Day 1: Cusco - Cloud Forest - Bamboo Lodge
Starting early from Cusco we begin our 8 hour journey (incl. stops) by private bus ascending to the high mountain area at 3900 m (13,000 ft). After a short stop in Ninamarca, to see the pre-Inca cemetery, and the colonial village of Paucartambo, we descend the eastern slopes of the Andes through cloud forest with lush vegetation (ferns, orchids, bromeliads etc.). We enjoy spectacular views of the Andes and can see wildlife such as our national bird: the bright red Cock of the Rocks (Rupicola peruviana) showing his mating dance. Brilliantly colored Tanagers, Quetzals, Trogons and Hummingbirds can be seen and possibly the first monkeys, such as Woolly Monkeys. In the afternoon we arrive at Bamboo Lodge (900m), where we spend the night. After dinner your guide will brief you about the activities of the following day.
hike, pre inca cementery in Ninamarca, colonial town Paucartambo, elfin forest, cloud forest
Day 2: Bamboo Lodge - Atalaya - Pantiacolla Lodge or Hummingbird Lodge
After an early breakfast we continue with our minibus: we pass the village of Pilcopata and cross the river of the same name to get to the small port of Atalaya (550 m). On the way we stop at an animal rescue station and at a local orchid garden. We also go on a walk along the road to look for monkeys and birds. From Atalaya we navigate for about 5 hours in a 15-meter motorized canoe down the Alto Madre de Dios River. Today we enjoy the changing landscape and have the opportunity to see wildlife along the rocky banks of the river, such as Fasciated Tiger Herons, Purplish Jays, Skimmers, Vultures, caimans and some of the 13 species of monkeys that live in Manu. In the afternoon we reach Pantiacolla Lodge or Hummingbird Lodge, where we spend the night. Evening night walk to see insects, frogs, snakes etc.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner | Hummingbird Lodge | double room with private bathroom
double room with private bathroom
Day 3: Pantiacolla or Hummingbird Lodge - Albergue Casa Matsiguenka/ Manu River
Today we continue our boat ride to travel into the Reserved Zone of Manu. We reach the mouth of the Manu River and after a stop at Limonal Guard Station, where our permit is checked we travel upriver into the Manu Park. During this boat trip the scenery and wildlife viewing along the banks of the Manu River is fabulous. White Caimans (Caiman crocodylus) sunning on the beaches, turtles, capybara and plenty of colourful birds may bee seen. And there is always the possibility of seeing larger animals such as Tapir and Jaguar. In the afternoon we arrive at Albergue Casa Matsiguenka, where we spend three nights (double rooms & shared bathroom). The lodge is built in typical machiguenga style. Optional night walk (to see insects, frogs, snakes etc.).
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner | double room & shared bathroom, upgrade option to private bathroom
double room & shared bathroom, upgrade option to private bathroom
Day 4: Exploring Lake Salvador and Lake Otorongo / Manu Park
Today we leave early for a day excursion to explore trails through virgin forest of the Reserved Zone of Manu Park. As a highlight we visit the beautiful oxbow-lake Cocha Salvador by catamaran looking for Giant River Otters (Pteronura brasiliensis) and to observe caimans, monkeys, hoatzins and other birds. In the afternoon we go for a walk on the trails of the opposite side of the river. We climb the 18 m observation tower overlooking Cocha Otorongo – an ideal place to observe birds. After another walk through this biodiverse forest we return to Albergue Matsiguenka, where we spend the night and have the chance to meet the Machiguenga Indians. We go for a night walk again after dinner.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner | double room with shared bathroom | Casa Matsiguenka | Aguaje Camp
Casa Matsiguenka | Aguaje Camp
Day 5: Exploring Pakitza Biological Station & Manu River / Manu Park
At dawn we take the boat to travel further upriver to the remote Pakitza Biological Station. Dawn and dusk are ideal to see wildlife on the river banks, so this is a good chance to spot a jaguar. We have breakfast at Pakitza. Afterwards we head off to explore some of the trails to look for more wildlife. In the afternoon we return to Casa Matsiguenka. We can visit Cocha Salvador again to observe giant otters and explore some of the trails. Overnight Casa Matsiguenka; optional night walk.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner | double room with shared bathroom
double room with shared bathroom
Day 6: Casa Matsiguenka to Maquisapayoj Lodge & Salt Lick
At first light we start to travel about 6 hours down the Manu River. Capybaras, caimans, birds and with luck one of the big cats may be seen. We make a short stop at Boca Manu village, or Fitzcarrald, and then continue on the wider Madre de Dios River. Further downriver we reach Maquisapayoj Reserve (Place of the Black Spider Monkey”; double rooms with private bathroom), home to numerous monkey species, including the rare Tamarin Monkey and Monk Saki Monkey. After a short rest we go for a walk to the mammal salt lick, where we look for monkeys, deer and other animals who visit the lick. After returning to the lodge we have an evening night walk to see insects, frogs, snakes etc., optional night on the platform at the salt lick.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner | Maquisapayoj Lodge
Day 7: Big Macaw Clay Lick & Maquisapayoj Tapir Lick
At daybreak we take the boat to the big Macaw Clay Lick in Blanquillo. From a platform we have an excellent view to observe flocks of colourful macaws (Ara chloroptera, - macao), parrots and parakeets congregating to eat the clay, which is essential for their digestion. Looking through the spotting scope we can see all the details of the birds. Breakfast at the blind. After the spectacle we walk on some of the trails and then travel upstream to return to Maquisapayoj. Arriving at the lodge we have a short break and then walk into primary rainforest for about 1 1/2 hours to the Mammal Salt Lick, where we spend the night on an elevated platform (with mats and mosquito nets) to observe tapirs or other mammals during the night. Your guide will help spotting the tapir with a big light. If you prefer you can stay in double rooms at the lodge close to the river.
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner | Maquisapayoj Lodge
Day 8: Travelling To Colorado And Back To Cusco
After an early breakfast at the lodge we travel downriver by boat to Colorado (2 1/2 hours), a small gold mining town. Together with the guide we take a car to Puerto Carlos (1 hour). We cross Rio Inambari to the small town of Santa Rosa, where our bus is waiting for us to drive back to Cusco. We travel on the paved Transoceanica through cloud forest and up to the Andes, with a spectacular view of the Ausangate Mountain. We arrive in Cusco in the evening; transfer to your hotel.