Matsigenka Wild: Pankotsi and Casa Matsigenka Lodges (2N Pankotsi, 2N Casa Matsigenka, 2N Pankotsi) - $940
Visit the Heart of Manu National Park in the company of the Matsigenka People - Manu National Park is a bastion of biodiversity. Literally thousands of plants and animals live in the park’s tropical forests, lakes, and rivers. People also live in and near the park and have done so for centuries. Most of these people belong to the Matsigenka culture and since they make their home in the rainforests of Manu, they also act as the best hosts to experience the park’s wildlife and culture. Take this week long itinerary and you will be in for a 7 day/6 night jungle wildlife adventure of a lifetime.
Day 1 - Travel from Cusco to the Pankotsi lodge in the community of Shipetiari
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 Pankotsi 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 see 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 to use a bow and arrow and explore the forest with the Matsigenka people.
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, 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.
Day 3 - Take a river boat deep into Manu National Park
The third day of this fun tour will take us to another Matsigenka community-owned lodge in the heart of Manu National Park. After breakfast, we will travel by boat along the Alto Madre de Dios and Madre de Dios rivers for much of the day. We should get to Casa Matsigenka by 4 PM and may see several birds and mammals en route including Capybaras, Spectacled Caiman, macaws, toucans, hawks, herons and other aquatic birds, monkeys, and a chance at seeing other jungle wildlife.
Day 4 - See endangered giant river otters and other ox bow lake wildlife in an ox bow lake
Casa Matsigenka is situated in beautiful, wild rainforest, and near a couple of big, scenic oxbow lakes. We will visit both of those lakes on this day of the tour while quietly paddling around, have a fair chance of seeing the endangered Giant Otter, macaws, the bizarre Horned Screamer bird, equally strange Hoatzins, toucans, and other wildlife.
The morning will be dedicated to visiting Salvador oxbow lake ( a short walk from the lodge), and the afternoon will include a visit to Otorongo oxbow lake (a quick boat ride from the lodge).
We will finish this memorable day off with dinner at the lodge followed by a Matsigenka cultural activity at 7 PM.
Day 5 - Travel by river back to the Pankotsi Lodge
On this fifth day, a 5 AM breakfast will be accompanied by the exotic morning songs and calls of rainforest birds before we head back up river to the Shipetiari lodge. Our boat ride will take much of the day and will be a good opportunity to watch the edge of the forest and rainforest canopy for jungle birds and monkeys. We will enjoy dinner at the Pankotsi lodge at 6:30 PM. (Optional sleep over at a mammal clay lick waiting for jungle nightlife. Mosquito nets included)
Day 6 - Hike the rainforests and spot wildlife
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 7 - Travel back to Cusco
We start this final day of the tour with breakfast at 4 AM followed by a boat ride from Shipetiari Lodge to the small port town of Atalaya. After lunch at Atalaya, we will drive back up into the mountains to arrive at 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