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We will leave the cloud forest to get deeper into the rainforest reaching the port of Atalaya where we will switch our van for a motorized boat. Heading downriver along the Madre de Dios we enter the Biosphere Zone of the Manu, giving us plenty of opportunities to watch wildlife.
Once we are in the Maquisapayoj we will get settled in our Lodge. Here we can visit the most important macaw salt lick of the park called “Blanquillo”, the tapir salt lick and two lakes called “Blanco and Camungo” where a family of giant otters have found their home. Furthermore you can observe over 600 different species of birds around the lakes and the highest viewing tower in the Peruvian Amazon which was constructed next to a 350 year old Ceiba tree. From up here you get a chance to see 8 species of monkeys, red deer and maybe even a jaguar. We finally return past the towns of Puerto Colorado and Mazuco to Cusco or Puerto Maldonado.
It is important to know, that the salt licks of the macaws and the tapir as well as the lakes are protected areas and are located in the Biosphere Zone of the Manu.
We will leave Cusco at 5:30 am and start our 8-9 hour drive to the jungle. We will pass the highest point of our trip at an altitude of more than 4.000 msl. Along the way we will stop a few times, once to see the Chullpas of Ninamarca, a Pre-Inca cemetery. From here we will pass the pastures of the Andes until we reach the town of Paucartambo at an altitude of 2.900 msl. Paucartambo is a small town with a lot of history and tradition, it is also known as the folkloric capital of Peru.
After a short visit to the pretty town center we continue to Acjanaco at 3.560 msl, which also marks the entrance to the National Park of Manu. From now we drop down towards the jungle.
Along the way we’ll get to see orchids and birds such as the Resplendent Quetzal, Toucan and Tangara.
In San Pedro we’ll come across a strategically perfect place to observe the national bird of Peru, the Andean cock-of-the-rock. Inside the LEK we will be able to observe these birds jumping and singing merrily while preforming their typical mating ritual. With a bit of luck we’ll spot mammals like monkeys or the spectacled bear. We move on through tropical rain forest until we reach the “Ecological Bambu Lodge”.
Early in the morning, after a delicious breakfast, we will head towards Atalaya where our private boat will be waiting for us. We will drive on the river Madre de Dios for about 6 hours, loosing altitude as we go until we are at an altitude of about 820 feet. Along the way we will be able to observe the fauna of the river. With some luck we will see herons, falcons and parrots as well as the largest rodent of the world, the Caypibara.
Monkeys are hopping around the branches of the trees and sometimes you even get to see the hunter of the Amazon Jungle, the jaguar. Along the river banks we will also observe the small communities of the jungle which have lived here for ages.
Among them the community of the Arkambut and the ethnic group of the Piro. In the afternoon we will reach our accommodation the “Manu Birding Lodge / Maquisapayoj” where we will spend the night in double rooms with private bath. A night hike is optional.
With the first rays of the sun we will drive about 40 minutes downriver in order to visit a small oxbow lake named “ Blanco“. Around this small lake we can observe a lot of wildlife, the lake is also habitat to the endangered giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis). To see these animals close up, we will head out onto the lake in a small catamaran, that way flora and fauna can be observed a lot better.
After our visit of the lagoon we will hike through the forest for a bit, to learn more about the plants and animals of the jungle. For lunch we will be back at the Lodge.
In the afternoon we can take another short hike through the jungle, we do want our clients to experience the magic of this place at all times.
In the evening we will head out to the Tapir Saltlick, a place where big mammals like tapir, deer, porcupines etc. gather at night, to absorb the minerals and salts out of the mud which are essential to their diet and digestive system.
Before sunrise we head downriver for about an hour to reach the famous Ara saltlick. This part of the Manu National Park offers the perfect location to see the different aras and parrots which fly here in the morning hours. They gather here to absorb the minerals out of the clay, which are essential to their diet. This is also an important social gathering for these endangered birds. Our viewpoint is perfect for hobby and professional photographers.
After thoroughly watching these magical birds we will head back to our Lodge for lunch.
In the afternoon we will visit the second lake on our itinerary, the oxbow lake “Cocha Camungo”. Here we will be able to see the giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) once again, navigating our catamaran across the lake. Afterward we can climb the 165 feet tall Tower where you can appreciate an amazing view of the treetops of the Amazon Jungle. Up here among the treetops you can experience wildlife and flora close up.
At night you can optionally visit the Tapir Saltlick again, in case there was no animal sighting the night before.
