We just finished an incredible experience into Manu. We did a fair bit of research before choosing Bonanza and are very happy we did!
Alex, was the most incredible guide we have ever toured with. Not only was his ability to see wildlife extraordinary but so was his knowledge of plants, trees, insects and local culture. He also never stopped looking for wildlife, even when he had been up since the early hours and we were all so tired. The rest of the crew were awesome as well - Juan, our awesome chef who produced delicious food from any location including while on the boat or in the car; Leo, the boat captain, Alexsandro, the boat skipper and Apacho, our driver, all worked hard to make our trip special.
We definitely recommend the longer tours (6 day minimum) to enable you to go deep into the reserve. But you need to be prepared - this is the jungle, so expect heat and mozzies - take LOOSE fitting long sleeve shirts and pants, and take insect repellent with 30% deet, spray is best so you can also spray your clothes. we did not get bitten but used lots of spray!
we saw the following animals and birds:
2 toe sloth (amazing)
3 toed sloth (even more amazing, an absolute highlight of the trip)
Giant otters (sensational!!!! And another highlight! – they are actually endangered and we had two come right up to our boat, it was incredible)
Black caimans (ie alligators) and the smaller white caimans
Spotted riverside turtles (cute)
Monkeys – so many and they were so great to watch. We saw Grey woolly monkeys; Red howler monkeys; monkeys; Brown fronted capuchin monkeys; White fronted capuchin monkeys; Dusky monkeys; and Squirrel monkeys. All were very happy in the tree tops and inquisitive to the calls that Alex, our Guide made.
Two types of squirrel – the Amazonian red tail squirrel and Bolivian squirrel
Lots of Tapirs: which we saw at night from a ‘camouflaged hut’ that where we slept on a big platform (in mozzie nets) overlooking a claybottomed water hole that the animals liked due to the high mineral content of the clay
Red broked deer – it came in to drink the night we stayed in the camouflaged hut
Pink toed tarantula!!!
Mushurana snake – a lovely red colour, not poisonous
Ferdelance snake – poisonous but seen from a safe distance
Three stripped dark poison frog. Very pretty too.
Leaf frog – totally camouflaged and actually looked like a leaf!
owl butterfly, Morpho butterfly, soooooo many other butterflies
Fishing bats, Fruit bats, 3 stripped bats
And finally (I think!), a random rabbit!!!!
And then there were the Birds – the highlights were the Andean Cock of the Rock (the National bird of Peru (see photo), The following toucans: white throated, chestnut ear arazari Blue banded toucanett; Macaws Red and green Blue and yellow Scarlet Chestnut fronted; Blue headed White browed Hummingbird; King vulture (condor); Ringed Kingfisher Amazon kingfisher Capped heron Roseate spoonbill Hoatzin (prehistoric) Crimson crested woodpecker Lineated woodpecker Grey breasted wood wren Blue throated piping guan (turkey) Turkey vulture Yellow head vulture Andean Juan Black and chestnut eagle Solitary eagle Roadside hawk Red throated caracara (hawk) Black caracara Southern caracara Wattled jacana Black skimmer Blue headed parrot White eye parakeet Horned screamer Cocoi Herron Great egret Pied lapwing Great potoo (owl that looked like bark), Black banded owl, Sand coloured night hawk, Giant cow bird, Boat billed night heron
How lucky were we! thanks Alex, you are truly a special human being. And thanks Bonanza.
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