Day 1: From Cusco to Pillcopata
We leave from Cusco at 6:00 A.M. traversing by bus the interesting valleys and picturesque rural communities in the outskirts of this ancient city. By mid-morning, we will be visiting the "chullpas" (pre-Inca tombs) of Ninamarca and then arrive at the historical Andean town of Paucartambo where we will have breakfast followed by a brief tour of this quaint town nestled in the Andes. We'll continue our trip by ascending to Acjanacu, located at a height of 3850 m.a.s.l. Here it is where we officially enter "The National park of Manu" and if weather permits, we'll enjoy a beautiful vista of our destination: the low rainforest of Manu. After eating lunch we'll be ready to begin our descent through forests of clouds while we admire the world-famous orchids that grow in this botanical universe as well as the not less beautiful heliconias and primitive ferns.
This is also the habitat of only South American bear: the spectacled bear (Oso de Anteojos), who unfortunately appears rarely not only due to being in danger of extinction but also due to his shy nature (isn't this true of all those of us who still wear spectacles?). While making this descent by bus, we will stop to stretch our legs for 30 minutes and we shouldn't be surprised to discover among the lush gardens that surround us the famous cockerel of the rocks in the ritual of mating, this peculiar bird is called the Rupícola Peruviana by scientists and ii has been designated as the national bird of Peru, besides this unique bird we may see trogones, quetzals, tangaras and many others. At the end of our descent we will arrive at the town of Pillcopata where we will spend the night at the beautiful Housing Cockerel.
Day 2: From Pillcopata to Yanayaco
After breakfast we will depart towards Shintuya where we will make our first stop in order to enjoy its reputed hot-water springs which have been conditioned as thermo-medicinal baths which make for a natural and invigorating spa. After being energized by such medicinal bath we will get on board our comfortable boats in order to navigate in the river Alto Madre de Dios (High Mother of God). Our itinerary will allow us to observe a great variety of birds like blue, kingfisher fisherman, and other beautiful birds of the Amazonian Rainforest which fly nearby, in stark contrast with the high-flying king of the vultures: the condor, which we should see in the sky. By the afternoon, we will arrive at Housing Yanayaco where we will be able to indulge in the well ventilated hammocks or many lazy chairs that abound in their privileged porch; this should give us enough rest for our next day, when we will start our walk in the rainforest trails.
If we walk quietly enough, we will be able to observe the diverse monkeys and birds that reside in this forest, as well as the rubber trees (Hevea brasiliensis) which are central to the story that inspired Werner Herzog's movie: "Aguirre, the wrath of God" and many other epic narratives; since it was this tree that attracted the caucheros (rubber barons) in the last years of the "Rubber Boom" at the beginning of the XX century. This also is the place where an amazing variety of tropical fruits grow, its harvest season being from December all the way to April, during this season we could harvest and taste fruits like aguaje, pijuayo and ungurave, not found anywhere else in the world. The Neo-tropical forest is also a scientific lab for about 20% of the pharmaceutical products the Western Civilization knows. After such walk through the rainforest, we will return to our housing for dinner. Then we will be invited to a 50 minutes night walk in order to explore the habitat of the Rainforest's Tapir: the tapires collpa. For this, we have conditioned a hiding place 4 meters high equipped with mattresses and nets. We will wait quietly to see the biggest mammal of South America eating the salted clay. After this, we will return to our housing with the remembrances of a one in a lifetime experience.
Day 3: Yanayaco
We get up early to go to a "collpa" nearby where several species of parrots are found. Then we'll return to our housing for breakfast and to register for a walk through the trails that go deep into our Ecological Reserve, where we will be able to appreciate one of the world's most diverse flora and fauna: monkeys, birds, some mammals, amphibian animals and insects, among others. After lunch, we will be taken to an amusing fishing expedition where our guides will show us the peculiarities of the rivers which give origin to the Amazon River. Here, we might be lucky enough to catch some piranhas and, if chosen, we could prepare a typical dish for you to taste. That night we will be taken to the banks where the tropical reptiles live, where we could see the spectacle of a cayman being captured as well as observe these South American Crocodiles in their natural habitat.
Day 4: From Yanayaco to Cusco
After breakfast, we will get on our boats towards the Forest's Watchtower where we will be helped to transfer our luggage from the boat to the bus in order to take our trip back to Cusco, where we should arrive by the evening.
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South America Peru Nature & Wildlife Rainforest