Ultimate Wildlife

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Peru Ultimate Wildlife Eco-Tours

Choose from two exciting wildlife itineraries below:
Ultimate Wildlife (includes Machu Piccu) or Manu Bio Trip
NEW! Choose from Small Groups (Set departures) or
Independent Traveler (Go on your own, anytime) at no extra cost!

About Peru Once the center of the Inca Empire, Peru is the guardian of South America's most important pre-Columbian treasures. Its ancient cities of Cusco, Machu Picchu, and Paracas emerged from seemingly lifeless coastal deserts and Andean valleys. Spanish baroque art and architecture, remembrances of a colonial past, are on display everywhere, but especially in Lima, once called City of Kings. The richness of Peru's history is matched by the incredible diversity of its vast rain forest, which blankets more than half the country. The Amazon Basin runs down the eastern flank of Peru, providing travelers different environments in which to cruise on the rivers, stay in jungle lodges and explore the rain forest. Iquitos is the main gateway to the Amazon in the north, and a departure point for jungle stays in comfortable lodges and cruises on the mighty Amazon river. Ecotourists seeking more remote primary rainforest seek out the southern Amazon basin, home to Tambopata Wildlife Reserve and Manu National Park. This area is ideal for wildlife lovers, birdwatchers, orchid fanciers, and nature lovers of all types, while conveniently close to Cusco and Machu Piccu.

Peru Destinations

Tambopata Wildlife Reserve Cusco is the air gateway to Puerto Maldonado. From there, travelers go by river to Tambopata, which has been called one of the most biologically diverse environments on earth. Birders often count 100 different species in a day, and the reserve is home to the largest known Macaw Lick in the world.

Manu Wildlife Reserve Reached by air or overland from Cusco, Manu is one of the best areas for seeing wildlife anywhere in the Amazon rain forest: monkeys (13 species!), turtles, giant otters, peccaries, capybaras, tapir and even the occasional jaguar. Macaws and motmots, toucan and curassows are part of the rich bird life. Thursday departure recommended. Manu area is for serious nature lovers and wildlife photographers.

Cusco The archaeological capital of South America, Cusco is rich in pre-Columbian remains such as the Koricancha Temple, the Inca Baths with their sophisticated canal system and the vast Sacsayhuaman Fortress site of ancient religious celebrations. Colonial treasures include mansions and churches (the Cathedral, La Merced Convent, La Compania), built on Inca foundations. Churches are full of marvelous works from the Cusco School of painting, distinguished by its mix of Catholic and pagan imagery.

Sacred Valley Outside Cusco and in the Urubamba River Valley or "Sacred Valley of the Incas" is a favorite for outdoors activities: river rafting, hiking, horse-back riding, biking, ballooning; and take-off point for Inca Trail trekkers. Ollantaytambo fortress should not be missed. Pisac is a recommended visit for its Inca ruins above the town and the Indian market in the village square.

Machu Piccu The Lost City of the Incas was a remote fortress/sanctuary abandoned by the Inca, reclaimed by the jungle and hidden from view until Hiram Bingham of Yale University rediscovered it in 1911. With altars, temples, staircases and terraces, this is one of the world's most extraordinary sites, one that can be visited (by train or helicopter) on a day trip from Cusco, but better yet with an overnight stay.

Peru Ultimate Wildlife Itinerary
Tambopata Reserve/Cusco/Machu Piccu

DAY 1 LIMA Arrive Lima. Airport assistance available.

DAY 2 LIMA /PUERTO MALDONADO/ TAMBOPATA RESERVE Transfer from the hotel to the airport. Upon arrival in Puerto Maldonado, Two-hour motor boat trip up the Tambopata river to the POSADA AMAZONAS LODGE at the Ese'eja native community. Box lunch on board while birdwatching and wildlife viewing. Afternoon arrival. Time to hike the nearby trails before dinner. Overnight at the lodge (breakfast, lunch and dinner)

DAY 3 TAMBOPATA RESERVE After an early breakfast, a short boat trip followed by a short hike to the Tres Chimbadas oxbow lake. Canoe ride along the edge to admire its fauna, especially giant otters, turtles and hoatzin birds. Time to explore the surroundings or swim at the lake. Continue three to four hours upstream to the Tambopata Research center. Box lunch on the boat. Upon arrival, hiking, birdwatching and wildlife viewing along the Bamboo trail. Return to the research center. After dinner, night walk to observe the nocturnal wildlife, especially amphibians and insects. Accommodation at the TAMBOPATA RESEARCH CENTER (breakfast, lunch and dinner)

