Manu Reserved Zone (6 Days)

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Tour Details

The Manu Reserved Zone in Cusco, Peru offers a 6-day/5-night package tour encompassing the breathtaking region. Explore the Acjanaco Mountains, the enchanting cloud forest, and the pristine high jungle, immersing yourself in the untouched rainforest surrounding Manu National Park.

Part of the road that connects Paucartambo with Atalaya's Port.

The itinerary concludes with a visit to the parrot clay lick and a tubing experience along the Palotoa River, situated within our private Ecological Reserve.

This thoughtfully designed tour allows for the observation of diverse Amazon wildlife within a short timeframe, offering a blend of comfort and minimal physical exertion while enjoying the stunning landscapes.

Departure & Return Location

Cusco Hotel Transfer

Departure Time

05:30 AM

Price Includes

  • Private transport from Cusco to the cultural zone of the Manu and back.
  • Professional guide who carries telescope and binoculars.
  • Professional cook
  • Water for 6 days. Please bring an empty 1-2 liter bottle to be refilled
  • Food for 6 days – 6 x breakfast, 6 x lunch, 5 x dinner (vegetarian alternative available without additional charge).
  • Admission fee to the LEK to see the Andean cock-of-the-rock
  • Admission fee to the Manu National Park
  • Admission fee to the lagoon of Cocha Machuwasi
  • Admission fee to the Ceiba- Forest of giant trees
  • Accommodation at the lodge (5 nights in a double or triple room, each room has a private bath and mosquito netting for every bed).
  • Rubber boots for the muddy paths in the jungle
  • First Aid Kit with venom extractor pump

Price Excludes

  • Additional beverages like soda or beer
  • Binoculars (we offer binoculars 8X42 for rent in our offices for a daily fee of 4 US $)

Recommended To Carry

  • Mosquito repellent (DEET 35 recommended as a minimum)
  • Original passport.
  • Small backpack.
  • Long sleeved cotton shirts (preferably green coloured).
  • Long cotton trousers.
  • Cotton long socks (to be put into your trousers).
  • Comfortable walking shoes.
  • Sandals or light shoes.
  • Rain gear.
  • Sweater (for the beginning of the tour in Andes and the cloud forest only)
  • Swimsuit.
  • Binoculars.
  • Camera and its charger.
  • Plastic bags to be used for clothes and a camera.
  • A hat as a protection against the Sun or rain.
  • Toiletries.
  • Sun cream.
  • Flashlight (with spare bulb and batteries)
  • Pocket money (Soles) to buy some beverages and souvenirs as well as to tip.
What to Expect

This tour is designed for time-constrained travelers seeking a cultural experience within the Manu National Park.

The cultural zone constitutes one of the three sections of the Manu National Park, encompassing high mountains, cloud forests, and the primary rainforest. In this zone, a handful of small, traditional communities still engage in agriculture and small-scale forestry. The activities of farming and lumbering are closely regulated by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Manu National Park Authorities (SERNANP).

Within the cultural zone lies the cloud forest of the mountains, providing an untouched natural habitat for a rich variety of wild plants. The cloud forests of Manu boast over 8,000 species of flora, 400 bird species, and 10 different mammals. The zone includes a journey to Machuwasi Lagoon, where one can navigate using rafts crafted from balsa wood sourced from a local tree—an ancient practice employed by past inhabitants along the Madre de Dios River. Additionally, visitors can take a leisurely stroll through a forest of giant Ceiba trees and observe parrots.

  • Trip Level: Medium / Easy
  • Activities: Culture, Nature, Fauna, Flora, Wildlife, Trekking & Hiking.
  • Places: Cusco, Paucartambo, Manu Cloud Forest, Manu National Park.
  • Transportation: Private bus, Private boat and Hiking
  • Accommodation: Lodge ( Bambu Lodge and Soga de Oro Lodge)
  • When to Go ! From April to December
Itinerary

Day 1Cusco – Cloud Forest – Manu Lodge

Departing at 4:00 AM in our private minivan, we will journey southeastward towards Manu, a natural paradise.

Crossing captivating mountains and valleys, we’ll reach the colonial town of Paucartambo, known as the folkloric capital of Cusco, where we’ll make a coffee stop. Continuing our drive, we ascend to the highest point, Acjanaco pass at 4,000m (13,123 ft.), entering the Biosphere of Manu.

Peru's national bird could be found in the Manu's vicinity.

After marveling at the panoramic view, we descend through the cloud forest, a lush expanse of shrubs, trees, and flowering plants nourished by the rising vapor from the valley. The mountainside is adorned with primordial ferns, epiphytes, lichen, and orchids.

