Manu Pusharo Jungle Lodge
The Pusharo Lodge is an ecolodge located in the buffer zone of Manu National Park along the Alto Madre de Dios and near the Cerros de Pantiocolla. This lodge is owned and run by the Matsigenka communities of Palotoa-Teparo and provides access to beautiful, wild, biodiverse rainforests, and the most important petroglyph site in southeastern Peru (and one of the most important in the Amazon basin). In addition to visiting the petroglyphs, a number of other exciting activities are possible, including wildlife observation and guided hikes through the jungle. The community who owns the lodge is aware of the pressures placed on the surrounding forest by the logging industry and established the lodge to give community members an alternative to extraction of lumber.
The Manu Pusharo Lodge
In the Community Matsiguenka Shipetiari 24 families living together in a total area of 26,807 hectares. In our community we like to live in peace. We speak our own language, we cultivate cassava, bananas, peanuts, corn, pineapple and uncucha among others. When we go mitayar (hunting) and usually find guanganas guans. Also if the river is low go fishing with a net, or Triqui tarrafa. At night we like to talk while we enjoyed our traditional drink called masato, beverage made from the fermentation of cassava. Our vision of the community is to achieve good community organization that serves our forest to work well, so that the children have a better life and then they support the community.
The Palotoa-Teparo Community
The Palotoa-Teparo community. This indigenous community is made up of Matsigenka families that come from the Palotoa and Teparo rivers. Like other Matsigenka groups, they cultivate small gardens of pineapples, cassava, and other fruits and vegetables, forage and hunt in the surrounding rainforests, and fish in the rivers. They also extract some timber although mostly for construction of homes as commercialization of lumber was banned by the community several years ago. The members of the Palotoa-Teparo community are happy to share the beauty and biodiversity of their land as well as bring guests to the Pusharo petroglyphs and sites visited by wildlife.
Acommodations at Manu Pusharo Lodge
The lodge has 8 double bedrooms, shared bathrooms, a shared kitchen, dining room that looks out onto the nearby rainforest, and a bar area. All beds have mosquito netting. The lodge is also built with local tropical hardwood and like other Matsigenka construction, is raised above the ground to help cool down the lodge interior. There are also a few balconies where guests can relax and watch for birds and other wildlife in the nearby forest, and trails that head into the rainforest. Solar panels provide electricity during the evening hours.
Activities and Widlife at The Manu Pusharo Lodge
One of the main activities at this lodge is a visit to the nearby Pusharo petroglyphs. This ancient site consists of carvings made into a rock wall that is 100 feet (30 meters) high and 75 feet (25 meters) long. There are a number of carvings, some of which go nine feet (3 meters) up the rock wall.
Although archeologists have yet to interpret and date the petroglyphs, some symbols indicate that the site may have been worked on before and after meeting Incan peoples. Whatever the explanation may be, this is an interesting, exciting place to visit.A variety of wildlife viewing opportunities and cultural experiences are also possible at Pusharo.
A twenty minute walk leads to a clay lick that attracts such mammals as peccaries, deer, tapirs, and monkeys, and such birds as guans and parrots. These animals in turn, attract predators that prey on them which makes this spot an especially exciting place to visit! Seeing any jungle predator is a very rare experience but a quiet visit to this clay lick could increase your chances of seeing one.
A short boat ride also takes guests to a small oxbow lake with Hoatzins and chances at seeing a wide variety of bird species and Squirrel Monkeys. Guests of Pusharo can also look for birds and animals on a grid of trails in the rainforests next to the lodge.
This community lodge is 2 hours upriver from the confluence of the Palotoa and the Alto Madre de Dios rivers and is an excellent place to experience a blend of archeology, Amazonian wildlife, and Matsigenka culture.