8D/7N MANU PARK TOUR ACTIVITIES
Departure from Cusco city very early in the morning in one of our trucks specially prepared for this road. We will pass through interesting Inter-Andean valleys and picturesque farmer communities. In the middle of the day we are going to visit the pre-Inca buried towers of Ninamarca, known as “chullpas”. After that we will arrive to Paucartambo city, which is a typical colonial town. It had a lot of importance and it still conserves it’s flavor. Continuing our trip we drive up until the Abra of Accjanaco which is found at 3850 meters over the sea. From this point we start to go down passing through the cloud forest, which is an area rich in endemic species as the spectacular “Andean Bear” (Tremarctos Ornatus) and “The Cook of the Rock” (The Peruvian National Bird), “Orquis”, “Bromelias” and “Ferns” etc. Then in San Pedro we will visit a lek of “Cook of the Rocks”, in which these birds every morning and afternoon made during a very interesting dance called “Displays”. After that we continue our tour until reaching Pilcopata Lodge, where we will stop and spend our first night.
Very early, at 06:30 a.m., we will leave in the direction of Port Atalaya; on the way we will make a few stops to visit the small, native communities of Patria and Pilcopata. These communities are known to be producers of many varieties of jungle fruits, even the famous Coca plant.
Later, we will continue our journey into the jungle by beginning the boating portion of the tour with a river excursion on the Madre de Dios, or “Mother of God” River, one of the tributaries of the mighty Amazon River.
During our day we will have the chance to witness many types of colorful birds such as parrots, Oropendolas, vultures and others species. Hopefully, we will also have the opportunity to see some jungle mammals such as monkeys or the famous capybaras (jungle rodents that are as much as 2.5 ft long). Towards the late afternoon, we will arrive to our next sleeping destination, Blanquillo Ecological reserve lodge, arriving approximately at 5:00 p.m. Here, there will be showers and services available.
Very early in the morning before having our breakfast, using a totally camouflaged hidden place we will observe a Macaw Clay Lick. This is a clay wall on the riverside, where different species of Parrots and Macaws come down each morning to extract necessary minerals for their diet balance. “The Parakeets”, “Amazon Parrot”, “The Blue headed Parrot” give an unforgettable pallet of colored wild life and as a perfectly finish to this picture the fabulous “Macaws” will arrive. Impressed by nature we return to our lodge. Digesting a good, strong lunch we continue the adventure with a walk for a few minutes to arrive to the Camungo Oxbow lake. Before sailing on the lake, we will climb a metal tower (42 meters high) next to the lake from where we can get a beautiful view over the landscape. We will be enjoying this lake on a Catamaran all afternoon with the possibility of spotting “Giant Otters”. When it gets dark we are in the perfect position of spotting “Caimans” and with luck we will catch one of them. Still “shaking” after this exciting adventure we will go back to our Lodge to take a deserved rest after a delicious dinner.
After having our breakfast we start the returning trip, but to do this we need to make a short stop in Boca Manu to get fuel for the boat. Then we will continue sailing up Manu River. With a brief stop at the park ranger station at Limonal to present our permits we travel for about five hours up the Manu. Beaches, especially in the dry season, are loaded with nesting birds and feeding Herons, Egrets, Orinoco Geese, Terns and Skimmers to name a few. Some beaches will host sunning White and Black Caimans (South American relatives of the Alligators) and breeding Side-necked Turtles. Hundreds of Sand-colored Nightjars roost during the day on logs and beaches and there is a chance of encountering a sunning Jaguar - the worlds third largest cat. In 1999 one in three of our trips saw Jaguar in Manu. We will see some species of primate on this river trip, possibly Red Howler Monkeys or the smaller Squirrel Monkeys. After having lunch by the river we arrive at our Safari Camp near the lake of Cocha Salvador. We'll have the afternoon to explore some of the trails through the pristine rainforest in the area. A visit to the lake of Cocha Otorongo is planned, where observation piers and a 20 meter observation tower in the rainforest canopy overlooking the lake are available for observing wildlife. We will also be on the lookout for a large family of Giant Otters that inhabit this lake. Before or after dinner an optional excursion into the forest at night is available with your guide in search of nocturnal creatures. The lakes are full of eye-shine of the large Black Caiman and if we are lucky we may encounter an Olingo Kinkajou or even an Ocelot on the trails. Certainly the night-time noise of tree frogs and insects in the forest is an experience not to be forgotten. Night at Cocha Salvador.
After breakfast we'll spend the morning at the lake of Cocha Salvador. Some of the time will be spent canoeing the lake on a floating platform observing oxbow lake animal life from the water. We may encounter an Agami Heron or a Sungrebe and Brown Cappuchin Monkeys are usually feeding on fruits nearby. Specially constructed piers that jut out into the lake enable us to look for a family of Giant Otters that live here. These, the worlds largest freshwater carnivores, remain common only in Manu, having been hunted to extinction throughout most of their former range. Each animal consumes between 4 and 5 kilos of fish daily and often they can be seen eating large fish on logs at the lakeside. The rest of the day will be spent walking the trails in the area in search of some of the 13 species of Monkey found in the forest here. Your guide will explain some of the basics of rainforest ecosystems and point out some of the medicinal plants of the area used by local, indigenous groups. We may cross paths with a group of Peccaries - a species of wild boar found here. A late afternoon swim in the river near the camp as the sun sets. Night at Cocha Salvador.
Today we will walk from camp through the forest to a different oxbow lake, Cocha Otorongo - "Jaguar Lake", to experience another setting and a chance to see further wildlife. We may encounter troops of monkeys especially the Common Woolly Monkey. We’ll pay special attention to the plant life and listen carefully for rustling vegetation and fruits falling to the rainforest floor indicating the presence of animals or large birds. After a leisurely lunch we take our canoes for a 4-hour trip down river until we reach Boca Manu for the night. Overnight at Boca Manu Lodge.
Today, after breakfast we will sail Alto Madre de Dios up river to the port of Atalaya, the place from where we started our trip by boat, after reach it we will drive to Pilcopata lodge where we are going to spend our last night in the jungle of Manu National Park.
GOOD BYE TO MANU!! On the day of our return, we will have an early morning departure from the Pilcopata Lodge in the direction of Paucartambo, which was the entrance point that led us into the jungle in the first place. At this time we will pass through the beautiful Sacred Valley on the way, arriving in Cusco around 7.00pm.