Manú National Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional del Manu) is a biosphere reserve located in Madre de Dios and Paucartambo, Cusco. Before becoming an area protected by the Peruvian government, the Manú National Park was conserved thanks to its inaccessibility. The park remains fairly inaccessible by road to this day. In 1977, UNESCOrecognised it as a Biosphere Reserve and in 1987, it was pronounced aWorld Heritage Site. It is the largest National Park in Peru, covering an area of 15,328 km². The Biosphere Reserve includes an additional 2,570 km², and a further 914 km² are included in a “Cultural Zone” (which also is afforded a level of protection), bringing the total area up to 18,811 km².
The park protects several ecological zones ranging from as low as 150meters above sea level in parts of the Southwest Amazon moist forests toPeruvian Yungas at middle elevations to Central Andean wet puna at altitudes of 4200 meters. Because of this topographical range, it has one of highest levels of biodiversity of any park in the world. Overall, more than 15,000 species of plants are found in Manú, and up to 250 varieties of trees have been found in a single hectare. The reserve is a destination for birdwatchers from all over the world, as it is home to over 1000 species of birds, more than the number of bird species found in the United States and Canada combined and almost 10% of the world’s total bird species. It is also acclaimed as having one of the highest abundances of land vertebrates ever found in Latin American tropical forests.
This trip constitutes an exceptional approach to observing the diversity of ecosystems present in the extremely vertical stratification of the Eastern Cordillera of the Andes: one can explore sections of highland, the transitional fringes descending into the vegetated zones, followed by the wide range multiplicity of the cloud forest and follow the seemingly constant environmental progression through the high and low Jungles in the area of Manu National Park. Enjoy gentle and enlightening adventure in the Easters slopes of the Andes and its natural and cultural feature.
Manu National Park is one of the places with highest biodiversity in flora and fauna in the world It is also part of a world refuge for wild life and ancient tribes of the Amazon
DAY 1 – Andean forest, Cloud forest
After crossing the Sacred Valley of the Incas in the Andean forest, we begin our descent to the jungle of Manu Park. It will require an early morning departure from Cusco, then a route southeast through the Andean Forest where we will see hummingbirds and finches, several species of bromeliads and native trees in the two different ecosystems that we pass through. The Andean Semidry Forest of shrub bush vegetation has representative native species such as the Molle “Schinus Molle” and the Queuña “Polilepis sp”. We will have some oportunities to see some species from this ecosistem like the Black Chested Buzzard Eagle “Geranoaetus Malanoleucus” and the Andean Flicker “Colaptes Rupicola”. When we arrive at the colonial town of Paucartambo, we will see colonial architecture and witness revivals of ancient traditions. After a light lunch in town or in a scenic spot in the mountains, we continue to Ajanaco. At this official entrance of the Park we have access to restrooms and a map of the Park. From this point those with appropriate experience have the choice of a moderate to difficult bike ride while others will observe wildlife at the start of the Cloud forest. In this area we can see representative species like the Aliso “Alnus Jorullensis” and the Chachacomo “Escallonia Resinosa” and the Chillca Bush “Bacharis Latifolia”, “Lanceolata” also some fiches who nest there. On arrival at the lodge there is time to rest at the lodge and to walk around in the afternoon, observing species of birds including tanagers and wrens, probably some monkeys, and great flora such as the “Epidendrum Secundum” or forever young orchid.
DAY 2 – Cloud forest, Jungle foot hills, Rain forest
This day begins with an early morning to see the Andean Cock of the Rock “Rupicola Peruviana” engaging in its natural social or reproductive behavior. We then have a second opportunity for a beautiful ride through the cloud forest, either in the bus or on a mountain bike. Later we arrive at the town of Pilcopata and from there we begin a two-hour river rafting trip of class I, class II and class III rapids. At the end, the bus will be waiting for us and then we will take a motorboat ride to our camp. There is an easy walk in the afternoon to see some monkeys and many birds with native trees like the Ceiba “Kapok”, “Ceiba Petranda” and we stay in our first night camp, outdoors in the dry season or in the lodge in the wet season. There is a beautiful nighttime sky overhead and lulling sounds from the nearby Madre de Dios River. We will enjoy the cultural zone of the park where people and visitors are still practicing sustainable activities.
DAY 3 – Jungle foot hills, Rain forest
Today we begin the day by visiting the Macaw Wall, the beehive-like cliffs over the river where parrots, parakeets and some macaws congregate to lick the abundant clay to obtain essential salt for their nutrition and to neutralize the poison from seeds that they eat.
An early walk gives us the chance to see wildlife such as birds and monkeys. After a delicious breakfast we continue aboard the motorboat for about 5 hours to the Amazon base. Along the way we will see different ecosystems, mostly rain forest. We may see a Capybara “Hidroecharis-hidroeacharis” and river birds like the Great Egret “Ardea Alba” and put in at the town of Boca Manu. We will stay overnight in a nearby lodge and devote some time for share our flora and fauna observations of the day. A night walk is optional for those wishing to look for the leaf mimicking katydid, “Cycloptera Speculata”, spiders, and frogs.
