Manu, located in the souther orient of Peru, is one of the largest park in south America. The area of the park encompasses part of the Andean department of Cusco and the jungle department of Madre de Dios. Manu protects over 2 million hectares (4.5 million hectares (4.5 million acress) of territory rich in Flora and fauna species in a variety of habitats including hight Andes, cloud forests, and lawland tropical rain forest.
We pick you up from the hotel early in the morning. Approximately mid-morning we visit the interesting tombs of Ninamarca, . 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 bromelias and spectacular Cock of the Rock, Spectacled Bear, Orchids, Tree Ferns (one of the oldest living plants), overnight at “Orquídeas de San Pedro Lodge”.
Today we wake up very early to observe the Cock of the Rock (Rupicola peruviana), Peru’s national bird from a platform. The male birds are a vibrant reddish orange, than female for protection. After breakfast we continue in our vehicle (*1) down the narrow road between waterfalls and canyons toward the town of Pilcopata (*2) and then 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” a comfortable / rustic lodge Erika Lodge. You have alternative activities: *1 Free Option: River rafting (class I and II) trip down the Koshñipata River where we will have the opportunity for a dip and of course enjoy the spectacular view of the Koñeq Canyon.
After breakfast we leave Erika Lodge and board our canoe ride down the Alto Madre de Dios River to Boca Manu Village during our voyage we may see bird species typical of the river or forest edge such as: Black Skimmer, Pied Lapwing, Capped Heron, Jabiru Stork, and several species of kingfishers, swallows and flycatchers. Boca Manu’s village is situated a short distance from the confluence of the Manu River with the Alto Madre de Dios River place where you can buy your last fresh supplies and cold drinks before setting off again in the canoe toward Boca Lodge where we will spend the night. Option to do a short nigh walk. *2 Free Option: Canopy zip down.
Very early and after a ten minutes boat ride, we will arrive to a Parrot Lick “Collpa”, which is a wall of clay in the riverbanks, where many species of parrots such as the blue headed parrot, the white-eyed parakeet, the dusky-headed parrot the chestnut fronted macaw and others feed for mineral, seeds and fruits. After registering in the official tourist logbook at Limonal, the Park Rangers Headquarters and eating an early breakfast, we will continue travel up the Manu River for 4 hours approximately into the pristine heart of the reserve; We arrive Salvador Lake, our base safari campsite. Differences in wildlife abundance: macaws, herons, kingfishers, caimans, monkeys, and other wildlife. We arrive early in the afternoon and have lunch before setting off on a jungle trail although at this time of day mammals and birds are not as active as in the early morning, we will concentrate on the forest itself and discuss general rain forest ecology, return to the campsite.
We rise 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 way to catch wildlife in the pursuit of food. We explore Salvador Lake by paddling quietly along on a catamaran, giving us the opportunity to observe unique species of birds, monkeys, caimans and with luck the Giant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis). After we enjoy lunch, we cross the river to walk a trail to another oxbow lake called Otorongo. At the lake a strategically located observation tower rises 15 meters above the lake and the jungle floor, from the top you not only get spectacular view of the lake and the surrounding forest but also excellent opportunities to observe birds from the canopy, this also gives us more chances to observe wildlife including the Giant Otter. Back at Salvador Lake, late in the afternoon we will use the catamaran and with the help of flashlights we can observe the black caimans rise from the depths of the lake and begin their search for prey. Return to the safari campsite.
Once again we wake up early, enjoy walking around Salvador Lake and then pack up and slowly go down stream the interesting Manu River. We continue to Boca Manu’s Village, situated a short distance from the confluence of the Manu and Alto Madre de Dios rivers. From here we descend the Madre de Dios River arriving Boca Lodge and spend one more night in this magical Amazon jungle. Possibility to do a short night walk through the forest to observe American bullfrogs, horned frogs, tree frogs and an incredible variety of colorful insects.
Around mid morning or before,we continue up the Alto Madre de Dios River to camp on an appropriate beach in the Cultural Zone if for some chance we can not arrive Erika Lodge and enjoy the sites and sounds of the jungle for one last 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.
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