Manu Birdwatching & Wildlife Tour
This 6-day Manu wildlife and birding tour in southeast Peru is a moderately-paced tour available on request that begins in the city of Cusco and culminates in a stay at the Tambo Blanquillo Private Reserve. On this Manu wildlife tour you can expect to see more than 850 species of birds, reptiles and mammals, including even wildcats! During this wildlife tour to Manu, we will be looking for exotic birds and exciting mammals in some of the very best birdwatching and wildlife watching in South America. This trip is a once-in-a-lifetime Amazon experience in some of the most biodiverse habitats in the Peruvian lowland 'terra caliente' area.
" The best choice for nature lovers, with some money to spend! We booked 3N / 4D Manu Express and regretted that we did not choose to stay longer at Tambo Blanquillo. Our guide Saturnino and all the staff are very friendly and have endless knowledge about nature and wildlife. We are really lucky to have the opportunity to see jaguars, monkeys, macaws, giant otters, caiman and snakes, etc... The private bungalows are great and provide the best comfort you can get in the rainforest. The best part of our vacation in Peru! This rubbish is worth every penny.- Katarzyna W
Our guided Manu wildlife and birding tour will take you from the the cloud forests around Cusco down into the Peruvian Neotropics. The adventure starts when our guide picks you up from your hotel in Cuzco to experience a morning's birding activity at Laguna Huacarpay, a renowned wetland.
This is followed by a full day of traversing the famous Manu Road into the cloud forest, which is considered to be one of the 'birdiest' routes in the world, This will be a magical journey full of colorful sights and unique sounds on the way to the Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge where we will witness Peru's national bird with its radiant red plumage, displaying at its lek to attract females. This location also gives you the chance to view several other majestic bird species as well as some unique reptiles, primates and even wildcats.
We reach the port of Atalaya the following day on our Manu birding tour, where we board a boat to enjoy the river transfer along the Alto Madre de Dios River to reach Tambo Blanquillo where you will spend the rest of your stay.
Our Lodge's grounds contain the most exuberant biodiversity of animals and vegetation where cotingas, tanagers, parrots, macaws, woodpeckers, monkeys, and several hummingbird species regularly come in to feed at the numerous flowering plants that grow in our gardens. With luck, a Jaguar or even a Puma pack may put in an appearance too.
From Tambo Blanquillo you can visit a nearby oxbow lake (Blanco) where Giant River Otters are regularly seen very close, sunbathing, fishing, swimming or playing with members of their family as they chase each other in the shallow waters. There is so much wildlife to enjoy each day on our Manu birding tour. Having the Tambo Blanquillo macaw clay lick close at hand is a definite plus to your visit to Manu. This is a location of choice for camera crews from around the globe who want to film one of the most staggering views the Amazon has to offer. Hundreds of Red-and-green Macaws gather here each day to lick the minerals from the clay.
Tambo Blanquillo 's accommodation is surrounded by rugged scenery and spectacular wildlife. We will be staying in a lovely, rustic yet comfortable private suite bungalow with excellent breakfasts and evening meals based on local produce from the Reserve garden. The bar has a wonderful selection of Pisco brandies from around Peru, to help you relax in the evening as you listen to the sounds of the jungle and mark up your checklist of Tambo Blanquillo's birds.
Manu Wildlife & Birding Tour Highlights include:
- A visit to Laguna Huacarpay wetland
- A visit to Chullpas de Ninamarca
- Andean Cock-of-the-Rock Lek and stay at the Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge
- Tambo Blanquillo's natural attractions:
- Macaw clay lick
- Blanco, Blanquillo & Camungo oxbow lakes
- 35-mile trail system for wildlife-viewing and birdwatching
- Canopy Observation Tower
- Two mammal clay licks
- Views of Giant Otters
- Red-and-green Macaws by the dozen, as well as other parrots, parakeets and parrotlets
- Sloths and up to eight different primate species
- Large tropical mammals such as Brazilian Tapir, Peccaries, Capybaras, and wild hogs
- Dozens of reptiles, salamanders, iguanas, butterflies and insect species
For more exciting birdwatching and mammal watching please take a look at our Amazon Jungle Peru Wildlife Tour where we also offer a night's stay at the cloud forest near Cusco, plus two nights inside Manu National Park, the ideal location to view the Golden-tailed Sapphire, Cuvier’s Toucan, and hopefully Jaguars.
