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“Deep in the Amazon”
Review of Manu Wildlife Peru

Manu Wildlife Peru
Ranked #68 of 128 things to do in Cusco
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Owner description: Manu Wildlife Peru is an Ecotourism travel tours company that organizes exotic destinations trips into the Amazon Jungle of Manu National Park specifically to see and enjoy wildlife in undeveloped, relatively undisturbed natural areas, as well as giving an insight into the indigenous culture of the jungle. With the reality and dangers of global warming in mind, we dedicate a lot of time and effort to try and ensure the conservation of the world´s natural resources and biodiversity – Amazon Tours.
Reviewed 7 October 2014

The wildlife centre is 7 hours from Puerto Maldonado by van and boat. The macaw clay lick is the highlight. And oxbow lake is rich with critters. 3 days is enough. The little cabins are great and food is good home-style quality. Don't let them wash clothes for you....we still can't get the cheap perfume smell out of my shirts.

Date of experience: September 2014
2  Thank REO-LTL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5 - 9 of 17 reviews

Reviewed 15 June 2014

Ask for Boris - In fact all 4 brothers - Phillipe, William, Rise and Boris - grew up in the interiors of Manu National Park and extremely knowledgeable about the Flora and Fauna. Saw plenty of native birds (40 +), Monkeys, Jaguar amongst others. Cesario is an excellent cook and rustled up tasty dishes each day for the week we were there. Excellent experience with the bus and boat journeys.

Date of experience: June 2014
3  Thank kinshukBangalore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2014

My husband and I had an amazing experience in the Manu and I can echo the enthusiastic comments of a 2008 Tripadvisor review “Pantiacolla Tours - absolutely wonderful!” in most aspects.

First of all, this is a nature experience without a match! There are not many “untouched” places on the earth where one can so completely get away from the urban jungle and enjoy the abundance of the nature and wildlife. The gigantic, 50-70 m tall trees, flocks of big and colorful parrots, amazing jungle birds which looked like prehistoric creatures, monkeys and even a jaguar sunning itself on the river bank were unforgettable.

The trip started from the top of the Andes, in Cusco, winded down a dirt road through a cloud forest (orchids and hummingbirds) to a big Madre de Dios river and continued in a boat into the depths of the untouched jungle.

Our two guides, Jose and Darwin, were fabulous. Their energy, enthusiasm and wealth of knowledge were tremendous. They explained interesting biological concepts, spotted birds and animals all over, and were able to identify all birds and 99% of birdcalls around. We started at 5 AM daily and had usually 3 good hikes (two at daytime and one at night) a day in addition to the sight seeing from the boat.

The lodges were good. One was a little “so-and-so” with a shared bathroom quite far from the lodges, whereas the last one was quite “luxurious” with warm showers – and a tapir showing up in the hallway at night- what a treat! The other lodges had very clean rooms, good mosquito nettings and most had private bathrooms. The beds were comfortable and the bathrooms were clean.

The arrangements to feed us were amazing. Our cook was great and creative. We had 3 course meals, which usually started with a very tasty soup or salad, after which I was so full that there was not always space for the main course and dessert. I cannot understand how Orlando was able to provide fresh, clean and tasty food in large quantities throughout the trip – but he did. The breakfasts ranged from hot scrambled eggs served in the (relatively small) boat to hot pancakes served on a parrot observation platform!

The arrangements were made with attention to detail, and we really got our money’s worth of jungle hikes. Nobody in the group wanted to stay in the lodge during the hikes in fear missing something really COOL!

The surprises were:

1) I was cold in the rainforest! It was the end of a rainy season and a cold front came from Patagonia. It did not rain except at nights, but it was cloudy, and one day in the boat was windy and raw. Fortunately my travel experiences have included being hypothermic in Costa Rica, fighting a snowstorm in Italy in April and freezing in Turkey in March. I was prepared and had several layers of thin fleece blouses and tights plus a windbreaker/rain jacket. I would even recommend a fleece cap if you travel during the rainy season. Nevertheless- this is an absolutely worthwhile trip!

2) I saw 2 mosquitoes! I am originally from Scandinavia, and I can tell you that we have thousands of times more mosquitoes, especially in Lapland. We had treated our clothes with Permethrin, there were some gnats, and our guide told us that there are a little bit more mosquitoes during the dry season, but to my surprise I ended carrying back the huge storage of mosquito repellents, netted hats etc. I guess I can use them when I visit my home in Scandinavia (:

3) I am a medical doctor and I had a real mobile pharmacy in my luggage. I expected to spot poisonous snakes everywhere and was equipped with an EpiPen and prednisone tablets. Appeared that there are only 2 poisonous snakes, but they are shy and rarely seen.

4) I was a little worried that the “turbulent” Rio Madre de Dios would be something alike the Urubamba river with whitewater turmoil along the road to Macchu Picchu. Not at all. It had some turbulence, but our captain was very skilled and a really safe navigator. Travelling in the boat was very enjoyable.

In addition to my recommendation to warm layers of clothing, take a pair of binoculars, a really good flashlight for night hikes and a head light / battery operated camping lantern to get around your “activities of daily living” in the lodges. The candle-light alone was not easy.

I carried small bottles of hand sanitizers in my day pack, “baby wash clothes” also in small packages in case of needing a bathroom in a jungle, small bottles/wipes of mosquito repellent, sunscreen (not really needed during this trip), sunglasses and a water bottle.

I was very satisfied that I had my own “Birds of Peru” guidebook; it is quite heavy (there are over 1000 species of birds!!!) but worth carrying if you are a bird watcher like me. Corticosteroid ointment and small “anti-itch” local medication were a good help for a co-traveller who suffered from insect bites.

The important thing to be aware of: make sure that your trip does not include “airfare over the Andes in a van”. Mine did, and that was the only negative- but a big one- in the trip.

Patiacolla had a subcontractor “Evelyn tours” take us back up to Cusco via a “highway”. While the road to the rainforest was a winding dirt road, and although it was no “Sunday drive”, that driver was clearly experienced and in control. On the other hand, the “highway drive” back to Cusco was horrible!

We “flew” at 90-95 km/hr on the winding road, often driving on the left lane near deep abysses and passing big land slides blocking half of the road! The villages had a speed limit of 30 km/hr, but the driver did not care- his response to my complaint after the trip was that he “considered the legal 30 km/hr too slow” and claimed to have been driving “only” at 55 km/hr! However, I happened to sit just behind him and checked the speed in the speedometer on three occasions. I asked our guide to ask him to slow down but the driver did not change his speed or style.

Two years ago I was in the Andes, travelling up to Puno and back to Lima again, and that trip was like “silk”- that time I did not even feel the heights. This Evelyn Tour driver was reckless; it was not matter just me being scared- it was a safety issue. Peru has a very high incidence of fatal car accidents and after this “flight” I know why. The response of the driver to my complaint was dismissive and it is clear that “this is the way we drive”.

While I do highly recommend Pantiacolla tour for your trip operator to Manu’s amazing wilderness, with a very good price/quality ratio, careful attention to detail during the trip, and fabulous, skilled and professional staff in the rainforest, I would advise checking, if they are still using Evelyn Tours for transportation on the road. I really did not care to “fly over the Andes in a van” even after such a fabulous experience.

Metsasuomalainen

Date of experience: May 2014
12  Thank Kristiina A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2014 via mobile

Very tough drive from Cuzco ...was there during rainy season and lits of landslides. Its all worth it when you get there. You are on the fringes of a wildlife reserve larger than Costa Rica. The valkey has leks where cocks of the rock congregate. Plants are enormous.
Birders paradise ...

1  Thank KDW105
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 October 2012

If you're going there, go for the 5 days tour. You'll be going further into the jungle -> less tourists -> more wildlife! Don't even think about skipping this one, it's one of the best things in Peru!

Date of experience: October 2012
8  Thank Iejob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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