General

Regarded as one of the most spectacular nature tours in South America, on the Bio Trip you will travel from the mysterious cloud forests of the Andes to the humid tropical forests of lowland Amazon Rainforest. We will enjoy staying at the Cock of the Rock Lodge for tours to see cloud forest animals, like capuchin monkeys, the forest’s diverse number of humming birds, butterfies and the Cock of the Rock display grounds then journey down the Andes to the comfortable Manu Wildlife Center, which is hailed by nature lovers the world over.

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Cusco

Cusco

Cusco is located in the southern Peruvian Andes and is the main tourist destination in Peru with around two million visitors each year. Cusco sits on the location of the capital for the Inka Empire, which spanned from 13th century to 1532. Because of this, the city is a mix of colonial and Inka architecture and the city itself is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As well as the wealth of archeology, Cusco is the base to experience a contrast to lowland Amazon Rainforest, the misty cloud forest of Manu National Park.

Manu National Park Cloud Forest

The largest National Park in Peru, Manu contains an astonishing diversity of life. Manu National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and contains many endangered, threatened and endemic plants and animals, and also lots of species that are still unknown to science. Because of the position of Manu, which includes land on the eastern slope of the Andes, you can visit the Manu Cloud Forest and see the contrasts to lowland rainforest. Enjoy incredible Cloud Forest bird life and see different Orchids and other flowers. You may not think of bears living in the Amazon Rainforest, but the Cloud Forest offers many exceptions as you will stand a chance of seeing the only bear on the continent, the Spectacled Bears that live in these dense Andean rainforests.

Manu National park Lowland Rainforest

As well as the Manu National Park Cloud Forest, you can combine tours from Cusco to experience the lowland Manu rainforest to see beautiful Oxbow Lakes home to Giant Otters, Turtles, Caiman and many birds. The park offers a change to see Clay Licks to see Macaw Parrots and Tapir (South America’s largest land mammal), and of course the forest itself with its abundant Monkeys, Birds, Reptiles and Amphibians.

Archaeology

Being the ancient capital of the Inkas, Cusco is full of archeological sites. Here you can visit the famous Machu Picchu, however, given the restrictions and the worries about degradation along the Inka Trail, there are alternatives. For example, behind Machu Picchu is the Cradle of Gold, built to rival its famous neighbor. You can take the Weaver’s Way to Machu Picchu as well to see Lares and the andean communities of Patacancha and Willoq.

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Peru

Peru

The hotspot in Peru is the city of Cusco located in the southern portion of the country. From Cusco, you can organise tours to see the archaeological sites of the Inkas, the main attraction being Machu Picchu. This 15th-century Inka site draws hundreds of thousands of tourists each year to see the ancient ruins and hike the Inka Trail. However, there is much more to Peru than this site and there are even more archaeological interests, such as the Inka Cradle of Gold and Northern Kingdoms.

In addition to archaeology, Peru boasts the second largest amount of Amazon Rainforest and more species of animals and plants have been found in this region than in others. As Earth’s largest container of life, this is clearly a must see if you’re even a little bit interested in nature.

If you like Monkeys, Sloths, Macaws, Parrots and other Birds, the Amazon Rainforest should be on your list. If you would like to unwind free from the stresses of city life, a tour of the Amazon Rainforest is also recommended. You can choose budget friendly visits, such as from Puerto Maldonado, as well as luxury cruises from Iquitos. If you’re after adventure for deeper experiences of the Amazon Rainforest, you can find these tours from both Puerto Maldonado and Iquitos. We have selected some of the best tour operators to make sure you make the most of your visit. Continue To Amazon Tours >>

Protected Areas

The protected areas in Peru include the following UNESCO World Heritage listed areas:

UNESCO World Heritage listed Cultural Protected Areas:

  • Chan Chan Archaeological Zone (1986)
  • Chavin (Archaeological Site) (1985)
  • City of Cuzco (1983)
  • Historic Centre of Lima (1988)
  • Historical Centre of the City of Arequipa (2000)
  • Lines and Geoglyphs of Nasca and Pampas de Jumana (1994)
  • Sacred City of Caral-Supe (2009)
  • Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu (1983)

UNESCO World Heritage listed Natural Protected Areas:

  • Huascarán National Park (1985)
  • Manú National Park (1987)
  • Río Abiseo National Park (1990)

Complementing these areas, there are many more national parks and reserves that protect an incredible number and diversity of birds, mammals, amphibians, plants, insects and reptiles as well as offering protection for the Amazon’s remaining indigenous populations.

Other protected areas of Amazon Rainforest:

  • Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, Loreto
  • Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve, Loreto
  • Allpahuayo-Mishana National Reserve, Loreto
  • Matsés National Reserve, Loreto
  • Bahuaja-Sonene National Park, Madre de Dios
  • Tambopata National Reserve, Madre de Dios
  • Otishi National Park, Junín

Other Peruvian protected areas:

  • Paracas National Reserve, Ica
  • Lachay Hills Reserve, Lima
  • Titicaca, Puno
  • National Reserve of Pampa Galeras Barbara D’Achille, Ayacucho
  • Salinas and Aguada Blanca National Reserve, Arequipa
  • Tumbes National Reserve, Tumbes

Nature

These reserves, especially those in the Amazon Rainforest, contain an incredible diversity of wildlife. Some reserves, such as the Pampa Galeras National Reserve, protect Peru’s wild camelids, the ancestors of llamas and alpacas.

Peru is a bird enthusiast’s paradise. From the Andes to the Amazon, you can find incredible bird life. The National Bird of Peru is the Cock of the Rock (Rupicola peruvianus), easily seen near the Cock of the Rock Lodge on a 3D/2N tour from Cusco.

As Peru contains a large portion of the Amazon Rainforest, the country includes a large amount of Amazon wildlife, such as sloths, monkeys, macaws, giant otters, anacondas and much more, which you can see from Peru’s top Amazon Rainforest Lodges.

Gastronomy

Peru is a hit with food lovers worldwide for its traditional and unique cuisine. If you’re even a little bit interested in sampling different foods, you will have already heard about ceviche, a dish originating in Peru consisting of raw fish drizzled with lemon, lime and spices.

Lock up your pets for the next dish, as you may not have realised that Guinea Pigs were originally bred for food and as Europeans farmed Sheep, Goats and Cows, Peruvians living in the Andes farmed Guinea Pigs known locally as cuy.

There are many other main meals to try like various beef, chicken and even alpaca dishes as well as meals centered around the potato. Potatoes originated in Peru and only a few varieties from the thousands available were exported to the rest of the world.

For dessert, again there are many varieties available like the Suspiro a la Limeña, which had its origins in the 19th Century and includes peanut and meringue flavors. Another traditional dessert from the colonial era is Frejol Colado, which is made using black or red beans, honey molasses, clove and toasted sesame seeds. The preparation varies, but usually includes cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, red wine, molasses, and brown sugar.

Of an evening, the cocktail of choice is the Pisco Sour, which has a heavy citrus, sour flavor and had its origins in Lima, Peru.

Cities

The main cities in Peru to base yourself for a Peruvian adventure are:

  • Lima: Gastronomy, culture, base for tours to other areas
  • Cusco: Machu Picchu, Cradle of Gold, Manu cloud forest
  • Puerto Maldonado: Most developed Amazon tourism industry
  • Iquito: Amazon lodges & cruises on the Amazon River
  • Cajamarca: Explore Inca history
  • Chiclayo: Explore Chachapoyas history
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Amazon Rainforest

Amazon Rainforest

Earth’s largest continuous tropical rainforest, the Amazon contains more life than anywhere else. Spanning nine nations, you can take a tour in the Amazon Rainforest from a variety of places, some well known and others for the more adventurous. The main countries to access the Amazon are Peru and Brazil, which contain the highest amounts of the forest, but there are another 7 to choose from. We have selected the top tour operators for visiting this impressive forest where you will be shown the Amazon’s scenic beauty and its life within.

How impressive is the Amazon Rainforest?

The largest intact tropical wildernesses are the Amazon, the Congo in west Africa, and the rainforested landmass of New Guinea. If you combined New Guinea and the Congo rainforest, the resulting land area could fit snugly inside the Amazon Rainforest. Not only that, the Amazon contains 1/5th of the world’s fresh water, covers nearly half of South America (40%) and provides 20% of the planet’s Oxygen. This incredible forest contains 1/10th of all the species on Earth. The Amazon Rainforest is fed by the Amazon River, which is a remarkable natural feature in its own right. This is Earth’s largest river by volume and second longest after the Nile.

Conservation

While you’re reading this, there is an intense struggle going on in the Amazon between people who see the rainforest as a resource to be exploited and used up for its huge amounts of timber, precious metals, meat, pets, and oil and those of us who think its existence is worth its weight in oil and timber. The Yasuni National Park in Ecuador is at the moment sitting on the world’s largest untapped oil reserve. This is creating a bit of tension between our fellow humans who live inside the national park and oil prospectors constantly trying to penetrate the forest. If this is important to you, you can convince people to de-invest in oil companies who don’t play ball. If deforestation continues at current rates, the WWF estimate 55% of the Amazon Rainforest will be gone by 2030.

Size of the Amazon Rainforest

To get geographical, the Amazon Rainforest spans 2, 300, 000 square miles (6,000,000 square km) and is contained by the mountain ranges of the Guiana Highlands in the north, the Andes in the west and then the Brazilian plateau in the south.

Amazon Habitats

Although dominated by rainforest, the Amazon also contains many other vegetation types, such as seasonal, flooded and deciduous forests, as well as savannahs. This vegetation is fed by the Amazon River and occurs in the Amazon’s drainage basin

Amazon Rainforest Animals

As the world’s largest container of life, you can see many different animals in the Amazon including the famed Scarlet Macaws and Toucans, more easily seen at clay licks in the Manu or Madidi National Park or the Tambopata National Reserve in Peru and Bolivia. Tapir are the largest land mammal in the Amazon and these strange looking mammals can also be seen at the Amazon’s clay licks where they come to feed off nutrient rich clay. As well as Tapir, the other main animals Amazon tourists like to see are the Giant River Otters and Jaguar. However, there is an incredible diversity of other animals to amaze you as you wander or canoe Amazonia with your professional Amazon guide. They will spot Sloths clinging to the branches high the trees and draw your attention to the Monkeys following you through the forest.

The Amazon River

The Amazon River is the planet’s most voluminous, with a mouth of 300 miles, which drains 500 billion cubic feet of water each day. The river and its 1000 or more tributaries contain an incredible diversity of fish as well as aquatic mammals like Manatees and River Dolphins. On the Amazon River, you will find the main bases for the Amazon Rainforest such as the port cities of Iquitos in Peru, and Manaus and Santarem in Brazil.

Amazon Rainforest Tourism

Tourism in the southern Amazon Rainforest of southern Peru and Bolivia is at its most developed whereas in the north it is still in its infancy. The small Peruvian town of Puerto Maldonado gives you access to the edge of the Madidi National Park in Bolivia, the Tambopata National Reserve close to town, and the famous Manu National Park, the most pristine national park in the Peru. These areas are fantastic for clay lick to see Macaws, Toucans, Tapir, as well as Jaguar, which prey on the mammals. These areas are also a good choice to see the endangered Giant River Otters. If, however, you would like a cruise or to see the rainforest near the Amazon River itself, you can choose the forests of Ecuador, Peru and Brazil. Here you can see the abundant Monkeys and many different Amazon Birds. So what are you waiting for? Jump in and TourTheTropics!

