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Manu Peru Amazon

Manu Peru Amazon

The Manu National Park is the prominent reserve in the Peruvian Amazon, comprising 2 million hectares that stretch between the departments of Cusco and Madre de Dios. Many travelers dream of visiting the Amazon Rainforest, and the Manu stop is a great way to do it, as it is believed to host the largest range of biodiversity on the planet, providing refuge for many endangered species, like the jaguar, the river wolf and the spectacled bear.

Manu is divided into the buffer zone, where ecotourism and controlled scientific research are allowed; and the Cultural Zone, which is open to everyone. The rainforest within the reserve is carved by the rivers that flow down from the Andes down into the Amazon basin, branch off and separate into oxbow lakes or lagoons that are the main habitats of wildlife. When visitors enter the labyrinth of rivers and lagoons, they enter a different world, with exuberant vegetation and unequaled biodiversity that has more than 20,000 species of plants, 1,200 species of butterflies, 1,000 species of birds, 200 species of mammals and 13 primates. In fact, Manu has the highest diversity of birds, mammals and plants of any park on the planet.

Quick Itinerary:

Day 01: Cusco - Paucartambo - Amazon basin - Cock of the Rock Lodge

Day 02: Patria - Manu National Park - Romero Lodge

Day 03: Romero Lodge - Manu Wildlife Center

Day 04: Cocha Salvador & Cocha Otorongo Tour

Day 05: Manu Wildlife Center - Tapir Clay Lick

Day 06: Manu Clay Lick Project and trail system

Day 07: Manu Wildlife Center - Puerto Maldonado


Manu National Park

Located in the south of Peru, in the eastern sector of the Andes mountain range and western edge of the Amazon basin, it is the only park in Latin America that includes the entire range of environments from tropical lowland to frigid punas, above 4,000 masl.

The Park was created on May 29, 1973, has an area of 1,716,295.22 hectares and is one of the best destinations for nature tourism. In the lower basin of the Manu River, the exuberance of the Amazon plain stands out. There are up to five recommended areas for tourist visits, with a high diversity of flora and fauna: Salvador, Otorongo, Juárez, Pakitza and Limonal. All navigable circuits in the lakes or oxbow lakes, where you can see the river wolves and the black lizard.


Services Within the Park: shelters, interpretation center, hygienic services, park rangers and radio.

Services Outside the Park: Boat and / or boat rental, police post, medical post.

Activities: bird watching, flora, fauna and landscape, hiking, camping, research studies, taking photographs and filming.

Observations: the authorizations for the entrance to the Manu National Park for tourism are granted to the operating agencies, which in turn offer various services and packages within the park. It is not possible to enter freely. The taking of photographs or films has a cost of 10% of the UIT.


Manu to Cusco

Manu is located 403 miles from the hot and isolated regional capital of Puerto Maldonado, which acts as a gateway to the reserve. Puerto Maldonado can be reached by land from Cusco, or by air through Lima. From there you can go through the Manu river by boat. It is advisable to arrive from Cusco in organized tour packages, as the entrance is not sold to individuals but to authorized agencies.


Day 01: Cusco - Paucartambo - Amazon basin - Cock of the Rock Lodge

Our trip by land begins with destination to the exuberant region of the cloud forest to the Amazon Basin.

First we visited a mountain wetland habitat full of people with migratory birds and local waterfowl, before crossing two mountain ranges between the Cusco valley and the Paucartambo Valley, at a maximum altitude of 3,900 m / 12,790 feet.

Finally, we follow a winding road submerging ourselves in an extraordinary world of wooded cliffs, waterfalls and streams. We will enjoy the whole landscape while we descend to the Amazon basin. In a clear climate, we can appreciate an impressive panorama of cloud forest and mountain giving way to the plains of the low jungle far below us. After a lunch near here, we descend to the tropical Andes, passing through meadows and atrophied trees through the forest of goblins, until we pass through a lush and magical world of trees that stand out, giant ferns, monster begonias, innumerable orchids and bromeliads, and a diversity and abundant birdlife.

Finally, we arrive at the comfortable Cock of the Rock Lodge in the afternoon, we have the opportunity to see the dazzling national bird of Peru, the Cock of the Rock (Rupicola peruvianus).

