The Manu National Park is one of the best places in the world for bird watching. The variety of ecosystems that make up this protected natural area make it one of the places with the greatest diversity of species in the world, with 1025 species registered today, a number that represents 10% of the total types of birds on earth.
Considered the best peru birding tours. The world record of the greatest diversity of bird species found in a single day in the same place is held by the Manu River with a figure of 331 species. To get to this river you have to follow the route to Manu to the port of Atalaya and then follow the Alto Madre de Dios river for at least 5 hours and then enter the aforementioned tributary.
From the smallest hummingbirds to large birds such as the condor of the jungle and the harpy eagle, in the Manu it is possible to find birds of all types, sizes, shapes and colors. An ideal place for birdwatching is the clay licks on the banks of the rivers, where several species of macaws and smaller parrots feed on clay during the sunrise. It is speculated that this behavior is due to the fact that the minerals they consume counteract the toxins of certain leaves and fruits from which they feed.
Day 01: Cusco to Cock of the Rock Lodge
Day 02:See the Cock of the Rock
Day 03:Cock of the Rock Lodge to Amazonia Lodge
Day 04:Amazonia Lodge
Day 05:Visit the Macaw Lick Project
Day 06: Blanquillo Clay Lick and Tapir Clay Lick
Day 07: Boat Tour
Day 08: Manu Wildlife Center to Puerto Maldonado
The Manu National Park, a paradise of nature, is home to an immense number of animal species. Among the most amazing animals of the Manu find
We departure from Cusco early in the morning. We first visit a mountain wetland habitat teeming with migrant and local waterfowl, before crossing two mountain ranges between the Cusco valley and the Paucartambo valley, to a maximum altitude of 3,900 MASL.
Finally, we follow the highway through an extraordinary world of forested cliffs, waterfalls and gorges. We take leisurely stops to see mountain villages, the chullpas (pre‐Inca burial chambers), and the abrupt ridge top of Ajanaco, which marks the final high point where the Andes begin their swoop into the Amazon basin.
After the lunch, we descend through the tropical Andes, observing overhanging trees, giant ferns, monster begonias, countless orchids and bromeliads, and a diverse and teeming birdlife. Finally, we reach the comfortable Cock of the Rock Lodge in the late afternoon, the best hour to see this famous bird from the nearby viewing platform.
In the early morning we have a second chance to view the Cock of the Rock, famous among birders, since nowhere else on the planet is allows see many of these spectacular blazing red birds to be seen so easily. (Note that the very best months for viewing the Cocks of the Rock are in September, October and November, although the males display throughout the year.) Afterwards we can stroll along the clearing formed by the nearby road, spotting other birds, and with luck we will see Brown Capuchin or Woolly Monkeys. Following the breakfast, we begin our outing, a leisurely trip for wildlife spotting. In the afternoon we explore the trail system near the lodge, enjoying the peace and nature, appreciating the plants and flowers, insects and butterflies, and a section of bamboo thickets.
After breakfast we continue our drive, as mountains give way to low rolling hills and farmland. At Patria we visit a plantation of coca grown legitimately for the Peruvian coca leaf market.
At midday we reach Atalaya, a tiny port where the Piñipiñi River meets the Alto Madre de Dios River. Now the rivers become the highways of the rainforest, and henceforth we will travel in large and comfortable canoes.
During normal river conditions we arrive at our lodge in time for exploration and wildlife viewing – which may include toucans, kingfishers, a rare endemic hummingbird and a multitude of butterflies ‐ along one of its many forest trails.
In the early morning we star our birding tour in many different habitats like bamboo forest, flood plain area and hill forest. This lodge has an excellent trail system to explore the rainforest and the pre-mountain zone, which allows us to spot different species of birds such as hummingbirds (Golden tailed sapphire, Emerald sapphire, Violet Headed Hummingbird, Gould´s jewelfront, Blue-tailed emerald, Fork-Tailed Woodnymph, GrayBreasted Sabrewing, White Necked Jacobin, Koepcke´s Hermit). This is the perfect place to appreciate a lot of bird species.
There is time for another short morning hike on the lodge trails before leaving early to the Manu Wildlife Center.
