The Manú National Park is one of the largest tropical parks in South America, located in the south-east of Peru, in the region of Madre de Dios and Paucartambo, Cusco. At a total area of up to 20 km² you can find an extraordinary wildlife in its natural habitat. This natural paradise was recognised as a Biosphere in 1977 by UNESCO and in 1987, it was pronounced a World Heritage Site. As it protects several ecological zones, like Southwest Amazon moist forests, Peruvian Yungas and Central Andean wet puna as well as it has one of highest levels of biodiversity of any national parks in the world.
Day 1: Cusco – Paucartambo
We are leaving Cusco early in the morning and start our journey over the Andes in a touristic transportation with a stop at the interesting tombs of Ninamarca, commonly known as “Chullpas”. On our way to Paucartambo we pass beautiful Andean valleys and picturesque Spanish colonial towns. We then descend the Anden through the forest of elf and the cloud forest. You can find a varied and fascinating wildlife of Orchids, Tree Farns, mosses and lichens. This cloud forest exists between 2000 and 3500 meters and at least 50% of the plant species found here are endemic to this region. During our lunch, you will enjoy breathtaking views of the Andes. Later we go to our first hostel, Orquídeas de San Pedro, where we will spend the night.
Day 2: Paucartambo – Hostel
Today we wake up very early to observe the Cock of the Rock, Peru's national bird. After our breakfast, we continue our journey in the transportation towards the town of Pilcopata, where we can see some orchids. We head on towards Atalaya Port where we enjoy a great view of the river Alto Madre de Dios during our lunch. After that, we board our motor boat and head down the river towards our private reserve “Erika”. On our way, we have the possibility to observe various birds like egret, vulture, cormorant, etc. Moreover, we will hike through the interesting trail system that offers this transitional area between high and low jungle.
Day 3: Machuwasi
The Manú National Park has three different ecological zones: rainforest, mountain rainforest and high mountains. Our lodge is located in a transition zone between high and low jungle. After the breakfast our guide will explain the different habitats, altitude range and the high diversity of wildlife found around this lodge. After our lunch we will board our boat in order to cross the river Alto Madre de Dios. At the other side we will walk for another 30 minutes, through a very nice trail to observe and talk about the interesting flora found, such as sensitive plants, heliconias, fruit plantations, etc. Our aim is called Machuwasi Lake where with the help of a telescope we can observe great egrets, tucanets, carpenters, Keskadees, cardinals, etc.
Free Option: Canopy Zip Down: You have the possibility to traverse from tree to tree and platform to platform using pulleys on horizontal traverse cables zip lines, as thy sail through the treetops of the tropical rainforest canopy, and over the trails far below. Expert guides assist you in this exciting journey through the different layers of the rainforests and explain what's going on around you from the time you leave the ground, until you rappel back down to the forest floor.
Day 4: Lodge Erika – Cusco
This day we will get up very early to board our boat again, heading down the river to Collpa (approx. 10 min.). On the riverbanks, we can observe many species of parrots, such as the blue headed parrot or the white-eyed parakeet, feeding theirselves for mineral and salt supplements to their their diet of seeds and fruits. We return to Erika lodge in order to have breakfast. After that we will board our boat again to Atalaya Port where the bus will drive us back to Cusco city, we will have lunch on the way.
The Manú National Park is not an endemic area. There are neither malaria nor yellow fever. For protection you only will need insect repellent. In case you prefer an inoculation against yellow fever, the inoculation has to be at least ten days before your journey.
-3 nights in lodges with full board (as well as vegerarian food)
-water on the first day
-dinner on the final day
What you have to bring:
-sun cap, sunglasses and sun cream