Manu National Reserve (5 Days)

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Tour Details

This journey to the Manu National Reserve with Peru Jungle Trips commences in Cusco, the Inca capital, passing through agricultural fields where local farmers continue to cultivate and plow using traditional hand tools.

Our route leads us to the cultural hub of Paucartambo, and as we ascend further into the mountains, we eventually reach Acjanaco.

A couple of monkeys mobilize by swinging on some vines.

The descent begins, and the scenery undergoes a swift transformation, signaling our entry into the cloud forest of Manu. Here, the mountain streams support a diverse array of plants and flowers. Upon arrival, we are warmly greeted by the local host, particularly the majestic “Imperial Quetzal.” Although the dominant figure in this cloud forest is the Cock of the Rock, Peru’s national bird, whose captivating mating dance we can witness from the LEK viewing platform.

Departure & Return Location

Cusco Hotel Transfer

Departure Time

05:30 AM

Price Includes

  • Bilingual professional guide.
  • Transportation from Cusco to the Manu area and vice versa includes a minivan and boat, both with round-trip service.
  • Professional Cook.
  • Accommodation in a private lodge in double or triple rooms (each room has a private bathroom and mosquito nets for each bed).
  • Daily meals (vegetarian upon request).
  • Mineral water every day (bring an empty re-fillable bottle of 1 liter or more).
  • First Aid Kit
  • Admission fee to the Manu cultural zone.
  • Admission fee to Pico's de Oz Birds Center.
  • Admission fee to hot springs.
  • Rubber boots for jungle trekking.

Price Excludes

  • Binocular
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Any Personal Expenses

Recommended to Carry

  • Original passport
  • Travel insurance (and some copies)
  • Daypack to carry your things
  • Sunblock and sunglasses
  • Water bottle or canteen
  • Sun hat
  • Deet or mosquito repellent ( recommendable 30% deet)
  • Anti-inflammatory tablets (e.g. Ibuprofen)
  • Peruvian Soles in cash
What to Expect

We will depart from the cloud forest to delve deeper into the Manu rainforest, reaching the port of Atalaya, where we will transition from our van to a motorized boat. Traveling downstream along the Madre de Dios, we enter the Biosphere Zone of the Manu rainforest, providing ample opportunities for wildlife observation.

Upon reaching Maquisapayoj, we will settle into our Lodge. Here, we can explore the significant macaw salt lick known as “Blanquillo,” the tapir salt lick, and two lakes named “Blanco and Camungo,” which serve as the habitat for a family of giant otters. Additionally, the lakes offer a vantage point to observe over 600 different bird species, and there is the highest viewing tower in the Peruvian Amazon, constructed next to a 350-year-old Ceiba tree. From this elevated position, one may have the chance to see eight species of monkeys, red deer, and possibly even a jaguar. Our return journey takes us through the towns of Puerto Colorado and Mazuco, back to Cusco or Puerto Maldonado.

It is crucial to note that the macaw and tapir salt licks, along with the lakes, are protected areas within the Biosphere Zone of the Manu.

  • Trip Level: Easy / Medium
  • Activities: Culture, Nature, Fauna, Flora, Trekking & Hiking.
  • Places: Cusco, Manu Rainforest, Manu Biosphere / Maquisapayoj, Blanquillo und Amazon
  • Transportation: Private bus, Private boat and Hiking
  • Starting Point: Cusco
  • Pick-up: From your Hotel in Cusco city

Day 1Paucartambo - Bambu Lodge

Very early in the morning, at 5:00 AM, our private transport will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco to go to Manu National Park. Our trip will take us through the beautiful valleys of the Andes and the picturesque countryside communities.

We will explore the pre-Columbian funeral towers at the archaeological site of Ninamarca, also known as the Chullpas of Ninamarca (a pre-Inca burial tower) located in Paucartambo, a traditional colonial small town. A visit to a museum will provide insights into the local culture. We will have breakfast at a local house in that small town.

Funeral buildings on top of Ninamarca's hill.

As soon as we finish breakfast, we will continue to Ajanaco, approximately 40 minutes away. This is the highest point of the entire trip. We will stop for 15 minutes at the viewpoint and then continue on the Manu road, observing various changes in the ecosystems until we find a good place for our delicious lunch.

Lunch will be enjoyed along the route in the cloud forest.

Subsequently, our descent through the cloud forest, known for its rich endemic species like the spectacled bear and the cock of the rock (the Peruvian national bird), will continue. As we descend, we’ll encounter fascinating plant species, including orchids, bromeliads, ferns, and more.

