Manu-Tambopata Photo Safari Expedition 15D / 14N
Photography is the only language that can be understood and understood throughout the world. Indeed, it is. For this expedition, we will communicate through our photography in the forest of Manu, one of the most biodiverse Natural Parks in the world. This expedition takes you to different microclimates; from the highland to the elfin forest, and from the cloud forest to the rainforest.
Day 1. Cusco – Wayquecha Biological station
Early in the morning we start our photo safari from the city of Cusco towards the Huacarpay lake, beautiful place to photograph aquatic and non-aquatic birds from the Andes. Making stops along the way, learning the history and culture of the high Andean people, we arrive at Acjanaco, the park’s first check point. Here we can photograph many birds specialized in high ecosystems and elfin forest such as: Marcapata spinetail, giant hummingbird, white-throated tyrant, Andean flicker, Masked flowerpiercer, among other birds. Andean fox, Puma, Bear are the most preferred mammals from here, but we need some luck to spot them.
After our picnic lunch, we begin descending towards the elfin forest, place with a unique and very important wildlife. This area will be ideal for photographing Scarlet-bellied mountain Tanager, Hooded Mountain Tanager, Andean Pygmy owl, Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Grass Green Tanager, Gray-breasted mountain Toucan, among other colorful birds.
We arrived at the lodge with natural light and took the opportunity to photograph the birds in the garden.
Day 2. Wayquecha Biological Station – Cock of the rock Lodge
We start early with a delicious breakfast and take advantage of the morning. We begin to descend in our van towards the next lodge by Manu road. The route to the next destination is the cradle of many microclimates that favor the adaptation of unique species in each of them. We will make multiple stops in which we can photograph, Golden-headed Quetzal, Crimson-mantled woddpecker, Barred becard, Green jay, White-bellied woodstar, among many other birds and probably woolly monkeys, Spectacled Bear, Opossums, etc. We arrived at the lodge in the afternoon and perhaps with light even to photograph birds in the garden. We will have another picnic lunch on the way.
Day 3 and 4. Cock of the rock Lodge
In these days, we will photograph species from the middle montane forest such as; Blue banded toucanet, Montane woodcreeper, Versicolored barbet, Dusky green Oropendola, Crested Quetzal, Paradise Tanager, Golden Tanager, and many others. In this area, there are also two species of primates and many other animals such as rodents and mustelids. The garden of the lodge is excellent for photographing many varieties of hummingbirds, such as Violet-fronted Brilliant, sparkling violetear, Booted Racket-tail, Wire-crested Thorntail, among many other beauties. In the afternoon we will visit the cock of the rock lek (natural disco) to photograph these wonderful birds that dance to attract the female.
Day 5. Cock of the rock Lodge – Amazonia
Early in the morning, we continue our expedition to the transitional forest and secondary forest. On this route we will have the opportunity to photograph birds such as Swallow Tanager, Turquoise Tanager, Speckled Chachalaca, Blue-crowned Trogon, Golden-collared Honeycreeper, Black Solitary Eagle, among others. At noon we will arrive at Atalaya village, where we will change the vehicle and continue with our expedition by boat with outboard motor. After a 15-minute journey, we arrive at the Amazonia lodge, where we can take advantage of natural light and photograph birds and mammals in the garden.
Day 6. Amazonia Lodge
The lodge has a very good trails system for photography and the small towers that help us have a better view. Here we will have the opportunity to photograph Great Antshrike, Black-tailed Trogon, Chestnut-eared Arasari, Royal Flycatcher, Amazon Kingfisher, Ringed Woodpecker, Spangled Cotinga and many others. In addition, the lodge has a garden where we can find golden-tailed sapphire, Rufous-crested Coquete, Green hermit, Fork-tailed Woodnymph, and many other species.
We can also do a night walk in search of Great Potoo, Spectacled Owl, and Common Pauraque and among others.
Day 7. Amazonia Lodge – Manu Learning Center
After our last breakfast and photo safari here, we will take the boat downstream to get the other lodge with very interesting garden and wetland, excellent place for photographing Rufous-crested Coquete, Violet-headed Hummingbird, Blue-gray Tanager, among others. By the afternoon we explore the garden and around 18:00, well do the night walk with some biologist to the wetland, searching for amphibians.
