The wild Heath River marks the remote Amazon-region border between Peru and Bolivia. Bordering two radically different ecosystems of rainforest and lowland savannah, it runs through the heart of the Tambopata-Madidi reserve areas of Peru and Bolivia, a vast and largely inaccessible wilderness totaling more than 13,700 sq. km./5,290 sq. miles.
Heath River Wildlife Center is the only eco-lodge on this river. And it offers the world’s only large macaw clay lick reachable in half a day from a jetport. Only ten minutes by boat from the lodge, a comfortable floating hide allows us to witness one of nature’s most spectacular displays – a tumultuous gathering of brightly-colored macaws and parrots.
By night we can spot caiman (a kind of Amazonian alligator), on the riverbanks. By day we can travel upriver to the limits of navigation, and float stealthily downstream with the engine off, spotting birds and monkeys, and hoping to score a stellar wildlife encounter with a Jaguar on the beach, or a Lowland Tapir swimming across the river.
The lodge itself offers a small, comfortable and intimate environment, built of environmentally-sound local materials, such as “driftwood” mahogany, and palm-thatch, with just ten double (or triple) private bungalows, with private bathroom/toilets and hot showers, and a spacious, high-roofed dining, bar and lounge area.