Amazon Tours from Peru

Iquitos
Iquitos is the largest Peruvian city in the Amazon Rainforest and is the Amazon gateway for visits to Peruvian rainforest along the Amazon River. Iquitos is also the largest city in the world unreachable by road, which means to access Iquitos you are likely to enter the region by air. To see the breathtaking carpet of green spanning the horizon as you fly over the rainforest is a spectacle in itself. From Iquitos, you will have access to cruises along the Amazon River focusing on the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve and Amazon Rainforest lodges. To fully enjoy this region, we advise choosing tours that take you far from the city (~150 km) to see the incredible diversity of animals and plants this region boasts. We have selected the best tours in the region to make sure you make the most of your visit to this fun and welcoming Amazon Rainforest gateway. Continue to Iquitos Tours >>

Cusco
Cusco is the main tourist destination in Peru. Hundreds of thousands of tourists travel to Cusco each year to visit the very well marketed Machu Picchu and other archaeological sites in the region. Natural wonders are also on the list of activities, however, as Cusco provides a base to visit the Amazon Rainforest Cloud Forest in the Andean Mountain Range. Manu National Park is regarded as the most pristine protected in Peru and contains both lowland and Cloud Forest habitats containing an incredible diversity of Amazon plants and animals. You can combine both the lowland and Andean rainforest from an Amazon tour from cusco and take advantage of three excellent lodges in the region. Continue to Cusco Tours >>

Puerto Maldonado
A short flight from Cusco will bring you to this unassuming Amazon Rainforest gateway. As well as Cusco, the Puerto Maldonado region has access to one of the most developed tourism industries in the Amazon Rainforest. Here you can visit the Manu National Park, Madidi National Park (Bolivia) and the Tambopata National Reserve — the closest protected area to Puerto Maldonado (only 45 minutes), which contains exceptional Amazon wildlife. Puerto Maldonado is your best choice for short tours into the Amazon (~3 Days) as you can quickly get in and out. We have collected the best tours for visits to the Amazon, the majority of which have environmental certification. Continue to Puerto Maldonado Tours >>

Amazon Tours from Brazil

Manaus
Manaus is the main Amazon Rainforest gateway in Brazil, where you can visit the impressive Central Amazon Ecological Corridor — a mega-reserve that incorporates several protected areas. The closest of these protected areas to Manaus is the Anavilhanas. From Manaus you can organise cruises on the Amazon River or Rio Negro, the meeting of these rivers creates one of the main short tours near the city. Manaus is a bustling industrial port boasting incredible architecture from the rubber boom period of Amazon history. Continue to Manaus Tours >>

Santarém
Another Brazilian gateway to the Amazon Rainforest, Santarém is surrounded by impressive lakes fed by the Amazon River and 100 kms of attractive beaches. Like Manaus, in Santarém you can find impressive architecture and many historical buildings.

Amazon Tours from Ecuador

Sitting in the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest is the Yasuni National Park occupied by various indigenous groups and to the north is the Cuyabeno Reserve. The Yasuni region contains the highest amount of life anywhere on Earth, but sits on one of the largest remaining untapped oil reserves. This places a considerable threat on the heads of many of the world’s animals and plants, but also on the indigenous population. Some communities have adopted ecotourism as a way of showing visitors the extraordinary diversity of this region and why it should be protected, as well as communicating their ongoing struggle against oil companies. Continue to Ecuador Tours >>

Amazon Tours from Colombia

Leticia is the Amazon Rainforest gateway in Colombia and is one of the safest places in the country, but we always advise checking with your country’s government for the latest news. Leticia will be a stopping point on cruises and ferries between Iquitos (Peru) and Manaus (Brazil).

Amazon Tours from Venezuela

The Amazon Rainforest in Venezeuala is mostly known for the Yanomami indigenous group, who occupy the largest tract of land of any native community. The Yanomami occur on the border between Venezuela and Brazil and have accepted tourism as a means to communicate their struggle for forest protection.

Amazon Tours from Bolivia

The Bolivian Amazon Rainforest is mostly known for the Madidi National Park, an impressive protected area containing a high diversity of Amazon wildlife. Your entry point for the Bolivian Amazon Rainforest is the town of Rurrenabaque and here you can take tours to the surrounding rainforest. Madidi had a history of misusing the power of tourism as too many tourists resulted in park degradation, a big no no when it comes to eco tourism. With much improved park management and regulations, tourism is now being used to protect the forests.

