Manu Natural Paradise

26Days 4,

Program Overview

Discover the natural paradise that is the Manu National Park, located in the regions of Cusco and Madre de Dios. It is one of the most important protected natural areas in the world; this is because it has a megadiversity recognized internationally for its great biological diversity of the planet.

The biological diversity that houses the Manu is manifested in all its potential in a unique landscape on the planet. The tropical forests of Manu have allowed the ecological and evolutionary processes to take place almost without the presence of man. Likewise, in the area there is also an enormous cultural wealth, represented by the current indigenous populations in different levels of contact with the outside; and an archaeological heritage not yet revealed in all its magnitude.

The Manu is one of the few territorial spaces ranging from frigid punas, which surpass 4,000 meters above sea level, rugged wooded mountains that give rise to a multitude of small streams and valleys, to cloud forests of high jungle to finally reach the Amazon plain.

This 26 day tour will take you to live the Peruvian Amazon as you never imagined and know the Manu, a Natural Paradise unique in the world.


Day 01: LIMA / …

Arriving to Lima we transfer to our hotel in Lima.

Day 02: LIMA – CUSCO

Peru Birding Tours: Manu Natural Paradise Peru Birding Tours: Manu Natural Paradise Peru Birding Tours: Manu Natural Paradise Peru Birding Tours: Manu Natural Paradise

Transfer to the airport flight Lima/Cusco. Arrival and transfer to the hotel in Cusco.


We depart from Cusco around 04:30 a.m. arriving at Lake Huarcarpay 30 minutes later.
Here we take time and spend the entire day observing highland lake and marsh birds. The best is to follow the road that goes around the lake and start seeing most of the waterfowl typical of Andean wetlands including grebes, ducks, gallinules and coots. The wet grasslands in front of the marsh are good for shorebirds and Andean Negrito. We can look for occasional migrants such as the Hudsonian Godwit (rare) and Baird’s Sandpiper. The many- coloured Rush- Tyrant and two endemic, the Rusty-fronted Canastero that can be seen around the ruins on the hillside above the Lake and a spectacular hummingbird, the Bearded Mountainner.

Overnight at the Lodge.


After a brief morning walk at the lake, we continue to the interesting tombs of Ninamarca, commonly known as «Chullpas». We continue to Paucartambo, a picturesque Spanish colonial town, and then to Pumachaca Ranch though a beautiful narrow road and semi-humid montane scrub where a Taczanowski’s Tinamou has been reported here. Common to see around Pumachaca are: White-rufted Sunbeam, Creamy-crested Spintail, Cinereous Conebill, Torrent Duck. Relax this night in the Chimney and spend the night at the comfortable accommodations.


After early wakeup and walk around the interesting trails, we continue up to Acjanacu pass with its elfin forest marks the beginning of the Cultural Zone of Manu Biosphere Reserve. Birders stay the night here because it is possible to see White-browed chat-tyrant, the Chestnut-breasted mountain-finch, Puna Thistletail, Paramo Pipit, Diademed Tapaculo, Puna Tapaculo, Masked flowerpiercer, Golden-colared Tanager, Drab hemispingus and small mixed flocks with among others. Overnight camping.


This day we wake up even more early than we used to and have the chance to watch the «seven sunrise», an impressive optical illusion that occurs during dry season and then walk down to Pillahuata site located in upper montane humid forest also known as the Coshñipata Valley where the bird species are quite different from Acjanacu.

There are basic camping areas that birders use. To stay the night here will be very rewarding as it’s possible to see many different species of birds such as the Hooded Tinamou, Stripe-faced Wood-Quail, Golden plumed parakeet, Yuungas Pygmy-Owl, Gould’s Inca, Blue-banded Toucanet, Crimson –mantled Woodpecker, Sierran Elaenia, White-collared Jay, Mountain Cacique, etc.

Overnight camping.


Again, early in the morning after breakfast, it is the best simply to bird your way slowly along the road. There will be plenty of activity, specially at down, with several specialities to look for. After the first tunnel, we stop at the mixed bamboo patch on the left and try for Rusty-breasted Antpitta, and the endemic Red-and White Antpitta, which is often quite vocal in the morning. At the second tunnel the vegetation becomes more lauxuriant, look for the Chestnut-bellied Mountain Tanager, Tawny-rumped tyrannuler, Band-tailed Fruiteater and the barred Fruiteater in the mixed flocks, as well as Gray-breasted Mountain Tucan.

One bird to look out for in mixed folcks is the vividly-colouder Ochraceous-breasted Flicatcher and the same thing for the spectacular Greater Scythebill. Overnight in Orquideas de San Pedro Lodge.


Here, a thick cloak of clouds provides perpetual humidity and makes an ideal habitat for epiphytic plants such as bromeliads. This varied and fascinating world is home of the Cock of the Rock, Spectacled Bear, Orchids, Tree Ferns (one of the oldest living plants), mosses and lichens.

