Information before you start your tour with us
Please, take your time to read this before you depart for Manu. We at Bonanza Tours Peru are pleased with the trust you have placed in us for your expedition into the Manu Biosphere Reserve. At this moment you must be looking forward to the trip ahead of you, but also you may have some feelings of anxiety about its possible dangers and discomforts. In reality, overall, Manu is not a dangerous place, especially not if compared to the number of dangers that may occur in big cities. But for sure, there are some problems and dangers you should know about.
Frequently asked Questions.
Why is a tour to the Reserve Zone more expensive than to the Cultural Zone?
There are several reasons why a tour to the Reserve Zone is more expensive than to the Cultural Zone. The boat trip is much longer (8h), and the lodging in the Reserve Zone (Casa Matsiguenka) is more expensive. There is a substantial additional entrance fee, to go into the Reserve Zone, which I included in the price.
Why do we use Casa Matsiguenka?
We use the Casa Matsiguenka Lodge, because it helps and supports the local indigenous Matsiguenka communities (Tayacome and Yomibato). These local tribes own and work in the lodge, and therefore benefit financially from use using their facilities (Social Responsibility). The lodge is rustic, and made with natural resources, making it unique and a good example of typical traditional housing.
What is the maximum group size?
On our tours and expeditions we have a maximum of 10 people per guide. When we have more than 10 passengers we will use two guides and divide the group in two for walking and expeditions. We do this so that you have a higher chance of seeing animals and can hear the explanation of the guide.
What type of food will we eat and are there choices if you are a vegetarian?
We will provide a variety of dishes during your tour, including traditional jungle food and drinks. The meals will include fish, chicken, beef, vegetables and fruit. Drinks during the tour will include natural juices like pineapple, star fruit, passion fruit, coffee and hot chocolate. We can also provide vegetarian / vegan food, and cater for food allergies, please advice us before starting the tour if you have any special dietary requirements.
What is the weather like in the Manu National Park?
On sunny days the temperature varies from 25 to 40°C during the day and from 10 to 20°C during the night. June and July are the coldest month. We will inform you about the current weather conditions before you depart on a tour.
What facilities do you have in our lodges?
We have 2 lodges in the cultural zone of Manu National Park.
Rainforest Lodge located at 900 msl, which has twin and double rooms, shared toilets and showers, dining room, kitchen, and deck chairs. There is electricity available in all rooms; light and battery chargers.
Bonanza Ecological Reserve located in the lowland area, at 445 Msl. The lodge has twin and double rooms, shared toilets and showers, dining room, kitchen, two platforms for tents, hammocks and deck chairs, we also have twin and double rooms with private bathroom and shower, available at an additional cost.
There is electricity available in the rooms for light and the facility to charge batteries is available in the dining room, electricity is from solar Panels, so availability depends on the weather.
Why do we stay in the camouflage house?
The reason that we stay here is to view wildlife. Next to this house there is a big muddy area where many animals come to eat mineral clay, during the day and night, It is around 11m off the ground, deep in the primary jungle, 1hour walk from the main lodge.
The camouflage house has mosquito nets and mattress, we do not have toilet facilities here, in order to protect the natural area.
When you want to use the bathroom you need to come down away from the house, use a machete make a hole and afterwards cover up, do not throw paper, all our rubbish need to be taken back to the lodge and Cusco.
What are Observation towers?
We have 2 metal observation towers, 17 m and 16 m giving you the chance to view the jungle from high up the canopy, to see birds and view the jungle.
Do I have to be fit to do your trips?
For our trips it is necessary to be in good physical health, but how fit depends on the itinerary you choose. The areas where we walk are flat. We always walk very slowly in the jungle, as this is the best way to observe the flora and fauna, but also because it can be very hot and humid. If you take one of our tours, then you will be walking for 3 to 4 hours per day, carrying only a small day pack to carry your water, binoculars and camera. You will return to our comfortable Lodge. Our 6-day expedition trip involves walking for 6 hours or more and carrying your tent, sleeping bag etc. All night walks are optional; if you are tired you are welcome stay in the lodge.
What do I need to do if I want to reserve a trip to Manu?