DAY 4 TAMBOPATA RESERVE Departure at dawn to cross the river and visit the collpa, a red clay hillside where hundreds of parrots of the larger macaws of up to twelve species arrive to eat the salty clay essential for their digestion. After breakfast, short hike along the ocelot trail to admire the rainforest ecology. After lunch at the research center, hike to the palm swamp, a nesting colony for several species of macaws. Return to the research center for dinner (breakfast,lunch and dinner)

DAY 5 TAMBOPATA RESERVE Departure at dawn for a second visit to observe the macaw clay lick from blinds on top of the clay-side. Return to the research center for breakfast. Return to the POSADA AMAZONAS LODGE. Box lunch on the boat. Upon arrival, visit to a native slash and burn farm to learn how is it that this agriculture system thought to be wasteful can be sustainable over the long term. Return to Posada Amazonas lodge for dinner and overnight (breakfast,lunch and dinner)

DAY 6 TAMBOPATA RESERVE /PUERTO MALDONADO/ CUSCO After an early breakfast, return trip to Puerto Maldonado and the airport. Assistance on departure flight. Upon arrival in Cusco, assistance at the airport and transfer to City tour including the Santo Domingo Convent Monastery - the legendary Koricancha "Site of Gold", the most important temple devoted to worship of the sun and whose walls were plated with sheets of gold; the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral. After seeing the most interesting sites of the city, you will drive out into the countryside outside Cusco to visit some of the remarkable Inca ruins in the area. The cult centre of Sacsayhuaman, the temple and amphitheatre of Kenko, Tambomachay and Puca Pucara. (Breakfast)

DAY 7 CUSCO / MACHU PICCHU Transfer to the train station. Railcoach service to Machu Picchu, "The Lost City of the Incas". Guided tour of the marvelous citadel, visiting the main square, the royal quarters, the temple of the three windows, the circular towers and the sacred sun dial and burial grounds. Lunch at Hotel Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge Dinner and overnight at MACHU PICCHU PUEBLO HOTEL (Breakfast, lunch and dinner)

DAY 8 MACHU PICCHU /CUSCO Early getting up is recommended to admire Machu Picchu at sunrise, a truly mystical experience. For hiking enthusiasts, walking up the Huayna Picchu peak overlooking the site is suggested. Afternoon railcoach service to Cusco. (breakfast)

DAY 9-12 CUSCO/MANU BIOSPHERE RESERVE - The ONLY lodge in the Reserved Zone! (13-Day Itineraries only - 9-day Itinerary returns to Lima on Day 9, with optional city tour)

Highlights: Manu has the highest biodiversity of any park on earth. Most visitors are restricted to the Cultural Zone where wildlife is much less abundant, but we will venture deep into the more remote, wildlife-rich Reserved Zone.

No other Peru Itinerary will expose you to so much wildlife! 200 species of mammals live here; tapirs and jaguars are commonly sighted. Manu’s 13 species of primates include wooly monkeys and emperor tamarins with white mustaches. The lowland rainforest in Manu harbors 1,000 species of birds, the highest concentration of bird life on earth; 40% more than the Brazilian Amazon!

Day 13 MANU/CUSCO/LIMA - Optional city tour.


9-Day $1,998 + air.
13-Day $3,098 + air

INCLUDED: Hotel accomodations and meals as detailed in your itinerary, English speaking guides, all river transportation during the tour, and 2-way transfer from the Puerto Maldonado airport to the Tambopata river port. Machu Piccu segment includes sight-seeing train through the Andes to Machu Piccu from Sacred Valley, entrance fees to Machu Pichu, transfer from Aguas Calientes station/Machu Picchu and return to Cusco.

NOT INCLUDED: Air transportation LIM/PEM/CUS/LIM (about $260, subject to change) airport taxes for domestic flights (about USD5.50, international flight USD 28.24) extras, optional tours, transfers or other services in Cusco. Park entrance fees, excess baggage charges, additional nights due to flight cancellations, alcoholic beverages or bottled water, personal insurance, laundry, phone calls, and/or items of a personal nature.

Peru - Manu Bio-trip Itinerary

Manu Biological Perserve is home to 13 species of primates!
Note: each lodge on this itinerary can also be offered separately as an extension to our Peru Ultimate Wildlife Itinerary

Manu Biotrip Starting in Cusco, we'll drive across the Andean plateau until well above treeline, then plunge into successive ecosystems of highland temperate forest, cloud forest, and finally lowland rainforest. The first stop, the dancing ground of the stunning Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, is where large, bright red males strut, bow and squawk in a frantic attempt to impress potential mates. The Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge was designed to provide easy access to this sight and a specially designed blind brings the action to you. The lodge protects a 12,500-acre private cloud forest reserve in this valley, home to an inquisitive population of Capuchin Monkeys and other primates. As you descend into the lowlands along the Madre de Dios (Mother of God) River to the Manu Wildlife Center, the wildlife becomes even more impressive: From a house-like blind in the forest you view 550-pound Amazonian Tapirs as they come to a salt lick. From canopy towers you experience the parallel world that exists in the tops of the rainforest trees. And from comfortable, stable catamarans, you paddle around an oxbow lake teeming with wildlife, including the rare Giant Otter. Macaw licks too, offer the spectacle of hundreds of parrots. No other itinerary will expose you to so much wildlife. You will visit Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge and Manu Wildlife Center on this trip.