This cloud forest exists between 2,000 and 3,500 m.a.s.l., and at least 50% of the plant species found here are endemic to this region. Today we wake up very early to observe the Cock of the Rock (Rupicola peruviana), Peru’s national bird from a platform. The male birds are a vibrant reddish orange, and as many as several dozen come together for an exhibition of a mating ritual dance in a place called Lek.

The males display their crest, showing off and posturing for the females. The females, fewer in number, watch to select the most suitable males. After breakfast spend the entire day birding walking on the road.


The Manu road provides one of the best opportunities in Peru to bird upper tropical forest. Many of the most interesting and sought-after birds in the Manu road occur in this zone from about 900 – 1,700m.a.s.l. We have to concentrate on the good lower montane forest along the road, looking for mixed folcks of brilliant-spoted Humingbirds. The Peruvian Piedtail is common to see.

This day we spend all day birding and we hope to see Andean and White- eared solitaires, the Green Jay, the Blue-banded Toucanet, the Yungas Manakin, the astonishing Versicolored Barbet and arrange of tanager species. Overnight at Orquideas de San Pedro Lodge.


As our lodge is very close to the Cock-of-the-rock Lek, we are able to visit it again and try to spot one of the females hidden in the forest. Free day to walk and bird along the road.


As we continue our journey to lowlands, we stop in Patria where the cattle peasures and secondary forest are good for seedeaters and other open habitat species of birds as the Orange-breasted Falcon, Military macaw, green-fronted lancebill, golden-collared honeycreeper and others.

Atalaya overlooks is outstanding for viewing macaws. From Atalaya port, we board our covered, motorized canoe and head down the Alto Madre de Dios River until Erika Lodge, where we will have the opportunity to walk through the interesting trails. Overnight at the lodge.


This lodge is situated in the transition zone of the Andean foothills and the lowland rainforest. It has many more species of hummingbirds then is normally present in a rainforest lodge. Among 30 species of hummingbirds on their list is the endemic Rufus- webbed Brilliant. Here we find the Rufus –vented Ground Cuckoo, the gray-necked woddrail, Blackish rail and Rufus-sided cracked. Close to a small lake there are Purple Gallinules, Hoatzins, Lesser kiskades and occasionally Pygmy Kingfishers and sun grebes.

After lunch we follow an interesting trail, going up to the ridge at 1000 m.a.s.l. where we encounter mixed bird flocks. This higher area is also home of the emerald toucanet, ornate flycatcher, orange fronted plush crown and the uncommon tawny-faced gnat wren, umbrella bird among others.


This day we will get up very early to board our boat, and after five minutes, we will arrive to a Parrot Lick «Collpa», which is a wall of clay in the riverbanks, where many species of parrots such as the blue headed parrot, white-eyed parakeet, feed for mineral and salt supplements to their diet of seeds and fruits.

After this we spend the day, as we bird the trails, remember that this site gets birds from the lowlands like the Amazonian Streaked-Antwren, as well as some species typical of high elevations.


Early morning we board our boat and continue down stream the Alto Madre de Dios River and observe rives species of bird life such as the Roset Spoonbill, Egrets, etc. toward Yanayacu Reserve strategically placed at the last Andean foothills has a great diversity of habitats.

The rarely seen Peruvian Recurvebill and Dusky-tailed Flatbill are seasonal and August and September seems to be a good time to see them. Overnight at the lodge.


Early morning after breakfast we board our canoe for the four-hour trip down the Alto Madre de Dios River to Boca Manu’s town, during this boat ride we will have the chance to see Violaceus Jays, the beautiful Capped heron, Rosate spoonbill, Jabirú, Vultures, belted kingfisher, osprey, black hawck, black caracara, chestnut-eared toucan, from this small town we descend the Madre de Dios river for three hours to the private reserve of Blanquillo. Overnight at the lodge.


After a very early wake up, we board a camouflaged catamaran and go down the river to the «Collpa» macaw lick. We quietly observe the various parrots feeding on the clay for mineral and salt supplements to their diet of seeds and fruits. The brightly colored macaws usually wait patiently in the surrounding trees until the smaller parrot species have left the area. Slowly, the macaws come down to the clay wall to feed.

We need a lot of patience and silence on the catamaran so as not o disturb them as they eat the clay. During the afternoon we start walking on the interesting trails of the Lodge where we can see Jacamars, many different species pf hummingbirds, the Crimson- crested Woodpecker, tanager such as the paradise, the screaming Piha and many others. Overnight at the Lodge.


This day we will use a strategically located observation tower rises 46 meters above Camungo Lake and the jungle floor, giving us more chances to observe wildlife including the Giant Otter and many different species of birds that are common to this altitude of the canopy such as macaws, toucans, woodcreepers, woodpeckers can be observed flying near this platform. Enjoy the spectacular view with large canopies from a tall Kapok tree with a 360 degree view.

