Manu Tour / Reserved Zone 9 days / 8 nights
Pantiacolla Mountain Range & Reserved Zone - With fixed departures
Cloud Forest, Pantiacolla Lodge, Lake Salvador and Otorongo, Macaw Lick
In by bus over Manu Road, out by bus over Interoceanica Road
Day 1 Cusco - Cloud Forest
Leaving Cusco early in the morning, we begin an 8-hour journey over the Andes by bus, stopping for breakfast at the beautiful colonial village of Paucartambo. Continuing, we climb to the highpoint of the Manu Biosphere at about 4000m before descending to the cloud forest. In these green and moist surroundings we take our first long walk. There are many bird species to be seen among which the beautiful paradise tanager, umbrella bird and the golden headed quetzal. Among its butterflies are clouded yellows and various skippers. The cloud forest has three monkey species: the woolly monkey plus the two capuchin monkeys of Manu. There are plenty of other mammal species, but they are more difficult to see. We end our walk at the lek of the strange looking cock-of-the-rock, and to watch the dance and singing „performance‟ of the males right under our eyes. We spend the night in the rustic lodge Posada San Pedro (appr. 1,600m).
Day 2 Cloud Forest - Cocha Machuhuasi - Pantiacolla Lodge
At daybreak we continue by bus to tropical lowland rainforest, stopping along the way to visit a coca plantation and a little rescue center for animals. Arriving at the small village Atalaya at 650m, we change into a motorized canoe to navigate some 40 minutes down the fast Alto Madre de Dios River. Then we take a 30 minute walk to one of the very view lakes on the Alto Madre de Dios River. You can go around this small lake on traditional balsa rafts and from there admire the enormous rainforest variety in aquatic birds, such as the moscovy duck, neotropic cormorant, anhinga, the white-necked and capped herons and the prehistoric looking hoatzin. Usually the water is clean enough to be able to see many tropical fish we may know from aquaria at home. It is common to see squirrel monkeys or others, in the trees around. In the late afternoon we continue down the river to 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 it provides you with a chance to see a good selection of birds and plants from bóth zones as well as endemics to the area. Your first walk will be at night, exploring the forest by torchlight looking for insects, snakes and the only nocturnal night-monkey, or 'douricouli', on Earth. We spend the night in Pantiacolla Lodge.
Day 3 Clay lick for parrots - Monk Saki Trail
Early in the morning, around the same time the howler monkeys start their morning ritual of howling, the boat takes you to a nearby parrot lick: you can see at least seven species, among which the blue-headed and yellow crowned parrots, the white-eyed parakeet and the small blue-headed and chestnut fronted macaws. Their spectacle is both loud and busy! Afterwards we visit the trails of Pantiacolla to see more of its over 600 bird species, including the pale winged trumpeter, the piping guan and the rare black tinnamou, its eight monkey species, such as the dusky titi monkey or the elusive monk saki monky, and its other mammals such as the white lipped and collared peccaries, ocelots, squirrels, bats and red brocket deer. Here glasswing butterflies are common on the shady trails and Callicores and Panaceas at the open areas. With luck, one will meet the famous morpho butterfly with its iridescent blue wings. At night we visit Ranacocha, “Frog Lake”, to look for tree frogs, poison dart frogs and others. Overnight in Panctiacolla Lodge
Day 4 Hot springs - Cloud Forest
In the morning we walk on some of the many trails around the lodge, and hope to see more monkeys and maybe coatis or even a tayra hunting for small creatures in the trees. By now, we can start to distinguish some of the trees in the forest, such as the ceiba (kapok), the capirona (naked tree) and several palm species. After lunch, the boat takes us to the Hot Springs of Shintuya for a relaxing mineral bath, before joining up with the people doing the 7-day tour. The night is spent again at Pantiacolla Lodge.
Day 5 Lake Salvador and Lake Otorongo
In the morning we turn up the Manu River for a 6-hour ride into the heart of Manu’s Reserved Zone. From this vantage point we will have great views of riverside birds, sunbathing caiman, and the enormous aquatic guinea pig, the capybara. We reach our Camping Huts deep inside Manu in the afternoon. This will be our base for this and the next day.
During this time, we will hike through virgin forest and explore one of the most beautiful lakes of the Manu basin, Lake Salvador, by catamaran. There is a chance to see a huge variety of colourful birds, numerous species of monkey and with luck, a family of giant otters. There is another hike in this habitat-rich forest that ends in Lake Otorongo and a 20 meter-high observation platform overlooking the lake. At night we can explore the forest by torchlight or go moonlight caiman-spotting on the lake.
Day 7 Lake Salvador - Macaw Lick
An early morning start boating down the Manu River gives us a good chance to spot one of the bigger and rarer animals at the river shores. It could be one of the over 5 meter long black caiman, or a tapir or giant anteater, a sloth swimming across or even the most magnificent of New World cats, the jaguar. Joining the Madre de Dios River we arrive at Blanquillo, near the claylick for macaws. That afternoon we climb the 42-meter high canopy tower, which gives us an excellent view over the resplendent rainforest canopy. We spend the night in the jungle lodge Tambo Blanquillo.
Day 8 Macaw Lick
At first light we head to the macaw lick to watch the dazzling spectacle of hundreds of parakeets, among which the tui and cobalt-winged parakeets, parrots, including the orange-cheeked parrot and big macaws eating clay. Among the big macaws, this clay lick is mainly for the red-and-green, with every now and then a scarlet or blue-and-yellow macaw. In the afternoon we visit another one of Manu's beautiful oxbow lakes Cocha Camungo. We spend the night again in the jungle lodge Tambo Blanquillo.
Day 9 Blanquillo - Boca Colorado - Cusco
Back on the boat early in the morning, we head downstream to the small mining village Boca Colorado. Here and in Mazuco later on, you can see the negative effects of certain human activities on the delicate ecological balance of the rainforest. We take local transportation till crossing the Inambari River. On the other side, our bus is waiting to take you over a newly paved road, through beautiful cloud and elfin forest. Near Cusco, you have stunning views of the Ausangate Mountain. Cusco is reached in the early evening.
* Bearing in mind the uncontrollable forces of nature, the program could be subject to changes at any time
**Manu is a rainforest that has remained intact because of it hidden location. This means the program involves much traveling by bus and boat. However, it also means you are in a part of the Amazon rainforest that has no comparison, with an untouched flora and fauna!
- Price information
Price per person 2022 - Standard Group Service Adult
- US$ 1,720.00
- Departure dates
- Group size
Maximum is 10 people per guide and 14 people per group no minimum is required on a fixed departure
- What is included
- Naturalist guide in English and Spanish
- Transportation Cusco/Atalaya & Mazuco/Cusco by private bus
- Transportation by private boat: Atalaya/Pantiacolla Lodge/Lake Salvador/Tambo Blanquillo/Boca Colorado
- Overnights in lodges and camping huts
- Meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner)
- Water at any time and warm drinks or lemonades with meals
- Guide book for rainforest of Manu – Talking About Manu
- Entrance fee reserved zone
- Private car from Cusco to Atalaya and back
- Private boat from Atalaya to Pantiacolla Lodge and back
- Excursions mentioned in the programme
- Two nights in Posada San Pedro
- Two nights in Pantiacolla Lodge
- What is not included
- Soft drinks and beers
- Personal expenses
- What we recommend that you bring
- Binoculars (imperative)
- Flashlight with spare bulbs and extra batteries
- Sleeping bag
- Day pack
- Long pants and long-sleeved shirts
- Shorts/Bathing suit
- Sweater or light jacket
- 1 pair of hiking boots and 1 pair of light shoes or sandals
- Long socks
- Rain gear
- Rubber boots (only in the rainy season—we provide them)
- Sunhat, sunglasses, sun block
- Insect repellent (with at least 25% DEET) and after bite
- Plastic bags (to keep everything dry)
- Water bottle (with water for the bus ride into Manu)
- Copy of a valid passport
- Copy of yellow fever and tetanus vaccinations
- Money for soft drinks or beers and handicrafts at the Boca Manu landing strip
- Other useful information
Health: Though it only is a small risk, it is possible you get infected with malaria in Manu, and we recommend you take a prophylaxis when going on one of our tours. The yellow fever situation is about the same. Moreover, yellow fever is almost always lethal. Therefore, it is not only recommended but even required that one receives the yellow fever vaccination at least ten days before entering Manu.
- Our recommendations for a low impact trip in Manu National Park
We would like to share with you our recommendations for how to have as little an impact upon the natural environment in Manu as possible during your visit.
1. Avoid using plastics that only have a short-term use. If plastic is necessary, like plastic bags to keep your clothes dry in for example, try to buy bags that can be used again, either by you or the next tourist. If possible, don’t buy any drinks in plastic bottles, opting instead for glass bottles. If buying plastic bottles can’t be avoided, make sure the bottles will be returned to Cusco, handing them back to us for recycling.
2. Recycle camera/flashlight batteries. Cusco does not have a place to recycle batteries; if this is available to you back home, please take your batteries back with you and recycle them there. Where this is not possible, please leave the batteries with your guide or at our office in Cusco. We will store them, hoping in the future there will be the possibility of recycling them locally.
3. Respect our rules for disposal of garbage in bags for biodegradable and non-biodegradable garbage. Thank you!
4. Lower fuel emissions. Oftentimes the bus and boat used for your transportation will also transport food or materials for the jungle lodges. We ask your understanding, since in this way we can reduce the number of trips our bus and boats make, thereby reducing the gas used and the emissions from the motors.
5. Plant a tree! To help offset the carbon-dioxide emissions caused by the plane that has brought you to Peru, why not help by planting trees? You can read about how you can contribute to this worthwhile project on the website of the organization Trees for Travel.
If you have additional ideas you’d like to share, we’d be pleased to hear them and add them to this list!
- Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a list of the most frequently asked questions by passengers with answers, hopefully this will give you more information and a better idea about our tours to Manu.
What is the maximum group size on the trips?
The maximum size of the groups is 10 people per guide. If we have up to 13 people we send two guides but the group travels as one in the same bus and boat. If there are more than 13 people we split into two independent groups - both with their own boats, guides, cooks and program. The only time they spend together is on the first day and a part of the second, while travelling by bus.
What kind of transportation do you provide for the trip into Manu?
We own 4-wheel drive mini van for maximum 6 passengers and a big bus for maximum 18 passengers. Both vehicles have been adapted for the unpaved Manu road.
Are participants expected to help with carrying luggage and with cooking, or is this done for us?
Cooking and dishes are done by the cook and his assistant. In principal the boatmen and the guide will carry your luggage to and from the boat to your accommodation. Often people like to assist them, preferring to carry their own bags – which is gratefully accepted but no obligation.
What are the overnight conditions for each night of the tour?
We believe it is important to minimize our impact as much as possible; therefore we do not promote this as a luxury tour. On the contrary you may encounter some physical discomforts such as heat, humidity, biting insects, plus basic washing and toilet facilities.
first night: Posada San Pedro is a basic lodge with double and triple rooms with beds with mattresses and mosquito netting. There are shared hot water showers and toilets and a dining area.
second night: Yine Lodge is a basic lodge with double and triple rooms. Sometimes in the high season (July, August) all lodge facilities of the area are occupied and you spend the night in tents near the Yine Lodge, where you will still be able to use the shower and toilet facilities.
third and fourth night: at our campsite near Lake Salvador. Our campsite consists of little rustic huts, raised from the forest floor, with beds with mattresses and mosquito netting. There are shared showers and toilets and there is a dining area.
fifth night: at Tambo Blanquillo, near the clay lick for macaws. This is a long platform with division to make double/triple rooms, shared hot water showers and toilets.
sixth night: Yine Lodge is a basic lodge with double and triple rooms. Sometimes in the high season (July, August) all lodge facilities of the area are occupied and you spend the night in tents near the Yine Lodge, where you will still be able to use the shower and toilet facilities.
seventh and eighth night: at Pantiacolla Lodge, a beautiful lodge with double rooms with beds and mosquito nets and shared showers and toilets.
What safety measurements do you have?
Concerning the back-up facilities, all our overnight places have a radio communication at the site. All our personnel have been trained in first-aid, and a first-aid kit is available during the tour.
Do the boats have a roof?
Yes the boats have a roof to protect yourself against the sun and rain (if you are sitting on a moving boat rain always comes in on one side though).