Amazon Tours from Guyana

These last three countries (and parts of countries–French Guiana is actually in France) are the smallest and most neglected areas to visit the Amazon Rainforest. They are included in an area of South America known as the the Guianan Shield (geological section of the South American plate) that encompasses all three nations as well as parts of Brazil, Venezeuala and Colombia. Guyana is the largest of the three nations and probably the most well known. Although, because French Guiana is part of the European Union, it isn’t as popular as a tourist destination as French Guiana and neighboring Suriname. Guyana is growing in popularity with nature lovers and is especially haled by birdwatchers worldwide.

Amazon Tours from Suriname

Tourism in Suriname remains important for the economy and is centered around the Amazon Rainforest. The largest protected area in the country is the Central Suriname Nature Reserve and is also its most popular. Suriname presents exceptional wildlife experiences with over 30% of the country protected in wildlife reserves.

Amazon Tours from French Guiana

French Guiana is the wealthiest of these three regions and contains 31, 000 square miles (8 million hectares) of tropical forest with a large fraction protected in ecological reserves.

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South America

South America

A continent of contrasts, South America split from the African landmass and joined with North America to merge a distinct set of flora, fauna and geographical features. The South American continent is bound by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Pacific Ocean to the west and is the jumping off point for Antarctica to the south. After the merger with North America, the Isthmus of Panama in the north would be the land bridge by which many different animals, including humans, migrated south into this diverse continent. Welcome to South America.

South American Rainforest

The largest tract of continuous rainforest on Earth is found in South America. The Amazon is larger than the other largest rainforests, the Congo Rainforest in West Africa and the New Guinean Rainforest in Australasia, combined. This incredible forest has filled the hearts and minds of naturalists and explorers for hundreds of years and can be accessed from any one of the nine nations it crosses. For the majority of Amazon tourists, the two countries to base themselves for an Amazon Adventure are Peru and Brazil, which contain the largest portions of the rainforest, but there are lesser known adventurous alternatives…

The Brazilian Cerrado

The Brazilian Cerrado is the country’s 2nd largest habitat after the Amazon Rainforest. The Cerrado is a tropical savanna habitat that experiences a humid climate. The habitat is home to many endemic species found nowhere else on Earth. Here you will see incredible wildlife, such as Endangered Maned Wolves, Hyacinth Macaws, and tool-using Capuchin Monkeys.

The Pantanal

The Pantanal Wetlands allows a higher chance of seeing some of the Amazon Rainforest’s most sort-after wildlife, such as Jaguar, Giant Otters and Capybara. The open and often treeless habitat means Capybara can roam the grasslands in huge numbers and animals cannot easily hide from view. Although lesser known than the Amazon, the Pantanal houses an equal concentration of wildlife to the densest areas in Africa.

Brazilian Atlantic Forest

When the Portuguese first set foot on South America over 500 years ago, they were met with the Atlantic Forest. One of the most threatened tropical forests, the Atlantic forest in southern Brazil is home to many highly threatened animals and plants. Over 85% of the original forest cover has been deforested, but because of its significance as a home for many endemic species, hundreds of businesses, NGOs and charities are working to restore this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

South American Countries

The main countries that make up South America are, in order of highest population, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uraguay, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana (France).

Eco Regions in South America

Tourists can explore the different eco-regions in South America, which offer a chance to view breathtaking scenery, amazing wildlife and contrasting environments. You can explore the Amazon Rainforest or Atlantic Forest previously mentioned, the wetlands, which are home to abundant animals and plants, Andean Cloud Forest to see incredible bird life, the Atacama desert, Earth’s driest area, the Andean mountain range, the world’s longest mountain range, and the famous Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador to see uniquely famous animals and plants.

Wildlife and Protected Areas

Within these Bio Regions are the main National Parks that protect South America’s famous and world renowned wildlife for future generations. View the famous macaws of Tambopata National Reserve and Manu National Park and see Jaguar in the Pantanal.

