Casa Matsigenka Jungle Lodge

 

Casa Matsigenka is an ecotourism initiative that was set up in the 1990s by the two main Matsigenka communities that reside in Manu National Park along with support from a German-based NGO.  The lodge was par of a pilot project on community-based ecotourism in the Peruvian Amazon concerned with how biodiversity conservation and generation of income for local residents may be simultaneously achieved. 

 

Cultural activities include local archery lessons, and learning about many other aspects of Matsigenka culture as well as guided hikes along trails through beautiful Amazonian rainforest.  Wildlife viewing opportunities in this area are immense.  This community lodge might be 6 hours upriver by boat from the Limonal Ranger Post in Manu National Park, but guests who make the trip will be staying in the heart of one of the wildest, most biodiverse places on Earth!

Casa Matsigenka

 

Casa Matsigenka is an ecotourism initiative that was set up in the 1990s by the two main Matsigenka communities that reside in Manu National Park along with support from a German-based NGO. This ecolodge was established to provide the people who live in Manu with a way to participate in ecotourism in the area as well as a means of strengthening their culture.

 

The name of the lodge (Matsigenka House) is an accurate description because the bungalows are modeled after lodging used by local people. In addition to providing guests with an authentic, comfortable place to stay, this community owned lodge is also an excellent base for exploring the fabled Amazonian rainforests and wildlife of Manu National Park, including Cocha Salvador, an oxbow lake that has been featured in more than one wildlife documentary.

Local Matsigenka Communities

 

The Tayakome and Yomibato communities are the two main groups of people who live in Manu. They are composed of around 150 people each and are the owners of Casa Matsigenca. These people have lived in this part of Peru since the time of the Incas and continue to hunt and fish in the surrounding rainforests just as they have done for more than a thousand years.

 

They also use the Amazonian forests of Manu to gather medicinal plants, and tend small gardens planted with pineapple, cassava (a main source of food), plantains, and other fruits and vegetables. They are pleased to receive visitors at their lodge and show guests how to shoot a locally made bow and arrow, as well as teaching them about other aspects of their culture.

Accomodations

 

This ecolodge has 4 bungalows with 3 double bedrooms in each. All beds have mosquito netting, and the bungalows have an area with showers, sinks, and flush toilets. The lodge is surrounded by the immense, roadless tracts of rainforest of Manu National Park along with its incredible biodiversity.

 

A 40 minute walk through beautiful rainforest on trails near the lodge lead to Salvador Cocha, a nearby oxbow lake that hosts Giant Otters, Black Caimans, waterbirds, macaws, and other jungle wildlife.

Activities and Wildlife

 

Cultural activities include local archery lessons, and learning about many other aspects of Matsigenka culture as well as guided hikes along trails through beautiful Amazonian rainforest. Those trails lead to Cocha Salvador, one of the best known oxbow lakes in Manu. A small boat can take guests on the waters of the lake for views of endangered Giant Otter, caimans, the bizarre Horned Screamer (a strange, goose-like bird), parrots, macaws, and other wildlife. Many other species are also possible in this hotspot for biodiversity.

 

The Cocha Otorongo is another oxbow lake near the lodge and is an excellent place for seeing monkeys (even ten species are possible!), as well as colorful tanagers and other exotic jungle birds from a 15 meter high platform. Who knows, maybe you will even spot a rare Jaguar on the riverbank during the hour boat ride to and from the lodge!Another set of trails that are very good for wildlife observation is at the Pakitza sector of Manu National Park, an hour upriver from the lodge by boat.

 

This community lodge might be 6 hours upriver by boat from the Limonal Ranger Post in Manu National Park, but guests who make the trip will be staying in the heart of one of the wildest, most biodiverse places on Earth!