DAY 1: CUSCO/ MANU PARADISE LODGE| INC: L/D.
Our service begins with the pick-up from your designated hotel in Cusco, at around 6:00 am. Using a modern van we will drive through the highway via Paucartambo-Kosñipata (aprox. 7 hours) in direction to the area of San Pedro. In our way to San Pedro, we will stop in Paucartambo to enjoy a good breakfast and visit las Chullpas de Ninanmarca and the museum of Paucartambo. Then, we will continue to the Abra de Ajanaco (the entrance to the biosphere of the Manu National Park), where we will have the opportunity to see the different ecosystems along the way. Once we reach the area of San Pedro, we will have the opportunity to visit the Cock of the Rock lek, where we will have time to enjoy this wonderful bird species, famous in the world. After contemplating the amazing Cock of the Rock, we will enjoy a soft trail walk before getting to Manu Paradise Lodge, where we will spend the night.
DAY 2: MANU PARADISE LODGE/ TAMBO BLANQUILLO LODGE| INC: B/L/D.
We will wake up very early in the morning, have a good breakfast and continue our way in direction to the port of Atalaya using the highway via Paucartambo-Kosñipata. In the way to Atalaya, we will visit the wildlife rescue house “Dos Loritos” and an orchidary. At about 10:00 am we will reach Atalaya. Once in Atalaya, we will board the boat in direction to Tambo Blanquillo Lodge (in a trip of about 7 hours). In the boat we will enjoy a very nice lunch while we observe the Alto Madre de Dios River which is quite a nice waterway to go through, in where we will finds plenty of flora and fauna.
In the afternoon, we will arrive at the one and only Tambo Blanquillo Lodge. Here we will have a walk, get comfortable and get to know the installations. The lodge is located in the buffer zone of the Manu National Park, a privileged area of pristine jungle that offers more things than you can even think about. Its long distance from civilization makes this place unique for bird watching, where you can find about 900 Neo-tropical of the 1500 species of birds that have been spotted in Perú. It’s a real paradise for bird watching enthusiasts.
In the late afternoon we will go for a stroll to he nearest (and first) Oxbow Lake: Blanquillo Oxbow Lake. Here we have the chance of navigating through the Oxbow Lake with a paddle catamaran and a kayak. We will get to see some species of birds but will concentrate in finding Black Caimans that lie near the shores of the lake. The sound of the paddle hitting the water and the birds will submerge you in a world of peace and happiness.
Then, we will head back to the lodge and grab a good sleep in our first night at the Peruvian jungle to recharge batteries.
DAY 3: MACAW CLAY LICK| INC: B/L/D.
We will wake up before sunrise (at about 5:00 am) and head to one of the most important Macaw Clay Licks of the World: The Tambo Blanquillo Macaw Clay Lick. After a 15-minute boat ride and a 45-minute hike through a secondary forest, we will reach the Claylick.
A comfortable giant blind, located only 50 meters away from the Clay Lick enables you to have the best possible position for the show that will be displayed by the birds. The blind is located so close to the lick that you will not even need zoom on you cameras! As the sun rises over century-old trees, an explosion of life and color will burst before our eyes as hundreds of parrots and dozens of Macaws eat clay in order to get their right PH balance leveled. In groups of twos and threes the red-and-green as well as scarlet Macaws come flapping in, landing in the treetops as they eye the main stage below, the eroded clay banks of the river and the occasional villain, a menacing and unwelcome Great Black Hawk. After making us wait (the good things require patience) the Macaws will finally decide to come down and make a colorful and noisy display on the naked banks, getting all the clay they can from the hard surface. While they feast on the sodium sediments, we will have the unique opportunity to enjoy nothing but a healthy and remarkable breakfast as we watch the show (so yes, sit back and relax ).
