MANU NATIONAL PARK
We leave Cusco early in the morning in our specialized overland vehicles. Approximately mid-morning we visit the interesting tombs of Ninamarca, commonly known as "Chullpas". We continue to Paucartambo a picturesque Spanish colonial town, and the to the Acjanacu pass,which marks the beginning of the Cultural Zone of Manu Blosphhere Reserve. Here, a thick cloack of clouds provides perpetual humidity and makes an ideal habitat for epiphytic plants such as bromellads.This varied and fascinating world is home of the Cock of the Rock, Spectacled Bear, orchlds, 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. Overnight in our open air lodge "San Pedro".
Manu National Park, located in southeastern Peru, is one of the largest parks in South America. The area of the parks encompasses parts of the Andean department of Cusco and the jungle department of Madre de Dios. Manu protects over 2 million hectares (4.5 million acres) of territory rich in flora and fauna species in a variety of habitats including high Andes, cloud forests, and lowland tropical rain forests.
UNESCO officially recognizes this natural paradise as a world heritage site. In 1977 they designated Manu as a World Biosphere Reserve because it contains the best existing example of biodiversity in protected areas of rain forest, as well as endemic areas of cloud forest.
The majority of forests in the world have been altered by humans. Fortunately, Manu has remained intact and untouched by civilization. Thus, we can observe a variety of animals in their natural habitats, including Giant Otters (Pteronura brasiliensis), Black Caiman (Melanosuchus niger), the majestic Jaguar (panthera onca), the strange spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus), the Tapir (Tapirus terrestris), The Ocelot (Felis pardalis), 13 species of primates, and an estimated one thousand species of birds including seven species of Macaws (ARA sp.)
Manu also contains 10% of the worlds vascular plant species, including several species of figs and palms, as well as countless species of medicinal plants that scientist are currently cataloguing. A single hectare of forest in Manu can have up to 220 species of trees, while a hectare of temperature forest in Europe or North America may only have 20 tree species.
Manu National Park may be the most biologically diverse and protected park on the planet.
Today we wake up very early to observe the Cock of the Rock (Rupicola Peruviana), Peru's national bird from a plattform 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 continue in our overland transport(*1), down the narrow road between waterfalls and canyons toward the town of Pilcopatl(*2) and the to Atalaya port. Here, we board our covered, outboard motor boat and head down the Alto Madre de Dios River for approximately 15 minutes toward our private reserve of "Erika" where we will hike through the interesting trail system tha this transitional area between high and low jungle offers. Overnight in the lodge.
(*) Optional :
Here in Pilcopata town we will make the final settings for a 1 1/2 to 3 hour river rafting (class I and II rapid) trip down the Koshñipata river where we will have the opportunity for a dip and of course enjoy the spectacular view of the Koñeq Cayon, continuing down the Alto Madre de Dios River to Erika Lodge.
After breakfast we board our canoe for the tree-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 files over the Andes to an 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 whith the Alto Madre de Dios RIver place where you can buy your last fresh suplies and cold drinks before setting off again in the canoe. Now we enter the Manu River and the Reserved Zone, stopping in a white sandbeach where we camp along the riverbank. Short walk around the area.
FREE OPTION : NEW !!! CANOPY TOUR :
At Erika lodge, our guests traverse from tree to tree, and platform to platform using pulleys on horizontal traverse cable zip lines, as they sail through the treetops of the tropical rainforest canopy, and over the trails far below. Expert guides assist you in this exciting journey through the different layers of the virgin rain forest and explain whats going on around you, from the time you leave the ground, until you rappel back down to the forest floor.
Very early and after a ten minutes boat ride, we will arrive to a Parrot Lick Collpa, which is a wall of clay in the riverbanks, where many species of parrots such as the blue headed parrot, the white-eyed parakeet, the dusky- headed parrot the chestnut fronted macaw and others feed for mineral and salt supplements to their diet of seeds and fruits.
