainforest habitat in the surrounding area is littered with ironwood trees, a crucial nesting site for red and green macaws. In recent years with the surge of an ironwood focused logging boom, we have become increasingly focused on these trees as a priority. This is largely due to their significance for our macaw population. During this expedition the group will spend mornings in a hide by the macaw clay lick and wait for the birds to come. The group will identify the species of macaws at the site and count the birds visiting the lick. The group will also observe the activity patterns and behavior exhibited by the birds while they feed or if they are disturbed for any reason. The information we gather will help to benefit the macaws, the habitat they live in, and the local community by providing evidence for the protection of habitat on the Las Piedras River by the development of a management strategy to protect wildlife.

Accommodations and Setting

We will be staying at the Las Piedras Biodiversity Station, located in the Madre de Dios region of Peru. This area is the most bio-diverse place on earth, containing some of the most stunning flora and fauna in the world. There are 90 species of mammals, ~600 species of bird, and ~150 species of reptile and amphibian that seek refuge in the seemingly limitless expanses of towering rainforest trees.

Isolated deep in the lowland rainforests of Peru, the Las Piedras Biodiversity Station is a comfortable and safe place at which we base our operations. Surrounded by 7,000 hectares of primary rainforest reserve, you will have the opportunity to be truly immersed in the rainforest. Because of the remote location and pristine forest, wildlife is extremely abundant. Often the morning is filled with the calls of parrots, toucans, and howler monkeys. You can expect to have regular sightings of macaws, caiman, peccaries, capybara, parrots, snakes, frogs, toucans, and eight different species of monkey. Other more difficult to spot wildlife includes jaguars, ocelots, Brazilian tapirs, giant armadillos, giant anteaters, and deer. However, careful planning and soft quiet footsteps can reveal many of these species.

Along with macaws, some common bird species we see at the lodge and surrounding trails are mealy parrots, pale-winged trumpeter, grey necked wood rail, swallow tailed kite, horned screamer, paradise tanager, Amazon kingfisher, pied lapwing, ornate ant-wren, razor-billed curassow, black skimmers, numerous egrets and herons, trogons, Spix’s guan, piping guan, numerous toucans and toucanets, aricaris, foliage-gleaners, many woodcreepers, antbirds, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, flycatchers, manakins, and much more.

Our activities include hiking, boating, wildlife viewing, tree climbing, wilderness skills, local knowledge hikes, and a variety of experiences designed to bring you close to the environment. Amidst the raw materials of life – water, sun, clean air, and biodiversity – you will be reconnected to the simple and utterly fantastic orchestra of the rainforest landscape.

The Las Piedras Biodiversity Station is fully equipped with running water, toilets, and showers. We have comfortable beds with mosquito nets and hammocks to relax in. On the main deck you can find a library of field guides and biodiversity surveys. We have a fully staffed kitchen and employ local chefs who cook authentic local cuisine that will help power your mind and body. We can confidently say that your presence at the station will not only place you in one of the most bio-diverse regions on the planet but it will also make you an important part of it’s security for generations to come.


$2,175. This includes transportation to the lodge once in Peru, food and accommodations at the lodge (double occupancy), personal guiding throughout the vast surrounding jungle, hotels in Puerto Maldonado (double occupancy). Not included in this fee is airfare to Puerto Maldonado, Peru, travel insurance, and meals in Puerto Maldonado.


For more information or to reserve a spot on this trip, contact us at


Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Take Off!

Grab your bags and head to the airport. Time to set off for an inspiring journey to Peru! Your trip will be a once in a lifetime adventure in the Amazon Rainforest.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Arrive in Puerto Maldonado, Peru

Land at the airport and take a short cab ride to the hotel. Our guide will meet the group to discuss the plans for the expedition. Spend some time in town to absorb the local culture and cuisine before resting up in a hotel room for the next day’s adventure.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Travel to Las Piedras Biodiversity Station

Set your alarms because today we will begin our trek to the lodge. The group takes a car ride for about 4 hours then an hour boat ride through pristine rainforest directly to the station where the group will settle into their rooms and get acquainted with the station and surroundings.

Our first day in the jungle will be an exciting one as the group will be introduced to the primary rainforest that surrounds the research station. The group can join our guides for a walk along the extensive trail system, which is a great way to spot wildlife. Feast your eyes on the gigantic trees as our guides lead you through pristine rainforest, allowing the group to get familiar with their surroundings. In the evening, the group will go over plans for the expedition.

Saturday, August 10 – Thursday, August 15, 2019

During the trip, the expedition group will have early morning wake-ups to arrive at the macaw clay lick in time for the bird’s arrival. After a delicious breakfast, the group will take a short boat ride up river to settle in at the hide near the lick to observe the macaws. The group will take notes and identify the species of macaws, count the birds that gather at the site, observe the behavior, and photograph the spectacular scene.

After a few hours spent with the macaws, the group will go back to the station for lunch and relaxation in a hammock. There is a lot to do in the jungle, so in the afternoons and evenings other activities will include:

-Hiking trails to observe wildlife
-Stream walks
-Star gazing
-Boating/wildlife watching on the river
-Hike to Mammal Colpa
-Swamp Exploration

We want everyone to have a personal journey, so if there is an activity that someone would like to experience we will work to make it happen. Enjoy your time in the jungle!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Morning Return to Puerto Maldonado

Pack your bags and say goodbye to the Amazon. The group will head back to Puerto Maldonado to enjoy a night out in town before turning in for the night in a hotel.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Fly Out!

Tamandua guides will see you off to the airport. Until next time!


August 8
August 17


Peru Retreat
Puerto Maldonado, Peru


Tamandua Jungle