This excursion to the Manu Biosphere Reserve enables you to explore this wonderful place at a lower cost than with other tours. Using public transport to take you to Manu, we have managed to keep the price as low as possible. If you are on a tighter budget but don’t want to refrain from your visit, this tour is the perfect choice for you!
The Manu Biosphere Reserve has always been the territory of ancestral peoples and incredible wildlife. In this tour, you will not only visit the Shintuya Native Community, but also relax in thermal water pools, discover wildlife during the day and night, and learn about a reforestation project. You will even get to plant your own tree and participate in conserving the very important Amazon rainforest.
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.
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:
We recommend you have a look at our 5 day tour Complete Manu Experience: Spirit, Nature and Culture and visit to Shipetiari and Shintuya (two communities of Manu). The tours are similar but the first one is more focused on spirituality and meditation.
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 (10:15 am if you chose public transport, 06.45 am if you chose private transport) we will pick you up from your hotel in Cusco and go to the bus station, where we will take the public bus to Manu for this Manu Community and Wildlife Experience. We will head towards the exuberant region of the cloud forest, where the Andes end and give way to the Amazon. After ascending to the Acjanaco pass, which is the entrance to the Manu National Park, we continue our journey until we reach Villa Salvación, the capital of the province of Manu.
It takes about 8 hours to get to Manu. If you chose private transport, you will make several stops on the way and the tour guide will give you some first information about the flora and fauna of Manu. In case of public transport, you will stop only in Paucartambo and the duration of the transport may vary more.
Then, you will spend your first night in the jungle to get a good rest before starting to explore on the next day.
Now that you are in the jungle, you will get up early in the morning. Here, you will live in accordance with the natural world, waking up when the first sun rays show up and going to bed early, falling asleep to the soothing sound of the animals outside.
Today, we will take the public bus to the community of Shintuya, taking approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. The community of Shintuya is one of the largest in the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve with about 45 families living here.
We will have breakfast in the community before heading to the lodge for tonight. From here, you will be taken to a waterfall amidst the jungle, a secret and stunning place. Don’t forget to bring your swimsuit to make the most of it! We will return to the lodge for dinner before getting some rest.
Optionally, you can choose to take a hot bath in the thermal pools.
Again, we will wake up very early to visit the Parrot Clay Lick close to the community. This is a very interesting morning ritual for parrots, where you will see a great amount of them and learn more about this habit.
Only after this visit, we will have breakfast back in the lodge, which will give us energy to then explore the different trails around the community.
In the afternoon, we will take public transport to return to Villa Salvación, where you will be taken to your accommodation to have some rest.
The jungle changes drastically from day to night. Therefore, today, you will get to visit the Machuwasi lake by daylight, being able to see how the wildlife has changed compared to last night. The oxbow lakes in the Amazon are assembly points for many animals, especially birds. At this lake, it will be very easy to observe the diversity of birds among other species in the area.
After breakfast, we will get to know one of the local reforestation projects and have a tour amidst the secondary forest, surrounded by medicinal and consumption plants. Here, you will be able to plant your own tree as well and actively participate in the reforestation of the Amazonian jungle.
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. End of your Manu Community and Wildlife Experience.
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.
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.
In Villa Salvacion there is internet service. It is provided by the hour and in an area designated for this purpose, after coordination with the local guide.
This Manu Community and Wildlife Experience is a private tour, so that you will be only with your guide and the other people you booked it with. Only the transportation to and from Manu is shared, as it is public transport.
You can choose to go to Manu by public or private transport (the latter has an additional cost).
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.
Vegetarian options are definitely possible. However, we cannot promise you vegan options on this Manu Community and Wildlife Experience, 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 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.
Finishing my Manu tour with Yrma Begazo Tupayachi. Amazing. She is WONDERFUL!!!! The best tour guide I have ever had. She encouraged us to do the walking tour of Cusco before we leave.
Absolutely a trip that broadened our horizons and will stay in our memories forever. We booked a trip to the Amazon rainforest in Manu through this agency. The website is very transparant on the activities and the actual activities even exceeded our expectations. The trip was very well organized, everything was taken care of. We felt incredibly welcome in the local community who taught us a lot about the flora and fauna in the rainforest and the way of living there. Very fun people to be with as well. Our guide was knowledgeable on so many aspects of the Amazon that we have a hard time remembering all the insights she shared with us. We highly recommend this trip!