Day 02: Patria - Manu National Park - Romero Lodge

Getting up early, we could look for birds, and maybe capuchin or woolly monkeys along the nearby road or we can take an isolated walk.

After breakfast we continue our tour, while the mountains give way to low hills and farmland. In Patria we visited a plantation of coca cultivated legitimately for the Peruvian market of the coca leaf.

At noon we arrive at Atalaya, a small port where the Piñipiñi River meets the Alto Madre de Dios. Now the lowland part of the jungle of our trip begins.

The rivers are the roads of the jungle, and from now on we will travel in large, comfortable canoes in the shade of the roofs of the canopy and driven by powerful outboard motors. As we follow the wide and fast course of the river beyond the last foothills of the Andes, our constantly changing route offers sightings of new birds.

We turn north through the brown chocolate waters of the Manu River and enter the Manu National Park, richer in the lake. The pristine quality of the forest is instantaneously evident, with abundant avifauna and without signs of external development. We check into the park at Limonal forest ranger station and then continue upstream to our lodge, where we will spend the night

Day 03: Romero Lodge - Manu Wildlife Center

In the morning, we continue our trip to the Manu Tented Camp, as our boat driver deftly walks through shallows and obstacles of floating wood. We will be able to appreciate more of the fauna of the Apurímac river.

After about four hours on the river, we arrived at the Manu Park Wildlife Center, a simple but comfortable place with low impact hut hidden almost invisibly in the forest. If time permits, we will take a short walk before dinner to stretch our legs and enjoy our first encounter with the jungle.

Day 04: Cocha Salvador & Cocha Otorongo Tour

Today we visit two lakes near our Manu Park Wildlife Center. The park authorities determine the time of our visit to Lake Salvador. Depending on this schedule, we will visit Lake Otorongo earlier or later in the day.

Our way to Lake Otorongo begins about 30 minutes downstream from the Manu Park Wildlife Center. This short trip down the river to the beginning of the trail can always offer the opportunity for an exciting wildlife sighting. Maybe we will see a family of Capibaras, the largest rodent in the world, sailing on the riverbank, or if we are very lucky, a lone Jaguar could Lurking slowly on an open beach in the forest, shaking its tail in annoyance at our intrusion. The lakes are abundant in fish and wildlife, and provides an optimal habitat for alligators and the giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis), one of the most threatened mammal species in the Amazon.

Lake Salvador is the largest of the lakes in the area, with a length of 3.5 km, or approximately two miles long. It is also home to a family of giant otters. We navigate the lake on a floating catamaran platform, which offers excellent new vistas of lake and forest. Trees by the lake are often alive with monkeys; Scarlet macaws, a variety of herons and egrets explore the water's edge; and the eyes of reptile and snouts of alligators, Stationary as trunks, they can be spied under the branches.

Day 05: Manu Wildlife Center - Tapir Clay Lick

We set up down river at dawn. At this time, the chances of encounters with wildlife are excellent. We return to the Limonal Park station, to present our wildlife report before leaving the park.

After arriving at the turbulent union of the Alto Madre de Dios and Manu rivers will be near the town of Boca Manu. After ninety minutes more downstream, we arrived in Manu Wildlife Center, the exciting final stop of our trip, in time for lunch.

After an early afternoon break we set out along the "collpa trail", which will take us to the famous Tapir Clay Lick. Here, in the most active tapir hive known throughout the Amazon, our research has identified 8 to 12 individuals 600-pound tapirs that come to this lick to eat clay from under the roots of the trees around the edge. This improbable snack absorbs and neutralizes toxins in the vegetarian diet of the Tapir, the largest land animal in Latin America. This experience is unique and exciting because these normally very shy creatures are visible up close, and Photography with flash is not only allowed, but encouraged.

Day 06: Manu Clay Lick Project and trail system

We woke up early again, and after a delicious breakfast we walked through the forest for a few minutes, where we found the Macaw Lick Project.

In groups of two and three, scarlet macaws come flapping, landing in the treetops. They look at the main stage below.

After this, we continue walking and exploring the network of trails that surround the. Accommodation and then return to the lodge for lunch. Later, we continue to explore and discover the rainforest, its tradition and plant life, in the network of trails that surround the lodge.

