Where is Manu:
Peru’s Manu National Park is in the southwestern corner of the vast Amazon basin. It can be reached from Cusco, the former Inka Capital. Manu makes a perfect combination with a visit to the Inka Citadel Machu Picchu, one of the Wonders of the World. Its limits are reached from Cusco after about 4 hours by car down the Manu Road, but then it will still take you an additional 2 days by car and boat to get to its most pristine heart in Manu’s Reserved Zone.
The vegetation of Manu:
This enormous and well protected park starts with the scarce vegetation of the Andean Puna Grasslands at 4200m above sea level, but vegetation gets bigger in dimension and also denser going down the eastern Andean slope. You pass Elfin Forest, Cloud Forest to reach as low as 350m above sea level of the Lowland Amazon Rainforest with trees as high as 50 meters or more.
Wildlife of Manu:
Puna Grasslands birdspecies include Moustached Flowerpiercer, Shining Sunbeams and Scribble-tailed Canastero.
Elfin Forest, with its tiny trees, is the highest limit for both the Andean Spectacled Bear and the majestic Jaguar, and already has a longer bird list, among which the Blue-banded Toucanet, Golden-headed Quetzal, Marcapata Spinetail, Red-and-white Antpitta, Barred Fruiteater etc.
The Cloud Forest trees are somewhat bigger, up to 10-15 meters, and covered with mosses, lichens and bromeliads. Here we can already find three species of monkey, the Woolly Monkey, the Brown Capuchin and the White-fronted Capuchin Monkey. The Cloud Forest birds have incredible members, such as the Andean Cock of the Rock, the Umbrella Bird and the Crested Quetzal. There are many tanagers and hummingbirds plus Versicoloured Barbet, Highland Motmot and Green Jay. This is a good altitude (apr. 1600m) for butterflies, including members of the Skipper, Daggerwing and Sulphur families.
The Lowland Amazon Rainforest is one of Earth’s most complex and fascinating ecosystems. Just standing in the middle of the forest trying to figure out where plants begin and end and with what other plants and animals they interact is a challenge. Nothing is simple or straightforward in this environment. This entanglement holds about 800 bird species (of the total of 1000 of Manu) and almost all of the 200 mammal species.
The lowland forest is monkey territory, and here you can see their biggest South American representatives: the Black Spider Monkeys and the Woolly Monkeys in healthy populations, interacting with each other, but also with you. The tiniest monkey is the Pygmy Marmoset, or “pocket monkey” and there is also the only nocturnal monkey on Earth, the Night Monkey or Douroucouli. You can also see other mammals in the forest, but you never know if that will be a raccoon, such as the Coati, or a weasel, such as the Tayra. Or maybe even the Southern Tamadua, which is an anteater, or one of those wild cats as Ocelot or Margay. The forest birds include Razor-billed Curassow, Spectacled Owl, Amazonian Pygmy-Owl, Cream-coloured Woodpecker, Pavonine Quetzal, Black-spotted Bare-eye, Gouldi’s Antbird, Rufous-fronted Antthrush, Spangled Cotinga, Musician Wren, Casqued Oropendola, Opal-crowned Tanager. Among the butterflies, the Riodinids, Nymphalids and Satyrids are particularly prolific here.
Along the banks of the river, or even swimming in the middle of the river to reach the other shore, you can see Capybara, the biggest rodent on Earth, or maybe peccaries, deer, Tayra and even Howler Monkeys. After a cold spell, jaguars love to warm up in the first sun rays on the beaches. The river bird species include Roseate Spoonbill, the enormous Jabiru, Horned-Screamer, Osprey and Black Skimmer. If river conditions are suitable we will look out for butterflies imbibing moisture from sandbanks, or even turtle eyes. Sometimes these aggregations can run into many hundreds of individuals – a beautiful sight.
The lakes are Giant Otter and Black Caiman territory, both large animals on the verge of extinction due to habitat destruction. On the lakes you always see the Hoatzin “punk bird”, Moscovy Duck, Neotropical Cormorant and Snake Bird, among many others.
