|TAMBOPATA CANDAMO - MANU BIOSPHERE RESERVE
(15 days, 14 nights)
Arrival in Lima, reception and transfer to your hotel.
Transfer to the airport for the flight to Puerto Maldonado. Reception at the airport and transfer by canoe to the jungle lodge. Packed lunch on the canoe. Travelling through virgin rainforest, you will eventually reach the lodge in pristine primary rainforest. An introductory walk into the forest behind the lodge which is dominated by giant Brazil-nut and Dipteryx trees. Frequently seen mammals on the trail are Saddle-back Tamarins, Brown Capuchins and Agoutis as well as Toucans. Return for dinner.
Trip to the Macaw Clay-lick (Colpa) by canoe, continuing a further 4 hours upriver, deep within the National Reserve where the actual Collpa is situated.
After lunch a guided exploration of the the trail system in the area. Camp on a beach near the Collpa.
A pre-dawn start is needed to get to the clay-lick before the birds. They arrive in search of minerals and salts and the digestive properties of the clay. On average, several hundred macaws and smaller parrots visit the clay-lick daily, including Scarlet, Blue and Yellow, Red and Green, Chestnut-fronted and Blue-headed parrots, among others. This clay-lick is considered to be one of the largest in the world.
A late morning hike followed by lunch, where many species of bird abound especially Rufescent Tiger-herons, Great Egrets, Wattled Jacanas, Hoatzin and Donacobius. Return down river to the lodge.
A dawn start is required for the canoe trip back to Puerto Maldonado with fabulous views of the sunrise over the river. Opportunity for early morning wildlife observation which is particularly active at this time. Howler monkeys are frequently heard, and your guide will assist in your arrival in Puerto Maldonado. Transfer to the airport for the return flight back to Cuzco. Transfer to your hotel.
After breakfast, we travel through traditional Quechua communities and through the spectacular eastern ranges of the Andes to the village of Paucartambo. We then start the ascent to the last pass overlooking the Amazon Basin and begin the breath taking descent from 3500m to 1600m to the comfortable lodge in the orchid laden Cloud Forest. In the late afternoon, we'll arrive at the lodge to the sounds of Quetzals, Trogons and Gray-breasted Wood-Wrens. Night at the Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge.
Pre- breakfast walk to a nearby spot in the Cloud Forest where the strange and beautiful Cocks-of-the-Rock display at dawn. A wonderful sight where up to 25 brightly coloured males dance and sing, attempting to attract the duller coloured females. After visiting this lek we return to the Lodge for breakfast and continue our trip to the Madre de Dios River where we will begin our journey down river, past the last folds of the Andes, to its confluence with the Manu River.
Just before we reach the village of Boca Manu we pass the native community of Diamante. Passing the village of Boca Manu we arrive at a locally built lodge, where two species of Tamarin monkeys are often seen, -the Saddleback and Emperor. If time permits, we will explore the local trail system.
Today we leave Boca Manu, and the relatively clean waters of the Madre de Dios and enter the clay laden waters of the Manu River. With a brief stop at the park ranger station at Limonal to present our permits we travel for about five hours up the Manu river. Beaches, especially in the dry season, are loaded with nesting birds and feeding Herons, Egrets, Orinoco Geese, Terns and also Skimmers. Some beaches will host sunning White and Black Caiman and breeding side-necked Turtles.
Hundreds of sand-coloured Nightjars roost during the day on logs and beaches. We shall also see several species of primate on the river trip,
possibly Red Howler Monkeys or the smaller Squirrel Monkeys. After having lunch, we will eventually arrive at our Safari Camp (or Casa Machiguenga) near the lake of Cocha Salvador. We'll have the afternoon to explore some of the trails through the pristine rainforest and visit the lake of Cocha Otorongo. Here observation piers and a 20 metre observation tower in the rainforest canopy overlooking the lake are available for observing wildlife.
We will also be on the lookout for a large family of Giant Otters that inhabit this lake. After dinner, an optional excursion into the forest at night in search of nocturnal creatures and perhaps with a little luck an Ocelot on the trails. Night at Cocha Salvador camp.
After breakfast we'll spend the morning at the lake of Cocha Salvador. Some of the time will be spent canoeing on the lake on a floating platform observing ox-bow lake animal life from the water. Agami Heron, Sungrebe and Brown Cappuchin Monkeys are usually seen feeding on fruits nearby. Specially constructed piers enable us to look for a family of Giant Otters that live here, the world's largest freshwater carnivores. The rest of the day will be spent walking the trails in the area in search of some of the 13 species of monkey found here.
The 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. Night at Cocha Salvador tented camp.
Today we'll walk from the camp for about 4-5 hours through the forest to Cocha Otorongo. This is a particularly good trail for woolly and black Spider Monkeys. We'll be met at the river by our cook for a picnic lunch and then board the yachts for the 4 hour trip down river to Boca Manu for the night. Night at the lodge at Boca Manu.
Leaving the lodge we'll head down the Madre de Dios River for two hours to the comfortable lodge near the Macaw Clay Lick, The Manu Wildlife Center. This strategically located lodge is a base for scientific research in the area and a centre for visitors wishing to explore the rainforest. We should arrive in time for lunch and a shower (hot water) and get to meet researchers onsite.
The afternoon is set aside to relax or to explore a trail through the forest to a lookout point on a cliff over the river and watch parrots and macaws. Manu Wildlife Center also has a canopy platform and an observation tower. Opportunity for a night walk with the guide. Night at Manu Wildlife Centre.
Early start to the Macaw Clay Lick. Again hundreds of parrots and macaws congregate at this locality to feed on the mineral rich clay that is essential to their digestion. We'll use a floating blind to get close to the birds. The incredible noise and the sight of these brightly coloured birds at the lick is an astonishing experience. Later we'll head for Cocha Blanco, an old ox-bow lake, in search of a family of Giant Otters and canoe around the lake on the floating platforms
looking for other wildlife. After lunch, we'll explore other trails in search of
Emperor and Saddleback Tamarins, and to see the rare Goeldi's Monkey. Night at the Manu Wildlife Centre.
A full day to explore the forest and trails around the lodge. We'll be on the lookout for Monk Saki - an uncommon and rarely seen monkey. We'll explore trails where groups of Manakins, neo-tropical birds, perform their strange mating dances and visit one of the blinds where Guans, parakeets and parrots come for the clay. Here too, groups of black spider monkeys visit to take in the clay to help their digestion.
Tapirs, the largest South American land mammals are frequently seen on the nocturnal walks.
Night at the Manu Wildlife Center.
After breakfast we head upriver (about 2 hours) to the small airstrip at Boca Manu. Arriving at the airstrip we board the aircraft for the 35 minute return flight to Cuzco where you will be transferred to your hotel.
Return flight to Lima and onward for your flight home.
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