DAY 1: CUSCO TO PILCOPATA:
We take an 11 hours bus trip from the city of Cusco ascending to the high mountain area at 4200 m (14,000 feet). After a short stop in Ninamarca, to see the pre-Inca cemetery, and Paucartambo village, we descend the eastern slopes of the Andes through cloud forest with lush vegetation (ferns, orchids, etc.) to the lowland rainforest on the Madre de Dios and Manu Rivers. You will enjoy spectacular views of the Andes and may see wildlife such as our national bird, the Cock of the Rocks (Rupicola peruviana) inside a hiding place next to the lek, brilliantly colored Tanagers and Hummingbirds and with some luck the first monkeys, as e.g. the Wooly Monkey. We spend the night in a lodge in Pilcopata town.
DAY 2: PILCOPATA TO BLANQUILLO:
After breakfast we travel another 1/2 hour to Atalaya at 500 m. Here we embark a 15-meter motorized canoe to travel down the Alto Madre de Dios River for 8 hours. Today you will have the opportunity to see wildlife along the rocky banks of the rivers, such as Fasciated Tiger Heron, Purplish Jays, King Vultures and some of the 13 species of monkeys that live in Manu. In the afternoon we arrive to Blanquillo where we spend the night in a lodge. Optional night walk before dinner (to see insects, frogs, snakes etc.).
DAY 3: BLANQUILLO MACAW CLAY LICK TO MAQUISAPAYOJ
Early in the morning we go to the Macaw Clay Lick and - from a blind - watch flocks of Parakeets, Parrots and Macaws arriving to eat the clay of the lick. After the spectacle we pack everything and travel for 45 minutes upstream to Maquisapayoj. Here we sleep on a platform with mosquito nets close to the mammal salt lick to observe Tapirs and other mammals at night. Macaw Claylick
DAY 4: MAQUISAPAYOJ TO ALBERGUE MATSIGUENKA:
On this day we travel 9 hours upriver into the Manu National Park. During this trip the wildlife viewing along the banks of the Manu River is fabulous. White Caimans (Caiman crocodylus) sunning on the beaches, fish in the shallows, turtels and plenty of colorful birds as e.g. Black Skimmers and Terns may bee seen; and there is always the possibility of seeing larger animals such as Capybara, Tapir and Jaguar. In thew afternoon we arrive at the Albergue Matsiguenka, where we spend the night. Optional nightwalk.
DAY 5: EXPLORING COCHA SALVADOR:
Today we leave early for a day trip to explore Lake Salvador by catamaran looking for the Giant River Otters Pteronura brasiliensis), Caimans, Hoatzins and Monkeys. In the afternoon we go for a walk on some of the trails through the forest. You can climb the observation tower at Cocha (oxbow-lake) Otorongo. The night is spent at the Albergue Matsiguenka. Optional nightwalk
DAY 6: COCHA SALVADOR TO CUSCO OR YANAYACO:
Today we travel 8 hours down the Manu River, after a stop in Boca Manu village we make our way back upriver on the Alto Madre de Dios River. We camp on the beach at Yanayaco this night. It is possible to fly back from Boca Manu Airstrip to Cusco in 45 min. ( 6 day tour).
Brown Capuchin Monkey
DAY 7: YANAYACU TO PILCOPATA:
Today we travel 7 hours upstream, stopping at Aguas Calientes (hot springs) for a bath and arriving to Atalaya in the afternoon, from where we travel another hour by bus to Pilcopata, where we spend the night in a Lodge
DAY 8 : PILCOPATA TO CUSCO:
On this day we travel up to the Andes again to return to Cusco around 5 p.m
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