Birding Manu “The Paradise”


SOUTHERN PERU: Birding “The Paradise” Manu - Cloudforest & Rainforest
15 days / 14 nights

Tour Leader – Birding Guide: José Antonio Padilla Reyes – Cusco & Manu Areas.

NB. Please note that the itinerary below offers our planned programme of excursions.  However, adverse weather & other local considerations can necessitate some re-ordering of the programme during the course of the tour, though this will always be done to maximise best use of the time and weather conditions available.  

Day 1:
 Flight from Lima to the Andean city of Cusco, the historic capital of the Inca Empire, situated at over 3,300 meters above sea level. You will be met by Fly-inperu representative and local birding guide,  Jose Antonio Padilla, and then transfer to your hotel:  After Lunch, we get ready for an excursion around Huacarpay lake, a wetland area located only 45 minutes south of Cusco City, hopefully here, we will find the bearded mountaineer, a Peruvian endemic, consider one of the most beautiful hummingbirds in the world. Night in Cusco.

Day 2:  After another early breakfast, today we begin our trip to Manu Biosphere Reserve. We will be driving casually throughout the day from Cusco along the famous Manu Road; today´s destination is the lush cloud forest region where the Andes begin to fall away towards the Amazon basin. This is a day of dramatic scenery and striking contrasts from the high Puna at nearly 4,000 meters until we plunge through an extraordinary world of forested cliffs, waterfalls and gorges. We will make spontaneous stops along the way before reaching the nice and comfortable Research Station: Wayquecha. Overnight in Wayquecha Biology Station.  (B, BL, D)

Day 3, 4 & 5: Today we leave this upper part of the Manu road, and will head down to our next destination: The Cock Of the Rock Lodge, located in the Manu Cloud forest on the lush eastern slopes of the Andes at 1,500 meters. This place is in an excellent base from which we can explore the region utilizing the network of trails and traversing roadway. We will have a private vehicle at our disposal allowing us to enjoy the various elevations of the surroundings Andes for some of the finest hiking and birding opportunities anywhere in South America. Our lodge also offers a viewing platform to access the display ground of Peru´s dazzling national bird, The Andean Cock-of-the-Rock in full, raucous courting display. 3 Nights at CORL. (B, BL, D).

Day 6, 7 & 8: After an early breakfast we will be birding the lower part of the Manu road, heading down to Atalaya town, where we will take a boat ride on the upper Madre de Dios river to get to the fantastic Pantiacolla Lodge\Amazonia lodge (depending upon request), both lodges located at the base of the Andes, a habitat known as the “foothills”, The land of the Blue-headed Macaws, Scarlet-hooded barbet amongst others. Here we will spend 3 nights. (B, BL, D).

Day 9, 10, 11, 12 & 13: We leave Pantiacolla or Amazonia Lodge and take again a motorized canoe for about 4 to 5 hours, depending how high the river is, to our next destination: Manu Wildlife Center (MWC), a beautiful but rustic lodge located in the heart of Manu Biosphere Reserve at 240 meters above sea level. MWC has to be now the best destination for birdwatching in the Peruvian lowlands. The famous Macaw clay lick, 2 amazing ox bow lakes, Canopy platforms, bamboo forest, terra firme forest and the biggest and more accessible Tapir clay lick are just some of the areas to visit while we are there. We will spend 5 nights at MWC. (B, L, D). 

Day 14: We leave MWC very in the morning, as we need to go all the way to Puerto Maldonado city to catch our domestic flight back to Cusco. To reach this city is a real adventure because we need to take the motorized canoe for about 3 hours down the Madre de Dios River as far as a mining town called “Colorado”, then a local but private vehicle for another hour to a river called “Inambari”. Here we will have to take a local ferry for only 10 minutes to go across the river. Once we get to the other side, another private vehicle will be waiting for us to take us to this city. The highway that we will be driving is in a very good condition, so it would take us only 2 ½ hours to get to Puerto Maldonado.  Night in Cusco.  (B, BL).

Day 15: This morning we will have time to enjoy some final sightseeing along the Andean cobblestone streets of Cusco. We will also have the hotel until the time we need to go back to Cusco Airport and catch the flight back to Lima.

