DAY 1: MANU WILDLIFE
Upon arrival to Puerto Maldonado you will be
transfer by van to Santa Rosa Village we will get there in about
two-hours and half journey, you will cross the Inambari river for a 15
minutes boat trip to Puerto Carlos, here you will start your overland
journey to Boca Colorado for 45 minutes by car, followed by four hours
and half motorized boat journey ride upstream the Madre de Dios river in
between we plan on a delicious boxed lunch at the beginning of the boat
journey to Manu Wildlife Center.
After dinner there will be an enchanting night walk along the trails, in
search of the nocturnal birds and animals of the rainforest. (Box Lunch,
DAY 2: MANU WILDLIFE CENTER: THE MACAW CLAY LICK, CANOPY TOWER &
TAPIR CLAY LICK.
Another early start (inevitable on wildlife expeditions), is followed by
a short boat ride downstream. We take a 20-minute trail through palm
plantations to a cut-off channel of the river, where we find the Macaw
Lick. A spacious hide provided with individual chairs and a convenient
place for cameras and binoculars is our ringside seat for what is
usually a very spectacular show. We enjoy a full breakfast here while
waiting for the main actors to arrive.
In groups of twos and threes the big Red-and-Green Macaws come flapping
in, landing in the treetops as they eye the main stage below —the eroded
clay banks of the old channel. Meanwhile the supporting cast appears:
these may included Blue-headed, Mealy, Yellow-crowned, and
Orange-cheeked Parrots— 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, parrots and parakeets
form a colorful and noisy spectacle on the bare banks, squabbling as
they scrape clay from the hard surface.
(Please note that the clay lick is most active from August to October
and less so during the months of May and June.)
We return to the lodge for lunch, and then 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 34
m/112 ft Canopy Tower. On its platform we witness the frantic rush-hour
activity of twilight in the rainforest canopy, before night closes in.
Later 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
5 m / 17 ft 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
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.
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 Tapir 10-20 m/33-66 ft) 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 3: MANU WILDLIFE CENTER: COCHA BLANCO AND THE WILDLIFE TRAILS.
We set off early for Cocha Blanco, 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 4: COCHA CAMUNGO & BIG TREE CANOPY TOWER
Rising at dawn we board our motor-canoe to visit Cocha Camungo, an oxbow
lake. Each of these forest lakes seems to have its own personality, and
after circling these enchanted waters by catamaran to look birds and
other lakeside fauna, we will explore the forest trails and visit the 40
m/130 ft canopy platform, set amongst the massive branches of a giant
kapok tree. This platform provides a beautiful view of Cocha Camungo, as
well as the forest canopy, and on very clear days we can spot the
distant ranges of the Andes above the undulating treetops of the forest.
After lunch at the Center we will explore the forest trails, with the
emphasis on visiting the fruiting and flowering trees that our
experienced naturalist guides have been monitoring. Here we will hope to
encounter more monkey species as well as numerous species of birds.
Before or after supper, avid explorers will have a second chance to
visit the Tapir Clay lick.
DAY 5: MANU WILDLIFE CENTER TO CUSCO – 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 to the airport in Puerto Maldonado City, in
approximately two-hours and half, from here you fly by a commercial
airplane to Cusco or Lima (airfares not included) (B)
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.
END OF OUR SEVICES
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