The claylicks, “collpas” give you a spectacle of sevral parakeet, parrot and macaw species, among which the Tui Parakeet, White-Eyed Parakeet, Blue-Headed Parrot, Orange-Cheeked Parrot, Red-and-Green- and Scarlet Macaw.
History of the park
For long, Manu was populated by indigenous peoples, who found various and ingenious ways to survive in its beautiful but hostile environment. After Spanish conquest of South America, mission posts and big “tropical haciendas” (farming communities led by colonists and worked by indigenous people) were the first outside organizations to meddle in Manu’s daily life.
In the 70’s of the last century, Manu was established as a National Park by the Peruvian Government. The National Park status is the only one in this country that gives nature 100% protection, so this was an important moment for Manu’s future. A couple of years later it was first included in UNESCO´s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme and in 1987 it was acknowledged as a “World Heritage Site”. Manu is internationally acclaimed as one of the most biodiverse areas on Earth.
Eco-tourism to Manu has been promoted as off the 80’s of last century to Manu’s Reserved and Cultural Zone. It is the only economical activity for Manu’s Reserved Zone and the only sustainable activity of Manu’s Cultural Zone
Manu National Park and Manu Biosphere Reserve, what is the difference?
The Manu Biosphere Reserve and Manu National Park are oftentimes confused, but in reality the National Park is part of the Biosphere Reserve: the Manu Biosphere Reserve consists of two areas. The biggest is Manu National Park, with full protection. The other part is the buffer zone, Manu’s Cultural Zone, that still has a certain level of protection. The Cultural Zone is around the Alto Madre de Dios River and most of its tributaries. The part of the Manu Biosphere Reserve which is Manu National Park, is again divided into two areas: the intangible part, beyond the guard post of Pakitza on the Manu River, and the area that allows controlled tourism, the Reserved Zone. This last area is only accessible for tours of 8 authorized companies, among them Machupicchu Exploring Peru .
Meet & greet with other guests where you receive important information for a great trekking experience.
On the first day of our adventure into the jungle of Manu, we will pick you up around 6.00 AM from your Hotel in Cusco, using the private transport of Bioandean Expeditions Peru. The first part of our excursion will take us through the majestic Andean mountains. We will visit the town of Huancarani which contains the funeral towers of Ninamarca, a cemetery of the lupacas pre-Incas Culture, which we will visit briefly on our way to Paucartambo, which is known as the folkloric and colonial town. At mid-day we will arrive at the entrance of Manu National Park and access tone of the most protected natural areas in South America. We will continue on in our private transport dawn a dust road and on through the thick fog from which this section of the forest takes it name cloud forest. Eventually we will arrive at the home of the exotic Peruvian national bird, the “cock of the rocks” where it is known to gather with others of its kind for some sort of social gathering that seems reminiscent of a large courtship. You will find that this is quite an amazing spectacle complete with an impressive array of sound and colours that can only be found in the jungle. For our first night, we will stay at Pilcopata lodge.L.D
Very early at 06:30 am, we will leave in the direccion of port Atalaya; on the way we will make a few stops to visit the small locals farmers who are known to be producers of many varieties of jungle fruits even the famous coca plant. Later, we will begin the boating portion of our journey in a river excursion on the Madre de Dios, one of the tributaries of the mighty Amazon River. During our day we will have the chance to witness many types of colourful bird such as parrot, Oropendolas, vultures and others species. We will have stop at the natural hot spring. Hopefully we will make some sightings of some jungle mammals such as monkeys or the famous capybaras (jungle rodents that are as much as 2.5 ft long, towards the late afternoon , we will arrive to our next sleeping destination Yanayacu lodge , the arriving approximately at 3:00 p.m here there will be showers and services available. We will have night walk in the dark, best time to see many anthropoids, tarantulas, scorpions and snakes, of course is optional. B.L: D
Well fed and rested we leave Boca manu lodge, leaving the relatively clean of the Madre de Dios River behind, we enter the clay laden waters of the Manu River. With a brief stop at the park ranger station at limonal to present our permit we travel for about five hours up the Manu. 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 while and black caimans, and there is a chance of encountering a sunning jaguar – the world’s third largest cat. We will see some species of primate on this river trip, possibly red howler monkeys or the smaller squirrel monkeys. After having lunched by the river we arrive at our tended camp near the lake of Cocha Salvador. We’ll have the afternoon to explore some of the trails through the pristine rainforest in the area. B: L: D
About the Casa Matsiguenka
The Casa Matsiguenka is designed using the indigenous people’s building techniques and counts on 12 fully screened twin rooms. Beds are furnished with mosquito nest. There is a private trail system and local Matsiguenka guides will accompany you on the trails. There is an interactive interpretation center and locally made souvenirs are for sale.
