Our Manu 5-Day Expedition is perfect if you’re short on time and want to experience the best of the Amazon. Explore the Manu region by traditional canoe, visiting Machiguenga & Harakmbut Indigenous communities. Aside from culture, Manu is one of the most biodiverse places in the world – With almost 4000 unique species, it’s the best place in Peru to spot wildlife and what better way to explore than by traditional canoe.
For this expedition, you can expect less time paddling and more time to explore along the route. We paddle using traditional Pitotsi canoes, meaning that you have more chances to spot wildlife along the way.
Due to the remote areas we operate in, we run this expedition using a framework rather than a fixed itinerary.
We start from Pillcopata, a six-hour ride from Cusco. Transfers are included. Meet our team and pre-departure briefing at our Manu base – We hold this in a local wildlife observation centre where you can take a short trip on traditional wooden raft for bird watching.
The next day after breakfast we pack our canoes in the morning and paddle towards our first community. On the way, we stop for a short hike to Lake Machuwasi where we use log rafts to explore the lake. Here you can spot Capybara, turtles, kingfishers and a variety of other wildlife. Depending on our progress, we stop to hike to a waterfall on the way.
After lunch, paddle towards our camp for the evening. Here we are hosted by a Harakmbut community and we can learn more about the local traditions and culture. We stay close to the thermal pools where you can relax after a long day of paddling.
This morning we continue our journey as we paddle to the second Machiguenga community.
In the afternoon, we make the short hike to the community where we spend the afternoon. We are welcomed with a traditional ceremony and Masasto, a traditional drink made from fermented yuca. After lunch we learn more about the culture, spending time with the community and learning how to craft arrows and fishing techniques. In the evening, we stay in the community with the option for night walks to look for wildlife.
Early start for the day as we pass our first ‘No Stop Zone’ past the area inhabited by the non-contacted Mashco Piro Communities. It’s a long stretch but wildlife is abundant – We paddle for around 4 hours until our next destination. Tonight’s camp is hidden deep in the jungle so once we set camp we head out with our torches through a night walk in the Amazon Rainforest and look for the tracks of the resident puma and jaguar in the area.
After breakfast we say goodbye to our canoes and have a short paddle to reach our connection by road back to Pillcopata. We transfer back to Cusco in the afternoon with a stop for lunch to finish our expedition.
Traveling by traditional canoe offers an authentic and intimate experience, allowing you to witness wildlife in its natural habitat and access hidden areas inaccessible by larger boats. With small group sizes, you’ll forge meaningful connections and engage with indigenous cultures along the way.
By choosing canoe travel, you support sustainable tourism and contribute to the long-term preservation of this extraordinary wilderness. Embark on a journey that combines adventure, authenticity, and conservation. Book your unforgettable expedition today.ENQUIRE NOW
We work hard to create authentic, unique adventures where you have the chance to really connect with the places you visit. We eat and stay locally, to ensure that our community partners benefit from our visit as much as our guests.
With each trip, we work to support our community partners. You can find out more about how we work hereFIND OUT MORE
Navigate 300km through the Amazon Rainforest by traditional canoe – This is South America’s toughest adventure challenge.
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