You wake up early to leave Cusco and begin a winding ascent into the Andes. The road eventually winds down to the town of Paucartambo Colonial Town, where you will stop briefly to stretch your legs. Leaving Paucartambo you begin your ascent through eucalyptus groves, cultivated fields, and remnant patches of native vegetation. Forty minutes from Paucartambo you reach Acjanaco at 3,500 meter atop the Eastern Cordillera of the Andes. At this point you have entered the Manu Biosphere Reserve where you are above the clouds gazing below into the lush jungle of the Amazon. As you ascent down from Acjanaco, the baron Paramo starts to change to an elfin forest.
Here you will stop for lunch to admire the view. As you descend further into the cloud forest where the tree canopy covered by mist gives life to numerous epiphytes, moss, luscious green ferns and the Kur-Kur (high land bamboo). This area is a natural playground for a vast number of birds. You make your way to an observation post where, with a little luck, you will be able to watch the fascinating dance of Peru’s National bird, the Cock-of-the-Rock and hopefully spot the Woolly monkey.
You arrive at our campsite at 6 p.m. where you will spend the night. After a delicious meal you can enjoy the beautiful surroundings before turning in for the evening
At daybreak, we make our way to the fluvial port of Atalaya, at the headwaters of the Alto Madre de Dios River. Accessibility to the lowland jungle from Atalaya must be made in improvised canoes with powerful outboard motors. From Atalaya we have a relaxed journey downstream to Boca Manu. Arriving at Boca Manu, it is time to take in the beautiful surrounding. At dusk we will take a short walk into the jungle in order to spot the more elusive nocturnal animals such as the Night Monkey. Returning to Lodge for dinner, we are lulled into a peaceful sleep by the jungle orchestra.
Once we have breakfast, we’ll get into our boat in order to go to the Manu Biosphere Reserved Zone. We’ll briefly stop at Limonal check post to show our authorizations. We’ll continue to navigate on the river and enjoy all that nature, always changing and capricious, will show us during our journey. We shall have lunch in the boat and in the afternoon we will arrive at Casa Matsiguenka. There we will be welcomed by Matsiguenka natives and be introduce to their guides which, in the next days, will show us the natural wealth of the area.
This day we shall navigate in a catamaran by Salvador Ox-bow lake looking for giant river otters (Pteronura Brasiliensis) and to go through the forest of the Casa Matsiguenka, trying to find the spider monkeys (Ateles Paniscus) and the noisy white lipped pecker (Tayassu Pecari). We shall sleep at Casa Matsiguenka.
Early in the morning we shall board our boat to go to Blanquillo, this place is known for its Macaw clay lick. Before that we’ll stop briefly at Limonal to register our exit from the Reserved Zone. At sunset we shall take a short walk until Blanquillo Ox-bow lake, where we shall search for caimans.
Waking up early we head to the Parrot Clay Lick in Blanquillo, to see the dazzling colours of the large Scarlet Macaws and the hundreds of smaller Parakeets. From here we will continuing downstream through Madre de Dio River to Puerto Maldonado, on the way we will see beatifull landscapes and wild life also small village of settlers and gold miners, at night we will choose a sandy beach for camping.
We will arrive to the small miner’s village of Laberinto, on the morning, there our team will be waiting for you to transfer 40 miles by car to Puerto Maldonado. Reception at Wasai Maldonado Hotel where you will receive a welcoming tropical fruit beverage, After a brief explanation about your next trip to Tambopata you will be free to enjoy in the small swimming pool or walk the picturesque city of Puerto Maldonado.
2nd. Part: Tambopata - Candamo Expedition Macaws Clay Lick & Lake
The trip is full of adventure, with possibilities to find wild animals and the most attractive landscapes: The amazing macaw clay lick "collpa" in the Bahuaja-Sonene National Park and the wonderful Sandoval lake in the Tambopata - Candamo Reserved Zone. This program includes walks through the heart of the reserved area of Tambopata Candamo and the Bahuaja Sonene National park.
You will embark for a 3 to 4 1/2 hour motorboat trip up the Tambopata river to WASAI Tambopata Lodge & Research Center (box lunch on route). During the trip we will be able to observe the local farms, while groups of birds pass over the boat. Opportunity to see families of Capybaras, the largest rodents in the world. Reception, accommodation at the lodge, and lunch. After a short rest we will have a brief introductory walk in the forest nearby to learn basic principles of ecology and hear some wildlife natural history. Return to the lodge for dinner. After dinner we will make our first visit to the forest to observe the nocturnal life of insects, frogs of various colors, and an occasional encounter with nocturnal mammals. We will enjoy the diverse sounds of the jungle which will accompany our first night in amazonia. Sleep in the lodge.
Wake early (4 am) and travel up the Tambopata River for in our and half to the Bahuaja- Sonene National Park. You will see a magical sunrise and it is a great opportunity to see animals such as capybaras, tapir, Jaguar, and deer in the surrounding virgin forest. We will observe (from a save distance) one of the greatest spectacle of the rainforest: Hundreds of parrots, parakeets and macaws of various species, enjoying their diet of mineral salts on a river bank. We will have a hot drink and a snack whilst watching birds and go for a short walk to look for animals such as monkeys.
We will return to the lodge to have a late breakfast, and rest. After lunch we will enter the verdant jungle on a special trail to observe wild life. We will then enter the territory of peccaries, deer, and others, with the possibility to hear or see the tracks of them, or discovering a troop of monkeys travelling through the forest in search of food. Time permitting; we will be able to enjoy a relaxing swim in the cascade of the cat. After dinner we can make another trip through the jungle, search for caimans or relax in our lodge surrounded by exotic nocturnal sounds.
After breakfast we will make a trip in boat to the WASAI Maldonado Lodge, in Puerto Maldonado where we will relax in our bungalows and enjoy a tasty lunch. After lunch we will leave and travel for twenty minutes on the Madre de Dios River, to the access trail to Lake Sandoval, a beautiful typical rainforest lake. 5 km hike to the banks of the lake. There we will board a canoe to paddle around the lake enjoying the beauty of the landscape and observing the wildlife, such as kingfishers, herons, hoatzins (unique pre historic looking birds) , monkeys, etc.
If we are lucky we could see the family of giant otters which live at the lake. We will have the opportunity to fish piranhas and swim in the lake. Prepare yourself for a spectacular sunset. It is time to begin our return hike to the Madre de Dios River to return to Puerto Maldonado. There we will stay in the modern and comfortable bungalows of WASAI Maldonado Lodge. After dinner we will be able to rest or go around the city on foot or on bicycle. We can enjoy the pool and its cascade surrounded by verdant vegetation. Rest of the night free to enjoy the night life of this welcoming city.
Breakfast and transportation to the airport.