Manu Biosphere Reserve and Macaw Clay Lick (8 Days)

Our eight days Manu Biosphere Reserve Tour with a half day excursion to see the Macaws Clay Lick is a complete package tour of the Manu National Park. 

Manu National Park is the most visited destination in the Peruvian Amazon. The entire national park is spread over 1.532.806 hectares. The lush tiers of vegetation rises from 150 metres above sea level all the way upto 4200 metres. Manu National Park is divided into three zones – Manu core zone, biosphere reserve and cultural zone. 

Access to Manu Core Zone is restricted to scientists and researchers. The Biosphere reserve or the Manu Reserved Zone which dominates the major part of the national park has many trails and is popular among travellers. Manu cultural zone is where the communities live. 

The Amazon Rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world and Manu dominates the major part of the Peruvian Amazon. Manu National park is home to over 32 indigenous people who have maintained their traditions and customs. 

A countless species of birds and animals also inhabit here. You will also find different plant species here. In 1987, UNESCO recognised Manu as a world heritage site. 

The eight days tour to Manu Biosphere Reserve and Macaws Clay Lick programme is carefully designed by our local experts from the native community to offer you the best of the pristine areas of the biosphere zone and cultural zone. 

Why Palotoa Amazon Travel?

We are a family owned local tour operator from the Palotoa community in Manu National Park. We take pride in employing locals from the community. They have an extensive knowledge about the flora and fauna, trails and the indigenous culture and traditions. Do take a moment to see our guest reviews on Tripadvisor.

  • Package / Tour: Manu Biosphere Reserve and Macaw Clay Lick 8D/7N
  • Price 2019: USD$ 1400.00
  • Locations Visited: Manu Biosphere and Macaw 8D/7N
  • Frequency: 2 Times of week
  • Physical Grading: 1-2-3-4-5

Start: Cusco
End: Cusco
Group size: Minimum 4 Maximum 08
Age Minimum: 05 to 15 years old with their parents, Adults up to 70 years of age
Style: Original and unique
Type: Adventure and biodiversity
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Tour Route and altitude, Cusco (3,300m.s.n.m.) – Andes– (3830m.s.n.m.) Cloud Forest (1,500m.s.n.m.), Amazon Basin (280m.s.n.m.)
Manu National Park covers an area of  1716 292 22 million hectares, and is categorized as one of the most extensive parks in South America.



NOTE: Our eight days Manu Biosphere Reserve and Macaw Clay Lick Tour involves several trips by bus and boat. The weather in certain areas is unpredictable. The program may be subject to change at any time without notice.

Day 1 – Cusco – Pilcopata (Paradise Lodge):

We will be picking you up from your hotel in Cusco at 06:00 in the morning.The first part of the drive will be through the Andes Mountain range. On the way, we will pass through Paucartambo, a folkloric and colonial town. Around noon, we will be arriving at the main entrance of Manu National Reserve.

As we would enter Manu National Reserve, we will be traversing on a dirt road through dense fog which would mark our entrance to the Cloud Forest. Eventually, we will be arriving at the home of the Peruvian National Bird, the “Cock of the Rocks”. They are known to gather in this area.

You will find that this is quite an amazing spectacle complete with an impressive array of sounds and colours that can only be found in the jungle. We will be spending the first night of the tour in Paradise Lodge.

Day 2 – Paradise Lodge – Boca Manu (Hummingbird Lodge):

At 06:00 in the morning, we will start our journey towards Atalaya Port. On our way, we will stop in a couple of villages. Farmers in these villages are known to produce a variety of fruits those are typical to the region. They also plant the infamous coca plants. We will then start our boat ride on “Madre De Dios” river, one of the tributaries of the Amazon River. During our boat ride you will have a chance to spot many varieties of colourful birds. To name a few, parrots, oropendolas and vultures are in abundance here.

We will stop at natural hot springs. If luck favours, you will have a chance to spot some jungle mammals like the renowned capybaras (jungle rodents that are as much as 2.5 ft. long). Early in the evening, we will arrive at the Boca Manu (Hummingbird Lodge) where you will be spending the second night of the trip. Hummingbird Lodge has comfortable service, here you can freshen up before starting the night walk. During the night walk, we will spot some insects, tarantulas, scorpions and snakes.

