Immersive Amazon: Mists, Monkeys & Macaws
Explore Peru's cloud forest, meet tribespeople, and travel deep into the Amazon jungle on this special itinerary designed for intrepid Wild Nectar travelers.
The Amazon: Drink It In
Designed expressly for Wild Nectar travelers, this adventure begins in the Manu cloud forest and jungle where vividly hued bird species and monkeys fill the trees while turtles and caiman hide in the dark waters. Then travel by motorized canoe deep into the Tambopata Reserve to visit the Tambopata Research Center, one of the most remote lodges in South America. By day, explore the lush habitat you've only imagined where sightings can be had of capybara, brightly colored macaws, dart frogs, and other exotic species. By night, enjoy lovely accommodations and expert service. Round out the experience by meeting local tribes people and imagining what it would be like to live your whole life in this wildly verdant and diverse habitat.
Travel Curator’s Insights:
- • Venture into Manu National Park, a rarely visited cloud forest and jungle area teeming with over 600 species of birds, 12 species of monkeys, and other exotic animals.
• Travel by motorized canoe deep into the jungle to stay at the stunning Tambopata Research Center and experience a wide array of nature hikes and activities designed to convey the unbelievable diversity and beauty of these "lungs of the world", the Amazon Rainforest.
• Designed for curious and intrepid travelers who don't mind Manu's simple yet comfortable accommodations, this program focuses on experiences impossible to come by on less immersive itineraries.
From $6,295 per person
Adapting protocols and procedures to reduce risk in every step of the expedition. Policies and protocols provided before booking.
Ask Us for Your Custom Dates
Ask Us for Your Custom Dates
Trip Sustainability Awards
Peruvian operator provides jobs and training to local communities
Company annually funds and builds new libraries in rural communities.
Staff and clients participate together in reforestation campaigns
Day 1: Arrive Lima
Upon your arrival in Lima, you are met by our representative and transferred to your hotel located in the bohemian district of Barranco.
Accommodation: Hotel Villa Barranco
Hotel Villa Barranco: The Hotel Villa Barranco is an old republican house from the 20s that was restored with great care, respecting the original architecture and art. Barranco, the cultural, bohemian and artistic neighborhood of Lima, is considered to have the best boutique hotels in Lima. The location is magnificent for its tranquility, being located only four blocks from the Plaza de Barranco and excellent restaurants.
Day 2: The Colors & Tastes of Lima
This morning, explore one of the most iconic and picturesque markets in Lima. See, taste and purchase the most popular ingredients used in Peruvian cuisine such as chirimoya, passion fruit, native varieties of potatoes, tubers, roots, aromatic herbs and grains. And don’t forget the impressive seafood section! After the market, we will continue to a popular restaurant for a very personal cooking experience with our culinary expert and the restaurant's chef.
After lunch, continue to Barranco. The Bohemian district of Barranco is renowned for its art culture, designers, musicians and creative tribe. First, we will head to Dedalo, which is considered to be one of Lima’s best shopping examples of contemporary Peruvian art. Head to the contemporary art museum, the MAC, which presents a collection of national and international contemporary art dating from 1950 onwards.
Finally, get to know and try various types of coffee and chocolate through well designed pairings for an optimal experience of both products, which are made in Peru. This day includes Breakfast and Lunch.
Accommodation: Hotel Villa Barranco
Alternate Option: Visit the Larco Herrera Museum, housed in an 18th century colonial mansion in the district of Pueblo Libre. This museum holds the most extensive collection of pre-Columbian art in Peru.
Day 3: Lima – Cusco
Fly to Cusco and transfer to your hotel. Today you have a free day to wander around the charming colonial streets of Cusco and maybe shop for beautiful alpaca textiles found in several shops around the city. We'll recommend restaurants and places to visit however this is very much a rest day as you acclimate to Cusco's 11,000 feet elevation and prepare for your journey deep into the tropical forests of Manu in the days to come. This day includes Breakfast.
