About the Workshop
Set in the lowland Peruvian Amazon in the heart of one of the most biodiverse areas in Peru, Madre de Dios along the Las Piedras River. This Giant river otter photographic workshop will get you up and close to these stunning individuals to capture your perfect images. Staying in a beautiful lodge next to the Lake, you will wake up to their calls as they catch Parana in the early mornings of every day along with the active many spider monkeys that swing through the canopy of the lush tropical forest. A catamaran will be used to allow a large work are for your tripods as we will paddle you around to capture the oxbow lake life of the area.
What's included in the package?
The tour will take in an upmarket hotel in the city on arrival and before departure, but will primarily be based out of a deep jungle lodge that overlooks a wildlife-rich ox-bow lake. Accommodation includes twin rooms with en-suite bathroom facilities. Single rooms are available for a supplement. All meals are prepared by a professional chef, with all dietary requirements catered for. Transport to and from the lodge is undertaken via 4x4 vehicles and roofed river launches. Electricity for charging batteries is provided via a combination of solar panels and generators as back-up.View Lodging
Equipment and software
Cameras and lenses for this workshop are not included, however, tripods are supplied for those unable to bring them due to traveling complications. Laptops are provided and chargers for various battery types are supplied. Camera traps are also provided for capturing the nocturnal wildlife. The image editing software that participants will learn to use, include: Helicon Focus, Lightroom, and Photoshop. Hennessy hammocks are also supplied for those intrepid enough to want to spend a night out under the rainforest canopy. EQUIPMENT LINKED BELOW HOWEVER CAN BE PROVIDED.View Equipment
Workshop Map Routes
Giant River Otter Lake Photography Workshop
The workshop will start and end in the jungle town of Puerto Maldonado, the capital of the Madre de Dios region in south-eastern Peru. From here the route takes us by 4x4 all-terrain vehicle to the Las Piedras River, where our boat will then take us upriver to the Amazon Rainforest Conservation Center (ARCC) with the Soledad Lake and tree canopy habitats offering great photographic opportunities. We offer an optional trip to a rustic lodge called the Las Piedras Biodiversity Station that offers a different variety of wildlife.
Arrive in Puerto Maldonado (airport code PEM) and transfer by car to our hotel overlooking the Madre de Dios River. Our tour leader will host a welcome talk and orientation session for participants, to help everyone get used to their new surroundings and prepare them for the exciting journey and scheduled activities ahead. We will take a guided walk around the streets of this jungle town, the Biodiversity Capital of Peru no less, with chances to photograph the colourful market area, thousands of tut-tut taxis, views across the Tambopata River and Madre de Dios River, and general street life in this energetic town. After a dinner of typical cuisine, we will turn in early - as we’ll need to be up early the next morning to begin our journey into the deep Amazon Rainforest for the so called river wolves of the Amazon. Night in Puerto Maldonado.
After breakfast in Puerto Maldonado, we will jump into our 4x4 Toyota Landcruiser for the 3-hour journey to the small settlement of Lucerna, located on the banks of the Las Piedras River, the longest river in the Madre de Dios department. Here, a boat will be waiting to whisk us upriver for a further 2 hours to the Amazon Rainforest Conservation Center (ARCC), located on the banks of the Soledad Lake. You will have the opportunity to get images of the capybara, side-neck turtles, and other riverine wildlife. On arrival, we will be shown to our rooms, which overlook the lake, after which we will congregate in the main dining room for an introductory talk about the lodge and a talk on the Giant river otters of the Amazon. We will have lunch overlooking the lake, with cameras nearby in case a Hoatzin lands close by or a Giant River Otter appears to look at us during feeding. After a filling lunch, we will introduce you to the lake and our Biologist Chris Kirkby will provide stunning information on plants, lake geography and of corse the Giant river otters before our dinner at the lodge. Night at ARCC lodge.
