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Day 1: Cusco

You will be met at the airport or hotel by your guide. Venture out into the Peruvian markets to soak up the atmosphere and explore. This is a great chance to buy any last minute essentials before heading down into the rainforest. In the evening there will be a briefing and dinner before getting an early night and some rest before an early start the following morning.

Lodging: Rumi Punki

Meals: Breakfast


Day 2: Cusco – Manu Cloud forest

Leaving Cusco after an early breakfast, traverse the Andes, overlooking the majestic snowed capped mountains of the sacred valley. Arrive in Paucartambo, the centre of ancient trading routes of the Incas, and learn about the famed traditional local dances and celebrations. Enjoy a warm drink and learn about Andean communities’ use of biodiversity, a great introduction to the socio-economic background of Manu and why it is so special. Continue the journey on towards one of the highest points of the day at Acjanaco (3,500 m), a park ranger’s station and the entrance to Manu National Park.

If weather conditions permit, there is a chance of seeing the first spectacular view of one of the largest National Parks of Peru. Amidst the clouds, descend towards San Pedro, where you will have lunch. Observe the dramatic changes of the landscape, until you reach the lodge for your overnight stay.

Lodging: Cock of the Rock Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Day 3: Manu Cloud forest – Manu Learning Centre

Head out to see the main attraction in the cloud forest, the Cock of The Rock bird, the national bird of Peru. Get up before breakfast and head to a lek to watch males perform an amazing dance ritual to attract the females at an incredibly short distance and see their spectacular displays of colour. On the walk back to the lodge for breakfast there are many opportunities for potential sightings of bands of monkeys looking for breakfast themselves among the trees by the road. Our journey continues into the cloud forest, home to some if the rarest species of birds and to the spectacled bear. Visit coca plantations and learn about the uses of the coca leaves and their medicinal properties. After a short stop at Pillcopata head for the port-town of Atalaya, and board a motorized canoe. A one-hour ride to the Manu Learning Centre gives you the first impression of a meandering Amazonian river, the Alto Madre de Dios, one of the most southern tributaries of the legendary Amazonas River. Have lunch and get a briefing from the volunteer coordinator and learn more about the projects you will be involved in during your stay. In the afternoon explore the local trail system, before relaxing at the lodge to the sounds of rainforest. Whilst staying at this beautiful lodge guests can learn about the human history of Manu and the challenges conserving this beautiful and fragile environment or just relax with a drink, watching the sun set over the Amazon.

Lodging: Manu Learning Centre

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Day 4/5: Manu Learning Centre – Conservation and Research Projects

For these next two days you will be rising early at about 5.00am to take part in the conservation and research projects. Examples of the projects you can get involved in are mammal tracking such as the Jaguar, Puma, Tapir and Peccary. Help set camera and footprint traps. Head out on early morning hikes using various surveying techniques for recording data as well as at night doing sound surveys. There is a butterfly project setting fruit-bated traps in various areas of the rainforest and monitoring these. One of the most interesting at the Manu Learning Centre is the monitoring of the clay lick or collpa where, among others, the Blue Headed Macaw is observed and studied, as it is an endangered species. Other projects include the Biomass Forest Structure project which investigates the science behind carbon sequestration. While taking part in these projects you will be experiencing differing terrain and multiple forest types, running into squirrel monkeys humming birds and also razor billed curassows. With over 13 different species of monkeys (according to last report around Manu Biosphere Reserve), a strong large mammal presence, you will be able to see so much wildlife. With over 24 kilometres of trails there is a large exploration area. After a full day working on the projects, return and freshen up for a delicious homemade meal. After dinner you can talk to the scientists, researchers and other volunteers or perhaps enjoy a presentation of their latest findings or just relax and take in the sounds of the rainforest with a drink.

Lodging: Manu Learning Centre

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Day 6: Manu Learning Centre – Community Based Projects

Once again after an early breakfast you will be taking part in some of the community based projects. The Bio Garden project serves as a model of small scale subsistence farming and reforestation. You will be taught about the different crops and be involved in planting them. You will assist the locals in implementing new and sustainable agricultural techniques, such as planting vegetables which are planted alongside young trees in the same bed. The crops protect the trees in its most vulnerable stages and by the time the garden has been harvested for several seasons the trees have become established.

Another community project is the Agro-Forestry project which is a reforestation project will provide the chance to plant away your own carbon emissions from your trip to Peru and plant around the Manu Learning Centre on locally deforested areas. Over the next 15 years projects like this one will generate over $800,000 for the local community. After a full day working on the projects, overnight at the lodge, taking in the wonderful setting, having dinner and sharing experiences with others.

Lodging: Manu Learning Centre

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner


Day 7: Manu Learning Centre – Cusco

After breakfast, prepare for departure and take the boat back to Atalaya port-town, where you board transport back to Cusco. The landscape changes dramatically as you climb up into the cloud forest towards the Andes and then down to Cusco. You will be dropped off at your hotel completing this wonderful volunteer experience.

Lodging: Not Included

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch




Price per person sharing: 825 GBP (subject to change and availability)




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