South America Natural Adventures

nature travel, wildlife tours, adventure travel and general travel to Chile, Peru, Central America and Antarctica


custom tinerary prepared for



llama and kid

September 4 to 13 2009

Day 1 - Friday September 4: Tampa/ Miami/ In Flight

Fly to Miami on American Airlines flight 438 at 8.10pm, arriving at 9.10pm, Depart on Lan flight 2511 for Lima departing at 11.55pm.


Day 2 - Saturday, September 5: In Flight/ Lima / Cusco/ Ollantaytamboollantotaytambo fountain
Arrive in Lima t 4.35am this morning. Pass through immigration and customs, and have breakfast in the new Lima airport – there’s even a Starbucks. At 8.25am fly to Cusco on Lan flight 73, arriving at 9.40am. You are met and driven to Ollantaytambo, about 1.5 hours away. Overnight at Ollantaytambo. After enjoying a few hours sleep, visit the amazing Ollantaytambo ruins. One of the more interesting features at Ollanto is a fountain that stops and starts with a pass of the hand. When a hand is placed in the flowing water, it stops. Touch the entrance again, and it starts. Easier than the Clapper, and predating touchscreens by half a millenium. The area around the upper ruins is good for Giant Hummingbird.     


machu picchuDay 3 – Sunday, September 6: Ollantaytambo/ Machu Picchu/ Cusco
Take an early morning Vistadome train to Machu Picchu. There are departures at 6.40, 7.05, 7.20 and 8; the trip is an hour and twenty minutes. From Cusco it’s a 6.05am departure, or an hviscacha machu picchuour later from Poroy, and doesn’t arrive until 9.52am. By overnighting in Ollanto and taking an early train you can have up to a couple of hours at Machu Picchu before the crowds arrive. You have until about 2.30pm to explore, when you return down the mountain – about 20 minutes – to Machu Picchu Village (was Aguas Calientes), in time for your 3.25pm train to Poroy. This is the only train back to Cusco, and so it is longer and more crowded than the one from Ollanto. However, you do get a snack on board, and there is entertainment as well. At Poroy, the last station before Cusco, get off here and transfer to your Cusco hotel. This early departure from the train saves about one hour of the final switchback part of an already too long train trip. You arrive back in Cusco about 7pm. A side note is that Sunday is the least crowded day at Machu Picchu, as many people are at the Pisac market.     (B,S)


Day 4 – Monday, September 7: Cusco/Boca Manu/ Manu Wildlife Center
Early morning you are picked up from your hotel to transfer to Cusco airport. A thirty-five minute manu wildlife center lodgeflight in a radar-equipped plane takes you to Boca Manu, where you take a motorized canoe for emporer tamarina 90 minute journey down the Madre de Dios River. You arrive at Manu Wildlife Center in time for lunch.The Center is located east of the Manu River on the north bank of Madre de Dios River. The lodge has 22 fully screened private bungalows, separate complexes with hot showers and toilets, a large fully screened dining room and a bar with hammocks for relaxing. The lodge has no electricity; lighting in the communal areas is by kerosene lamp and candles, with the paths around the lodge complex lit by kerosene lamps. Lighting in the guests bedrooms is by candle. An 110V generator is available from which camcorder batteries can be recharged.
The afternoon will be spent exploring some of the 30 miles of clean forest trails that surround the lodge. On these trails you have an excellent chance to encounter some of the 12 species of monkeys, which include the Monk Saki and Emperor Tamarin, which inhabit the surrounding forest. After dinner you will have a short night excursion to explore nocturnal life in the rainforest.        (B,L,D)


Day 5 - Tuesday, September 8: Manu Wildlife Center 
Rising before dawn, we take a 25 minute boat journey downstream to the only large parrot and macaw clay lick in the Manu area. From a floating catamaran blind (in the dry season this blind may be on the ground due to river water lemacaws at clay lickvel) we are afforded excellent views and photo opportunities of hundreds of medium-sized and large parrots arriving first at the lick, followed by the large Red-and-Green Macaws arriving to eat the clay. After lunch at the Center we continue to explore the forest trails surrounding the lodge, and plan to spend the late afternoon up a 110 foot high canopy platform. Here, we watch the last frantic activity in the rainforest canopy, or rush hour, before night settles. We can return for dinner back at the Center, or pack a meal for the leisurely hike about 60-75 minutes through the night forest to the Amazon’s largest known Tapir clay lick. Here we climb a 17 by 17 foot observation platform perched almost 20 feet above the lick itself where we wait for the lumbering Tapirs to arrive, where using spotlights we hope to observe and photograph them in action. The tapirs usually visit the clay lick between 9:00 pm and midnight, however their activity continues until dawn.        (B,L,D)