Day 1Cusco to Manu Cloud Forest Leave early for the Manu Cloud Forest. You will cross over the high Andes, see the treeless puna habitat, and then descend through temperate highland forest, high-altitude cloud forest, and down to the comfort of the Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge. The journey lasts approximately 8 hours and is one of the most impressive drives in Peru. L, D

Day 2Manu Cloud Forest to Andean Foothills We visit the display ground of the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock in the morning and enjoy the comfortable climate and beautiful surroundings. We also explore the cloud forest trails and hike the "the best birding road in the world," according to one leading bird tour operator. After all this activity, many guests enjoy a relaxing dip in the cool mountain stream. Monkeys frequently pass by right next to the lodge, and colorful tanager flocks skim through the trees. After lunch, we will depart on a 4-hour drive to our lodge near Atalaya. B, L, D

Day 3 – Foothills to Manu Wildlife Center We rise early to enjoy the sights and sounds of the forest on the trails surrounding the guesthouse before returning for a leisurely breakfast. We then travel for approximately 6 hours by motorized canoe down the Madre de Dios River, passing small towns and even smaller groups of farms until civilization melts away into pristine rainforest. You will arrive at Manu Wildlife Center in the late afternoon and settle into your private cabanas, and perhaps even begin exploring the 40 miles of trails that the Manu Wildlife Center has to offer. B, L, D

Day 4 & 5 – Manu Wildlife Center Early morning we take a motorized canoe 25 minutes to the Macaw clay lick. From a large floating blind in the middle of the river, you can watch as the first parrots and then macaws come down to the lick, followed by hundreds of others. Other excursions include: Tapir clay lick – One evening you will have the opportunity to walk through the forest to a house-like blind at the tapir clay lick. The walk lasts about an hour, and is filled with the sights and sounds of the jungle at night. The first tapir usually arrives between 9:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m, but there are comfortable beds, bathroom facilities, and other amenities to ease your wait. Many guest prefer to stay the entire night at the blind, but there is always the option to return to the lodge. Oxbow lake and Giant Otters - Sit comfortably on a stable catamaran as your guides paddle you around the Cocha Blanco oxbow lake to search for Giant Otters and see a huge variety of birds including the prehistoric-looking Hoatzin. Rainforest hikes - Explore the extensive trail system with our expert guides showing you the way. We search for some of the 12 species of monkeys that have been seen within a few kilometers of the lodge. The forest has more than monkeys, though, and your guides can show it all to you. Canopy Observation – The Manu Wildlife Center boasts two canopy towers from which you can experience the parallel world that exists a hundred feet above the forest floor. From here you can look a monkey in the eye, watch macaws fly by, and see canopy bird flocks pass right through your tree.

Day 6 – Manu Wildlife Center/Cusco Our last day will start with an early morning ride up the river in a motorized canoe to the grass airstrip at Boca Manu. From here it is a short flight back to Cusco and the world that you left behind. B

Cost: $1,495 (includes one leg of airfare)

INCLUDED: Lodging and meals as detailed in your itinerary, English speaking guides, van and river transporation from Cusco all the way to Manu Wildlife Center, return flight from Boca Manu to Cusco, all river transportation and activities during the tour.

NOT INCLUDED: Air transportation LIMA/CUSCO/LIMA (about $180 subject to change) airport taxes for domestic flights (about USD $5.50, international flight USD $28.24) hotel in Cusco prior to tour, extra tours, transfers or other services in Cusco. Park entrance fees, excess baggage charges, additional nights due to flight cancellations, alcoholic beverages or bottled water, personal insurance, laundry, phone calls, and/or items of a personal nature.

Machu Piccu

Clay Lick - Tambopata
Research Center

Researchers with Macaws -
Tambopata Research Center

Native children

Giant Otter Viewing Catamaran - Oxbow Lake


Posada Amazonas Lodge


Boating in Amazonas on the
"Mother of God" river


Tambopata Research Center Lodge


One of the richest areas in the world for Butterfly & moths


]Cusco - Inca city at 11,200 ft



Lima - Ancient Baroque Archetecture


Machu Piccu ruins
& the Sacred Valley


Tambopata boasts 8
species of primates!

]Sunrise on an oxbow lake, home to the famous Hoatzin and
giant Otters

Macaws and Parrots come to the clay lick by the hundreds!















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