Given the title of the world’s slowest land animals, sloths barely manage 2m a minute, although when pushed they can race along branches at a staggering 4.5m a minute. Nature’s couch-potatoes, they save energy and decline to move at all for much of the time. They are the world’s laziest creatures, spending up to 80% of their lives asleep or dozing, suspended from the branches of trees. Like that of reptiles their body temperature varies with the environment. Minimal movement and a slow metabolism enables sloths to survive on a low-energy diet of leaves; clearly a highly successful strategy as they constitute two-thirds of all canopy mammal biomass. Sloths must eat large quantities of leaves to meet their nutritional needs, but their peg-like teeth are poorly suited to the job – undigested leaves make up to a third of their body weight. They feed on relatively few trees because their digestive system can neutralise only a few toxic chemicals at a time. This may be why the non-poisonous cecropia is a favourite tree despite vicious stinging ants. Easy prey for predators, sloths are well-camouflaged. Their grooved fur encourages algae growth creating a greenish hue. Opposite to that of other mammals, their fur grows up the back to help heavy rain run off the upside-down sloth. Small animals make a living in the sloth’s fur, including moths, spiders and several mites. Sloths high in the canopy often suffer aerial assaults from eagles on the wing, while rainforest cats look out for sloths on the forest floor as they move to new feeding trees or while making their weekly trip to ground level to defecate. For arboreal niche specialists, sloths are good swimmers and fearlessly paddle across effortlessly.
Tour Day 1: Puerto Maldonado, Amazon Jungle Tours, Maloka Lodge
Tour Day 2: Sandoval Lake, Amazon Jungle Tours, Puerto Maldonado
You are welcomed and pick-up from the airport/coach terminal of Puerto Maldonado by our Representative to take you to our office where you can leave your baggage not necessary for the trip, but you need to bring a backpack for your personal items and more. Then, we transfer you to a local port where you board a motorboat and navigate down the Madre de Dios River, and on the way, we observe various mammal species such as turtles, birds, lizards, monkeys, turtles, caimans, etc., until we reach a checkpoint of the Sandoval Lake Reserve and after passing a check, we start walking for 5 km (1 and half an hour) to reach Sandoval Lake where we take a canoe bringing us to the Maloka Lodge
There, we accommodate ourselves and after lunch, we return sailing the lake in a canoe to see its typical inhabitants – giant river otters, black caimans, a prehistoric bird shansho, herons, cormorants, kingfisher, etc. Then, we return to the Maloka lodge for dinner to later get back to the lake again, this time to undertake an evening caiman observation, as caimans are nocturnal animals. Our professional naturalist Tour Guide shows and explains us about these animals. We overnight in the Maloka lodge.
Today, we wake up very early and go to the surroundings of the Sandoval Lake where huge number of various palms grow in its water creating an area of marsh.
This place is called Macaw Palm Tree (Collpa de Palmeras ) and it attracts various macaw species and other parrots to eat sawdust of its palms as it contains sodium, calcium, potassium and other minerals helping them to digest. Then, we go back to the lodge to be given breakfast. Later, we take a next trip going to observe stunning flora and fauna of the Sandoval Lake Reserve.
We can appreciate monkeys, deer, wild boars, tapirs or spectacled bears, just to name a few. We return to the lodge for lunch. Afterwards, we get ready for a return way boarding a canoe again to sail over the Sandoval Lake followed by a walk to the checkpoint and from there sailing the Madre de Dios River by a motorboat towards Puerto Maldonado. We pick our baggage up in our office and then, we are transferred either to the airport or the coach terminal.