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Manu Reserved Zone with Casa Matsiguenka | 8 days – 7 nigths

SUGGESTED ITINERARY

Day 1 | Cusco - Bambú lodge

We leave Cusco at 7:00 am. The first stop will be in Oropesa, where they make exquisite bread we will take for the road. We will continue our tour and visit the pre-Inca tombs known as Chullpas of Ninamarka. Then we will arrive at Paucartambo, where we will make a stop to visit its beautiful main square, a huge and historic oven that works since colonial times, and the unmissable “Museum of the Peoples” with exhibitions on the Amazonian peoples in the area, the Q’ero nation and the typical costumes of the dancers of the famous patronage festival in honor of Mamacha Carmen. We will continue our tour for about 50 minutes until we reach the Acjanaco lookout (3600 m.a.s.l.), where the Manu National Park begins. Here we will have a brief introductory talk to locate ourselves on map the park and our tour in the next eight days. The interesting part about this day is that we will see the change of the ecological floors starting in the puna and passing to the dwarf and cloud forest, both rich in endemic species such as the spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus), orchids, the fern tree, bryllias, etc. Lunch will be somewhere along the way with a nice view. We will stop to see the courtship dance of the gallito de las rocas (Rupicola peruviana), Peru’s national bird, from a hidden platform. That night we will sleep in Bambu lodge, in the Asuncion area, where we will arrive at approximately 6 in the afternoon. (A, C)

Day 2 | Bambu lodge - Casa Pankotsi (C.N. Shipetiari)

Bamboo Lodge is an excellent place to observe birds that come attracted by its garden full of flowers and fruits of the area, such as the discoura popelairii (Wire-crested thorntail) or the rufous-crested coquette (Lophornis delattrei) much requested by ornithologists. After breakfast we will go to Pilcopata, a small town where we will make some last-minute purchases, such as rubber boots and rain ponchos. We will continue the tour to the Dos Loritos Wildlife Rescue Center. The beauty of this place is that the animals live loose, without cages, meaning that after they receive care, they can leave whenever they want. We will continue until we reach the port of Atalaya, where we will change our means of transport; we will leave the car and get on the boat that will move us around for the next 6 days. This is where we leave Cusco and enter Madre de Dios. Lunch will be on the road, somewhere beautiful on the banks of the Alto Madre de Dios River. After about 4 hours, we will arrive at our final destination of the day, the Shipetiari Native Community, where we will sleep in the Casa Pankotsi lodge, run by Matsiguenkas natives. In the afternoon we will visit the community and meet its members. (D, A, C)

Day 3 | Pankotsi House (Shipetiari) - Matsiguenka House (reserved area)

Today we will leave the lodge very early. On the way to our boat, we will begin
to see a much denser jungle with taller and more robust trees. Today, we will
spend 7 hours on boat, approximately, but once we enter the Manu River, the
possibilities of seeing animals is very large, making it a real pleasure to navigate
through these rivers. After two hours we will reach the confluence of the Alto
Madre de Dios River and the Manu; it is always exciting to see the clear
differences in the color of its waters, the drastic change of temperature in the
environment and to know that you entered a well protected and incredibly pure,
healthy place away from the destructive contact of man. Once on the Manu River
and after half an hour, we will arrive at the Limonal checkpoint, where we will
register our arrival. There, the park rangers will receive us with a very
interesting introductory talk. Then we will continue to cross the Manu River for
approximately 4 hours towards Casa Matsiguenka. During this journey you can
see countless bird species such as scratchers (Rynchops nigra), camungos
(Anhima cornuta), in addition to reptiles such as the white caiman (Caiman
crocodilus), turtles such as taricaya (Podocemis unifilis); some mammals
sunning themselves on the beaches, such as the jaguar (Panthera onca), the
tayra (Eira Barbara), and others feeding on the surrounding trees such as the
yellow-tailed woolly monkey (Lagothrix lagothricha) and the spider monkey
(Ateles paniscus). This tour will show us the immensity of our jungle. Once at
Casa Matsiguenka, we will settle in our rooms for the next three nights. After a
succulent lunch, in the afternoon, we will go on a gentle walk to get used to one
of the trails near the lodge. (D, A, C)

Day 4 | Casa Matsiguenka

The howl of the howler monkey (Alouatta seniculus) marks the beginning of the
day; Today we will get up at 5 am. The goal is to watch the sunrise from Cocha
Salvador, a lagoon born as a result of river dynamics, where we will find a
particular and diverse ecosystem. We will explore Cocha Salvador on a
catamaran in search of wildlife such as the giant otter (Ternura basilienses), an
endangered species and an important inhabitant that can be seen fishing,
playing or swimming. Nearby, we can find its main enemy, the black alligator
(Melanosuchus niger), as well as very particular birds such as the hoatzin
(Ophisthocomus hoatzin), the spider monkey (Ateles paniscus), etc. Afterward,
we will return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon, we will hike through the
trails of the area, in search of fauna and flora. We will end the day with an
optional night walk. (D, A, C)