Accommodation: Palacio Manco Capac
Palacio Manco Capac: Palacio Manco Capac was restored from an old republican house from the seventeenth century preserving the most traditional elements of its architecture. The house has 22 rooms, two very cozy lounges with fireplaces, a bar, plus gardens overlooking the Plaza de Armas where you can organize barbecues, cocktails, and weddings. In addition, the hotel has El Cubo, an ideal room for events with a view of the city.
Day 4: Cusco – Cloud Forest
Leave Cusco with first light to journey through the Andes by private car. Along the way, have breakfast and explore the tiny colonial village of Paucartambo. Continue on to Ajanaco, the official entrance point of the Manu Biosphere Reserve. From there, we'll head down an eastern Andean slope stopping several times to stretch in the clean air and observe the changes in flora and fauna.
Arriving in the verdant cloud forest, we take our first longer walk. Birds such as the paradise tanager, the umbrella bird, and the golden-headed quetzal fill the trees. The cloud forest has 3 monkey species plus other mammals that are harder to find, such as the grey deer and the spectacled bear. We end the walk at the "lek" or communal gathering area of the bright orange Cock of the Rock. The males of this colorful but strange-looking bird, have the remarkable habit of giving dance-and-song performances almost every morning and late afternoon. Arrive at Posada San Pedro in the late afternoon where we will spend the night. Enjoy a restful sleep in this precious and extraordinary cloud forest environment. All meals included this day.
Accommodation: Posada San Pedro
Posada San Pedro: Between bamboo and short cloud forest trees covered with mosses and bromeliads, Posada San Pedro has 4 bungalows with 2 rooms each, a beautiful lounge and separate bathrooms with hot-water showers. For a couple of hours each evening a generator provides light and the possibility to recharge your batteries. Though remote and basic, this lodge provides ample comfort to further explore this stunning region.
Day 5: Cloud Forest – Huacaria Native Community
At daybreak, we continue by private vehicle to tropical lowland rainforest to visit the native community Huacaria. Here we can see how the indigenous Machiguenka and Huachiperi live and work. We can learn how they make their handicrafts such as bow and arrow making and fabric painting. There will be an opportunity to buy some of their beautiful necklaces and arrows. Also, Don Alberto, the local shaman, will lead you through his botanical garden filled with medicinal plants. At the end of the morning, try one of their traditional dishes before saying good-bye.
Arrive at Atalaya and take a long canoe with an outboard motor down the Alto Madre de Dios River. Two-and-a-half hours later, you'll arrive at the rustic and welcoming Pantiacolla Lodge. The forest around the lodge is very special, as this is the exact area where the Andes and the Amazon meet. It has many bird species and vegetation from both zones plus 9 monkey species. Among them are the howler monkeys, saddle-back tamarins, and the rare monk saki monkey. In the evening, look for insects, lizards, frogs, and the only nocturnal monkey, the “musmuqui”. The most common nocturnal cats in the area are ocelots, but jaguarundis, pumas and jaguars have been seen as well. All meals included.
Accommodation: Pantiacolla Lodge
Pantiacolla Lodge: You can reach Pantiacolla Lodge from Cusco in a 2-day expedition by car and boat down the Andes. There are 3 bungalows of 2 rooms each with private bathrooms, 1 bungalow of 3 rooms with private bathrooms and 1 bungalow of 2 rooms with shared bathrooms. The
lodge has 900 hectares of surrounding forest, extending from 350 to 1200m above sea level. The lodge’s bird list is just over 600 species, and you can see an average of 150 species per day. This rustic yet comfortable lodge will astonish you with its location and nearby wildlife.
Day 6: Pantiacolla Lodge – Pantiacocha
In the early morning, walk the trails around the lodge to look for some of its 613 bird species, among them the beautiful masked crimson tanager, trumpeter, blue-throated piping-guan, purple-throated cotinga, great potoo, crested quetzal, motmot and 30 hummingbird species, each of them no less than a flying jewel. Besides monkeys, we may see other mammals such as peccaries, deer, coatis and tayras. And with a bit of luck, we encounter the famous morpho butterfly, with its large iridescent blue wings. In the afternoon, we visit nearby Pantiacocha, a little pond, formed recently when the Petroleo Stream changed its course. We will look for the sunbittern, agami heron and the prehistoric looking hoatzin. In the evening we'll visit the small pond Ranacocha, to look for colorful frogs in its surroundings. This day includes all meals.
