A four-day vacation package to the Manu Wildlife Center, including transfers from Lima or Cusco. This lodge is located east of the Manu River on the north bank of the Madre de Dios River and is famous for its abundant and varied wildlife — an incredible in-depth wildlife safari. Among the numerous excursions you will enjoy are visits to a clay lick patronized by macaws and tapirs, a night walk through the jungle and a trip to an oxbow lake to see the river otters and an array of exotic birds.
Fixed departures: Monday
Private departures: Daily
(Operates from April through October)
Prices available upon request
Upon arriving on a commercial flight to the airport in Puerto Maldonado, you will be met and taken in a van to the village of Santa Rosa. During the 2 ½ hour journey you will cross the Inambari River and then continue on a 15-minute boat trip to Puerto Carlos. From here it is a 45-minute journey by car to Boca Colorado, where you will enjoy a box lunch and finally embark on the 4 ½ hour motorized boat journey up the Madre de Dios River to the Manu Wildlife Center.
After settling into you room, you will make your first guided excursion into the rain forest along some of the 30 miles of forest trails that surround the lodge. You will have a very good chance of encountering some of the dozen species of monkeys that inhabit this region of pristine Amazon, including the Spider Monkey and Emperor Tamarin.
Following dinner, your eco jungle guide will take you out for an enchanting night nighttime walk along the trails in search of some of the nocturnal birds and animals of the rainforest. (Box Lunch/D)
Another early start (inevitable on wildlife expeditions), is followed by a short boat ride downstream. We take a 20-minute trail through palm plantations to a cut-off channel of the river.
You will witness the scarlet macaws in the morning ritual, they come flapping down to the treetops, survey the eroded clay banks of the river, ensuring first that there were no Great Black Hawks present. A supporting cast also appears: these may include Blue-headed, Mealy, Yellow-crowned, and Orange-cheeked Parrots.
The drama plays out in first in tentative and then bolder approaches to the lick, until finally nearly all the macaws, parrots and parakeets form a colorful and noisy spectacle on the bare banks, squabbling as they scrape clay from the hard surface. (Please note that the clay lick is most active from August to October and less so during the months of May and June.).
We return to the lodge for lunch, and then we continue to explore and discover the rainforest, its lore and plant life, on the network of trails surrounding the lodge, arriving in the late afternoon at our 34m/112ft Canopy Tower. On its platform we witness the frantic rush-hour activity of twilight in the rainforest canopy, before night closes in.
From atop this platform you will witness the frantic “rush-hour” activity of wildlife as twilight turns to night. You will then walk the “Collpa Trail” to the famous Tapir Clay Lick.
This is the most active known clay lick in all the Amazon for these majestic 600-pound animals, distant cousins of horses and rhinoceroses, and the largest land mammal of Latin America. Manu Wildlife Center research has identified as many as 12 individual Tapirs who come to this lick to eat clay from under the tree roots around the edge.
The clay absorbs and neutralizes toxins in the vegetarian diet of these gentle giants. You can observe this nocturnal ritual from a roomy, elevated observation platform 17 feet (5 meters) above the forest floor. The platform is equipped with freshly-made-up mattresses with pillows. Each mattress is covered by a roomy mosquito net where you can nap, if you like, until the first tapir arrives.
The elevated walkway to the platform is covered with sound-absorbing padding to prevent the animals from being disturbed by the sound of footsteps. (B/L/D)
We set out early for an old oxbow lake full of water lilies (Nuphar lutea) and sunken logs and board a the lodge’s waiting catamaran. Chances are good we will encounter the resident Giant Otter family on a fishing expedition, or groups of monkeys swinging noisily through the high tree. Around the lake, it is an ornithologist’s dream: Woodpeckers, tanagers, macaws, toucans and parakeets are just a few of the birds to be seen.
Wattled Jacanas tread delicately atop the lily pads, Sun Grebes paddle daintily across the calm water, Anhingas air-dry their wide, black wings along the shore, while high above, Osprey perched on branches scan for fish.
Among the bushes near the waterline, Hoatzins, announce their presence with distinctive, bizarre wheezing and grunts.
After lunch at the lodge your guide is available to lead you on freewheeling expeditions in search of other wildlife encounters. Or you can set out one of the lodge’s many trails on private and personal excursions to meditate in quiet contemplation with the spirits of the rainforest.
During the evening, from the late afternoon until after supper, you will have the opportunity to take part in a boat ride along the riverbank (if the level of river allows) in search of caiman and other nocturnal animals. (B/L/D)
You depart the lodge very early on the 2 ½ hour return boat trip downstream to the Village of Colorado Village. Breakfast is served on the boat while you observe early morning wildlife activity along the river. You will also pass lowland native settlements, as well as gold miners digging and panning gold along the banks of the Madre de Dios River. We will stop in the far-west type gold-mining town of Colorado to start our overland journey to Puerto Carlos for 45 minutes, then you will cross the Inambari River for 15 minutes boat trip to Santa Rosa.
Finally a van or bus will drive us in approximately two-hours to the airport in Puerto Maldonado. Here you return on the commercial flight to Cusco or Lima. (B)
(B) Breakfast, (L) Lunch, (D) Dinner
Please note that all rain forest itineraries may vary slightly so as to maximize wildlife sightings, depending on the reports of our researchers and experienced naturalist guides.
To book your vacation now or consult with us, fill out the “Contact Us” form to the right and a Fertur Peru Travel coordinator will contact you within one working day with detailed information about your fully customizable trip. Fertur Peru Travel’s pledge is to offer you top-quality, individualized attention that starts with the planning of your trip and continues through your journey to guarantee a great vacation.
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