MANU EXPRESS - 4d/3n 

 Cocha Camungo - Photo: Stefano Raffo

Cocha Camungo - Photo: Stefano Raffo

“It’s good to know that the world-wide famous Macaw Clay Lick, the highest Observation Tower in the whole amazon jungle (50 mts), the Mammal Clay Lick and the Blanquillo, Camungo and Blanco Oxbow Lakes are within the boundaries of the Tambo Blanquillo - Private Reserve. Since 1990, we have rented these attractions to our neighbour lodges.  On the year 2016, we implemented better and more comfortable (Private Suite Bungalows and Tambo), placing you closer to the attractions in order to avoid back and forth trips every day from your designated lodge.” – Stefano Raffo, Business Development Manager of the Tambo Blanquillo Lodge in Manu, Perú.

Program: Manu Perú Express 4D/3N

Departure: Puerto Maldonado/Cusco

Arrival: Puerto Maldonado/Cusco

Day #1:

Our service begins with your reception in Cusco or Puerto Maldonado. With a transfer service by van to Santa Rosa Village (we will get there in about 2 hours) we cross the Iñambari River for about 15 minutes and start an overland journey by car of approximately 45 minutes to Boca Colorado. Here, the boats of Tambo Blanquillo will take you on a journey of about 2.5 – 3 hours (depending on the tide) upstream the Madre de Dios River. In between the journey we enjoy our box lunch whilst seeing sand-colored nighthawks, Orinoco geese and Capybaras (the largest rodent in the world).

Early 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 has to offer 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 Neotropical 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 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 #2:

We will wake up before sunrise (at about 5:00 am) and head to the most important Macaw Clay Lick of the World: The Tambo Blanquillo Macaw Claylick. 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-greed 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 have the unique opportunity to enjoy nothing but a healthy and remarkable breakfast as we watch the show (so yes, sit back and relaxJ).

After this amazing, exhausting but unique experience we will return to the lodge and wait for our lunch as we read, sleep or walk around the lodge. This is a great opportunity to view some magnificent humming birds like the White-necked Jacobin, Festive- coquette, and Golden-tailed Saphire sap some nectar of the flowers within the vicinity of our installations. It is very common during the mating season, to also observe the skillful Oropéndolas(Montezuma oropendola)  craft their innovative nests located within the trees around the main dining room.

 

After a quick read or a nap, we will have a earned lunch and go 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.  

No visit to this lake is complete without stopping at 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 have a delicious dinner.

 Three-toed Sloth - Photo: Luis Felipe Raffo

Three-toed Sloth - Photo: Luis Felipe Raffo

 

Day #3:

Following an early and 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 (by a 10 minute boat ride) it is not rare to see peccaries and other mammals walking in the river banks. 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 J) 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 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!!!

After this, we will head back to the lodge for another memorable lunch and a very deep relaxed moment.

Succeeding the meal, we will get to visit the Mammal Clay Lick. After walking through the Mammal Trial for about 1 hour, we arrive to the Mammal Clay Lick. In the way we have had 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 a splendid moon.

Day #4:

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 during which we will 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, then cross the Iñambari River for a 15 minutes boat trip to Santa Rosa. At Santa Rosa, a van will drive us to Puerto Maldonado or Cusco, depending on the group preference.

 

 * The guide in charge of the PAX can vary the sequence of the program due to weather issues or any occasional affair including the preference and specific interest of each group. Be completely sure we want you to see all of the attractions but we don’t want to leave aside your security and health.  

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