Amazon Highlights – Pongo Mainique: Amazon know this place is one of the most beautiful landscape wonders of southern Peru for being in the limit of what is high and low jungle, the landscape is unique, what turns a great tourist destination since within matsiguenga ideology is the native place of departure the first mythological couple who populated these valleys. In this program we combine trips to the jungle adventure with ecology and we propose boating on trips to get the Mainique; so enter Pongo rubber boat after over three hours of paddling in the river Urubamba high.
Lower mountain slopes (Kapiromashi, 650-1,200 m) At this site in the Rio Ticumpinia valley, we camped 200 m from the main river channel and explored the forested slopes on either side of the river, the large river island, the river itself, and several of its tributaries. Recent landslides, and forests regenerating on old landslides, are obvious features of the landscape.
They reminded us that the area is geologically active and that natural disturbance to biological communities is frequent throughout the region. Lower-elevation sites exist in the ZRM (-500 m). Kapiromashi (650-1,200 m), however, was the lowest elevation we sampled.
We found the highest species richness for all organisms here (Table 2). Lowland and upland species overlapped at this site: species more typical of lower elevations reached their upper elevational limits, and upland species occurred at atypically low elevations, presumably because of the humidity trapped within the narrow river valley. In comparison to other sampled groups, we recorded few lowland species of fishes. Enormous waterfalls separate this part of the Rio Ticumpinia from the Bajo Urubamba and presumably prevent most lowland fishes from reaching this site.
Numerous patches of large-stemmed (Guadua sp., Poaceae; known locally as paca occur throughout Megantoni, and are especially Kapiromashi. In bamboo patches, the species rid« plants, dung beetles, birds, and mammals is marked.’*- depressed compared to that of patches free of bair Clumps of bamboo, however, can harbor species tita: evolved to specialize on this habitat. Such species uxiiA at least 1 amphibian (Dendrobates biolat, expected ixr not encountered during the inventory) and nearly 2C (17 recorded during the inventory).
We encountered a small patch of 8-9 plants and old hunting trails on the southern slope of the valley, indicating that the inhabitants of Sababantiar. a community one day of travel downriver, likely hunt iJ this area. The near absence of several mammal species, including both species of peccaries (Tayassu pecari, Pecari tajacu) and several large primates (Alouatta seniculus, Lagothrix lagotbricha), may reflect either large-scale seasonal migrations or overhunting in the area. Gamebirds, principally guans (Cracidae), were less common at this site than at the other two and, when sighted, appeared more apprehensive about our presence than the almost tame individuals spotted at our higher- elevation sites. Despite local hunting, we recorded healthy populations of large carnivores (jaguar, Pa?ithera onca) and large ungulates (tapirs, Tapirus terrestris). Mid-elevation tablelands (Katarompanaki, 1,350-2,000 m) Only 12 km east of Kapiromashi, broad tablelands rise between two tributaries of the Rio Ticumpinia. Our second campsite was on the highest of these tablelands, and we explored both this higher tier and another platform 400 m below it. Radically different vegetation grows on each tier: on the higher platform short- statured, low-diversity vegetation grows on hard acidic rock; the lower tier supports taller, higher-diversity forest on much richer soils. We observed differences in composition and richness between the two platforms in all organisms. Richness was greater on the lower platform; in many groups, a more specialized community lives on the upper platform. Specialization was most obvious in fishes. Fast-flowing streams feed the dramatic waterfalls that pour over the sheer edge of the tablelands into the river gorges below. Few fish species live in these streams, but the three endemics we registered during the inventory are abundant and uniquely adapted to the turbulent waters, using their adhesive mouths to cling to rocks, and their ventral muscles to pull their bodies upstream against the current.
As did the specialists in fishes and dung beetles, herpetologists found few species but many endemics. Nutrient-poor forests are generally unfavorable habitats for amphibians and reptiles, and on the upper platform the team found only 16 species: 8 anurans, 3 lizards, and 3 snakes. Nearly half, however, are species potentially new to science—3 lizards (Euspondylus, Neusticurus, Proctoporus) and 3 frogs (Centrolene, Eleutherodactylus, Syncope)—suggesting that these isolated tablelands could drive evolution in fishes, frogs, lizards, and dung beetles in similar ways.
Plant diversity concentrated in trees and shrubs in Kapiromashi and on the lower platform of Katarompanaki—shifted to smaller lifeforms on the upper platform at Katarompanaki. Here, the highest richness was concentrated in epiphytes and trunk climbers, particularly orchids and ferns. Of the 275 fertile specimens on the tablelands, a quarter were orchids, including about 15 species new to science.
