MANU NATIONAL PARK, TAPIR AND MACAW CLAY LICKS (TENTED CAMPS)
DAY 1 CUSCO - MANU CLOUD FOREST (BoxL,D)
You will be picked up at your hotel to start your journey towards the Cloud Forest. You pass over two Andean chains of almost 4000m (13’100 ft) elevation through a steppe-like landscape called ‘Puna’. On the way you pass stone ‘Chullpas’, or burial chambers, of the Pre-Inca culture and with a bit of luck, you catch sight of some High Andes bird species, including the Giant Hummingbird and the Mountain Caracara.
As you arrive to Ajanaco pass at the edge of the Cloud Forest you will eat a boxed lunch while as you enjoy the views over the vast sprawling expanse of the lowland rain forest if the weather is clear. From here the road descends the eastern slope of the Andes. You move rapidly downwards, past remnant patches of elfin forest, through swirling mist and clouds, to emerge in a forest of stunted, evergreen trees, festooned with mosses, lichens, bromeliads and other epiphytes. Nestled in this forest within a 2-minute walk from the road, and within earshot of a rushing mountain stream, lies the Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge. If you arrive early, your first exploration of the surrounding forest will already take place before dinner.
DAY 2 MANU CLOUD FOREST - BOCA MANU (B,L,D)
Get up early to observe ‘Cocks-of-the-Rock’ displaying and calling at dawn, and return to the lodge for breakfast. Later this day you explore the cool, moist, mosquito-free Cloud Forest and search for the confiding Brown Capuchin Monkeys. A 3-hour bus drive brings you to the riverside town of Atalaya, where you board motor canoes to travel down the Alto Madre de Dios River towards the mouth of the Manu River. Depending on the road
and river conditions on this day, you either sleep in a simple tented camp (with small tents) or in a rustic local lodge near the mouth of the Manu River.
DAY 3 BOCA MANU - MANU WILDLIFE TENTED CAMPS (B,L,D)
Enjoy the fascinating dawn in the middle of the forest or on the riverbank before we head to Boca Manu town. We then board a motor canoe up the Manu River for 6 hours to the Wildlife Tented Camp near Cocha Salvador. On the way we will have the chance to visit beaches where you can encounter different birds, black caimans, capybaras, turtles, etc. Afternoon arrival at Manu Wildlife Tented Camp. We will explore some trails of the primary forest searching for monkeys.
For those with enough energy left after dinner there is a chance to walk other trails looking for different species including insects and frogs.
DAY 4 MANU WILDLIFE TENTED CAMPS (MANU NATIONAL PARK) (B,L,D)
Morning visit to Cocha (lake) Salvador aboard a canoe or catamaran. With some luck we may find the famous endangered Giant Otters and observe birds and monkeys searching for food. We will spend the remainder of the day exploring other trails that lead through different forest types, with excellent chances to observe monkeys.
DAY 5 MANU NATIONAL PARK - BOCA MANU - MANU WILDLIFE CENTER (L,D)
We leave very early in the morning to motor down the Manu River to Boca Manu and visit the local community there. Then we take a motorized canoe for a 90 minutes journey down the Madre de Dios River to Manu Wildlife Center. The late afternoon will be spent exploring some of the 30 miles of clean forest trails that surround the lodge. On these trails you have an excellent chance to encounter some of the 12 species of monkeys living in the surrounding forest, including the Monk Saki and Emperor Tamarin.
We return to the center for dinner, or as an alternative pack your meal for a leisurely hike of 60-75 minutes through the nocturnal forest to the Amazon’s largest known Tapir clay lick. Here we climb a 5x5 m (17x17 ft) observation platform perched almost 6 meter (20 ft) above the lick itself where you wait for the lumbering Tapirs to arrive. Then, using powerful flashlights you hopefully can observe and photograph them in action.
DAY 6 MANU WILDLIFE CENTER (B,L,D)
Rising before dawn, you take a 25-minute boat journey downstream to the only large parrot and macaw clay lick in the Manu area. From a blind you are given excellent views and photo opportunities of hundreds of parrots, among others also the large Red-and-Green Macaws.
Please note that the clay lick has the highest frequency from August to October and is not as active in May and June.
After lunch at the Center we continue by boat and onto an additional short hike you arrive at Blanco Oxbow Lake. This lake offers a stunning view and houses large populations of a variety of aquatic life and water birds, including the prehistoric-looking Hoatzin and a resident family of Giant Otters.
As an alternative you have the opportunity to explore the rainforest and its inhabitants on your own.
In the evening you have the chance to search for caiman and other nocturnal life along the riverbank by boat.
DAY 7 MANU WILDLIFE CENTER - CUSCO (B)
After an early breakfast, we leave by motor canoe for the two-hour return trip to the Manu landing strip, taking advantage of valuable early morning wildlife activity along the river. From here you fly to Cusco, where your jungle adventure ends. Upon arrival at Cusco airport you will be transferred to your hotel.
Please note that the program may vary slightly so as to maximize your wildlife sightings, depending on the reports of our researchers and experienced naturalist guides based at the lodge.
Every Thursday (from May to November)
Rainfall in the Manu lowlands is around 2500 - 3500 millimeters per year, with most rainfall occurring in the rainy season months from November to April. The average temperature in the Manu lowlands is 28°C (82°F), with daily highs of 34°C (93°F) and nightly lows of 22°C (72°F). During the dry season cold fronts from the South Atlantic (friajes) occur once every month or so, with daily temperatures dropping to 15°C (59°F) and nightly temperatures to 13°F (55°F).
In the Manu cloud forest there is an annual rainfall of approximately 5000 millimeters per year. The average temperature is 24°C (75°F), with daily highs of up to 29°C (84°F) and nightly lows of 11°C (52°F).
Guests should arrive in clothes which they do not mind getting slightly dirty or wet, and should wear footwear that is suitable to walk on a rain forest trail. Sun cream, insect repellent, hat and waterproof clothing should be carried in hand luggage and kept accessible for the journey to the lodge.
Not recommended for children under 5 years.
Yellow fever inoculation is required for travel to Manu. Malaria is present but extremely rare. If you wish to take medical precautions against malaria consult your physician or a specialist in tropical medicine.
It is not necessary to bring your entire luggage with you to the lodge. You will enjoy your trip more if only the essentials are brought (see above list). We highly recommend you prepare your day pack a day before your trip. Your main baggage can be left in Cusco’s hotel store room. There is a limit of 10 kilograms per person in the aircraft. If you have more kilograms then the excess will be charged to you directly in Cusco.
WHAT TO BRING
T-shirts and a long sleeved shirt
Four pairs of absorbent cotton socks
Rain suit or long poncho (100% waterproof)
Three or four long-sleeved cotton shirts
Sunscreen lotion (high factor)
A bottle or canteen to carry water on outings
One pair of shorts
A pair of sneakers or hiking boats (with good gripping soles) and sandals
A large, bright flashlight
Personal toiletries and medications
Rubber boots for the rainy season from November to April (available at extra cost in Iquitos)
Cash for drinks at the bar, airport taxes and personal expenses
INFORMATION NEEDED FOR RESERVATIONS
Complete name of the passengers
Passport number and nationality
Any special food requirements (Vegetarian, low salt, low fat, diabetic or other)