Day 1: Cusco – Paradise Lodge (bus & hikes)
Starting early from Cusco, you will travel through Andean landscapes of unmatched beauty: deep valleys, highlands and rural communities where you will enjoy highland birds such as the mountain caracara, Puna ibis and Andean flicker, as well as the pre-Inca Lupacas burial towers, before arriving at the picturesque colonial town of Paucartambo, which has been the gateway to the Manu forests since pre-Hispanic times. Here you wll visit the church with its image of the Virgin of Carmen, and see the historic Carlos V bridge. Once you pass through Acjanaco Pass (3,850 meters/12,630 feet), the official entrance to Manu National Park, the road descends through the important, sparsely-vegetated Andean grassland ecosystem, before reaching the cloud forest in the afternoon. This area is a wealth of flora and fauna: it is the habitat of cock-of-the-rock, crested and golden quetzal, blue-crowned motmot, gray breasted mountain toucan, butterflies, ferns and orchids. To name just a few! After this big day you will spend your first night enjoying the comforts of Paradise Lodge (1,470 meters/4,821 feet).
- Driving distance: 181.6 km/113 miles (6 to 8 hours, including 3-hour hike)
- Included: lunch & dinner