Is all drinking water provided? Is this purified?
Just for the first day you should bring your own water. For the rest of the trip we provide mineral water that we bring in from Cusco.
What is the food like?
Our food is not typical Peruvian food, nor typical tourist food. It is food that lasts in the heat and humidity of the tropical rainforest. For breakfasts there are omelettes, scrambled eggs, pancakes etc. The lunches in general consist of cold salads, since it is usually hot at that time of the day, and the dinners feature soups (the great Peruvian soups!), a main course with meat for the first part of the tour and beans or lentils for the second part (since meat cannot been kept cool for a long time) and desserts of fresh fruits or puddings etc. You can also ask for a special diet, such as vegetarian, saltless or anything else that you need or prefer.
For drinking we have mineral water as much as you need, plus lemonades, coffee, tea and maté. There are places where one can buy beers or soft drinks, but you pay for them yourself.
Do you remove all waste from the campsites?
Yes, of course we remove all waste from the campsite. Biodegradable garbage is decomposed in the ground at a specially designed area near Pantiacolla Lodge. Non-biodegradable waste is returned to Cusco.
Do we need to bring sleeping bags?
Yes, we provide sleeping mats but we ask you to bring your own sleeping bag. You can hire those here in Cusco for $2, 00 (price of 2008) per night per sleeping.
Do we need to bring our own mosquito nets?
You do not have to bring your own mosquito nets; wherever they are needed we will provide them.
Are you guaranteed to see birds at the Macaw Lick?
The dry season is a good season to see the birds. The most likely reason for them to come together and eat the clay is because at certain times of the year there are hardly any fruits available for them, just seeds. Seeds in general have a toxic layer to prevent animals eating them. If the macaws eat them they have a build up of poison in their stomach. To neutralize the acids that the poison produces in their stomachs they eat the clay. In the rainy season there are many fruits up until the beginning of the dry season, which is May. So the macaws eat fewer seeds and more non-toxic fruits and feel less necessity to eat the clay. Usually it means there are fewer macaws present: in the middle of the dry season there may be from 100 to 150 macaws visiting the clay lick in one morning, whereas these maybe only 10 to 50 at the end of the rainy season.
What are the temperatures like in Manu?
The first night you spend in the cloud forest, at 1600masl, where temperatures are about 10 degrees Celsius (50F). In Manu’s lowland forest, the temperature at night is normally around 24 degrees Celsius (75F) and during the day about 30 degrees Celsius (86F). However, cold winds from Patagonia may reach Manu and the temperature may lower to about 10 degrees Celsius (50F). These “friajes” are more common during the southern hemisphere’s wintertime (between April and the end of August).
Is there a lot of walking?
There is not a lot of walking in the sense of going far. All walking is done slowly. This is because most of what you find in a rainforest is vegetation and to be able to pick out the animals you have to take your time to look around, and listen as well. The first day of the tour has an afternoon walk of about two hours. The second day is mostly spent looking for birds and animals on the Alto Madre de Dios River, with less walking than the other days. The third and fourth days feature a short walk to Lake Salvador, and various different walks in the Reserved Zone and on trails around the accommodation. The sixth day a two hour walk and the seventh day no walk at all except for those on the 9 day tour who will walk a trail on arrival to Pantiacolla Lodge. Night walks can be added to most days depending on the camp area.
Should I take a malaria prophylaxis?
Though it only is a small risk, it is possible you get infected with malaria in Manu, and we recommend you take a prophylaxis when going on one of our tours.
The yellow fever situation is about the same. Moreover, yellow fever is almost always lethal therefore it is required that one receives the yellow fever vaccination at least ten days before entering Manu.
Will there be a Pre-departure briefing?
The day before departure there will be a briefing at 18:00 hrs, at the Pantiacolla office. In case you cannot be present for the briefing, please let me know, to make sure you get at least information about departure time and place.
- How to make a booking
If you would like to make a reservation for this program, please go directly to the Booking Online section of this website.
- Once you have chosen your tour, please read the Booking Terms & Conditions, as your booking is subject to these terms.
- Then fill out and submit the Reservation Form that you will find in the Booking Online section of this website.
- In a maximum of two working days, you will receive an email from one of our travel consultants confirming or denying your booking.
