Manu Cloud Forest

Manu Cloud Forest 3 days 2 nights

Filled with endemic species, Peru’s biodiverse cloud forest habitat is accessible from Cusco. Explore the cloud forests of southeastern Peru, in the transition zone between the Andes and the Amazon basin, an ecosystem filled with endemic flora and fauna.

YOUR DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY AND SERVICES:

Day 1: Cusco – Cloud forest

We will make an early start from Cusco and head through Andean scenery composed of fertile valleys, high altitude grasslands and farming and herding communities. In the colonial-era village of Paucartambo, there will be time to visit the local church and view and photograph the historic bridge. We will continue to Acjanaco Pass (3,850 meters / 12,630 feet), the entrance to Manu National Park, with its fine views of the Amazon basin far below, from where the road will take us down into the cloud forest. This ecosystem is rich in flora and fauna: it is the habitat of the cock-of-the-rock, crested and golden quetzals, blue-crowned motmots, gray breasted mountain toucans and many species of butterflies, ferns and orchids. After this magnificent trip, you will spend your first night in the cloud forest at a comfortable lodge. 

Day 2: Manu cloud forest

After a relaxing night at our cloud forest lodge, at daybreak we will continue by bus to the lowland tropical rainforest. At the small village of Atalaya, we will transfer to a motorized canoe and travel for around forty minutes downriver on the Upper Madre de Dios River, before visiting one of the lakes in this part of the forest. At the lake, there will be plenty of time to explore this wetland habitat on small rafts, and to observe several species of rainforest birds. At most times of the year the water is clear enough to enable the observation of many tropical fish species, and it is common to see monkeys in the trees around the lakeshore. In the late afternoon, we will return to Atalaya along the Upper Madre de Dios River. During our return drive to the cloud forest, we will stop at an orchid garden. The night will be spent at a forest lodge. 

Day 3: Cloud forest – Cusco

This will be your final day in the Manu cloud forest. After an excellent breakfast there will be time to continue relaxing at the lodge or to explore the surrounding forest, before boarding our private vehicle for the return trip to Cusco. We will retrace our route to the small town of Paucartambo, from where we will take the road that follows the course of the Qenkomayo River as far as Colquepata and over the high pass at Apacheta (4100 meters / 13,448 feet). Our return journey from the cloud forest can take us into the Sacred Valley of the Incas, where we can stop to enjoy the scenery and experience the way of life of local villagers, or directly to the city of Cusco, where you will be transferred to your hotel. 

EXTENSIONS: DO YOU HAVE MORE TIME TO SPEND IN PERU?

Other travelers added the following extension to this Peru itinerary...

CUSCO CITY TOUR Half day 
Explore historic Cusco and its major attractions during a half-day excursion: Colonial-era Cusco, with its cathedral and the Inca Temple of the Sun, or Qorikancha. The enormous Inca temple complex of Sacsayhuaman, located at the top of the hill overlooking Cusco’s main square, and other archaeological sites in the hills around the city. 

CHECK TO SEE WHAT'S INCLUDED AND WHAT YOU NEED TO BRING...

Included
  • Specialized bilingual naturalist guide
  • Accommodation at a cloud forest lodge 
  • Private transport
  • All meals indicated in the itinerary
Not included
  • Personal items and medicines
  • Tips
What to bring:
  • Light clothing, long loose-fitting trousers, long-sleeved shirts, a wide-brimmed hat and walking boots or tennis shoes 
  • Around the lodge you can wear: shorts, T-shirts and sandals
  • Windbreaker or a sweater for early mornings on the river
  • Rain gear: Impermeable jacket or rain 
  • Swimwear 
  • Sun block
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • Daypack
  • Water bottle
  • First aid kit
  • Cap and sunglasses
  • Pocket knife
  • Passport
  • Waterproof bags for camera equipment
  • Insect repellent
FAQs - Frequently asked questions

When is the best time to visit Amazon forests? 

It can rain at any time in tropical and subtropical forests. For drier weather, the best time to visit the Tambopata and Manu forests accessible from Cusco is between mid-April and the end of October. The driest months are June, July and August. Different species of Amazon wildlife can be seen at any time of the year in the tropical forests of Peru. 

Should I get a yellow fever vaccination before going to the rainforest?
Yellow fever vaccination is recommended for rainforest trips anywhere in Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

Is there malaria in the rainforest? 
The US Center for Disease Control considers Puerto Maldonado to be a malaria risk area although it is reported as extremely rare. Avoid mosquito bites as much as possible by using insect repellent, long-sleeved clothing and long trousers rather than shorts, and consider taking malaria prophylaxis.

What will we do for drinking water at the jungle lodge? 
Drinking water and other beverages such as coffee and tea are provided free of charge at our lodge, and sodas and alcoholic beverages are available for purchase at the lodge’s bar.

Should I pack rubber boots?
At our lodge, rubber boots in a range of sizes are available for use during excursions.

Is there electricity at the lodge, can I charge my electronic devices?
Yes. For example, at our Tambopata lodge recharging facilities for mobile phones, pads, and assorted batteries are available at midday and in the evening between 5:00 pm and 10:00 pm.

Is there a phone available at the lodge(s)?
In the event of an emergency, lodge staff can contact the outside world by phone or internet. 

Is a laundry service available?
Remember that it can take a long time for clothes to dry in a humid rainforest environment. Laundry services can be organized in the main towns (Cusco, Puerto Maldonado, Iquitos) from which our Amazon itineraries depart. Ask our staff for more information. 

Is smoking allowed in or around the lodge?
Smoking is not permitted in rooms, dining or communal areas, such as the bar. However, guests can smoke on the terraces of their rooms and in outdoor areas of the lodge. 

What happens in the case of a medical emergency?
In the event of a medical emergency which cannot be dealt with by guides and staff trained in first aid, guests will be evacuated to the nearest town with a hospital or other medical facilities. 

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