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The Manu Biosphere Park consists of two zones: the Manu National Park, which can only be entered by professional biologists with a special permit; and the Manu Reserved Zone, which can be entered by tourists, but only with an organised tour. There are buffer zones around the park, often referred to as the Cultural Zone, although this is no official protection for this area
Leaving Cusco early in the morning, we begin an 8-hour journey over the Andes in our private bus, on a road that partly goes up to 4000 meters above sea level. We travel through traditional Quechua communities and through the spectacular eastern ranges of the Andes, on the way, we have a few stops, to see the pre-inka cemetery of Ninamarca or to visit the famous folkloric village of Paucartambo (2900 m above sea level). Then we continue to “Acjanaco“, the park’s entrance from here we descend the eastern slopes of the Andes through cloud forest with lush vegetation (bromeliads, ferns, orchids etc.) in the cloud forest we can see wildlife such as our national bird: the bright red Cock of the Rocks (Rupicola peruviana) showing his mating dance. Quetzals, Trogons, Brilliantly colored Tanagers can be seen and possibly the first monkeys, such as capuchin monkey or Woolly Monkeys. In the afternoon, we arrive at Bamboo Lodge (700m above sea level), where we will have dinner and then spend the night in double rooms with private bath.
After an early breakfast we continue with our private bus: we pass the village of Pillcopata and cross the river of the same name to get to the small port of Atalaya (600 m). Wherefrom we take our boat for about 3-4 hours downstream the river “Madre de Dios“. On the way we stop at Aguas Calientes hot springs to relax. Then we Arrive at El Dorado Lodge we´ll explore one of the trails at this charming location. Night El Dorado Lodge in double rooms with private bath.
In the morning if there is activity, we may visit a clay lick where many parakeet and parrot species eat clay in the mornings. Also the smaller macaws such as the Chestnut-fronted and the scarce Blue-headed Macaws can be found there. Heading down the Madre de Dios River after breakfast, we’ll pass settlements and native communities. During the trip we can see wildlife on the river banks. Capybaras, caimans, birds and with some luck one of the big cats may be seen. We make a short stop in Boca Manu village, the main settlement in Manu called after the confluence of the sediment rich Manu River with the wider Madre de Dios River. Further downriver we reach Maquisapayoj lodge Reserve.
Once in the lodge we go for a walk to the mammal salt lick, where we look for tapirs, deer monkeys, and other animals who visit the salt lick. After returning to the lodge we explore the forest on a night walk to see frogs, insects and snakes etc., optional night on the platform at the salt lick.
Night in double rooms with private bath.
Back on the boat early in the morning, we head downstream to the small mining village Boca Colorado. Here you can see the negative effects of certain human activities on the delicate ecological balance of the rainforest. We take local transportation until crossing the Inambari River. On the other side, our private bus is waiting to take you over a newly paved road to Puerto Maldonado city where you can take an airplane to Lima or Cusco.
Professional, English speaking guide
Private transport (bus and boat)
Professional cook and meals (vegetarian option), mineral water
Overnight stays in lodges
First-aid equipment and snake venom extractor
Alcoholic beverages, personal expenses
Rain coat or poncho
Long-sleeved shirts and long pants
Sun screen and sunglasses
bathing clothes (optional)
Towel and Handout and flip-flops/sandals
backpack (for walks and hikes)
Passport and confirmation of yellow fever vaccination
Money in Soles for beverages (water is provided, other beverages not) and eventually artisanal/craftworks
Sanitary articles (toothbrush, shampoo etc.)
Bearing in mind the uncontrollable forces of nature, the program could be subject to changes at any time