The Complete Manu Biosphere Reserve Experience

9 Days / 8 Nights

Day 1: Cusco to Cock of the Rock Lodge

Leaving Cusco after breakfast around 7:00am we travel through traditional Quechua communities and through the spectacular eastern ranges of the Andes to the village of Paucartambo, passing snow-peaks and small Andean farmsteads. We will have time here to look around this picturesque village We then ascend to the last pass overlooking the Amazon Basin and begin the breath taking descent from 3500 meters to 1600 meters above sea-level to our comfortable lodge in the orchid laden Cloud Forest. This is a spectacular journey passing cascading waterfalls and multicolored birds along the way. In the late afternoon, we'll walk into the lodge to the sounds of Quetzals, Trogons and Gray-breasted Wood-Wrens. Night at Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge or Paradise Lodge. (L,D)

Day 2: Cock of the Rock Lodge to Manu Learning Centre

Pre- breakfast walk to a nearby spot in the Cloud Forest where the strange and beautiful Cocks-of-the-Rock display at dawn. This is a wonderful sight, as up to 25 bright red-orange males dance and sing, attempting to attract the favors of the duller, burgundy colored females. After visiting this lek we return to the Lodge for a leisurely breakfast and continue in our all terrain bus to the Madre de Dios River and our motorized dugouts and we begin our journey down the river, past the last folds of the Andes to the Manu Learning Centre perched high on a bluff. he Manu Learning Centre (MLC) is designed to function as a multi-use facility to provide field researchers, educational groups and volunteers with comfortable accommodation and space in which to work. Constructed to compliment its surroundings, using a fusion of traditional thatching techniques and modern design, the concept of the Manu Learning Centre expands beyond its' facilities to include key objectives such as impact minimization of the site on the local environment and the promotion of sustainable resource management. This afternoon we will explore the trail system with our naturalist guides, watch one of the worlds prettiest sunsets over the Madre de Dios River and find out from our knowledgeable guides about the Amazon Rainforest. Night Manu Learning Centre Lodge. (B,L,D)

Day 3: MLC to Romero Rainforest Lodge

MLC attracts an array of parrots and macaws thanks to the spectacular red mineral lick, or Collpa carved out by the Alto Madre de Dios River. This Collpa is the only one of its type in the area, and is visited daily by hundreds of colorful and noisy parrots and macaws, as well as guans, pigeons and doves. These in turn draw raptors such as the ornate hawk eagle. It is one of the best places in the world to see the endangered Blue-headed Macaw. We will visit this Clay Lick at dawn and after the spectacle return for breakfast an a look at the Orchid garden. We continue our journey down the Madre de Dios River to it's confluence with the Manu River. We’ll pass settlements and native communities during the trip. Just before we get to the village of Boca Manu we pass the native community of Diamante. Their culture is Piro and this is the largest settlement of Amerindians in the area. We turn up the Manu River leaving the relatively clean waters of the Madre de Dios behind; we enter the clay laden waters of the Manu River. We’ll at the park ranger station at Limonal to present our permits and visit an overgrown oxbow lake where many Parrots and Macaws come in to roost we travel another hour to our destination – The comfortable Romero Rainforest Lodge situated close the banks of the Manu River. We are now deep in the pristine Manu rainforest. Night Romero Rainforest Lodge. (B,L,D).

Day 4: Romero Rainforest Lodge

This morning we'll walk very slowly from camp for 4-5 hours through the forest to Cocha Limonal. We may encounter troops of Monkeys. This is a particularly good trail for Black Spider Monkeys. We'll pay special attention to the plant life on this walk and take it slowly listening for the rustle of vegetation or the soft sound of fruits falling to the rainforest floor that may betray the presence of animals or large birds. Your guide will explain some of the basics of rainforest ecosystems and point out some of the medicinal plants of the area used by local, indigenous groups. We may cross paths with a group of Peccaries - a species of wild boar found here. We'll be met at the river by our motorized dugout for the hour trip upriver to the lodge for lunch and some free time. We’ll plan afternoon activities for those who wish – there are many trails to explore. The rest of the day will be spent walking the trails in the area in search of some of the 13 species of Monkey found in the forest here.. Before or after dinner an optional excursion into the forest at night is available with your guide in search of nocturnal creatures. The lakes and rivers are full of eye-shine of the large Black Caiman and if we are lucky we may encounter an Olingo, Kinkajou or even an Ocelot on the trails. Certainly the nighttime noise of tree frogs and insects in the forest is an experience not to be forgotten Night Romero Rainforest Lodge. (B,L,D).

Day 5: Romero Rainforest Lodge & Cocha Salvador

We head upriver – as deep into the park as allowed, to Cocha Salvador. Beaches, especially in the dry season, are loaded with nesting birds and feeding Herons, Egrets, Orinoco Geese, Terns and Skimmers to name but a few. Some beaches will host sunning White and Black Caimans (South American relatives of the Alligators)/ and breeding Side-necked Turtles. Hundreds of Sand-colored Nightjars roost during the day on logs and beaches and there is a chance of encountering a sunning Jaguar - the world’s third largest cat. In 2008 one in three of our trips saw Jaguar in Manu. We will see some species of primate on this river trip, possibly Red Howler Monkeys or the smaller Squirrel Monkeys. Cocha Salvador. Some of the time will be spent canoeing the lake on a floating platform observing ox-bow lake animal life from the water. We may encounter an Agami Heron or a Sungrebe and Brown Cappuchin Monkeys are usually feeding on fruits nearby. Specially constructed piers that jut out into the lake enable us to look for a family of Giant Otters that live here. These, the world’s largest freshwater carnivores, remain common only in Manu, having been hunted to extinction throughout most of their former range. Each animal consumes between 4 and 5 kilos of fish daily and often they can be seen eating large fish on logs at the lakeside. A visit to the lake of Cocha Otorongo is planned, where observation piers and a 20 meter observation tower in the rainforest canopy overlooking the lake are available for observing wildlife. We will also be on the lookout for a large family of Giant Otters that inhabit this lake. We boat back to Romero Rainforest Lodge in the late afternoon, to a refreshing shower, snacks and iced drinks. (B,L,D)

