Matsigenka Adventure: 6 Days, 5 Nights - Manu National Park and Matsigenka Culture for the Experienced Traveler - $820
Note: For these custom trips into Manu National Park permits need to be arranged for in advance.
Manu National Park is a fantastic, wild area of lowland rainforest, incredible biodiversity, and interesting local cultures. People have actually lived in the area for thousands of years and have left their mark in the form of ancient petroglyphs at Pusharo. On this 6 day/5 night itinerary, participants will visit those petroglyphs, see jungle wildlife, and learn about Matsigenka culture from the descendents of the people who made the Pusharo rock carvings.
Day 1 - Cusco to Pankotsi Lodge, visiting pre-Incan tombs along the way.
This exciting tour starts with a 5 AM departure from Cuzco. An early start is necessary to make the long, memorable drive and boat ride to the Matsigenka community-owned Shipetiari lodge in the Amazonian lowlands. Our route will take us through high Andean plains, lush cloud forests, and lowland Amazonian rainforests.
We will also enjoy a box breakfast at the Chullpas de Ninamarca (interesting pre-Incan tombs), and lunch at the lowland river town of Atalaya. During our boat ride on the Alto Madre de Dios River, we may get lucky and have sightings of parakeet flocks and macaws. We will arrive at Shipetiari lodge at 5 PM and end the first day of the tour with dinner at 7.
Day 2 - Learn how to use a bow and arrow, explore the jungle with the Matsigenka.
We start the day with a 7 AM breakfast before participating in Matsigenka cultural activities. These include short lessons on using an authentic Matsigenka bow, making arrows and Matsigenka shawls (called cushmas), and other aspects of local culture. At 3 PM, we will go on a guided hike along rainforest trails that lead to huge, old growth trees.
We will also hear and see various rainforest birds, and with luck, might see such primates as Red Howler Monkeys and Saddleback Tamarins. When it gets dark, we will head back into the rainforest and look for tree frogs, strange insects, and other jungle wildlife on an exciting night hike. Optional night sleeping at a clay lick to spot jungle night life. Mosquito nets included.
Day 3 - Explore the jungle looking for wildlife then visit the community to meet the Matskgenka.
Rainforest wildlife is much more active at dawn, dusk, and during the night than during the light of the day. To increase our chances of seeing jungle animals, we will go on a hike in the rich rainforests near the lodge at 5 AM. This exciting activity will be followed by breakfast at 8 AM. The rest of the morning will be dedicated to more cultural activities with the Matsigenka people who live near the lodge.
In the afternoon, participants can look for birds or go for another walk in the forest, or get to know people from the local community during a fun volleyball game. We will end this last full day in the Amazonian lowlands with dinner at the lodge followed by a community campfire.
Day 4 - An early morning boat ride to the Pusharo lodge
The fourth day of the tour starts early with breakfast at 4 AM. This is so we can spend the rest of the morning travelling by boat to the Palatoa-Pusharo Lodge. This lodge is situated in rainforest right at the base of the Andes and near one of the most important petroglyph sites in the Amazon basin.
We will arrive at the community-owned Pusharo lodge for lunch at 1 PM. After getting situated, we will go for a hike in the beautiful forests near the lodge.
Day 5 - Hike into the wilderness to see the mysterious Pusharo Petroglyphs
Breakfast at 6am is followed by a morning traveling to and visiting the ancient rock art at Pusharo. This includes a peaceful two hour boat ride up a jungle river, two hours to experience the extensive petroglyphs, and two hours by boat back to the lodge in time for lunch at 2 PM.
At 4 PM, we will visit clay licks (collpas) that attract a variety of rainforest wildlife including parrots, parakeets, peccaries, deer, monkeys, and even a tapir or two. Although it’s impossible to predict which animals will show up, we will probably see something good!
Day 6 - Pusharo back to Cusco
On this final day of the tour, we will have breakfast at 6 in the morning before traveling by boat to the Amazonian port town of Atalaya. We will eat lunch in Atalaya and then drive back up the Manu road, arriving in Cuzco around 8 PM.
Programs based on double occupancy.
Meals and lodge accommodations
All land and river transportation
Transfer from your hotel in Cusco
Park entrance fees are also included
International or domestic airfares
Taxes or visa fees
Excess baggage charges
Additional nights during the trip due to flight cancellations
Insurance of any kind
Phone calls or messages
Reconfirmation of flights
Items of personal nature