Our Rain Forest Lodges
Manu Cloud Forest Lodge Attractions

Some of the attractions of the lodge include one "lek" or dancing ground of Andean Cock-of-the Rock, which are nearly crow-sized, bright red birds in the Cotinga family. Troops of acrobatic Woolly Monkeys are also frequently sighted. An ornithological census by John Arvin, a renowned tropical ornithologist, shows a list that exceeds 700 species of birds in the transect from the grasslands to the lowlands of the Upper Madre de Dios River port of Atalaya. Some of the amenities of the lodge include private bathrooms with hot water and private verandas overlooking the pristine Union creek.

The Manu Cloud Forests

The lush and misty cloud forest is perhaps the most fragile and threatened type of rainforest. These forests, which start from about 11,000 feet, and continue down to about 5,000 feet of elevation, cover the eastern slopes of the Andes, before yielding to the vast lowland forest of the Amazon. This is a kingdom of moss, lichens, ferns, and orchids that grow profusely thanks to the incredible amount of rainfall, in some cases up to 10 meters per year. The cloud forest of South America form a fragile and very narrow strip that begins in Colombia and Ecuador; they are the first to be destroyed by highland settlers that come to the rainforest looking for land. This habitat is especially important in protecting the headwaters of all the streams and tributary rivers that cascade from the Andes eventually to form the mighty Amazon itself. Ecotourism is one non-destructive tool that can be used to spearhead a movement to protect these pristine lands from destruction. As a responsible tour operator, we are fighting a war against time, for the sake of future generations, for the sake of education, research and proper implementation of sustainable ways to use this spectacular and unique landscape. 

The best way to understand the amazing variety of habitats to be found in an undisturbed transect from the high Andes to the Amazon lowlands is to visit the Manu Biosphere Reserve. Until recently, such a trip was a wonderful experience, but required a 14-16 hour trip from the Inca City of Cusco to the first navigable port, Atalaya, on the Upper Madre de Dios River.

Manu Cloud Forest Lodge Private Reserve

Manu Nature Tours has been instrumental in protecting the cloud forests along the spectacular road that winds down from the grasslands to the elfin and cloud forests, buffering the Manu Park´s southeastern core area against illegal hunting and logging. Currently we manage a 1,400-hectare private reserve which helps to protect the habitat of important "flagship" species as the Spectacled Bear, the Black and Chestnut Eagle, Cock-of-the Rock, Quetzals, and as many as 500 species of birds.

The book: “Legal Tools and Incentives for Private Lands and Conservation in Latin America: Building Models for Success”. This was edited by the “Environmental Law Institute” in Washington, D.C. USA.. The work is a joint effort with organizations from: Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Mexico, Chile y Peru. Below a short text about the importance of our work in the cloud forest of Peru:

"The first privately managed protected reserves in Peru were initiated by ecotourism companies that obtained small pieces of land to build an ecotourism lodge, as well as custodianship of government-declared protected areas around their lodges. These include the owners of the Cusco Amazónico lodge on the Madre de Dios River, where a private reserve of 10,000 ha was declared by the government in 1976,221 and the Explorers Inn, named custodian of the initial 5,500 ha Tambopata Reserved Zone created in 1977.222 Later in 1992, a private reserve of 1,362 ha was declared around the Manu Cloud Forest Lodge, which manages this reserve. Starting in the late 1980s, additional land was directly purchased and protected by non-profit groups in this region, and several groups have protected land in the Quosnipata Valley that protects the southern boundary of the Manu National Park, including the Asociación para la Conservación de la Selva Sur, Asociación para la Conservación de la Cuenca Amazónica, and ProNaturaleza. There has been a particularly strong relationship between these commercial private reserves with scientific research and conservation initiatives in this region. The vast 1,478,943 ha Tambopata-Candamo Reserved Zone created in 1990 had its origin in the privately-managed Tambopata Reserved Zone of 5,500 ha initially created around Explorers Inn. The scientific research on this land and surrounding areas conducted by the owners of that lodge and by visiting scientists from the Smithsonian and many other institutions, provided critical support for the environmental initiative to create the larger area. Another aspect of private-public partnership is the association Ecotur Manu, formed by the ecotourism enterprises and owners of the private reserves operating in the Manu Reserved Zone adjacent to Manu National Park. This association serves to ensure quality of tourism and limit entry into sensitive areas. The fees they pay to INRENA exceed the park management budget, and the operators also charge a per-person fee to clients that is contributed directly for park operations and provides important supplemental support for the park's management. Although one should not exaggerate the contribution of these commercial operations, there is no question that they were among the most significant early actors in the conservation movement that has now protected over 2 million ha in this region, and remain a strong underpinning of the political support for conservation in the region."