Day 6: Romero Rainforest Lodge to Manu Wildlife Centre

Leaving the lodge we'll head down the Madre de Dios River for two hours to the comfortable lodge facility near the Macaw Clay Lick - Manu Wildlife Center. This strategically located lodge facility is jointly owned and run by Manu Expeditions and a local conservation group and is a base for scientific research in the area and a center for visitors wanting to explore the rainforest. We should arrive in time for lunch and a shower (hot water) and get to meet whichever researchers are onsite. The afternoon is set aside to relax or, if you want, to explore a trail through the untouched forest to a lookout point on a cliff over the river to watch roosting flights of Parrots and Macaws as the sun sets. Manu Wildlife Center has a canopy platform and an observation tower. The canopy platform is accessible via a spiral staircase so everyone can get to enjoy the rainforest canopy. Those who wish can participate in a night walk with your guide in search of nocturnal animals. Night at Manu Wildlife Center. (B,L,D)

Day 7: Manu Wildlife Centre

Early start to-day for the Macaw Clay Lick. This is truly one of the world’s great wildlife spectacles as hundreds of Parrots and their larger relatives, the Macaws, congregate at this traditional locality to eat the mineral rich clay that is essential to their digestion. We'll use a comfortable blind (hide) to get close to the birds and breakfast will be served. The noise alone is incredible and the sight of these brightly colored birds at the lick is a sight not to be forgotten. As the lick slows down in midmorning we'll head for Cocha Blanco, an old ox-bow lake, in search of a family of Giant Otters that live there, and canoe around the lake on our floating platform looking for other wildlife. After a leisurely lunch at the lodge we'll explore other trails in search of Emperor and Saddleback Tamarins, and we have seen the rare Goeldi's Monkey repeatedly in this area. Night at the Manu Wildlife Center. (B,L,D)

Day 8: Manu Wildlife Centre

A full day to explore the forest and trails around the lodge. We'll be on the lookout for Monk Saki - an uncommon and rarely seen monkey of the tierra firme forest that is occasionally seen here. We'll explore trails where groups of Manakins, perhaps the most enigmatic of neo-tropical birds, perform their strange mating dances and walk to one of our blinds at a large mammal lick where Guans and forest Parakeets and Parrotlets come for clay. Here too, groups of Black Spider Monkeys visit on occasions for clay to help their digestion. Those who wish will return with the guide to the lodge in the late afternoon however there is an opportunity to stay at the lick after dark to see what nocturnal creatures come to the lick. Tapirs, the largest South American land mammal are frequent visitors with up to 12 animals visiting in one night. We watch them from the comfort of mosquito nets and mattresses from our specially constructed blind. Other nocturnal creatures are always possible. Night at the Manu Wildlife Center. (B,L,D)

Day 9: Manu Wildlife Centre to Cusco

After breakfast we head upriver (about 2 hours) to the small airstrip at Boca Manu. Early morning flocks of birds pass over the boat, and we may see a Capybara, the world’s largest rodent. Arriving at the airstrip we board our aircraft for the 45 minute flight over seemingly endless rainforest and then over the Andes, passing glaciers and snow peaks to the ancient Inca capital of Cusco where our staff will be waiting to take you to your hotel. (B)

Fixed Departures: Every Sunday throughout the year except for the months of January, February and March.

Tour includes: Bi-Lingual biologist/Naturalist Guides

  • Experienced camp and field staff.
  • All terrestrial and fluvial transport.
  • Flights to and from Manu where relevant.
  • All food from lunch on Day 1 to breakfast on the final day.
  • Drinking water at all times
  • All lodge accommodations
  • National park entrance fees.
  • One visit to the Macaw lick (4,5 and 9 day trips).
  • Transfer to and from hotel in Cusco.

Not included: Extra bottled drinks except water or where provided with meals.

  • Optional tips to staff
  • Items of a personal nature e.g. laundry.
  • Hotel in Cusco. (Can be arranged on request)
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Air to or from Lima
  • Airport tax to and from Lima

2017 Prices per person:
Prices are available upon request.

Recommended Packing List for trips to The Manu Biosphere Reserve:

  • Duffel bag or frameless back-pack is best
  • Day Pack
  • 2 Pairs of loose fitting lightweight long cotton trousers
  • Shorts for lodge areas
  • Swim wear - Optional
  • Long sleeved cotton shirts
  • 2 Pairs of boots or running shoes
  • Rubber boots (wellington boots) - Highly recommended
  • Sweatshirt or lightweight jacket
  • Rain poncho and mini-umbrella
  • Hat for sun protection on boats
  • Personal toiletries
  • Biodegradable soap ***
  • Towel ***
  • Insect repellent with high deet content
  • High factor sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Personal medication
  • No-see-um' Clothing and after bite medication if susceptible to mosquito bites
  • Sun glasses
  • Flashlight (Torch) and spare batteries and bulb
  • Pocket knife
  • Camera 400ASA Film for photography in the forest
  • Binoculars for wildlife viewing 8 or 10 x Magnification
  • Ziploc bags and garbage bags for clothes, etc
  • Water bottle
  • Valid passport or photocopy
  • Malaria pills and yellow fever vaccinations recommended