- In case your reservation is confirmed, a money deposit will be requested to secure your reservation.
- Once we confirm the deposit reception, your booking is confirmed. A Service Confirmation Form will be sent to you including all the details of your program.
In case you have any doubts, queries or require additional information, please contact us, we will be very glad to assist you. Your request will be answered by return mail within a maximum of 2 working days.
- Booking terms & conditions
Once you have chosen your program, please read this terms and conditions as your booking is subject to the terms listed below. A contract is entered into once ENIGMA receives your booking form and deposit, and we accept and confirm the booking. Please note that travel arrangements are not confirmed until stated so in writing by ENIGMA.
Payment / Deposit
An appropriate deposit per person for the chosen program is requested at the moment of the booking. This deposit is non-refundable in case of cancellation by the client. The balance of the program has to be paid prior to departure in a date that will vary according to the program that you are booking and the indications that you will receive from your travel consultant.
Cancellation by Us
ENIGMA reserves the right to cancel a program in case any of the following circumstances occur:
Client’s failure to pay the due balance of 60 or 20 days (according the booked program) prior to the departure date. In this case, the client will not have any right for the deposit refund.
Force majeure: Impossibility to operate the program due to unusual or unforeseen circumstances outside ENIGMA’s control. Ie. Delays in departures on travel arrangements caused by technical problems, weather conditions, over-booking or closure of a hotel, strikes, riots, decisions by State Governments or Tourist Organizations altering the itinerary, the duration of the time spent in a city or even omitting a city or part of the itinerary due to the local situation. In such cases, ENIGMA will propose viable solutions to operate the program or comparable travel arrangements. If any of the circumstances listed above occur during the course of the tour, we reserve the right to alter the scheduled itinerary accordingly and no compensation will be paid. We will make every reasonable effort to provide you with the booked program arrangements but changes may occur. If they are significant we shall, if possible, inform you before the departure date.
Again, we will offer comparable alternative arrangements. All additional expenses derived will be at the expense of the client. Please note that ENIGMA will not be liable to reimburse additional expenses undertaken by the client in preparation for the tour, this including international tickets, used mileage awards and fees, cost of visas, immunizations, shots, among others.
Alterations by You
If the client requests any amendments to the initial travel arrangements once a booking is confirmed, no amendment fee will be payable unless the program changes its nature significantly. Upon request of additional services such as train tickets, domestic airfare, etc., ENIGMA will charge an additional $30.00 for each solicited service. If due to the amendment, ENIGMA should have to assume significant communication charges or other expenses, these would be payable by the client. If amendments are requested after the commencement of the tour, ENIGMA will do its best to implement them, but we cannot guarantee that it will be possible. In the event of such an amendment being made, the client will be liable for any cancellation/retention charges that may be levied for the previously booked service and for any costs incurred by ENIGMA in attempting to secure any revised arrangement.
Cancellation by You
In case of cancellation by the client, this should be notified to ENIGMA in writing. Please note that the program deposit is non-refundable. Such notification will only be deemed to have been given on receipt of your letter or e-mail, since we can only act on receipt. Please state the reason for cancellation as you may be covered by your insurance policy.
For Custom Programs:
If notification of cancellation is received more than 60 days before the departure, the client will only lose the deposit. For notifications received within 60 days of departure, cancellation charges are as follows:
60 to 31 Days: 50% of program price
30 to 16 Days: 75% of program price
15 to the Day of Departure 100% of program price
For Treks and Expeditions:
If notification of cancellation is received more than 30 days before the departure, the client will only lose the deposit. For notifications received within 30 days of departure, cancellation charges are as follows:
30 to 16 Days: 75% of program price
15 to the Day of Departure 100% of program price
For all cancellations within 30 days of departure, the unused trek permit will be returned as well as the return train ticket from Aguas Calientes to Cusco and the bus tickets from Machu Picchu to Cusco. Clients may be able to re-use the tickets by presenting them to the respective authorities and paying an additional amount, which varies depending on the ticket.
Cancellations received Fridays for program departures that weekend (Saturday, Sunday or Monday) will be treated as day of departure cancellation. We cannot give any allowance or refund for meals, rooms, excursions, etc. not taken, when these are included in the price of the tour. No refund can be made on lost, mislaid or destroyed travel tickets or vouchers. There will be no refunds made for cancelled or unused services whatsoever.
