MANU TOUR, 7 DAYS / Reserved Zone
With fixed departures on Fridays
Cloud Forest, Lake Salvador, Lake Otorongo, and Macaw Lick
7 days –Manu Road, by bus, on the way in, and over the Interoceanica Road on the way out, by bus
DAY 1. Cusco – Cloud Forest
In the early morning hours, we set off from Cusco en route to the Posada San Pedro Lodge – located within the cloud forest. Despite the 8 hours on a bus, the trip over the Andes is quite enjoyable, with a breathtaking descent to the cloud forest. Our first stop is at the pre-Inca cemetery ruins at Ninamarca. After another short ride, we enjoy breakfast in Paucartambo – a charming colonial village that sits at an elevation of about 4,000 meters (just over 13,000 feet). Afterwards, we travel a bit more and arrive at the highpoint inside the Manu Biosphere at 3,500 metres (11,650 feet). Here, the Andean ecosystem consists of very scarce vegetation, more typical of the Andean Puna Grasslands.
From here on, vegetation becomes very lush, with orchids, palms, and eliconia. It is in this environment that we stop and take a short hike to find and enjoy the amazing cock-of-the-rock. The song of this unique bird never fails to astonish those who travel to the Manu Reserve!
After a first amazing day, we spend the night enjoying the comforts of Posada San Pedro Lodge (approximately 1,600 meters – 5,250 feet).
Day 2. Cloud Forest – Atalaya – Manu River
We descend (by bus) to the tropical lowland rainforest around daylight, finally arriving at the village of Atalaya (650 meters, around 2,100 feet). It is here that we board a motorized canoe and navigate the exhilarating upper stretches of the Madre de Dios River. The river offers breathtaking views of the Andes (the Pantiacolla mountain range, for instance, the last of the mountains before the flat cloud forest begins) and lakes – inlets formed by the river. We wind our way downriver, meandering around numerous small islands that sit in the main channel of the river.
About 5 hours down the Alto Madre de Dios River, we arrive at Boca Manu. We spend the night in a small eco-lodge called the Yine Lodge. The lodge is a cooperative venture, run by a local tour operator and the Yine Indians.
DAY 3 & 4. Lake Salvador and Lake Otorongo
During the morning of the third day, we head up the Manu River for a 6-hour ride into the heart of Manu´s Reserved Zone. Wildlife here is at its best. Traveling by boat gives one breath-taking views of riverside birds, sunbathing caiman, and the enormous capybara – the largest rodent in the world (averaging 50 kg – 110 lbs).
In the afternoon, we arrive at our camping huts deep inside the Manu Reserve. Here, we camp for the next two days. During this time, we hike through a virgin forest and explore (by catamaran) two of the most beautiful lakes in the Manu basin, Lake Salvador and Lake Otorongo.
Here, very likely, you will spot an enormous variety of colourful birds, numerous species of monkeys, and – with a bit of luck – a family of giant otters. Then, we take another hike in this side of the forest, which ends at Lake Otorongo. Here, there is a 20 meter-high observation platform with a wonderful view of the lake.
At night, we can explore the forest by torchlight, looking for particular insects, or go moonlight caiman-spotting on the lake.
Overnight at the camp.
Day 5. Lake Salvador – Macaw Lick
Here we are in the protected area of the Manu Reserve and nature is completely unspoiled, and we enjoy impressive views of the lowland forest, lakes, and the Andes. In the early morning, we go on another walk through the spectacular forest surrounding Lake Salvador before heading back to the Manu River.
Joining the Madre de Dios River again, we eventually arrive at Blanquillo, close to the clay lick for macaws, where we spend the night in the Tambo Blanquillo jungle lodge. Located on the southern section of the Madre de Dios river, the lodge – crafted in the architectural style of native peoples – offers very clean and comfortable beds, and the dining room overlooks the Madre de Dios River.
DAY 6. Macaw Lick
At daybreak, we head to the macaw lick to observe an amazing spectacle: hundreds of
parakeets, parrots, and big macaws eating clay (actually used by the birds as an aid in digestion). During the afternoon, we visit one more of Manu´s beautiful lakes – or another option is to visit a 42 meter-high canopy tower.
We spend the night again in the Tambo Blanquillo jungle lodge.
Day 7: Blanquillo – Boca Colorado – Cusco
Early in the morning, we head back to our boat. We head downstream to the small villages of Boca Colorado and Mazuco.
We take local transportation to cross the Inambari River. On the other side of the river, our bus is waiting to take us over a newly paved road, through the impressive rainforest.
Near Cusco, we have excellent views of the Ausangate Mountain. We arrive in Cusco in the early evening.
Price of the tour (per person):
- USD $1520
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