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“An amazing 7D6N trip into Manu Reserve with Bonanza”
Review of Bonanza Tours Peru

Bonanza Tours Peru
Ranked #54 of 629 Outdoor Activities in Cusco
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: We are a family-run company based in Cusco offering expeditions deep into the Amazon jungle. Our tours bring you close to the heart of the untouched Manu National Park. We offer expeditions to see a diverse range of wildlife including monkeys, giant otters, jaguar, and a wide variety of birds. Our adventures include visits to the Reserve Zone, observation towers high in the canopy, overnight stays at our mammal clay lick where the shy nocturnal tapir visit, fishing, trekking and camping. Our professional guides are born and raised in the jungle and are immensely passionate about plants, animals and local culture. All of our tours visit the Bonanza Lodge on the Madre de Dios River in the heart of the Manu Cultural Zone. This is our family property where our parents, six brothers and one sister grew and developed their love of the jungle. The idea for this family owned and run tour company was concieved as a way to preserve this large area of diverse jungle for future generations.
Useful Information: Food available for purchase, Activities for older children, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed 13 April 2018

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
Capybaras
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.

Thank kokolateh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"giant otters"
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"manu national park"
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"different species"
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"night tour"
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"rainforest lodge"
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"spotting animals"
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"mammal clay lick"
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"spectacular trip"
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"amazing experience"
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Reviewed 29 March 2018 via mobile

The 5 days I spent with my father in the Amazon were amazing, mainly thanks to our guide Jordy, who was not only taking very good care of us, but also was able to spot the slightest animals... from tree cutting ants to a caiman. We saw wonderful wildlife and experienced the Amazon in a wonderful way. The other staff, drivers, cook etc. were as delightful as Jordy. Thank you!!!

Thank Ilonka V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2017

I joined an 8-day-7-night tour as a volunteer, and what i experienced is totally a nightmare. Here i write this review to list facts and to warn future volunteers to check the safety list before joining this program, especially for women travelers.

1. I was left ALONE in Bonanza Lodge for 4 days 2 nights (and i am a single girl with no jungle experience). Let alone overcoming the darkness, storm and underlying danger, i never felt safe for one minute.

Bonanza Lodge is located in the deep jungle in Manu National park, with no signal, no phone, no security procedures or cctv camera, no access to people unless you know the trails in the jungle. The Lodge is an open area with 5 trails leading to it and next to Madre de Rios river.

Response: the company shouldn't have accepted volunteers in this season. But due to some people's unprofessional ways of working, they did and it caused further problems. Ryse, the major man in charge said (quote) "u talked to the wrong person at the wrong time and showed up at the wrong place." He also admitted the biggest threaten is poisonous snakes.

2. There was harassment by the lodge people in an uncomfortable way.

Three people show up at the lodge during the day for several hours and leave before 3 pm. They are the manager's parents and one worker, who spoke Spanish and Quechua only. The father tried to offer me "massage" when i was alone in the kitchen. This is unbearable for me in any culture when i barely know this person.

Response: Ryse would talk with his father. For a company targeting international travelers, there is no so-called culture difference. As a client, if any culture is to be respected, it is international culture of mutual respect. Sexual harassment come in different names like culture difference or jokes, but it should never be tolerated.

3. I wasn't left enough food and the cooler to keep them fresh.

Luckily, i brought my own food supplies just in case. I was left rice, bread, eggs, biscuits, some vegetables and fruits which got rotten in one day.

Response: this is totally wrong because 70% of my fee should go to food, obviously it wasn't met.

4. The guide that i joined the tour with not only didn't try to understand my situation, but called me a crying baby. Said (quote): what happened to you at all? I can see Nothing. Then what are you complaining about?

Response: the guide might be in a bad mood?? What I didn't understand is if he's in a bad mood, why should i be the one for him to vent anger on. This is a contract / agreement between me and the company, which means i am after all a client. I have every right to speak up.

5. The volunteer program isn't as listed in their official website at all. We did planted 20 cedar trees in the jungle, but obviously there was no organized guidance at all.

Response: The staffs who are more professional took holidays, that's why i wasn't under good guidance.

