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IN THE TRAILS OF THE FOREST

Muddy steps

"Camouflaged with pieces of leaves, the orderly and tumultuous squadrons go with indefatigable urgency, zigzaging between eyes of water and nests that look like tiny volcanos or avoiding walking palms and strangling trees."

When the night dies and the day is born, it is the suitable hour to begin the trip that drives to the impressive Cocococha lagoon, located at five kilometers of the Explorer's Inn lodge.

The itinerary -full of green, a scandal of caws and screeches- allows the visitor to discover the biodiversity of the Reserved Area of Tambopata-Candamo (department of Madre de Dios) and to know the beliefs, legends and myths of the sons of the forest.

Armies of poisonously enormous ants move by the humid and marshy paths of the mount. Camouflaged with pieces of leaves, the orderly and tumultuous squadrons go with indefatigable urgency, zigzaging between eyes of water and nests that look like tiny volcanos or avoiding walking palms and strangling trees.

Light clarity of greenish tone in the trails of the Forest. Overcast, gray and blue sky, with hideous clouds that have made the sun to escape. The rain approaches. The animals and insects hide in every little place of the forest, a howling monkey scream, the seductive caw of the gentleman bird,thecreaking of the cicada are listened and... the poisonous ants continue with their endless parade.

The clouds spill millions of tears. The earth becomes muddy and surprising. The boots collapse. Slow and heavy walk. Far destination, unreachable?... "there are only 5 kilometers left", Mercedes announced without showing any sign of concern, as if she was saying we will go for a walk and come back right a way.

That was the dawn, when the shades of the night were in agony of death and the first lights of the day - clear, transparent, renovated - started to appear. "We go to the lagoon of Cocococha", Mercedes added with impulse , she is one of the guides of the Explorer's Inn housing (lodge), located at the intersection of the Tambopata and La Torre rivers, at three hours by river of Puerto Maldonado, capital of Madre de Dios.

Built in 1976, the housing is the oldest in the area and has an extension of 105 hectares. The impressive biodiversity of this piece of the Amazon - the Reserved Area of Tambopata-Candamo - attracted to dozens of investigators from every part of the world, and this gave origin to the "naturalistic residents" program.

Through this program, the company Peruvian Safaris (owner of the housing) offers free lodging to those investigators who train their personnel in conservation techniques, guide the trips of the tourists and elaborate studies that allow to clarify some of the many mysteries of Tambopata.

First steps heading for the lagoon of the coconuts, habitat of the river wolves or giant otters (Pteronura brasiliensis), a species in serious extinction danger. We left the housing, with its palm and bamboo cabins and its picturesque appearance of amazon community, behind. The forest with its entangled greenery and its aromas of life is ahead.

At the 5 thousand hectares of the Reserved Area of Tambopata-Candamo, there are 103 species of mammals registered, also, 1300 species of butterflies, 135 species of ants, 90 species of amphibians, 74 species of reptiles and 575 species of birds; besides 165 flora species and 41 families of trees.


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Spirits of the forest

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