|Locations Visited||:||Manu, River|
|Type of Activity||:||trekking , hikking|
|Time of Tour||:||9 days|
It is necessary to leave Cusco early in order to reach the cloud forest - traveling 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, before reaching the cloud forest in the afternoon. This is a very rich area in terms of flora and fauna, the habitat of the Cock-of-the-Rock (Rupicula peruviana), Quetzal, Blue-crowned motmot, Toucans, 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.
After our first night in the cloud forest, and before breakfast, we will take a walk in the forest to see the Cock-of-the-Rock in a daily ritual in which eight to ten males perform in order to attract the attention of the female. We will then return to the Lodge for a healthy and fortifying breakfast and continue our trip to the port of Atalaya, from where we will board our boat downstream to our camp in the hot springs in the Upper Madre de Dios River, near to a Macaw clay lick.
Before breakfast about 5:30 a m, we will hike to a position some 30m (90ft) from the collpa, a rich deposit of natural minerals and clay in the river sidewall. From here, we can observe several species of parrots and parakeets arriving, followed by macaws in a colorful and impressive show. If there is a good weather you can have the opportunity to see around 300 individuals. After this unforgettable spectacle and a good breakfast we will continue downstream to the village of Boca Manu, where we will be joined by others passengers arriving by light aircraft from Cusco. As we travel downriver we will be able to see a variety of birds among the trees as well as caimans. More or less at noon we will enter the Reserved Zone of the Park for a 4 hour hike in this primary forest. At nightfall we will stay in a comfortable lodge In Boca Manu, at the entrance to the Park. This is an opportunity for a nocturnal walk, during which we will hopefully see nocturnal birds such as the sand-colored nighthawk as we listen to the spectacular sounds made by Night monkeys (Musmuqui), the world's only nocturnal primate, the Amazon bamboo rat, numerous species of toads and insects and other inhabitants of the forest which only emerge at night.
Today we will continue our journey along the Manu River as far as the CAIMAN CAMP, inside the Reserved Area, passing Limonal, the Park Ranger Station, where we will register before entering the Reserved Area. In the course of the trip we will see birds, toucans, macaws, parrots and some mammals such as capybara, tapirs, peccaries and many varieties of turtles, caiman and, if we are lucky, an impressive, lone jaguar. We will arrive at our camp in the mid-afternoon, near the Salvador oxbow-Lake, where we will spend two nights camping on comfortable platforms.
Today we will make an early start for a long walk of some three or four hours, from the banks of Manu River to Otorongo lake, where 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 exploring Salvador Oxbow lake and the surrounding area aboard our catamaran, from which will be able to observe the mega diversity attracted by this oxbow lake, including Black Caiman, White Caiman, a family of Giant Otters and waterfowl. Return to the camp in the evening.
Early in the morning we will another chance to go for a nature walk or one more visit to the oxbow lake and hear choirs of birds defining their territory in song. As the sun rises, the eastern sky changes to a pale yellow and we will be able to see falcons or other predatory birds patiently searching for prey from the treetops. After lunch we will board our boat again and head downstream towards Boca Manu but this time just foating with out the engine in order to have the opportunity to observ with plenty of time this mighty and diverse enviroment. Arriving at Boca Manu we will visit the native community of the Matshiguenka and Yine ethnic group, also we will visit their botanical garden of medicinal plants and share their activities.
In the morning we will go to the airfield at Boca Manu, where we will say goodbye to those passengers who opted to return to Cusco by plane. The rest of the group will then continue along the river Alto Madre de Dios river to our camp site near a parrot clay lick.
After a delicious breakfast, then we continue upstream along the Madre de Dios towards the port at Atalaya, where the bus will be waiting to take us to the Paradise Lodge, where we will spend our last night in the heart of the cloud forest.
This morning will be our last opportunity to visit the Cock-of-the-Rock lek. After breakfast our bus will take us back to Cusco, arriving in the afternoon.
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Surname: Mancilla Muchari
Address: calle Suecia 380 C - Plaza de armas, Cusco City: CUSCO
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