In the afternoon, we will reach our first lodge, “Bambu Lodge,” where we will spend the night. An optional night walk will be available if the weather permits.

Day 2Bambu Lodge - Manu River - Palotoa Lodge

In the early morning, we will have breakfast and continue our trip to the Pico’s de Oz Birds Center, where we’ll have the opportunity to observe the diversity of hummingbirds and fauna, including monkeys and other exotic birds.

Following the hike, we’ll visit a coca plantation and a lagoon, and then continue to the Atalaya River dock.

A caiman seen by the riverside.

We will go by boat, and during the boat ride, you will spot distinct species of birds and animals along the shores of the Manu River. As soon as we arrive at our lodge, we will settle into our accommodation, followed by lunch at 1:30 PM.

A kingfisher bird.

At night, we will do a short night walk to search for nocturnal creatures.

Day 3Palotoa Lodge - Shyntuya Native Community

After our delicious breakfast, we will involve further exploration of the tropical Manu rainforest, with an emphasis on spotting monkeys and other types of mammals.

We’ll return for our lunch.

A capybara feeding itself from the many plants scattered in the Amazon's ground.

We’ll embark on a boat journey to reach the natural hot springs, located at Shyntuya Native Community, to enjoy a comfortable bath in the hot springs. We will stay for a few hours.

On our way back, we’ll have the chance to witness the breathtaking view of the best sunset along the riverbanks.


We’ll encounter the world’s largest rodent, the capybara (Hydrochoerus). An evening walk is planned for observing frogs, toads, insects, bats, and snakes.

Day 4Palotoa Lodge - Soga de Oro Lodge

After breakfast in the early morning, we’ll embark on a boat trip upstream to reach our last ecolodge, Soga de Oro, in 2 hours, always searching for creatures along the river. We will arrive for our lunch.

The hoatzin is a particular specie that is said to remain in the Amazon since prehistoric times.

After lunch, we will visit a small lake called Machu Huasi, where we will have chances to see beautiful landscapes and a lot of species of birds, including the most peculiar bird known as the hoatzin (the prehistoric bird).

A yellow butterfly found in Manu.

Later, we will return to our ecolodge, have a bonfire, and time for jungle history telling.”

Day 5Soga de Oro Lodge - Cusco

Early morning, we will go to witness the most spectacular show by parrots and macaws at the clay licks. Later, we will return for our breakfast, pack up our belongings, and take our boat to the Atalaya River dock.

Our car driver will be waiting here with the minivan for our drive back to Cusco City.

Along the way, we will stop in Ajanacu for our lunch. We will reach Cusco City later in the evening.

Lagothrix lagotricha, the brown woolly monkey, inhabits South American rainforests. Highly endangered species


Q: What type of accommodations are provided during the tour?

A: Accommodations are provided in eco lodges, being able then to stay amidst the natural surroundings of Manu National Park.

Q: Are guided activities included?

A: Yes, guided activities such as visits to archaeological sites, bird watching, boat rides, and night walks are included, led by experienced local guides.

Q: Is transportation included in the tour package?

A: Yes, private transport is provided from Cusco City to the various destinations within Manu National Park, including boat rides and minivan transfers back to Cusco City at the end of the tour.

Q: What should I pack for the tour?

A: Recommended items include comfortable clothing, sturdy shoes for hiking, insect repellent, sunscreen, a hat, binoculars for bird watching, a camera, and any personal medication.

Q: Are there any health considerations or physical requirements for the tour?

A: Participants should be in good health and able to comfortably participate in outdoor activities such as hiking and walking. Please consult with your healthcare provider if you have any specific health concerns.

Q: Are there any optional activities available during the tour?

Yes, depending on the itinerary and location, there may be optional activities such as canopy walks, river rafting, or additional guided hikes. Please check with the tour operator for available options.

Q: What is the weather like in Manu National Park?

The weather in Manu National Park can vary, but generally, it is warm during the day and cooler at night. It’s advisable to pack layers as temperatures can fluctuate, and rain is common, especially during the wet season.

Q: Are there opportunities for cultural interactions with local communities during the tour?

Yes, the Shyntuya Native Community. Please check the itinerary for specific cultural experiences.

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1 Review
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Stella Arturo

Solo Traveller

Thanks a lot, it was a wonderful trip to the Amazon.

April 2, 2022

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