Any reimbursement expenses derived from a cancellation by you will not be assumed by ENIGMA.
Acceptance of Risk
Some of ENIGMA’s itineraries have been designed to provide participants with an exposure to the true nature of the environment visited. They therefore involve an element of personal risk and exposure to potential, which could result in physical or emotional injury, paralysis, death, or damage to the client, his/her property or to third parties. The client understands that such risks simply cannot be eliminated without jeopardizing the essential qualities of the activity and therefore assumes them as part of the tour. The client accepts that he/she is aware of his physical and health condition and that, under the knowledge of this he/she decides to undertake the abovementioned risks. The client excludes ENIGMA from any responsibility linked to any accident or injury that may occur associated to the clients’ health, physical condition or other.
Authority on Tour
At all times the decision of the company's guide or representative will be final on all matters likely to endanger the safety and well being of the tour group.
The client must at all times strictly comply with the laws, customs, and foreign exchange and drug regulations of Peru. Should the client fail to comply with the above, or should the client interfere with the well being of the group then the guide or company representative may order the client to leave the tour without recourse to any refund.
It is the responsibility of the individual traveler to secure the proper documentation prior to joining the program. The client must be in possession of a valid passport with at least six-month validity from the date of entry and all visas required for the whole of the journey. Any information or advice given by the company on visas, vaccinations, climate, clothing, baggage, special equipment, etc. is given in good faith but without responsibility on the part of the company.
The company shall not be liable for any damage or loss if the failure to carry out the contract is:
1. Attributable to the client
2. Attributable to a third party unconnected with the provision of the services contracted for and the event is unforeseeable or unavoidable
3. Due to unforeseen and unusual circumstances beyond the company's control, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all due care had to be exercised. The company will do its best to minimize the effects of matters outside its control, but cannot accept any liability for these matters which include political disputes, border closures, refusals of visas, industrial action, delayed flights, unforeseeable climate, strikes, war, civil disturbances, natural disasters, government actions, mechanical failures or any acts of God, among others. The client accepts to assume all extra costs derived by any of these factors.
ENIGMA directly operates part of the services included in a program but also makes arrangements with airlines, hotels and other independent parties to provide you with the travel services you purchase. We do take all reasonable steps to ensure that organizations providing services maintain our quality standards. However, these parties are independent suppliers over whom we have no direct full control.
ENIGMA can therefore not accept liability for negligence of the staff of these organizations. The participant waives any claim against ENIGMA for any damage to or loss of property, injury or death due to any act or negligence of any airlines, surface transportation company, hotels or any person rendering any of the services or accommodations included.
ENIGMA cannot be held responsible for any claim, losses, damages or delay of baggage or other properties, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment, upset and disappointment, distress or frustrations, whether physical or mental, resulting from the act or omission of any party providing the services. In the event of any service being withdrawn by any of our suppliers, ENIGMA shall have no responsibility beyond refunding all monies paid by the participant for that service.
When you travel with an airline, the conditions of carriage of that airline will apply. These conditions are the subject of international agreements and may limit or exclude liability. ENIGMA is not liable for any expenses or consequences resulting from flight delays, cancellations or missed connections, and such expenses shall be borne by the client.
Claims and Complaints
If a client has a complaint against the company the client must first inform the tour conductor, guide or company representative while on the tour in order that the guide/representative can attempt to rectify the matter. Any further complaint must be put in writing to the company within 7 days of the end of the tour.
Venue for all claims or disputes shall be exclusively in Cusco, Peru, whose courts, using Peruvian Law, shall have exclusive jurisdiction. Damage claims against ENIGMA shall be limited to the value of the particular item in dispute.
Any liability is limited to the full price paid for the tour. In all cases the company specifically excludes all liability for indirect, incidental or consequential loss or expense including loss of profits.
ENIGMA assumes responsibility for representations it makes, but not for those made by others and including, but not limited to, any employee of ENIGMA or any independent travel agent.
Payment for reservations on any ENIGMA program or tour shall constitute consent to all the provisions in the Booking Terms & Conditions set out herein and is binding on all tour and travel participants.