8 Day Manu Tour
Day 01.6:00 am. Rendez-vous and departure of our private vehicle from our Cusco office. Our destination today is Manu Nature Tour's 1,300 Ha. Private Reserve in the cloud forest near the southeastern boundary of Manu Park, nested between the grasslands and the lowlands of the Upper Madre de Dios River. We travel southeast through small Andean villages while we observe cameloid shepherds and native peasants in their colorful attires. We travel at leisure making several stops along the way, including many photo opportunities, and the colorful colonial town of Paucartambo. As we reach the Acjanaco pass, near the southern-most tip of the Manu Park, a delicious lunch is the perfect complement to the magnificent views of the elfin forest, cloud forest, and the lowland Amazon Basin below.
Mountain Biking: For those with the energy and a sense of adventure we will offer the choice to use a sturdy mountain bike with front suspension to descend effortlessly on the most scenic and beautiful part of the single-lane dirt road into the heart of the cloud forests. For your security, and since this is not a competition but a chance to enjoy nature, you will have to ride behind our transport. We provide bike helmets and gloves.
We reach our Manu Cloud Forest Lodge to have a relaxing evening by the lodge's veranda. The sound of the Union Creek will put us into a pleasant sleep.
The above is an optional activity and must be reserved and paid in advance.
Day 02.The lush and misty cloud forest is perhaps the most fragile and threatened type of rainforest. This forest starts at 11,000 feet, and continues down to about 5,000 feet of elevation, covering 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. Early excursion to a nearby platform and blind strategically located to see a "lek" where the brightly red-colored Cock-of-the Rock displays daily for the females. We return to our lodge for a hearty breakfast. Afterwards, a hiking excursion to the Waterfall Trail, walking through dense and exuberant cloud forest and crossing rushing streams, which originate in the peaks high above the forest. Surrounded by massive rocks, hanging vines and bromeliads, we will enjoy a refreshing dip in these crystal-clear waters.
Optional:White-water rafting on the Qosñipata River; visitors of all ages can enjoy a short, soft, white-water rafting in the beautiful setting of the tropical rainforest. Lunch is served along the river course. We return to the Manu Cloud Forest Lodge early in the afternoon. A minimum of four clients is required. The river rafting must be reserved in advance.
Day 03.After breakfast, we head towards Atalaya, the first navigable port on the Upper Madre de Dios River. The ride will take us through small villages of Andean colonists and indigenous people whose main economic activities are rudimentary farming and low-scale logging. Once at Atalaya we board our motorized dugout canoes, equipped with cushioned seats, and long tarps to provide shelter from the baking sun, or the sudden tropical downpour. We will boat down the fast-flowing, braided, clear water, upper Madre de Dios River for about five hours to the confluence with the meandering, Manu River. As soon as we enter the great Manu wilderness, every river bend will bring us a vista of unspoiled beauty. We may see Black Caiman, White Caiman, toucans, parrots, scores of wild macaws, several species of raptors, and maybe even a magnificent Jaguar. The best proof of the presence of Jaguars and the possibility of many of our tour groups to see these great cats, are the many wonderful amateur photographs that our customers have sent back to our company.
After about four hours, we arrive at the Juarez Lake sandbar, then we hike 1000 meters along a flat trail to the Juarez oxbow lake and to the secluded Manu Lodge, the only lodge with an spectacular view of a shimmering private oxbow lake in the entire protected wilderness of the Manu National Park. We only take our hand-bags with us while the main luggage is carried by the Lodge personnel. Overnight. : Manu Lodge.
Day 04.We rise to the loud call of Howler Monkeys, and to the option of a dawn paddle on the lake. During breakfast from the dining room, you may be able to see entire troops of Squirrel Monkeys, Brown Capuchins, and White-Fronted Capuchins that may be visiting the lodge clearing in search of palm fruits. Without any doubt, one of the highlights of Manu Lodge is the family of four Giant Otters who usually breed there. Manu Lodge visitors have been able to see these playful and gregarious carnivores from a 15-meter distance without causing any disturbance of their daily activities. This group of Giant Otters visits the Manu Lodge every now and then, and when at Juarez, they can be seen at different times of the day. Surprisingly, a few dead logs in front of our dining room are their favorite spot to eat fish, preen, and play.
Manu Lodge offers the largest and most complete trail system available in Manu (over 20 km of marked trails), and the result of standardized trail walks completed by groups of researchers over the course of several years, show that "it is actually those sections closest to the lodge and most heavily visited, which were the most productive in terms of mammal sighting. This suggests that the presence of tourists and researchers is not having a disturbing effect on the local mammal population." (1995, Durham University Expedition Report.)
