Planning Your Manu Trip and What to Bring

 

As with any trip to wild, beautiful places, a Manu tour requires a certain degree of planning. Even though food, lodging, transportation, and guiding are already taken care of during the tour, you still have to know what you should bring to stay comfortable throughout your trip and enjoy every aspect of your Amazon Peru tour.

Where Is Manu National Park?

 

Just to be sure that you know exactly where Manu is found, this huge protected area is located just on the other side of the mountains from Cuzco. Your tour will involve travel by vehicle through beautiful, wet cloud forests before continuing on by boat on a lowland jungle river that snakes its way through the Amazon rainforest.

What to Bring

 

As with any adventurous trip, it’s a good idea to bring as little as possible. The lighter you travel, the less you have to worry about, and the easier it is to get around. That said, the following are some essentials to bring on rainforest trips to Manu National Park, Peru:

 

  • Waterproof binoculars: Although you could bring small, lightweight, cheap binoculars, they will probably fog up in the humid tropical forests of Manu. It’s worth it to bring a good pair of binoculars to take full advantage of the colorful birds and other wildlife you will encounter.

  • Camera gear: Whether you have a simple point and shoot or a professional DSLR, bring extra batteries, lenses, and whatever else you may need for jungle photography.

  • Waterproof bags to keep gear dry: This could be a drybag or durable plastic bags that lock shut. Store your camera gear and other devices in these!

  • Long trousers: The lowland parts of Manu are indeed warm and humid but you will be better off wearing light colored, tight-weave, cotton pants.

  • Long sleeve shirts: Light colored, tight weave cotton shirts work best for the warm jungle climate of Manu.

  • Lightweight hiking boots or sneakers: Bring footwear that supports the ankle and that can be used for hiking.

  • A flashlight with batteries and/or a headlamp: The jungle is dark at night and this is when most of the frogs, insects, and other small animals become active. Be prepared to see them!

  • A poncho or small umbrella: Rainforests are indeed wet. Be prepared for rain!

  • Sunblock: It only takes a few minutes to get burned by the tropical sun. Don’t take any chances with sunny weather during boat rides. Put on the sunblock to keep from getting burned.

  • Sunglasses: These are good to protect the eyes from the glare of water and cloudy skies. Blue-blocking lenses can also make it easier to see some animals.

  • A hat with a wide brim: This type of hat is ideal for a jungle visit. It keeps the sun off, can help during the rain, and shades the eyes.

  • Bug repellent: Bring insect repellent to keep any mosquitoes and other biting insects away.

  • Small bills: Most places in rural Peru won’t be able to change large bills. Bring small ones in case you need them.

  • A small backpack: Travel light but bring something small to carry your stuff.

 

Manu Peru Weather

 

Expect a cool, wet climate in cloud forest but most of your Manu tour will probably be spent in the warm, humid lowlands. Bring lightweight clothes like the ones mentioned above, and expect rain.

 

Manu Peru Wildlife

 

Manu is an incredibly biodiverse place. That said, you won’t see big jungle animals all of the time. Just about every animal hides in plain site and/or comes out at night. Your guide will help you see as much as possible, though, including commonly seen wildlife such as caimans, macaws, parrots, various waterbirds, agoutis, rainforest frogs, different monkeys, and other animals. There is also always the chance of seeing something rare like a tapir, cat species, or large snakes.

 

What vaccinations do I need for the Peruvian Amazon? Are there dangerous animals?

 

Although your chances of contracting a disease when visiting Manu are slim, there are a few vaccinations recommended to have before visiting Peru. As for dangerous animals, unless you swim in a remote oxbow lake frequented by huge Black Caimans (which you won’t be allowed to do anyways), you won’t have anything to worry about. The animals of the Peruvian jungle are shy and more frightened of you than you are of them.

 

The one exception is the mosquito and other biting insects, one of which can carry a disease known as Leishmaniasis. It does occur in Manu but is not common and is best avoided by exposing as little skin as possible (especially at night), and wearing insect repellent.

 

Meals

 

Meals in Manu lodges vary but typically include Peruvian recipes, manioc, plantains, fresh fruits, and other locally grown foods.

 

Lodging

 

Accommodation won’t be the same as modern, five star hotels but it will be authentic, clean, and comfortable. Beds have mosquito nets, and lodge architecture resembles homes used by local Matsigenka communities.

 

Other tips for a successful Manu jungle trip

 

  • No littering: Leave nothing but footprints, only take photos.

  • Don’t bother or collect wildlife: Keep in mind that you are a visitor to Manu. Don’t take any animals from the rainforest nor bother them. Do what the guide says.

  • No smoking: At least during boat travel or in the rainforest.

  • Take trash with you: There isn’t any trash collection in Manu. Take batteries with you and any other non bio-degradable trash.

  • Don’t light any fires in the lodges: The lodges in Manu are constructed with wood and thus flammable.

  • Always hike with a guide and never leave the trails: Stay with the guide when walking in the rainforest. You won’t get lost and will also see more animals. NEVER LEAVE ESTABLISHED TRAILS! As with any wild area, the main danger around Manu is getting lost. Do not leave the trails to avoid getting lost in a huge, roadless, wilderness area.

  • Pay close attention to your surroundings and have patience: This will increase your chances of seeing rainforest wildlife.

  • Ask before taking pictures of people: When taking any photos of people, make sure that they feel comfortable with that.

 

We hope that these tips and information help in planning your tour to Manu. Have a great trip!