We leave Cusco early in the morning in our specialized overland
vehicles. 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.
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 (one of the oldest living plants),
mosses and lichens. This cloud forest exists between 2000 and 3500
meters above sea level, and at least 50% of the plant species found here
are endemic to this region. Overnight in our open air lodge "San Pedro".
Today we wake up very early to observe the Cock of the Rock (Rupicola
peruviana), Peru's national bird.
At about 5:00a.m. as many as several dozen come together for an
exhibition of a mating ritual dance in a place called Lek.
The males of vibrant reddish orange feathers, display their crest
showing off and posturing for the females. The females, fewer in number,
watch to select the most suitable males. After breakfast we continue in
our overland transport (*1) down the narrow road between waterfalls and
canyons toward the town of Pilcopata (*2)
and the to Atalaya Port.
Here, we board our covered, outboard motor boat and head down the Alto
Madre de Dios River for approximately 15 minutes toward our private
reserve of "Erika" where we will hike through an interesting trail
system in the transitional area (between high jungle and low jungle).
Overnight in the lodge.
(*) 1 Optional mountain bike: Descend with mountain bikes from the Cloud
Forest to Pilcopata (700 m.a.s.l.).
(*) 2 Optional rafting: Here in Pilcopata town we will make all the
final settings for 1 ½ to 3 hour rafting trip down the Kosñipata river
where we will have the opportunity for a dip and of course enjoy the
spectacular view of the Koñeq Canyon. Continuing down the Alto Madre de
Dios river to Erika Lodge.
After breakfast we board our canoe for a three-hour trip down the Alto
Madre de Dios River to Boca Manu's airstrip ( where optional flights
coming from Cusco may bring new members to join our group. The plane
flies over the Andes to a narrow gravel landing strip in the jungle.
Flight takes approximately 45 minutes) Boca Manu village, located at
short distance from the confluence of the Manu River and the Alto Madre
de Dios River, is the last place to buy your 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. Short walk around the area.
After registering in the official tourist logbook at Limonal, the Park
Rangers Headquarters and having an early breakfast, we follow the Manu
River until we arrive Salvador Lake, our base campsite (screened dining
room, bathrooms, radio communication is available). This canoe ride
gives us the opportunity to observe the immensity of the rainforest and
the diversity of bird life, reptiles and mammals. You will often see
animals sunning on beaches, or foraging for food in the trees lining the
We arrive early in the afternoon and have lunch before setting off on a
jungle trail. Here, we will be on the lookout for wildlife inside the
rainforest and on Salvador Oxbow Lake, until the sun goes down and we
return to the camp. We explore Salvador Lake by paddling quietly along
on a catamaran to observe unique species of birds, monkeys, caimans and
with luck, the Giant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis). This endangered
species can be seen swimming, fishing, feeding and playing.
We wake 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 chance to catch wildlife in the pursuit
of food and temperature is very pleasant at this time of day. After
relaxing and swimming in the river we enjoy lunch along the riverbank.
Afterwards, we cross the river to walk an 8-km trail to another oxbow
lake called Otorongo.
A strategically located observation tower rises 15 meters above the
rainforest canopy overlooking the lake, giving us more chances to
observe wildlife including the Giant Otter. Late in the afternoon we
will use the catamaran (optional)and with the help of flashlights we can
observe the black caimans rising from the depths of the lake and
beginning their search for prey. Return to the campsite.
Once again we wake up early, enjoy a brief morning walk, have a relaxing
breakfast, then pack up the camp and descend the Manu River until Boca
Manu. This village is at a short distance from the confluence of the
Manu River and the Alto Madre de Dios River, from here we descend the
Madre de Dios River arriving early in the afternoon after three hours
ride to Blanco Private reserve. Camp and spend one more night in this
magical Amazon jungle.
After a very early wake up, we use a special camouflaged catamaran in
front of the "Collpa" macaw lick. We quietly observe the various parrots
feeding on the clay for mineral and salt, supplements to their diet of
seeds and fruits. The brightly colored macaws usually wait patiently in
the surrounding trees 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 while feeding. Around mid morning we board our canoe to
return to the airstrip at Boca Manu. At this point, those who are
returning to Cusco by plane will catch their flight. This optional
flight from Boca Manu to Cusco offers spectacular views of the
surrounding jungle and the area's meandering rivers. The rest of the
group continues up the Alto Madre de Dios River to camp on an
appropriate beach in the Cultural Zone and enjoys the sites and sounds
of the jungle for one more night.
Waking up very early, we continue the trip by boat to Atalaya, where the
bus will be waiting for us and drive back up and out of Manu, arriving
in Cusco very late this night or the next early morning.
AIR CHARTER ALTERNATIVE:
DAY 3: Arrive by plane from Cusco to Boca Manu at mid morning.
DAY 7: Leave Boca Manu and arrive in Cusco in the early
Ground transportation (overland buses and 4WD vehicles).
Boat transportation (covered motorized boats).
Specialized and bilingual guides.
1 night in San Pedro open air lodge.
1 night in Erika Lodge.
Full mountain bike (optional) and rafting equipment.
Dinning tent, cooking tent.
First aid Kit (including anti-ophidian shots).
Air charters (optional - maximum 10 Kg. of luggage per person).
Paperwork and payment for Park permits.
Radio communication equipment in all lodges and campsites.
Satellite telephone for emergencies.
As an additional service.
We offer safety box for values and storage for luggage in Cusco's main
¿THINGS YOU SHOULD BRING?:
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
100% waterproof rain gear (long poncho or rain wear).
Insect repellent (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 (e.g.: liquid
for contact lenses).
Day pack, and one back pack or duffel bag of luggage per person.
One bottle of water for the first day, plastic bags.
In order to deal with your reservation in a timely
manner we require a deposit of 50% of the cost of the
chosen program at the time of booking.