This afternoon, from the end of the afternoon until After dinner, we offer the opportunity to look for alligators and other nocturnal activities along the river bank by boat

Day 07: Manu Wildlife Center - Puerto Maldonado

We left our cabin very early in the two hours and one Half a boat trip back downriver to Colorado Village. Depending on the time we should be in Puerto Maldonado, breakfast will be served in the lodge or on the boat, of course this is a perfect time to take advantage of valuable wildlife activity early in the morning along the river.

We will make a stop in the town of Colorado, in the area of gold mining, to begin our trip by land to Puerto Carlos for 45 minutes, then cross the Inambari River for 10 minutes by boat to Santa Rosa, finally a van or a bus will take us approximately two and a half hours to the airport in the city of Puerto Maldonado.



  • Land transport from Cusco to Cock of the Rock Lodge and then to Atalaya River transportation.
  • Accommodation in the following lodges: 1 night Cock of the Rock Lodge, 1 nights Romero Lodge, 2 nights Manu Park Wildlife Center, 2 nights Manu Wildlife Center
  • Meals during the trip

Not Included

  • Air tickets.
  • Personal expenses such as beverages, telephone call, tips, etc.
  • Extras not mentioned in itinerary


Cock of the Rock Lodge

The Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge is located in the magical Manu cloud forest on the lush eastern slopes of the Andes, and is part of the Tropical Nature conservation system. Opened in 1997, it is named after the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock (Rupicola peruvianus), the conspicuously brilliant red-and-black national bird of Peru. Each morning and evening the males stage a colorful, noisy mating display at a “lek”, or display site, right by the lodge. Spectacled Bears, Woolly Monkeys, Brown Capuchin Monkeys, quetzals and a host of other colorful birds also inhabit the surrounding forest, and a bubbling mountain stream tumbles through the valley below. Manu Wildlife Center Lodge The world's largest tapir lick. The most photogenic and accessible large macaw and parrot lick. Miles of monkey-rich trails through nature rain forest. Two 120-foot-tall (35-m) canopy platforms. Two nature lakes with abundant Hoatzins, caimans and Giant Otters


Manu Wildlife Center

The tapir lick is a comfortable ninety minutes on foot from the lodge, while the macaw lick is a half-hour boat journey plus a short walk away. Visitors will welcome the amenities and comfort of this lodge, the only one in the Manu lowlands with roomy, private bungalows, en suite private bathrooms and tiled, hot water showers — especially if they are arriving from the rustic simplicity of Manu National Park. Manu Park Wildlife Center Manu Park Wildlife Center is a simple but comfortable low-impact lodge located inside the


Manu Park Wildlife Center

Nestled almost invisibly in the forest, it lies just across the river from the trail to Manu's prime wildlife viewing location, Cocha (Lake) Salvador. This is the largest and most beautiful of the 13 oxbow lakes of the Manu River. Our Manu Park Wildlife Center or Albergue Machiguenga features spacious double-occupancy room-size tents with hinged, lockable doors and solid wooden floors. Each tent measures 16.5x10x7 feet (5x3x2.2m), and all are fully screened, with a floor raised on wooden stilts to provide maximum ventilation and coolness, and protection from flooding and insects. A palm thatch roof shelter overhead completes the structure. Each of the extra-long twin beds has a mosquito net. Our camp in Manu Park also features an elevated, screened dining room with wooden floor and a private hot-water showers and flush toilets.

What to bring

  • A small backpack to carry your belongings.
  • A coat for the cold, rain poncho, shorts and shirts, cotton pants and long sleeved shirts.
  • Bath towels
  • Hiking shoes and sandals to enter the water.
  • Personal hygiene items, sunscreen, hat and glasses.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Flashlight with spare batteries.
  • Camera with extra batteries
  • A container to carry water.
  • Binoculars
  • Extra Money to buy crafts shopping, drinks and tips
Code MANT7
Activity level
responsible people foundationThe Responsible People foundation is registered under the Peruvian Non-Profit Organization Act. With an annual contribution from Tierras Vivas, we support our operating costs as well as a significant portion of project development costs. If you would like to help us, you can bring warm clothes or new school supplies. While you contribute, you might win a Rainbow Mountain for free (or, another tour in Cusco.). Help us to help Andean children and families please!
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