DAY 4 – Rain forest, Amazon water shreds beaches
Today we get up early to enjoy a beautiful sunrise and breakfast in the boat. We set out early so we can get to our next lodge with plenty time and check into the Manu National Park and to see all the wild life we can in the morning. We hope to see some Capibaras “Hidroechaeris Hidrochaeris” from the rodent family and some Caimans such as the white Caiman “Caiman Crocodilus” and the Black caiman “Caiman Niger”. We will also look for various mammals and carnivores such as the wild Otorongo “Jaguar Panthera Onca”, abundant birdlife, and flora that will include several species of palm tress. Lunch at camp is followed by an afternoon walk, connecting with the rain forest, looking for primates, turtles, and lake birds. At the lodge we will share our observations of flora and fauna sighted today.
DAY 5 – Rain forest, Oxbow lakes
Today we go to visit the Cocha, a lake teeming with wildlife. We will keep an eye out to see the Giant River Otters “Pteronura Brasiliensis”. We paddle silently around the lake on a small wood catamaran craft. Most of the species here are endangered and scare easily. We must keep silent and stay at a distance to see them. There will be many species of birds and some monkeys like the Red Howler monkey “Aloutta Seniculus” and the Spider Monkey “Ateles Paniscus”. We return to camp for lunch. After resting, we will go across the river on another walk, this time to catch sight of the Common Woolly Monkey “Lagothrix Lagothricha” and possibly other species as well. We return to the camp after two hours and have some time off until dusk when we go back into the forest in search of nocturnal fauna. We have dinner in camp, look for constellations in the great open sky, and listen to the sounds of the jungle.near the Lodge.
DAY 6 – Rain forest, Oxbow lakes, Amazon water shreds beaches
Today we visit the Cocha again in the early morning. This lake is teeming with wildlife so we will watch for Giant River Otters “Pteronura Brasiliensis”. We paddle silently around the lake on a small wood catamaran craft. Most of the species here are endangered and scare easily. We are silent and keep at a distance to observe them. We return to camp for breakfast. We embark on another journey in the motorboat for several hours down the Manu River. We will stop in another lake to see wildlife and several species of birds, caimans, river otters and some species of monkeys such as the Common Squirrel monkey “Saimiri Sciureus”. After a nature walk, we return to the boat for a river ride for couple more hours until we arrive at Boca Manu and the nearby lodge where we will spend the night. We have some free time until dusk when we go back into the forest in search of nocturnal fauna. We have dinner in camp, look for constellations in the great open sky, and listen to the sounds of the jungle. near the Lodge.
DAY 7 – Jungle foot hills, Cloud forest
Depending on the weather, today may provide an opportunity to view another Collpa “Salt Lick” located nearby in Yanajaco Village and the creatures eating the nutritious clay that protects them the poisonous fruit seeds and roots which they eat everyday. Following that early visit, we continue our voyage up the Mother of God River, always alert to wildlife sightings such as like Capibaras “Hidrocharies, Hidrocharies” and Tapirs “Tapirus Terrestris”. Eventually we reach our small camp (lodge) where we will rest then go for a short walk to look for the Peccaries “Tayassu Pecari” or the “Tayassu Tajacu”.
DAY 8 – Jungle foot hills, Cloud forest,Andean forest
We’re off for a second opportunity to see the “Macaw Lick” Collpa of the Macaws and a multitude of parrots. After that we go to the port of Atalaya where our transportation awaits. We will have lunch on the road, close to a lovely waterfall, and go for a last, short walk in the cloud forest. We arrive in Cusco by 7:30 pm.
We Provide and Include: Licensed, Bilingual, history, naturalist and Class V Rafting and Tour Guides- Radio, phone- Rafting and optional Biking Expedition Equipment, Safety Procedures and Orientation,Knee and elbow protection, paddles, helmets, life jackets, windbreaker jackets, Motor Boat Transportation and Transfers- First Aid kit- Optional Expedition grade tents and air matrasses and sleeping bags only in the dry season- All Itinerary Meals, including vegetarian & some snacks- Dining tent, Cook & Services- Ecological, portable toilets- Manú Entrance and Site Fees, Macaw ,Parrots and Parakeet Lick-03 nights Machiguega lodge in the Park,04 nights camping along the river /Transfers in Cusco & Manu- optional Airline Reservation assistance and Confirmation- Additional Tour Arrangements.
For adjusting to tour altitude, we suggest one day tours like the Sacred Valley, River Rafting and the City Tour of Cusco. As Guides we offer 100% Gauranteed Information, for your sensibilities – about the best specific hotel rooms and services around Peru, like extra windows and other amenities.