Manu National Park 9 days/8 nights
Departures every Wednesday for the price of $1490 per person.
Manu National Park, in the Amazon rainforest of Peru, was established in 1977 and in recognition of its uniqueness it was included in UNESCO´s "World Heritage Site" list ten years later. Manu is internationally acclaimed as one of the most bio diverse areas on Earth. Access to Manu is by road or air from Cusco, Peru.
Approximately half the area of Switzerland, the Manu Biosphere is a complete ecosystem with protected watershed embracing Andean montane cloud forest, tropical lowland forest and the Alto Madre de Dios and Manu river drainage systems. The biosphere itself is subdivided into national park and two adjacent zones, one for tourism and the other for cultural subsistence. It is home to over 1000 species of birds, 15,000 species of plants, over 200 species of mammals, and untold numbers of insects, and within its heart remain yet uncontacted peoples.
Manu retains healthy populations of jaguar, tapir, anteater, black caiman, giant otter, and among the 13 species of monkey we find the unique pigmy marmoset, the smallest monkey in the world, and the nocturnal night monkey. Because of Manu's low human population and their continued use of traditional hunting techniques, the animals in the park show little fear of man and are more readily approachable than in many other rainforest locations. Manu, therefore, offers unparalleled animal watching opportunities.
Wildlife aside, however, the journey into the park itself is amazingly spectacular and not to be missed. Access to Manu is normally by road from Cusco, Peru. The two day trip from Cusco to the entrance of the Manu Reserved Zone carries you over the Peruvian Andes mountains to an elevation of 4000 m, past pre-inca ruins and down through the cloud forest on the eastern side of the Andes, and finally into lush, lowland rainforest. Roads remain largely unpaved and wind their way precariously past cascading waterfalls, deep gorges, and precipices. Manu is truly a complete experience.
Manu National Park 9 days/8 nights
Day 1. Cusco to the Cloud Forest and on into the Amazon
Leaving Cusco early in the morning, we begin an 8-hour journey over the Andes by bus, stopping for breakfast at the beautiful colonial village of Paucartambo. Continuing, we climb to the highpoint of the Manu Biosphere at about 4000 m before descending to the cloud forest. In these mysterious surroundings we walk to the lek of the incredible cock-of-the-rock, to see the ‘performance’ of the males right under our eyes. We spend our first night in the rustic lodge Posada San Pedro (appr. 1,600 m).
Day 2. To Atalaya and Manu River
At daybreak we continue by bus to tropical lowland rainforest. Here at the small village Atalaya at 650m, we change into a motorized canoe to navigate some 2 hours down the fast Alto Madre de Dios River.
From here we get great views of the Andes. We stop for a visit of one of the very view lakes on the Alto Madre de Dios River, where you can go around on small traditional rafts. For the next two nights we stay at the Pantiacolla lodge, right at the foot of the Pantiacolla Mountain Range. The forest of Pantiacolla Lodge is a very special rainforest: this is where the Andes and the lowland tropical rainforest meet and provides the visitor with a chance to see a good selection of birds and plants from both zones as well as endemics to the area. Your first walk will be on the lowland trails, at 400m above sea level. Also at night, we explore the forest by torchlight nocturnal night-monkey or 'douricouli'. We spend the night in Pantiacolla Lodge.
Day 3. Ranacocha Oxbow Lake
Early in the morning the boat takes you to a nearby clay lick for parrots and the rare blue-headed
Their spectacle is both impressive to see and to hear! From there we visit the higher trails of the Pantiacolla Mountains: it’s ‘Oil’ stream with oil wells and natural swimming pools. At night we visit Ranacocha, Frog Lake.
|Accommodation||Pantiacolla Jungle Lodge|
Day 4. Rainforest Trails and the Madre de Dios river
In the morning we take another walk on one of the lodge’s many trails. At midday we join the people doing the 7-day tour going down the Alto Madre de Dios part of a project of Pantiacolla with the Yine Indians.
|Accommodation||Yine Eco lodge|
Day 5. Manu Jungle Reserve zone
In the morning we turn up the Manu River for a 6-hour ride into the heart of Manu’s Reserved Zone.From this vantage point we will have great views of riverside birds, and the capybara. This will be our base for this and the next day. During this time, we will walk through virgin forest and explore one of the most beautiful lakes of the Manu basin, Lake Salvador, by catamaran.
Day 6. Giant Otters
There is a chance to see a huge variety of colourful birds, numerous species of monkey and with luck, a family of giant otters. There is another walk in this habitat-rich forest that ends in Lake Otorongo and a 20 meter-high observation platform overlooking the lake. At night we can explore the forest by torchlight or go moonlight caiman-spotting on the lake.
Day 7. Jungle lodge in Madres de Dios
After a final walk through the forest surrounding Lake Salvador, we return back down the Manu River. Joining the Madre de Dios River we arrive at Blanquillo, near the claylick for macaws, where we spend the night in the jungle lodge Tambo Blanquillo.
Day 8. Pantiacolla Mountains
At first light we head to the macaw lick to watch the dazzling spectacle of hundreds of parakeets, parrots and big macaws eating clay. In the afternoon we visit another one of Manu's beautiful oxbow lakes or visit a 42-meter high canopy tower. We spend the night again in the jungle lodge Tambo Blanquillo.
Day 9. Atalaya to Cloud Forest and back to Cusco
Back on the boat early in the morning, we head downstream to the small mining village Boca Colorado.Here and in Mazuco later on, you can see the negative effects of certain human activities on the delicate ecological balance of the rainforest. We take local transportation till crossing the Inambari River. On the other side, our bus is waiting to take you over a newly paved road, through beautiful cloud and elfin forest. Near Cusco, you have stunning views of the Ausangate Mountain. Cusco is reached in the early evening.
- Naturalist guide in English and Spanish
- Transportation Cusco/Atalaya by private bus and back Atalaya/Cusco
- Transportation by private boat: Atalaya/Lake Salvador/Boca Manu - Macaw Lick/Boca Manu Pantiacolla Lodge/Atalaya
- Overnights in lodges and camping huts
- Meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
- Guide book for rainforest of Manu - Talking About Manu
- Entrance fee reserved zone
- Paper work for entrance
- Soft drinks and beers
- Personal expenses
- Binoculars (imperative)
- Flashlight with spare bulbs and extra batteries
- Day pack
- Long pants and long-sleeved shirts
- Shorts/Bathing suit
- Sweater or light jacket
- Copy of a valid passport
- Copy of yellow fever and tetanus vaccinations
- Money for soft drinks or beers, and handicrafts at the Boca Manu landings strip
- Camping in Manu
- 1 pair of hiking boots and 1 pair of light shoes or sandals
- Long socks
- Rain gear
- Sun hat, sunglasses, sun block
- Insect repellent (with at least 25% 'deet') and after bite
- Plastic bags (to keep everything dry)
- Water bottle (with water for the bus ride into Manu)