Please contact us by email for reservations. We will then send you an email detailing the way to make a reservation and the methods of paying. To secure you reservation we need a minimum deposit of 15% (USD) of the total cost per person. You can deposit through Western Union or Visa, or put the deposit in our Peruvian bank account. We will confirm by email the receipt of your deposit and the reservation.
We will also need your full name, address, age, profession, passport number, nationality and details of any dietary requirement you may have.
Are there commissions associated with making the deposit?
Whichever way you decide to make a deposit, there will be a commission which will be passed on to you. For example, if you pay by visa through our web page, then there is a commission of 8.7%. If you make a payment through one of the bank account options you will be charged the respective commission, which is likely to be around 4%
How and where do we make the Final Payment for the tour?
At least one day before the tour. Please visit our office to finalize your payment in cash (dollars or soles).
Will there be a Pre-departure briefing?
Come to our office at least one day before your tour for a briefing. In case you cannot attend, please let us know in advance so we can make different arrangements.Bonanza Tours Peru Office.
How to use the toilets: At all overnights stops there will be flush toilets available. During road and river travel toilets are not always present, and you may have to look for a good place for this. Make sure you always cover up whatever you are leaving behind, especially toilet paper. Everything will completely decay. Please do not use the exposed parts of a beach as a toilet, as your cover up efforts may be undone by the river and spoil the view for others.
Rubbish from the tour: We at Bonanza Tours Peru love OUR JUNGLE and we want to keep it clean. Therefore all rubbish, Organic and Inorganic, that accumulates throughout the trip will get brought back to Cusco. Please help us keep the jungle pristine.
Tipping personnel? One should do whatever one feels good to do. One should not feel worried if one does not tip: it is absolutely not like the situation with the porters on the Inca Trail. Also, one should not feel worried when one does tip: our personnel certainly appreciate it. We say here at Bonanza Tours: it comes from your heart…..
RULES AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR GROUPS The following are rules and recommendations for people who join our group tours, made by Bonanza Tours Peru. They are both for your safety, to increase the chance of seeing animals and to have a good group dynamics.
1.-The guide is the leader of the group; both as far as the tourist are concerned as the rest of the Bonanza Tours Peru personnel.
2.-Please try to be punctual at all times, to avoid long waiting times for others.
3.-Tourists are asked to express wishes, complaints or any other worry, immediately to the guide. The guide will attend the issue immediately. Due to changes in climate, roads, rivers or any other circumstances, changes in the program may be necessary. The guide will explain the circumstances immediately and propose alternatives for the program.
4.-During the jungle walks, the tourists should walk behind the guide. In this way the guide can indicate all the tourists the interesting sightings.
5.-During the jungle walks, the tourists should follow the instructions of the guides, such as “stop”, “hurry” and “silence” in case of encounters with animals.
6.-Tourists and guide should speak in a low voice, and only about necessary issues, to increase the probability of seeing animals.
7.-Every night after dinner, the guide and tourists will review flora and fauna seen during the day, with the help of the available guide books
8.-Every night the guide will explain the activities for the next day. During each meal the guide will repeat the explanation of the activities up to the next meal.
9.-When a tourist wishes to hike on her/his own, they have to understand that Bonanza Tours Peru cannot be held responsible for anything happening to the tourists during that time. The tourist is advised to always walk with a flashlight and a compass, and explain to the guide which trail she/he will follow and for about how long. It is prohibited for tourists to walk alone in Manu´s Reserved Zone.
10.-As a consensus of opinion of all Bonanza Tours Peru staff it is agreed that they should not be invited to, nor accept, to alcoholic drinks during stops in Boca Manu while on duty.
11.-The tourists are asked to be careful with the Bonanza Tours Peru equipment and report any material fault to the guide immediately
12.- Our groups consist of different nationalities. If your nationality is in the majority please try to be polite and don’t speak your own language all the time. The most common language, which everybody understands is English.
PHYSICAL PROBLEMS & DISCOMFORTS AND DANGERS:
Experiencing an undisturbed rainforest means you cannot expect the comforts you have at home. Manu is an incredible tropical rainforest, a real one, where human beings have had no or, in some parts, marginal influence. We from Bonanza Tours Peru find it important to also minimize your impact as much as possible; therefore please realize we do not wish to provide you with extensive facilities: this is not a luxury tour you are about to start. On the contrary, you will encounter basic washing and toilet facilities, plus physical discomforts, such as the heat, humidity, biting insects, which may have you doubt your decision to go on this expedition. Nevertheless, your reward is exclusive: it is to be part of a rainforest as it has been since the beginning of its time!