6. After all, the conversation between Ryse and me is very pleasant. He offered apology and promised that this kind of nightmare would never happen to any future volunteers. I decide not to refer to legal measures and not to ask for any economical compensation, but i indeed hope that he can keep his promise.

After all, this company is supposed to be a well-organized Manu tour offering agency. Please treasure your reputation.

And for future volunteers, take caution and consider safety as your priority.

1  Thank trix511
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ryse1, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Bonanza Tours Peru, responded to this reviewResponded 31 January 2018

Dear Volunteer

We are very sorry that you feel so negatively about your experience with Bonanza and can only assume that you started this trip with wrong expectations. We will try to learn from this and improve our descriptions of what to expect so future guests/volunteers have a better basis on which to decide whether to take a trip remote Bonanza lodge. We will also better train our office personnel about when to accept volunteers and how to inform them.

To the specific issues you raised, I would first like to point out, that it is true, Bonanza lodge is deep in the jungle with no phone signal or CCTV cameras. This is why people visit us, to have a true experience of the real jungle. There is no need to CCTV cameras because it can be reached only by boat so only our guests, employees and parents are there. In case of an emergency we do have a radio communication to make national and international emergency calls.

As already pointed out by Ryse when talking in person, we were mistaken by accepting a volunteer at this time of year – the low season – and we are really sorry for this wrong assessment of the situation from our side. While during high season the lodge is full of guests and guides, no guide or other guests were present for 2 nights of your stay. The caretaker and our parents probably have been out of sight at times, but they would have still heard you shouting in case of an emergency. If Bonanza was a truly dangerous place, we could not bring guests there. As to poisonous snakes, yes, they are the biggest threat, but this is true for any place in the jungle and it is still a low risk because usually snakes flee when they notice people approaching.

About harassment, I can also only repeat what we discussed already in the office – that our father tried to make you feel more comfortable, which in Latin America often means for example a hug. We talked to him again and he apologizes and ensures there were no bad intentions. Finally, you were left with more than enough food for the limited time you were not eating with a group. Even in the warm jungle climate, except for meat, no food gets rotten within a day.
To conclude, we would like to thank you for your feedback, again we are really sorry and will try to improve where we can.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 November 2017

We had an amazing journey that was well organized with great food. What the chef prepared in the back of the boat or at a lodge never failed to surprise us. The guide, Alex made our diverse group come together and feel like we have been friends for a long time. His ability to spot animals and birds from a distance was uncanny. One of the magical moments was having 8 giant otters swimming up to our pontoon boat in the warm embrace of the morning light. The lodges were clean and comfortable. The only animal we did not see from the lengthy list of possibilities was the Jaguar. We never realized how many different monkeys can frolic in the trees. We highly recommend this Peruvian family run company. Bring light long sleeved dark shirt and long trousers to protect from the sand flies when in the JJ gle. Their bites are itchy! Proper clothing and deet bug repellant work! The whole experience was a highlight in our month long adventure.

Thank Karen A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 October 2017

This family owned company did a great job. These people have lived in this part of the jungle for most of their lives, so they know what they are talking about. The guide, driver, boatmen and cook really do their best to give you an authentic jungle experience. And you can see that they love their job.

- Main points of interest: cloud forest, Madre de Dios river, hot spring, forest walks day/ night, wildlife
- A unique experience is spending the night in an observation cabin, each person posting for 1 hour, waking up the others when there are tapirs and other wildlife to see.
- Our guide Ryse is determined to find as much wildlife as possible
- He used a telescope and a good camera to make sure everyone was getting a good impression of the wildlife, even if the animals were further away.
- I was really impressed by the creativity of the cook. He did a great job by preparing excellent and varied meals with only basic means. He also took into account the gluten free diet of my friend. The food was plentiful by the way.
- The facilities are basic, but certainly above expectation.

I would definitely recommend this company. In my opinion the 4D/3N is really the minimum to make it worth the effort. It simply takes too long to get there. When you take a longer trip, you go deeper into the jungle.

PS. We booked our tour with Bonanza Tours Peru at the Amazon Wildlife Peru office (Calle Triunfo 392, Interior Second Floor Office 202, Cuzco). This last company has a different page on TripAdvisor, so I am not sure what their relation is. But I believe it is the same.

Thank ThomasV-NL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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