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The Manu Crudel of Life


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    Tierras Vivas Travel > The Manu Crudel of Life

    The Manu Crudel of Life

    Code: PTMCOL

    The Manu Crudel of Life

    If you want more adrenaline and mystical energy in your life, Peru is the best choice to make. We live very stressful lives and need to relax and have fun, this is the country you’ ve been looking for. Peru is not only Machu Picchu it is an awesome country which holds a lot of many historical places, it has coast, highlands and jungles where you can find hidden treasures which are waiting for you to discover. It’s like opening a Pandora’s box, you’ ‘ll never know what you’ ll get. It’s up to you to escape to this wonderful country to be amazed by its beauty and history. Here you’ ll have a once in a lifetime opportunity to live the most amazing adventure of all. Come to Peru a mystical country that is eager to show you its wonders. You will explore the jungle and its mysteries on this tour. Once you decide to do this awesome tour you will relax and live the beauty of the High Andes, the Manu Cloud forests, and the Manu Blanquillo area. Knowing that you’ ll spend more time on the lagoon, road, jungle trails, lakes, oxbow lake, catamarans, hidden, jungle trails, observation tower, macaws and mammals clay licks, etc.,  you’ ll increase the chances of spotting many rare species found within the Manu. Come here to Peru and live the greatest adventure of all.


    Quick Itinerary:

    • Day 1: Cusco to Wayquecha Biological Station.
    • Day 2: Wayquecha Biological Station to Cloud Forest Lodge
    • Day 3: Cloud Forest Lodge to Amazonia Lodge.
    • Day 4: Amazonia Lodge – Manu Learning Centre
    • Day 5: Manu Learning Centre.
    • Day 6 Manu Learning Center – Tambo Blanquillo Lodge.
    • Day 7: Tambo Blanquillo Lodge – Macaw Clay Lick – Camungo oxbow Lake and Observation Tower.
    • Day 8: Tambo Blanquillo Lodge – Blanco oxbow Lake – Mammals Clay Lick 
    • Day 9 (Departure Day): Tambo Blanquillo to Cusco. 



    Highlights of MANU CRUDEL OF LIFE ( 09 days )

    • Type of Tour:  PRIVATE TOUR OR SHARED.
    • Private Guide: Juan Aguilar.
    • Prices and conditions: US.
    • Single Supplement Charge: US.
    • Note: Private tours can be operational on any day of the week with a minimum of 6 passengers.
    • ALL prices shown are NET rates.
    • ALL prices shown are in $ USD.
    • ALL prices shown are per person rates.
    • ALL tours depart/arrive from/until Cusco.
    • ALL tours include local taxes, accommodation, full board, excursions, transport and expert Manu guide.
    • Prices do not include alcoholic drinks.

    Day 01Cusco to Wayquecha Biological Station.

    Early morning activities are as follows: you will be picked up from your selected hotel in Cusco where our birdwatcher guide will greet you before heading out south of Cusco to enjoy a picnic breakfast at Huarcapay lagoon. The lagoon is surrounded by Inca, and pre-Inca ruins. Here you will see a variety of high Andean waterfalls including Puna, Yellow-billed and Cinnamon Teal, Yellow-billed Pintail, Andean Duck and other wetland associated with birds. White-tufted Grebe and Andean Coot will be there too. Depending on the time of year migrant North American shorebirds (waders) may be present. You will be specifically on the lookout for Wren-like Rushbird, Many-colored Rush-tyrant, Yellow-winged Blackbird, Puna Ibis, Plumbeous Rail and Andean Negrito. You may see birds of prey such as the Aplomado Falcon, Cinereous Harrier, Variable Hawk and Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle. In the arid scrub around the lake you’ll look for the endemic Rufous-fronted Canasteros and also Streak-fronted Thornbirds. You should find the pretty, endemic Bearded Mountaineer feeding in the tobacco tree (Nicotania sp.) with Giant Hummingbirds and Trainbearers. Peruvian Ash-breasted and Mourning Sierra-Finches will be here with Greenish Yellow-finches and Blue and Yellow Tanagers.

