Amazon Watch – Manu Biosphere 7 days
Amazon Birding – the ultimate in wildlife tours in Manu. Manu National Park has the highest biodiversity of any protected area in the world. The unparalleled beauty of this trip is in the landscape and variety of habitats ranging from orchid-draped cloud forest, where Spectacled Bears and Cock-of-the-Rocks still exist undisturbed, to pristine Amazon Rainforest with 13 primate species and oxbow lakes frequented by Giant Otters.
A trip to Manu is a trip to one of the world´s great wilderness areas, where wildlife is still plentiful and over 1,000 species of birds have been recorded. Add to this a breathtaking visit to Machu Picchu and you have a trip of a lifetime.
Explore Manu National Park: Cloud forest, Oxbow Lakes, Tapir & Macaw Clay Licks.
Bird Tours Day 0: Lima-Cusco (3360m)
Depending on arrival time in Lima we either transfer to our hotel in Lima or connect to Cusco.
Manu Birding Day 1:
Cusco to Paradise Lodge (Lower Manu cloud forest 1400m) .
Today we will leave early, first driving through scenic intermontane valleys. We will make selected stops at the Lupaca pre-Inca cemetery and Paucartambo village. Reaching a high mountain pass at Ajanaco, we will begin our journey into a vast intact wilderness area as we descend along the sinuous road that will take us to the Manu foothills. Along this extraordinary altitudinal transect, new wildlife species continually appear whilst others drop out. Initially, the steep Andean slopes are clad in stunted forest, temperate shrubbery, and wet paramo. Here we may well encounter such high-elevation species as the Mountain Caracara, Shining Sunbeam and Moustached Flower-piercers. A little lower in elevation, where the magnificent cloud forests begin, we will look out for beautiful orchids and the famous Andean Cock-of-the-Rock at the Lek, proclaimed as Peru´s national bird. With a little luck, we will see a Woolly Monkey and Brown Capuchin Monkeys. We will stay for one night at the Paradise Lodge. Optional night walk in Lower Manu Cloud Forest. L:D.
Manu Bird Day 2:
Paradise Lodge to Hummingbird Lodge Manu park .
After a final morning in the cloud forest, we will descend further down the Manu road to Port Atalaya. From here we will continue our river journey, down the Alto Madre de Dios River, leaving behind the green ridges of the foothills as we delve deeper into the humid lowlands. Here in the strict confines of the Manu Biosphere, we ,ay see Black Skimmers, Sand-coloured Nighthawks, and the bizarre Orinoco Goose on the sandbars. Careful scanning of the river edge may reveal the Great Black-Hawk or the reddish brown of a Capybara, the world´s largest rodent. With just a little luck on our side, we should also be able to spot the stately Razor-billed Curassow, a species driven to near-extinction in large parts of Amazonia but still reasonably common here. Raucous Blue-and yellow, Scarlet and Red-and-green Macaws fly overhead, clothed in a range of colours. Eventually we will arrive at the comfortable Hummingbird Lodge, where we will stay for one night, with an optional night walk. B:L:D.
Manu Birding Day 3:
Hummingbird Lodge to Matsiguenka Camping Lodge .
Today we will continue our river journey. Eventually we will reach the clay-laden waters of the meandering Manu River and head upstream. Here in the strict confines of Manu National Park, Black spider Monkeys, Bolivian squirrel Monkeys and the bizarre Orinoco Goose nest on the sandbars, whilst Black Caiman and White Caimans lazily sun themselves nearby. Careful scanning of the river edge may reveal a Great Black-Hawk, the flash of a Sunbittern, or the reddish brown of a Capybara, the world´s largest rodent. With just a little luck on our side we should also be able to spot the stately Jaguar (Panthera onca), a species driven to near-extinction in large parts of Amazonia but still reasonably common here. Raucous Blue-and yellow, Scarlet and Red-and-green Macaws float overhead, clothed in a riot of colours. Today before to arrive to our camping lodge we will explore the trails and the small tower good place to enjoy the scenery at Otorongo Oxbow Lake. Late in the afternoon we will arrive at the comfortable Matsiguenka Camping Lodge where we will stay for two nights, with optional night walks. Here we will meet the Matsiguenka natives B:L:D.
Manu Birding Day 4:
Exploring Salvador Oxbow Lake ( Reserve Center ) .
