We will leave Cusco early in the morning in our specialized overland vehicles. Approximately mid-morning we will visit the interesting tombs of Ninamarca, commonly known as "Chullpas". We will then continue to Paucartambo, a picturesque Spanish colonial town, and then we will continue to the Acjanacu pass which marks the beginning of the Cultural Zone of the Manu Biosphere Reserve. Here, a thick cloak of cloud provides perpetual humidity and makes an ideal habitat for epiphytic plants such as bromeliads. This varied and fascinating world is home of the Cock of the Rock, Spectacled Bear, Orchids, Tree Ferns (one of the oldest living plants), mosses and lichens. This cloud forest exists between 2000 and 3500 meters above sea level, and at least 50% of the plant species found here are endemic to this region. We will then spend overnight in our open air lodge "San Pedro".
Today you will wake up very early to observe, from a platform, the Cock of the Rock (Rupicola peruviana), Peru's national bird. The male birds are a vibrant reddish orange, and at about 5:00AM as many as several dozen come together for an exhibition of a mating ritual dance in a place called Lek. The males display their crest, showing off and posturing for the females. The females, fewer in number, watch to select the most suitable males. After breakfast we will continue with the overland transport down a narrow road between waterfalls and canyons toward the town of Pilcopata* and then to the Atalaya port. Here, you will board a covered, outboard motor boat and head down the Alto Madre de Dios River for approximately 15 minutes towards the private reserve of "Erika" where you will hike through the interesting trails that this transitional area between high and low jungle offers. You will spend overnight in the lodge at Erika. *Optional: Here in Pilcopata town you may make the final settings for a 3 hour river rafting (class I and II) trip down the Koshñipata river where you will have the opportunity for a dip and of course enjoy the spectacular views of the Koñeq Canyon. Then, continue down the Alto Madre de Dios River to the Erika Lodge. Ask for prices.
After breakfast you will board your canoe for a three hour ride down the Alto Madre de Dios River to Boca Manu's airstrip. (Optional flight from Cusco to Boca-Manu; this means that some new members may join our group, the plane flies over the Andes to a narrow gravel landing strip in the jungle, the flight takes approximately 45 minutes). Boca Manu´s village is situated a short distance from the confluence of the Manu River. Here, you can buy your last fresh supplies and cold drinks before setting off again in the canoe. Then we will enter the Manu River and the Reserved Zone, stopping at a white sand beach where you will camp along the riverbank. We will take a short walk around the area.
After registering yourselfs in the official tourist logbook at Limonal in the Park Rangers Headquarters and eating an early breakfast we will follow the Manu River until we arrive at Salvador Lake, our base safari campsite (screened dining room, bathrooms and radio communication is available). This canoe ride gives us the opportunity to observe the immensity of the rainforest and the diversity of birdlife, reptiles and mammals. You will often see animals sunning themselves on the beaches or foraging for food in the trees that line the riverbanks. We will arrive early in the afternoon and have lunch before setting off on a jungle trail. Your time will be spent looking for wildlife inside the rainforest and on Salvador Oxbow Lake. When the sun goes down we will return to the camp. Explore Salvador Lake by paddling quietly along on a catamaran, giving you the opportunity to observe unique species of birds, monkeys, caimans and with luck the Giant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis). This endangered species can be seen swimming, fishing, eating and playing.
We will wake up early in the morning as the forest is awakened by the Red Howler monkey (Aloatta seniculus) declaring its territory. A morning walk before breakfast is a great way to catch wildlife in the pursuit of food, as the temperature is very pleasant at this time of day. After relaxing and swimming in the river we will enjoy lunch along the riverbank. After we will cross the river to walk an 8-km trail to another oxbow lake called Otorongo. A strategically located observation tower rises 15 meters above the lake and the jungle floor, giving us more chances to observe wildlife including the Giant Otter. Late in the afternoon you can use the catamaran and with the help of flashlights observe the black caimans rise from the depths of the lake and begin their search for prey. We will then return to the campsite.
Once again we will wake up early to enjoy a brief morning walk and have breakfast, then pack up camp and go down stream on the interesting Manu River. We will arrive at Boca Manu at midday. This village is situated a short distance from the confluence of the Manu and Alto Madre de Dios rivers. From here you will descend the Madre de Dios River arriving early in the afternoon to the Blanco Private Reserve, this journey will take about three hours. We will camp at the safari campsite and spend one more night in this magical Amazon jungle.
After a very early wake up, we will use a special hide on the river shore in front of the "Collpa" macaw lick to quietly observe the various parrots feeding on the clay for mineral and salt supplements to add to their diet of seeds and fruits. The brightly colored macaws usually wait patiently in the surrounding trees until the smaller parrot species have left the area. Slowly, the macaws come down to the clay wall to feed. We will need to be very patient and silent on the catamaran so as not to disturb them as they eat the clay. Around mid morning we will board a canoe to return to the airstrip at Boca Manu, where (if you have a flight booked) you will catch your plane back to Cusco, if not we will spend one more night here.
Waking up very early, we continue the trip by boat to Atalaya, where the bus will be waiting for us to drive back up and out of Manu, arriving in Cusco very late in the night or the next early morning.
Custom made programs may be prepared for groups with special interests. Like extra nights, optional starting and ending points or additional tours. Extra flight reservations may be arranged upon request. All tours may be provided privately upon request.
NOTE: consider that you have to pay half before coming here and later completing when you arriveCOME BACK
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