Complete Manu experience: Spirit, Nature and Culture

Wake up your inner Jaguar
Wake up your inner Jaguar
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Build a Custom Tour

Looking for something a little different? At Impactful Travel, we specialize in crafting custom itineraries tailored to your unique travel desires and ethical values.

Build Your Trip

  • 5 Days, 4 Nights
  • April through November
  • Sustainability Score: 64
  • Starting pointYour hotel in Cusco
  • Group Size: 2 - 6 this is a PRIVATE tour
  • BookingsAt least 72h in advance
  • Price range$ 602 - 1029
  • Call with our Manu expertRequest it and clear all doubts

The complete Manu experience

On this trip, our goal is to awaken the spirit of your ‘inner jaguar’. Is like a call from the jungle to our urban souls. When we first arrive in the jungle, our curiosity is awakened and we venture into that green and exotic world we’ve read about in books or seen in documentaries. Accompanied by a guide and with the appropriate equipment, we enjoy the biodiversity of Manu, but there is something beyond scientific names and tourist experiences.

When you live in the jungle and share with its people, you understand that there is an inner awakening that needs to be explored. Our connection with nature has been lost due to modern life, forgetting our roots and where we are heading. That’s why we created ‘Jaguar Awakening’, to rediscover the hidden side of our world and awaken that inner jaguar that we all carry within us.

This journey is like an initiation for each visitor, through activities such as breathing, meditation, jungle walks, tree-hugging, and the Matsigenka sauna session. We have taken the first step so that our passengers begin the path of reconnection with nature and themselves. The jungle speaks, we just need to listen carefully.

Our Jaguar Awakening program is an invitation to renew ourselves, connect with nature, and carry that consciousness of conservation and care in our daily lives. The jungle teaches us that everything is connected, that we are part of a whole, and that we must protect what gives us without asking for anything in return.

Similar tour

Please note: regarding the itinerary, this complete Manu experience is very similar to the Visit two Manu communities: Shipetiari and Shintuya. However, here we focus more on spirituality and connecting with nature throughout the five days of your experience. The other tour does not include this extra and might be more suitable for you if you are simply looking for a mix of nature and culture.

Public or private transport to Manu?

This complete Manu experience 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 to 4 people: + $105 per person
  • Group of 5 to 6 people: + $75 per person

Other Manu Tours?

You can also check out our other experiences in Manu: The Exploration to the heart of the Manu National Park is a 6-day tour and perfect for you if you have time and are a jungle fanatic. If, on the contrary, you have less time available, we suggest the Manu Community and Wildlife Experience.

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

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 activities success, like the observation of wildlife.

Don’t let the rainy season ruin your trip to the jungle

Heading into the enchanting realm of the jungle during the rainy season can be quite the adventure, yet there are a few things eager explorers should keep in mind. While the lush landscapes of the Manu rainforest are tempting, tours in this area sadly take a pause due to the heavy rains, making it a bit tricky to explore to your heart’s content. But hey, don’t let this dampen your spirits! When one door closes, another opens, and in this case, it leads to the spectacular Tambopata.

For the wanderlusting souls yearning for an unforgettable jungle experience, Tambopata opens its arms wide, beckoning with its biodiversity and vibrant ecosystems. Even during the rainy season, our tours in Tambopata are in full swing, offering you a magical escape into nature’s lap.

Day by Day

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

We will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco at 10:15 am and go to the bus station, where we will take the public bus for this complete Manu experience. 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 the option with private transfer pick up is already by 06:45 am. We will take some stops to discover some secrets of the cloud forest, the kingdom of giant ferns. At some point of the route we will make a stop and together we’ll take some time to breathe. With so much unwellness embedded in today’s travel, this pause to breathe on day 1, will give you a glimpse of what’s to come. To smell the morning Amazon’s fragances, it’s just an indescriptible experience. You will sense the freshness filling you body inmediatly, and how air enters your lungs. 

We will 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

Note: The day before leaving, we opt 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.

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, to recharge the body and nourish the mind 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 (at private bungalows).

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 traditional food options prepared with healthy and local ingredients that cater to different diets, such as ‘Pacamoto’ (pieces of fish cooked in bamboo), bananas, and other local products.

Matsigenka sauna session

We will spend some time exchanging experiences with the Matsigenka, and to recover our strength and energy, we will have a sauna session of with aromatic herbs accompanied by music. The peace you will sense inside the sauna allows people to introspect, and reflect. And this energetic movement in your body will allow your thoughts to be purified and your mind to regenerate after exertion.

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

Day 4Shipetiari Matsiguenka Community - Shintuya Community Hot Springs

At the scheduled time you will say goodbye to our friends and embark on the port, where you will be transferred to the Shintuya Community, one of the largest in the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve.

We will invite you to connect with your physical side through fun, adventurous activities in picturesque natural settings. After lunch, get ready to explore the trails – always accompanied by one member of the community. You will visit a waterfall amidst the jungle, so don’t forget your swimsuit. The thermal water pools are operational at your disposal.

And finally, you can take a night walk. This last activity is completely optional, but we recommend making an effort and trying it. Remember that exercising in this environment is key not only for your physical health but also for your peace of mind.

Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Included Activities: Visit a waterfall, thermal water pools
Transportation: Private transfer by car
Accommodation: Aguas Calientes Lodge – CN Shintuya (1 night)

Day 5Shintuya - Cusco

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. 

This complete Manu experience is an opportunity to maintain and improve your holistic health, and once it’s over, you’ll feel rejuvenated and more connected to our planet, its people, and yourself. 

Meals included: Breakfast
Transportation: Public bus from Villa Salvacion Manu to Cusco

Why is this experience Impactful?

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.

Moreover, we…

  • Offer personalized experiences (small groups), and we explore new routes avoiding mass tourism in the area as much as possible.
  • Work closely with native communities, strengthening the empowerment of their operations, rescuing their traditions and customs.
  • Train the guides of the native communities so that you have a better first-hand experience.
  • Use biodegradable products such as soap for personal hygiene.
  • Consume locally produced food in the communities where we operate.
  • Use 20 liter water bottles for you to refill, so you can avoid buying plastic bottles.
  • Believe that tourism is a way to make development and conservation, so we bet on restoring forests with this activity.
  • 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, maybe 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 Complete Manu Experience

What's the accommodation like in Manu?

The accommodation is very basic in during this complete Manu experience, 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 Qero 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?

On 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 this complete Manu experience 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 on this complete Manu experience. 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. 

What is it like to go to Manu by public transport?

You can choose to go to this complete Manu experience by public or private transport (the latter being 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. 

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 | Impactful 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 Impactful Travel (formerly known as 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 Impactful tribe.