As we follow the broad, rushing course of the Alto Madre De Dios river, we will pass the foothills of the Andes. This route offers sightings of new birds - terns, cormorants, White-winged Swallows, and flocks of nighthawks. We pass the mouth of the Manu River, the gateway to the Manu National Park. We pause our journey to stretch our legs and visit Boca Manu, a village a short way downriver.
After a boat journey of approximately 6 hours, we arrive at Manu Wildlife Center, one of the world’s top ten wildlife lodges. After a reception and orientation, we move into our private bungalow and rest to escape the midday heat.
Later, in the afternoon we visit the Macaw Lick project. We´ll continue to explore and discover the rainforest, its lore and plant life.
After a delicious breakfast we walk through the forest for some minutes, where we find the Macaw Lick. Carry your cameras and binoculars to appreciate the scarlet Macaws, that come flapping in groups of two and three, landing in the treetops. Meanwhile appears other birds: these may include Blue-headed, Mealy, Yellow-crowned, the Orange-cheeked Parrots and a Black Hawk.
After lunch at the lodge our guide is available to lead us on freewheeling expeditions in search of further wildlife encounters, or we may take one of the lodge’s many trails to commune with the spirits of the rainforest. Then we set off along the “collpa trail”, which will take us to the famous Tapir Clay lick. Here we will recognize the most active tapir lick known in the entire Amazon, our research has identified from 8‐12 individual 600‐pound Tapirs who come to this lick to eat clay from under the tree roots. This material absorbs and neutralizes toxins in the vegetarian diet of the Tapir, the largest land animal of Latin America. This experience is unique and exciting because tapir are normally very shy creatures and no visible up close.
We set off early for a lake full of water lilies and sunken logs. As we visit the lake, we might encounter the resident Giant Otter family on a fishing expedition, or troops of monkeys crashing noisily through the trees. The Wattled jacana step lightly on the lily, dainty Sungrebe paddle across the water, supple‐necked Anhinga air‐dry their wide, black wings, and perhaps an Osprey scans for fish from a high branch. Among the bushes near the waterline, Hoatzins, which look like rust‐colored chickens, announce their presence with distinctive, bizarre wheezing and grunts. Woodpeckers, tanagers, macaws, toucans and parakeets all finally come swooping in to trees surrounding the lake. After lunch at the lodge, we offer an opportunity to search for caiman and other nocturnal life along the riverbank by boat accompanied by our guide.
We leave our lodge very early on the two hour and a half return boat trip downstream to the Colorado Village. We will enjoy the breakfast at the lodge or in the boat while you enjoy the wildlife activity around the river. In addition, during the journey we will see several native settlements and gold miners digging along the banks of the Madre de Dios River.
We will stop in the far-west type gold-mining town of Colorado to start our overland journey to Puerto Carlos for 45 minutes, then you will cross the Inambari River for 15 minutes boat trip to Santa Rosa, finally the bus will drive us to the airport in Puerto Maldonado City.
Since the area is so close to the equator, the temperature does not very much throughout the year. The rainy season in the Peruvian Andes starts in about December. But the "dry" season does not mean that it does not rain then - it just means that it rains a little less often. It can rain at any time of the year, usually in the afternoon for a few hours.
Yes, we recommend to bring along a good mosquitoes repellent. In case you visit the rainforest during the month of December, January, February or March (rainy season), we strongly recommend a strong especial mosquito repellent. In addition we also recommend you to bring a couple of long sleeve t-shirts; they are very helpful in this case.
If you are just arriving from your country to Lima (sea level) and then to the highlands (Arequipa, Cusco, Huaraz, Cajamarca, Puno), we recommend you to take it easy, do not push yourself too much on the first hours. It is advisable to drink plenty of fluids such as water. What kind of clothing should I bring to the Amazon? Travelling on the Peruvian coast, you may wear light clothing (shorts, T-shirts, sandals) during the day is warm, excepts mornings and nights. During our visit to the Andes we strongly recommend to bring proper warm clothing for the cold and rain (December to April). On the jungle, you will need light clothing.
When you arrive in Perú it is best to do so with U.S. dollars. While most western currency can be exchanged for Peruvian Soles rather easily, any shop, restaurant, or business will take U.S. dollars as payment. This can not be said readily of all other western currency. Be prepared however to receive your change in Soles. It is a good idea not to use bills in excess of $10-$20.00 U.S., as you might find it difficult for the merchant to change anything larger