End of Services

General Information about the lodges in the rainforest and the trip overall:

Cock of the Rock Lodge (CORL) is situated at an elevation of 5000 feet (1600 meters) in the cool, mosquito-free Kosñipata Valley close to the wild Cusco–Shintuya road, the lodge protects and supports a 12,500-acre private cloud forest reserve. It consists of 10 double-occupancy bungalows with private bath facilities, and a separate complex with a large dining room. A local highland family staffs the lodge, and they also work as rangers, patrolling the private reserve. CORL has no electricity, a 220V generator is available and has limited electricity at certain times of night, during which it is possible to recharge batteries, although a local wall-plug adaptor may be required. (Note that current is 220V; make sure your equipment is compatible with this voltage.) Lighting in the communal areas is by kerosene lamp and candles, with the paths around the lodge complex lit by kerosene lamps. Lighting in the guest bungalows is by candle. 

Amazonia Lodge, is located in the tropical lowland rainforest of Manu Biosphere Reserve. The Yábar family, from Cusco, established the lodge in 1980 which used to be a tea plantation in the 1970's. The book Birds of South America by Robert S. Ridgely refers to the lodge as Hacienda Amazonia. The property have primary forest 65% mostly in the hills(foothills). The rest is mature secondary forest 30 years old whit reforestation. During 1983 Dr. John W. Fitzpatrick and his team were doing studies in Amazonia. He suggested to the Yábar family about the possibility of them working in tourism because of the potential he and his team had observed specifically for birdwatchers. In 1984 the Yábars converted the property into a lodge creating one of the pioneer lodges in the Manu Biosphere Reserve. Working in Ecotourism, the lodge is now considered one of the best birding places in Peru. The lodge's bird list contains 628 species and keeps going up, fast becoming one of the largest lists in the world. There are many species of mammals including tapir, pecaries, jaguar, puma 8 species of monkeys including the rare Night Monkey. Also found are many butterflies, amphibians, reptiles, orchids, and bromelians.

Pantiacolla Lodge is set in beautiful rainforest on bluffs overlooking the turbulent Alto Madre de Dios river. Nestled in the Manu foothills at the base of the Pantiacolla Mountains, Pantiacolla Lodge invites you to share this very unique area of the Manu National Park. The mountains rise to 1200 m or more behind the lodge and are a contributing factor to the enormous variety of wildlife that inhabits the area. Accommodation at the lodge is provided in bungalows with a total of 11 double (or triple) rooms giving a maximum capacity of 22 (or 33) persons. Paths lead from the bungalows to showers and flush toilets, and to a spacious and comfortable dining area and bar. Three rooms have their private bathrooms.

Manu Wildlife Center (MWC) is located east of the Manu River on the north bank of Madre de Dios River. The Lodge contains 22 double-occupancy fully screened private bungalows, separate complexes with hot showers and toilets, a large fully screened dining room and a delightful bar with hammocks for relaxing. MWC has no electricity, a 220V generator is available and has limited electricity at certain times of night, during which it is possible to recharge batteries, although a local wall-plug adaptor may be required. (Note that current is 220V; make sure your equipment is compatible with this voltage.) Lighting in the communal areas is by kerosene lamp and candles, with the paths around the lodge complex lit by kerosene lamps. Lighting in the guest bungalows is by candle. 


We recommend:

• Good binoculars

• Camcorder or Digital Cameras

• Two or three pairs of long cotton pants

• Four pairs of absorbent socks.

• Rain suit or long poncho (100 % waterproof - test before you leave home)

• Two or three long-sleeved cotton shirts

• Two or three T-shirts.

• Sunscreen lotion (high factor)

• One pair of shorts•A bottle or canteen to carry water on outings.

• A hat that will not come off in windy boat rides.

• Sunglasses

• A pair of sneakers or hiking boots and sandals.

• Insect repellent Skin-so-soft for river, and 20% or more deet for forest)

• A photocopy of your passport

• A bright flashlight

• Personal toiletries and medications

• Cash for souvenirs, alcoholic beverages, etc.

Conditions And Responsibility:

Fly-in Peru and/or their employees act only as agents for the passenger in regard to travel, whether by car, boat, or airplane and assume no liability for injury, damage, loss, accident, delay, or irregularity that may be caused either by reasons of defect in the vehicle or for any reasons engaged in conveying the client or carrying out the arrangements of the tour. They can accept no responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to delay or changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strike, war, quarantine, or other causes. All such expenses will have to be borne by the passenger. 


A traditional birding tour involving some early starts and late finishes. As with other South American birding itineraries “off the beaten track”, one should be prepared at times for some longish drives along rough roads, rustic accommodation and plenty of time spent on foot, sometimes on steep trails. 


Any specific information please feel free to contact: or