The maximum size of the groups is 9 people per guide. If we have between 10 and 13 people we send two guides, but the group travels as one in the same bus and boat. During hikes or other excursions, the group will be divided into two small groups, each with their own guide. If there are more than 13 people we split into two independent groups - both with their own bus, boat, guide, cook and program.
As several days of our tours include road travel, Pantiacolla emphasises the importance of safety and travel comfort. All vehicles have special adaptations for driving unpaved roads. Depending on the number of people in your group, you can be traveling by 4-wheel drive truck, a mini van, or a medium sized bus. All drivers are experienced on the Manu & Interoceanica Roads. Additionally, Pantiacolla has its own set of rules to be followed by the drivers, to reach higher safety standards, giving you more pleasant travels.
If possible, we ask you to carry your own luggage wherever necessary. While traveling, your luggage will be either in the van/bus or in the boat. One carries it only from the van/bus into the lodge or boat etc. However, for heavier luggage or parts hard to walk, the boatmen and the guide can carry it for you. Just let the guide know whenever you would like assistance.
For most of the nights you will be at Pantiacolla’s own small lodges or camping huts. These give you the comfort of a private single, double or triple room, while at the same time your environmental impact will be as low as possible by sharing showers and toilets and a limited use of electricity. So, though you will feel the heat, humidity and biting insects, every night you will encounter clean and functional showers and toilets and a comfortable bed!
The following is a short description of each of the lodges we use, for the:
- 3-day tour: 1st and 2nd night
- 5-day tour: 1st and 4th night
- 7-day tour: 1st night
- 9-day tour: 1st night
Are spend in Pantiacolla’s Posada San Pedro. A small eco-lodge with double and triple rooms with comfortable beds and mosquito netting. There are shared hot water showers and toilets and a dining area. The lodge is located in lower cloud forest, at about 1600m.
Then for the:
- 5-day tour: 2nd and 3rd night
- 7-day tour: 2nd night
- 9-day tour: 2nd, 3rd & 4th night
We stay at Pantiacolla Lodge, a nice eco-lodge with double rooms with beds and mosquito nets and shared showers and toilets. There are 5 rooms with private bathrooms. Ask us if they are available. The dining room has a small forest exhibition and the traditional "sapo" (frog) game of Cusco. It has an extensive trail system, taking you through 8 different habitats. The lodge has a bird list of 600 species!
- 7-day tour: 3rd and 4th night
- 9-day tour: 5th and 6th night
You spend in Pantiacolla's Camping Huts near Lake Salvador inside Manu's Reserved Zone, the best protected area of Manu. These Camping Huts consist of little rustic huts raised from the forest floor. Each hut has two normal beds, and are surrounded by mosquito netting to keep the insects out, but assuring you can look out at Manu's incredible rainforest at any time. There are shared showers and toilets and a dining area.
- 7-day tour: 5th and 6th night
- 9-day tour: 7th and 8th night
You spend in Tambo Blanquillo. A tambo is a long platform with divisions to make private single, double or triple rooms. There are shared, hot, showers and toilets and a dining area. This lodge is located at about 10 minutes boat driving distance of the well known Blanquillo macaw lick.
Concerning the back-up facilities, all our overnight places have a radio communication set at the site. All our personnel have been trained in first-aid, and a first-aid kit is available during the tour. At the following places are first aid posts or hospitals:
Pilcopata (2nd day) has a small hospital Itahuanía (2nd and 3rd day) has a first aid post
Boca Manu (2nd & 5th 7-day tour, 4th & 7th 9-day tour) has a first aid post
Yes the boats have a roof to protect you against the sun. However, if you are sitting on a moving boat, the rain always comes in on one side, and therefore we provide you with big plastic sheets to cover yourself without taking away your view of the rainforest.
Just for the first day you should bring your own water. For the rest of the trip we provide mineral water that we bring in from Cusco.
Our food is not typical Peruvian food, nor typical tourist food. It is food that lasts in the heat and humidity of the tropical rainforest. For breakfasts there are omelettes, scrambled eggs, pancakes etc. The lunches in general consist of cold salads, since it is usually hot at that time of the day. The dinners feature soups (great Peruvian soups!), a main course with meat for the first part of the tour and beans or lentils at the end part (since meat cannot be kept cool forever without electricity) and desserts of fresh fruits or puddings etc. You can also ask for a special diet, such as vegetarian, saltless or anything else that you need or prefer.
For drinking we have mineral water as much as you need, plus lemonades, coffee, tea, chocolate and herbal teas. There are places where one can buy beer or soft drinks, but you have to pay for those yourself.
Yes, we remove all waste from the campsite. Biodegradable garbage is decomposed in the ground at a specially designed area near Pantiacolla Lodge. Non-biodegradable waste is returned to Cusco.
