Day 1: Cusco - Cloud Forest - Bamboo Lodge
Starting early from Cusco we begin our 8 hour journey by private minibus climbing up 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 coloured 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 (double rooms & private bathroom). After dinner briefing for the following day.
hike, pre inca cementery in Ninamarca, colonial town Paucartambo, elfin forest, cloud forest
Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner | Water | Bamboo Lodge | double room with private bathroom
double room with private bathroom
Day 2: Bamboo Lodge - Atalaya - Maquisapayoj 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 7 hours in a 15-meter motorized canoe down the Alto Madre de Dios River to get to the lowland rainforest. 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, Kingfishers, Skimmers, Vultures, caimans and some of the 13 species of monkeys that live in Manu. On the way we stop in Boca Manu, or Fitzcarrald, the main village of Manu. In the afternoon we arrive at Maquisapayoj Lodge (“Place of the Black Spider Monkey”; double rooms with private bathroom). Evening night walk to see insects, frogs and snakes etc.
Day 3: Macaw Clay Lick (Blanquillo) And Camungo Lake & Tower
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, Ara macao), parrots and parakeets congregating to eat the clay, which is essential for their digestion. Looking through our spotting scope we can see every detail of the birds. Breakfast at the blind. Later we explore some of the trails in Blanquillo to see more species of monkeys and birds. After lunch we visit Camungo oxbow lake: here we take a catamaran to silently explore the lake and observe Giant River Otters (Pteronura brasiliensis) and different varieties of birds. Nearby we have the opportunity to climb a 42 m observation tower to get a great canopy view and observe birds, such as toucans. In the afternoon we travel upstream to return to Maquisapayoj. After a short break at the lodge we walk about 1 ½ hours through primary rainforest to the mammal salt lick of the reserve. To have the best chance to observe animals - especially the tapir (Tapirus terrestris) - we spend the night on an elevated platform (with mats & mosquito nets). Your guide will help spotting the tapir with a light. If you prefer you can return to the lodge and spend the night in your room.
Day 4: Blanco Lake (Blanquillo) & Maquisapayoj Tapir Lick
At dawn we return to the lodge to have breakfast. Afterwards we travel downriver to visit ´Cocha Blanco` (Blanco lake). After a short hike we reach the oxbow-lake which we explore by catamaran to look for the family of Giant River Otters that lives here. We enjoy the beautiful setting at the lake and we look for monkeys (e.g. Red Howler Monkey), caimans and different varieties of birds. Back in Maquisapayoj we have the chance to hike on other trails looking for Black Spider and Red Howler Monkeys, White and Brown Capuchin, Emperor and Saddle backed Tamarin, Monk Saki monkey, Pavonine Quetzal, Manakins and other birds. The guide also explains about interesting plants etc. We spend the night in Maquisapayoj, either on the platform at the mammal salt lick or at the lodge (double rooms & bathroom), close to the river. Optional night walk.
Day 5: Travelling To Colorado And Back To Cusco
After breakfast at the lodge we travel downriver by boat to Colorado (2 ½ 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.