Manu is located in the south east of Peru in the province of Manu in the department of Madre de Dios. It includes part of the Peruvian sierra or mountain area as well as tropical rainforest. It has an area of over 2 million hectares and is rich in flora and fauna and has a great variety of habitats including high andes, cloud forests and tropical rainforest.
Day 01: Cusco out - Cloud Forest
National ParkWe leave Cusco early in the morning in our specialized overland vehicles. At approximately mid-morning we visit the interesting tombs of Ninamarca, commonly known as “Chullpas”. We continue to Paucartambo, a picturesque Spanish colonial town, and then to the Acjanacu pass, which marks the beginning of the Cultural Zone of Manu Biosphere Reserve. There, a thick cloak of clouds provides perpetual humidity and makes an ideal habitat for epiphytic plants such as bromeliads. This varied and fascinating world is home of the Cock of the Rock, Spectacled Bear, Orchids, Tree Ferns (one of the oldest living plants), mosses and lichens. This cloud forest exists between 2,000 and 3,500masl. and at least 50% of the plant specimens found here are endemic to this region. Overnight in Lodge.
Day 02: Cloud Forest - Atalaya
Cock-of-the-rockToday we will wake up very early to observe the Cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruviana), Peru’s national bird from a platform. The male birds are a vibrant reddish orange, and as many as several dozen come together for an exhibition of a mating ritual dance in a place called Lek. The males display their crest, showing off and posturing for the females. The females, fewer in number, watch the show to select the most suitable males. After breakfast we continue in our overland transport down the narrow road between waterfalls and canyons toward the town of Pilcopata and then to Atalaya Port. There we will board our covered, outboard motor boat and head down the Alto Madre de Dios River for approximately 15 minutes toward the next lodge (a comfortable 12 room lodge) where we will hike through the interesting trail system that this transitional area between high and low jungle offers. Overnight in the lodge.
Day 03: Boca Manu
Boca ManuAfter breakfast we leave the Lodge and board our canoe for the four-hour ride down the Alto Madre de Dios River to Boca Manu’s airstrip. During our voyage we will see many bird specimens typical of the river or forest edge such as: Black Skimmer, Pied Lapwing, Capped Heron, Jabiru Stork, and several specimens of kingfishers, swallows and flycatchers. Boca Manu’s village is situated a short distance from the confluence of the Manu River with the Alto Madre de Dios River, where you can buy your last fresh supplies and cold drinks before setting off again in the canoe. Now we enter the Manu River and the Reserved Zone, stopping in a white sand beach where we camp along the riverbank. Here we will have the opportunity to do the Canopy Tour: It consists on having our guests traverse from tree to tree and platform to platform using pulleys on horizontal traverse cables zip lines, as they sail through the treetops of the tropical rainforest canopy, and over the trails far below. Expert guides assist you in this exciting journey through the different layers of the virgin rain forests and explain what’s going on around you, from the time you leave the ground, until you rappel back down to the forest floor. Overnight in the lodge.
Day 04: Parrot Lick Collpa - Limonal - Salvador Lake
Parrot Lick Collpa in ManuVery early and after a ten minutes boat ride, we will arrive to a Parrot Lick Collpa, which is a wall of clay in the riverbanks, where many specimens of parrots such as the blue headed parrot, the white-eyed parakeet, the dusky-headed parrot the chestnut fronted macaw and others search for mineral and salt supplements to their diet of seeds and fruits. After registering in the official tourist logbook at Limonal, the Park Rangers Headquarters and eating an early breakfast, we will continue travel up the Manu River for 4 hours approximately into the pristine heart of the reserve. We will leave the final human domains behind us and enter the virgin jungle. We will arrive to Salvador Lake, our base safari campsite (screened dining room, toilets / showers and radio Butterfly in Manucommunication is available). Differences in wildlife abundance will be noted immediately. We will begin to sight macaws, herons, kingfishers and cormorants frequently and improve our chances of encounters with capybaras, caiman, storks, ducks and other wildlife. You will often see animals sunning themselves on beaches, or foraging for food in the trees lining the riverbanks. This canoe ride gives us the opportunity to observe the immensity of the rainforest. We will arrive early in the afternoon and have lunch before setting off on a jungle trail although at this time of the day mammals and birds are not as active as in the early morning. We will concentrate on the forest itself and discuss general rain forest ecology. Return to the campsite. Overnight.