In the afternoon we can have a little bit of time for ourselves (remember we have been awake from 5:00 am and we have a long trip ahead of us). Hanging around in the bar is a great alternative for relaxing, reading, enjoying some cocktails, or simply shelter from the usual heat during that moment of the day. Also, if we still have a little bit of energy left, it is possible to play soccer or volley with the Tambo Blanquillo staff, so bring your best game!
Dinner will be served early in the night, in order to start early the next day.
DAY 4: CAMUNGO OXBOW LAKE | INC: B/L/D.
Early in the morning, we will have a nice breakfast and head to one of the richest Oxbow Lakes in the Tambo Blanquillo area; the Camungo Oxbow Lake. Home to families of: Giant river otters (elsewhere almost extinct in Peru), Kingfishers, Flycatchers and some rare Neotropical birds, such as the colorful Agami Heron. We will enjoy the ride through a paddle catamaran, where we can take priceless pictures from the very solid platform that gently travels through the water.
After the ride along the lake, we will go back to the lodge around noon and enjoy an amazing but typical Manu-Rainforest lunch from our local house Chef.
In the afternoon, we will complete what we call the Camungo Loop. Any visit to this lake is incomplete without going to the Camungo Observation Tower, the biggest observation tower in the Peruvian Amazon – situated 50 meters above the forest ground. The tower is constructed next to a Ceiba tree with more than 400 years of age. It is important to point out, that in no point does the structure touch the tree (as it never stops growing). Once we are at the top, we will see Jacamars hunt, monkeys swing and mixed flocks carrying up to 100 bird species pass right beside us. We will even see Macaws again as they return home from the Macaw Clay Lick.
After this tall activity, we will return to the lodge for a rest and a delicious dinner. B, L, D
DAY 5: BLANCO OXBOW LAKE | INC: B/L/D.
Following a healthy breakfast, we will dedicate most of this day to visit the most important Oxbow Lake in the area, the Blanco Oxbow Lake. On the way to the lake (10 minutes boat ride) it is not rare to see peccaries and other mammals walking in the riverbanks. It is common for visitors to delight themselves with great views of Jaguars resting and sunbathing in the early morning sun, after long nights of hunt.
Once on the lake, we will paddle another of our catamarans (yes, we have one in each lake ϑ) and navigate through the water filled with Giant River Otters, Caimans and other top predators. Groups of monkeys are easily seen feeding on the fruiting trees beside the Oxbow Lake, while Snail Kites feast on the abundance of snails. This lake is actually famous around the region for actually spotting more than 600 species of birds.
Hereafter, we will head back to the lodge for a remarkable lunch and a very deep relaxing moment.
After lunch, we will get to visit the Mammal Clay Lick. We will walk through the Mammal Trial for about 1 hour and arrive to the Mammal Clay Lick. In the way we have a chance of encountering many species of monkeys – like the spider monkey – and of course various species of reptiles and invertebrates. Once at the Mammal Clay Lick, we can lay-down on the unique tents we have permanently set-up and wait until the Tapir, Huangana, Ronsocos and even Jaguars come to eat clay in their natural habitat. As Macaws, they also eat clay to level their PH balance.
At night we will have a very nice dinner and enjoy our last night at Tambo Blanquillo, under the staggering scenery of shining stars and the splendid moon.
DAY 6: TAMBO BLANQUILLO LODGE/ PUERTO MALDONADO| INC: B/L/D.
Early in the morning we will make our way back into civilization through an amazing 2.5 hour downstream boat ride through the Madre de Dios River at dawn. A healthy breakfast will be served on the boat, while we appreciate the morning wildlife activity as we go.
We will search for raptors soaring against the rising sun and mammals sleeping on the beaches. This journey also allows us to see several lowland native settlements and large groups of cattle along the banks.
Once we get to Colorado we will start our overland journey to Puerto Carlos for 45 minutes to then cross the Iñambari River and get to Santa Rosa. At Santa Rosa, a van will drive us to Puerto Maldonado or Cusco, depending on the choice of the group.
End of our services.
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