Tourist Attractions – Culture, History and Nature

In addition to South America’s cities and bio regions, tourists flock to South America to see its rich cultural heritage for a glimpse into a land before the modern world as well as natural wonders, such as Angel Falls in Venezuela, the world’s highest waterfall.

South America History

Like the pyramids of Egypt, South America is home to its own archeological sites of now vanished societies. Machu Picchu in Peru alone draws hundreds of thousands of tourists each year to visit this mystical Incan ruin. As well as Machu Picchu, Peru is home to other archaeological sites like the Cradle of Gold and the latest tourist destination, the Northern Kingdoms.

There have been many different civilizations in South America, such as the Chavin, which spanned 900 BC to 300 AD, the Moche, from 100 BC to 700 AD, the Chachopayas, from 1000–1450, but none that have caught the public attention as much as the Inkas, which dominated the Andean region from 1438 to 1533 and were invaded by the Spanish in one of the most significant periods in South American history. To explore South America’s rich and interesting Archeological sites, travel to one of our popular Ancient Destinations.

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Tour

This journey combines a spectacular descent through mountainous cloud forest from Andes to Amazon, with lodge visits in the cloud forest and along the wild Alto Madre de Dios river, culminating in a lowland rainforest experience amidst the comfortable yet wildlife-rich surroundings of the famous Manu Wildlife Center.

Our overland route crosses an extraordinary range of life zones from highlands to lowlands, taking us through an array of ecosystems found nowhere else on the planet in such close proximity. We see high altitude farming valleys and traverse stark highland puna, plunge through layers of grassland, elfin forest, layers of lush, ever-changing cloud forest, and then lowland tropical valleys where farmers cultivate coca and exotic fruits. All the way we traverse the habitat of innumerable bird species.

Our overland route crosses an extraordinary range of life zones from highlands to lowlands, taking us through an array of ecosystems found nowhere else on the planet in such close proximity. We see high altitude farming valleys and traverse stark highland puna, plunge through layers of grassland, elfin forest, layers of lush, ever-changing cloud forest, and then lowland tropical valleys where farmers cultivate coca and exotic fruits. All the way we traverse the habitat of innumerable bird species.

Then our journey winds its way by river through lowland rainforest, pausing for a rewarding visit to an upriver lodge, and then downriver to the Amazon’s finest rainforest lodge, Manu Wildlife Center. Tapirs are nightly visitors to the lodge’s mud wallow, and each morning the nearby Macaw clay lick project teems with macaws. The network trails, tower for forest canopy viewing and two adjacent pristine lakes round out the perfect rainforest experience.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1

Cusco to Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge
Our overland journey begins at 3,400m/11,150 ft, with an early departure from the highland city of Cusco. Today’s destination is the lush cloud forest region where the Andes fall away to the Amazon basin. This is a day of scenic drama and striking contrasts. We first visit a mountain wetland habitat teeming with migrant and local waterfowl, before crossing two mountain ranges between the Cusco valley and the Paucartambo valley, to a maximum altitude of 3,900m/12,790ft.

Finally we follow a sinuous ribbon of highway on its plunge through an extraordinary world of forested cliffs, waterfalls and gorges. We take leisurely stops to see mountain villages, a hilltop necropolis of chullpas (pre-Inca burial chambers), and the abrupt ridgetop of Ajanaco, which marks the final high point where the Andes begin their swoop into the Amazon basin. In clear weather we will see a breathtaking panorama of cloud forest and mountain giving way to the lowland rainforest plains far below us.

After a picnic lunch near here we descend through the startling and rapid environmental transformations characteristic of the tropical Andes, passing from grassland and stunted trees through elfin forest, until we wind through a lush and magical world of overhanging trees, giant ferns, monster begonias, countless orchids and bromeliads, and a diverse and teeming birdlife.

