Manu Culture Zone Informations Amazon Wildlife
Do I have to be fit for a Manu Trip? Are the walks challenging? Manu tour Amazon Wildlife can be done with normal fitness by people of all age groups. If you are travelling with children, please let us know in advance for further recommendations, depending on the age of the children. On a Manu tour amazon wildlife you spend some time travelling by bus and on the boat – this varies according the tour (e.g. on the National Park Tour you spend more time in the boat) and we do walks that usually do not exceed 3 to 4 hours at a time. Walks are not to cover big distances, we will often walk slowly or stop to observe animals and plants on the way. Sometimes we need to listen, wait and have patience… You only need to bring a day pack onthe walks. Night walks are optional and usually take about 1 hour. You are not expected to carry y our luggage to the lodge, but help is appreciated. Due to the humidity and warm temperatures some people may feel a bit weak or faint, but there is always a ‘siesta’ at midday and the possibility to stay at the lodge instead of participating in a walk. A rainforest tour is not a comfortable tour, but if you bring appropriate gear (see packing list for details) you will have an incomparable experience.
2.What kind of vehicles do you use to travel to Manu? We own two Toyota minibuses (from 2012 and 2007) with a capacity for 12 and 9 people, which have been prepared for the unpaved Manu road. The 2007 minibus will be replaced by a new one in 2014.
What are the boats like?
Our boats are 15 and 16 m long, they have wooden seats with cushions and backrests as well as a roof. But when travelling on the river in the rain you may still get wet. So you should have your rain gear at hand, our boat staff will also provide plastic covers to protect you. There is no toilet on the boat, please just let your guide know if you need t
o use a bathroom, so he can stop the boat.
4.Is there a luggage limit? Please bring a maximum of 12 kg of luggage per person on your tour. Especially during the dry season (aprox. from June to September) the water level of the rivers are low, therefore we try to reduce the weight of our boat to make headway better and faster. During the Manu Tour you can store the rest of your luggage at your hotel or at our office in Cusco.
Where do we stay overnight during the tour? All nights on our standard tours are spent in lodges. Most lodges are our own lodges with basic, but clean private double rooms and private bath rooms with showers. Sheets, blankets, towels and mosquito nets are provided. At the Maquisapayoj Reserve we have the unique chance to visit a mammal salt lick, which is located just 1 h 15 min walking distance from the lodge. Our groups usually spend one or more nights on the elevated observation platform, which means you spend the night on mattresses and under mosquito nets – similar to camping. This gives us the best chance to observe tapirs during the night. The overnight stay on the platform is optional and you can always stay at the lodge instead. During the Manu National Park Tour, we stay two nights at Albergue Casa Matsiguenka. This lodge is built in the typical Matsiguenka style and there ar
e double rooms with shared bathrooms. As in all other accommodations, sheets, blankets and mosquito
nets are provided.
Do I need to bring a sleeping bag? You don’t need a sleeping bag for our standard Manu tours. All lodges provide sheets and blankets as well as mosquito nets. There are also blankets at the observation platform at the mammal salt lick.
Is there electricity at the lodges in Manu? Electricity is not available in the Manu lowland, but our Maquisapayoj Lodge has a generator so you can charge batteries for a few hours in the evenings. Make sure you bring enough spare batteries for camera and flashlight for the tour. We recommend to leave your cell phone, laptop or IPad in Cusco.
How to decide between the Manu Biosphere and the Manu National Park tour? Both tours take you to the lowland rainforest of Manu and chances to see animals are similar, we can see the same animal species on both tours. On the Manu Biosphere Tour we spend more time in the area of the private reserves of Maquisapayoj and Blanquillo and are therefore more flexible. We visit the Camungo and Blanco oxbow lakes (to observe Giant River Otters), the Mammal Salt Lick at Maquisapayoj and the Macaw Clay Lick at Blanquillo, both situated 30 km (19 mi
les) south of Boca Manu. On this tour you have more time for walking on the trails and the 7 day tour has one day (day 5) for walks and visiting the mammal salt lick or the group can choose what type of animal you would like to prospect for again.This day is especially rewarding for bird, tapir and monkey observation. On the Manu Biosphere Tour we can visit the mammal salt lick up to 3 times and we have more time for walks on the trails. In case of bad weather conditions we are flexible enough to modify the itinerary according to our needs and to have more options to see animals. On the National Park Tour you spend more time on the boat – travelling up on the Manu River into
the “Reserved Zone” of the Park and coming back 2 days later. The scenery on Rio Manu is impressive and chances to observe wildlife on the river banks are very good. If we are lucky we may see a jaguar. But for some visitors it may be very long boat rides, especially for young/ active people. We spend 2 nights at Casa Matsiguenka, a typical lodge run by the Machiguenga Indians. Inside the Reserved Zone we visit the Salvador and Otorongo oxbow lakes to observe Giant Otters. We also visit Maquisapayoj and Blanquillo macaw clay lick, but only stay for 2 nights. Note
: the big Macaw Clay Lick is situated outside the “Reserved Zone”, this means we spend more time travelling if you want to go into the “Reserved Zone” of the National Park AND visit the Macaw Clay Lick. Chances to see wildlife are similar on both tours. The more time you spend in the rainforest the better the chance to see a bigger variety of animals Will we always see birds at the big macaw clay lick in Blanquillo? The macaw clay lick in Blanquillo it the biggest clay lick in Manu and has easy access. Activity is in the mornings and we observe the birds from a special, elevated wooden platform. The parrots and macaws come to eat the clay because they need the minerals to neutralize toxins they have assimilated when eating seeds. During the rainy season (approximately starting in June) the forest offers more fruits and the birds eat less toxins, this is why there is less demand for eating the clay So when the dry season begins the birds need to eat more seeds which increases the necessity for them to visit a clay lick. This means that activity at the clay lick is often lower during the first months of the year and it then increases. Until the end of the rainy season (approximately April/ May) you may see between 10 and 60 birds whereas in the dry months you may see as many as 100 to 200 individuals at the lick. But of course these numbers can still vary throughout the whole year. Other factors that lead to temporary fluctuation of activity at the clay lick are the presence of birds of prey, rain or other animals that disturb the macaws’ activity. 10.Are there mosquitoes and is there Malaria and Leishm aniasis in Manu? You need to be prepared for mosquitoes in the lowland of Manu. Please bring long sleeved clothes and mosquito repellent. Malaria The Malaria risk in Manu is extremely low (less than 0.1 %). Taking prophylaxis is a personal decision, please consider that taking malaria prophylaxis is not verysecure (and please check for the side effects of these medicaments!!). If you want you can bring a ́stand by ́ medicine in case you get Malaria (which can be detected by blood analysis), but you can also get this medication here in Peru. In the south Peruvian rainforest there is only the Malaria type named ́Plasmodium vivax` which is completely curable.
