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9 Day Boat Trip and Wildlife Tour in Manu National Park, Cusco

Manu National Park, Peru

Wildlife Tour in Peru

Peru Quest Expeditions invites you to come to Peru and explore the amazing Manu National Park! Starting from Cusco, you will be taken to serene places where beautiful animals such as the jaguar, otters, and colorful birds reside. As you cruise on a river, you will be able to spot the wild animals around you, including alligators, as their eyes reflect your flashlight.

Key information

  • Private safari
  • Minimum or maximum group size: Minimum two, maximum 10 participants
  • Children policy: Children from 10 years old are allowed to join
  • Starting point and ending point: Cusco
  • Languages: English, Spanish
  • Park fees are included

Highlights

  • Take part in morning outings to see animals
  • Enjoy a boat trip to see the wild animals residing around the river
  • Admire Peruvian national bird, eagles, macaw, monkeys, giant otters, and more
  • Explore Manu National Park, Madre de Dios River, oxbow lakes
  • Daily meals, park entrance fees included
  • 8 nights accommodation

Styles


7 activity days in English
The organizer also speaks: Spanish
Group size: 2-10 participants
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Accommodation

During this tour, you will be accommodated at Paradise or Cock of the Rock Lodge, Tambo Blanquillo, Casa Matchiguenka, and Hummingbird Lodge. Accommodations will be in double or triple rooms.

Program

Day 1: Cusco to Cloud Forest (3350 meters, 11000 feet / 1450 meters, 4760 feet)

You leave Cusco at 7 a.m. in a private vehicle through the impressive eastern ranges of the high Andes, through typical villages that still preserve their traditions, culture, and language (Quechua).

Paucartambo is the most important city. It is a picturesque colonial town of buildings with balconies of blue color, its bridge Carlos III of lime and stone of 1775 on the River Mapacho, its viceregal temple at the end of the 17th century, and you cannot leave without first to taste their delicious bread that are also part of the appeal of this town.

After exploring it, you will continue to Acjanaco pass (3465 meters / 11370 feet), where the Manu National Park begins, surrounded by a beautiful grassland forest, which is an impressive ecosystem at high altitude in part of the Peruvian Andes that concentrates unique fauna, such as (spectacled bear, deers, foxes and many rodents). It is definitely a good place to have lunch and take photos.

Then, you will begin to descend through the elfin forest and the high jungle, perceiving the changes of the vegetation very fast becoming increasingly dense, and thus housing much more biodiversity of flora, fauna and colorful birds, such as orchids, begonias, passion fruits, jaguarundi, tayra, toucans, quetzals, trogons, jays, tyrants, etc.

Later, you will arrive at the lodge located in the mystical cloud forest ecosystem to enjoy a quiet and peaceful night away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Tonight you'll stay in Paradise or Cock of the Rock Lodge, with 24 hours hot water for shower, bedroom with private bathroom, and bar. Power is available between 6 and 10 p.m. only to recharge batteries. Today, lunch and dinner are included in the price.

Day 2: Cloud Forest - Boca Manu (380 meters / 1248 feet)

Wake up early and take a short drive to reach a hidden platform where the beautiful cock of the rock (Peruvian national bird) come out at dawn. This is an amazing show to see, as up to 15-20 bright red-orange males try to attract orange-brown females.

After visiting this place, you return to the lodge for a delicious breakfast for later continue the trip by car descending to the lowland forest through typical villages surrounded by agriculture such as bananas, pineapples, cocoa plants, yucca, etc.

Once having reached the town of Atalaya, you will embark on a comfortable motor boat to navigate downstream for five hours approximately by the Madre de Dios River (Amazonas river tributary). Lunch will be on board. As you cruise the river, enjoy the sighting of some birds species that commonly inhabit the rivers (egrets, herons, cormorants, spoonbills, lapwings, etc).

You will arrive at the lodge and once there, you will be ready to explore it and learn about nature. Dinner and of course a night of well deserved rest too accompanied by the beautiful nocturnal sounds of this natural place.

Stay at Hummingbird Lodge. It is a rustic basic lodge with a cold shower, bedroom with private bathrooms, bed with mosquito net. Power is on between 6 and 9 p.m. only. Today, breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included.

Day 3: Boca Manu - Salvador (480 meters - 1576 feet)

Breakfast is at 5:30 a.m. You then board your boat to head up the Manu River for approximately six hours into the Manu Park, where your expectations of seeing wildlife are excellent as you will enter a protected area for more than 45 years.

