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.
We will also spend 1 night and 2 days in close proximity to the Harakmbut people of the Shituya community. Although we will mainly focus on natural attractions, the Harakmbut will be visited briefly and you will be able to interact with its members. Other surprises might await you as well.
Browsing through our platform, you will come across another Manu tour, which is very similar to this one. The Manu Spirit, Nature and Culture Tour offers almost the same activities as this one. However, it has a special focus on spirituality, wellness and breathing exercices. Do you want to get a deeper connection to nature during your jungle experience? In that case, the other tour might be the one for you.
This tour uses public transport to get to you to Manu. We do this to reduce costs, but the experience can be quite adventurous. If you wish to do take a private transport to Manu, you can select the option (for your number of people in the group) during the booking process. The additional costs are as follows:
Group of 2 people: + 140$ per person
Group of 3 or more people: + 90$ per person
If you want to spend less than five days in Manu, have look at our Manu Community and Wilidfe Experience. To spend a maximum amont of time, however, the Exploration to the heart of the Manu National Park Tour, should be your choice!
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.
Of course, Manu is not the only jungle region you can visit in Peru. We also offer responsible tours to Iquitos and Tambopata. Check out all of our Amazon Tours and Activities to your different options!
At the scheduled time (10:15) we will pick you up from your hotel in Cuzco and go to the bus station, where we will take the public bus to Manu. We are headed 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.
If you chose private transport, pick-up is already at 06:45. We can make some stops on the way to enjoy the different ecosystems until we reach Villa Salvación, in Manu, where we will spend the night.
Meals included: Box lunch, dinner.
Transportation: Private transport (arrival time between 5-6 pm.)
Accommodation: Local hostel – Villa Salvación.
Early in the morning, we will visit the “cocha” Machuwasi, the cochas (oxbow lakes) in the Amazon are points of congregation of fauna, especially birds but also other species. After breakfast we will join one of the local reforestation projects, we will have a tour amidst the secondary (restored) forest, surrounded by medicinal and edible plants, all this being part of the reforestation plan. 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.
Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Included Activities: Machuwasi lake, reforestation project, jungle night walk.
Transportation: Private transfer by car and boat
Accommodation: Pankotsi Lodge – 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.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Included Activities: Masato preparation, craft – workshop, and traditional food (pacamoto).
Accommodation: Pankotsi Lodge – Shipetiari
Today, we already say goodbye to our new friends and embark on a boat to reach the port. From here, we will be transferred to the Shintuya Community. Shintuya is one of the largest settlements of the Harakmbut people in the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve.
After lunch, we get ready to explore different trails, always accompanied by one member of the community. We will visit a secret place in the midst of the jungle, with a waterfall waiting for you to dip in (do not forget your swimsuit). There are also thermal water pools to be enjoyed.
At night, we offer you to go on a night walk. This is an optional but highly recommended activity.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Aguas Calientes Lodge – Shintuya (1 Night)
Included activities: Visit a waterfall – Thermal water pools
Transportation: Private transfer by car
Not Included: 10.00 soles p.p. boat ticket Shintuya – hot springs.
Today, if you chose private transportation, you will have time to visit a parrot’s clay lick, which is an exceptional activity to observe parrots in their natural habitat. If you chose public transportation, you will have to skip this activity.
Finally, you will have to say goodbye to the jungle and its wildlife, and take your transportation back to Cusco. In case of private transport, we will drop you off directly at your hotel (arrival time between 7 or 8 pm). If you choose public transport, you will go to the terminal first, where you will be picked up and brought to your hotel from there.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch
Transportation: Private transfer from Manu to Cusco
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.
When 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.
You can choose to go to Manu by public or private transport (more expensive).
Please, keep in mind that going by public transport can be different to traveling with a private driver. The drivers can go quite fast during the route and the busses can get quite full. The bus will make one stop on the way to give you time to go to the bathroom and eat something (However, we will give you a small box lunch for the way). It’s also possible that the bus may leave later than planned. That’s how public transport works in Peru but it’s part of the adventure, so we recommend you to be open to it and enjoy the ride.
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.