We will awake to a Red Howler Monkey (Alouatta sara) announcing the new day with its loud song. During the first hours of the day many shy understorey inhabitants proclaim their territorial rights with their characteristic songs. Located in the vast virgin rainforest of Manu National Park, the Matsiguenka Camping Lodge provides access to several distinct habitats, including the nearby Salvador Oxbow Lake. Here a small catamaran allows us to float gently along the banks of the lake and marvel at its sensational bird and animal life. We even have a very good chance of encountering a friendly family group of the endangered Giant Otters (Pteronura brasiliensis) actively fishing in their aquatic environment, clumsy Hoatzins clambering about in giant arum plants, and Black-capped Donacobiuses performing their loud duets, whilst overhead Blue-headed, Yellow-crowned and Mealy Parrots squawk their way to and from their roosts. Entering the primeval Amazonian forest is a strange and captivating experience. Lianas hang in loops and tangles from the canopy, through which the biggest trees emerge to stand in full sunlight. We will rise early each morning as most forest inhabitants are at their peak of activity from around dawn to about midday. Mammals also roam the forest and Manu National Park is probably the best place to see a large variety of New World primates. As many as thirteen species of monkey share the canopy, and regularly-seen species include the Bolivian Squirrel Monkey, the curious Brown and White-fronted Capuchin Monkey, the acrobatic Black Spider Monkey, the little Saddle-back Tamarin and the lethargic Red Howler. These forests are the most accessible in all of Amazonia for the incomparable Emperor Tamarin. Night at Matsiguenka Camping Lodge, optional night walk. B:L:D.
Manu Birding Day 5:
Matsiguenka Camping Lodge to Amazon Wildlife Center .
After some final time in Manu National Park, we will travel back down the Manu River to its junction with the Alto Madre de Dios River. Here the water changes from quiet and tea brown to clear and fast-flowing. After travelling down the Madre de Dios River we will come to Amazon Wildlife Center, with a bird list of over 657 species, situated just upriver from the Blanquillo Macaw Clay Lick. The rest of our time will be spent exploring the extensive trail systems which have been designed to visit different forest types. There will be an optional visit to the large mammal clay lick here, which can attract tapirs, peccaries and maybe even a jaguar. It also attracts Guans, Curasows, Chachalacas as well as Rose-fronted and Rock Parakeets and Dusky-billed Parrotlet. Amazon Wildlife Center Lodge will be our base for the next three nights, with optional night walks. B:L:D.
Manu Birding Day 6:
Macaw Clay Lick Center & Tapir Clay Lick .
We will start early in the morning by travelling 40 minutes downriver to the most spectacular and the biggest macaw clay lick, which features up to 100 Red-and-green Macaws, where we will observe the spectacle of hundreds of parrots and parakeets very close to our blinds. Here we will also see the beautiful Orange-cheeked Parrrot, Blue-headed Parrot, as well as Mealy and Yellow-crowned Parrots. Smaller visitors include White-eyed, Cobalt-winged, and Tui Parakeets. We will use a blind (hide) to get close to the birds. We will eat breakfast at the blind. The noise alone is incredible and the sight of these brightly colored birds at the lick is not to be forgotten. In this afternoon we will walk about 50 minutes through the forest to a large mammal clay lick where tapirs (Tapirus terrestris), the largest South American land mammal, regularly come for minerals. At night, Red-brocket Deer, Bicolor-spined Porcupine, Paca and other animals share these minerals, which are necessary for digestion. There is a large, raised blind here equipped with mattresses and mosquito nets for those who want to spend the night in comfort observing these nocturnal creatures. During the day, several species of Rose-fronted and Rock Parakeets and Dusky-billed Parrotlet as well as Spix´s and Blue-throated Pinping Guans, Ruddy and Plumbeous Pigeons, Pale-winged Trumpeter, Razor-billed Curassow and White-lipped and Collared Pecaries, Southern Amazon Red Squirrel, Amazon Dwarf Squirrel, Brown Agouti, Red Howler and Black Spider Monkeys regularly visit the clay lick. Night at the Amazon Wildlife Center. B:L:D.
Manu Birding Day 7:
Amazon Wildlife Center to Return to Cusco .
Starting early this morning on our comfortable boat, we will have one last look at the numerous parrot flocks for which Manu is famous. The first part of our journey down the Madre de Dios River will give us another opportunity to see riverside wildlife activity. Leaving our boat, we will take a local car from Boca Colorado to Port Carlos. We will cross the Inanvari River with a local boat, then we´ll drive back to Cusco, transfer you to your hotel, and your tour of Manu National Park ends. B:L.
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