You will have an official stop at the park ranger station to present your permits. After following this protocol, you will be ready to start exploring this magnificent place for a couple of hours or more, then continue on the boat, sighting everything you can see while sailing, such as terns, skimmers, lapwings, sandpipers, swallows, caimans, capybaras, macaws, vultures, eagles, monkeys, etc.

Later, you will arrive at a lodge near Salvador Lake. Once there, you will have enough time to explore this entire area through interconnected trails to see the largest possible wildlife.

Dinner and have a well deserved rest in this amazing natural place. Tonight you will stay at Casa Matchiguenka, a rustic basic lodge equipped with bedrooms with shared bathroom, bed with mosquito net, hot shower, and no power. Today's meal plan includes breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 4: Salvador

Early breakfast, then go to visit Salvador oxbow lake (5 kilometers / 3.1 miles) where you have a rowing catamaran which you will use to navigate it for two hours, mainly to find the giant otters, beautiful animals that were close to extinction, specifically by the invasion of victorian barons of the rubber that with the eagerness to obtain it.

Also, they impacted in more important fauna almost with consequences of extermination, like jaguars, capybaras, tapirs, monkeys, etc. Fortunately today you can still admire them as they are protected in this wonderful habitat that also concentrates much more wildlife, such as black caiman, side neck turtle, egrets, herons, ibises, limpkins, kingfishers, etc.

You then start exploring this impressive primary forest that concentrates many tropical trees that grow to great heights with straight trunks rising 30 to 40 meters before branching. Fig trees, cotton kapok, coral, cedar, etc. are often conspicuously loaded with climbing vines, species from a number of plant families that spend their lives associated with trees.

Some ascend or descend along a tree’s trunk, others spread out within a tree’s leafy canopy before descending toward the ground, free, from a branch. Common vines that climb trees from the ground up is Philodendrons.

You then return to the lodge where a delicious lunch awaits you. Take a short break, then be ready for an afternoon walk. After dinner, enjoy a well-deserved rest. Tonight you stay at Casa Matchiguenka. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included.

Day 5: Salvador - Pakitza - Salvador

Breakfast is at 6 a.m. You then embark on your boat, heading up the Manu River for an hour approximately with the idea of visiting the whole area of the park destined for ecotourism and thus you will arrive at the last checkpoint of the park, which also has a trail system to cover more distances.

It gives you more opportunities to see different wildlife, such as monk saki monkey, emperor tamarin monkey, pygmy marmoset monkey, as well as visit the mammals. Clay lick, which is a natural place like a pool of water and mud, is located in the middle of the forest where some animals like tapirs, deers, wild pigs, red howler monkeys, and black spider monkey concentrate at night to eat the clay and thus neutralize the toxins of the green fruits of which they eat daily.

Then, you will board your boat, heading down the Manu River. Always be attentive while sailing. Use your binoculars, because luckily the jaguar is somewhere along the river. For the afternoon, of course, you have another trail to explore while looking for more wildlife.

In the evening, enjoy dinner and a well-deserved rest. Stay in Casa Matchiguenka. Breakfast, lunch, dinner are included.

Day 6: Salvador - Blanquillo

Early breakfast, then walk to the Salvador oxbow lake to enjoy it for the last time since today you will leave the park. You will have opportunities to see something else you missed on the previous days or you may see the same wildlife but in different expression, that’s why this place is so magical, nothing is the same.

You then embark on the boat heading down the Manu River for 30 minutes approximately to visit Otorongo oxbow lake. Take a short walk and you will arrive in an observation tower of 20 meters / 65 feet.

The location gives you a different perspective on this natural habitat since you will be very close to the canopy of the highest trees where many primates and birds are concentrated, which in turn will be confused but not mind your presence up there. This is definitely a good place for photos and relax.

You then return to the boat to continue the journey downstream by Manu River to the private reserve (blanquillo) which is located outside Manu Park, having again good chances to see animals while sailing, including the third largest feline in the world, the Jaguar which is very difficult but not impossible to see.

Later you will arrive at a lodge and later get ready with your flashlights for a night walk. Reach the blanquillo oxbow lake where you will spend a good night time sailing on a catamaran to enjoy the nightlife of the rainforest, seeing the eyes of alligators with the reflection of your lights, fruit bats flying around you almost touching your noses, and depending on good weather conditions we could have a night of stars.

