Cloud Forest, Lakes Salvador & Otorongo and Macaw Lick - in by bus, out by plane.
DAY 1: Cusco-Cloud Forest
Leaving Cusco early in the morning, we begin an 8-hour journey over the Andes by bus, stopping for a coffee at the beautiful colonial village of Paucartambo. Continuing, we climb to the highpoint of the Manu Biosphere at about 3,530 m before descending to the cloud forest. In these mysterious surroundings we take a hike to the lek of the incredible cock-of-the-rock, to see the 'performance' of the males right under our eyes. We spend our first night in the rustic lodge Posada San Pedro (appr. 1,600 m).
DAY 2: Cloud Forest-Atalaya-Manu River
At daybreak we continue by bus to tropical lowland rainforest. Here at the small village Atalaya at 650 m, we change into a motorized canoe to navigate some 5 hours down the turbulent Alto Madre de Dios River to Boca Manu. As night falls we stay in a basic lodge, or camp next to that lodge, depending on availability.
DAY 3 & 4: Lake Salvador and Lake Otorongo
On the morning of the third day we turn up the Manu River for a 6 hour ride into the heart of Manu's Reserved Zone. From this vantage point we will have great views of riverside birds, sunbathing caiman, and the enormous aquatic guinea pig, the capybara. We reach our camping huts deep inside Manu in the afternoon. This will be our base for the next two days. During this time, we will hike through virgin forest and explore one of the most beautiful lakes of the Manu basin, Lake Salvador, by catamaran. There is a chance to see a huge variety of colourful birds, numerous species of monkey and with luck, a family of giant otters. There is another hike in this habitat-rich forest, that will end in Lake Otorongo and a 20 metre-high observation platform overlooking the lake. At night we can explore the forest by torchlight or go moonlight caiman-spotting on the lake.
DAY 5: Lake Salvador - Macaw Lick
After a final walk through the forest surrounding Lake Salvador (flight schedule of 5-day travelers permitting), we return back down the Manu River. Joining the Madre de Dios River we arrive at Blanquillo, near the claylick for macaws, where we spend the night in the jungle lodge Tambo Blanquillo.
DAY 6: Macaw Lick
At first light we head to the macaw lick to watch the dazzling spectacle of hundreds of parakeets, parrots and macaws eating clay. In the afternoon we visit another beautiful oxbow lake, Cocha Blanco. Going back up the river we stay in a basic lodge, or camp next to that basic lodge, depending on availability.
DAY 7: Boca Manu-Cusco
We return over the rainforest and the Andes to Cusco by light aircraft.
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Naturalist guide in English and Spanish
Transportation Cusco/Atalaya by private bus (5 & 7 day tour) and back Atalaya/Cusco (9 day tour)
Transportation by private boat: Atalaya/Lake Salvador/Boca Manu (5 day tour) - Macaw Lick/Boca Manu (7 day tour) - Pantiacolla Lodge/Atalaya (9 day tour)
Flight Boca Manu/Cusco (5 & 7 day program)
Overnights in lodges and camping huts
Meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
Guide book for rainforest of Manu - Talking About Manu