A mirror that reflects the blue sky in its clear and calm waters, where sailing becomes a relaxed and comfortable ride. This is Lake Sandoval, and getting to this natural paradise is a simple drive from the city of Puerto Maldonado, which is northwest of Cusco, just a 50 minute flight away.
Lake Sandoval can accommodate different animal species that coexist harmoniously. Giant Otters, or river wolves, are very frequent visitors, invading the area with the help of strong sounds from their herd.
Many species of birds reach the lake’s shores, among them are the macaws and parrots that, with a happy prattle, do away with the local silence. According to studies, in the surrounding areas of Lake Sandoval you can find up to 1,000 species of birds, making it an ideal spot for birdwatching.
At dusk it’s a must to walk along the shore of the lake and rest while observing the sunset, which brings the arrival of several flocks of birds looking for a night’s rest. A bird that will call your attention for its prehistoric aspect is the Hoatzing, of red plumage and a particular crest.
At these final hours of the day, bats, frogs and grasshoppers will show up creating an orchestra of sounds. Other animals that will pop up at night include turtles, monkeys, herons or cranes and the black alligator.
In Lake Sandoval’s waters it is possible to find a great variety of fish, one of the most appreciated by the locals is the Paiche, a freshwater fish of big dimensions that is used to prepare delicious plates. Given this variety of fish, fishing on the lake is a great option.
A highlight of the greenery that surrounds the lake is the aguajales wetlands that manage to measure up to 30 m. high.
In spite of being located in a reserved zone, tourism is possible in Lake Sandoval, through sustainable and responsible practices of tourism. The lake is shaped like a horse-shoe, and maintains its intangible beauty thanks to the conservation efforts of the Tambopata National Reserve.
It’s not exaggerated to say that those who have been to the Lake Sandoval compare it to a natural paradise. The weather should not be an impediment to visit. Expect high humidity, with an average temperature of 25°C.
You can find lodges surrounding the lake, including the Sandoval Lake Lodge, a beautiful place located in the shore of the lake, made with wood from trees that fell into the river by the natural action of erosion, in order to maintain sustainability policies oriented towards ecotourism.
Cover photo: Peru.com
This article has been updated from its original publication on July 7, 2015.