Manu National Park, located in southeastern Peru, is one of the largest parks in South America. The area of the park encompasses parts of the Andean department of Cusco and the jungle department of Madre de Dios. Manu protects over 2 million hectares (4.5 million acres) of territory rich in flora and fauna species in a variety of habitats including high Andes, cloud forests, and lowland tropical rain forests.
UNESCO officially recognizes this natural paradise as a world heritage site. In 1977 they designated Manu as a World Biosphere Reserve because it contains the best existing example of biodiversity in protected areas of rain forest, as well as endemic areas of cloud forest.
Manu National Park is not endemic area about Malaria neither Yellow fever you can bring a good insect repellent but if you decide to put the yellow fever vaccination for prevention you can do it 10 days before start your trip to the jungle.
We leave Cusco early in the morning. Around mid-morning we visit the interesting Pre-Inca tombs of Ninamarca, commonly known as "Chullpas". We continue to Paucartambo, a picturesque Spanish colonial town, and then to the Acjanacu pass, which marks the beginning of the Cultural Zone of Manu Biosphere Reserve. We reach the port of Atalaya on the banks of the Madre de Dios. We travel by boat to the Private "Erika" Reserve, and after a short journey we walk into lodge.
*Option: At Erika Lodge, you have the option to traverse from tree to tree and platform to platform zip lining through the jungle. Expert guides assist you in this exciting journey through the different layers of the rain forests and explain what's going on around you from the time you leave the ground, until you rappel back down to the forest floor.
We will get up very early and after a ten minutes boat ride, we will arrive at a Parrot Lick "Collpa", which is a wall of clay in the riverbanks, where many species of parrots such as the blue headed parrot, the white-eyed parakeet, the dusky-headed parrot the chestnut fronted macaw and others feed for mineral and salt supplements. After an early breakfast, we will continue travel up the Manu River for 4 hours approximately into the pristine heart of the reserve, and we will leave human habitation behind us. We arrive at Salvador Lake, our base safari campsite. We will observe the abundant wildlife. We arrive early in the afternoon and have lunch before setting off on a jungle trail, after which we return to the campsite.
We get up early in the morning. A morning walk before breakfast is a great way to catch wildlife in the pursuit of food, as the temperature is very pleasant at this time of day. We explore Salvador Lake by paddling quietly along on a catamaran, giving us the opportunity to observe unique species of birds, monkeys, caimans and with luck the Giant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis). After 20 minutes of walking from the river to the lake you will be taken through a nice terra fire forest. Overnight in the safari campsite.
Today, we cross the river to walk a trail to another oxbow lake called Otorongo. In the nearby forest that includes huge Ceiba trees and Strangler figs, we will observe several mammals: Saddleback tamarinds, Squirrel, Spider and Brown Capuchin Monkeys, the Collared and the white lipped peccaries. At the lake a strategically located observation tower rises 15 meters above the lake and the jungle floor, from the top you not only get spectacular view of the lake and the surrounding forest but also excellent opportunities to observe birds from the canopy, and other animals. Back at Salvador Lake, late in the afternoon we will use the catamaran and with the help of flashlights we can observe the black caimans rise from the depths of the lake. Return to the safari campsite.
Once again we wake up early, enjoy walking around Salvador Lake and then pack up and slowly go downstream the Manu River. We continue to Boca Manu's Village, situated a short distance from the confluence of the Manu and Alto Madre de Dios rivers. From here we descend the Madre de Dios River arriving at Boca Lodge and spend one more night in this magical Amazon jungle. We can do a short night walk through the forest to observe American bullfrogs, horned frogs, tree frogs and an incredible variety of colorful insects.
Around midmorning or before, we continue up the Alto Madre de Dios River to camp on an appropriate beach in the Cultural Zone if for some chance we cannot arrive Erika Lodge and enjoy the sights and sounds of the jungle for one last night.
Waking up very early, we continue the trip by boat to Atalaya, where the bus will be waiting for us and drive back up and out of Manu, arriving in Cusco very late this night or the next early morning.The exact program is subject to change, due to weather and other unexpected circumstances.