Your Travel Experience with Galapagos PRO
Cuzco to Manu Wildlife Lodge
At five o'clock in the morning we leave Cuzco. We are in for a day trip in our private bus. The frequent stops make the long journey entertaining. We visit the Andean town of Ninamarca with its Inca towers and the colonial town of Paucartombo. After reaching an altitude of 3'900 m.a.s.l., we dive into the reserve of Manu National Park. Here we start exploring the incredible diversity of flora and fauna of the cloud forest. We discover orchids, primitive ferns as well as medicinal plants. With a little luck we will see our national bird, the red rock cock (Cock of the Rock), the woolly monkey and the cauchino monkey. We will also observe different species of parrots and macaws. In the afternoon we reach the boat harbor of Atalaya. Here our trip by car ends. Our adventure on the Madre de Dios River begins: We change into a typical motorboat, which takes us in 2.5 hours following the course of the river to the wonderful Ecolodge "Manu Wildlife Lodge". During the river trip we again have time to observe the rich fauna and flora. At the lodge we spend the first night of our extraordinary jungle experience.
Hike in the jungle to the "Casa Matchigenga Lodge"
We leave the lodge very early and continue our journey downriver (Alto Madre de Dios River) to go into the Manu Reserved Zone on the Manu River.
Our first stop there is a national park control point (Puesto de Vigilancia Limonal). Halfway to Casa Matchiguenka lodge we do a first short walk in the Reserve Zone.
Along the boat trip we will observe many different kinds of animals such as capybara, peccaries, monkeys, lots of birds and caimans, maybe even a jaguar. Late in the afternoon we arrive at Casa Matchiguenka Lodge where we spend the night. (Optional night walk there.)
Casa Matchiguenka Lodge is owned and run by two indigenous communities of the tribe Matchiguenka. This lodge has a rustic design with 12 double rooms and provides mosquito nets. Surrounding the lodge are private trails, where Matchiguenka act as local guides.
Hike in the jungle
Today we will start with a long walk of some three or four hours, from the banks of Manu River to Otorongo Lake, here we will climb a 15m high observation tower, from where birds such as the exuberantly feathered and primitive Shansho(Hoatzin) can be seen, as well as monkeys feeding on fruits and several species of flowers and brightly-colored butterflies.
We will then return to our camp by canoe to enjoy a delicious lunch. The afternoon will be dedicated to expiring Salvador Oxbow Lake and the surrounding area aboard our catamaran, from which will be able to observe the mega diversity attracted by this oxbow, including Black Caiman, White Caiman, a family of Giant Otters and waterfowl. Return to the lodge in the evening.
At night we venture into the jungle in search of frogs, spiders and snakes and other nocturnal creatures.
Hike to the Treehouse Inn
We leave Casa Matchiguenka Lodge very early to have another opportunity to spot a jaguar on our way out of the Manu Reserved Zone. We can also see tapirs, turtles and caimans.
After a short stay in Boca Manu, a visit to the local Diamante community is optional. We drive upstream (Alto Madre de Dios River) to Treehouse Inn.
In the evening we go to the mammalian clay lick, where we wait in the camouflaged house until wild boar and tapirs eat the mineral salts. After about an hour we leave and continue our night hike. We spend the night in Treehouse Inn.
With the first daylight, at 5:00 a.m., we leave for the parrot clay lick to watch the breathtaking spectacle of hundreds of parrots and large macaws gathering to lick the clay.
For lunch our cook surprises us with typical jungle food.
In the afternoon we visit another of the beautiful hiking trails around our Treehouse Inn. We see a variety of animals and birds, an abundance of medicinal plants and huge trees.
After lunch we continue our adventure with river tubing and drift the Palotoa.
Also this night we explore the forest with a flashlight in search of insects, snakes and the only nocturnal monkey or “Douricouli”.
In the evening we relax around a campfire, have a drink and barbecue.
Return through the cloud forest
After breakfast, with destination back to Cusco. We return to Cusco through the cloud forest and Paucartambo. We will arrive back to Cusco in the early evening at approximately 6:00 p.m.