The Manu Cultural Zone is one of the three zones in the Manu National Park that boasts high mountains, cloud forests and low jungles. In this area, there are small villages with native farmers. This zone is protected by the Ministry of Agriculture and Park Authorities to act as a buffer zone to the Reserved and Intangible Zones.
We will leave Cusco early in the morning to visit the interesting pre-Inca tombs of Ninamarca in the colonial town of Paucartambo before going down to the cloud forest. 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 to Peru’s national bird, the Cock of the Rock, the Spectacled Bear, Orchids, Tree Ferns (one of the oldest living plants), mosses and lichens. At least 50% of the plant species found here are endemic to this region. We will spend the night in our open-air lodge, “San Pedro.”
On the second day, we will observe the ritual mating dance of Peru’s national bird, the Cock of the Rock (Rupicola peruviana), from the platform, “lek.” After breakfast, we will continue in our bus down the narrow road between waterfalls and canyons towards the town of Pilcopata. Then, after the 30 minute bus ride, we will arrive to the Port of Atalaya, board our covered motorized boat and head down the Alto Madre de Dios River for approximately 30 minutes towards our private reserve, “Erika Lodge” where we will spend the next two nights. We will also have a short walk around the lodge. We will have two options for the day.
- Option 1: Descend with mountain bikes from San Pedro lodge at 5,600 feet (1,700 meters) Cloud Forest to Pilcopata at 2,300 feet (700 meters).
- Option 2: Do a three-hour rafting trip down the Kosñipata River where we will have the opportunity for a dip and of course enjoy the spectacular view of the Koñeq Canyon. Continuing down the Alto Madre de Dios River to Erika Lodge.
We will wake up to the great diversity of wildlife around the lodge. Immediately after breakfast, we will start walking and our guide will explain about insects, medicinal plants, trees, reptiles, mammals, etc. Before returning for lunch, we will have the chance to swim in the clear water of natural pools close to the lodge. Early in the afternoon we will have a short boat ride to visit a small lake near the Alto Madre de Dios River. Here, we will have the chance to see the Hoatzin, a primitive bird, black caimans, many species of birds, insects, etc. This will be our last night in this wonderful Amazon jungle. We will spend the night in the lodge.
We will wake up early to board the boat. After a five-minute ride, we will arrive to a small “collpa,” which is a wall of clay in the riverbanks where many types of parrots fish for mineral and salt supplements to their diets of seeds and fruits. After this colorful and noisy show, we will continue by boat to the Atalaya Port and then take our bus back to Cusco arriving late in the afternoon.
- Specialized and bilingual guide
- camping equipment, 01 night in San Pedro open air lodge, 02 nights in Erika Lodge
- first aid kit
- all land and river transportation
- rafting equipment
- safety box for values and storage for luggage.
Recommended Packing List:
- Binoculars, Camera and film ASA 200 and 400 for the inner forest.
- Sleeping Bag
- 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 repellent (at least 50% Deet), sunscreen lotion
- One pair of lightweight ankle height boots and sandals
- Flashlight, enough batteries (alkaline) and bulbs
- Wide brim hat (for sunny days), sun glasses
- Towel, swimming suit, personal medicines and/or supplies (e.g.: liquid for contact lenses).
- Day pack, and one back pack or duffel bag of luggage per person
- One bottle of water for the first day, plastic bags