Alternative Tour Name: Manu Complete Birding Trip
06:00am - Pick-up by guide at Hotel CUZ / Board van & Land transfer to Manu via Manu Road | 06:45am - Arrival Huacarpay Lagoon & Morning bird watching activity| 07:45 am Box Breakfast & departure via Manu Road | 10:30am - Visit Chullpas de Ninamarca | 11:30am - Arrival to Paucartambo visit Local church | 12:30pm - Box Lunch near Abra Malaga & land transfer via Manu Road| 05:00pm - Arrival Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge | 05:15pm - Afternoon trek & visit Cock-of-the-Rock Lek | 07:00pm - Dinner / Day bird list & species run through / Bed-time
05:30-06:45 AM- Morning activity birdwatching and trail walk / 07:00 AM- Breakfast at Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge / 07:30 AM- Land departure via Manu Road / 10:00 AM- Arrival to Port of Atalaya & Board Tambo Blanquillo Boat / 01:00 PM- Box Lunch / Transfer to Tambo Blanquillo Lodge vía río Madre de Dios / 04:30 PM- Arrival to Tambo Blanquillo Lodge, welcome drink & briefing / 05:00PM- Room distribution, unpacking & shower 07:00 PM- Dinner / 08:00 PM- Night excursion or ‘caimaneering’ / Day bird list & species runthrough / Leisure time at Bar / Bed-time
04:30 AM Boat ride & small trek departure to Macaw ‘Clay Lick’ / 05:30 AM Quiet arrival to blind at Macaw ‘Clay Lick’ / 05:30 AM- Set-up and patient wait for bird activity / 07:00 AM- Breakfast at hide / 10:30- 11:30 AM Head back to Tambo Blanquillo lodge / 12:30 PM -Arrival at lodge & shower / 01:00 PM Lunch / 01:45 PM- Humming bird observation at lodge gardens, recreation and relaxation or nap till heat decreases for afternoon activity/ 02:45 PM- visit to Blanco Oxbow Lake / 5:00 PM- Departure from Blanco Oxbow Lake to Tambo Blanquillo Lodge / 06:00 PM -Arrival to Tambo Blanquillo Lodge & shower / 07:00 PM- Dinner / 08:00 PM- Night excursion or ‘caimaneering’ / Day bird list & species runthrough / Leisure time at Bar / Bed-time
06:00 AM- Breakfast at Tambo Blanquillo Lodge / 06:45 PM- Boat ride & departure to Camungo Oxbow Lake & Observation tower / 07:20 AM - Arrival and ascent to platform at Camungo Observation Canopy Tower / 08:00 AM- Descent Canopy Observation Tower & small trek to Camungo Oxbow Lake dock / 8:30 AM -Board and catamaran ride navigating Camungo Oxbow lake for wildlife & bird watching activity / 11:30 AM - Trek & boat ride back to Tambo Blanquillo Lodge / 12:00 PM- Arrival at Lodge & shower / 01:00 PM- Lunch / 01:45PM- Hummingbird observation at lodge gardens, recreation and relaxation or nap till heat decreases for afternoon activity/ 02:45 PM- Small trek & visit to Blanquillo Oxbow Lake or Mammal ‘Clay Lick’ (s) / 05:30 PM- Arrival to Tambo Blanquillo Lodge & shower / 07:00 PM- Dinner / 08:00 PM- Night excursion or ‘caimaneering’ / Day bird list & species runthrough / Leisure time at Bar / Bed-time
(*) This final day serves as a back-up day within the planned schedule just in case it is necessary to repeat nature attractions in case of unexpecteds like bad weather, the urge to repeat one or two nature attractions (time pertaining), or do part of a trail grid walk that was not taken into consideration. It is up to the group or depending on your guide's decision to decide with short notice on the day, night activities and what nature attractions to include for this leeway day / 06:00 PM -Arrival to Tambo Blanquillo Lodge & shower / 07:00 PM- Dinner / 08:00 PM- Night excursion or ‘caimaneering’ / Day bird list & species runthrough / Leisure time at Bar / Bed-time
04:00 AM Early wake-up / 04:30 AM Board boat and ride via rio Madre de Dios / 06:30 AM- Box Breakfast / 08:00 AM- Arrival to Colorado Village / 08:15 AM- Land transfer to Punkiri Village / 09:30 AM- Crossing rio Inambari / 09:45 AM- Board van & transfer to CUZ / 06:00 PM- Arrival to CUZ & drop-off at Hotel or Airport
* Visit to our nature attractions & itinerary activities can vary depending of parties interest, guide recommendation or subject to weather conditions. If you wish to see an in-depth itinerary or list of species related to each activity contact us.