We make frequent spontaneous stops, perhaps spotting a brilliantly feathered quetzal, a trogon, or the wild turkey-like Guan. We reach the comfortable Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge in the late afternoon, the best hour to visit the nearby viewing platform for the display ground, or “lek”. This is usually the highlight of a long, full day, a chance to see Peru’s dazzling national bird, the Cock-of-the-Rock (Rupicola) in full, raucous courting display. (Box Lunch/D)

Day 2

Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge to Amazonia Lodge or Pantiacolla Lodge.
Rising early, we 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. Or we can take a secluded nature walk on a short trail loop to the river and back. After breakfast we continue our drive, as mountains give way to low rolling hills and farmland. At Patria we visit a plantation of coca grown legitimately forthe Peruviancoca leaf market.

At midday we reach Atalaya, a tiny port where thePiñipiñiRivermeets the Alto Madre de Dios. Now the lowland rainforest part of our journey begins. Rivers are the highways of the rainforest, and henceforth we will travel in large, comfortable dugout canoes shaded by canopy roofs and driven by powerful outboard motors.

During normal river conditions we arrive at our lodge in time for exploration and wildlife viewing – which may include toucans, kingfishers, a rare endemic hummingbird and a multitude of butterflies -- along one of its many forest trails. (B/Box Lunch/D)

Day 3

Amazonia Lodge or Pantiacolla Lodge to Manu Wildlife Center.
There is time for another short morning hike on the lodge trails before leaving early for Manu Wildlife Center.

As we follow the broad, rushing course of the Alto Madre de Dios river past the last foothills of the Andes, our ever-changing route offers sightings of new birds -- terns, cormorants, White-winged Swallows, and flocks of nighthawks flushed from their daytime lairs by the sound of our engine. Splashes of brilliant yellow, pink and red foliage dot the forest-clad slopes around us, and the breeze is laden with the heady perfumes of the tropical forest.

We pass the mouth of the Manu river, the gateway to the ManuNationalPark. We pause during our journey to stretch our legs and visit Boca Manu, the village a short way downriver, we visit the boatyards where local people build the dugout boats so essential to life on the river.

After a boat journey of approximately 6 hours, we arrive atManuWildlifeCenter, one ofthe world’s top ten wildlife lodges. After a reception and orientation we move into our private bungalow and rest to escape the midday heat.

Later, we make our first acquaintance with the lowland rainforest, learning about the plants and forest ecology as we explore some of the 30 milesof trails that surround the lodge. We have an excellent chance of encountering some of the 12 species of monkeys, including the Spider Monkey and Emperor Tamarin, which inhabit the surrounding forest. (B/Box Lunch/D)

Day 4

Manu Wildlife Center: the Macaw Clay lick project, Canopy Tower & Tapir Clay lick.
Another early start (inevitable on wildlife expeditions), after a delicious breakfast is followed by a short boat ride downstream. We walk through the forest for some minutes, where we find the Macaw Lick project. The hide provided with individual chairs and a convenient place for cameras and binoculars is our ringside seat for what is usually a spectacular show.

In groups of twos and threes the scarlet Macaws come flapping in, landing in the treetops as they eye the main stage below -- the eroded clay banks of the river and the occasional villain, a menacing and unwelcome Great Black Hawk.

The drama plays out in first in tentative and then bolder approaches to the lick, until finally nearly all the macaws form a colorful and noisy spectacle on the bare banks, squabbling as they scrape clay from the hard surface. After this we continue walking and exploring on the network of trails surrounding the lodge then we return to the lodge for lunch.

Later, we continue to explore and discover the rainforest, its lore and plant life, on the network of trails surrounding the lodge, arriving in the late afternoon at our 34m/112ft. Canopy Tower. On its platform we witness the frantic rush-hour activity of twilight in the rainforest canopy, before night closes in. Then we set off along the “collpa trail”, which will take us to the lodge’s famous Tapir Clay lick. Here at the most active tapir lick known in all the Amazon, our research has identified from 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 neutralizes toxins in the vegetarian diet of the Tapir, the largest land animal of Latin America. The lick features a roomy, elevated observation platform 5m/17ft above the forest floor. The platform is equipped with freshly-made-up mattresses with pillows. Each mattress is covered by a roomy mosquito net. The 10-m-long, elevated walkway to the platform is covered with sound-absorbing padding to prevent our footsteps from making noise.