Accommodation: Pantiacolla Lodge
Day 7: Pantiacolla Lodge - Tambo Blanquillo: Canopy Tower-Lakes Camungo & Blanco
In the morning, we travel further down the Alto Madre de Dios River on the lookout for the Amazon’s biggest rodent, the capybara. Or maybe we'll see a deer or even the rare bush dog on one of the beaches. At the same time we'll get to see more beautiful birds, such as the pink spoonbill, the capped heron and the black, white and red skimmers. After a couple of hours, we'll find the spot where the Alto Madre de Dios and Manu Rivers meet, mixing the dark and white waters of these two. From there, the river is called the Madre de Dios. Here we may find the yellow-spotted-sideneck turtles, and maybe even a white or black caiman.
Once we get settled at Tambo Blanquillo, we set out to explore its Canopy Tower of about 40 meters high and the Camungo and Blanco Lakes on floating platforms. We see many water birds, and maybe giant otters in Lake Blanco. The giant otter measures almost 2 meters long and is almost extinct because of past hunting for its fur and disappearance of its habitat. Manu is one of the last places in South America that still has healthy populations of these social otters. All meals included this day.
Accommodation: Tambo Blanquillo
Tambo Blanquillo: Amid the tropical rainforest of Manu National Park and its buffer zone sit our accommodation grounds, six bungalows, and 18 triple Tambo Bedrooms. Simple, rustic, yet sophisticated, inspired with Amazonic architecture that respects pristine rainforest, farm-to-table exquisite cuisine, and well-appointed accommodations come together to offer an experience like no other. Each room or bungalow suite is beautifully situated in the rainforest and offers breathtaking views from outdoors at our lodge.
Day 8: Macaw Lick - Puerto Maldonado
Just before dawn, a boat takes us 20 minutes downriver to a claylick for parakeets, parrots and big macaws. Among the many species that visit, there are the tui and cobalt-winged parakeet, the blue-headed, mealy, and yellow crowned parrot, the small chestnut-fronted and military macaw, and the big red-and-green, scarlets and blue-and-yellow macaws. After their dazzling spectacle, we continue down river to the gold mining town of Boca Colorado. From there, a private vehicle will take us south to the Interoceanica Road where our car will be waiting to drive us in about 2,5 hours to Puerto Maldonado.
Accommodation: Casa Amazonas
Casa Amazonas: With garden views, Casa Amazonas is located in Tambopata and has a restaurant and a 24-hour front desk. Guests at the lodge can enjoy a buffet or a vegetarian breakfast, hiking and cycling nearby, or make the most of the garden.
Days 9 - 11: Tambopata Research Center
Travel from Puerto Maldonado via vehicle and motorized canoe to Tambopata Research Center, one of the most remote lodges in South America. The next days are yours to take advantage of the variety of included activities at Tambopata Research Center which are designed to connect you with the dense rainforest, maximize wildlife encounters, and share the local culture. Your stay includes three meals daily, teas, coffee, guided excursions and activities, refreshments upon arriving, and transfers to and from the airport. The lodge assigns guides on private small groups of 6:1. Although you can design your own Amazon experience and let your inner explorer out, the following options offer you some ideas for your stay:
Amazon Overlook Trail: Join the Amazon Overlook Trail. A three to five-kilometer hike through a regenerating old bamboo forest will lead us to the edge of stunning overlooks which commands magnificent views of the capriccios Tambopata River as it winds its way into the lowlands. Duration: 1.5 hours. Difficulty level: Moderate.