After breakfast we’ll spend the morning al the lake of Cocha Salvador. Some of the time will be spent canoeing he 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 larges fresh water 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 .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 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. A late afternoon enjoy the sun sets. Night at the Casa Matsiguenka.B: L: D
Today we’ll walk very slowly from camp for 4-5 hours through the forest to Cocha Otorongo. We may encounter troops of Monkey. This is a particularly good trail for Woolly and 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 animal or large birds. 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. W e will also be on the lookout for a large family of Giant Otters that inhabit this lake. B: L: D.
Leaving the lodge we’ll head up the Madre de Dios River for tree hours to the comfortable lodge facility Boca manu Lodge .This strategically located lodge facility is jointly owned and run by a local conservation group and is a base for scientific birdwatchers research in the area and a center for visitor wanting to explore the rainforest. We should arrive in time for lunch and a 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. Those who wish can participate in a night walk with your guide in search of nocturnal animal. Night at Yanayacu Lodge. B: L: D
We will leave from Boca manu Lodge early in the morning to arrive to the port Atalaya from here; we will take the van directly to Cusco Passing through Cloud Forest and the Andes, arriving to Cusco at 7:30 pm B:L
IMPORTANT NOTE :
Manu Jungle Tour 7D 2016 – 2017
GROUP SERVICE: From 02-03ppl US$1350 per person. From 04-06ppl US$1300 per person. From 06-10ppl US$1250. You can leave any day you suit .
Note :Our fixed Departure Dates 2016 – We need just two of you to open a new departure date so we are going to advertise this date as fixed departure date so more people can join your group to get a better price .
To Book: we need you to send us the filled out booking form as well as a deposit of US$100 per person by Paypal or Western Union .
ALL DEPARTURES 100% GUARANTEED AND WE LEAVE WITH 02 PEOPLE MINIMUM.
JANUARY 2017:1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 ,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.
FEBRUARY 2017: Upon Request (Private service only)
MARCH 2017: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.
APRIL 2017: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.
MAY 2017: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.
JUNE 2017: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.
JULY 2017: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.
AUGUST 2017: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.
SEPTEMBER 2017: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.
OCTOBER 2017: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.
NOVEMBER 2017: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.
DECEMBER 2017: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.
JANUARY 2018: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30.
What is the maximum group size on the trips?
The maximum size of the groups is 10 people per guide. If we have between 11 and 13 people we send two guides, but the group travels as one in the same bus and boat. During hikes or other excursions, the group will be divided into two small groups, each with their own guide. If there are more than 13 people we split into two independent groups – both with their own boats, guides, cooks and program. The only time they spend together is on the first day and a part of the second, while travelling by bus.
What kind of transportation do you provide for the trip into Manu?
We own a 4-wheel drive mini van for a maximum of 4 passengers and a bus for a maximum of 18 passengers. Both vehicles have been adapted for the unpaved Manu road.
Are participants expected to help with carrying luggage and with cooking, or is this done for us?
Cooking and dishes are done by the cook and his helper. In principal the boatmen and the guide will carry your luggage to and from the boat to your accommodation. Often people like to assist them, preferring to carry their own bags – which is gratefully accepted but no obligation at all.
What are the overnight conditions for each night of the tour?
For most of the nights you will be in lodges or camping huts. These give you the comfort of a private single, double or triple room, while at the same time your environmental impact will be as low as possible by sharing showers and toilets and a limited use of electricity. So, though you will feel the heat, humidity and biting insects, every night you will encounter clean and functional showers and toilets and a very comfortable bed!
What safety measurements do you have?