ThisTapir Experience is unique and exciting because these normally very shy creatures are visible up close, and flash photography is not just permitted, but encouraged.

The hard part for modern city dwellers is to remain still and silent anywhere from 30 minutes to two or more hours. Many prefer to nap until the first Tapir arrives, at which point your guide gently awakens you to watch the Tapir10-20m/33-66ft) away below the platform. Most people feel that the wait is well worth it in order to have such a high probability of observing the rare and elusive Tapir in its rainforest home. (B L D)

Day 5

Manu Wildlife Center: Hike to an Oxbow Lake and the Wildlife Trails.
We set off early for an old oxbow lake full of water lilies and sunken logs. As we circle the lake on our catamaran we might encounter the resident Giant Otter family on a fishing expedition, or troops of monkeys crashing noisily through the trees. Wattled Jacanas step lightly on the lily pads, dainty Sun Grebes paddle across the water, supple-necked Anhingas air-dry their wide, black wings, and perhaps an Osprey scans for fish from a high branch.

Among the bushes near the waterline, Hoatzins, which look like rust-colored, punk chickens, announce their presence with distinctive, bizarre wheezing and grunts. Woodpeckers, tanagers, macaws, toucans and parakeets all finally come swooping in to trees surrounding the lake. Many of them roost around the lake for the night.

After lunch at the lodge our guide is available to lead us on freewheeling expeditions in search of further wildlife encounters, or we may 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, we offer an opportunity to search for caiman and other nocturnal life along the riverbank by boat (If the level of river allows it) (B L D)

Day 6

Manu Wildlife Center to Cusco or Lima – Departure day.
We leave our lodge very early on the two hour and half return boat trip downstream to the Colorado Village, the breakfast will be serve 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 additions this journey allows us to see several lowland native settlements and gold miners digging and panning gold along the banks of the Madre de Dios River.

We will stop in the far-west type gold-mining town of Colorado to start our overland journey to Puerto Carlos for 45 minutes, then you will cross the Inambari River for 15 minutes boat trip to Santa Rosa, finally a van or bus will drive us in approximately two-hours and half to the airport in Puerto Maldonado City, here you fly by a commercial airplane to Cusco or Lima, with this assistance your jungle adventure ends... (B)

Rates |

Fixed Departure - April through October - Saturdays | Private Departure Available.
Regular Departure Prices in USD

6 Days / 5 Nights:

  • (Double Occupancy)

  • (Single Supplement)

Prices

Prices per person based on two people sharing
Minimum of two people traveling
Private departure at additional cost

Included

Transfer assistance from your selected hotel in Cusco to the van or bus on the first day.
Overland & River transportation.
Accommodations at Cock of the Rock Lodge, Amazonia Lodge or Pantiacolla and Manu Wildlife Center.
All meals are included from lunch on the first day to the breakfast on the last day.
English and Spanish speaking guide.
Guided tours in accordance with the itinerary.
The Overland and boat transportation permit baggage allowance up to 10 kg per person.
Reception and transfer assistance to the Airport in Puerto Maldonado city.

Not Included

Air tickets from Puerto Maldonado to Cusco or Lima.
Airport taxes.
Transfer assistance from the airport to your hotel in Cusco.
Excess baggage charges. If you have more than the 10 kilograms permitted then the excess will be charged to you directly by our staff, the cost for the extra kilo is US $ 2.00 “space permitting”.
Extra services (Boat transportation) and extra nights at Manu Wildlife Center or alternative Hotel in case of flight cancellations.
Souvenirs, T-Shirts, Posters, Postcards.
Personal expenses and tips.

Important Notes

Please note that the program may vary slightly so as to maximize your wildlife sightings, depending on the reports of our researchers and experienced naturalist guides based at the lodge. We strongly recommend read your PRE-DEPARTURE INFORMATION for the Bio Trip program. If you have some question or you need more information please send us an enquiry using the contact form.

Check Availability & Booking

  • Sent to the Bio Trip Operator
  • No Booking Fee, No Markup
Please confirm tariff & cancellation policy with hosts.