No, your complete bedding will be provided for all overnights. For the 7- and the 9-day tour you receive a small bag with sheets to be used in all lodges except for the last two nights of the tour. We do this to avoid having to wash sheets inside Manu's Reserved Zone, which would result in unnessesary contamination of the Amazon.
No, you do not have to bring your own mosquito nets; we will provide them at all the lodges.
The dry season is a good season to see the birds. The most likely reason for them to come together and eat the clay is because at certain times of the year there are hardly any fruits available for them, just seeds. Seeds in general have a toxic layer, exactly to prevent animals eating them. If the macaws eat them anyway, they have a build up of poison in their stomach. To neutralize the acids that the poison produces in their stomachs, they eat the clay. In the rainy season up until the beginning of the dry season (May) there are many fruits. So the macaws eat fewer seeds and more non-toxic fruits and feel less necessity to eat the clay. Usually it means there are fewer macaws present in the beginning of the dry season. In the middle of the dry season there may be about 100 to 150 macaws visiting the clay lick in one morning, whereas there may only be 10 to 50 at the end of the rainy season/beginning of the dry season.
The first night you spend in the cloud forest, at 1600 m., where temperatures are about 10 degrees Celsius (50F). In Manu’s lowland forest, the temperature at night is normally around 24 degrees Celsius (75F) and during the day about 30 degrees Celsius (86F). However, cold winds from Patagonia may reach Manu and the temperature may lower to about 10 degrees Celsius (50F). These “friajes” are more common during the southern hemisphere’s wintertime (between April and the end of August).
There is not a lot of walking in the sense of going far. All walking is done slowly. This is because most of what you find in a rainforest is vegetation and to be able to pick out the animals you have to take your time to look around, and listen as well.
For the 7-day tour, there are the following walks: The first day of the tour has an afternoon walk of about two hours. The second day is mostly spent looking for birds and animals on the Alto Madre de Dios River, with less walking than the other days. The third and fourth days feature a short walk to Lake Salvador, and various different walks in the Reserved Zone and on trails around the accommodation. The 5th & 6th day you walk maybe one or two hours in the Blanquillo area. The seventh day there is no walking at all.
For the 9-day tour, there will be two days extra between the 1st and the 2nd day as described above for the 7-day tour. Pantiacolla Lodge has an exceptionally good trail system, and one can go on 1 to 6-hour hikes, according to your desires.
Though it only is a small risk, it is possible you get infected with malaria in Manu, and we recommend you take a prophylaxis when going on one of our tours.
The yellow fever situation is about the same. Moreover, yellow fever is almost always lethal therefore it is required that one receives the yellow fever vaccination at least ten days before entering Manu.
For inscription of a fixed departure tour we need the following:
- Full name and last name
- Passport number
- Profession (this is what the park authorities ask for)
- Dietary preferences or restrictions
- Medical restrictions/problems
- Name, address and phone number of your hotel in Cusco, to be picked up on the first day of your tour
- Name, address and phone number of your hotel in Cusco, to be dropped off on the last day of your tour
- Your insurance details (company name, your registration number, contact telephone number and e-mail address)
- Contact information of the person to notify in case of emergency
- Down payment of $150 per person for the 3-day tour, US$300,00 per person for the 5-day tour and US$400,00 per person for the 7- and the 9-day tours. Please contact us to send you our complete Payment Information
For inscription of a private tour, we need the same information as above mentioned for the fixed departure tours, however, the amount of the down payment may vary.
Pantiacolla's cancellation policy for fixed departure tours:
For the DOWN PAYMENT:
- If you cancel after confirmation of inscription and more than two days before departure, the down payment can be partly returned. That is, all costs made by Pantiacolla for your inscription, will be distracted (including US$100 per person administrative fee), and only the difference will be refunded
- If you cancel two or less days before departure, the day of departure or during the tour, the down payment can not be refunded
For the FINAL PAYMENT:
- If you cancel more than two days before departure, we can give you a total refund of your final payment
- If you cancel two days or less before departure, the day of departure or during the tour, no money can be refunded
Pantiacolla's cancellation policy for private tours:
For the DOWN PAYMENT:
- If you cancel after confirmation of inscription and more than two weeks before departure, the down payment can be partly returned. That is, all costs made by Pantiacolla for your inscription, will be distracted (including US$100 per person administrative fee), and only the difference will be refunded
- If you cancel two or less weeks before departure, the day of departure or during the tour, yoru dowon payment can not be refunded
For the FINAL PAYMENT:
- If you cancel more than two weeks before departure, we can give you a total refund of your final payment
- If you cancel two weeks or less before departure, the day of departure or during the tour, yoru final payment can not be refunded
We don't have a pre-departure briefing at the office, but we do send you the briefing information before the tour. We still need everyone to come to our office before the start of the tour to fill out the application forms, finalize payments, give the Pantiacolla guide book, and answer any remaining questions about the tour.