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Manu Cultural Zone: 3 Days
The splendour of the Peruvian jungle is within a day's drive of Cusco, and you travel through a variety of interesting landscapes enroute. The tour is suitable for people who prefer lodges to camping. Also, there is not a lot of walking required. This is a wonderful tour for bird lovers.
Manu National Park is a sprawling biosphere reserve and a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its variety of habitats and diverse plant and animal life. The park contains virtually the whole of the Manu River watershed, from ithe sources of its tributaries in the high Andes to where it empties into the Madre de Dios RIver. The Manu is the largest national park in Peru, measuring 15,328 sq. km (5,917 sq. miles). The Cultural Zone, which has a different level of preservation, adds 914 sq. km (353 sq. miles).
Day 1: Cusco - Bambu Lodge
We have a long journey to start so we pick you up in a private bus at 5:00 am from your hotel. During the trip, we stop in a number of interesting places like Ninamarka (also spelt Ninamarca). This is an archeological site with about 30 chullpas of pre-Inca times situated on top of a mountain at about 3,000 m (9,842 ft) elevation. Chullpas are ancient Aymara funerary towers constructed for the nobility.
We travel around the Andes and through the famous cloud forest which has interesting flora and fauna like the Andean cock-of-the-rock, Peru’s national bird.
In the afternoon, we arrive to Asuncion Village. We will spend the night in Bambu Lodge, and we'll finish the day with an optional guided night walk, to learn about creatures active in the night. The trip today will be around 11 hours. The highest pass on this road is 4,000 m (13,123 ft).
Day 2: Bambu To Soga De Oro Lodge
After an early breakfast we continue our trip by bus to Atalaya, stopping in the way to see a place full of the orchids. Atalaya is located where the Tambo and Urubanba Rivers converge to form the Ucayali River. From Atalaya we take the boat to Soga de Oro Lodge, rustic but comfortable (private bathroom and hot shower).
After lunch there, we go to Machuwasi Lake and explore the lake on a balsa raft. Here it's possible to see the prehistoric bird call hoatzin and also capybaras. At night you might even see caimans. The day will again wind up with an optional night walk (to see insects, frogs, snakes etc.)
Day 3: Soga De Oro Lodge - Parrot Clay Lick - Cusco
We leave very early to see the parrot lick, which is located ten minutes down river from the lodge. The action there begins around 5:30am with the blue headed, yellow crowned parrots and the chestnut fronted macaws. The birds eat the clay because it has minerals that helps the stomach digestion. That is why hundreds of parrots, parakeets and small macaws come to this particular place. From here, we continue our trip to Cusco. The day's travel time will be about 10 hours, first by boat and later by bus. We'll deliver you to your hotel in time for dinner.
- Professional naturalist guide (fluent in English, Spanish, German, Quechua)
- Private boat and bus transportation
- All entrance fees
- Cook and all meals except dinner on the last day
- Camping equipment and lodging as mentioned above
- First aid kit (including poison extractor; snake bite antidote)
- Radio communication
- Rubber boots
- Discretionary spending, tips
For tips on what to bring, check our Travel Tips page.