Come discover Manu, a UNESCO-recognised Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site. The jungle is home to a staggering number of plant and animal species. Visit a native Matshiguenka community, walk through the Cloud Forest and watch the courtship rituals of Peru's national bird, and watch the as hundreds of parrots congregate at a clay lick.
Leaving early from Cusco, we'll first visit Chullpas, or pre-Incan tombs, at the Ninamarca archeological site. We'll also stop at the picturesque colonial town of Paucartambo, the region's folkloric center. The next stop is Acjanacu Pass (3,530m/11,870ft), from where we'll be able to get our first view of the Amazon. Acjanacu also serves as the entry point to the Manu Biosphere. We'll descend through various ecological floors from the High Andean Plateau through the Dwarf Forest and the Cloud Forest. Along the way we´ll have the possibility of seeing a large amount of flora and fauna. This includes orchids and tree ferns, butterflies, monkeys, birds, toucans, and tanagers, among others.
The Cloud Forest is the habitat of Peru's National Bird, the Cock of the Rocks. We'll visit it's lek, or communal courtship site, where the males of these colorfully and spectacularly plumaged birds defend their display courts or perches from other males and go through a ritual of bobbing, hopping, and noise-making designed to catch the females' attention. The Cloud Forest is also home to the only bear in South America and the last of the short-faced bears, the spectacled or Andean bear. We'll spend the night in a comfortable inn in the town of Pilcopata. (Lunch, Dinner)
It's a 45 min journey from Pilcopata to Atalaya (500masl). Along the way we'll have the possibility of seeing birds, Cayman Alligators, and perhaps Tapirs along the riverside. In the afternoon, we'll walk along interesting jungle paths in search of birds, mammals, insects and more. After dinner, we'll listen to the nocturnal sounds of the Amazon such as the three-striped night monkey, Kalinowski's Mouse Opposum, frogs, and the dwarf owl, among others, during a night walk. We'll spend the night in a cozy inn in Atalaya. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After a 3-hour boat trip we´ll arrive at Blanquillo private reserve. Here we´ll go for a walk and have lunch before exploring the lake and its surroundings. We´ll silently observe the local ecosystems impressive biodiversity in a catamaran. Some of the animals we´ll see are black and white Cayman Alligators, a group of giant otters, and birds. After our trip through the lake we´ll go for a night walk to search for nocturnal birds and listen to the jungle sounds before spending the night in lodge on the reserve. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner).
Before breakfast, we'll head downriver to a hiding place positioned 90m/300ft from the Colla, a river wall with high mineral and clay deposits. We'll have our breakfast while we watch the wall come alive in a unique and impressive display of sound, movement, and color as hundreds of parrots and macaws gather to feed upon the Clay Lick.
Afterwards, we'll continue along the river in the direction of Boca Manu Airport, where we will bid farewell to the people who opted to return to Cusco by light aircraft. The rest of the group will continue by boat to our campsite, where we´ll spend the night on a beach of the Alto Madre de Dios River. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner).
We'll return to Atalaya Port by boat. Upon arrival at the port we'll catch a bus to Pilcopata, where we'll spend our last night in the jungle in a local inn. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
On our last day we'll set out in the morning for our last opportunity to watch the Cock-of-the-Rock's exciting courtship displays. After breakfast our bus will take us back to Cusco, where we'll arrive in the evening. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner).