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Bucket List Itinerary: Machu Picchu and the Animals of the Amazon


Vaya Adventures has designed an itinerary that brings visitors into Peru’s Manu Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site considered the number one park in the world for biodiversity.

Vaya Adventures’ new itinerary, Machu Picchu & Manu Wildlife Center, combines the high-altitude Andes with the Amazon rainforest. The first six days after arrival in Lima are spent in and around the iconic lost Incan city of Machu Picchu, with two full days exploring the marvels there.

Day 7 begins a five-day/four-night trip to the Manu Wildlife Center, one of the premier wildlife-viewing reserves in South America. Leaving Cusco, guests travel through traditional Quechua communities and the spectacular eastern ranges of the Andes to the village of Paucartambo, passing snow-clad peaks and small Andean farmsteads. After the last ascent, the journey descends into the Amazon Basin through the Manu Cloud Forest, with an overnight at the Cock of the Rock Lodge.  Embarking the next morning in a dugout canoe, guests travel along the Madre de Dios River, passing Diamante, the largest settlement of Amerindians in the area.  A professional naturalist guide accompanies the trip to help spot wildlife and birds enroute.  Weather permitting, one can see glaciers in the Andes towering 20,000 feet above.

Entering the clay-laden waters of the Manu River, guests stop at the park ranger station at Limonal to visit an overgrown oxbow lake, where a variety of parrots and macaws come to roost. From there the river journey continues to the Manu Wildlife Centre Lodge, the base for the next few days’ wildlife explorations.  Excursions from the lodge include the famous Macaw Clay Lick that daily attracts thousands of colorful macaws and parrots.

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