*Arrival at CUZ should happen around 06:00 PM, depending on traffic conditions
Wildlife species expected to see:
Red-and-green macaw, Chesnut fronted macaw, Rufous-breasted hermit, White-bearded hermit, Reddish hermit, long-tailed hermit, White-browed hermit, Rufous-crested coquette, Golden-tailed sapphire, Ple-tailed barbthroat, Blue-crowned trogon Orange-cheeked parrot, Blue-headed parrot, Yellow-crowned parrot, Mealy parrot, Crested owl, Amazonian pygmy-owl, Great potoo, Common potoo, Sand colored nighthawk, White-collared swift, Jabiru stork, Roseate spoonbill, Horned screamer, King vulture, Ornate hawk Eagle, Harpy Eagle, Red-throated caracara, Hoatzin, Gray-necked wood-rail, Pale winged trumpeter, Wattled jacana, Yellox billed tern, Amazon kingfsher, Green and rufous kingfisher, Purus jacamar, Bluish-fronted jacamar, Chesnut-eared aracari, Cuvier’s toucan, Crimson-crested woodpecker, Red-necked woodpecker, Black-banded woodcreeper, Ple-legged hornero, Black tailed leafscraper, Screaming piha, Purple-throated fruitcrow, Lesser kiskadee, Greater peewee, White banded swallow, Black-capped donacobius, Orange-headed tanager, Masked crimson tanager, Opal-rumped tanager, Russet-backed oropéndola.
White Caiman, Black Caiman, Titi- Monkey, Brown Capuchin Monkey, Brown Howler Monkey, Squirrel Moneky, Spider Moneky, Three-toed sloth, South American Taramandula, Tayra, Giant Ant-eater, Peccary, Capybara, Brazilian Tapir, Salamanders, Frogs, Vipers, Iguanas, Agouti, Giant Armadillo, Red-brocket deer, Giant otters, Bats, Squirrels, Weasels, Ocelot, Oncilla, Jaguarundi, Margay, Jaguar, Puma.
What is included?
- All accommodation or lodgings based on double occupancy
- Single Occupancy available for additional charge/cost
- Professional [English or bi-lingual/ tri-lingual] guide (s) and support staff
- Specialist guide fees
- Local transfers and all ground transport throughout the trip/tour/safari according to the selected program
- Entrance fees to all National Parks, Nature Reserves, Nature Attractions and/or use of Hides where applicable
- All meals including water
- Snacks throughout the trip/tour/safari
- All activities as specified within the tour itinerary
- Personalized checklists
- All Applicable Taxes
What is not included?
- All international or domestic airfares, or
- All flights unless otherwise indicated
- Visa Fees (if applicable)
- Travel & Medical Insurance (incl. personal equipment & repatriation)
- Airport departure taxes or visa fees
- Items of personal nature or,
- Items of personal nature (incl. binoculars and telescopes)
- Excess baggage charges
- Optional trip/tour/safari extensions where applicable
- Tips & gratitudes
- Any alcohol drinks, soda pop, bottled drinks or extra beverages
- Anything that is not mentioned in "what is included"
1. 25 years of experience tailoring unique Amazon Safaris & birdwatching experiences 2. Authentic Private Amazon Reserve with untouched mega-diverse forests 3. Best installations for wildlife observation & birdwatching 4. Unique naturally active fauna hotspots (Macaw 'Clay Lick', 3 Oxbow Lakes , 2 in - land mammal 'Clay Licks' , Canopy Observation Tower
Mostly hot and humid, between 22° C (71.6 F°) and 30° C (80 F°). There are a lot of sunny days but this is the Amazon Basin and rains are unpredictable even in the dry season (April-November). It’s not unusual that also during this season a drop in temperature called “friaje” occurs for three or four day’s patterns. This phenomenon is unpredictable and it’s due to cold winds that come from the Patagonia.
This is not mandatory, but you can if it will make you feel comfortable. However, we can say that we haven’t had a case of either Malaria or Yellow Fever since we stablished the Private Reserve over 20 year ago. The main reason is that Manu is not a densely populated area. Towns and even local villages are very apart and mosquitos don’t travel that far and also have a very short life span.
At Tambo Blanquillo, we pride ourselves with not having had a single serious accident since we established ourselves. Due to the high curiosity levels and little danger-awareness of most kids, we don’t accept them in the Lodge if they are younger than 10 years, as accidents are prone to happen. Recent information disclosed by researchers indicate that the skins of nonnative infants below ten years old exude odors that attract mosquitos if introduced to an area where normally there is the presence of these insects and make most of the repellents almost useless including the ones that contain 'deet'.
By being flexible with the start date of your trip, we might be able to pair you with another groups, allowing you to share the boat, and giving us the chance to give you the lowest price possible. This is mostly important for groups of three, two and one pax.
We do not recommend traveling for less than four days due to high transportation and fixed costs plus a very poor return for your money regarding fulfilled expectations. Yes, you and/or your group can stay for more days and do the same attractions as many times as you wish and also our trails. Just let us know to give you a quote on the customization of you program.
You are aware that the programs that we sell are about no ordinary tours to a zoo or park attraction. They are to a highly unpredictable environment which is the amazon/basin. Inherent risks are involved that can’t be predicted or forecasted in advance. First aid assistance, safety protocols and evacuation procedures are covered by us but we can’t cover all the costs that an unfortunate accident might cause to our clients. We think that it’s reasonable that clients have their own health and accident insurance (reason for the waiver). Besides the liability waiver we place more emphasis into our client’s judgment and awareness guidelines of our guides, staff and also signs posted in the lodge and in our trails and facilities.
The journey from Tambo Blanquillo to Puerto Maldonado is much closer than the one to Cusco, and after a few days in the jungle, we guarantee that you will be happy but quite exhausted. A 10 hours journey up the Andes on your way to Cusco is not as nice as it might sound, especially if you have done that route on your way in the Amazon Basin.
Our departure points are located in Cuzco (CUZ) and Puerto Maldonado (PEM) Departures from CUZ (urban area) are at 4:00 am for the Manu Express and Pure Adventure and 6:00 am for the Complete Manu. So it's almost sure that you will have to sleep in CUZ or its vicinity. Note: The departure location is your designated hotel in Cusco (you have to provide this info). Any departure outside the urban area of CUZ (like the Sacred Valley) has to be requested and quoted in advance. Departures from PEM imply that at this moment (February 2019) there are no early flights arrivals to PEM meaning that you have to arrive the day before and expect pick up the next day at 7:00 am also from your designated hotel (you have to provide this info). NOTE. - ALWAYS CHECK FLIGHTS IN ADVANCE FOR DEPARTURES! Our returning Points: The returning points for any of our programs including the custom made ones are also Cuzco (CUZ) or Puerto Maldonado (PEM). If you or your party choose to be dropped off at the end of your program in CUZ (urban area) expect to arrive around 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm on the same day of departure from Tambo Blanquillo Lodge. If you wish your departure outside of the urban area (like the Sacred Valley) please ask for a quote. If you decide it is PEM the drop-off point, expect to arrive around 1:00 pm the same day of your departure from Tambo Blanquillo Lodge. We can take you to designated hotel (urban area) or to the airport to catch flights leaving after 2:50 pm. Any drop off outside the urban area of PEM will be quoted separately.
