Key Info

Duration  10 nights

Price: On application

activity grading : MODERATE

For more information contact us on +44 (0) 7414 00 66

Greig Smith Travels Ltd. Registered Company Number 7786310.

Travel Trust Association No: U9657

32 Drake Road, Chafford Hundred, Essex, RM16 6PS. UK

© Greig Smith Travels Ltd 2013

Complete Manu Wildlife Experience

This trip takes you through Manu on a wonderful wildlife experience. Led by specialist and knowledgeable guides you will experience the best that Manu has to offer in terms of birds and mammals. This tour has been designed to take in the specific locations to maximize the chances of seeing some of the incredible species within the Manu Biosphere and National Park.

Day 1: Cusco – Wayqecha Cloud Forest Biological Station.

Depart Cusco about 8am after an early breakfast and start the fabulous journey that will take you from the high Andes, with spectacular views of the sacred valley, right down into the cloud forest. Wayqecha is a 1450 acres research centre, 3000m above sea level in the Kcosñipata Valley along the edge of the Manu National Park. The location is one of the most important biological hotspots on the planet, where the eastern slopes of the tropical Andes meet the Amazonian lowlands. This topographic complexity has resulted in an exceptional array of habitats sustaining a vast number of species. You will spend time at the station viewing the various species; Wayqecha is also home to the “Pygmy frog”, one of the world’s smallest frogs and a huge variety of orchids. Overnight at the station taking in the fantastic views of the cloud forest.

Lodging: Wayqecha Biological Station Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch & Dinner

Day 2: Wayqecha Cloud Forest Biological Station – Cock of the Rock Lodge

After breakfast take an early morning walk along the trails at the station before beginning the journey further down into the cloud forest. Depending on the weather start the journey on foot with your guide to make the most of the fantastic bird and butterfly watching en route. Take excursions out into the cloud forest on the way and maybe get the chance of spotting the Woolly monkey.

Lodging: Cock of the Rock Lodge Meals: Breakfast, Box Lunch & Dinner

Day 3: Cock of the Rock Lodge – Manu Learning Centre

An early morning start takes you out into the cloud forest to see one of its main attractions, the Cock of The Rock bird, the national bird of Peru. Watch their dance spectacle right in front of you, an incredible sight! After a hearty breakfast at the lodge begin the journey down by road further into the cloud forest. The journey will be full of the sights and sounds of the forest, monkeys and some of the richest varieties of birds on earth as well as the spectacled bear. You will visit a coca plantation where you will learn about the uses of the coca leaves and their medicinal properties. After a short stop at Pillcopata you will head on to the port-town of Atalaya, and board a motorized canoe. A one-hour ride to the Manu Learning Centre gives you your first impression of the meandering Amazonian river, the Alto Madre de Dios, one of the most southern tributaries 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 your naturalist guides, before relaxing at the lodge to the sounds of 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 want to just relax and let the world go by sipping a cool drink and watching the sun set on the Amazon.

Lodging: Manu Learning Centre Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 4: Manu Learning Centre

Spend the whole day in search of wildlife exploring the vicinity of the lodge and taking trips down the river. In 2011 there were over 650 species alone recorded at the Manu Learning Centre. We have a Jaguar tracking programme and 7 individuals were sighted at the lodge as well as 13 different primates such as the black spider monkey, howler monkey, squirrel monkey and brown capuchin monkey as well as the change to see the Manu Poison Dart Frog. There is also a butterfly programme at the lodge which you will be able to take part in and learn about.

Lodging: Manu Learning Centre Meals: Breakfast Lunch & Dinner

Day 5: Manu Learning Centre – Romero Rainforest Lodge

One of the most interesting activities at the Manu Learning Centre is the monitoring of the clay lick or Collpa where, among others, the Blue Headed Macaw is observed and studied as it is an endangered species. At 5:00 a.m. in the morning, join the scientists and researchers on the 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 magic colors, the birds display their dances, come and go in pairs and in flocks, until they leave to continue their day, deeper in the jungle. Return to the centre for breakfast. After breakfast, continue your journey down the Madre de Dios River to it’s confluence with the Manu River, passing settlements and native communities during the trip. Just before getting to the village of Boca Manu pass the native community of Diamante. Their culture is Piro and this is the largest settlement of Amerindians in the area. Leave the relatively clean waters of the Madre de Dios behind and enter the sediment laden waters of the Manu River. Stop at the park ranger’s station at Limonal to present permits and visit an overgrown oxbow lake where many parrots and macaws come in to roost before we head another hour to our destination – the comfortable Romero Rainforest Lodge

Lodging: Romero Rainforest Lodge Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Romero Rainforest Lodge

Spend the morning out and about on the 3km of trails that Romero has to offer exploring the primary rainforest with 60 metre emergent canopy trees as well as patches of bamboo forests before visiting on foot the local oxbow lakes to watch for caimans, river otters and also haotzins. After lunch at the lodge, visitors head up stream to another set of trails to find troops of spider monkeys, emperor tamarins and packs of white collared peccaries. After a full day on the trails exploring the forest, relax at the lodge enjoying a refreshing drink at the bar after a hot shower. For the more adventurous, you can head out around the lodge for a nocturnal walk to discover amphibians and with any luck some mammals.

Lodging: Romero Rainforest Lodge Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 7: Romero Rainforest Lodge - Campsite Aguaje

After a great breakfast, trek very slowly for several hours through the forest to Cocha Limonal. The trail is particularly good for black spider monkey viewing. Special attention is given to the plant life on this walk as you listen out for the rustle of vegetation or the soft sound of fruits falling to the rainforest floor that may betray the presence of animals or large birds. Your guide will explain some of the basics of rainforest ecosystems and point out some of the medicinal plants of the area used by local, indigenous groups. Potentially cross paths with a group of Peccaries, a species of wild boar, before being met at the river by motorized dugout for the hour trip upriver to the lodge for lunch and some free time. After lunch, head upriver, as deep into the park as allowed, to Cocha Salvador. On the way, the beaches, especially in the dry season, are teeming with nesting birds and feeding herons, egrets, orinoco geese, terns and skimmers to name but a few. Some beaches will host sunning white and black caimans and breeding side-necked turtles. Hundreds of sand-coloured nightjars roost during the day on logs and beaches and there is a chance of encountering a sunning Jaguar - the world’s third largest cat. Overnight at one of Manu’s best tented campsites, Campsite Aguaje.

Lodging: Campsite Aguaje Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Campsite Aguaje - Romero Rainforest Lodge

Wake early and head to Cocha Salvador. Board small catamarans and head out onto the lake observing animal life from the water. Encounter agami heron, sungrebe or brown capuchin monkeys who are usually feeding on fruits nearby. Look out for a family of giant otters, the world’s largest freshwater carnivores, which remain common only in Manu, having been hunted to extinction throughout most of their former range. Each animal consumes between 4 and 5 kilos of fish daily and often they can be seen eating large fish on logs at the lakeside. Walk through the primary forest, shaded by 60 meter emergent canopy of Kapoc trees, where black spider monkeys rest whilst foraging through the strangler figs. Head back downstream stopping at Cocha Otorongo and climb a 20-metre observation tower in the rainforest canopy overlooking the lake and observe the wildlife below. Return to Romero Rainforest Lodge to overnight.

Lodging: Romero Rainforest Lodge Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Romero Rainforest Lodge – Manu Wildlife Centre

Head down the Madre de Dios River for two hours to the comfortable lodge, the Manu Wildlife Centre which is located near the Macaw Clay Lick. This strategically located lodge facility is jointly owned and run by Manu Expeditions and a local conservation group. It is also a base for scientific research in the area and a centre for visitors wanting to explore the rainforest. Arrive in time for lunch and a shower (hot water) and meet whichever researchers are onsite. The afternoon is set aside to relax or to explore a trail through the untouched forest to a lookout point on a cliff over the river to watch roosting flights of parrots and macaws as the sun sets. Manu Wildlife Centre has a canopy platform and an observation tower. The canopy platform is accessible via a spiral staircase so everyone can get to enjoy the rainforest canopy. Possibly head out on a night walk with your guide in search of nocturnal animals.

Lodging: Manu Wildlife Centre Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Manu Wildlife Centre

Arise early and head to the Macaw Clay Lick. This is truly one of the world’s great wildlife spectacles as hundreds of parrots and their larger relatives, the macaws, congregate at this traditional locality to eat the mineral rich clay that is essential to their digestion. Use a comfortable hide to get close to the birds as breakfast is served. The noise alone is incredible and the sight of these brightly colored birds at the lick is a sight not to be forgotten. As the lick slows down mid- morning head for Cocha Blanco, an old oxbow lake, in search of a family of giant otters and canoe around the lake on a floating platform looking for other wildlife. After a leisurely lunch at the lodge explore other trails in search of emperor and saddleback tamarins, and perhaps even spy the rare Goeldi's monkey, which has been spotted repeatedly in this area. Those who wish will return with the guide to the lodge in the late afternoon, or take the opportunity to stay at the lick after dark to see what nocturnal creatures come out to visit. Tapirs, the largest South American land mammal are frequent visitors with up to 12 animals visiting in one night. Watch them from the comfort of mosquito nets and mattresses from a specially constructed hide. Other nocturnal creatures are always possible.

Lodging: Manu Wildlife Centre Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Manu Wildlife Centre – Cusco

An early start takes you on a journey downstream (approx. 3 hours) to Colorado Village; breakfast will be served on the boat taking advantage of valuable early morning wildlife activity along the river. The journey takes us past several lowland native settlements and gold miners digging and panning gold along the banks of the Madre de Dios River. From Colorado start the overland journey to Puerto Carlos (approx. 45 mins) and then cross the Inambari River (approx. 15 mins) by boat to Santa Rosa, before finally a van or bus will drive back to Cusco. (Approx 8hrs).

Lodging: Not Included Meals: Breakfast


Availability: Every Monday, except last Monday in January and all of February. Private tours operate daily.