We did a 4 day, 3 night tour with Manu Rainforest Tour company, which cost $300USD each. In all honesty, I didn’t expect too much after the bad luck we’ve been having. There were two other couples, Katie and John, and Gurt and Yanneke. Our main guide was Angel.The first day was spent driving and boating to Rainforest Lodge. We left Cusco at 5.30am and arrived at the lodge at 7pm, the drive was tedious and long. Along the way we stopped due to flooding of a waterfall, stopped at the Machuwasi ‘lake’ to see some birds. We were surprised our minibus was able to drive through the river and over all the rocks. We took a boat a short way to the lodge and walked a further 10 minutes. The lodge itself was nice, and we were lucky enough to get the only double room. We did a night walk through the jungle but didn’t see too much other than bugs and birds.
The second day we went by boat to the ‘treehouse’. The boat struggled to take the 7 of us (including the guide) upstream and we had to get off at some points and walk. I was utterly exhausted, so after 2 jungle walks and seeing very little, other than monkeys and massive grubs, which Max bravely ate raw, I tried to have a nap, which was constantly interrupted by Max’s new friend (a local boy) who wouldn’t shut up! Max went for a swim in the river with him. We went for a night walk where we saw a massive tarantula. Probably the highlight of the tour. Around 9pm we walked another 30 minutes to the ‘treehouse’, which was not what we expected. From the photos we saw at the agency, there were hammocks. We, however, slept on a thin mat of the wooden slat floor with mosquitoe nets. The guide, Saul, snored all night and we had to get up at 4am. Needless to say we got very little sleep.
The third day we walked back to base camp to go see the parrot clay lick. It was raining so the parrots didn’t come, so a nice early morning and little sleep meant I was pretty unimpressed. Meanwhile, Max gave us his version of David Attenborough which resembled more the funny/silly style of Steve Irwin. Although he did make starring at mud, in the rain, a little more enjoyable. We went for a walk later in the morning and saw more birds, bugs and a few monkeys. We did find an insect that our guide Angel hadn’t seen before, so we named it “Phillip the horny insect”. We tubed down the river which was nice but not quite as exciting as the rapids in New Zealand. We got back to the lodge we stayed at the first night for our last night.
The final day was spent traveling back to Cusco. We got up at 6am and drove the windy, bumpy road. We stopped at a few more places that we missed due to rain/flooding/rocks falling the first day. There were a few delays due to roadworks (so we weren’t really sure why we had to get up so early). We finally got back to our hostel at 6pm.
Overall it was a bit disappointing for me and for how much it cost, I was hoping for more. The silver lining is that the money is put towards the community of Manu rather than to one of the numerous Cusco based companies.