A lunch on route to Manu.

The area is teeming with birdlife, including hummingbirds, quetzal, trogon, toucan, parrots, and tangaras, all of which are likely to be observed. The country’s national bird, the magnificent cock of the rock (Rupícola peruviana), resides here. Amidst the rolling cascades and tumbling waterfalls, we may also encounter the wooly monkey, a unique inhabitant of the cloud forest.

Overnight stay at a local lodge.

Day 2Posada Manu Rainforest - Casa Machiguenga

We will depart at dawn, relishing our breakfast on the boat to maximize our time on the river, enhancing opportunities for wildlife sightings during the ideal early morning hours. The sunrise over the Alto Madre De Dios River promises an unforgettable spectacle. Transitioning to the Manu River, we will spend the next four hours in the world’s most biodiverse area, offering stunning vistas.

A jaguar roaring while laying on a bank.

Be vigilant for encounters with the elusive jaguar (Panthera onca), formidable black caiman (up to 7m long!), or white caiman. Witness rows of turtles balancing on trunks and marvel at the exceptional birdlife perched on branches or soaring in the air. In the evening, we will venture into the jungle to search for frogs, spiders, serpents, and other nocturnal creatures.

One of the many monkey species found in Manu's Park.

Our overnight stay will be at Casa Machiguenga; this lodge is owned by the indigenous people of the zone and is constructed with local materials. With a capacity for 16 guests, it is centrally located in the reserved zone of Rio Manu.

Day 3Cocha Salvador – Cocha Otorongo (oxbow lakes)

Today, we anticipate our entry into the park at the Guard’s station, patiently waiting our turn. Our initial objective is to navigate the Cocha Salvador in a catamaran. Our focus for the day includes seeking out the elusive giant otters (Pteronura brasiliensis), observing troupes of howler monkeys (Alouatta sara), spider monkeys, and the agami egret. Additionally, we will explore the forest in search of significant trees like the ficus and ceiba, which are unfortunately rapidly disappearing due to logging in other parts of the world.

Oxbow lakes are found throughout the Amazon.

Following a delightful lunch, our exploration continues with a visit to Cocha Otorongo, one of the largest oxbow lakes in Manu. We will ascend a 20m (60 ft.) tower, providing panoramic views of the water habitat and unprecedented perspectives of visiting wildlife (don’t forget your zoom lens!). It’s a spectacular experience to observe giant otters at play and fishing.

A toad holding onto a branch.

Your guide will also point out the massive black caimans, white caimans, birdlife, and medicinal plants and trees in the vicinity.

Our overnight stay will be at Casa Machiguenga.

Day 4Manu Lodge

We will be serving you a typical Amazonian breakfast, and then we will be spending the rest of the morning at Lake Cocha Salvador. We will be canoeing on the lake, and from the floating platform, you will be able to spot wildlife of the Oxbow lake.

Here, we will also see Agami Heron or Sungrebe, brown capuchin monkeys, and more. Specially constructed stones jut out into the lake.

From here, you will get to see families of giant otters that inhabit here. These are the world’s largest freshwater carnivores remaining in Manu. Each of these animals consumes between 4-5 kilos of fish a day. You will often spot them eating fishes on the lakeside.

A couple of otters on a river's bank.

We will be spending the rest of the day hiking on the trails and looking for the thirteen iconic species of monkeys. The region is also home to many medicinal plants. Our guide will be explaining its uses in detail.

On this trail, we will also spot groups of Peccaries. They are a species of new world pigs. We will then see the sunset and return to the lodge for dinner.

Day 5Matsiguenka Community – Palotoa Ecological Reserve

Following breakfast, we will complete the check-out process at our Lodge and embark on a four-hour journey downstream along the Boca Manu River. Along the riverbanks, you may frequently spot various distinct animals.

We will then proceed on the Madre de Dios River for an additional five hours until we reach our Lodge.

Manu's communities interconnect themselves thanks to the Amazon's River.

Situated in the heart of the rainforest, the lodge provides an ideal base for local conservation groups and bird watchers to explore the rich biodiversity of the rainforest. After dinner, we will embark on a night tour to observe nocturnal creatures in the area.

Day 6Manu Reserve – Cusco

Following breakfast, we will board a boat to reach the Atalaya port. Upon arrival, our private transportation will be waiting for us, and we will commence the journey back to Cusco. We anticipate reaching Cusco at approximately 07:30 PM.

FAQs

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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