Dinner and a well-deserved rest will be at Tambo Blanquillo. It is equipped with a bedroom with a shared bathroom, bed with mosquito net, hot shower, and no power. Today, breakfast, lunch, dinner are included.

Day 7: Blanquillo - Boca Manu

Very early wake up, you then have a short walk to reach a blind platform which is located just in front of the clay lick. This place is a section of the banks in Madre de Dios River. It measures at 7 meters / 22 feet high / 300 meters / 985 feet long.

This is truly one of the most wonderful natural spectacles that congregate mostly macaws, parrots, and parakeets where they have to eat the mineral-rich clay that is essential to their digestion. Eating clay is mainly to neutralize the toxins of the green fruits from which these birds feed, and are not found in foods from their normal diet.

Enjoy breakfast on the platform then you will continue to enjoy this show until mid-morning. Afterward, take a short walk across the river to the lodge. Have lunch, then board your boat, heading up the Madre de Dios River for three hours to a lodge that is located near the village of Boca Manu.

Enjoy dinner and a well-deserved rest. Tonight, you will stay at Hummingbird Lodge. Breakfast, lunch, dinner are included.

Day 8: Boca Manu - Cloud Forest

After breakfast, head up the Madre de Dios River for approximately eight-hour cruise. As this will be a long day of sailing, you will have time to swim or to soak for a good moment in the hot springs that is on the way to Atalaya town, and it is there that you will finish this trip by boat, and that is why part of the crew will stay there.

Then continue by car to the lodge in the cloud forest to enjoy a delicious dinner, a glass of wine, a well-deserved rest, and also spend the last night in this unique ecosystem. Tonight, stay at Paradise or Cock of the Rock Lodge. Breakfast, lunch, dinner are included.

Day 9: Cloud Forest - Cusco

There will be a late breakfast because probably you will be a little tired. The return to Cusco will be only about 6-7 hours, so you can experience an optional morning walk by the road for two hours approximately or as long as you want, or just relax on the terrace having a cup of coffee, enjoying the peace and quiet of this wonderful place for a little while.

Or after breakfast, you can get in the vehicle and start the return to Cusco. Of course, you will have short stops to stretch the legs or just for photos. Lunch on the route and you expect to arrive in Cusco around 4 p.m. Breakfast and lunch are included.

Location

Starting off and ending at Cusco, this tour will take you through Cloud Forest, oxbow lakes, Blanquillo, Manu National Park, and Boca Manu.

Manu Park

The largest tropical rainforest biosphere reserve on earth lies the furthest tip of the upper Amazon River in the remote south-eastern region of Peru. Only 100 miles (160 kilometers) from the spectacular Archaeological Inca Site of Machupicchu, Manu is unique in that it protects three, highly distinct ecosystems: the Puna-a high altitude, Tundra-like area characterized by pale yellow ichu grass, isolated blue lakes and tassel eared llamas.

The Cloud Forest is a mysterious world bathed in constant mist and inhabited by brilliant red Cock of the Rocks, Spectacled Bears and scores of dripping tree ferns. The Lowland Rainforest is home of the Giant Black Caiman, Giant Otter, 13 species of monkeys and over 1000 species of Birds (10% of the world’s total).

Although invaded at different times by Incas, Spanish “conquistadors” and Victorian rubber kings, Manu Biosphere Reserve has largely been protected through the centuries both by its remote location and by the presence of hostile native tribes.

Manu currently supports four native ethnic groups-two of which are still uncontacted-and protects 4,646,564 acres (1,881,200 hectares) of land. Almost half the size of Switzerland, Manu is perhaps the most species-rich protected area to be found anywhere on Earth.

Food

Daily meals, snack, and drinking water are included in the package. Vegan and vegetarian options are available. Please let Peru Quest Expeditions know in advance if you have a specific dietary restriction.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • Private ground and river transportation
  • 8 nights accommodations (double / triple room)
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner), drinkable water, good snacks, vegetarian and vegan options
  • Manu National Park entrances fees
  • Bilingual guide
  • Spotting scope
  • Bibliography (birds of Peru, neotropical rainforest mammals)
  • Fauna and birds checklist
  • Peruvian taxes

What's not included

  • Tipping
  • Binoculars (10x42 or 8x42 of magnification)
  • Rain gear
  • Water bottle
  • Repellent maximum 50% deed
  • Headlamp (with spare batteries)
  • Sunscreen
  • Personal first aid equipment

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
9 days / 8 nights
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Pricing information

For more information on children pricing, please contact Peru Quest Expeditions.

Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 2 participants

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