Day 5 | Casa Matsiguenka

Today is the last day inside the area of exclusive use for tourism within the reserve. No one lives here, not even natives. There are only two lodges currently operating; One of them is Casa Matsiguenka, managed by Matsiguenkas from the native communities of Tayacome and Yomibato, with whom we have been working for several years. In the morning we will visit Cocha Otorongo, another important lagoons in the park. Located one hour from our lodge, in this area we will use the extensive trail system to enter this primary forest where we will find an observation platform strategically located 15 meters high on the banks of the cocha (lagoon). In Cocha Otorongo, wildlife diversity is great and the possibilities seeing interesting animals are many. Among the fauna that can be seen are several monkey species, such as the spider monkey, (Ateles paniscus), the black machin (Cebus apella), the squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus); we can also find different species of birds such as paradise tanager (Tangara chilensis), puma heron (Tigrisoma lineatum), heron cuca (Ardea cocoi), duck snake (Anhinga anhinga), tuqui tuqui (Jacana jacana), among other typical birds found in the ecosystem of these cochas. When leaving Cocha Otorongo, on one of the trails, we will see a gigantic ceibo –known as a “grandfather” of the jungle–, the largest in the park. We will return to the lodge to rest a little and have lunch. In the afternoon, as is tradition, we will play soccer with the Matsiguenkas, who are always waiting for us very excited to play. After the game, we will have some free time for a nap or just interact with our Matsiguenkas friends. Then we will go out to the boat to continue with the search of flora and fauna of the place. We return to the lodge for dinner. After dinner, we will go out for a while with the help of our flashlights, to look for alligators in the river and see a bit of the nocturnal fauna. (D, A, C).

Day 6 | Casa Matsiguenka - Dorado lodge

Today, we say goodbye to Casa Matsiguenka and the area reserved for the exclusive use of tourism. We expect a long boat ride, but also great opportunities to continue observing nature. The capybara (Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris, known to be the largest rodent in the world) and the tapir (Tapirus terrestris), are species that can be seen feeding on the riverbank, as well as beautiful birds like the blue and yellow macaw (Ara ararauna) and the couvier toucan (Ramphastos tucanus) in full flight. After 4 hours we will arrive at the Limonal checkpoint, where we will register our departure. Here we will also weigh our garbage, since nothing, not even organic debris, should remain in the park. About 40 minutes later, we will leave the Manu River to enter the Alto Madre de Dios, a buffer zone where we will begin to see more boats. Our next stop will be the town of Boca Manu; here there will be telephone signal, (although only for calls) and a public telephone, so after 6 days of silence you can communicate with the outside world. In Boca Manu there is a shop, so some sweets, sodas and, above all, cold beers, feel like a gift from the gods. It will take us two hours to reach the Dorado lodge, where we will spend the night. After dinner, we will gather around a campfire. (D, A, C).

Day 7 | Dorado lodge - Aguas Calientes

Today, after breakfast, we will visit a claylick for parrots and macaws located about 20 minutes from the lodge. Then, we will depart for Aguas Calientes lodge, located in the native community of Shintuya, where we will be welcomed by our friends the native Harakmbut; these historical warriors and ancient hunters will tell us legends of the jungle that we will not hear elsewhere. In the afternoon, after having lunch and taking a rich nap, we will leave to bathe in a beautiful waterfall. Expect some light climbing at the beginning and then a flat way that will take about 45 minutes one way. Once back at the lodge, during late afternoon, we will enjoy the relaxing hot springs of the place. (D, A, C)

Day 8 | Aguas Calientes - Cusco

After breakfast we get on our boat that will take us to the port of Atalaya in
approximately 3 hours. There, our private transport will wait for us to take us
back to Cusco, where we usually arrive at sunset. (D, A, C)

Included / Not Included

INCLUDES: Private land transport, private fluvial transport. 1 night in Bamboo lodge in the cloud forest, 1 night in Casa Pankotsi lodge of the native community of Shipetiari, 3 nights in Casa Matsiguenka lodge in the reserved area of the Manu National Park, 1 night in Dorado lodge and 1 night in Aguas Calientes lodge. A visit to an observation platform of the gallito de las rocas. Access to the extensive trail system of the Manu reserved area, a catamaran in Salvador cocha and the observation tower in Otorongo cocha.

MEALS: 7 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 7 dinners. First aid kit and radio communication in all lodges.

EQUIPMENT: Car driver, boat operator and assistant, cook and certified bilingual guide, as well as all the necessary equipment for this type of trip.

NOT INCLUDED: Tips, activities and extra expenses.