Manu is considered the most important rainforest park in the world offering the fabled city of Cusco and the mythical Inca citadel of Machu Picchu as its gateway. About half the size of Switzerland, Manu protects an entire virgin watershed from Andean grasslands at 12,000 ft. down to elfin forests, and cloud forests, to the vast lowlands at 1,000 ft. above sea level.
Manu boasts world-record diversities of birds (more than 1,000 species) mammals (more than 200 species), reptiles, amphibians, fresh-water fishes, insects and plants (over 15,000 species). No other area in North or South America offers such superb viewing of rare or difficult to observe animals, such as the two-meter long and gregarious Giant Otters, 13 species of monkeys, white and black caiman (crocodiles), seven species of macaws (the world´s largest parrots), ten species of toucans, guans, curassows, and trumpeters (all rare game birds), and the largest land animal in Central and South America, the Tapir. No other park on earth can compare with Manu in terms of sheer variety of life forms. A patch of lowland rainforest in Manu harbors 40% more species of birds than a comparable patch of forest in Central Amazonian Brazil.
As many of our clients amateur pictures can attest, Manu offers the best chance in the rainforest to see a wild Jaguar, about three in ten tourist groups spot this beautiful cat. If you have only one opportunity to visit the jungles of the neotropics and you want to see many large mammals as well as a record-breaking variety of tropical plants, then Manu Lodge and the Manu Cloud Forest Lodge are your best choice.