Manu Biosphere Reserve

7 day trip from Cusco

Manu Biosphere Reserve

We offer a 7 day trip from Cusco to the Manu Biosphere Reserve. This is one of the most famous reserves in the entire Amazon rainforest.

Day 1: Cusco – Rainforest Lodge

Our adventure begins, the exciting Amazon jungle of Manu! We will pick you up very early in the morning from your accommodation in Cusco in our private transport. The first part of our excursion will take us through the majestic Andean mountains. We will briefly visit the town of Huancarani, which contains the funeral towers of Ninamarca. It also holds the cemetery of the Lupacas, part of the precious Pre–Inca culture. We will then travel to Paucartambo, a small traditional town which is famous for its folklore.

At midday we will arrive at the entrance of Manu National Park. At that moment, we will enter into one of the best protected natural areas of South America. We will continue and drive down a small road, probably through the thick fog from which this section of the forest takes it name in Quechua. Eventually we will arrive at the home of the exotic Peruvian national bird, the “Cock of the Rocks”. You will be amazed by the spectacle, complete with an impressive array of sounds that can only be found in the jungle. On our first night, we will stay at Rainforest Lodge.
Lunch, Dinner

Day 2: Rainforest Lodge – Bonanza Ecological Reserve

Early in the morning we will depart for Atalaya port. On the way we will make a few stops to visit the small local farmers. These farmers are producers of many varieties of jungle fruits including the famous coca plant.

Later we will begin the boating part of our journey in a river excursion on the Madre de Dios River, part of the famous Amazon river. During the day we will have the chance to witness many types of colorful birds such as parrots, oropendolas, vultures and other species. We will make a stop at natural hot springs and hopefully get to see some jungle animals such as monkeys or the famous capybaras (jungle rodents that are as much as 2.5 ft long). After that, we will start trekking through the jungle to witness the true grace of the Amazon. We will hear the natural sounds of the birds and get visuals of the wildlife such as anteaters, peccaries and many different types of trees and medicinal plants.

Towards the late afternoon we will arrive at our next destination: Bonanza Lodge. There we will spend the night. In this lodge there will be showers and other facilities available. We will do some bird watching and then have a night walk in the dark. This is the best time to see creatures like tarantulas, scorpions and snakes.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Bonanza Ecological Reserve – Casa Matsiguenka (Manu Biosphere Reserve)

After breakfast, we leave Bonanza Lodge. We will leave the relatively clean waters of the Madre de Dios River behind us and enter the clay laden waters of the Manu river. We make a brief stop at the park ranger station at Limonal to present our permits. Then we will travel for about five hours up to the Manu river beaches. These beaches, especially in dry season, are loaded with nesting birds and feeding herons, egrets, Orinoco geese, terns and skimmers to name a few. Some beaches will host sunning white and black caimans (South American relatives of the Alligators) and breeding side-necked turtles. Hundreds of sand-colored night-jars roost during the day on logs and beaches. And there is a chance to encounter a stunning Jaguar (the world’s third largest cat).

We will see some species of primates on this river trip, possibly red howler monkeys or the smaller squirrel monkeys. In the afternoon we will have enough time to explore some of the trails through the rain forest in the area. Before or after dinner you will have the chance to go on an optional excursion into the forest at night with your guide in search of nocturnal creatures. We will spend the night at the Casa Matsiguenka. This is a rustic native owned lodge run by the Matsiguenkas themselves, with its own exclusive trail system. There will be modern facilities available. There are toilets and reasonably warm showers, twin rooms with comfortable beds and mosquito nets.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

About Casa Matsiguenka

Casa Matsiguenka was designed using the indigenous people’s building techniques. It counts on 12 fully screened twin rooms which beds are furnished with mosquito nets. There is a private trail system and local Matsiguenka guides will accompany you on the trails. You can visit the interactive interpretation center and buy locally made souvenirs.

Day 4: Casa Matsiguenka – Cocha Salvador- Cocha Otorongo

After breakfast we spend the morning at lake Cocha Salvador. We plan to ride down the lake on a floating platform observing the animal life from the water. We may encounter an agami heron or a sun-grebe. And there are brown Capuchin monkeys who are usually feeding on fruits nearby. So therefore they are relatively easy to sight.

Specially constructed piers that jut out into the lake enable us to look for a family of giant otters that live here. The otter is the world’s largest freshwater carnivore. You can find these Otters only in Manu Biosphere Reserve, and each animal consumes between 4 and 5 kilos of fish per day. So with that in mind it is most likely that you will see them eating large fish on logs at the lakeside.

After that we will continue exploring the forest and we may encounter troops of monkeys. This is a particularly good trail to see woolly and black spider monkeys. We will pay special attention to the plant life on this walk. We will take it slowly, listening for the rustle of vegetation or the soft sound of fruits falling to the rain forest floor. That may betray the presence of animals or large birds. We plan to visit the lake of Cocha Otorongo as well. Here, observation piers and a 20 meter observation tower in the rainforest canopy overlooking the lake are available for observing wildlife. We will also be on the outlook for a large family of giant otters that inhabit this lake at night at Casa Matsiguenka.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Casa Matsiguenka – Hummingbird Lodge

Today we spend time covering ground in the area. On our rainforest walk, we will go in search of some of the 13 species of monkeys found in the Manu Biosphere Reserve. Here your guide will explain some of the basics of rainforest ecosystems. Your guide will point out some of the medicinal plants in the area that are used by indigenous groups. We may cross paths with a group of peccaries. This is a species of wild boar found here and we will be on the outlook for some poisonous frogs too.

After lunch we will be going back downstream at a steady pace in order to spot some animals in and around the water. In the afternoon we will try and spot the majestic jaguar, one of the jewels of the Amazonian wildlife. After 4 hours downstream, we will arrive at Hummingbird Lodge. The lodge is nearby the Boca Manu village where we can enjoy the sunset. Again there is an optional night walk that you are more than welcome to accompany us on.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Hummingbird Lodge – Rainforest Lodge

After leaving the lodge we will head up the Madre de Dios River. We will travel for around six hours to our comfortable Rainforest Lodge. This superbly located facility is jointly owned and run by Amazon Wildlife Peru, a local conservation area. We should arrive well in time for dinner and a shower.

You can relax in the afternoon. Or you can explore a trail through the untouched forest and watch roosting flights of parrots and macaws during the sunset. You can also participate in a night walk with your guide in search of nocturnal animals. We will spend the night at the Rainforest Lodge.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Rainforest Lodge – Cusco

We leave the Rainforest Lodge early in the morning by van and head directly to Cusco. On the way, we will be passing through cloud forest where we can do some sightseeing. We will arrive back in Cusco in the evening.

Manu Biosphere Reserve trip includes:

  • Private boat and bus
  • Rubber boots, rain poncho and duffel bag for personal belongings
  • All accommodations and lodges
  • Bilingual guide from the jungle
  • Mineral water all the time
  • First aid kit
  • 3 meals per day and vegetarian option
  • Professional cook
  • Entrance to Bonanza Ecological Reserve
  • Manu National Park entrance fee
  • Entrance to the hot spring is optional and not included.

What you need to bring to the Manu Biosphere Reserve:

  • Repellent with a minimum of 40% deet
  • Good binocular
  • Camera with extra batteries
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Sun lotion
  • Pocket money
  • Day-pack
  • Water bottle
  • Sun hat
  • Sandals
  • Swimming suit
  • Toilet paper
  • Small towel
  • Long sleeved T-shirt
  • Dark color clothes

Contact Mundo Antiguo to reserve the 7-day Manu Biosphere Reserve rain forest trip.

Or check out the 5-day trip to Manu.