After registering in the official tourist logbook at Limonal, The Park Rangers Headquarters and eating an early breakfast, we follow the Manu River until we arrive Salvador Lake, our base safari campsite (screened dining room, bathrooms, 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 beaches, or foraging for food in the trees lining the riverbanks. We arrive early in the afternoon and have lunch before setting off on a jungle trall.Our time is spent looking for wildife inside the rainforest and on Salvador Oxbow Lake, until the sun goes down and we return to camp. We explore Salvador Lake by paddling quietly along on a catamaran, giving us the opportunity to observe unique species of birds, monkeys, calmans and whith luck the Glant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis ). This endangered species can be seen swimming fishing, eating and playing.
we rise 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 pursult of food, as the temperature is very pleasant at this time of day. After relaxing and swimming in the river we enjoy lunch along the riverbank, after this, we cross the river to walk an 8km 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 Glant Otter, Late in the afternoon we will use the catamaran (optional) and with the help of flashlights we can observe the black caimans rise from the depths of the lake and begin their search for prey, Return to the campsite.
Once again we wake up early, enjoy waking around Salvador Lake and then pack up and slowly go down stream the interesting Manu River. We arrive at 3:00pm approximately to the Valleys, an island that belongs to a Native family, and its possible to do a short walk through the forest to observe American bullfrogs, horned frogs, tree frogs, and an incredible variety of colorful insects. We continue to Boca Manus village, situated a short distance from the confluence of the Manu and Alto Madre de Dios rivers , from here we descend the Madre de Dios River arriving to Juan de Dios reserve and spend one more night at the lodge in this magical Amazon jungle. Possibility to do a short night walk.
Around mid morning we board our canoe to return to the airstrip at Boca Manu. At this point, those who are returning to Cusco by plane will catch their flight. This optional flight from Boca Manu to Cusco offers spectacular views of surrounding jungle and the areas meandering rivers. The others continue up the Alto Madre de Dios River to camp on an appropriate beach in the Cultural zone and enjoy the sites and the sounds of the jungle for one last night.
Waking up very early, we continue the trip by boat to Atalaya, where the bus will be waiting for us and drive back up and out of Manu, arriving in Cusco very late this night or the next early morning. IMPORTANT :
In order to meet with group and guide, receive last recommendations and answers questions; briefing one day prior to departure at 7:00pm at the agency.
SERVICES INCLUDED :
- Own ground transportation(overland buses and 4WD vehicles)
- Own boat transportation (covered motor boats)
- Specialized bilingue guides
- 01 night in Orquideas the San Pedro
- 01 night in Erika Lodge
- Two - person tents
- Sleeping mattress
- First aid kid including anti-ophidion shots
- Air charters (optional maximum 10 kgr. of luggage per person)
- Paperwork and documents facilities for park permits
- Radio communication equipment in all lodges and campsites
- Satellite telephone for emergencies
- As an additional service we offer safety box for values and storage for luggage in Cusco’s main office.
NOT INCLUDED :
- Airport taxes
- Alcoholic drinks
- First breakfast
- Entrance fee to the Reserve Zone US $ 65.00
THINGS YOU SHOULD BRING ALONG ON A TRIP TO MANU
- Sleeping bag
- Binoculars, camera and film ASA 200 and 400 for the inner forest
- Warm clothing (in case of a cold front), long sleeve shirts and long pants (cotton)
- 100% waterproof rain gear (long poncho or rain wear)
- Insect repellant (at least 50% Deet), sunscreen lotion
- One pair of light weight ankle height boots and sandals
- Flashlight, enough batteries (alkaline) and bulbs
- Wide brim hat (for sunny days), sun glasses
- Towel, swimming suit, personal medicines and / or supplies (liquid for contact lenses, for example)
- Day pack, and one back pack or duffel bag of luggage per person
- One bottle of water for the first day
- Plastic bags