The weather in the Amazon Rainforest is very hot and wet. We highly recommend you invest in some durable waterproof and breathable materials. Below is a list of the clothing items we recommend you to take on your journey with us. Rain jacket & pants. The kind you put on top your everyday clothing. Rubber boots – Can be bought cheaply at the CUZ or PEM street-markets. Specially for the rainy season (December-April). Walking boots we found very useful and a spare pair of trainers for evening. It is essential that the clothes (including nightwear) you take are quick drying and high wicking otherwise they absorb water and remain damp throughout your stay. You will find very useful to bring: - Waterproof normal hiking shoes (a must) - T-shirts. Long or short sleeve avoid white color scares animals, (insect repellent type are perfect but a bit hot) - Long sleeve light shirt to wear opened on top of short sleeve T shirts. Old cotton dress shirts are perfect - Light long pants (insect repellent are perfect) we don’t recommend shorts or bermudas - Light and foldable wind breaker (if possible water proof in case of rain) - Socks (insect repellent are the best but long sport socks will work) - A good torch is essential for early mornings and evening walks in the jungle, specially head hold light - Hat or cap if possible with ear flaps (A must) - Bandana or neck protection - Sunglasses - A light winter jacket or turtle neck in case of “friaje” (See Q&A #1) - Insect repellent time release sweat proof type. Sawyers is our favorite with low deet contents. They carry also a repellent that has no deet called PICARDIN
LAUNDRY: Enjoy your time in TB every minute of it. Even at night or in the mid-day recess. The Room Staff is more than willing to do your laundry for free. Even in rainy weather they will have a jean dry up in four hours max. We have a big sauna that works with drift wood and works any time there is something to dry. We just ask you to tip the person accordingly. Of course, don’t expect any ironing or less pressing. Just plain old time folding. Don’t do your laundry on the showers or lavatories, you will have a real mess afterwards, your clothes will still be dirty and add to that; angry roommates and staff.
One bag per person is recommended, due to space availability in our boats. However, you can bring another bag and/or backpack with you, for personal items and camera equipment. We highly recommend the use of water resistant and heavy duty duffle-bags.
Thankfully, when it comes to Birds, there is a single guide that contains all of the species found in Perú, the Field Guide called “Birds of Perú” by Princeton Field Guides. This Field Guide can be found in Amazon. If you decide to purchase it somewhere else, please make sure you are getting the update version, as there were several revisions in the first version.
Is it mandatory to tip in Peru? Please bear in mind that in Peru there is no obligation to Tip, but it’s customary to do so in the leisure business, specially if you spend time with the provider of the service. You will have one guide throughout the whole trip. However you might have more than one driver throughout your trip, depending on your itinerary. The most important are the boat drivers (you will expend more time with them). Tip accordingly. How much should we tip? This depends on how you enjoyed the trip, and how you asses the effort put by the staff to make sure you had a great time. We recommend the following: • USD50 per person, to the guide. In its equivalent (exchange rate of the date) in Peruvian soles. • USD50 per person, to the entire Kitchen and Room Staff. In its equivalent (exchange rate of the date) in Peruvian soles. • USD50 per person, for the boat drivers and porters. In its equivalent (exchange rate of the date) in Peruvian soles. How to proceed: The best way to tip, is to talk to your guide the night before leaving the premises, so he can arrange the Kitchen, Room, Ground, and Boat staff to be present. In the case of the Guide, we recommend you wait until the last point of the tour (the airport, your hotel, or a previously discussed destination). Please, if you wish to tip someone more than the rest, we recommend you do this privately.
