Manu Jungle Tour - 7 Days

Ecological tours to the Amazon, Manu National Park - From Cusco Peru

Manu Jungle Tour - 7 Days

Ecological tours to the Amazon, Manu National Park - From Cusco Peru

7 day tour: With fixed departures on Fridays

*Please note Manu is only reached by overland Bus or Van

7 Day Overview:

The shortest option to the Reserved Zone lasts 7 days, entering by bus down the Manu Road with an overnight stop in the cloud forest, two nights in Manu's Reserved Zone, a visit to the macaw clay lick in Blanquillo, and returning to Cusco by boat and car over the Interoceanica Road on the 7th day.

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Trip Itinerary

DAY 1: Cusco - Cloud Forest

Leaving Cusco early in the morning, we begin an 8-hour journey over the Andes by bus, stopping for breakfast at the beautiful colonial village of Paucartambo. Continuing, we climb to the highpoint of the Manu Biosphere at about 4000m before descending to the cloud forest. In these green and moist surroundings we take our first long walk. There are many bird species to be seen among which the beautiful paradise tanager, umbrella bird and the golden headed quetzal. Among its butterflies are clouded yellows and various skippers. The cloud forest has three monkey species: the woolly monkey plus the two capuchin monkeys of Manu. There are plenty of other mammal species, but they are more difficult to see. We end our walk at the lek of the strange looking cock-of-the-rock, to watch the dancing and singing ‘performance’ of the males right under our eyes. We spend the night in the rustic lodge Posada San Pedro (appr. 1,600m).

DAY 2: Cloud Forest - Cocha Machuhuasi – Pantiacolla Lodge

At daybreak we continue by bus to tropical lowland rainforest, stopping along the way to visit a coca plantation. Arriving at the small village Atalaya at 650m, we change into a motorized canoe to navigate some 40 minutes down the fast Alto Madre de Dios River. Then we take a 30 minute walk to one of the very view lakes on the Alto Madre de Dios River. You can go around this small lake on traditional balsa rafts and from there admire the enormous rainforest variety in aquatic birds, such as the moscovy duck, neotropic cormorant, anhinga, the white- necked and capped herons and the prehistoric looking hoatzin. Usually the water is clean enough to be able to see many tropical fish we may know from aquaria at home. It is common to see squirrel monkeys or others, in the trees around. In the late afternoon we continue down the river to Pantiacolla lodge, right at the foot of the Pantiacolla Mountain Range. The forest of Pantiacolla Lodge is a very special rainforest: this is where the Andes and the lowland tropical rainforest of the Amazon meet and it provides you with a chance to see a good selection of birds and plants from bóth zones as well as endemics to the area. Your first walk will be at night, exploring the forest by torchlight looking for insects, lizards, snakes and the only nocturnal night-monkey, or 'douricouli', on Earth. We spend the night in Pantiacolla Lodge.

DAY 3 & 4: Lake Salvador and Lake Otorongo

With first day light of the third morning, we continue by boat to turn up the Manu River for an 8-hour ride into the heart of Manu’s Reserved Zone. From this vantage point we will have great views of riverside birds, such as the black skimmer, snowy egret, yellow billed tern and the exquisite roseate spoonbill, sunbathing black and white caiman, and maybe the enormous aquatic guinea pig, the capybara. We reach our Camping Huts deep inside Manu in the afternoon. This will be our base for this and the next day. During this time, we will walk through virgin forest to be impressed by giant trees such as the shihuahuaca, the mahogany, brazil nut and rubber tree. We will explore one of the most beautiful lakes of the Manu basin, Cocha Salvador, by catamaran, to see a huge variety of colorful birds, such as the agami heron, sun grebe, red capped cardinal, amazon kingfisher, tropical kingbird, yellow rumped caciques etc. Here the big spider monkeys like to hang out in the trees around the lake and with luck, you can see, from the front row, a day in the life of a family of giant otters. There are other trails to walk in this habitat-rich forest near another lake, Cocha Otorongo. This lake also has a

20m high observation platform overlooking the lake. The silt filled lake has a coverage of floating vegetation, and the wattled jacana to walk on top of it. At night we can explore the forest by torchlight or go moonlight caiman-spotting on the lake.

DAY 5: Lake Salvador-Macaw Lick

An early morning start boating down the Manu River gives us a good chance to spot the bigger and rarer animals at the river shores. It could be one of the over 5 meter long black caiman, or a tapir or giant anteater, a sloth swimming across or even the most magnificent of New World cats, the jaguar. Joining the Madre de Dios River we arrive at Blanquillo, near the claylick for macaws. This afternoon we climb the 42-meter high canopy tower, which gives us an excellent view over the resplendent rainforest canopy. We spend the night in the jungle lodge Tambo Blanquillo.

DAY 6: Macaw Lick

At first light we head to the macaw lick to watch the dazzling spectacle of hundreds of parrots eating clay. Among the parakeets are the tui and cobalt-winged parakeets, among the parrots the orange-cheeked parrot and among the big macaws foremost the red-and-green, with every now and then a scarlet or blue-and-yellow macaw. In the afternoon we visit another one of Manu's beautiful oxbow lakes Cocha Camungo, which gives you a chance to see the rare pygmy kingfisher and pale-eyed blackbird. We spend the night again in the jungle lodge Tambo Blanquillo.

DAY 7: Blanquillo-Boca Colorado-Cusco

Back on the boat early in the morning, we head downstream to the small mining village Boca Colorado. Here you can see the negative effects of human activities on the delicate ecological balance of the rainforest. We take local transportation till after crossing the Inambari River. On the other side, our bus is waiting to take you over a newly paved road, the Interoceanica Road, through beautiful cloud and elfin forest. Near Cusco, you have stunning views of the Ausangate Mountain. Cusco is reached in the evening.

Additional Information


  1. Bear in mind the uncontrollable forces of nature, the program could be subject to changes at any time
  2. Manu is a rainforest that has remained intact because of its hidden location. This means the program involves much traveling by bus and boat. However, it also means you are in a part of the Amazon rainforest that has no comparison, with an
  3. untouched flora and fauna!
  4. Every group can contain people who travel for 3, 7 or 9 days

Additional Trip Info

  • Naturalist guide in English and Spanish
  • Transportation Cusco/Atalaya & Boca Colorado/Mazuco/Cusco by private vehicle (van or bus)
  • Transportation by private boat: Atalaya/Pantiacolla Lodge/Lake Salvador/Tambo Blanquillo/Boca Colorado
  • Overnights in lodges and camping huts
  • Excursions mentioned in the programme
  • Meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • Water at any time and warm drinks or lemonades with meals
  • Guide book for rainforest of Manu – Talking About Manu
  • Entrance fee Reserved Zone
  • Soft drinks and beers
  • Personal expenses

Why is Manu special?

  • Manu in Peru still stands tall and teems with life, untouched by man, as one of the last places on Earth. And you can be there to experience this real nature!
  • There are many incredible animals in the jungle, such as Spider Monkeys, Giant Otters, Night Monkeys, Tapirs, Black Caiman, Jaguars and many others
  • Interested in birds or butterflies? Manu is THE place for you, with over 1000 recorded bird and uncountable butterfly species
  • Manu includes many ecosystems, from the over 4000 m in the Andes through elfin and cloud forest, down to lowland forest at only 300 m above sea level

Why Us?

  • One of the owners was born and raised in Manu, the other is a biologist; we have the skills and knowledge for an exciting, responsible and safe jungle adventure
  • Pantiacolla has its own rustic but comfortable lodges throughout the route
  • We reinvest profits to protect Manu and surrounding rainforests
  • We involve indigenous people in all our tours

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