Upon arrival by river boat at the PARADISE adventure park, you will be welcomed with a delicious exotic fruit juice. The path through the mature tropical forest to the hanging high canopy bridge winds its way by immense ancient trees and entangled vines; multi-hued flowers and butterflies flash through the dense foliage in pursuit of the many insects that fill the air with their songs. The start of the adventure circuit is reached by climbing a tower and stairway that ascends to the treetops and a platform at 27m above the floor of the forest. You will feel the breeze on your face as you cross the hanging bridge, 89m long, which leads to a platform 37m above ground wrapped around the huge trunk of an ironwood tree, one of the densest and strongest to be found in the rainforest. The throbbing symphony of birdcalls, accompanied by the warbling of toads and crickets, pours into the liquid air of the tropical forest; orchids and other aerial plants growing amongst the high branches can be observed at close hand as can the nests of the many birds that make their home here. We return across the canopy bridge and ascend to the high platform that marks the start of the first zip-line cable, almost 200m long, along which we fly through the air like eagles narrowly missing the foliage along the way, to a platform 27m high. The breathtaking views are only matched by the excitement of overcoming our fears and the adrenaline that courses through us as we leap off the platform supported by the high security harnesses that connect us to the zip-line cable. The 70m long log walkway, hanging 27m above the floor, leads off this platform, a risky balancing act, and takes us to the platform at the start of the second zip line, a 160m fly back to the tower and stairwell that descends to the forest floor and the pathway that leads further into the jungle and the National Reserve of Tambopata.
The walk to the PARADISE marshlands and creek, home to large numbers of tropical birds and fish, is 3km, and affords us a unique opportunity to view the rich variety of flora and fauna of the tropical rainforest. By the creek we will sit a moment to enjoy the spectacle of the shansho birds with their exotic plumage and crests before hiking back to the restaurant where a well-earned lunch awaits.
The afternoon activities begin with a short ride by boat across the river to an island known by its population of monkeys. There we take to the river in kayaks, flowing downstream or fighting the current upstream carried by the Madre de Dios River, one of the largest Peruvian tributaries of the Amazon. Many birds nest along these otherwise inaccessible banks of the river, flying across our path as they call us away from their hidden nests. Once aboard the river boat that takes us back to our lodge or the port of Puerto Maldonado and our city hotel, the tropical sunset lights the epic sky at our backs with pink and gold, marking a fitting end to an extraordinary day at Yakari.
This post is also available in: Spanish