Day 05: Salvador Lake - Otorongo Lake
OtorongoWe will get up early in the morning, as the forest is awakened by the Red Howler monkey (Aloatta seniculus) declaring its territory. A morning walk before breakfast is a great way to catch wildlife in the pursuit of food, as the temperature is very pleasant at this time of day. We will explore Salvador Lake by paddling quietly along on a catamaran, giving us the opportunity to observe unique specimens of birds, monkeys, caimans and, if we are lucky enough, the Giant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis). This endangered specimen can be seen swimming, fishing, eating and playing. After lunch, we will cross the river to walk an 8-km trail to another oxbow lake called Otorongo. This forest, which is estimated to be 200 to 300 years old and includes truly huge Ceiba trees and Strangler figs is home to several mammals that are occasionally encountered: Saddleback tamarins, Squirrel, Spider and Brown Capuchin Monkeys, the Collared and the white lipped peccaries. At the lake, a strategically located observation tower rises 15 meters above the lake and the jungle floor. From the top you not only get spectacular view of the lake and the surrounding forest but also excellent opportunities to observe birds from the canopy. This also gives us more chances to observe wildlife including the Giant Otter. Back at Salvador Lake, late in the afternoon, we will use the catamaran and with the help of flashlights we can observe the black caimans rise from the depths of the lake and begin their search for prey. Return to the safari campsite. Overnight.
Day 06: Salvador Lake - Boca Manu
Manu RiverOnce again we will wake up early, enjoy walking around Salvador Lake and then pack up and slowly go downstream the interesting Manu River. We will arrive at approximately 3pm. to the Valley’s Island that belongs to a Native family and it’s possible to do a short walk through the forest to observe American bullfrogs, horned frogs, tree frogs and an incredible variety of colorful insects. We will continue to Boca Manu’s Village, situated a short distance from the confluence of the Manu and Alto Madre de Dios rivers. From there we will descend the Madre de Dios River arriving to Juan de Dios Reserve and spend one more night at the Lodge in this magical Amazon jungle. Possibility to do a short night walk. Overnight.
Day 07: Boca Manu
Otters in ManuAround mid morning we board our canoe to return to the airstrip at Boca Manu. Here we will continue up the Alto Madre de Dios River to camp on an appropriate beach in the Cultural Zone and enjoy the sites and sounds of the jungle for one last night. Overnight.
Day 08: Atalaya - Cusco
Waking up very early, we continue the trip by boat to Atalaya, where the bus will be waiting for us and drive back out of Manu, arriving to Cusco very late this night or the next early morning.
- Terrestrial Transportation (Overland and four-wheel cars)
- Fluvial Transportation (Motorized and covered boats)
- 04 nights accommodation in Lodge
- 03 nights accommodation in camp base
- Camping Equipment / two-person tents
- All meals (Vegetarian option available)
- Paperwork and payment for Park permits
- Radio communication equipment in all lodges and campsites
- Satellite telephone for emergencies
- First Aid Kit
- Professional Guidance (Spanish – English)
- Personalized Attention
- Entrance to the Manu National Park Reserve Area – S./150.00 (Approximately $50.00) Price is subject to change without notice.
The present tour Starts every Sunday and finishes the next Sunday at night.
- Bring with you the following items:
- Sleeping bag
- Binoculars, Camera and film ASA 200 and 400 for the inner forest
- Warm clothing (in case of a cold front), long sleeve shirts and long pants (cotton)
- 100% waterproof rain gear (long poncho or rain wear)
- Insect repellant (at least 50% Deet), sunscreen lotion
- One pair of lightweight ankle height boots and sandals
- Flashlight, enough batteries (alkaline) and bulbs
- Wide brim hat (for sunny days), sun glasses
- Towel, swimming suit, personal medicines and/or supplies (liquid for contact lenses, for example)
- Day pack, and one back pack or duffel bag of luggage per person
- One bottle of water for the first day, plastic bags.