hoatzinDay 6 – Wednesday, September 9: Manu Wildlife Center
After another early morning departure by boat and short hike from the river you have what promises to be an exciting visit to Blanco Oxbow Lake. This lake has populations of a variety of aquatic life and water birds, including the prehistoric-looking hoatzin and the possibility to see the resident family of giant otters. After returning for lunch at the Center your guide is available to further explore the forest trails for more wildlife encounters. Alternatively, time is available to independently experience this expanse of rainforest habitats on your own. This evening from the late afternoon until after dinner you have an opportunity to search for caiman and other nocturnal life along the riverbank by boat.


Day 7 - Thursday, September 10: Manu Wildlife Center
Rising at dawn you will board the motor-canoe to visit the Camungo Oxbow Lake. In addition giant river otter manuto touring motmotthe lake by catamaran to look for the resident family of giant otters and other lakeside fauna, you explore the forest trails and visit the 130 foot high canopy platform. This platform provides a beautiful view of the Camungo Lake as well as the forest canopy, and on very clear days it is possible to look over the rainforest to the Andes. After lunch at the Center explore the forest trails with the emphasis on visiting the fruiting and flowering trees that your experienced naturalist guides have been monitoring. Here we will hope to encounter more monkey species as well as numerous species of birds. Again, before or after supper, those explorers still with enough energy will have another chance for an additional visit to the Tapir clay lick.         (B,L,D)


Day 8 – Friday, September 11: Manu/ Boca Manu/ Cusco/ Lima
After an early breakfast return by boat to Boca Manu, then fly back to Cusco. At 4.40pm fly from Cusco to Lima on Lan flight 38, arriving at 6pm. Transfer to your hotel in Miraflores.      (B)


Day 9 – Saturday, September 12: Lima/ Callao/ Lima
Today travel to the port town of Callao, about 45 minutes from Miraflores (but only 15 from downtown Lima). At 10am yspondyllus palomino isalnd peruou start a three hour cruise on the quite stable 60ft catamaran Spondyllus to the islands of Fronton, Cavinzas, Palomino and San Lorenzo. While you do not land on the islands the boat spends time at each to allow obsinca ternservation of the wildlife or other attractions. Between the dock and the first stop, Fronton, may seabirds will be seen, including the beautiful Red-legged Cormorant. Peruvian Boobies, Inca Terns and many others take advantage of the near-shore upwellings of cold water, providing a rich bounty. The first island, Fronton, has ruins of a prison, which was blasted by the Peruvian Navy to overcome a riot and hostage taking by the prisoners. One of the hostages and 135 prisoners were killed. Many of the prisoners were Shining Path. humboldt penguinsAfter grim Fronton next is the island of Cavinzas, home to many seabirds, and once again a stop is made. The first sea-lions are usually seen here, maybe some swimming Humboldt Penguins, and occasionally dolphins. From Cavinzas the boat heads across to Palomino, home to a colony of about 4000 Southern Sealions, which abound in the nearby waters. The boat's approach bring hundreds towards it, and as you get closer to the island the sea-lions start singing as well. It’s quite a spectacle. From Palomino the boat heads back, first stopping at San Lorenzo, home to a colony of Humboldt Penguins. You get back to shore about 1pm. Suggested is a typical late Peruvian lunch at a nearby restaurant, Pescaderia, (it doesn’t have its own website) if we can get you in. This will need to be booked first, preferably before leaving for Peru. This is one of Peru’s best restaurants – the name indicates their specialty - in an out of the way place with no sign or indication that it is a restaurant; you basically enter through the back door. The food will be something you haven't experienced before.       


Day 10 – Sunday, September 13: Lima/ Miami/ Tampa
Fly back to Miami at 20 minutes past midnight this morning on Lan flight 2514, arriving in Miami at 5.45am. Fly back to Tampa on AA flight 1234 at 9.05am, arriving at 10.05am.