In other areas of Peru (e.g., Cordillera del Condor, Cordillera Azul), stunted forests support a suite of specialized bird species, but we did not encounter these elfin-forest specialists at Katarompanaki. Ornithologists documented only moderate numbers of bird species at this site, although the densities of game birds, particularly the typically rare Black Tinamou, were extraordinarily high.
We found numerous signs of spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus) in the stunted forest, including trails, dens, and discarded and half-eaten palm stems. Our Machiguenga guides estimated that bears were in the area three months prior to our visit, confirming other research that suggests these animals travel widely through large territories, tracking seasonal fluctuations in food abundance. On the lower platform, species richness in all groups was much higher, although researchers spent less time investigating this area. Most notable were the abundance of fruiting trees and the extraordinary densities of woolly monkeys (Lagothrix lagothricha) feeding on them, including an enormous group of 28 individuals.
We believe humans have never visited this site before. Reaching the tablelands without a helicopter appears nearly impossible
Tours Day 1: Cusco to Kiteni Choparani, Amazon Highlights – Pongo Mainique
Tours Day 2: Choparani to Reserve Megantoni, Amazon Highlights – Pongo Mainique
Tours Day 3: Camp Native Community, Amazon Highlights – Pongo Mainique
Tours Day 4: Camp Community Tintiniquiato, Amazon Highlights – Pongo Mainique
Tours Day 5: Quillabamaba to Cusco, Amazon Highlights – Pongo Mainique
RESERVE MEGANTONI – TIMPIA – IVOCHOTE 5D/4N
Tours Day 1: Cusco to Kiteni Choparani, Amazon Highlights – Pongo Mainique
Departure from Cusco at 4am to Quillabamba. The route we will do about 6 hours, we will have a box lunch in Habra Malaga on the highest point of our journey. Arriving in the City of Quillabamba we will move immediately to the Pool of Sambaray to take a refreshing bath and lunch. Then we will continue our trip to small Town of Kiteni for 5 hours, rest for an hour to continue our journey towards C. Native Chomparina for 3 hours we spend the night there. The route of travel meaning of this day will see the fruits of agricultural plantations, banana, coffee, coca, and more according to the agricultural season.
Tours Day 2: Choparani to Reserve Megantoni, Amazon Highlights – Pongo Mainique:
Early after breakfast transfer to the fluvial port of Ivochote of the boat where we headed to the Pongo Mainique for 3 hours, where we spend the morning taking pictures and exploring the forest in this geographic space unique also through the Guide we connect with the history and importance of this shrine of Megantoni and its connection to the Art of Cinema. In the afternoon we will move through to a tributary of the Urubamba River in the Upper Sanctuary Megantoni camp there, we will have fish for our dinner.
Tours Day 3: Camp Native Community, Amazon Highlights – Pongo Mainique:
Early the next day exploring in the Reserve, where we see animals, birds, after lunch take a boat bound for a native community where we will camp.
Tours Day 4: Camp Community Tintiniquiato, Amazon Highlights – Pongo Mainique:
Early after breakfast we can start to explorer the forest of the Megantoni Sanctuary throughout the morning. In the afternoon we return to the pot of Colona Community Tintiniquiato camp there.
Tours Day 5: Quillabamaba to Cusco, Amazon Highlights – Pongo Mainique:
Next day early due to leave Quillabamba. On the night due to arrive in Cusco early the following day
Tour Included to Amazon Highlights
- Professional naturalist guide
- Specialized in Reserve Megantoni
- Private bus and boat transport
- Entrance fees to Reserve zone Megantoni
- All food (vegetarian on request)
- Camping equipment and Lodge stays
- First Aid Kit, extractor ( for poison)
- Radio communication
Not Included in Amazon Highlights
- Sleeping bag
- Alcoholic drinks etc.
Things You Should Bring For The Amazon Highlights
- Mosquito repellent
- Long sleeved shirts (cotton is better)
- Cotton socks
- Rain gear
- Long pants
- Bathing suit
- hiking shoes
- Binoculars (you can also rent them from)
- Camera and films (400 and 200 ASA)
- Plastic bags for clothes and camera etc.
- Personal things (soap, toilet paper. towel etc.)
- Hat (or handkerchief)
- Sun blocker, sun glasses
- Sleeping bag (can also be rented)
- Flashlight (with spare bulb and batteries)
- Day pack
Departures every Day minimum 2 persons