Daily departures to Manu cloud forest, home of the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock. Offers the world's best Andean Cock-of-the-Rock experience in a pristine cloud forest reserve. Includes transportation, visit to a Cock-of-the-Rock display and guided forest walks. Full board and two nights accommodation at the Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge.
The Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge is located in the pristine Manu cloud forest on the verdant eastern slopes of the Andes and is part of the Tropical Nature conservation system. Opened in 1997, it is named after the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Peru's large, bright-red national bird that puts on a colorful, noisy mating display adjacent to the lodge every morning. Spectacled Bears, Woolly Monkeys, Brown Capuchin Monkeys, quetzals and a host of other colorful birds inhabit the surrounding forest, and a bubbling mountain stream tumbles past the lodge.
Situated at an elevation of 5000 feet (1600 meters) in the cool, mosquito-free Kosñipata Valley close to the wild Cusco-Shintuya road, the lodge protects and supports a 12,500-acre private cloud forest reserve. It consists of 10 double-occupancy bungalows with private bath facilities, and a separate complex with a large dining room. A local highland family staffs the lodge, and they also work as rangers, patrolling the private reserve.
The incredible 110-mile drive from Cusco to the lodge passes through the finest transect of Andean habitats in South America. The drive typically lasts 8 hours, including stops in Andean towns and opportunities to walk and experience on foot the upper cloud forest habitat. Often groups will take even more time to savor the unforgettable scenery, excellent birding and abundant cloud forest flora.
After an early breakfast we pick you up by bus from your hotel and set off for the Manu cloud forest. We pass over two Andean chains of almost 13,100 feet elevation through a steppe-like landscape, or Puna. On the way we pass stone Chullpas, or burial chambers, of the Pre-Inca Lupaca people and will hope to catch site of some of the bird species of the high Andes, including the Giant Hummingbird and Mountain Caracara.
After a delicious boxed lunch at Ajanaco which, if clear, affords views over the cloud forest and the vast sprawling expanse of the lowland rain forest, the road suddenly descends down the eastern slope of the Andes. We plunge downwards, past remnant patches of elfin forest, through swirling mist and cloud, to emerge in a forest of stunted, evergreen trees, festooned with mosses, lichens, bromeliads and other epiphytes. Nestled in this forest within a 2-minute walk of the road, and within earshot of a rushing mountain stream, lies the Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge, if there is time available, we will have a chance to briefly begin our exploration of the surrounding forest before dinner.
Rising before dawn we visit the traditional display ground of the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, which has become famous among scientists, tourists and the international press, as there is no other spot in the world where so many of these spectacular blazing red birds can be seen so easily. From our observation blind, which is within 30-feet of the narrow switchback road that runs through the center of the reserve, we will watch as between 6-20 or more male birds display at a traditional mating ground, 15-feet in front of the blind. We will watch as these outrageous birds strut, curve their wings and dip their crested heads in the hope of attracting a mate. Please note that the very best months for viewing Cocks-of-the-Rock are in September, October and November, although the males display every month of the year.
Returning for breakfast the rest of the day can be spent exploring the forest overhanging the single lane road near the lodge, or some of the miles of trails that wind through the valley, to see high elevation cloud forest birds, such as the Golden-headed Trogon, as well as numerous, brightly-coloured tanagers and hummingbirds. If you are very lucky you might see a troop of muscular-limbed Woolly Monkeys or Brown Capuchin Monkeys, which regularly forage through the reserve, or perhaps even a Spectacled Bear. Bears are present, but they are shy and hard to see.
This mysterious cloud forest harbors species of flora and fauna new to science. Indeed, in 1995 two Peruvian biology students, sponsored by Selva Sur, carried out basic survey work on orchids, reptiles and amphibians. They recorded two entirely new (previously undescribed) species of orchids, and four new species of reptiles and amphibians for Peru.
After an exhilarating exploration of the road and trails, bathe in the cool, clear waters of the San Pedro stream as it flows from the virgin forests of the surrounding mountains toward the rushing Kosñipata River.
We will rise again before dawn for another chance to see the displaying Cocks-of-the-Rock. We will return to the lodge for breakfast and then board the bus for the return journey to Cusco, arriving in the early evening for dinner.
Manu programs operate May through October
|Manu Cloud Forest - 3 days / 2 nights|
|Price per person||2||Sing. Supp.|
|Cloud Forest Program||US$712||US$165|
Rates may fluctuate in accordance with current exchange rates.
Minimun 2 Passengers - departs Tues-Sat and Thur-Mon
This tour begins and ends in Cusco
For further information and booking inquiries please contact Sacred Earth