The Manu National Park, is one of the largest tropical parks in South America. The park extends from the highlands to the jungle.
It covers 2 million hectares (4.5 million acres), and the territory is rich in flora and fauna with a huge variety of habitats including the high Andes, the cloud forests, and the lowland tropical rain forests.
In 1977, Manu National Park was designated as a World Biosphere Reserve since it shelters the best existing example of biodiversity in a protected rain forest area, as well as in the cloud forest endemic areas.
Here we can observe the Giant Otters (Pteronura brasiliensis), the Black Caiman (Melanosuchus Niger), the majestic Jaguar (Panther a onca), the strange Spectacled Bear (Tremarctos ornatus), the Tapir (Tapirus terrestris), the Ocelot (Felis pardalis), as well as, 13 different species of primates, and an estimated one thousand species of birds including seven species of Macaws.
Also,10% of the world's vascular plant species, including several species of figs and palms, and countless species of medicinal plants, which are currently being catalogued by scientists, grow in Manu National Park.
Manu National Park may be the most biologically diverse and protected park on the planet.
DAY 01: CUSCO - CLOUD FOREST
Early in the morning from Cusco we will begin an 8-hour journey by bus over the Andes, stopping for a coffee break 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 exotic place we take a hike to the lek of the incredible Cock of the Rock, to see the 'performance' of the males right under our eyes.
Accommodation at the rustic lodge Posada San Pedro (appr. 1,600 m).
DAY 02: CLOUD FOREST COCHA MACHUHUASI - PANTIACOLLA LODGE
At daybreak we continue by bus to tropical lowland rainforest. Here at the small village Atalaya at 650 m, we change into a motorized canoe to navigate some 3 hours down the turbulent Alto Madre de Dios River. From here we get great views of the Andes. We stop for a visit of one of the very few lakes on the Alto Madre de Dios River, where you can go around on small traditional rafts to see water birds and even fish swimming in its clear water. We continue further down the river to Pantiacolla Lodge, where we will stay the next two days, right at the foot of the Pantiacolla Mountain Range.
DAY 03: PANTIACOLLA LODGE TRAILS
The forest of Pantiacolla Lodge is a very special rainforest: this is where the Andes Mountains and the lowland Amazon rainforest meet. It has animal and plant species of both zones as well as a high number of species only to be found in this area and nowhere else on Earth. Your first walks will be on the lowland trails, at 400 m above sea level. At night, we explore the forest by torchlight, looking for insects, frogs, lizards and the unique nocturnal night-monkey or "douroucouli".
Acomodation in Pantiacolla Lodge.
DAY 04: CLAY LICK FOR PARROTS & SINTUYA HOT SPRINGS
Early in the morning the boat takes you to a nearby clay lick for parrots and the rare blue-headed macaw. Their spectacle is both impressive to see and hear! Afterwards we walk another trail of the lodge's extensive trail system. At midday we boat up to the Shintuya Hot Springs to meet up with the people. In the late afternoon and evening we do another nightwalk with a visit of Ranacocha, Frog Lake.
Overnight in Pantiacolla Lodge.
DAY 05 & 06: LAKE SALVADOR AND LAKE OTORONGO
Early in the morning we boat down the Alto Madre de Dios River to then turn up the Manu River for an 8-hour ride into the heart of Manu's Reserved Zone, where we will have great views of riverside birds, sunbathing caiman, and the enormous aquatic guinea pig, the capybara. We reach our Camping Huts deep inside Manu in the afternoon. This will be our base for this and the next day. During this time, we will hike through virgin forest and explore one of the most beautiful lakes of the Manu basin, Lake Salvador, by catamaran. There is a chance to see a huge variety of colourful birds, numerous species of monkey and with luck, a family of giant otters. We also visit another, somewhat smaller lake, Cocha Otorongo, which has a 20 meter-high observation platform overlooking the lake. At night we can explore the forest by torchlight or we may be able to go moonlight caiman-spotting on the lake.
DAY 07: LAKE SALVADOR LAKE - MACAW LICK
We return back down the Manu River early in the morning, where we could see one or more of Manu's rarer mammals, such as a tapir or anteater or maybe one of the big cats, crossing the river or resting on its shores. Joining the Madre de Dios River we arrive at Blanquillo, near the claylick for macaws.
Acomodation in the jungle lodge Tambo Blanquillo.
DAY 08: MACAW LICK
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 a 42-meter high canopy tower, giving us the opportunity to look at the canopy from above.
Acomodation in the jungle lodge Tambo Blanquillo.
DAY 09: BLANQUILLO - BOCA COLORADO - 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 human gold mining activities on the delicate ecological balance of the rainforest. We take local transportation until 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.
* Bearing in mind the uncontrollable forces of nature, the program could be subject to changes at any time.
* Manu is a rainforest that has remained intact because of its hidden location. This means the program involves much traveling by bus and boat. However, it also means you are in a part of the Amazon rainforest that has no comparison, with an untouched flora and fauna!
Prices for person in US Dollars