Discover the highlights of the Peruvian Amazon on a tailor made tour. South America Travel Centre will customise your itinerary to suit your travel needs. Below is a sample of what you might enjoy in the Amazon. Everything is flexible so we can create the perfect tour for you. Contact us to create your own personalised private tour.
|Day 1||Amazon Rainforest Peru||Forest trails surrounding the lodge, night walk through the forest|
|Day 2||Manu Wildlife Centre||Village of Boca Manu, Orinoco Geese, Horned Screamers, Capped and White-necked Herons|
|Day 3||Manu Tented Camp||Cocha (Lake) Salvador and Cocha Otorongo|
|Day 4||Manu Wildlife Centre||
Macaw Lick Project, Canopy Tower, Tapir Clay Lick
|Day 5||Depart Amazon Rainforest||Puerto Maldonado|
You will be met on arrival at Puerto Maldonado Airport where you will begin your journey upstream to Manu Wildlife Centre.
Spend the afternoon exploring the rainforest with your guide on the 30 miles of forest trails that surround the lodge. You may encounter some of the 12 species of monkeys, including the Spider Monkey and Emperor Tamarin, which inhabit the surrounding forest.
After dinner, there will be an enchanting night walk along the trails, in search of the nocturnal birds and animals of the rainforest.
While its remoteness requires an extra effort to reach the Manu Wildlife Centre in the vast private rainforest reserve on the Madre de Dios River, the reward is its proximity to wonderful macaw and tapir clay licks and a staggering amount of wildlife.
The lodge is rustic, comprising 22 thatch-roofed and fully screened bungalows, each with private facilities and hot water showers. A dining room and lounge includes a fully-stocked bar, and hammocks for relaxing. And while the lodge does not have electricity (except for a generator for the kitchen and to recharge batteries in the lounge), the candle-lit rooms and oil lamps lining pathways add to the natural ambience.
After a delicious breakfast travel by motorised canoe up the Madre de Dios River, where you will have a short visit at the village of Boca Manu. The main activity here is building dugout boats for travellers on the river, and you can see how these sturdy craft are made. Logging is prohibited here, so the resourceful villagers work entirely with lumber brought downriver by floodwaters.
Then head northward, up the chocolate-brown waters of the Manu River into the lake-rich lower Manu National Park. The pristine quality of the forest is instantly apparent, with abundant birdlife and no signs of outside development. Orinoco Geese and Horned Screamers strut on the beaches, Capped and White-necked Herons patrol the shoreline, and countless sunbathing turtles dive off their log perches as you approach.
After spending the day on the river, reach the Manu Tented Camp, a simple but comfortable low-impact lodge nestled almost invisibly in the forest. Take a short walk before dinner to stretch your legs and enjoy your first encounter with virgin rainforest.
Today, visit two lakes near the camp: Cocha (Lake) Salvador and Cocha Otorongo. The trail to Cocha Otorongo begins some 30 minutes downstream from the camp. This brief river journey to the trailhead can always offer the chance of a thrilling wildlife sighting. Perhaps you will spot a family of capybaras, the world’s largest rodents that look like giant Guinea Pigs, or if you are lucky, a solitary jaguar might stalk slowly off an open beach into the forest. On the short trail to the lake, you may spy one or more of the park’s 12 monkey species leaping through the canopy high above. Some of the trees which form that canopy – such as kapok, ironwood and figs – will astound with the vast size of their trunks and buttressed root systems.
There are oxbow lakes, formed when the river changed course, leaving a landlocked channel behind. The lakes are abundant in fish and wildlife, and provide optimum habitat for caimans and the Giant Otter, one of the Amazon’s most endangered mammal species. The lake features two dock platforms and a 50ft tower from which to scan the trees and marshy shoreline for monkeys, kingfishers, Anhinga (a large, long-necked waterbird), and countless other species.
Cocha Salvador is the largest of the area’s lakes, at 3½km in length. It is also home to a family of Giant Otters. Cruise the lake on a floating catamaran platform, which offers superb new perspectives of lake and forest. The lakeside trees are often alive with monkeys; Scarlet, Chestnut-fronted and Blue-and-gold macaws beat a path overhead; a variety of herons and egrets scout the water’s edge; and the reptilian eyes and snouts of caimans, motionless as logs, may be spied beneath the branches. Somewhere on the open water or in among toppled bankside trees, you may spot the sleek heads of the shy Giant Otters. These social animals play and fish together, and you may see them sprawled on a fallen tree trunk, dozing or gnawing on a fish.
Set off downriver at dawn; at this hour chances of wildlife encounters are excellent. After a delicious lunch, take a short walk through the forest to the Macaw Lick project. In groups of two and three the scarlet Macaws come flapping in, landing in the treetops as they eye the main stage below.
Continue to explore the rainforest, on the network of trails surrounding the lodge, arriving in the late afternoon at the 34m/112ft Canopy Tower. On its platform, witness the frantic rush-hour activity of twilight in the rainforest canopy, before night closes in.
Then set off along the “collpa trail”, which will take you to the lodge’s famous Tapir Clay Lick. Here at the most active Tapir lick known in all the Amazon, research has identified 8-12 individual 600-pound Tapirs who come to this lick to eat clay from under the tree roots around the edge. This unlikely snack absorbs and neutralises toxins in the vegetarian diet of the Tapir, the largest land animal of Latin America. The lick features a roomy, elevated observation platform 5m above the forest floor. The platform is equipped with freshly-made-up mattresses with pillows. Each mattress is covered by a mosquito net. The 10m-long, elevated walkway to the platform is covered with sound-absorbing padding to prevent footsteps from making noise. This Tapir experience is unique and exciting because these normally very shy creatures are visible up close, and flash photography is not just permitted, but encouraged. Many guests prefer to nap until the first Tapir arrives, at which point the guide gently awakens you to watch the Tapir 10-20m away below the platform.
Depart the lodge for the return boat trip downstream to the Colorado Village. Depending on your departure from Puerto Maldonado, the breakfast will be served at the lodge or on the boat while you enjoy early morning wildlife activity as you go. Of course this is a perfect time to take advantage of valuable early morning wildlife activity along the river; this journey also allows you to see several lowland native settlements and gold miners digging and panning gold along the banks of the Madre de Dios River. Stop in the far-west type gold-mining town of Colorado to start the journey back to Puerto Maldonado Airport for your onward flight.