A night birding can be productive with Great Potoo, Common Potto and even Long-tailed Potto. Overnight at the Lodge.


This morning we have a second chance to visit the macaw clay lick before packing our luggage and setting off again on our motorized boat toward Boca Manu Lodge. We walk on the trail system since arrival and try to see Rufous-Vented Ground-Cuckoo, Least Grebe, manakins, etc.


Very early and after registering in the official tourist logbook at Limonal, the Park Rangers Headquarters and eating an early breakfast, we follow the Manu River until we arrive Salvador Lake, our base safari campsite (screened double rooms, dining room, bathrooms, radio communication is available). This canoe ride gives us the opportunity to observe the immensity of the rainforest and the diversity of birdlife, reptiles and mammals.

You will often see animals sunning themselves on beaches, or foraging for food in the trees lining the riverbanks. We arrive early in the afternoon and have lunch before setting off on a jungle trail. Our time is spent looking for wildlife inside the rainforest and on Salvador Oxbow Lake, until the sun goes down and we return to camp.

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). This endangered species can be seen swimming, fishing, eating and playing.


We rise early in the morning, as the forest is awakened by the Red Howler monkey (Aloatta seniculus) declaring its territory. 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.

The 20 minutes walk from the river to the lake takes you though a nice terra firme forest. The epigone trail around the lake has a good selection of bird species where we should be looking for the range-restricted black-faced Cotinga. Overnight in the safari campsite.


Very early we visit Salvador lake because birding from the catamaran while been paddled around the lake makes for a very pleasant and memorable birding experience with all of the lake specialities possible: Agami heron, Slender-billed Kite, Pale-eyed Bleckbird, Long-crested Pygmy tyrant, Hawk-Eagle, Hairy-crested Antbird, purple-thoated Cotinga and many others. After relaxing we cross the river to walk an 8-km trail to another oxbow lake called Otorongo.

A strategically located observation tower rises 15 meters above the lake and the jungle floor, giving us more chances to observe wildlife including the Giant Otter.

Overnight in the safari campsite.


Within the Park, Pakitza claims some of the most extensive bamboo patches and therefore holds an almost complete set of bamboo specialist, Pakitza is a guard post at the entrance of the restricted area of the park. It is possible to see species of birds such as the Painted parakeet, Black-Capped Parakeet Mottled Owl, Lined Forest Falcon, Ihering’s Antwren, Manu Aitbird, and many others. Beck to Salvador before the sunset.

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 and begin their search for prey. Return to the campsite.


Once again we wake up early, enjoy a brief morning walk and eat breakfast, then pack up camp and go down stream the interesting Manu River.

We arrive at Boca Manu midday, this village is situated a short distance from the confluence of the Manu and Alto Madre de Dios rivers.

Hikes around the trail system of Boca Lodge.
Overnight at the Lodge.


This day we visit an island that belongs to a native family and walk around the lake and observe all the bird life. We spend the entire day searching for birds species around the lodge.
Overnight at Boca Lodge.


After enjoying our last brief morning walk in the Amazon Jungle, we board our canoe to the airstrip at Boca Manu. At this point, we take the plane back to Cusco.

This flight from Boca Manu to Cusco offers spectacular views of the surrounding jungle and the area’s meandering rivers.

Transfer to the hotel in Cusco.

Day 26: CUSCO – LIMA – LIMA / …

Transfer to the airport for the flight Cusco/Lima, and next connection with the international flight.


The price includes

  • Booking for Hotel based on double occupancy.
  • All scheduled land, lake and air transportations.
  • All transfers.
  • All scheduled excursions with local guides and interpreters.
  • All entrance fees.
  • Meals and domestic flight airfares as specified in the itinerary.

The price doesn´t include

International airfares, airport departure taxes or visa fees, excess baggage charges, additional nights during the trip due to flight cancellations, alcoholic beverages or bottled water, snacks, insurance of any kind, laundry, phone calls, radio calls or messages and items of personal nature.


Vaccinations: It is highly recommended to be vaccinated against yellow fever.

What to bring?

  • Binoculars, Camera and film ASA 200 and 400 for the inner forest.
  • Warm clothing (in case of a cold front), long sleeve shirts and long pants (cotton).
  • 100% waterproof rain gear (long poncho or rain wear).
  • Insect repellant (at least 50% Deet), sunscreen lotion.
  • Hiking shoes and sandals.
  • Flashlight, enough batteries (alkaline) and bulbs.
  • Wide brim hat (for sunny days), sun glasses.
  • Towel, swimming suit, personal medicines and/or supplies (liquid forcontact lenses, for example).
  • Day pack, and one back pack or duffel bag of luggage per person.
  • One bottle of water for the first day, plastic bags.

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