Day 1: Cusco - Pilcopata
We departure from Cusco by bus at 6:00 am. We’ll pass interesting valleys and pintoresques villages. At noon we’ll visit “Ninamarca”, which are pre-inka tombs known as “chullpas” in the Quechua language. Later we’ll pay a visit to the historic Andean town “Paucartambo”, where we’ll have breakfast and a city walk. We continue our trip ascending to the abra of “Acjanacu”, 3850 meters above sea level. Here we’ll enter the “Manu National Park”, and with some luck we’ll enjoy the view of a beautiful scenery including tropical valleys and our destination, “the lowland jungle”.
After lunch we’ll start the descent and pass through the “Bosque de Nubes” (the cloud forest), which is full of orchids, helicoids and primary fern. Here lives the eyeglass bear, which is the only bear in South America. The bear is rarely seen, because it’s shy and almost extinct. We get off the bus for a 30 minutes walk, and we might spot the famous “cock of the rock” (or Peruvian Rupicola), which is the national bird of Peru. We also have the opportunity of observing trogones, quetzals, tangaras and lots more. At night we’ll arrive at the village “Pilcopata”, where we’ll stay at the Gallito lodge.
Day 2: Pilcopata - Yanayaco
After a delicious breakfast we’ll go by bus to the port of Atalaya (30 minutes). We’ll enter our boat and navigate down the river “Alto Madre de Dios”. En route we can watch a great variety of birds, like the garzas, martin pescador and different vultures. The condor, the king of the vultures, is also present in the jungle. At noon we’ll arrive at our Yanayaco lodge in order to have lunch and then rest in the hammocks. Later we’ll make our way through the jungle, and by walking silently we can watch monkeys, birds and even useful plants like the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). It was this tree that attracted the “caucheros” at the end of the “rubber boom” in the bigging of the 20th century.
The most productive period of the fruits in the jungle is between December and April. In this period we can taste fruits like the aguaje, pijuayo and ungurave. The neo-tropic jungle is like a scientific laboratory; 25% of the pharmacology products originate from this climate, but only 1% of the possibilities has been analized. We’ll learn about the medical plants that grow in the jungle. Afterwards we return to the lodge for lunch. In the night we’ll have a 50 minutes walk to the “Collpa” of the tapir. There we have a hidingplace 4 meters above the ground with madrasses and mosquito nets. We’ll wait silently for the biggest mammal of South America to eat the salt clay in the “Collpa”. Afterwards we’ll return to the lodge and dream of the angels of the jungle.
Day 3: Yanayaco
We’ll get up early to go to a nearby “Collpa”, where we’ll find different species of parrots. Afterwards we return for breakfast in the lodge and get ready for a 1 hour boat trip to the Boca Manu village. We’ll have a 15 minutes walk to the native community of the island of the valleys. We’ll also find an antigue “Cocha” full of vegetation. There we’ll row in a catamaran searching for turtles, birds and caymans. If we want to, we can fish for piranyas. To escape the heat of the day we’ll walk to the lodge to have a typical lunch in Boca Manu. If someone gets lucky and catches a piranya, we’ll prepare it tastefully. After a short break we’ll go down the river to the native community of the Diamante. There we’ll have a stroll in the community and appreciate the native handicraft like bowsarrows, jewelry, hammocks, cushmas, quempos etc. Afterwards we’ll enter the boat to return to the Yanayaco lodge, where we’ll stay for our second night.
Day 4: Yanayaco – Pilcopata
After breakfast we’ll continue our voyage up the river towards the port of Atalaya. This day we have lunch at a place, where we’ll find a natural well full of refreshing water. Vigorously because of the water and the meal we continue our journey to Atalaya, where the bus is waiting for us and leaves for Pilcopata. There we’ll take a confortable rest in the Gallito lodge.
Day 5: Pilcopata – Cusco
This day we’ll get up early for the last time with the objectives of arrive at San Pedro, in the hours of the highest activity of the “cock of the rock”. We’ll stay here to observe the extraordinary pairing of this photogenic bird. After breakfast we rumble to Cusco arriving approximately at 4:00 pm.
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South America Peru Local Culture Cultural Journey