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Andes to Amazon 6-Day Program*

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Beginning in the historic city of Cusco, this program offers a range of activities as it takes you through colonial towns and jungle villages and into the incredible biological diversity of the Amazon basin. You will venture out into the depths of Manu National Park in search of the vast array of birds found here. The incredible biological diversity of this region is sure to delight you, with its abundant plant, animal and bird life.

*This program can be extended to include additional time at each location.


Detailed Itinerary:

Day 1. Cusco - Paradise Lodge
We will make an early start from the city of Cusco, traveling overland through an Andean landscape of picturesque valleys, high Andean grasslands and small rural communities. The bird species in this part of the Andes include the Mountain Caracara, Puna Ibis and Andean Flicker. On the approach to the village of Paucartambo, we will pass the pre-Inca burial towers built by the ancient Lupaca culture. In Paucartambo there will be time to appreciate the tranquil beauty of this charming village, visit the local church and photograph the splendid colonial-era Carlos V Bridge. Leaving this community behind, we will continue our journey as far as the high pass at Acjanaco (3,850 meters / 12,630 feet), where we will pass the entrance to Manu National Park and witness amazing views of the scenery below. From the pass the road descends through Andean grasslands rich in a variety of birdlife, and on to the cloud forest, which we will reach in the afternoon. This fascinating ecosystem is home to Peru’s national bird, the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, as well as Crested and Golden Quetzals, Blue-crowned Motmots, Gray-breasted Mountain Toucans, numerous species of butterflies and many kinds of ferns and colorful orchids. You will spend a comfortable first night in the cloud forest at our Paradise Lodge (1,470 meters / 4,821 feet).

Driving distance: 181 km / 113 miles (5 - 6 hours)
Included: Lunch and Dinner

Day 2. Cloud forest
After a relaxing night in our cloud forest lodge, before breakfast we will venture into the forest surrounding the lodge to observe the cock-of-the-rock as the males of the species perform their daily courtship ritual. After a good breakfast at the lodge, we will spend the rest of the day exploring the surrounding forest at a leisurely pace, visiting local farmers on their pineapple and coca leaf plantations and enjoying plenty of bird watching, as we look out for Quetzals and Motmots, Green Jays, Paradise Tanagers, Bay-headed Tanagers, Orange-eared Tanagers and Golden Tanagers. All the while, your naturalist guide will assist you in learning more about this unique ecosystem. The road to Pillcopata is ideal for birders, facilitating short hikes into the forest. Our bus will be available to you at any time to take you to the area’s main attractions. The gardens around the lodge are also very productive for tanagers and hummingbirds, including the Peruvian Racket-tail and Wire-crested Thorntail. The night will be spent at our Paradise Lodge.

Driving distance: 71.6 km / 44.8 miles (2 hours)

Included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Day 3: Cloud forest and transfer to the Manu Reserved Zone

After an early breakfast at the lodge, we will depart by bus for the port town of Atalaya, situated on the banks of the Alto Madre de Dios River. Along the way we will look out for Chachalacas, Military Macaws, Black-backed Tody-Flycatchers, and Amazonian Umbrellabirds. Upon arrival in Atalaya we will board our comfortable boat for the 5-hour ride down the Madre de Dios River to the mouth of the Manu River, and entrance to the Reserved Zone of Manu National Park. Here we will continue another 1.5-hours upstream to Romero Lodge. Along the river we will have the chance to see abundant wildlife, including Caracaras, Solitary Eagles, Great Black Hawks, King Vultures, Cormorants, Roseate Spoonbills, Orinoco Geese, Scarlet Macaws, Red-and-green Macaws, Blue-and-yellow Macaws, and numerous other species. We will also be passing through a restricted zone where landing is strictly prohibited due to the presence of largely uncontacted indigenous people. Very occasionally these people can be glimpsed along the banks of the river searching for bananas or fishing.

In the late afternoon we will arrive at our lodge situated on the banks of the Manu River. After dinner there will be an option to do a night hike on the trails surrounding the lodge, in search of the nocturnal species that abound here in the Amazon including Rainbow Boas, Poison Dart Frogs, Salamanders, and many other species.

Driving distance: 71.6 km / 44.8 miles (2 hours)
Boat distance: 7.5 hours
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner


Day 4. Manu Reserved Zone

Today will be spent exploring the lowland Amazonian rainforest. We will depart very early to venture upriver to Cocha Brashco. Along the way we will keep a look out for Jaguars, Tapirs, Horned Screamers, Cocoi Herons, and Razor-billed Curassows along the banks. This oxbow lake is home to a family of Giant River Otters, as well as Black and White Caiman, Hoatzins, Red-capped Cardinals, Wattled Jacanas, Amazon Kingfishers and many other bird species. We will paddle around the lake on a large catamaran that allows excellent views of many species. During the hike to and from the lake, we will have a chance to see Saddle-back Tamarins, Emperor Tamarins, Squirrel Monkeys, Dusky Titi Monkeys, and Pale-winged Trumpeters.
After returning to the lodge for lunch, we will venture out on the trails in search of birds and other wildlife. In the late afternoon, we will visit another nearby oxbow lake for a second chance to see any species we might have missed in the morning. Following dinner at the lodge we will have the chance for another night hike.

Boat distance: 2 hours
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Day 5. Manu Reserved Zone and Transfer to Manu Wildlife Center

This morning we will venture out early to look for birds along the trails by the lodge. Species we might encounter include Strong-billed Woodcreepers, Cinereous Tinamous, Broad-billed Motmots, Dusky-throated Antshrikes, Yellow-crested Tanagers, Purple and Green Honeycreepers, Orange-bellied Euphonias, and many other species. After a late breakfast at the lodge we will board our boat for a 2.5 hour ride downriver past the port of Boca Manu and eventually reaching Manu Wildlife Center. Here we will get settled in to our cabins and have lunch before venturing out on the trails. The trails here wind through spectacular old-growth forest where we can see many of the more than 500 species of birds that have been recorded here. Our hike will culminate at a canopy tower that climbs high into the top of a massive Ceiba tree. From high above the rest of the canopy we will look for various canopy species as we watch hundreds of macaws returning to their roosts for the night. After returning to the lodge for dinner there will be the option for a final night hike.

Boat distance: 2.5 hours
Included: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Day 6. Manu Wildlife Center and Transfer to Puerto Maldonado

Our final morning in Manu! Today will get up very early and hike 25 minutes to a nearby clay lick, where dozens of parrots and macaws come down to eat the mineral-rich clay. From the comfort of a blind we will spend a few hours watching the birds as they come down in groups to the face of a clay wall only 30 meters away. With luck, the macaws will put on a spectacular show for our last outing! After a quick breakfast at the lodge, we will board our boat to make the transfer downstream to Puerto Maldonado, where we will arrive by late afternoon.

Boat distance: 2.5 hours
Driving distance: 3.5 hours
Included: Breakfast and Lunch


Private Tour Pricing:
1 Pax: $4680
2 Pax: $3060/person
3 Pax: $2750/person
4 Pax: $2350/person
5+ Pax: Please enquire

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