The International Reptile Conservation Foundation recently set off on a personal expedition focused on amphibians and reptiles found in the Tambopata region of Peru. The region yields the highest biodiversity of reptiles and amphibians in the world and includes more than 210 amphibian and reptilian species. At the epicentre of this diversity lies Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica; an exclusive resort just an hour boat ride from Puerto Maldonado. Each guest at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica is given a personalised rainforest excursion with bilingual nature interpreters who specialise in the flora and fauna of the Tambopata region.
Around the bungalows at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica, the IRCF spotted Amazon Racerunners sprinting from beneath bungalow steps to nearby bushes and pace across the footpaths. When day gave way to night, the bungalow porches were illuminated with individual kerosene lanterns which ensured there was no stepping on the abundant cane toads. Meanwhile, numerous Treefrogs were spotted perching on vegetation around the cabins and the calls of Bolivian Sheepfrogs provided a musical backdrop sounding remarkably like sheep.
The IRCF found it hard to tear themselves away from the large bridge, which connects the bungalow area to the main lodge. The colourful leaves in this swampy area are home to numerous species of frogs that call in the evening and can easily be observed with a flashlight.
The trail systems at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica are well marked for avid walkers, some trails are as long as several kilometres. Interpreters provide tours both day and night and the extraordinary diversity is astounding. Anyone walking even a short section of a trail is generally guaranteed to observe ornately coloured grasshoppers, walking sticks, beetles, spiders and butterflies. The Anaconda Board Walk is aptly named, with the IRCF spotting an anaconda approximately 1.5km into the trail.
The region’s amphibian and reptilian diversity allows extensive tropical field experiments and natural history research. Inkaterra facilitates the education of its interpreters on regional plant and animal diversity by collaborating with visiting biologists. The interpreters and staff are eager to learn, as well as teach about the local biodiversity and even after long hours already in the forest, the interpreters joined the IRCF on their evening excursions looking for frogs, snakes, and other organisms.
This site has become increasingly popular for students of herpetology, visiting the Tambopata region to run their tropical research. The IRCF commented that “the excellent accommodation found at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica and natural atmosphere are just as inviting for those just longing to witness amazing biodiversity and learn about its conservation.” Read more about their journey into the Tambopata reserve here.