Records of fauna that are found in Manu National Park is really impressive with well over 1000 vertebrate species, including at least 200 species of mammals and more than 800 species of birds.Estimates of plant diversity range between 2,000 and 5,000, with some scientists even assuming considerably higher numbers. Among the mammals are the Giant Otter, 13 different species of primates and eight felids, including Jaguar, Puma and the elusive and endangered Andean Mountain Cat.
Manu National Park and Manu Biosphere Reserve, what is the difference?
Day 1: Cusco - Cloud Forest
Leaving Cusco early in the morning, we begin an 8-hour journey over the Andes by bus, stopping for a coffee at the beautiful colonial village of Paucartambo. Continuing, we climb to the highpoint of the Manu Biosphere at about 4000 m before descending to the cloud forest. In these mysterious surroundings we take a walk to the lek of the incredible Cock-of-the-Rock, to see the 'performance' of the males right under our eyes. We spend our first night in the rustic lodge Posada San Pedro (appr. 1,600 m).
Day 2: Cloud Forest - Cocha Machuhuasi - Pantiacolla Lodge
At daybreak we continue by bus to tropical lowland rainforest. Here at the small village Atalaya at 650 m, we change into a motorized canoe to navigate some 2 hours down the turbulent Alto Madre de Dios River. From here we get great views of the Andes. We stop for a visit of one of the very few lakes on the Alto Madre de Dios River, where you can go around on small traditional rafts. For the next two nights we stay at the Pantiacolla lodge, right at the foot of the Pantiacolla Mountain Range.The forest of Pantiacolla Lodge is a very special rainforest: this is where the Andes and the lowland tropical rainforest meet and provides the visitor with a chance to see a good selection of birds and plants from both zones as well as endemics to the area. Your first hike will be on the lowland trails, at 400m above sea level. Also at night, we explore the forest by torchlight looking for insects, snakes and the uniquely nocturnal night-monkey or 'douricouli'. We spend the night in Pantiacolla Lodge.
Day 3: Clay lick for parrots - Excursion to the Petroleo stream
Early in the morning the boat takes you to a nearby clay lick for parrots and the rare blue-headed macaw. Their spectacle is both impressive to see and to hear! From there we can visit one of the higher trails of the Pantiacolla Mountains with it’s ‘Oil’ stream with small hot springs, oil wells and natural swimming pools or we can walk down lower trails where there is a higher likelihood of seeing animals. At night we visit Ranacocha, Frog Lake. Overnight in Panctiacolla Lodge.
Day 4: Hot springs - Cloud Forest
After a last morning walk in Pantiacolla, the boat takes us to the hot springs of Shintuya for a relaxing mineral bath, before continuing further up to Atalaya. From here we turn back up the Andes by car. We visit a local orchid “sanctuary” along the way. We spend the last night in Posada San Pedro.
Day 5: Cloud Forest, Cusco
Early in the morning, we have another walk through the forest; as always it is teeming with life and by now many birds, monkeys, insects, trees and plants are familiar to us. We walk until our car picks us up to take us to Cusco, where we arrive in the late afternoon.
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