Day 3 – Boca Manu (Hummingbird Lodge) – Casa Matsigenka Lodge:

We will be leaving from Boca Manu Lodge leaving behind the clean waters of Madre de Dios river and enter the Clay Laden Waters of the Manu River. With a brief stop at the Park ranger station at Limonal to present our permits, we will travel for about five hours deep down to Manu Biosphere, up the Manu River. Beaches, especially in the dry season, are loaded with nesting birds and feeding Herons, Egrets, Orinoco Geese, Terns and Skimmers to name a few.

Some beaches will host sunning White and Black Caimans, and breeding side-of necked turtles. Hundreds of Sand-coloured nightjars roost during the day on logs and beaches. Here you may have a chance to spot Jaguars. You will also have an opportunity to see Red Howler monkey and small Squirrel monkeys those are typical to the region.

Casa Matsiguenka Lodge:

After having lunch by the river, we will travel to Casa Matsigenka Lodge” near the Lake of Cocha Salvador. We’ll have the afternoon to explore some of the trails through the pristine rainforest in the area. A visit to the Lake of Cocha Otorongo is planned, where observation piers and a 30 meter-observation tower in the rainforest canopy overlooking the lake are available for observing wildlife.

Our guides will show you the big family of Giant Otters that inhabit this lake. Optionally, before or after the dinner you can have a guided walk looking for nocturnal creatures. The lakes are full of eye-shine of the large Black Caiman and if we are lucky we may encounter an Olingo Kinkajou or even an Ocelot on the trails.

Certainly the night time noise of tree frogs and insects in the forest is an experience not to be forgotten. Night at “Casa Matsiguenka”, a rustic native owned lodge, managed by the Matsiguenka themselves, with their own exclusive trail system. There are flush toilets and ambient temperature shower facilities and screened twin rooms, with comfortable beds and mosquito nets.

Day 4 – Casa Matsiguenka – Cocha Salvador- Pakitza Control Post:

After breakfast, we will be spending the morning on the Cocha Salvador Lake. Most of the time will be spent canoeing on a floating platform of the lake witnessing the ox-bow lake animal life. We may spot Agami Heron, Sungrebe and Brown Capuchin Monkeys that are usually fed with fruits nearby. Specially constructed piers that jut out into the lake enable us to look for a family of Giant Otters that live here. These are the world’s largest freshwater carnivores.

They remain mostly in Manu Biosphere. They have been hunted to extinction throughout most of their former range. Each of these animal consumes between 4 to 5 kilos of fish daily.

Often they can been seen eating large quantity of fishes on logs by the lake. We will be spending the rest of the day walking along the trails in the area looking for some of the 13 species of monkeys those are typical in the region. Your guide will explain some of the basics of rainforest ecosystems and point out some of the medicinal plants of the area used by local, indigenous groups. We may cross ways with a group of Peccaries – a species of wild boar.

Later that day, we will be visiting the control post of pakitza. There you will be able to walk through its trails to see the biodiversity. In the evening we will stop to see the sun setting over the world’s largest rainforest before returning to Casa Matsiguenka Lodge, where you will be spending the night.

Day 5 – Casa Matsiguenka – Blanquillo Tambo Lodge:

You will be waking up to the call of the red howler monkeys (“Alouta Seniculus”).  After breakfast, we will start our return trip on Manu River. On the way, you will be able to spot a variety of birds. Namely, herons, egret, kingfishers, and the ever present vultures of which the most spectacular is the condor of the jungle, king vulture (sarcoramphus papa).

We will have a brief stop in Boca Manu where you can fetch some cold beverages. Later that evening we will arrive at Tambo Blanquillo lodge. Late in the evening you can have a guided tour of the lagoons in the region and see the alligators and nocturnal animals.

Macaw Clay Lick:

One distinctive habitat nearby “Tambo Blanquillo” is the shebonal forest. This type of forest is high in clay content, creating clay licks, locally known as Collpa which are specially used by macaws and other rainforest species as a healthy diet supplement that helps them remove toxins from their digestive tracks. Macaws usually obtain these noxious chemical substances from unripe fruits they ingest.

Our lodge is just 10 minutes away from the Macaw Clay Lick. A blind of 10 meters of altitude has been built facing it, so you can take close-up pictures without disturbing the bird’s activity. It consists of 40 comfortable seats, each with a personal counter where your binoculars and cameras can be placed in order to give you better stability to take superb pictures of the macaws on the clay lick. Breakfast will be served at the blind and a toilette facility is available.

Day 6: Blanquillo Tambo Lodge – Macaws Clay Lick:

At day break, we will start sailing to “Macaw Clay Licks”, a special place where flocks of Parakeets, Parrots, and Macaws come every day to eat the nutritious lick. We will stop at a camouflaged hideout house for the birds. It is a paradise for bird lovers. ere you will get to see many of them.

However this activity depends a lot on the weather. There, we will spend around 5 hours waiting to see the macaws performing their daily activity. We will later return to the lodge for lunch.  After lunch, we will be visiting the camungo oxbow lake.

Here, you will have an opportunity to climb up the observation tower. From the top you will get an awe-inspiring view of the Amazon plain and the lake. We will then return to the lodge for dinner.

Day 7 – Blanquillo Tambo – Palotoa Amazon Lodge:

On this day, we will have a three hours boat ride up the river to Boca Manu. There we will stop to buy cold drinks. The river trip may hold surprises as we’ll be attentive for any wildlife on the beaches. Leaving from Boca Manu we will sail up the Madre de Dios River for about five hours to our signature, Palotoa Amazon Lodge.

The afternoon will be set aside to relax. Alternatively, you can trail through the forest to a lookout point on a cliff over the river to watch roosting flights of Parrots and Macaws as the sun sets.

Day 8- Palotoa Amazon Lodge – Cusco:

We will get up early and after breakfast we will return to Atalaya by boat. Here our private bus will be waiting for us for our journey back to Cusco. We will be reaching Cusco by noon.



  • All terrestrial and fluvial transport
  • Team of security
  • Rubber boots.
  • Lodge accommodation
  • All camping equipment.(optional)
  • Tent, sleeping bag and mats
  • Mineral water.
  • First aid kit.
  • 3 meals per day vegetarian, option.
  • Snack.
  • Chef
  • Entrance to hot spring, and machuhuasi lake.


  • Shirt long sleeve and long pants
  • Warm cloths (for misty morning on the river)
  • Enough mosquitos repellent.
  • Binocular.
  • Camera with extra batteries.
  • Flashlight with extra batteries.
  • Sun lotion.
  • Pocket money
  • Daypack.
  • Water bottle
  • Sun hat.
  • Sandals.
  • Swim clothes.
  • Toilet paper.
  • Dark clothes.

Frequently asked questions

Where is the Manu national Park located?

Located in the southeast of Peru, in the provinces of Paucartambo in Cusco and Manu in Madre de Dios.
It has an area of ​​1’717’295.22 hectares.

How to get to Manu National Park Peru?

Manu is at 130 kilometers from Cusco city traveling by road, which interacts as a gateway to the Manu National Park. You can also get to Puerto Maldonado by land from Cusco or by air through Lima. From there you can ride the mother river of God by boat. and you can get to the manu reserve. but it is more far and expensive.

Manu National Park when to visit?

The best time to visit the Peruvian Jungle is between April and November, during the dry season. The rainy season is from February to March, when access by road becomes more difficult and when the paths in the forest can be flooded.

What is the difference between the cultural zone and the reserved zone?

The Manu National Park is divided into three parts: cultural zone or buffer zone, reserved zone or core zone and the intangible zone. The cultural zone and the reserved zone are for tourist use. The intangible zone is used exclusively for scientific studies and with special permits. More details see section Manu.

Do I need to be in good physical condition to travel?

It is not a requirement, but one must be able to walk a path of several kilometers to fully enjoy what Manu has to offer.

Do vaccines are needed for yellow fever, malaria and malaria?

In the Manu National Park there are no reports of cases of yellow fever, malaria and malaria however if you want to stay longer in tropical places it is better to consult with your doctor.


    We had an unforgettable 4 days experience with an excellent guide: Darwin. Everything is well organized: lodges, rubber boots ( ah you will need them…!), delicious food, experienced guide, boat trips, bus rides, animals spots…. 


    TripAdvisor, Palotoa Amazon Travel

    Shortly said, it was a unique experience which i will never forget. It was the highlight of my 3-weeks journey through Peru. Being out there in the wild with nothing but nature & animals around is incredible and really intense…


    TripAdvisor, Palotoa Amazon Travel

    Being able to explore the amazon with Abel was such a pleasure. Abel taught us so much and showed us the beauty and art that lie within the amazon. Without Abel, our exploration of the amazon would never be the same…

    Kuan Ting L

    TripAdvisor, Palotoa Amazon Travel

    General Map of Manu