ATV 12: MANU NATIONAL PARK (4D-3N)

Departure       :  7:30 a.m., on Monday, Wednesday or Friday
Duration        :  Four days and three nights
Location        :  Manu, Department of Cusco
Season          :  All year round.

DESCRIPTION:

The Manu National Park is located in the South-eastern part of Peru, between the Department of Cusco to the North and that of Madre de Dios. It is one of the largest tropical parks in South America. The park extends from the highlands to the jungle and covers 2 million hectares (4.5 million acres). Its territory is rich in flora and fauna, with an ample diversity of ecosystems, including those of the high Andes, cloud forests and lowland tropical rain forests.

In 1977, the Manu National Park was designated as a World Biosphere Reserve, since it shelters the best existing example of biodiversity in a protected rain forest area, as well as in the endemic cloud forest areas. There, we can observe the giant otters (Pteronura brasiliensis), the black caiman (Melanosuchus niger), the majestic jaguar (Panthera onca), the strange spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus), the tapir (Tapirus terrestris), the ocelot (Felis pardalis), as well as 13 different species of primates and an estimated 1,000 species of birds, including 7 species of macaws.

In the Manu National Park, there also are 10% of the world’s vascular plant species, including several species of figs and palms, as well as countless species of medicinal plants which are currently being catalogued by scientists. A single hectare of forest in the Manu can hold up to 220 species of trees, while a hectare of temperate forest in Europe or North America, may only hold 20 tree species. Therefore, the Manu National Park may be the most biologically diverse protected park on the planet.

ITINERARY:

For our guests who enjoy the jungle while combining adventure sports, we have this excellent option which, at the same time, allows us to see many different kinds of birds and mammals, as well as a lot of plants. In any case and for more information, there will be a briefing the night before departure.

1st DAY: CUSCO – CLOUD FOREST:  We’ll leave Cusco early in the morning, stopping to visit the interesting pre-Incan tombs of Ninamarca and the colonial town of Paucartambo, on the way to the Cloud Forest. There, the thick cloak of clouds provides perpetual humidity and an ideal ecosystem for epiphytic plants such as bromeliads. This place is the habitat of the cock of the rocks (Peru´s National Bird), the spectacled bear, orchids, tree ferns (one of the oldest living plants) and different kinds of mosses. At least 50% of the plant species found there, are endemic to this region. We must get to the Cloud Forest at sunset, to set-up camp and spend the night.

OPTIONAL: We can ride front suspension mountain bikes downhill, from the high pass, on the road to the cloud forest.

2nd DAY: CLOUD FOREST – PILCOPATA AND PIÑI PIÑI RIVERS: We’ll have breakfast early, to continue on a dirt road leading to Villa Carmen Lodge and from there, we’ll go on a boat trip, on the Pilcopata River; the source of the Madre de Dios River, to then return on foot or horseback, along the shores of the Piñi Piñi River. In the meantime, we´ll be able to enjoy swimming in the Pilcopata River, at “Tres Piedras” (3 Stones) beach. After lunch, we’ll visit the Center for Preservation and Diffusion of the Amazonian Cultures.

3rd DAY: WATERFALLS: After a delicious breakfast, we’ll go on a tour on horseback and / or by foot to the “Swallows” waterfalls and we’ll navigate on a canoe, on the Piñi-Piñi River, to visit the fish hatchery and hike through the virgin forest, exploring the beauty of the jungle and its extraordinary flora and fauna, along the Sachavacayoc River.

OPTIONAL: We might go on a trek to the Lucumayo Native Lodge, where we can hunt and fish.

4th DAY: VILLA CARMEN ( PILCOPATA) – CUSCO:

We’ll wake up early and have breakfast later, in order to take our transportation and head back to Cusco by Paucartambo. Arrival in Cusco around 7:00 p.m.

INCLUDES: Specialized English / Spanish speaking guide, one night camping and two nights in the Villa Carmen Lodge, all land and river transportation, camping equipment, all meals (3 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners), rafting equipment (optional), mountain biking equipment, first aid kit, safety box for valuables and storage for luggage.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Personal sleeping bag, binoculars, camera with ASA 200 and 400 films (for the inner forest), one pair of lightweight ankle height boots and sandals, warm clothing, long sleeve shirts and long pants (cotton), 100% waterproof rain gear (long poncho or rainproof wear), insect repellent (recommended with 50% Deet), sunscreen lotion, flashlight, enough batteries (alkaline) and bulbs, wide brim hat (for sunny days), sunglasses, towel, swimming suit, personal medicines and /or supplies, daypack and one backpack or duffel bag of luggage per person, a bottle of water for the first day and plastic bags.