We start our trip very early from the city of Cusco, at the beginning of the road to Manu where we will pass through many valleys during the trip, and along the small road you can see small towns and the people who live dress with their colorful outfits. We will stop briefly in Ninamarca which is an archaeological site with its pre-Inca tombs, then we travel making several stops taking many photos, continuing to visit the town of Paucartambo with its beautiful colonial arched bridge. From Paucartambo we climb again and little by little we will wrap ourselves in a cloudy fog, then we will reach the pass of Acjanaco and the entrance to the Manu National Park.
Once crossed Acjanaco Pass (3550 m / 11,647 ft) the environment changes dramatically going from the dry valleys to the wet valleys and also the view that looks towards the lowlands is impressive. The lush forest and the misty cloud surrounded by massive rocks and waterfalls are perhaps the most beautiful things in the rainforest, which is our main objective. We will also see the national bird of Peru the brightly red "Gallito de las Rocas," but the tanager flock here are also incredible and some colorful birds like mountain toucans, quetzals. As we descend, we will descend directly to (560 m / 1837 ft) during the night, to the natural reserve of BAMBU.
Leaving the cottage, we will have the opportunity to observe some birds along the famous Manu road, passing through some more open areas and see many bird specialists.
Then we will go to the Atalaya dock, board our boat with roof (to protect us from the sudden tropical downpour and the sun bath). The tall Madre de Dios begins rocky and fast, with herons often seen feeding on the rocky gravel bars. As we continue our trip by boat downstream, we will stop briefly at the hot springs of Shintuya for a refreshing swim and then we will be busy traveling by boat on the Madre de Dios River, we will see some local boats and settlements of native people or Shelters along the edge of the river. We will arrive in the afternoon in time to get settled before dark, and probably with enough time to walk around the cottage or on one of the many trails.
Leaving the lodge early in the morning, we will get the confluence with the Manu river we enter the wild Manu National Park, and we will make a brief stop at Limonal Park Ranger Station for check in, this boat trip is more exciting and full of sightings experiences, every river bend will bring us a view of unspoiled beauty As we travel up river, we’ll search diligently for any signs of Jaguar, still only a slim chance but this river is perhaps the best location to find this magnificent mammal, Just a few curves up the river the environment will change. Suddenly, there will be orders of magnitude more to look at, from hundred if not thousands of swallows and butterflies, every single sandbar being occupied by something interesting, from lapwings, plovers, horned screamers, orinoco geese, we will keep a close watch for wildcats. In the mid afternoon, we arrive at our rustic lodge which it´s set aside a short distance from the Rio Manu in the heart of Manu National Park and for our following nights at this peaceful place. Overnight, Casa Matsiguenka Lodge.
We will have the better part of three days to enjoy the Manu´s Wilderness, in the morning, we will explore the Salvador oxbow lake famous for its population of Giant Otters who usually breeds there , they can be seen at different times of the day, these gregarious and playful carnivorous spend good deal of their time fishing or playing by any side of the lake or just taking a sunbath on their favorite dead logs. We’ll have access to a floating catamaran (two large canoes connected by wooden planks) with chairs set up for bird and wildlife viewing (which makes paddling around the lake easy and comfortable.
Apart from looking for the giant river otters, we’ll have the chance for many of the lake edge species, including the fabulous Hoatzin, Agami and herons, interesting raptors, colorful macaws oropendolas and caciques. Just floating around the lake will be one of the joys of the trip, In the forest around the lake we’ll also search for more species of monkeys such as white fronted capuchin, pygmy marmoset. Apart from the lake, the forest around Salvador Lake and the lodge is some of the best Amazonian rainforest we have seen, and a nice network of trails allows us to leisurely stroll on flat trails the rest of the day. Overnight: Casa Matsiguenka lodge. (Please notice that the time to visit the Salvador lagoon on this day its subject of availability)
Following the main trail that crosses the terra firme forest we get the small macaw clay lick that sometimes attracts parakeets such as Rock and Painted, visiting this clay lick is also always a big highlight of the trip, early in the morning, parakeets congregate and start to gather to eat the clay, which they need on their diet, this activity might take most of the morning time.
We’ll spend full afternoon walking along what is the "system of trails" from Casa Matsiguenka to Cocha Otorongo lake it usually takes more than a couple of hours, the forest trail has great mixed habitats and wonderful section of untouched rainforest initially the route takes you through "Terraza Forest” forest which is the habitat for brazil nut (bertholletia excelsa) among others species of trees as you move deep into the heart of the forest is also an excellent place to run into troops of monkeys, with no fewer than six species possible such as red howler, brown capuchin, squirrel monkey, tamarins. as well as the chance for numerous other birds such as curassow, guans. Arriving to the lodge in the afternoon for dinner time.
This morning we’ll board our boat and begin the journey down the Rio Manu back to the Rio Madre de Dios. We’ll also have access and briefly to see untouched rainforest. Returning to boat trip will be again very exciting with lots of bird activity on the many sandbars as well as side necked turtles sunning on the logs. This will be again another opportunity for catching a glimpse of the magnificent Jaguar. After about four hours we will reach Boca Manu for brief stop and to refuel our boat and exploring the lower portion of the Madre de Dios, we get settled for lunch time and likely with enough time to walk around.
Overnight at El Dorado Lodge.
very early, we will certainly visit the Parrot Clay Lick allowing the weather condition, which is also a good activity in our rainforest trip, and then we will boat up the fast flowing braided and clear water upper Madre de Dios in the morning as we start our five hours back journey to Atalaya this is the last chance to spot the capybara, the world’s largest rodent. We’ll keep a close watch for raptors, as we have seen numerous Kites, as well as fun birds such as Vultures, eagles. We’ll sadly depart Manu´s area for our trip further up the upper Madre de Dios River and our re-introduction into civilization; after we reach the SOGA DE OROand having time for some night walk around the area.
This morning we will take an early ride to the cloud forest. We’ll make some stops en route looking for colorful birds such as: Cock of the rock, quetzals, jays, mountain toucans and the elevation here is perfect for high number of foothill species going up the cloud forest we can enjoy the breathtaking views of the exuberant forest. We will arrive Cusco in the afternoon.
*The program may have small variations due weather or other factors.