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.
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.
Accommodation: Local hostel – Villa Salvación.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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“.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.