Macaw Clay Lick - Colorado: Before breakfast, on most clear mornings of the year dozens of large macaws and hundreds of parrots and parakeets congregate in a raucous and colorful spectacle on a cliff located near the lodge. This spellbinding spectacle inspired a National Geographic cover story. We will install ourselves on the opposite side of the Tambopata River at approximately fifty meters (165 feet) from the cliff. From our unobtrusive spot and with the assistance of powerful telescopes and weather permitting, we will be able to observe Green-winged, Scarlet and Blue-and-gold Macaws and several species of smaller parrots and parakeets as they descend to ingest clay. Outings are at dawn when the clay lick is most active. Return to the lodge. Duration: 2.5 hours. Difficulty level: Easy
Monkey Search: An entirely different habitat featuring smaller, thinner trees atop hills and slopes is covered by this five-kilometer trail. A favorite ecosystem for the many monkey species who inhabit Tambopata region. Great opportunity to learn about these curious and lively habitants of this captivating forest. Duration: 1.5 to 2.5 hours. Difficulty level: Moderate.
Island Exploration and Pond: Ten minutes upriver from the lodge is a small pond with a platform in the middle. It is a great place to spot waterfowl such as the beautiful Agami heron, Capped heron, the rare curassow, Muscovy duck, Sunbittern and hoatzins along with woodpeckers, oropendolas, flycatchers and parakeets that call this pond their home. You will also have an opportunity to learn about the varieties of fish that live in the amazon. If you are fortunate, you may even get to see a caiman or two. Duration: 2 hours. Difficulty level: Moderate.
Palm Swamp Trail: Growing on the remains of an oxbow lake and providing both arboreal as well as terrestrial mammals with fruits throughout the year, the aguaje palms are one of the most important food sources in the rainforest. Unfortunately, this habitat is also in high demand by humans since the swamps provide ideal conditions for planting rice, making the palm swamps one of the most threatened habitats in the rainforest. Once thing is certain. Swamps are truly picturesque habitats and should be in everyone’s short list of places to visit during your stay at Tambopata Research Center. Duration: 3 hours. Difficulty level: Challenging.
Night Walk: Join an amazing night walk. Walking through the rainforest at night challenges all your senses. In deep darkness, surrounded by an array of jungle sounds and with the aid of your guide’s powerful spotlight, you enter a world inhabited by the most unique, diverse and shy night creatures. If fortunate, you will be able to find poison dart frogs, night monkeys, tarantulas, amphibians and insects with the most unique adaptations to life under the cover of darkness. Duration: 1 hour. Difficulty level: Easy. This day includes all meals.
Accommodation: Tambopata Research Center.
Tambopata Research Center: Tambopata offers a unique travel experience. The rooms have modern amenities with comfortable beds, with mosquito nets. The outside walls are open to the jungle. The lodge features 300 meters (almost 1000 feet) of elevated walkways! These walkways are located in the perfect level of the forest — in between the canopy and the floor — where wildlife becomes more active, allowing you unprecedented opportunities to spot animals. The service is expert and the cuisine is wonderful. Since 1989, researchers have been carrying out groundbreaking Macaw conservation research from the Tambopata Research Center.
Day 12: Tambopata Research Center – Puerto Maldonado – Lima
It's time to say goodbye, as the expedition comes to an end. Your visit will make a direct contribution to the Macaw Project and the National Reserve of Tambopata. Travel back to Puerto Maldonado for your national flight onwards. Once in Lima assistance will be offered to connect with your homeward flight.
Please Note: Because of the nature of hotels, it's not always possible to secure the hotels and lodges listed in the itinerary. This operator will endeavour to secure the hotels listed above however they reserve the right to secure the next best available option or an upgrade in the event that the original hotels are not available or overbooked. This program and price quotation are subject to change depending on the Health and Safety Protocols that may be implemented by the Peruvian Government related to COVID 19. You will be informed of any relevant changes.
If you love wildlife, don't mind simple accommodations, and are hoping to experience a deep dive into the flora, fauna, and local people of the Amazon, this itinerary was created especially for Wild Nectar travelers to offer you an immersive and powerful experience.
Joy Martinello, Founder
What’s Included & Cancellation Policy: