17th September – 2nd October 2016
According to UNESCO the biodiversity of this region “exceeds that of any other place on Earth”. It is home to over 1,000 of the world’s 10,000 bird species, including 27 species of macaws and parrots, 15,000 flowering plant species, 13 species of monkey; 1,300 species of butterfly and all of the Amazon’s major predators.
This overland adventure begins in the colourful Andean town of Cusco, one time capital of the mighty Inca Empire. Then ascend into the Andean highlands at heights of up to 4,000 metres, eventually reaching the Acjanaco Pass. Weather permitting, enjoy magnificent views of the puna high altitude forest, the mid-range cloud forest and the lowland Amazon basin spreading far below.
Descending through elfin high forest into dense, atmospheric cloud forest, the group spends the next two nights at a lodge in this lush and misty jungle, perhaps the most fragile and threatened type of rainforest. The lodge’s private reserve is home to large numbers of birds and endangered mammals, including woolly monkeys and spectacled bear (though rarely seen). At a nearby Andean cock-of-the-rock lek, the group should observe brightly coloured males displaying for the females in an age old courtship.
The journey continues towards the Manu lowlands as steeply forested mountains give way to rolling hills and farmland. Arriving at the port town of Atalaya at the foot of the Andes, the lowland rainforest part of the journey begins as you board a motorised canoe and journey down the Alto Madre de Dios to your lodge in the forested Manu foothills.
Into the pristine Manu rainforest
The Manu Learning Centre has over 650 bird species and all of Manu’s primates: it sponsors a jaguar tracking programme and you might, if lucky, spot the endemic Manu poison frog. Depart and continue downriver to the confluence with the Manu River, then travel upriver as deep into Manu National Park as boats are allowed, arriving at a tented camp in the pristine Manu rainforest.
During your two night stay visit Cocha Salvador, the largest and probably most beautiful of Manu’s oxbow lakes, and Cocha Otorongo with its resident family of giant otters.
The group then leaves the Manu River, travelling by motorised canoe down the mighty Madre de Dios River for a four night stay at the Manu Wildlife Centre, the highlight of the tour. Here wildlife viewing opportunities abound. Enjoy visits to a macaw clay lick, a large mammal lick frequented by tapirs, an oxbow lake inhabited by giant otters, and walk their extensive trail system where 500-plus bird species as well as 12 primates can be seen.
Explore Machu Picchu
After returning to Cusco on the daily jet service from Puerto Maldonado, spend a day exploring the magnificent Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, and visit some of the principal Inca and colonial sites in Cusco, before returning home and the end of a truly marvellous tour.
Peru’s amazing Manu Biosphere with Nick Baker departs on 17th September 2016 for 16 days. For more information and the full itinerary in detail see the Full Tour Description (pdf) »
Nick’s Exotic Wildlife Group Adventures are organised and facilitated by Reef & Rainforest, the Totnes-based specialist natural history tour operator. Their ATOL bond (no.4088) ensures that your money is fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority.