The Manu National Park was created in 1973. It's one of the largest and most important conservation units of the world. Being the largest tropical park in America, Manu protects an entire virgin watershed, comprising great extensions of tropical lowland rainforest at 300 m. as well as cloud & elfin forests on the Andean slopes and reaching
up to the Puna grasslands at 4,100 m. above sea level.
The Manu's pristine & highly biodiverse tropical forest offers ideal conditions to see wildlife and can be easily reached from Cusco. Be an adventurer, be an explorer, be a birdwatcher for 8 days, enjoy the superb colors and sounds of nature, come enjoy the pristine wild jungle and discover it. So, come with us to get into the most jungle-green wild adventure, get lost into the past, go back into time & history...and come out back again to the present with the most admirable experience in your lifetime, survive the rainforest challenge, and feel free and alive again.
DAY 01: We leave the city of Cusco early in the morning by bus. Approximately at midmorning we visit the interesting tombs of Ninamarca, commonly known as "Chullpas". We continue to the picturesque town of Paucartambo, and on towards the Acjanacu Pass,
which marks the beginning of the Cultural Zone of the Manu Biosphere Reserve. Here, 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, the Spectacled Bear, orchids, tree ferns, mosses & lichens. This cloud forest exists between 2,000 and 3,000 meters above the sea level and at least 50% of the plant species found here are endemic to this region. We camp our first night in this high forest.
DAY 02: Today, we wake up very early in the morning to see the Cock-of-the-Rock (Rupicola Peruviana), Peru's national bird, whose males are a vibrant reddish orange. At about 5:00am as many as several dozens come together in an exhibition of a mating ritual dance in a place called "Lek". The males display their crest, showing off and posturing for the females. After breakfast we continue by bus down the narrow road between waterfalls & canyons towards the town of Atalaya. Here, we board our motorcanoe and head down the Alto Madre de Dios river, where we will camp on the river beach.
DAY 03: Here some new members may join our group. After breakfast we board our canoe for the 4-hour trip down the Alto Madre de Dios river to Boca Manu, a small village 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 Reserve Zone, stopping at the Limonal watchtower, where we camp along the riverbank by the Park Rangers Headquarters.
DAY 04: After an early morning breakfast at Limonal, and signing our names in the official tourist logbook, we follow the Manu river until we arrive at our first campsite at Salvador Lake. This canoe ride gives us the opportunity to appreciate the immensity of the rainforest, the diversity of birdlife, and also the reptiles & mammals sunning themselves on the beaches, or foraging for food in the trees lining the riverbanks. Arriving early in the afternoon, we have lunch and set off on a jungle trail. Here we spend some time looking for wildlife inside the rainforest and on the oxbow Salvador Lake, until the sun goes down and we start to return to camp.
DAY 05: You rise early in the morning as the forest is awakened by the Red Howler monkeys (Aloatta seniculus) declaring their territory. A morning walk before breakfast is a great way to spot wildlife in the pursuit of food and the temperature is very pleasant at this time of the day. After relaxing or swimming in the river, we get our lunch. We cross the river to walk an 8 km. trail to the Otorongo oxbow lake, here a strategically-located observation tower rises 15 meters above lake and the jungle floor, giving us more chances to see wildlife, such as the Giant river otter (Pteronura brasiliensis), which is an endangered species.
DAY 06: Once again, we wake up early, enjoy a brief morning walk, eat a nurturing breakfast, then we pack up our camp and start to descend the Manu river, arriving at Boca Manu around midday. From here, we descend the Madre de Dios river for three hours to Blanquillo, where we pitch camp on the lodge grounds. After a swim in the river, we can set off for a short walk to Cocha Blanquillo, a lagoon. After that, we return to the campsite.
DAY 07: After a very early wake up, we board a camouflaged catamaran down the river at the "Collpa" (Macaw Lick). We quietly see the various parrots feeding on the clay for mineral and salt supplements to their diet of seeds & fruits. The brightly-colored macaws usually wait patiently in the surrounding trees for their turn, until the smaller parrot species have left the area. Slowly, the macaws come down to the clay wall to feed. We need a lot of patience and silence on the catamaran so as not to disturb them as they eat the clay. Around midmorning we board our motor canoe to return to the airstrip at Boca Manu.
Waking up very early we have our breakfast and then we continue the trip by boat to Atalaya, where we board the bus and drive back up and out of Manu, arriving in Cusco the next morning.
OUR SERVICES INCLUDE:
- Private bus Cusco-Atalaya-Cusco.
- Private boat Atalaya-Boca Manu-Atalaya.
- Bilingual guide, local guides and staff.
- Camping equipment (tents, mattresses, raincoats, rubber boots, kitchen & life jackets).
- First-aid kit.
- Food brought from Cusco, local tropical fruits (vegetarian & special diet available).
- Mineral water.
- Sleeping bag.
- Personal equipment.