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Venture through the cloud forest exploring highlands and lowlands discovering a wide variety of ecosystems unlike anywhere else. Enjoy a true rainforest experience from Cusco to Puerto Maldonado with stunning stops along the way!
Departing from Cusco, you’ll travel from the high mountains through the cloud forest to the lush Amazon basin. Along the way, you’ll see the incredible contrasts between the various ecosystems of Peru. Visit a wetland filled with local and migrant waterfowl, then cross the Cusco Valley and Paucartambo Valley. Watch for the gorgeous panorama of cloud forest and mountains with the lowland rainforest below.
Throughout your trip, embark on nature walks where you’ll see the unique wildlife and plants that inhabit this region. You’ll visit a coca plantation, exotic fruit farms, and the farmers that work these lands.
Travel along the river in dugout canoes with canopy roofs, snapping images of the animals as they come to the water to cool from the afternoon sun. Enjoy nights in jungle lodges, falling asleep to the sounds of the wildlife.
Every day you’ll explore new and exciting areas and animals you may have never seen before. Enjoy visiting the hide where you will observe Macaws as they swoop in, snapping photos as they scrape the clay from the lick.
This is the itinerary of a lifetime for all wildlife lovers who want to see animals up close, in a responsible manner.
The overland journey begins with an early departure from the highland city of Cusco. Today’s destination is the cloud forest region where the Andes fall away to the Amazon basin.
You first visit a mountain wetland habitat with migrant and local waterfowl, before crossing two mountain ranges between the Cusco valley and the Paucartambo valley.
Finally, you follow a highway on its plunge through an extraordinary world of forested cliffs, waterfalls, and gorges.
You'll take leisurely stops to see villages, a hilltop of chullpas (pre-Inca burial chambers), and the ridgetop of Ajanaco, which marks the final high point where the Andes begin their swoop into the Amazon basin.
After a picnic lunch near here, you descend through the startling and rapid environmental transformations characteristic of the tropical Andes, passing from grassland and stunted trees through the elfin forest.
Rising early, you have a second chance to view the Cock-of-the-Rock display, and then scout for birds, and perhaps Brown Capuchin or Woolly monkeys along the nearby road.
You may also take a secluded nature walk on a short trail loop to the river and back.
After breakfast, you continue the drive, as mountains give way to low rolling hills and farmland.
At Patria, you visit a coca plantation, legitimately grown for the Peruvian coca leaf market.
At midday, you reach Atalaya, a tiny port where the Piñipiñi River meets the Alto Madre de Dios. During normal river conditions, you arrive at the lodge in time for exploration and wildlife viewing.
Enjoy a short morning hike on the trail lodge before leaving for the Manu Wildlife Center.
You'll pass the mouth of the Manu River, the gateway to the national park. Visit Boca Manu, a village downriver. After a boat journey of about 6 hours, you'll arrive at the center, one of the top ten wildlife lodges in the world!.
After an orientation and arrival reception, you'll head to the private bungalow for some rest and to cool down from the heat. Later, you will discover the lowland rainforest, learning about the different plants and animals.
Wake up early today and enjoy a delicious breakfast. Take a short boat ride downstream, then take a walk through the forest to the Macaw Lick project. You'll have a spectacular spot to take photos as the macaws fly into the eroded clay banks of the river.
Snap some amazing photos of the macaws as they scrape clay from the surface.
Continue walking and exploring the trails surrounding the lodge before you return for lunch. After, take some time to explore and get to know the rainforest.
Today you set out early to visit an old oxbow lake full of water lilies and sunken logs. As you circle the lake on our catamaran you might encounter the resident Giant Otter family on a fishing expedition, or troops of monkeys crashing noisily through the trees.
After lunch at the lodge, join freewheeling expeditions in search of further wildlife encounters, or take one of the lodge’s many trails on private and personal excursions to commune with the spirits of the rainforest.
This evening, from the late afternoon until after dinner, there will be an opportunity to search for caiman and other nocturnal life along the riverbank by boat (If the level of river allows it). Overnight Manu Wildlife Center.
You leave the lodge very early for the 2 1/2 -hour return boat trip downstream to the Colorado Village.
Breakfast will be served on the boat while you enjoying early morning wildlife activity as we go - of course, this is a perfect time to take advantage of valuable early morning wildlife activity along the river.
In addition, this journey allows you to see several lowland native settlements and gold miners digging and panning gold along the banks of the Madre de Dios River. You will stop in the far-west type gold-mining town of Colorado to start the overland 45-minute journey to Puerto Carlos from where you will cross the Inambari River for a 15-minute boat trip to Santa Rosa.
Finally, a van or bus will drive approximately 2 1/2 hours to the Puerto Maldonado Airport for your flight to Lima or Cusco.
|Official Language(s)||Spanish, Quechua, Aymara|
|Population||31,141,643 (2015 estimate)|
|Climate(s)||Eqautorial, Monsoon, Tropical Savanna, Desert (Warm/Cold), Semi-arid (Warm/Cold), Subtropical oceanic, Temperate oceanic.|
|Major Airport(s):||Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM), Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ), Rodriguez Ballon International Airport (AQP)|
|Economic Driver(s):||Agriculture, Manufacturing, Extraction, Tourism|