THE COMPLETE MANU BIOSPHERE RESERVE EXPERIENCE 9d/8n
Note: Flights are not available at Boca Manu Airport from November to April because this is the rainy season in Peru and because the runway at Boca Manu is not paved it is just dirt. Flights are available from April/May to October and are determined based on the weather conditions.
9D/8N MANU PARK TOUR ACTIVITIES
- Bus and Boat in
- Fly out from Boca Manu to Cusco
- Bird Watching
- Visiting a Lek of the Peruvian National Bird
- Caiman Searching
- Giant Otter Searching
- Jaguar Searching
- 6 Nights in Lodge
- Two Nights in Tents
- Trekking in the Jungle
- Night Walkings
- Sailing in Oxbow Lakes
- Bathing in the Natural Hot Spring
- Visit to a Native Communitie
- Survival lessons
- Boat sailing
- Visit to the Macaw Clay Lick
Day 1: Cusco - Paucartambo - Cloud Forest - Pilcopata Lodge.
We will depart Cusco in a 4WD vehicle traveling on a small one way road that changes direction by day of week! Along the way, we will see incredible views of the Andean valleys, the snow covered Vilcanota and Urubamba ranges, and the Amazon Basin. Our journey will take us over the Andes Mountains (12,795''pass) and into the cloud forest. On the way we pass pre-Inca burial towers called Chullpas and stop at the historic town of Paucartambo (9,530''). From the high desert we will descend into cloud forest and then the lush rainforest. Overall there is approximately 8 - 10 hours of driving. We will stay the night at our lodge ( L. D)
Day 2: Pilcopata Lodge.- Pilcopata - Atalaya - Alto Madre de Dios River - Boca Manu.
After waking up to the morning noises of the jungle, you have the option of taking a pre-breakfast walk with your guide. After breakfast we will hike through the rainforest to board our motorized canoe to begin our journey down the Alto Madre de Dios River (or the Amarumayu River of Serpents, as it was known by the Incas), past the last folds of the Andes, to its confluence with the Manu River. We will pass settlements and native communities as we make our way up the river. Just before we get to the village of Boca Manu we pass the Diamante`s, the largest native community in the area. They have a small handcraft shop here which offers hand painted fabrics, necklaces of seeds native to the region, and a small selection of weavings and ceramics. A stop here can be pre-arranged with your guide. Tonight we have a chance to see two species of Tamarin monkeys - the Saddlebacked and Emperor tamarin. The Emperor has a long, white moustache and is a rare but precious site. This night we will stay at the Boca Manu Lodge.
(B. L. D)
Day 3: Boca Manu - Salvador Lake - Otorongo Lake - Salvador oxbow Lake.
Traveling upstream on the Manu River we will see more of the untouched jungle and its inhabitants. This is the same route taken by French explorer Jaques Cousteau on his 1980 Amazon expedition. Because of the lack of hunting in this area, we are likely to pass groups of Red Howler and Squirrel monkeys and Capybaras - the world’s largest rodent. There will be a variety of birds nesting and feeding on the beaches - Herons, Egrets, Orinoco Geese, Terns and Skimmers to name a few. Some beaches will host sunning White and Black Caimans (South American relative to the alligator) and breeding Side-Necked turtles. Hundreds of Sand-Colored Nightjars roost during the day on logs and beaches. It is not unheard of to see a jaguar sunbathing on the banks of the river here. After lunch we will arrive at our Safari Camp near the Cocha Salvador Lake. We have the afternoon to explore some of the trails through the pristine rainforest. At Lake Cocha Otorongo we will observe the wildlife from a 20-meter (65 feet) observation tower. We will be especially on the lookout for a large family of Giant River Otters that inhabit the lake below. After dinner we may can search for nocturnal creatures. The lakes are full of large Black Caiman and if we are lucky we may encounter an Olingo Kinkajou or even an Ocelot on the trails. Tonight we will fall asleep as we listen to the nighttime sounds of tree frogs and insects of the rainforest. Overnight Cocha Salvador Camp or Casa Machiguenga Lodge.
(B. L. D)
Day 4: Salvedor Lake - Manu Biosphere Reserve.
