MANU TOUR, 5 DAYS / Cultural Zone
With fixed departures on Wednesday
Cloud Forest, Pantiacolla Mountain Range
5 days – via Manu Road, by bus
DAY 1. Cusco – Cloud Forest
We set off early in the morning, en route from Cusco to Posada San Pedro Lodge – located up and over the Andes, and down within the cloud forest. The trip is actually an entertaining 8-hour bus ride, traversing the Andes, with a spectacular descent into the cloud forest. In our first stop along the way, we visit some the pre-Inca cemetery of Ninamarca. Then, after a short ride, we have breakfast in Paucartambo, a charming colonial village that sits at an elevation of about 4,000 metres (just over 13,000 feet). After lunch, our bus continues on to a highpoint within the Manu Biosphere at 3,500 metres (11,650 feet). Here, the Andean landscape consists of very sparse vegetation, typical of the Andean Puna Grasslands.
From this point on, however, vegetation in the landscape becomes very lush with orchids, palms, and eliconia growing. It is in this lush and more tropical environment that we take a short hike. Our goal is to find the amazing cock-of-the-rock. This unique bird has a song which never fails to astonish travellers to the Manu Reserve.
After an adventuresome first day, we retire to the comforts of the Posada San Pedro Lodge, to spend our first night – at just 1,600 metres (5,250 feet)!
Day 2. Cloud Forest – Cocha Machuhuasi – Pantiacolla Lodge
At daylight, we board our bus and descend again toward the lowland rainforest. We eventually arrive at Atalaya, a village which is lower still: just 650 metres above sea level (around 2,100 feet). It is here that we leave our bus behind and switch to our boat. As we navigate the stunning Alto Madre de Dios River for about 2 hours, we enjoy breathtaking views of the Andes (the Pantiacolla mountain range – the last we see before the flat cloud forest begins) and lakes (actually, inlets formed by the river). We peacefully make our way along the river as our boat skirts small islands that sit perched in the main channel of the river.
After this spectacular ride, we arrive at the very comfortable Pantiacolla Lodge, located at the foot of the Pantiacolla mountain range. Around the lodge there is an exceptional rainforest where the Andes and the lowland tropical rain forest meet and which gives visitors the opportunity to witness the vast diversity of plants and birds in this zone.
Our first hike is on the lowland trails at 400 meters (around 1,300 feet). During the night – by torchlight, of course! – we explore the forest, looking for particular insects and the uniquely nocturnal night-monkey or douricouli.
At the Pantiacolla Lodge, you will also enjoy great food!
Overnight at the Pantiacolla Lodge.
DAY 3. Parrots excursion and natural swimming pool
In the early morning, we set off for a boat ride to observe parrots in the wild, and the unusual blue-headed macaw. The spectacle is outstanding: seeing and hearing the parrots. For bird-watchers this is a remarkable experience!
From here, we now visit the higher trails of the Pantiacolla mountains. Here we can observe natural swimming pools. At night, we visit Ranacocha, Frog Lake.
Overnight at the Pantiacolla Lodge.
Day 4. Hot springs – Cloud Forest
In the early morning, we again explore the environment around the Pantiacolla Lodge. Then, after breakfast, it’s time to say goodbye to this very nice and very cozy lodge.
The canoe now takes us to the hot springs of Shintuya for a relaxing soak in mineral-rich waters. We then sail again to get to Atalaya, where we head by car to our lodge, Posada San Pedro.
Before getting there, we make one more dramatic stop, to visit a local orchid sanctuary where the gardeners treat their orchids like their own children: an amazing experience!
Dinner and overnight at the Posada San Pedro Lodge.
DAY 5. Posada San Pedro – Huatocto – Cusco
Following our last breakfast together, we have a final tour in the jungle. We hike for a while through the cloud forest, observing and taking photos, until our car picks us up to take us to Huatocto, close to Paucartambo. This is a traditional Andean community which used to be a large hacienda in colonial times. The Spanish actually built the hacienda on top of Inca ruins!
From here we will go back to Cusco by car, where we arrive in the late afternoon.
Price of the tour (per person):
- USD $785
The Tour Includes
- Transportation by bus and by boat
- Accommodation, in very good lodges
- Professional English and Spanish guide, private cooks and private driver
- All meals. Water and snacks will be also provided at your request
- International and national airfares to and from Peru
- International and national departure taxes at airports
- Personal expenses, such as telephone bills, laundry expenses, beverages, etc.
- Insurance against theft, loss
- Other extras not specified