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Manu Spirit, Nature and Culture

A feel good tour
A feel good tour
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  • 4 Days, 3 Nights Starting point: your hotel in Cusco
  • Group Size: 2 - 6
  • April through Novemberand book at least 72h in advance
  • Sustainability Score: 32

The Manu Biosphere Reserve has always been the territory of ancestral peoples such as the Matsigenka.  They are considered to be the expert hunters and to have great knowledge of the medicinal secrets of plants. This knowledge is a heritage going back thousands of years. In this program we have carefully crafted an authentic experience that enables you to connect with the magic of the Amazon, learning about rituals, beliefs and the use of medicinal plants in the Matsigenka culture. Have Temascal sessions outdoors enjoying the tranquility of the Amazonian environment!

Note: all programs in the jungle may have slight variations, depending on the reports of our experienced guides and weather conditions, in order to maximize the observation of wildlife.

The day before leaving, we would also like to have a small briefing with you in your hotel at around 6 pm. We will contact you to see if this time suits you or if we have to fix another moment. Of course, you will get to ask all your open questions during this briefing. 

You might have already noticed (or else you will do now) that we offer another experience in Manu that is very similar to this one. Our visit to Shipetiari and Shintuya (two communities of Manu), includes almost the same activities, with one major difference: you will get to spend an extra day in the jungle and visit one more community. So, if you have time and are a jungle fanatic, we suggest you opt for the longer tour.

There is even a 6-day tour available, which is called Exploration to the heart of the Manu National Park

For more general information about Manu and how to travel there, we put in your hands our Travel Guide to Manu in Southern Peru.  

Day by Day

Day 1Cusco – Cloud Forest (3.560 m) – Villa Salvación Manu

At the scheduled time (06:30 am) we will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco, heading towards the exuberant region of the cloud forest, where the Andes end and give way to the Amazon. We will ascend to the Acjanaco pass, which is the entrance to the Manu National Park.

On our way, we will take some stops to discover some secrets of the cloud forest, the kingdom of giant ferns. If time allows, we will make a breathing exercise. We continue our journey until we reach Villa Salvación, the Capital of the province of Manu. Here, we will spend the night. 

Meals included: Box lunch, dinner.
Transportation: Private transport (arrival time between 5-6 pm).
Included activities: Breathing dynamic.
Local hostel – Villa Salvación.

Day 2Villa Salvación – Shipetiari Matsigenka Community

Early in the morning, we will visit the “cocha” Machuwasi. The Amazonian cochas (oxbow lakes) are assembly points for different animal species, especially birds. Once here, we will take some time to connect with nature by breathing to the rhythm of the bird’s awaking. Then, we will start navigating the lake on a raft. 

As we leave the oxbow lake, we continue our journey to the Shipetiari Community (3 hours by car). The Matsigenka community of Shipetiari lives adjacent to the Manu National Park. After meeting its members, we will settle in our comfortable rooms.

Later on, we will have the chance to explore the rainforest and be surrounded by the most extravagant sounds that make this place so mysterious. Before it gets dark, we will also  walk to an observation platform, where it’s time for another breathing exercise. Let’s open our senses and connect with the natural surroundings!

Getting back to the lodge we will always have great chances to find more fauna.

Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Included Activities: Machuwasi lake, breathing dynamic, jungle night walk.
Transportation: Private transfer by car and boat
Accommodation: Pankotsi Lodge – Shipetiari

Day 3Shipetiari Community

We will wake up to the sounds of the forest and do some breathing and meditation to expand our senses and out them in harmony with the magic of the forest. After breakfast we will have some time to learn a little about the daily life in Shipetiari. We will engage in some activities with the people, such as harvesting “yuca” (manioc or cassava), bananas or other seasonal products and preparing beverages (masato).

In the Afternoon, we will participate in a campfire and try a traditional dish, such as pacamoto (pieces of fish cooked in bamboo), banana and other local products. We will spend some time exchanging experiences with the Matsigenka, and to recover our strength and energy, we will have a session of temascal with aromatic herbs accompanied by music.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Included activities: Masato preparation, craft – workshop, traditional food (pacamoto), breathing dynamic, temascal session.
Accommodation: Pankotsi Lodge –  Shipetiari

Day 4Shipetiari - Cusco

At the scheduled time, we say goodbye to Shipiteari and take the boat back to the port where a car will be waiting for us. We will return to the city of Cusco and make some stops on the way to enable you to continue enjoying the area for as long as possible. We will drop you off at your hotel in Cusco between 17.00 and 18.00 pm

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch
Transportation: Private transfers from Manu to Cuzco and to your hotel

Why is this experience RESPONSible?

You will be supporting community-based tourism in a remote area, while raising environmental awareness and promoting cultural empathy, in one of the most diverse places on the planet, enjoying a wellness experience and interacting with native communities that seek alternative and additional ways of subsistence in tourism.


