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Sandoval lake


Written by: Incatrailhikeperu September 12, 2023

If you are a nature lover, then Sandoval Lake is an absolute must. The Peruvian Amazon is a magical and mysterious region where you can enjoy a romantic getaway or the adventure of a lifetime. When you imagine the Amazon Jungle in Peru, one does not necessarily think luxury cities and accommodations, but these are available for your pleasure. One of the Amazon’s most charming natural wonders is the beautiful Sandoval Lake. A perfect example of the immense biodiversity the Amazon has to offer. Together with the Inca trail hike travel guide, we want to tell you everything there is to know about Sandoval Lake and how to enjoy a tour of the surroundings.


Lake Sandoval is one of the most attractive lakes within the Andean region. It facilitates access to a region with some of the highest biodiversity on the the entire planet. The Sandoval Lake is located within the Tambopata National Reserve, very close to Puerto Maldonado. This beautiful destination offers one of the best experiences available within the Peruvian Amazon. So if you plan to travel to the beautiful city of Puerto Maldonado, then you can’t miss the opertunity to take a tour of Sandoval Lake.

Sandoval Lake is one of the main attractions within the capital of Madre de Dios, so you will find various tour options in its surroundings. This beautiful place is away from the bustling centers and noise pollution, which allows one to enjoy the natural night sounds of the Amazon. You will find incredible biodiversity in Sandoval Lake to appreciate and take photos of. More than 1,000 species of birds and numerous other Amazon rainforest animals have been registered. Such as giant otters, black alligators, cranes, macaws, and turtles, among many others. It is also a refuge for the most spectacular endangered predators.


The main attraction of the Tambopata National Reserve is perhaps one of the most beautiful jungle lakes in the Amazon. Of course, we are talking about Sandoval Lake. It is located approximately 3 hours from the city of Puerto Maldonado in the southeastern part of Peru. More precisely, in the low jungle that gives way to the great Amazon. This is a protected area and the refuge of more than 74 types of reptiles, 1,300 species of butterflies, 592 birds, 127 amphibians, and 103 mammals.

It ranks among one of the top ten biodiversity areas due to its great abundance of wildlife. The area promotes the practice of ecotourism. Which is not only a source of income for the inhabitants of these areas but, also a way to raise awareness on how to treat the planet to better preserve it. Ecotourism is the practice of tourism with a responsible and friendly environmental direction. And here in Tambopata, we can show you how to practice it.


To get to Sandoval Lake, you first have to take a flight to Puerto Maldonado, the gateway to different routes within the Peruvian Amazon. You can choose to do it from the Imperial City of Cusco and take advantage of the different Amazon tours from Cusco. To enjoy a tour inside Sandoval Lake, it is essential to organize with a company since it is required to cross the Tambopata Reserve. Upon landing in the city, our staff will accompany you from your arrival point to your destination, so you will not have to worry about anything.

After entering the Reserve, it is necessary to take a short bus trip to the Tambopata River. Here, a motorized canoe will wait for you. You will then take a motorboat ride (40 min) and then reach the main entrance of this beautiful reserve. You will have a 30-minute trip down the Madre de Dios River.

After the boat ride, you will come to a path, where a moderately difficult trail awaits you. The entire trail is a visual spectacle, where the true magic of the tour begins. From that moment on, you can begin to distinguish some species of animals and birds.

After walking for a few minutes along a narrow path, you will arrive at a boat dock. And depending on the weather (November to April is the rainy season) you will take a rowboat. In the boat, they will row to the heart of the Lake itself. From here you will feel connected to nature, full of peace and with indescribable tranquility.


This wonderful lake is separated from the main channel of the Madre de Dios River. Its calm waters are perfect for boating.

A tour of Sandoval Lake is one of the best tours available within Puerto Maldonado. For those looking to do tourism within the Peruvian Amazon, you cannot miss this wonderful destination. During the tour, you will be able to observe and take photos of the different howler monkeys, water turtles, alligators, and the numerous birds in Tambopata. There are different tour options to enjoy. And all options can be modified to your liking. There are full-day tours, two-day tours, and up to 4-day tours to fully explore this wonderful place.

You can embark on a tour with a naturalist guide who will explain everything there is to see. In this tour alone, you will be able to spot hundreds of specimens of exotic animals. It is advisable to make arrangements in advance to guarantee your visit. It is also a good idea to enjoy the tours during sunrise or the hours before sunset. It’s at these times when the wildlife is most active. Even the night walks will give you a different glimpse of the region and its animals.


Enjoy navigating through the 100-foot high Mauritia palm flooded forest. With large groups of macaws flooding the forest with their songs. Or opt to appreciate the playful brown capuchin monkeys as they walk through the palm trees. You can see groups of up to 50 or more squirrel monkeys as they chat and jump in the trees. And as the sun sets, experience the lake’s nightlife under a star filled sky while looking to spot the black caiman. In addition, no visit to the lake is complete without guided walks in its surroundings. The different naturalist guides will be able to bring the jungle to life with their explanations of the wildlife. Learn about the natural history of the area as you explore the trails and appreciate the many species of birds and monkeys. You’ll enjoy this and much more on a tour of Sandoval Lake.

The entire tour is covered with greenery and beautiful landscapes. In the surroundings, you will be able to appreciate a wide range of birds at first. If you are lucky, you will also see the mighty Jaguar stalking its prey and other jungle predators. Sandoval Lake and the Tambopata Reserve not only offer an incredible variety of flora and fauna but also allow you to appreciate and value the world we live in.

You have the option of staying more days near the Lake if you decide. Sandoval Lake has a series of small hotels that offer various activities during your stay. You also have the opportunity to take a night walk, where you can appreciate a wide variety of insects and nocturnal wildlife. Along the Lake, which is shaped like a horseshoe, there are trails to observe birds, mammals, and flora. All these activities can be done in 1 to 4 hours.


With the growing popularity of the region, some hostels have started to accommodate the tourist demand. Among the main accommodation options is the Lake Sandoval Lodge and Casa Sandoval Peru. Below are a couple of the best lodges available which offer numerous excursions in the area.


If you are looking to enjoy the multi day tour options around Sandoval Lake, then you should stay in a lodge. The best thing you can do is take advantage of the proximity and stay inside the Sandoval Lake Lodge. This beautiful place is built almost entirely of floating Mahogany trees. These trees have been collected naturally and ecologically after floods transported the logs downstream. The Lodge is located in the middle of the Amazon in Peru, and its structure consists of a large main room or dining room. It has 25 different rooms, quiet, protected, and well designed. They have all the basic services and amenities expected to enjoy a good time.

The facilities were built with the environment in mind and always comply with safety regulations. Lake Sandoval Lodge features a traditional, rustic design. The rooms, its restaurant, lobby bar, and bungalows are protected by mosquito nets. Additionally, the single rooms are quite spacious and comfortable. The single, double, matrimonial, and family rooms all have views of the forest and gardens terraces, where the hammocks are located. Obviously, all their rooms have a private bathroom with a hot shower. But the best thing about this Lodge is its food, made with local ingredients that will help fully immerse you in this charming atmosphere.


This hostel is located in the surrounding area of the Sandoval Lake. It offers a wonderful exclusive garden where you can relax. The property rate is all-inclusive, including transportation to and from the property. In addition to meals and various activities to keep you busy. The property offers menus for special diets and packed lunches upon request. The private bathroom has a bath, shower, and free toiletries. It is only about 3 hours from the nearest airport.


Being in the Amazon region, expect the weather surrounding Sandoval Lake to be humid and with occasional rain. The rainfall that occurs within the Tambopata National Reserve can be between 2,500 to 3,000 millimeters a year. But most of these rains occur within the rainy season (November to April). While within the dry season, you can expect some cold fronts coming from the South Atlantic. If you want to take advantage of your time in the Andean country, you can try traveling during the dry season. One of the best known facts about Peru is that the dry season coincides with the high tourist season. Take this information into account before organizing your trip to the Peruvian Amazon.

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