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Manu Reserve Zone

Manu Reserved zone with Casa Matsiguenka

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1 | Cusco – Bambú lodge

We leave Cusco early in the morning in our private transport. On the way we’ll pass over interesting inner Andean valleys and Andean communities. We also visit the interesting pre-Inca tombs of Ninamarka known as Chullpas, and then we continue to the colonial town of Paucartambo where we have a walk in town to stretch legs. From here we continue to Acjanaco pass at 3500 meters above sea level where a ranger station marks the southernmost point of the park, here we start descending into the Amazon basin. We will go through different ecological levels one of them the cloud forest rich in endemic species like the Spectacle bear (Tremarctos ornatus), Orchids, Tree ferns, Bromeliads, etc. At dusk we will stop to observe the Cock of the Rocks (Rupicola peruviana) Peru’s national bird, from a hidden platform, the male birds are a vibrant reddish orange, and as several of them come together for an exhibition of a mating ritual dance in a place called lek, the males display their crest, showing off and posturing for the females, the females, fewer in number, watch to select the most suitable males. After this activity we continue to our lodge in Asuncion where we overnight.

Day 2 | Bambú lodge – Casa Pankotsi (native community of Shipetiari)

After breakfast we continue down the narrow road through canyons and waterfalls towards the town of Pilcopata, where rivers and streams still having step and strong currents come together to make the Alto Madre de Dios river to cut the last mountain in a canyon named pongo de Coñeq before they go into the flat Amazon floor. In Pilcopata there is a colonizers population that came on the 70s to dedicate to the timber industry through the dirt road that heads to the Madre de Dios valley. Now a days with the time and creation of the park this business is not longer so profitable and many of these populations dedicate to farm crops like manioc, pineapple, rice and specially coca leaves; from Pilcopata we continue to Atalaya which is the first pluvial port of Alto Madre de Dios river.  At this point we unload our car and load our motor boat, from Atalaya we sail for about 4 or 5 hours to Shipetiari Native Community where we overnight in a lodge with open platforms with beds and mosquito nets. On the way we will be able to see the great diversity of the wildlife like terns, cormorants, kingfishers and some raptors between the bird; we can also spot reptiles and mammals on the river shore.
Optional: River rafting from Pilcopata to Atalaya port for about one and a half hour.

Day 3 | Casa Pankotsi – Casa Matsiguenka (reserved zone)

After breakfast we board our boat and proceed to Manu river. After approximately 2 hours of navigation we arrive to the village call Boca Manu located at the confluence of Manu river and Alto Madre de Dios river, here we will make a stop in order to do the last minute shopping we may need to continue up stream Manu river to our destination Casa Matsiguenka, we will make a quick stop after an hour of navigation from Boca Manu at Limonal ranger station where we register in the official tourist logbook. On this boat ride we will be able to spot bird species like black skimmer (Rynchops nigra), Horned screamer (Anhima cornuta), reptiles like White cayman (Caiman crocodilus), turtles like the Taricaya (Podocemis unifilis) and some mammals sunbathing on the river shore like Jaguar (Panthera onca), la Tayra (Eira Barbara) or feeding on the canopy like the Wooly monkey (Lagothrix lagothricha), Spider monkey (Ateles paniscus). This journey will show us the immensity of our rain forest. At arrival to the lodge we will assign the room and then we will organize a walk on the trail system there.

Day 4 | Casa Matsiguenka

The howl of the Howler monkey (Alouatta seniculus) at sunrise will mark the beginning of the day, today early in the morning we will go to Salvador oxbow lake, these lakes formed as a consequence of the fluvial dynamics of the meandering rivers, generates a very particular and diverse ecosystem. We will explore Salvador lake on a catamaran in search of species like the family of Giant otters (Ternura basilienses) highly endangered, important inhabitant of the oxbow lakes where it can be seen playing, fishing or swimming, and also the arch enemy of the otter the Black cayman (Melanosuchus niger); birds like the particular Hoatzin (Ophisthocomus hoatzin), the Spider monkey (Ateles paniscus), etc. and the flora at the lake edges; after this activity we come back to the lodge. Or the afternoon your guide will organize a walk on the trail system of Cocha Salvador. Optional night walk.

Day 5 | Casa Matsiguenka

Today we will visit another important oxbow lake on the reserved zone, Cocha Otorongo, located 1 hour of boat ride from Casa Matsiguenka, here we will use the trail system of this primary forest and the observation platform at 15 meters high on the shores of the lake. At Otorongo oxbow lake the diversity is big and the possibilities to spot wildlife are high, between the species we can observe on this trail system are monkeys like Spider (Ateles paniscus), brown capuchin (Cebus paella), Squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus); we can also spot birds like Paradise tanager (Tangara chilensis), flycatchers like Thamnomanes schistogynus, woodcreepers, woodpeckers and mixed bird flocks on the walks; and the typical birds of the oxbow lakes like Rusfecent Tiger- heron (Tigrisoma lineatum), Cocoi heron (Ardea cocoi), Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga), Wattle Jacana (Anhinga anhinga).

Day 6 | Casa Matsiguenka / Shipetiari

We will depart from Casa Matsiguenka early in the morning to benefit from the early hours of navigation on the Manu river to our destination Casa Pankotsi in Shipetiari. The first hour of the day are the best to observe wildlife from the boat. Species like the biggest rodent in the world the Capybara (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris), the tapir (Tapirus terrestris) can be seen on the river shores, as well as Blue and yellow macaw (Ara ararauna), White-throated Toucan (Ramphastos tucanus) on the forest canopy or flying . Overnight at Casa Pankotsi on the native community of Shipetiari.

Day 7 | Shipetiari – Aguas Calientes

Today after breakfast we can visit the native community and learn about the customs and worldview of the Matsiguenka culture. After that we take our boat and after approximately 4 hours of navigation we arrive to Aguas Calientes  where we overnight in a lodge on the other side of the river from Shintuya native community. We spent the afternoon relaxing on the natural thermal baths there.

Day 8 | Aguas Calientes – Cusco

After breakfast we take our boat for about 3 hours to Atalaya port, where our private transport is waiting to bring us to Cusco, we expect to arrive in Cusco at dusk.

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