Being thirsty. – Only bring drinking water for the first day. For the first day you should bring drinking water for yourself: we bring big bottles of mineral water, but it is really hard to re-fill your bottle from these in a moving bus .Once you arrive in our lodges, drinking water will always be available in the dining room, this water should also be used for cleaning teeth.
Be straightforward.- Always let the guide know what is on your mind. Our guides are there to inform you about the rainforest and assist you in any other way they can as well. However, they are not telepathic!!! Please always let them know what is on your mind, for them to help you the best they can.
Mosquitoes. - Biting insects are always here. Cover yourself as much as possible with clothes, and for the rest use an insect repellent. Biting insects are active 24 hours a day. The mosquitoes like dark and humid places; therefore you do not find them on the river during the day, only at night. However, you find them both during the day and at night in the dark humid forest itself. Do not think you are safe during the day on the river: that is the time and habitat for the so called ´no see-ums´, tiny sand-flies and black-flies. Their bites are not felt at the moment they bite you and take your blood, but afterwards the itch is as bad as the itch of a mosquito bite. We advise you to cover as much as you can of your body with clothes: use a long-sleeved shirt over a t-shirt and long trousers. Your hands, face and neck are the only parts remaining uncovered.
Make sure you use an effective insect repellent to protect those parts. An effective insect repellent contains at least 35% deet.
Malaria. - It is very unlikely to contract Malaria in Manu. Malaria is caused by a parasite, Plasmodia, that is transmitted from one human being to another by Anopheles-mosquitoes. There is no occurrence of the Plasmodia-parasite in the Reserved Zone of the Manu Biosphere Reserve, and therefore the chance to get this disease on the Bonanza Tours Peru is very small. Bonanza Tours Peru´s guides actually prefer tourists not to use a prophylactic, since many fall ill, only because of the side effects of the prophylactic medication, and that can take away the enjoyment of your tour. I would say let your decision depend on your own judgement: it would be a waste of your time and money to go on a trip without the prophylactic, if you then feel paranoid about every mosquito you meet!
Yellow fever. - Yellow fever has not occurred in Manu for the past 12 years, even so vaccination is required. Yellow fever is caused by a virus, which is also transmitted by certain species of mosquito. As far as we know, yellow fever does not exist in Manu. Still, the authorities insist on a yellow fever vaccination for all our tourists, who enter the Reserve Zone, to make sure no one will bring this disease to us.
Leishmaniasis.-One needs to be in Manu for over 3 months to really have a chance to get infected. This is a disease that causes deep, chronic skin infections in its first phase. The infection is caused by a protozoa parasite and transmitted by a certain type of sand-fly, Phlebotomus. This disease does occur in Manu, however, it seems only people who stay for a long-term period have a chance to be infected.
Diarrhoea. - Infections that result in diarrhea are uncommon in the rainforest. You may get infected through your fellow-travellers. Since very few people live in Manu there are not many sources of infection that result in diarrhea. Also water is present in abundance, and most of it is fast running, therefore, possible sources of infection are flushed away speedily. If diarrhea occurs on your trip into Manu, most likely you received it from one of your group members. Therefore, it is important to always wash your hands well before taking your meals, and to not exchange plates, cups and cutlery without having it washed first.
For more information of all this diseases check out WHO for travellers. http://www.who.int/ith/en/
RIVERS, LAKES AND HOT SPRING:
Swimming – Swimming is not allowed in the lakes or in the rivers of Reserve Zone of Manu National Park since they are home to the giant otters and caimans, who can be extremely aggressive towards humans. Also, there is a greater amount of piranhas and caimans in the lakes than in the river. Swimming is possible in the Alto Madre de Dios River, as the river is refreshing, the water is clear and cool in the dry season. The currents can be very strong, if you want to swim, please ask your guide or boatman, where it is safe. We highly recommend you to swimming in the hot spring is nice hot volcanic water, with a high percentage of minerals. There is a time of year when we have to push the boat when the river is very low suggest to use a long boat trip t shirt ,short and hiking sandals for better work.
Piranhas.-in the Manu River have never attacked humans. To become really aggressive as we know them from novels and movies, a piraña has to be very hungry. Food scarcity has to continue over an extended period to make sure whole schools of piranha will attack you at the same time. The river also harbours lots of tiny fish, locally called ´sardinas´. These sardines like to eat the minerals (salts) of your skin. They have no teeth, so their bites are not painful, however, people freak out since they think it is the beginning of a massive piranha attack!
Caiman. - The black caiman can be a man-killer under certain circumstances. From the three caiman species in Manu, the black caiman can get biggest, about 7 meters long! These massive caiman are also the most timid creatures though, because they are very tiny at time of hatching and therefore have lots of enemies. Most dominant among them are their own big brothers: caiman are cannibalistic. The white and the smooth-fronted caiman are definitely not man-killers; the black caiman has been described as a man-killer in certain parts of the Amazon rainforest, however not for Manu. Because of their size these creatures should be respected, being man-killers or not.
Giant Otters.-Giant otters with offspring can be aggressive. The giant otter is strange among otters because it is gregarious, it lives in groups. This otter is almost 2 meters long, and attacking in co-operation they even beat the biggest caiman. When there are young in the family, the adult animals can aggressively attack anyone who comes in their lake. Therefore, swimming is not allowed in the lakes of Manu Reserve Zone.
Sting ray.-The sting ray has a poisonous stinger, and you have to be aware of its habits to avoid being stung. Sting rays are certainly not aggressive, still they do have a stinger on their tail, with a relatively toxic poison (not lethal, but may cause fever and infection). They normally only use this stinger when hunting their prey, but will not hesitate to use it as a defense if you were to step on them. Stepping on them is possible, because of their habit to look for shallow spots of the river to lie and warm up in the sun, they may even cover themselves with sand, and so you cannot see them. This shallow spot may be where you are putting your feet to have a refreshing bath. To avoid this meeting of sting ray and your feet, you should announce that you are going into the water at that specific spot. You can walk stamping your feet when getting to the shore; you can throw something in the water, or use a stick or your hand to stir the water where you wish to get in. Since the sting ray is not aggressive, it will certainly make way if it realizes you are coming.
Orifice fish.-This fish horror story has not been proven to be true in Manu. This is the story that gives people most fear, but has never happened all the years tourists are visiting the park. It actually has never even happened in the last 40 years to local colonists or Indians!
Infections - diseases.-Lots of water and few inhabitants make infections and diseases rare in Manu. Because of the very low human population in Manu and the high volumes of water, most of it running, contamination of the water is that low that humans can use it as drinking water without purification measurements. We provide you with mineral water on our tours, because of the waters’ sandy appearance, and tourists stomachs will be more sensitive, than that of local people, please use this to clean teeth in the lodges.
Boat accident.-Boat accidents are very rare. Do not move unexpectedly. The boats we use are long canoes, about 15 meters long and 2 meters wide in the middle part. This is the most stable and fastest type of boat to use on the rivers we travel on. When you try to get on board and step on its sidewalk, it will move under your weight, giving you a feeling of instability. However, as soon as you are in your seats, the boatman will balance the weight in the boat with the equipment. Then the boat is actually very stable, especially when going forwards. However, this is only as long as there are no unexpected shifts in weight. Therefore, we ask you to stay in your seat while on the boat. Please make sure you have everything you would like to use during the boat trip with you in a day pack (e.g. binoculars, camera, water, rain poncho, hat, sun screen, guide book etc.). In case you forgot something in your duffle bag (or you have another reason to move), ask your guide, who will organize for your bag to be retrieved
Plants-Always walk in the forest with your eyes alert, and never touch anything before looking at it first. The forest itself is a bit of a tricky place to be. Your guide can help you in slippy areas, and can also provide you with a suitable stick, to help. Do not eat the plants of the forest. On our tours this is not necessary, we send lots of food and a cook to prepare it for you!
Insects - Almost all insects carry poison in their bodies, avoid them. The chemicals of the plants have the consequence that most of the vegetation is inedible for a normal digestion.
Frogs-Frogs may be very beautiful, but also very poisonous. Frogs eat insects, and most of the insects have toxins. For the frog to not poison itself, it excretes these poisons through its skin. Therefore, all frogs are a bit poisonous when touching them.
Botfly- The botfly has an interesting life cycle, but is not really harmful. The botfly is a big and noisy fly. Its larvae grow in the skins of mammals or birds, and since we are mammals, this includes humans. Because of the fly´s size and loudness, the female can never get near its target; you would always see or hear her. So, she uses a trick. She catches a little bloodsucking fly, and glues her eggs on the outside of this fly. At a certain moment, this little fly may land on your skin to drink blood. The heat of your skin makes the eggs of the botfly fall off the fly on your skin. They develop themselves quickly into larvae that dig themselves in immediately. In the beginning of their life in your skin, you do not feel their presence, or maybe feel a vague itch, after about 8 or 9 days, the itch becomes a pain that does ask your attention: it is a sharp pain, but only for about 10 to 15 minutes, 3 to 4 times per day. This is very characteristic for the botfly larvae, the pain is not constant. The reason for this is, larva grows from eating your blood, and therefore it is important to the larva that your blood does not infect. To this purpose, the larva is filled with antibiotics that prevent any infection. But this means the skin closes fast as well, and of course the larva also needs oxygen. The pain you feel is the larva biting through your skin, with its bigger growing jaws, to make an opening to breathe. As soon as you do notice what is happening in your skin, this may seem horrible, but in reality this is a completely innocent phenomenon: because of the antibiotics you do not get an infection, the larvae do not carry any diseases, no viruses or bacteria that could do you harm, and the larva cannot crawl under your skin from one place to the other. The only thing you have to do, is get it out. For this, you have to kill the larva first, because of the bristles at the end of its body that actively keep it in place, as long as it is alive. To kill it effectively, you can use a drop of at least 70% deet insect repellent on its head. Otherwise, you could cut off its oxygen supply, through well applied masking tape on top of the little hole. Then it takes about 7 to 8 hours for the little larva to suffocate. Usually the larva comes off with the tape, since it had stuck out its head to try to breathe, otherwise you can squeeze it out, or just leave it there; since it is filled with antibiotics, it just disintegrates, without causing infections.
REAL DANGERS ARE NOT ABUNDANT IN THE MANU RAINFOREST. THE FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF POSSIBILITIES
Falling trees-Trees and branches can easily fall. Be aware of sounds of snapping wood. Trees in the rainforest have very shallow roots, making them apt to fall over. However, on our trips we sleep at lodges with no trees, or at our own campsites that are checked all the time by our guides. It is easy to recognize a potentially dangerous tree. So any time that one of our guides spots a potentially dangerous tree we take safety measurements.
Dangerous animals- None of the big cats in Manu specialize on humans for food. Up until now it seems cats only attack people if they have no other choice left; if they cannot run away because they are stuck somewhere or because they think you are a threat to their young. The chance to meet a jaguar on a Manu trip is about 10%, when you are on the river. The jaguar may be lying on the beach or on the shore, on a big log. The chance to meet a jaguar on the trail you are walking on is less than 1%. In Manu it is unlikely to come across a jaguar in one of the situations in which they have no choice but to attack. This is because
there is lots of space in Manu, all jaguars, including the females with young, can easily avoid ever encountering people on the trails.
Snakes - Only a small percentage have a lethal poison. The bushmaster and the fer-de-lance, both terrestrial and nocturnal snakes, do have a lethal poison. They curl-up during the day in between the buttresses of big trees, under the dead leaves. To not be disturbed when asleep, they try not to be visible through having the same colours as the dead leaves they use as their sleeping place. They are a light brown, with dark brown, with a light stripe and a dark stripe: any snake that looks like dead leaves, stay away! Another snake with a lethal poison is the beautifully coloured coral snake. It has white, black, red, yellow and orange bands around its body. It is a terrestrial snake that, even though poisonous, is hardly feared by the indigenous people of Manu: it is a very timid snake.
The fourth snake with a lethal poison is the ´loro machako´: a tree snake that can be easily confused with the emerald tree boa. Boas of course have no poison since they strangle their pray, but the exact imitation of it, the loro machako, does have a lethal poison. Even the local people may confuse these snakes. So, whatever green snake you encounter, take that it may be the poisonous one! Up until now, a snake bite has never happened on our tours, however, the snakes are there, and therefore we have thought about how to react in case of a bite of a poisonous snake.