Tambo Blanquillo’s offers a small souvenir shop and also a bar. The Bar offers a variety of National cold beers, national and international wines, and the best Pisco Sours east of the Andes. At the moment, we only accept payment by cash when purchasing in the bar, and this need to be done in Soles (S/.). Please, keep in mind that we might not have change if you pay with large bills (S/.100 and S/. 200). We recommend our visitors to bring around S/.350 in bills of S/50, S/20, S/10. This should cover all the extra expenses for an average tourists inside our Lodge. If you are spending soles at our Bar, don’t you dare to miss Leandro’s Pisco Sours, especially after an exciting and long day, while enjoying the Sunset from our Balcony. They are extremely good, proceed with caution. We also have a touch-free payment method that accepts all credit/debit cards in case you wish to save your bills for tipping.
First 50% upfront of total amount for confirmation and reservation of the program and dates of departure and arrival Second 50% 90 days before departure date. We will recognize only US$24.00 as bank fees from our bank on time The excess will be covered by the client, specially in several bank transfers and most specially if other banks intervene during the transaction Cancelation Policy: 90 days prior to scheduled departure date: full refund of deposit made (minus bank transfer cost and/or Credit Card Fees) 60 days prior to scheduled departure date 50% refund of deposit made 45 days prior to schedule departure date: no refund will be made
TamboFLEX: NEW Flexible Booking Policy We are introducing our brand new Flexible Booking Policy TAMBOFLEX which allows you to delay your holiday and transfer your deposit paid to another date of your choice within 24 months of your original holiday start date, completely free of charge with no hidden costs and no questions asked. Whether you are booking your first or second holiday with us, we completely understand you might be feeling uneasy and worried about traveling to the Amazon for this coming season because of the unknown situation linked to Covid– 19. TAMBOFLEX is our direct response to give you reassurance and flexibility when booking with Tambo Blanquillo Private Amazon Reserve going forwards. TAMBOFLEX Up-front Deposit – How does it work? TAMBOFLEX allows you to change your booking date with Tambo Blanquillo Private Amazon Reserve – to another date of your choice – summer or winter within 24 months of your original holiday start date. This means your deposit is completely transferrable to another date (or 3rd party individuals) of your choice with no additional fees to pay. With TAMBOFLEX as long as you notify us before the final balance payment deadline, which is 10 weeks before your holiday date, we are happy to transfer your total amount of deposit paid to another date or 3rd party/individuals of your choice. All we ask is that once you have decided to FLEX, you contact us with your new holiday date request immediately or names and personal information, in case you wish to transfer your deposit to a third party no questions asked. Any changes to your holiday dates must be made to us in writing. TAMBOFLEX will apply to all new reservations made for holidays that start from January 2021.
TamboFlex entitles you to make 1 free-of-charge date amendment to your original booking. Once you have used your free Flex amendment, you cannot change dates again.
TamboFlex requires that you must take your holiday within 24 months of your original holiday start date.
Should you decide to completely cancel your holiday with us our standard terms and conditions apply in that your deposit is non refundable. We can only offer you alternative dates within 24 months of your original holiday start date, transference of your deposit to a third party/individual or extend your Flex to TamboFlex Ultimate, extending 24 more months to make use during the date of your interest.
Make sure you let us know up to 2 weeks before your arrival date. At this point you must notify us immediately of your new holiday dates at the time of amendment. TamboFlex does not apply once you have entered the 2 weeks final balance payment period. At this point you are obliged to pay for your holiday in full. Should you then decide not to come on your holiday, our usual Terms and Conditions (*) will apply which means there will be no refund or transfer of holiday dates offered. Please see our standard Cancellation Terms and Conditions on your booking form which outline this in more detail.