Day 8. Manu Learning Center – Hummingbird Lodge
In the morning, before our breakfast, we visit a small salty claylick, where we have the chance to see and photograph the Blue-headed Macaw, Scarlet Macaw, Chestnut-fronted Macaw, parrots and parakeets. By noon, after lunch, we keep going downstream to the next lodge. Arriving around 16:00.
Day 9. Hummingbird Lodge – Manu Tented Camp
Starting early in the morning, we embark on our boat and sail the Manu River for most of the day. On the route we can photograph birds, mammals, reptiles that are on the river bank such as Jaguar, Caymans, Capybaras basking. We arrived at sunset and settled in a small lodge with basic accommodation. At night, we can make a nocturnal walk looking for nocturnal wildlife.
Day 10. Manu Tented Camp – Salvador Lake – Otorongo lake
Today, we will explore two beautiful oxbow lakes and trails with a lot of wildlife in them, Salvador and Otorongo lakes, where we have the options to enjoy Giant Otters fishing in the lake, Agami Heron, American Pygmy Kingfisher, Wattled Jacaca, Snail kite, Black Cayman waking up, some primates eating fruits of trees nearby, and many more. After lunch we walk into the forest and visit the Otorongo view point, for more photography activity.
Day 11. Manu Tented Camp – Manu Wildlife Center
We leave after breakfast and start out boat trip to Manu Wildlife Center Lodge. On the way, we will make stops to photograph aquatic birds and some mammals like capybaras, and probably jaguars, tapir or any other big mammal that come out to the river bank. We arrive in the afternoon to the lodge, and have still some time to photograph the Festive Coquete, Fork-tailed Woodnymph, Reddish Hermit, Pale-legged Hornero, among many others.
Day 12. Manu Wildlife Center – Blanco Oxbow lake
We will start our day on the river, heading down to the Cocha Blanco (another meander) and walk for about 15min along the main trail. Once there, we take the catamaran and explore it for about 3 hours. And that will be worth it, because we can spot Least Grebe, Black-collared Hawk, Green Ibis, Green-and-rufous Kingfisher, Horned Screamer, Sungrebe, Agami Heron, Black-billed Seed-finch, Silvered Antbird, Band-tailed Antbird, Amazonian Streaked-antwren, Rufous-sided Crake, Gray-breasted Crake and more. Also, there’s a family of giant otters that can be seen sometimes. Back to the Lodge for lunch. In the afternoon, we visit another small meander, Camungo and the tower, a perfect place for spotting some birds of prey and tanagers.
Day 13. Manu Wildlife Center – Chuncho Lodge
Back on the boat early in the morning, we head downstream to the small mining village of Boca Colorado. We take local transportation until we cross the Inambari River. On the other side, our van will be waiting for us. We will drive for about three hours to Tambopata river. We arrive at the lodge when we still have light, which will give us some opportunity for bird photography.
Day 14. Chuncho Lodge – Chuncho salty clay lick
Today we will visit the largest clay lick of the world, and be part of one of the most colorful natural shows. We are going to have plenty of time to photograph and enjoy this unique moment. Macaws such us, Blue and yellow, Red and green, Scarlet, Blue Headed and lots of parrots, parakeets and other macaws come here in the morning or afternoon, depending on the weather.
Back to the lodge for lunch and enjoy the garden or take the boat and explore the river bank which is perfect for big mammals such Jaguar, Tapir among others.
Day 15. Chuncho Lodge – Puerto Maldonado – Cusco or Lima
After our last rainforest breakfast, we take our boat/car and return to the main city, Puerto Maldonado. We take a flight to Cusco or Lima.
- All the transportation from/to Cusco
- Flight to Cusco or Lima
- Experienced Bilingual Photographer Guide
- Accommodation (in lodges)
- Duffle bag
- All food included (except the first breakfast and last dinner)
- Extra drinks (beer, pisco sour, etc.)
- Travel Insurance
- Tips for the staff (optional)
- Take extra money with you
- Good Binoculars
- Eco-friendly clothes