What we would do is we immobilize the victim as much as possible, then try to get him or her to a hospital before the venom will start to take effect. In the case of the most poisonous snake in Manu, the bush-master, this takes about 6 hours. And 6 hours should be enough to get you back to Cusco: first the guide will call the Bonanza Tours Peru office in Cusco by radio -there is always a radio within 30 minutes of the lodges- and they will send in either a helicopter or a plane as soon as possible. However, since the Cusco airport has no radar, not even helicopters can fly in and out of Cusco at night or during extremely bad weather circumstances. If that would happen, we would get the victim to the nearest local hospital as soon as possible.
NON-PHYSICAL PROBLEMS & SOME TIPS:
How much wildlife will you expect to see? Probability of seeing animals
Because of the lack of minerals in the soil, and therefore the plants that protect themselves from being eaten, there is not much vegetable matter to be eaten. As a consequence there are not many herbivorous animals, and therefore also not many carnivorous animals, that should have the herbivores as their food source. In general there are not many animals in the tropical rainforest. If you would compare this habitat to the savannas in Africa, you would find 5 to 7 times more animals (in reality biomass) on the savannas than in the forest, and in the forest you would find about 1 million times more vegetable matter than on the African savannas. So there are fewer animals in the rainforest, and the biggest chance is that they are hidden behind vegetation. This is important to understand before starting your expedition, to avoid disappointment once there. Everywhere you look you will see birds and insects of course. You can see troops of monkeys on a regular basis; say 3-5 times per day once in the Reserved Zone. In the lakes, especially Lake Salvador, you have a very good chance to find the giant otters, and you nearly always see caiman. However all other animals, the big (ger) mammals, are much more difficult to spot. On every trip you will encounter one of them, but it is impossible to tell beforehand which ones, and at what place and moment. Of course, your guide will find most of the animals, especially when walking in the forest, because the guide knows the sounds of the animals. Nevertheless, when on the boat, it is very clear one spots more animals when there are more alert eyes watching for them. In other words, it is worthwhile to try not to fall asleep when on the boat.....
Reserve Zone is located in the low part of Manu River. In this area there is a permit on tourist activities (Authorized Tours Operator) and research. It is also possible to appreciate in flora and fauna with amazing landscape to see from the river and lake.
Cultural Zone Is located since Ajanacu down along cloud forest, the Alto Madre de Dios river all the way to Boca Manu village. Here there are communities and villages. Their main activities are farming, and logging. Each community has a school and many have a medical clinic.
WHAT DO OUR TOURS INCLUDE, AND WHAT DO YOU NEED TO BRING
Bonanza Tours Peru included in the tour? Depending on the program, the following things are included:
Private transportation- (bus and boat) we provide bus and boat transportation according the number of participants on each tour.
Camping equipment- (chairs, tents, tables, mattresses, rubber boots, rain ponchos)
Rain Gear- Since there is a high chance of rain in the cloud forest and lowland rainforest of Manu, we will provide you with a rain poncho for you to use.
Rubber boots: We will provide you with rubber boots for your walks in the jungle. This helps protect you from biting animals and spiky sticks, and you may need to cross rivers. Make sure you bring plenty of thick, long socks, as it is likely that you will get muddy and wet even with your boots on.
Duffel bags- The duffel bags are fairly waterproof, but we recommend putting your belongings in plastic bags first before placing them in your duffle bags in order to protect your things against the rain and humidity.
Please return the duffel bags to our office one your tour is finished, or if that's not possible, advise us that you are leaving them in the reception of your hotel.
Professional bilingual local guide- Our Local Tour Guides are all professional, bilingual, passionate about wildlife, their jobs, and well-equipped with everything you will need to help you see and enjoy wildlife.
Mineral water bottle- Bring a full water bottle for the first travel day. At each lodge you will be able to fill your bottle to stay hydrated throughout the tour.
First aid kit- Each guide will have a first aid kit with him, including snake bite antidote and extractor. However, we do recommend that you bring a small first aid kit of your own as well, for any small cuts or scratches along the way.
3 meals per day - When travelling by bus and by boat, one main course will be served. In the lodges meals will be buffet style.
Cook .Cooking staff will travel with us at all times.
Snacks - (biscuits, candy, fresh fruit, and juice) this will be served just after breakfasts to carry during long walks and excursions.