Up for the start with your first day in the wild of the Peruvian Amazon Rainforest of Madre de Dios on Rio Las Piedras to the sound of the Giant river otters feeding on the lake. We will make our way down to the Lake edge and with our cameras at our sides and ready, we will have breakfast. Later we will make our way to the catamaran photographic platform where we will row out into the lake and follow the Giant otters and capture stunning images of them. After lunch we will return onto the lake and Capture more imagery of the Otters in all their form as we will get sundown light that will bring out new colours on the otters and other river life of Lake Soledad before returning to the lodge for a supper under the stars. Night at ARCC lodge
Awoken by the heart of the Giant river otters calling to each other in the lake as they feed in the oxbow lake catching red bellied Parana. A Day on the biodiverse lake with the Giant River Otters (Pteronura brasilienis) surrounded by the lush and active wildlife. You will be part of the active surroundings of the lake photographing the other many species along with tuition. We will spot many species such as anhinga’s, red and green macaw and hoatzins that feed of the leaves of the foliage surrounding the lake to name a few. We will follow the Giant river otters around most of the day accompanied by lunch and lunch. On our return, we will have dinner at the lodge where our Biologist Dr Chris Kirkby will tutor you on the biological information of the Giant river otter. Night at ARCC lodge
Once again, awoken by the lake life of Soledad. We will have breakfast on the lake side and spend majority Morning on the Lake with our cameras out along with tuition from our photographers to capture stunning imagery of the Otters. We will then get the camera traps that you will be provided with and we will place them at the feeding sites on the lake to capture 100% natural videography of the giant river otters. Back at the lodge, we will get lunch and after we will set out on a walk into the forest with our cameras for photographic opportunities for everything that moves. We will return for Dinner as the sun sets and a night walk is available with strength after a hard day in the rainforest. Night at ARCC lodge
Once again, awoken by lake life of Soledad. We will have breakfast on the lake side and spend majority Morning on the Lake with our cameras out along with tuition from our photographers to capture stunning imagery of the Otters. After a relaxing morning out on the lake, we will get back and we will review our imagery in the lodge and undertake a critique session for improvements. We will either set out onto the lake or walk around the lake to the island in search of photographic opportunities. We will have dinner and a night under the stars to relax in the darkness of the forest. Night at ARCC lodge
A day at the Macaw cleylick Up early in the morning and with a very early breakfast at the lodge. We will go to the boat and with our lifejackets on and cameras in hand with tripods, we will go down river. Due to it being early in the morning, we may have the opportunity to bump our ISO up and capture photographs of Tapir, Jaguar or Capybara to name a few. We will set the the boat up on the other side of the beach to the Macaw claylick and with our tripods set, we will have the entire day to observe and photograph the Green and Yellow and Scarlet macaw in action feeding. Lunch and dinner will be provided at the site where we will stay until you’re satisfied. Night at ARCC lodge
A late morning breakfast is optional and into the lake for another photographic opportunity for the Giant river otters. After yet another relaxing morning out on the lake with our tripods, cameras, and tutorials, we will get back and we will review our imagery in the lodge and undertake another critique session for improvements. We will either set out onto the lake or walk around the lake to the island in search of photographic opportunities. We will have dinner and a night under the stars to relax in the darkness of the forest. Night at ARCC lodge
Up early and we will have breakfast next to the lake with our welcomed friends of capuchins, spider monkeys and other mysterious life of the amazon. We will get our gear ready and we will go to the catamaran and focus our attention on the Giant river otters for the last morning and other species of the lake such as white caiman, river turtles and many others. We will Return for Lunch at midday and we will get out back on the lake or on a walk through the forest where we will gather our final and extra photographs of the lake side and lowland rainforest wildlife. As the sun drops, we will quickly go out onto the lake and collect the camera traps and view them over dinner in the lodge along with drinks for the last night in the lodge. Night at ARCC lodge
After breakfast we will load up the boat once again, say our goodbyes, and then head down river to our awaiting mini-bus - which will take us back to our hotel in Puerto Maldonado. Here there will be an opportunity for more image editing before the leaders collect up the imagery that participants want to share on the workshop’s Dropbox folder. We will join the leaders at a good restaurant in town for a goodbye meal and prize-giving ceremony. Night in Puerto Maldonado.
Breakfast, followed by goodbyes and transfer to the Puerto Maldonado airport. End of workshop!