The Amazon Jungle of Peru and Bolivia

In August 2004, my family (me -- Richard Muller, my wife Rosemary Muller, and our two daughters Elizabeth and Melinda) spent several days in a remote region of the Amazon rainforest. Lago Sandoval is an oxbow lake near Puerto Maldanado, and Heath River is on the Bolivia/Peru border. These places are accessible only by boat (usually a motorized dugout, but we also paddled) and by hiking. The only expectations that weren't met: it was not as hot as we expected, and there were fewer mosquitos.

Click on any photo for a larger version.

Page 1  Page 2
swimming with Piranha.JPG
Swimming in a lake (Sandoval) that is infested with piranha, caiman, electric eels, carniverous otters, and (worst of all) the candiru (look it up).
oxbow lake.JPG
Rio Madre de Dios -- from the air. Note the oxbow lake. Such lakes have clearer water, and unique wildlife.
Puerto Maldonado.JPG
A small isolated town on the headwaters of the Amazon. Virtually inaccessible by road, but not by internet.
Fruit and vegetables available at the market in Puerto Maldonado.
children in Puerto Maldonado.JPG
Children at the market. Tourists are rare in this town, so we were not treated as special -- not even as foreign.
Rio Madre de Dios.JPG
Typical scene of shores of the Rio Madre de Dios. The bank shows how high the water rises when it floods.
Melinda and strangler fig.JPG
My daughter Melinda with a strangler vine that has overwhelmed its host tree.
Amazon flower 2.JPG
Flower in the jungle.
tree with fruits.JPG
Tree with fruits.
Making our way through the Sandoval swamp.
Sandoval Swamp.JPG
The edge of the swamp.
Sandoval shore.JPG
The shoreline at the oxbow Lago Sandoval.
turtles near shore.JPG
Turtles in a typical pose on a fallen log.
Palm trees on Lago Sandoval.
howler monkies.JPG
The two dark spots in the middle are howler monkeys. There was poor light (it was late in the evening) and these were the only photos I got of the red howlers.
Sunset on Lago Sandoval.
monkey on vine.JPG
Squirrel monkey walking along a vine.
Hoapsin bird. Beautiful, and common on oxbow lakes.
Early morning mist on Lago Sandoval.
Brown Capucin monkies in a palm tree.
Bats, in typical evening pose, upside-down on a tree.
Lago Sandoval, from the lodge. Most of the visible forest is secondary growth, although there is a lot of primary growth behind the lodge.
Heliconia and some beetles. Much of the diversity of the rainforest is in insects.
Me (Rich Muller) in front of the "walking tree" which can move many centimeters per year by extending roots.
This ant had a nasty bite. It is only 1.5 inches long.
Melinda smelling the quinine bark.
Capok in the trees.
Jose Antonio, our naturalist-guide, paddling the catamaran along with Elizabeth.
Note the tarantula on the tree trunk.
Back though the swamp.

Go on to the next (and final) page