An early morning start will have us paddling in small canoes or on our floating platform in the tranquil oxbow lake, Cocha Salvador, as the morning mists rise. We may encounter an Agami Heron or Sungrebe and Brown Capuchin Monkeys feeding on fruit. We may also see a jaguar, giant river otters - called river wolves, and hoatzins (prehistoric birds). The otters can reach 6 feet in length and weigh up to 70 lbs. and consume between 9 to 11 lbs. of fish daily. They are one of the rarest animals on earth and only remain common in Manu. We will be on the look out for some of the 13 species of monkeys found here. The sound of red howler monkeys through the mist may make our skin crawl while parrots will be seen flying high overhead. After lunch we walk trails which pass through terra firma forest as we look at the complex ecosystem that surrounds us. Our ecologist guide will explain how the plants and insects interact with the forest. We will be on the lookout for some of the smaller inhabitants of the jungle, such as the emperor or saddleback tamarins. We may even cross paths with a group of Peccaries, a species of wild boar found here. In the late afternoon we may swim in the river as we watch the sun set. Overnight Cocha Salvador Camp or Casa Matshiguenka Lodge.
Day 5: -Otorongo Oxbow Lake - Boca Manu.
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. (B. L. D)
Day 6: Boca Manu - Blanquillo - Macaw lick.
Today we travel downstream (2.5 hours) on the Madre de Dios to the Blanquillo Macaw clay lick, strategically located on a recently formed oxbow lake. We will arrive in time for lunch. The afternoon is set aside for a refreshing shower and to relax. Those who desire, can walk through the magnificent rainforest surrounding the lodge.
The lodge is near one of the few known "collpas" (macaw-licks) where the colourful birds gather in the morning to "lick" clay found in the banks of the river here. It is thought that birds eat the clay as a dietary supplement, perhaps as a source of minerals or to neutralize the poisons in seeds and leaves. Fifteen of the eighteen species of floodplain parrots have been sighted at the licks. This is truly one of the world's premier wildlife spectacles. The lodge has a small camouflaged floating platform that allows us to observe the birds from several meters away. Overnight at Blanquillo Ecological Reserve. (B. L. D)
Day 7: Macaw Clay Lick - Blanquillo Lodge.
Activity at the clay lick begins about 5:30 am as medium sized parrots arrive with the dawn, pair by noisy pair, and land in the treetops above the lick. Hundreds of screeching birds clamber about in the branches in preparation for their descent to the riverbank. Eventually, cascades of green, blue, and red parrots circle down to the clay wall. About 7:00 or 7:30 am large macaws start to arrive. After about 40 to 100 have gathered and deemed the lick safe, they begin to descend. This colourful and noisy scene continues for 20 to 40 minutes while the birds eat their fill of clay or until danger arrives in the form of a hawk, eagle, or ocelot. There are normally between 80 to 100 macaws and 600 or more other parrots. This is truly one of the world's great wildlife spectacles. The rest of the day will be spent exploring the jungle on trails and visiting a nearby oxbow lake. Overnight at Blanquillo lodge. (B. L. D)
Day 8.- Blanquillo Ecological Reserve- Mammal Clay lick.
Today we will explore the jungle in the Blanquillo Ecological Reserve such as the transitional floodplain forest trails and up into terra firma forest (an area that is never flooded). We will be on the lookout for Monk Saki - an uncommon and rarely seen monkey of the terra firme forest. We explore trails where groups of Manakins, perhaps the most enigmatic of neo-tropical birds, perform their strange mating dances. On occasion there may be groups of Black Spider Monkeys visiting the clay lick to help their digestion. In the afternoon those who wish can fish on the river or participate in activities with our guide in the surrounding rainforest. There is also the opportunity to stay at the lick until after dark to see what nocturnal creatures come to visit. The Tapir, the largest South American land mammal is a frequent night visitor. (B. L. D)
Day 9 :- Blanquillo Ecological Reserve- Boca Manu - Manu River - cusco.
After breakfast we head upriver (about 2 hours) to the confluence of the Manu River and the Madre de Dios. Travelling upstream we will see more untouched jungle and its inhabitants. We may see anacondas basking on the hot sand along with the elusive, yet curious, jaguar watching us from the shore or a Capybara, the world's largest rodent. Arriving at the Boca Manu airstrip, we board a pressurized Beech craft (scheduled flight) for the 40 minute spectacular flight over the seemingly endless rainforest, back over the Andes, passing glaciers and snow peaks to Cusco. End of our services. (B.)