Entrance Fees - The price will cover Entrance to the natural hot springs, Reserve Ecological Bonanza, Rainforest Lodge, Casa Matsiguenka Lodge, the Manu National Park and visiting Native Community of Diamante.
WHAT YOU HAVE TO BRING TO THE JUNGLE?
Binoculars - Good Binoculars (10 x 42) are essential. Animals can often be at a distance, or high up in the trees, and this is the best way to get a good look at them. We have Vortex 10 x 42 binoculars available to rent. Please let us know before your tour starts if you want to do this. If not, then, bring a good pair from home.
Sleeping bag - you need to bring a light sleeping bag for the tour or expedition. Normally the temperature is 20°C at night, a hot climate, but sometimes it can be colder (June, July). We also have sleeping bags available for rental. Just let us know when you come for your briefing.
Insect repellent (with at least 25% 'deet') and after bite - Besides the protective clothing we recommend to bring an insect repellent with at least 35% deet. We recommend that you bring some from home, since strong insect repellent can be difficult to find in Cusco
Flashlight with spare bulbs and extra batteries -We have solar panels or generators in our lodges that are available for charging batteries (weather permitting.) You will need a good flashlight (a head torch is best) and make sure to bring enough extra batteries. We will be taking night walks, where you will walk in single file, so each person needs their own.
Pocket Money - for soft drinks or beers and handicrafts Bring around 150 Peruvian soles to buy drinks, snacks or souvenirs along the way. In the jungle you will need Peruvian Soles, and try to bring the the smaller paper bills of S/10 and S/20, instead of the S/50 and S/100 bills (If necessary you can change big bills in Cusco before departing)
Day pack -Bring a day pack for you necessary things for the day, your Duffel Bag will be packed away in the bus and boat, so make sure you have all your personal things with you, camera, binoculars, money, toilet paper, water etc. in your day pack.
Sun Protection - Wide brimmed hat, sunglasses, sun block are all necessary to protect yourself well against the strong Peruvian sun. Sun protection is necessary while travelling on land as well as in the boat.
Copy of Passport - It is not necessary to bring your original passport, just a copy will be sufficient. It is even recommended, because your passport, or any other valuable documents, could get a little damaged by the humidity or rain.
Toilet paper - Each of the lodges will have toilet paper. Just bring some toilet paper to use while travelling.
Dark clothes- Since there will be mosquitoes and many other insects – especially in the Reserved Zone – bring long pants, long socks that you can put over your pants and wear long-sleeved shirts at all times for protection.
Please bring clothes in natural colours, we will be walking in the jungle to see animals, and need to be as camouflaged as possible for the best possibility to see animals, so we recommend clothes in browns, greens, beis.
T-shirts/Shorts - When you are travelling through the cloud forest and the Cultural Zone, when you are in the boat and in Bonanza Ecological Reserve you will hardly encounter any mosquitoes, and you will have the opportunity to wear shorts and short-sleeved t-shirts.
Sweater, fleece or light jacket especially the first day while travelling over the Andes Mountains and in the cloud forest temperatures can drop to 10 degrees Celsius (50F). And due to cold winds (´friajes´) from Patagonia every now and then, temperatures can be around 10 degrees Celsius in the lowland rainforest of Manu too. Bring warm clothes.
One pair of hiking boots and 1 pair sandals.-Our walks are never strenuous and we will provide you with rubber boots for your jungle walks, but hiking boots, are good for the first day for your walk in the cloud forest. Hiking sandals, such as Tevas are great for use on the boat, during dry season, you may be asked to get out of the boat, at certain areas of the river as it can get very low and we need to push the boat, as the water is not deep enough for the motor to enter the water, hiking sandals are best for this as they will stay on your feet, and wont float away. Flip flops are good to bring to use around the lodges.
Swimming clothes On the 2nd day of your tour you will have a change to visit a natural hot springs in the jungle, so bathing clothes and a towel are essential.
There is no swimming allowed in the Reserved Zone, but you can swim in the Alto Madre de Dios River.
CONTACT FOR PEOPLE WHO STAY AT HOME: If something happens back home, you can always be reached, because every lodge has a radio, which is in contact with the Bonanza Tours Peru office in Cusco. Give your family our telephone-number (+ 51 84 786804) or our e-mail address:firstname.lastname@example.org