Tailor-Made Holiday

Manu - Join Researchers in the Peruvian Amazon

11 days

from £1,775pp (excluding flights)

This is an amazing Peru holiday experience for adults and children, in one of the most diverse reserves in the world. Leave the Amazon Rainforest with a deeper understanding of the local people and the complex biosphere, knowing your stay will make a difference.

  • Visit one of the most diverse reserves in the world, Manu Biosphere Reserve
  • Help with conservation and research projects at the Manu Learning Centre
  • Join in with community based projects in the Amazon
  • Take guided walks learning about local medicinal plants and observing wildlife

This is an amazing Peru holiday experience for adults and children, in one of the most diverse reserves in the world. Begin from the highlands of Cusco, cross the Andean mountains and down into the Amazon Rainforest and the Manu Biosphere Reserve (MBR). Despite only being 70 kilometres from Cusco, the MBR has remained relatively protected by limited access routes. 

During your travels through Peru you will get to experience three different altitudes and climates, the mighty Andes mountains, the cloud forest and the Amazon rainforest. Cruise along one of the Amazon river tributaries until you reach your accommodation at the Manu Learning Centre, where researchers and volunteers are based. During your time here you will get involved in conservation and research projects. This could be anything from helping to set camera traps to track and observe large mammals such as the jaguar or puma, to monitoring the clay licks and the endangered blue-headed macaws. Also take part helping local communities plant vegetables in their bio-gardens.

This experience is a wonderful way to take time from our busy lives and help leave a lasting impact that can really make a difference. You will definitely leave the Amazon rainforest with a deeper understanding of the local people living here and the complex biosphere.

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 1775 £ 900
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • Cusco accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas


Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Madrid

Fly Madrid to Lima overnight

Day 2

Fly Lima to Cusco

Cusco, the ancient capital of the Incas, was founded around 1100 AD. It is a beautiful city of Spanish and Inca influences with endless colonial sights to see including churches, monasteries and convents interspersed with Inca foundations, walls, doorways, and arches. Cusco is a major town, and is one of the cultural centres of Peru.

You will be staying at Casa San Blas Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

Half Day Tour of Cusco
Today's city tour features a stroll through the Plaza de Armas and a visit to its cathedral, considered to be the best repository of colonial art from the Cusco School, the artistic tradition that originated in Cusco during the Colonial period, and which remained active between the 16th and 18th centuries. Continue on to Qoricancha, known as the "court of gold" and the "temple of the sun", the place that was the religious and political centre of Cusco during the Inca era. Walk around the huge Inca structure of Sacsayhuaman and take in beautiful views of Cusco from its high vantage point.

You will be staying at Casa San Blas Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 4

Cusco to Cock of the Rock
After an early breakfast, depart for the full day drive, traversing the Andes to Manu Cloud Forest.
The journey will take you through the majestic snow-capped mountains of the Sacred Valley before arriving in Paucartambo, the centre of the ancient Inca trading routes. Continue to one of the highest points on the drive, Acjanaco (3,500m); the entrance to Manu National Park. Weather permitting; visitors will have the most spectacular view of one of Peru’s largest National Parks, before descending through the clouds to San Pedro in time for lunch. The drive continues through dramatic changes of landscape before reaching cock of the Rock Lodge where you will spend the night.

You will be staying at Cock of the Rock Lodge, Full board

Day 5

Cock of the Rock to Manu Learning Centre
Rise early this morning and head out before breakfast to observe the Cloud Forest’s greatest attraction – Peru’s National bird; Cock of The Rock. Watch males perform an amazing dance ritual to attract the females with a spectacular display of colour.
The short walk back to the lodge for breakfast is a great opportunity to see a band of monkeys looking for breakfast themselves among the trees.

Your journey continues after breakfast descending further through the Cloud Forest to Pillcopata, where there will be a stop at one of the Coca plantations and the opportunity to learn about the uses of coca leaves and their medicinal properties. The drive continues to the port town of Atalaya where guests will board a motorized canoe for the one hour boat ride along the Alto Madre de Dios (at tributary of the Amazon River) to the Manu Learning Centre.

After lunch there will be a briefing from the volunteer coordinator where you can learn more about the projects you will be involved with during your stay.
This afternoon explore the local trail system with your naturalist guide before relaxing at the centre and enjoying forest chorus.
Whilst staying at this beautiful lodge guests can learn about the human history of Manu and the challenges facing this beautiful and fragile environment.

You will be staying at Manu Learning Centre, Full board

Day 6

Manu Learning Centre
Rise early to take part in the conservation and research projects, examples of these are:

-Mammal tracking of the Jaguar, Puma, Tapir and Peccary. Help set camera and footprint traps, use various surveying techniques for recording data and at night do sound surveys.
-Monitor and study the clay lick where you can find the Blue Headed Macaw, an endangered species.
-Take part in the Boimass forest Structure project which investigates the science behind carbon sequestration.

You will experience different terrain and many forest types whilst taking part in these research projects and with over 13 different species of monkeys (at the last count around the Manu Biosphere Reserve), a strong large mammal presence and many birds you will see so much wildlife.

After a full day working on the projects, return and freshen up for a delicious homemade meal. After dinner you can talk to the scientists, researchers and other volunteers or just relax and take in the sounds of the rainforest.

You will be staying at Manu Learning Centre, Full board

Day 7

Manu Learning Centre
Over the next two days take part in some of the community based projects. The Bio Garden project acts as a model of small scale subsistence farming and reforestation. Get involved in planting and learn about the different crops. Assist the locals in implementing new and sustainable agricultural techniques, such as planting vegetables alongside young trees in the same bed. The crops protect the trees in its most vulnerable stages and by the time the garden has been harvested for several seasons the trees have become established.

Another community project is the Agro-Forestry project, a reforestation project that will provide the chance to plant away your own carbon emissions from your trip. Over the next 15 years projects like this one will generate over $800,000 for the local community.

After a full day working on the projects, overnight at the lodge, taking in the wonderful setting, having dinner and sharing experiences with others.

You will be staying at Manu Learning Centre, Full board

Day 8

Manu Learning Centre
Another day to explore the area with guides and researchers helping with the projects.

You will be staying at Manu Learning Centre, Full board

Day 9

Manu Learning Centre to Cusco
After breakfast, prepare for departure. Take the boat back to the port-town of Atalaya where you will board your transport to take you back to Cusco. The landscape will change dramatically as you climb up into the cloud forest towards the Andes and then down to Cusco. You will be dropped off at your hotel by your guide to bringing your trip to an end but you will take with you a wonderful experience of Manu. You will arrive back at your hotel in time for dinner about 7pm.

You will be staying at Casa San Blas Hotel, Bed & Breakfast

Day 10

Fly Cusco to Lima

Fly Lima to Madrid overnight

Day 11

Fly Madrid to London


Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Manu Learning Centre

Manu Learning Centre

A bustling hub of education and research, Manu Learning Centre is a research station turned eco-lodge that is encompassed by regenerating rainforest....

View Accommodation

Casa San Blas Hotel

Casa San Blas Hotel

Proudly conserving the traditional character of its original antiquated architecture and ensuring aesthetic harmony with the San Blas neighbourhood, Casa San Blas Hotel is situated on a narrow cobblestone side street in the historic artisan quarter of Cusco....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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