Two miradors are located within a close distance from the Manu Lodge; when clear they allow visitors with a vista of the canopy that stretches to the snow-capped peaks near Cusco. A dawn visit to the miradors is the most rewarding and while we look at the seemingly endless horizon, several primate and bird species may reward our patience. Mirador visitors regularly see: White-throated Jacamar, Paradise Tanagers, Opal-rumped Tanager, and Swallow Tanager. Eye-level sights of Red and Green Macaws, Scarlet Macaws, and Blue and Yellow Macaws as they fly by the mirador, and turn their heads to look at us is an unforgettable memory. On some occasions visitors have been rewarded with sights of Ornate-Hawk Eagle, and the monkey-eating Harpy Eagle. At over a meter-high, its yellow legs and talons seem larger than human arms and hands.
Optional:Canopy climbing. During your stay in Manu Lodge you have the chance to explore the rainforest canopy at a closer range. Our staff can take you for a spectacular and safe climb to a platform located 76 feet above the ground. Overnight: Manu Lodge.
The above is an optional activity and must be reserved and paid in advance.
Day 05:There are almost 500 bird species recorded in the vicinity of Manu Lodge. Some of these species have traditional nests right next to Manu Lodge. These "neighbor" species include: Black-tailed Tityra, Yellow- rumped Cacique, Golden-bellied Euphonia, Palm Tanager, Silver-beaked Tanager, and Masked-crimson Tanager. The immediate vicinity of the Juarez lake offers you easy and superb sightseeing of: Striated Heron, Wattled Jacana, Yellow-billed Tern, the bizarre Hoatzin, White-winged Swallows, Black-capped Donacobius, and Red-capped Cardinal. Other frequent visitors of the Manu Lodge are: Great Egret, Green Ibis, Osprey, and Black-collared Hawk. All of them can be easily seen from the lake banks or from our comfortable catamaran. Overnight: Manu Lodge.
Day 06.Today we will have an opportunity to explore the Manu River, and two of the most beautiful oxbow lakes in Manu, Otorongo and Salvador. This river is another good chance to try our luck and see a Jaguar sunning in the sandbars of the Manu River, as well as side-neck turtles sunning in logs. The five-kilometer long Salvador Lake is the largest and most beautiful lake in the lower Manu River. Four lake piers, several trail circuits and a small catamaran will offer us a chance to look for fauna and to observe the serene beauty of this marvelous place. On the boat trip back to Manu Lodge we will make a stop at Lake Otorongo in hopes to see a troop of Woolly Monkeys and to climb a 100ft. observation tower near the lake shore. If we are lucky while on this tower, we might see a group of Giant Otters playing and fishing on the waters below. We boat back to Manu Lodge in the late afternoon, to a refreshing shower, snacks and iced drinks. Overnight: Manu Lodge.
Day 07.At 06:00 o’clock we start our three-hour river journey back to the confluence of the Manu and the Upper Madre de Dios. This journey is our last chance to spot a Capybara, the world's largest rodent, or a Tapir, a relative of horses and the rainforest's largest mammal. After about three hours we will reach Boca Manu for a brief stop and to refuel our boat. From Boca Manu we will explore the lower portion of the Madre de Dios River where we may have a chance to see large Red-and-Green Macaws perched on the trees or making short and long flights to the rain forest canopy.
We will also see several lowland native settlements. About five hours from Boca Manu, we will arrive to Atalaya to start our overland journey to Manu Cloud Forest. Overnight: Manu Cloud Forest Lodge.
Day 08:This morning after breakfast we offer you an additional hiking excursion to walk through dense and exuberant cloud forest and crossing rushing streams, which originate in the mountain peaks high above the forest. Surrounded by massive rocks, hanging vines and bromeliads, we may enjoy a refreshing dip in these crystal-clear waters
Before noon we start our journey back to Cusco. END
END OF OUR SERVICES
Inclusions:Ground and boat transport from Cusco to Manu, naturalist English-speaking guide, all meals at the lodges, accommodations at Manu Cloud Forest Lodge and Manu Lodge.
Not included:Manu National Park entrance fee (about $60 per person, which may change without prior notice), alcoholic and/or non-alcoholic beverages , items of a personal nature and tips.
Important Note:The sequence of the itinerary is subject to change due to weather conditions.
2014 DEPARTURE DATES
2015 DEPARTURE DATES
- A 50 % per person deposit is required to guarantee the reservation.
- The remaining balance must be paid one 30 days before the date of departure.
- Your reservation will be automatically wait-listed if no deposit is received.
- Manu Nature Tours reserves the right to offer special rates for last minute sales.
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