Leishmaniasis: The risk to get Leishmaniasis on a short stay in Manu is very low; the best form of protection is to wear long sleeves.
Which vaccinations do I need? Yellow Fever: It is recommended to have a Yellow Fever vaccination for the Manu rainforest. If you plan to visit the Reserved Zone of Manu (on the National Park Tour) the Yellow Fever vaccination is obligatory because it is usually controlled at the guard station in Limonal. Tetanus: You should have a valid tetanus vaccination for the rainforest and for Peru in general. Rabies: We spend all nights under mosquito nets therefore the risk to be bitten by a bat is very, very low. Is there communication when I am in Manu, can I find a doctor in case of an emergency? When visiting Manu you should be aware that you travel to a remote area. In case of an emergency and for short reports by our guides we have radio communication at the lodges. There is a satellite telephone in Boca Manu. There is no internet accessin Manu and only sometimes there is mobile phone access in Boca Manu village. Along our route there are 3 small hospital wards, apart from this the guide will carry a first aid kit throughout the tour. In case of severe illness, a transport back to Cusco might be necessary. Please be sure that you have good travel health insurance.
Is drinking water provided? Please bring a big water bottle for the first day (min. 1,5l), as usually it is complicated to get out water for you during the first day’s bus ride. Then keep your water bottle and you can refill it every day in the morning or evening. We bring bottled water from Cusco for the whole tour.
What happens to the waste we produce during the tour :All waste of our tour is gathered at the lodge and only organic waste is buried in Manu. All inorganic waste is returned to Cusco by our bus. Please help gathering all waste and do not throw any waste on the trails or roadside (including cigarettes).
How big are the tour groups for Manu? On Manu tours the maximum group size is 8 people per guide. Like this everybody can hear what the guide says and the group is not too big to observe animals etc. If there are 8 to 14 participants on a tour we take one more guide to divide the group into two while walking on the trails, but you may be sharing the bus and/ or boat. If there are more than 14 participants on the same tour we split into 2 groups, each with its own guide, cook and boat.On our fixed departure dates, we operate the Manu Biosphere tour with min. 3 participants, the Manu National Park tour with a minimum of 4 persons. If we have fewer bookings, it is possible to carry out the tour with an extra charge or change your booking to a different tour (on the same date).
What are the temperatures in Manu? During the first night you can expect temperatures between 12 and 16°C (53 to 60°F), and reaching the lowland forest you can expect between 26 and 33°C (78 to 91°F) during the day and around 20 to 24°C (64 to 75°F) at night. In some occasions we can get a cold front “friaje” from the south, this occurs mainly during the months of May to July/ August (dry season). When these winds reach the lowland forest temperatures may go down as far as 10°C (50°F), which feels colder due to the humidity in the rainforest. On the first day of your tour we travel over the Andes, where you should have a sweater and windproof jacket, but in the afternoon, reaching the cloud forest temperatures are more pleasant.
Are there flights from Manu to Cusco? Unfortunately flights from/ to Boca Manu are not operating at the moment due to the lack of an appropriate plane for this route and the small airs trip. Therefore we have opted for the return route via Colorado that allows us to return from Manu to Cusco in one day.
Why are there 2 routes for the return to Cusco? In 2011 the paved Transoceanic road was completed, this is the road we mainly use for the return to Cusco. We travel to the lowland of Manu on the Manu road through the cloud forest, and after our excursions, on the last day of the tour we take the boat downriver on Rio Madre de Dios from Maquisapayoj Lodge towards Colorado, a small gold mining town. From here, together with our guide we take a car orpickup for approx. 1 hour to get to the village of Porto Carlos, where we cross the Rio Inambari (10 min.). On the other side our private minibus is waiting for you to take you to the Transoceanic highway via Mazuko, travelling on paved road up over the Andes – passing by the Ausangate Mountain – to get back to Cusco in the evening. It is a long day but we can get back from the remote Manu lowland to Cusco :