1.-What is the maximum group size on the camping trips?
The maximum size of the groups is 9 people per guide. If we have more people (between 10 and 14) we send two guides. If there are more than 14 people we split the group into two independent groups - both with their own boats, guides, cooks and program. The only time they spend together is on the first day and second day on the lodges like Rainforest Lodge and Bonanza Lodge.
2.-What facilities are there at the campsites, for example, for washing and for toilet facilities, and is the tour luxury?
We find it important to minimize our impact as much as possible. Therefore, we do not promote this as a luxury tour. On the contrary you may encounter some physical hardships such as heat, humidity, biting insects, plus basic washing and toilet facilities.
Our base camp at Bonanza Lodge has nice toilets, showers and a dining area. At the campsites on the expeditions or the camouflage house the only way to wash is in the river and there are no toilets. If you don't like to wash yourself in the river you can ask for a bucket of water and throw it over yourself with a cup. At each campsite we provide water to wash your hands before meals. Nevertheless, your reward is to be part of a rainforest as it has been since the beginning of its time!
3.-Do the boats have a roof?
Yes the boats have a roof to protect yourself against the sun and rain (if you are sitting on a moving boat, rain always comes in on one side though).
4.-Is all drinking water provided? Is this purified?
You should bring your own water just for the first day. For the rest of the trip we provide mineral water that we bring in from Cusco.
5.-What is the food like?
Our foods are not all typical Peruvian food, normal 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 soup and main course including drinkable juice, since it is usually hot at that time of the day, and the dinners feature soups (the great Peruvian soups!), a main course with meat for the first part of the tour and beans or lentils for the second part (since meat cannot been kept cool for a long time) and desserts of fresh fruits or puddings etc. We offers typical jungle food (Juane) most of the times in our lunches, and you will try a lot of local jungle dishes (Not snakes, spiders, and others insects) you can also ask for a special diet, such as vegetarian or vegan, leaving out salt or anything else that you need or prefer.
6.-What is the camping equipment like?
For comfort we provide 4-person tents for 2 people sharing and large single tents for single travellers. We provide sleeping mats and you need to bring your own light sleeping bag. You can hire sleeping bags at our office for US$2.00 a day, when you sleep in the tents it is not necessary to use mosquito nets because the tent, with mosquito wiring in the door, will protect you against them.
7.-Are you guaranteed to see birds at the Macaw Lick?
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 to prevent animals from eating them. If the macaws eat them 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 there are many fruits up until the beginning of the dry season, which is May. 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 middle of the dry season there may be from 100 to 150 macaws visiting the clay lick in one morning, whereas these maybe only 10 to 50 at the end of the rainy season.
8.-What are the temperatures like in Manu?
The first night is spent in Rainforest Lodge at 600m, where temperatures are about 25 degrees Celsius. In Manu's lowland forest, the temperature at night is normally around 27 degrees Celsius and during the day about 35 degrees Celsius. However, cold winds from Patagonia may reach Manu and the temperature may lower to about 10 degrees Celsius. These "friajes" are more common during the southern hemisphere's wintertime (between April and the end of August).
9.-Is there a lot of walking?
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. The first day of the tour has an afternoon hike of about two hours. The second day is mostly spent looking for birds and animals on the Alto Madre de Dios River, with lost walking than the other days and also some nights excursion. The third day we have a walk for 6 hours in the Amazonian lowland Basin, because this day we do the expedition, where conduce to the untouched and pristine jungle to our Camouflage House and fourth days for a short hike to Bonanza Lodge , and various different hikes. In the Reserved Zone and on trails around the accommodation. Finally, the fifth day no walks at all. Night walks can be added to most days depending on the camp area.
10.-Should I take a malaria prophylaxis?
There is low risk to get malaria in the area we visit. However, in a nearby gold miners area there is, and these gold miners may travel back on the same river as we do. Therefore, there exists the possibility that one of the mosquitoes, that have no malaria yet, can bite one of the gold miners with malaria first, in the process infecting itself with malaria, and afterwards bite you, and so infecting you with malaria. This probability is very small, and until now no tourist who visited Manu did get malaria, but still it exists. On the other hand, the gold miners do not use a malaria prophylaxis, meaning the malaria has built no resistance against any malaria medication, and curing yourself from being the first Manu tourist who got malaria, will be simple and 100%. This combined with the fact that the malaria prophylaxis is not good for our health, make it more recommendable all in all to take the tablets, but of course, it is everyone's choice.
Regarding yellow fever, a yellow fever vaccination is totally recommended before entering Manu.
11.-Will there be a Pre-departure briefing?
The day before departure there will be a briefing at 18:00 hrs. In case you cannot be present for the briefing please let us know, to make sure you get at least information about departure time and place.