Our Manu program is a mix of adventure, culture and eco-tourism with something for everyone. The cloud forest and Amazon rainforest are home to countless species of plants, animals and birds. We offer jungle hikes, river trips and visits to tropical lakes which provide excellent opportunities for the observation of tapirs, deer, peccaries, capybara, monkeys, turtles and many other species. The forest’s birdlife includes parrots, toucans, macaws, cock-of-the-rock and harpy eagles.
One of the highlights of the trip to the rainforest is the clay lick, where several species of parrots and macaws come to feed on the clay which is essential to their diet, producing a wild display of color and sound.
At Lake Blanquillo we will have the chance to observe a family of rare giant river otters. In the evenings we will venture on to the river again to observe nocturnal caimans, and on all our excursions into the forest we will be accompanied by a symphony performed by the Amazon’s vast insect orchestra.
Traversing the waterways of the Amazon brings us into contact with native communities such as the Shipetiari, giving us a wonderful opportunity to see what living in the heart of the Amazon is really like. The return flight to Cusco, from the jungle over the Andes and into the highlands – is a breathtaking experience.
It is necessary to leave Cusco early in order to reach the cloud forest – travelling through Andean landscapes of great beauty, with deep valleys, highlands, rural communities and picturesque colonial towns such as Paucartambo, which has been the gateway to the Manu forests since pre-Hispanic times.
Acjanaco pass (3,850 m.a.s.l) marks the official entrance to Manu National Park. From here the road descends to the cloud forest, passing the important ecosystem comprised of Andean grassland, where vegetation is sparse. From here we descend into the cloud fo cloud forest. This is a very rich area in terms of flora and fauna, the habitat of the cock-of-the-rock (Rupicula peruviana), quetzals, blue-crowned motmots, toucans, the spectacled bear (South America’s only bear), white-tailed deer, butterflies, ferns and orchids. We will spend the first night in our cloud forest Paradise Lodge.