Manu & the Matsiguenka Lodge
Imagine traveling to one of the last Edens on earth, a remote part of the rainforest which contains over 1,000 species of birds, some 160 species of mammals and around 140 species of amphibians as well as countless species of reptiles and insects. An unforgettable wildlife journey that has more the character of an expedition, although we try to give you the maximum comfort available in the rustic rainforest Lodges, some with private facilities.
You may look forward to spotting animals like capuchin monkeys, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, squirrel monkeys, giant otters, black and white caimans, capybaras and peccaries. Sometimes even rare mammals like tapirs, anteaters or the elusive Jaguar may be spotted. Interact with the native Matsiguenka that are also the owners of our Lodge deep inside the Park.
We start from Cusco very early in the morning driving through lonely highland scenery and isolated Quechua communities until reaching the pass of Acjanaco, the entry point of Manu National Park. We will have a break in order to appreciate the typical flora and fauna of the paramo habitat. From here we descend into the cloud forest, enjoying marvelous sceneries, looking out for species of tanagers, toucanets, raptors, jay birds and hummingbirds typical of the area. In the afternoon we reach Atalaya from where a motorized dugout canoe will take us a short journey along the Upper Madre de Dios river to our Lodge. Full board.
We rise early to watch a multitude of birds in the Lodge gardens: colorful parrots, macaws, araçaris, woodpeckers, tanagers, caciques, and oropendolas as well as hummingbirds. After breakfast, we climb a trail leading into the montane forest and to a watchtower affording splendid views over the river and the Lodge below. Perhaps we may spot some squirrel cuckoos, cotingas, tityras, flower piercers or more Tanagers. In the afternoon we explore some lowland trails around the Lodge. With a little luck, we may surprise some monkeys, toucans, guans, caracaras, tinamous or perhaps some agouti or capybara. At a small oxbow Lake, you may be able to watch the prehistoric looking Hoatzin, egrets, herons, kingfishers, raptors and perhaps you may even sight black caimans. We also watch out for different monkey species: squirrel monkeys, dusky titi monkeys, and capuchin monkeys. After dark, we may go on a short night walk in order to spot amphibians and insects or surprise some night monkeys. Full board.
Today we board our motorized dugout canoe and travel down the Upper Madre de Dios River for several hours, up to the confluence with the Manu River. After a brief visit to the settlement of Boca Manu, where you may stock up on snacks, batteries and other items and enjoy a refreshing cold drink, we settle into our Lodge on the Madre de Dios for the night. Full board.
As soon as it gets light we begin our journey up the Manu River. This increases our chance for sightings of the rich fauna, like black and white caimans, side-neck turtles, different species of monkeys, capybaras, jabirus and wood storks, black skimmers, sand-colored nighthawks and many other animals. We arrive at our Lodge, run by the Matsiguenka tribe in the afternoon. Hopefully, we still have time for the first visit to Lake Salvador, one of the oxbow lakes deep inside the Park, which has a resident group of giant otters, as well as black caimans, neotropical cormorants, Muscovy ducks, green ibises to name a few. Overnight at the Casa Matsiguenka. Full board.
Awake to the exotic sounds of the forest, including perhaps the roar of the red howler monkeys. This morning we return to Lake Salvador where we will paddle on a catamaran to get a closer look at the exuberant wildlife there. Hopefully, we may observe the giant otters fishing, eating or playing from a short distance. You may also get sightings of horned screamers, hoatzins, limpkins, capped herons, wattled jacanas, purple gallinules and the rare and shy Agami Heron. Later we shall walk the trails to look for spider monkeys, squirrel monkeys or tamarins. Overnight at the Casa Matsiguenka. Full board.
A short journey downriver takes us to the entrance to Lake Otorongo, another oxbow lake, where we have another chance to watch giant otters from a watchtower. With a little luck, we might see a group of woolly monkeys or other monkey species. We will spend the rest of the day exploring different trails learning about the ecology of the forest and the uses of medicinal plants. In the afternoon we have some fun with the Matsiguenka engaging in arrow shooting contest with them (the target will be a papaya). Later there will be time for intercultural exchange over some popcorn and a cup of tea. Overnight at the Casa Matsiguenka. Full board.
Today we begin our return journey down the Manu River. Hopefully, we will spot more typical river animals like caimans, capybaras or roseate spoonbills or groups of monkeys in the vegetation on the shore. If lucky we may even spot a jaguar, an anteater or tapir! We spend the night at a Lodge on the Upper Madre de Dios River. If time allows we may go for an exploratory walk. Full board.
Today we travel back to the cloud forest where we spend one night in order to get a chance of sightings of some of the unique animals endemic to this habitat, amongst them the Quetzal, Highland Motmot, Green Jay, Andean-Cock-of-the-Rock, Cinnamon Flycatcher to name a few. Full board.
We rise before dawn and walk to a lek nearby in order to watch the noisy display of the male Cock-of-the-Rocks. After a hearty breakfast, we take some time to explore the surroundings and watch out for Woolly Monkeys, torrent Ducks, white-capped Dippers, oropendolas and colorful Tanager species, before we start our return journey to Cusco. B & L
- Private land transport from/to Cusco
- Fluvial transport (dugout canoe with outboard motor)
- 8 nights in Rainforest Lodges
- All meals
- Park entrance fees
- Naturalist guide
- Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks
- Tips and gratuities
Possible departure dates:
From April – November
Prices per person in USD:
1 person USD 7,155.-
2 people USD 4,045.-
3 people USD 3,115.-
4 people USD 2,665.-Andean-Cock-of-the-Rock - Andean SpiritRainforest Frog - Andean Spirit DestinationsMorpho Butterfly - Andean Spirit DestinationsA Hoatzin - Andean Spirit DestinationDusky Titi Monkey - Andean Spirit DestinationsEmerald Boa - Andean Spirit Destinations