Concerning the back-up facilities, all our overnight places have a radio communication set at the site. All our personnel have been trained in first-aid, and a first-aid kit is available during the tour. At the following places are first aid posts or hospitals: Pilcopata (2nd day) has a small hospital Itahuanía (2nd and 3rd day) has a first aid post Boca Manu (2nd & 5th 7-day tour, 4th & 7th 9-day tour) has a first aid post
Do the boats have a roof?
Yes the boats have a roof to protect you against the sun. However, if you are sitting on a moving boat, the rain always comes in on one side, and therefore we provide you with big plastic sheets to cover yourself without taking away your view of the rainforest.
Is all drinking water provided? Is this purified?
Just for the first day you should bring your own water. For the rest of the trip we provide mineral water that we bring in from Cusco.
What is the food like?
Our food is not typical Peruvian food, nor typical tourist food. It is food that lasts in the heat and humidity of the tropical rainforest. For breakfasts there are omelettes, scrambled eggs, pancakes etc. The lunches in general consist of cold salads, since it is usually hot at that time of the day. The dinners feature soups (great Peruvian soups!), a main course with meat for the first part of the tour and beans or lentils at the end part (since meat cannot be kept cool forever without electricity) and desserts of fresh fruits or puddings etc. You can also ask for a special diet, such as vegetarian, saltless or anything else that you need or prefer. For drinking we have mineral water as much as you need, plus lemonades, coffee, tea, chocolate and herbal teas. There are places where one can buy beer or soft drinks, but you have to pay for those yourself.
Do you remove all waste from the campsites?
Yes, we remove all waste from the campsite. Biodegradable garbage is decomposed in the ground at a specially designed area near Pantiacolla Lodge. Non-biodegradable waste is returned to Cusco.
Do we need to bring our own mosquito nets?
No, you do not have to bring your own mosquito nets; we will provide them at all the lodges.
Are you guaranteed to see birds at the Macaw Licks?
The dry season is a good season to see the birds. The most likely reason for them to come together and eat the clay is because at certain times of the year there are hardly any fruits available for them, just seeds. Seeds in general have a toxic layer, exactly to prevent animals eating them. If the macaws eat them anyway, they have a build up of poison in their stomach. To neutralize the acids that the poison produces in their stomachs, they eat the clay. In the rainy season up until the beginning of the dry season (May) there are many fruits. So the macaws eat fewer seeds and more non-toxic fruits and feel less necessity to eat the clay. Usually it means there are fewer macaws present in the beginning of the dry season. In the middle of the dry season there may be about 100 to 150 macaws visiting the clay lick in one morning, whereas there may only be 10 to 50 at the end of the rainy season/beginning of the dry season.
What are the temperatures like in Manu?
The first night you spend in the cloud forest, at 1600 m., where temperatures are about 10 degrees Celsius (50F). In Manu’s lowland forest, the temperature at night is normally around 24 degrees Celsius (75F) and during the day about 30 degrees Celsius (86F). However, cold winds from Patagonia may reach Manu and the temperature may lower to about 10 degrees Celsius (50F). These “friajes” are more common during the southern hemisphere’s wintertime (between April and the end of August).
Is there a lot of walking?
There is not a lot of walking in the sense of going far. All walking is done slowly. This is because most of what you find in a rainforest is vegetation and to be able to pick out the animals you have to take your time to look around, and listen as well. For the 7-day tour, there are the following walks: The first day of the tour has an afternoon walk of about two hours. The second day is mostly spent looking for birds and animals on the Alto Madre de Dios River, with less walking than the other days. The third and fourth days feature a short walk to Lake Salvador, and various different walks in the Reserved Zone and on trails around the accommodation. The 5th & 6th day you walk maybe one or two hours in the Blanquillo area. The seventh day there is no walking at all. For the 9-day tour, there will be two days extra between the 1st and the 2nd day as described above for the 7-day tour.
Should I take a malaria prophylaxis?
Though it only is a small risk, it is possible you get infected with malaria in Manu, and we recommend you take a prophylaxis when going on one of our tours. The yellow fever situation is about the same. Moreover, yellow fever is almost always lethal therefore it is required that one receives the yellow fever vaccination at least ten days before entering Manu.