  • We offer personalized experiences (small groups), and we explore new routes avoiding mass tourism in the area as much as possible.
  • We work closely with native communities, strengthening the empowerment of their operations, rescuing their traditions and customs.
  • We train the guides of the native communities so that you have a better first-hand experience.
  • We use biodegradable products such as soap for personal hygiene.
  • We consume locally produced food in the communities where we operate.
  • We use 20 liter water bottles for you to refill, so you can avoid buying plastic bottles.
  • We believe that tourism is a way to make development and conservation, so we bet on restoring forests with this activity.
  • We work with an local NGO to do reforestation in high Andean zones, with our policy of donating one seedling for every 15 dollars paid for trip.


Read here how the Sustainability Score was elaborated


Price Includes

  • Transfers as indicated in the itinerary(car and boat allow to carry a maximun of 10 to 15 Kg of luggage p.p.)
  • Small briefing the day before (usually at 6 pm at your hotel)
  • Daily activities and excursions as indicated in the itinerary
  • Accommodation as indicated in the itinerary
  • First aid kit
  • Naturalist bilingual rainforest wildlife guide (English,Spanish)
  • Entrance fee to Manu National Park
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary (vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian)
  • Snacks (fresh fruits, cookies, chocolate)
  • Boiled water to fill up your reusable bottle
  • Rubber boots
  • Biodegradable soap

Price Excludes

  • Domestic flights to/from Lima or Cusco for example
  • Trip cancellation insurance or any other travel insurance
  • Extra nights during the trip due to contingencies
  • Tipping of local guides, telephone, laundry
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Read our Terms and Conditions (click here).

What to Bring

Frequently Asked Questions

About the tour itself

What's the accommodation like in Manu?

The accommodation is very basic in Manu, so please don’t expect luxury. But they are comfortable enough for our clients for a few days and they are hosted by native communities. You will get a real jungle experience here, which in fact is highly interesting. 

What language is spoken in Manu?

This is a great question, a tricky one by the way. Let’s say that when visiting Matsigenka people you will hear Matsigenka (probably the most widespread language in the region), when visiting Harakbut people you will hear Harakbut and you might even notice the difference. And of course, if you stay in the highlands of Manu like Paucartambo and Quero villages, Quechua is the mother tongue. An extra bit of information is that there are so many languages in the Amazon region in general that it is a limitation when, the not frequent but likely to happen events, of getting in contact with voluntary isolated tribes that speak nothing like we know.

What kind of weather should we expect during this route?

In the way to Manu you must be prepared for cold temperatures experienced in the mountain pass. Later on hot and humid conditions are more or less the rule, but again, rainy days can lower the temperatures quite a lot, or extraordinary events called “friaje” or Antartic winds could ruin your plans of sweating the hell out of you.

Find more info about climates in Peru in our blog “Best Time to Travel to Peru“. 

Which vaccines are recommended for the jungle?

Visit a travel doctor who can give you professional advice on what vaccinations may be necessary. If you go into the Amazon jungle, a yellow fever injection is obligatory and malaria recommended as well as a shot for the common flu might be requested by the local authorities.

Is this a private excursion or will I share the experience with other travelers?

If you book through our platform you will get a private excursion only for you and the other people you book with. But if you prefer to share costs and experiences with like-minded people, we will be glad to try to put you in a group with other travelers. For this, please get in contact with our Travel Designers directly.

Is there Internet at the destination?

It is limited but yes, in Villa Salvacion (first night) there is internet service, also in the community of Shipetiari there is internet connection, this service is provided by the hour and in an area designated for this purpose, after coordination with the local guide.

Are vegetarian or vegan options available during this tour?

Vegetarian options are definitely possible. However, we cannot promise you vegan options on this tour, as you are going deep down into the jungle. It would be great if you were a bit flexible for these few days. Please, let us know in the booking process if you have any food restrictions. 

General questions

For questions about booking a tour, prices, preparation for your trip, health and safety or other themes, please check our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you can’t find your question & answer, email us and we’ll add it!

Your Travel Designer
Rosbert is an expert on the Manu destination | Responsible Travel Peru

Rosbert Challco

I was born in Cusco, and from a very young age, I was taken to the jungle of Manu, where I learned to connect with and respect nature. On some occasions accompanying my father on his trips to the native communities, I learned how the villagers live in harmony with the forest, they do not realize it, but they have a deep connection with the jungle, which we outsiders would like to have.
When you understand how important it is to take care of and conserve nature, you want to share this feeling and what better way to do it than by doing tourism. What motivates me is to share what you have lived and know about the rainforest.
Since 2012, I am with RESPONSible Travel Peru because they live and feel that tourism is a way by which we can make development while conserving and sharing with visitors. I like to be part of this tribe called RESPONS.