    You will continue the journey making a couple of selected stops in the intermontane valleys specifically for two endemics. You’ll have a picnic as breakfast as the sun hits the slopes and colorful Quechua peasant_ people who pass by with livestock creating a peaceful pastoral scene – our target here – the Chestnut-breasted Mountain-Finch. You should see Andean Hillstars, Andean Flickers, Black-throated Flowerpiercers, Chuiguanco Thrush and more. Your next stop is for the endemic Creamy-crested Spinetails, before arriving to the last Andean passage – Ajcanacu and if it’s clear you’ll be able to look out from the last range of the Andes over the Amazon basin stretching into the distance, as the Incas did in ancient times, worshipping the sun rising over the endless rainforest. A Necessary stop must be done to find _ Scribble-tailed and Line -fronted Canasteros and maybe Puna and Diademed Tapaculos. In the after-noon you will explore the upper limits of the eastern slopes. Managing your way down the eastern slope of the Andes, the forest becomes more continuous and you will spend the afternoon birding to our accommodations at 2800 meters above sea level above Pillahuata. Possibilities are many but we hope to encounter mixed species flocks of Tanagers, Flycatchers and Ovenbirds. Gray-breasted Mountain Toucans, Collared Jays and Mountain Caciques are among some of the many species you may find. In the evening you will go to a favorite spot where you will have luck calling in Swallow-tailed Nightjars.

    Lodging: Wayquecha Biological Station

    Meals: Picnic Breakfast, Picnic Lunch & Dinner

    National reserve Manu


    Day 02 Wayquecha Biological Station to Cloud Forest Lodge

    At breakfast you will be greeted with a varied dawn chorus and Red and White Antpittas should be welcoming you as well. You will spend all day birding at the biological station at 2800 meters until our next stop at 1300 meters. This is a pristine forest on a little traveled road. Some of the special birds on this stretch which you will look for include: Mustached Flowerpiercers, Tit-like Dacnis, Golden-collared Tanagers and the Puna Thistletails White-rumped Hawks, Trilling Tapaculos, Black Grass-green Tanagers, Hooded Mountain-Tanagers, Black-throated Tody-Flycatchers, Barred Fruiteaters, White-banded and White-throated Tyrannulets and many more. If we are lucky we may see Peruvian Treehunters, Golden-plumed Parakeets or Greater Scythebilland Chestnut Eagles, Andean Guans, Scaly-naped Parrots, a wide variety of Hummingbirds including Collared Inca, Chestnut-breasted Coronets, Violet-throated Startfrontlets and Amethyst-throated Sunangels, Purple-backed Thornbills, Scaled Metaltails, White-bellied Woodstars, Crimson-mantled Woodpeckers, Bar-bellied Woodpeckers, the endemic Marcapata Spinetails, White-throated Antpittas, Barred and Band-tailed Fruiteaters, White-throated Tyrannulets, Ochraceous-breasted Flycatchers, Barred Becards, Pale-footed Swallows, Mountain Wrens, Citrine Warblers and many Tanagers. We will reach Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge near Union at 1300 meters in the late afternoon.

    Lodging: Cloud Forest Lodge

    Meals: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch & Dinner.


    Day 03:Cloud Forest Lodge to Amazonia Lodge

    This lodge is situated in the pristine Cloud Forest of the Mountains of Manu just a few minutes from a spectacular Cock of the Rock bird (the active one) into the blind (hidden) which enable us to observe these colorful birds during their dawn mating rituals. Facilities at the Lodge include 12 large spacious en-suite bungalows with hot and cold fresh water, toilets and two single beds in each room plus several rooms with shared facilities which room you get depends on how early you book!. Private bungalows have their own private balcony. Lighting is provided by candle and lantern but there is a small generator available to charge batteries. There is a large dining and lounge area overlooking a feeding station for Brown Capuchin Monkeys and Tayra’s (a large mustelid related to the Martens). Hummingbird feeders attract several species right into the dining room sometimes including Rufous-webbed Brilliants. There is a trail system behind the lodge that enables you to see the understory of the Cloud Forest first hand and facilitates seeing some species you do not likely see from the road such as Chestnut-breasted Wrens, Scaled Antpittas, Rufous-breasted and Short-tailed Antthrush’s, SlatyGnateaters and the endemic Cerulean-capped Mankins. Many spectacular waterfalls in the area are far away enough so as to enable hearing birdsongs. Orchids abound with c. 80 species are recorded around the lodge. One day you’ll devote yourself to the 2500 meter altitude zone, and one day to the 1500 meter zone. You leave San Pedro at 1600 meters and spend the day birding slowly down to the River Port at 500 meters. You will pay particular attention to the stretch between 1500 meters and 800 meters. This upper tropical zone forest has disappeared on much of the Andean slopes in South America because of its suitability for cash crops such as tea, coffee and coca, but in this part of Peru the forest remains untouched. Birds we have seen well on this stretch of road include: Rufous-breasted Wood-Quails, Speckle-faced Parrots, Chestnut-collared Swifts, Peruvian Piedtails, Three-striped and Three-banded Warblers, Long-tailed Sylphs, Lanceolated Monklets, Versicolored Barbets, Russet Antshrikes, Rufous-loredTyrranulets, Marble-faced Bristle-tyrants, Fulvous-breasted Flatbills, Russet Antshrikes, Olive-tufted Flycatchers, Golden-crowned Flycatchers, Dusky-green Oropendolas, Golden-collared Honeycreeepers White-winged Tanagers, Yellow-throated Bush-Tanagers and many more. In between at Patria you’ll visit a plantation of coca grown legitimately for the Peruvian coca leaf market. You’ll have little time to view the Upper Madre de Dios river with the typical jungle boats parket in this river port around midday you will be at Atalaya, a tiny port where the Piñipiñi River meets the Alto Madre de Dios. Now the lowland rainforest part of our journey begins. Rivers are the highways of the rainforest, and henceforth you will travel at large, comfortable dugout canoes shaded by canopy roofs and driven by powerful outboard motors. During normal river conditions you’ll arrive at our lodge in time to explore wildlife views which may include toucans, kingfishers, a rare endemic hummingbird and a multitude of butterflies along one of its many forest trails.

    Lodging: Amazonia Lodge

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


    Day 04Amazonia Lodge – Manu Learning Centre

    There is time for another short morning hike on the lodge trails before boarding a canoe leaving early to The Manu Learning Centre. As we follow the broad, rushing course of the Alto Madre de Dios river past the last foothills of the Andes, your ever-changing route will offer sightings of new birds terns, cormorants, White-winged Swallows, and flocks of nighthawks flushed from their daytime lairs by the sound of our engine. Splashes of brilliant yellow, pink and red foliage dot the forest-clad slopes around us, and the breeze is laden with the heady perfumes of the tropical forest. A half-hour ride to the Manu Learning Centre gives you your second impression of the meandering Amazonian river, the Alto Madre de Dios, one of the most southern tributes of the legendary Amazonas River. On arrival you will be shown round the lodge before lunch. In the afternoon, explore the local trail system with its naturalist guides, before relaxing at the lodge with the sounds of the forest. During your stay at this beautiful lodge guests can learn about the human history of Manu and the challenges conserving this beautiful and fragile environment talking to the guides and researchers on site. Or perhaps you just want to relax and let the world go by sipping a cool drink and watching the sun set on the Amazon. After dinner that evening enjoy a presentation which helps put in context the work we do on sustainability and conservation and learn more about the ongoing work the foundation does to help preserve the region.

    Lodging: Manu Learning Centre

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


    Day 05:Manu Learning Centre

    One of the most interesting activities at the Lodge is the clay lick or collpa where, among others, the Blue Headed Macaw is observed and studied as it is part of the endangered species of the world. At 5:00 a.m. in the morning, we get together on a boat and head for the hide, five minutes up river to observe the activity of macaws, parrots, and parakeets. As the day breaks and the rays of the sun paint the walls of the clay lick with magical colors, birds display their dances, come and go in pairs, in flocks, until they leave to continue their day, deeper in the jungle. Then, we’ll go back to the center to have breakfast. On our way back into the forest we can visit a bio-garden part of the center’s sustainable project this garden has some spectacular hummingbirds like the rufous-crested coquettes, golden tailed sapphires, sapphire spangled emeralds, violet headed hummingbirds ,blue tailed emerald etc. From here we head through differing terrains to experience multiple forest types, running into squirrel monkeys. With over 13 different species of monkeys, a strong large mammal (jaguar, puma and tapir) is present. The Bio Garden project serves as a model of small scale subsistence farming and reforestation. You will be taught about the different crops and be involved in planting them. You will assist the locals in implementing new and sustainable agricultural techniques such as planting vegetables which are planted alongside young trees in the same bed. Crops protect the trees in its most vulnerable stages and by the time the garden has been harvested for several seasons the trees have become established we’ll spend the rest of the day out in the forest, trying to see the local wildlife. With over 24 kilometers of trails there is a large exploration area and we will make frequent stops to watch mixed flocks ant-birds, ant-shrikes, ant wrens, foliage-gleaners, flycatcher are travelling in the flocks and this is a great place for the scarlet hooded barbet, spot winged ant-bird (brownish headed ant-bird), slate colored gross beak red-billed pied tanager and canopy mixed species flocks. After a full day on the trails, we get back and freshen up for a delicious homemade meal. After dinner there is also always the possibility to head out on a night walk to spot all the nocturnal species, common potoo, great potoo, black banded owl, and crested owl are some of the nocturnal birds calling all the night.

    Lodging: Manu Learning Centre.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

    Max. elevation: 4,200 m (12,630 ft)
    Min. elevation: 3,500 m (11,480 ft)
    Difficulty: Challenging

    Day 06Manu Learning Center – Tambo Blanquillo Lodge.

    After breakfast, you’ll get ready for your next destination and take a boat again, continue the boat journey down to the Madre de Dios River to its confluence with the Manu River, this boat ride means to spot scarlet, blue and yellow and red and green macaws flying or sometimes perching, fascinated herons, egrets, pied lapwings, collared plovers, night hawks including Orinoco geese will be seeing along the river banks, passing settlements and native communities during the trip. Just before getting to the village of Boca Manu we’ll pass the native community of Diamante. Their culture is Piro and this is the largest settlement of Amerindians in the area. Many parrots and macaws come in to roost before we head another hour and half in the famous Madre de Dios (Mother of God) River, for which this region was called. During the river journey we will enjoy a packed lunch and start to spot some of the area’s renowned wildlife, including sand-colored nighthawks, Orinoco goose and capybaras, the world’s largest rodent. Upon arrival we will receive a hearty welcome to Tambo Blanquillo Lodge. After a welcoming drink we will show you to your room, help you get settled comfortably and introduce you to the facilities and surrounding installations. We will enjoy an evening meal freshly prepared by our resident chefs before getting ready for our first foray out into the jungle, following the trails winding away from the lodge.

    Lodging: Tambo Blanquillo Lodge.

    Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner.


    Day 07: Tambo Blanquillo Lodge � Macaw Clay Lick – Camungo oxbow Lake and Observation Tower.

    Another early start, is followed by a short boat ride downstream. You’ll take a 20-minute trail through palm plantations to a cut-off channel of the river, where we find the Macaw Lick. A spacious hide provided with individual chairs and a convenient place for cameras and binoculars is our ringside seat for what is usually a very spectacular show. You will enjoy a full breakfast here while waiting for the main actors to arrive. The clay lick installation has been custom built for optimal bird watching pleasure, a large blind located just 50 meters away from the clay lick for the best possible show – so close you won’t even need to use your camera zoom. As the sun rises over century-old trees, an explosion of life and color will burst before your eyes, with hundreds of parrots and macaws arriving to enjoy their daily sodium intake. In groups of two and threes the scarlet macaws arrive, landing in the treetops as they eye the main stage below the eroded clay banks of the river and the occasional villain, a menacing and unwelcomed great black hawk.

    After this truly unique experience you’ll return to the lodge and enjoy a tasty lunch and some time to relax around the lodge, read or enjoy a well-deserved nap. That afternoon you’ll set out again for one of the most bio-diverse oxbow lakes in the area; the Camungo Oxbow Lake which is home to giant river otters (extinct in almost all its other habitats in Peru), kingfishers, flycatchers and some rare neotropical birds, such as the colorful agami heron. You will enjoy the ride on another of our custom-built installations, a paddle catamaran that will carry you silently around the lake to capture photographs of the undisturbed wildlife. After the lake you’ll visit the Camungo Observation Tower which, at 50 meters height, is the highest observation tower in the Peruvian Amazon. The tower was constructed over (but not touching or interfering with) a ceiba tree over 400 years old. From the top you will watch hunting jacamars, swinging monkeys and mixed flocks of up to 100 bird species passing right beside us. You will even see macaws again as they return home from the clay lick. Returning again to the lodge you’ll enjoy another hearty meal and spend the evening relaxing with our fellow guests, enjoying a beer and playing games in the lodge shared spaces.

    Blanquillo Manu Lodge


    Day 8:Tambo Blanquillo Lodge – Blanco oxbow Lake – Mammals Clay Lick

    Enjoying a slightly later start, you’ll set out after breakfast to visit the most important oxbow lake in the area, the Blanco Oxbow Lake, a 10 minute boat ride from the lodge which offers a chance to spot peccaries and other mammals on the river banks. It’s not uncommon for visitors to spot jaguars sunbathing in the morning sun, after a long night of hunting. At the lake you’ll board our paddle catamarans and navigate the waters teeming with giant otters, caimans and other apex predators. Groups of monkeys are easily seen feeding on the fruiting trees beside the lake, while snail kites feast on the abundance of snails. This lake is famous among birdwatchers as a home to over 600 species of birds. After the lake you’ll return to the lodge for lunch and to have a chance to recharge your batteries. That afternoon you will head to the Blanquillo Oxbow Lake, just 10 minutes walking distance through the shebonal trees. From here you’ll have the option of walking the surrounding trails or taking our canoes to explore the waterways. Upon returning to the lodge you’ll enjoy our final evening among new friends, with some wine or beer under the amazing scenery, a splendid moon and the jungle’s night time cacophony.

    You will shortly arrive at our private, on-site mammal clay lick – a major draw for various species of monkeys, the giant tapir, huangana, ronsocos and even the mighty jaguars, all of them  visit the clay lick on a regular basis. You will wait in our purpose-designed nature spotting tents and see which of our mammalian neighbours pass by in front of you. After a couple of hours at the clay lick you will return to the lodge and enjoy a deep, comfortable sleep to recharge batteries and prepare for the next day’s adventures.

    Lodging: Tambo Blanquillo Lodge

    Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner


    Day 9:Departure Day: Tambo Blanquillo to Cusco

    Leave the lodge very early for a 2.5 hour boat trip downstream to the Colorado Village, breakfast will be served on the boat which is a perfect time to take advantage of some early morning wildlife activity along the river. During the journey you will also get to see several lowland native settlements and also the gold miners digging and panning gold along the banks of Madre de Dios River. You’ll disembark in the gold-mining town of Colorado to start your overland journey to Puerto Carlos which takes about 45 minutes and then you will cross the Inambari River to Santa Rosa, another 15 minutes before finally a van or bus will drive you to Cusco. (Approx 6hours), our crew team and your birdwatcher guide will assist you until your hotel where our birding adventures ends.

    Lodging: Not Included

    Meals: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch



    • Transfer assistance from your selected hotel in Cusco to our transportation on the first day.
    • Overland transportation.
    • Accommodations at the lodges (8nights) according to the itinerary.
    • All meals are included from breakfast on the first day to the Box Lunch on the last day.
    • English and Spanish speaking birding guide Juan Aguilar.
    • Guided birding tours in accordance with the itinerary.
    • The Overland transportation permit baggage allowance up to 25 kg per person.
    • Transfer assistance to your hotel in Cusco on the last day.

    Not Included:

    • Extra services and extra nights at lodge or alternative Hotels.
    • T-Shirts, Posters, Postcards and Souvenirs.
    • Bar expenses
    • Tips.

    Manu Park Advisor

    • Grading.- This is primarily a birdwatching tour, with some mammals and general natural history thrown in. It is suitable for most people with average fitness levels and mobility, although humid/hot and sometimes muddy conditions need to be contended with, together with occasional scrambles up river banks. Less fit members will likely find the tour tiring due to early starts throughout the holiday.
    • Weather.- The weather will be hot and humid with the possibility of a heavy shower at any time. The rainy season generally does not hit the rainforest until early November. In the highlands we should enjoy bright and dry weather with chilly nights, and September/October is the best period in the year to watch Cocks of the Rock lekking.
    • Clothing.- Please inspect the separate clothing list, sent to you on booking, thoroughly
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