After breakfast we will start our way back in a 3 hour boat ride downstream to the town of Boca Colorado where we will say goodby to our boat crew which as accompanied us through the Manu over the last couple of days. In a private taxi we drive for about one hour to Puerto Punkiri (why do we take a taxi? Our transport from Cusco cannot enter to Boca Colorado).
We will have to cross the river Inambari till we reach Puerto Carlos where our transport from Cusco will wait for us. Along the asphalted Transozeanica we will head back to Cusco in a 7 to 8 hour bus ride, reaching Cusco around 6:00 pm.
We want to make your trip to Peru as memorable and as easy as possible. In this section, you will find speedy answers to all those questions you had about Manu Biosphere 5 Days in one place. Please read the following information carefully – it will help you with any questions about our services.Has another question that we haven’t answered here? Drop us a line, and we will get back to you asap!
All information meetings are held in your hotel at 6:00 p.m., one night before the tour begins. If you cannot attend, you must coordinate another time at the (Peru Hike) offices. These meetings last approximately 30 to 45 minutes and there you will be given a small duffel bag, in which you’ll put all the belongings you intend to bring on the trek that won’t be in your day pack.
ou’ll receive a canvas case or duffel bag during your briefing. The porters will take them on the way and will deliver them to you when you get to each camp. They measure 66 cm / 2 ft. Long x 36 cm / 1 ft. Wide.
A maximum of 5 kg is allowed for each duffel bag that includes the weight of your sleeping bag, mat, clothes and other personal items.
The trek has to be paid for in full by at least 7.30 pm two days before departure. For example, if your tour departs on a Wednesday, then you must come to our office before 7.30 pm on Monday.
It would be much appreciated if you pay the trek balance in cash US dollars or local currency. You can withdraw some money from several ATMs along Avenida Sol (either in US dollars or local Peruvian Soles). You can pay by credit card or PAYPAL online, but you will have to pay an 8% service charge, charged by VISA and PAYPAL. We do not accept bank checks or payment of the balance by traveler’s checks.
Of course! During the travel, your main luggage can be stored at our office(you can organize briefing day or by email) or at your hotel, both free of charge.
Any equipment that you are not going to need on the trek can be stored safely in your hotel. Nearly every hotel will provide this service. Don’t leave items of value with your bags, put them in the hotel safe and obtain an itemized receipt (In the unlikely case of theft many insurance companies require that you have a copy of the receipt itemizing all the items). Best put items such as credit cards inside a sealed, signed envelope for extra peace of mind.
Peru Hike Company can pick you up from your hotel, as long as it’s in the Historic Center of Cusco. The pickup time will be coordinated with your guide in the briefing. The pickup time may vary between 30 and 45 minutes due to traffic. Cusco is a very old city, therefore, it has many narrow cobbled streets. Some hotels and Airbnbs may be located on streets without access to cars or on long, steep slopes, making it difficult to transport luggage. We strongly recommend that you book accommodation with good access.
Group tours are made up of different types of people. Physical conditions and ages can vary. By agreeing to be part of a group tour, you also accept that some people may be faster or slower than you. Therefore, each person can go at their own pace on the route. It may be the case that a group wishes to modify the tour; however, it will be the guide who decides, after consulting with all the participants, if said modifications can be made.
Strikes and demonstrations are usually frequent in Peru and this may interrupt some of our tours. Roads can be blocked and train tracks can be taken over. However, we will try to keep your excursion as planned, even if it means leaving the night before the scheduled date. Under these circumstances, tours may also be cancelled. In case of changes or cancellations, all situations will be coordinated with you by our operations department. Your safety is our highest priority and our decisions will be made to protect it.
You’re responsible for your objects during the tour. Please pay attention to where you leave your things and remember to take everything once you leave our trucks, tents, or restaurants.
Here are some other options that will suit your needs
Almost 2 million km of protected rainforest = one of the most amazing experiences you’ll ever have. So many animals! (Which are protected instead of being hunted for food / trophies / pets, like in other places such as Iquitos among others…)
Be prepared for a long trip (4 hours by car and boat to the first lodge, then several hours by boat for the 2 next lodges in our case), but that includes several stops along the way to eat but also to look for wildlife – we started seeing quite a few animals after about 4 hours, so it’s definitely not all wasted time!
We chose the 5 day trip with Manu Wildlife Adventure, and it was simply an unforgettable, amazing experience. 4 of us in the group, plus our excellent cook Richard and our guide Alex Olave who was simply great – very dedicated, always making sure we got the best chances of seeing wildlife and very respectful of the environment – clearly loves his job. Alex now has his own tour company as well, Peru hike company.