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River Madre de Dios

7 Days / 6 Nights

In by Bus / Out by plane
Fixed departures on Sundays

  1. Cuzco- Cloud Forest
  2. Cloud Forest- Pilcopata- Atalaya- Erika
  3. Erika- Boca Manu- P.V. Limonal
  4. P.V. Limonal- Salvador Lake
  5. Salvador Lake- Otorongo- Salvador Lake
  6. Salvador Lake- Boca Manu- Tambo Blanco
  7. Tambo Blanco- Macaws Clay Lick-
    Boca Manu

Day 1: Cuzco - Cloud Forest

Leave Cuzco early in the morning in our specialized overland vehicles. At approximately mid-morning visit the interesting tombs of Ninamarca, commonly known as "Chullpas". Continue to Paucartambo, a picturesque Spanish colonial town, and then on to the Acjanacu pass, which marks the beginning of the Cultural Zone of Manu Biosphere Reserve. 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 of the Cock of the Rock, Spectacled Bear, Orchids, Tree Ferns (one of the oldest living plants), mosses and lichens. The cloud forest here exists at between 2000 and 3500 meters above sea level, and at least 50% of the plant species found here are endemic to this region. Overnight in our open air lodge "San Pedro".

Day 2: Cloud Forest - Pilcopata - Atalaya - Erika

Today you will wake up very early to observe, from a platform, the Cock of the Rock (Rupicola peruviana), Peru's national bird. The male birds are a vibrant reddish orange, and at about 5:00AM as many as several dozen come together for an exhibition of a mating ritual dance in a place called Lek. The males display their crest, showing off and posing for the females. The females, fewer in number, watch to select the most suitable males. After breakfast continue your overland transport down the narrow road between waterfalls and canyons toward the town of Pilcopata* and then to Atalaya port. Here you will board a covered, outboard motor boat and head down the Alto Madre de Dios River for approximately 15 minutes towards the private reserve of "Erika" where you will hike through the interesting trail system that this transitional area between high and low jungle offers. Overnight in the lodge Erika.
*Optional: In Pilcopata town you may make the final arrangements for a 3 hour river rafting (class I and II) trip down the Koshñipata river, providing with an opportunity to enjoy the spectacular view of the Koñeq Canyon and of course have a dip in the river. You then continue down the Alto Madre de Dios River to the Erika Lodge.

Day 3: Erika - Boca Manu - P.V. Limonal

After breakfast board your canoe for a three-hours ride down the Alto Madre de Dios River to Boca Manu's airstrip. (Optional flight from Cusco to Boca-Manu; this means that some new members may join our group, the plane flies over the Andes to a narrow gravel landing strip in the jungle, the flight takes approximately 45 minutes). Boca Manu village is situated a short distance from the confluence of the Manu River with the Alto Madre de Dios River. You can buy your last fresh supplies and cold drinks here before setting off again in the canoe. We then enter the Manu River and the Reserved Zone, stopping on a white sand beach where we camp for the night along the riverbank. Short walk around the area.

Day 4: P.V. Limonal - Salvador Lake

After registering in the official tourist logbook at Limonal, the Park Rangers Headquarters, and eating an early breakfast, we follow the Manu River to our safari base camp at Salvador Lake, with its screened dining room and bathrooms, and where radio communication is available. The canoe ride to base camp gives us an opportunity to observe the immensity of the rainforest and the diversity of birdlife, reptiles and mammals found there. You will often see animals sunning themselves on beaches, or foraging for food in the trees lining the riverbanks. We arrive at our camp early in the afternoon and have lunch before setting off on a jungle trail. We spend the afternoon, until sundown, paddling along in a catamaran, looking for wildlife in the rainforest in and around Lake Salvador, an oxbow lake. Amongst the animals you may see are unique species of birds, monkeys, caimans, and with any luck the endangered Giant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis), swimming, fishing, eating and playing in and around the lake.

Day 5: Salvador Lake - Otorongo - Salvador Lake

Rise early in the morning, as the forest is awakened to the cries of the Red Howler monkey (Aloatta seniculus) declaring its territory. A morning walk before breakfast is a great time to catch wildlife looking for food, as the temperature is very pleasant at this time of day. After relaxing and swimming in the river enjoy lunch along the riverbank. After lunch we cross the river to walk an 8-km trail to another oxbow lake called Otorongo. A strategically located observation tower rises 15 meters above the lake and the jungle floor, providing us with more opportunities to observe wildlife species, including the Giant Otter. Late in the afternoon by going out on the catamaran, and with the help of flashlights, you can observe black caimans rise from the depths of the lake and begin their search for prey. Return to the campsite.

Day 6: Salvador Lake - Boca Manu - Tambo Blanco

An early wake up once again to enjoy a brief morning walk and have breakfast. We then pack up camp and go down streavillage is situated at a short distance from the confluence of the Manu and Alto Madre de Dios Rivers. We set out from here downstream once more on the Madre de Dios River, and after a three hour trip, arrive early in the afternoon at Blanco Private Reserve. Camp at the safari site and spend one more night in the magical Amazon jungle.

Day 7: Tambo Blanco - Macaws Clay Lick - Boca Manu

After a very early wake up, we go to a special hideout opposite the famous "Collpa" clay lick, to silently observe the various kinds of parrots feeding on the clay for mineral and salt supplements to thm on the fascinating Manu River, arriving at Boca Manu at midday. This eir regular diet of seeds and fruits. The brightly colored macaws usually wait patiently in the surrounding trees until the smaller parrot species have left the area. Slowly, the macaws come down to the clay wall to feed. A lot of patience and silence are required on the catamaran so as not to disturb them as they eat the clay. Around mid morning we board a canoe to return to the airstrip at Boca Manu, where you catch your plane back to Cusco. End of services.


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About the Lodge

The Cusco office is equipped with Radio Communication. Communication on the journey is by radio and we are in constant communication with the four Radio Bases in the Jungle. Emergency service is always close by, following each step of the group's trip to supply us with our essential needs.

sunset in tambopata
Madre de Dios river
Huaypo Lagoon   Butterfly



(International Air Transport Association)
Affiliation Code: 91-5-008-0
Telephone Number: (+511) 222-4353

(Latin America Confederation of Travel Organizations)
Affiliation Code: AC1812
Telephone Number: (+5411) 4393-5696 (based in Argentina)

(Peruvian Association of Travel Agencies)
Affiliation Code: AO683
Telephone Number: 011-511-433-1111

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