Fewer than 3,000 travelers annually access one of the planet’s most bio-diverse regions in Peru’s Amazon rainforest. While getting there is half the fun, the payoffs, for starters, may include sightings of the world’s smallest primate, the pygmy marmoset and the elusive jaguar.
Wild Planet Adventures (http://www.wildplanetadventures.com/) offers 12 departures of its 13 day signature Peru Ultimate Wildlife Adventure from April 3 through Dec. 25, 2013. A shortened nine day version is also offered that shares the same departure days. The per person double rate of $4,798 for 13 days and $3,298 for nine days also includes a tour of Machu Picchu. Private departures are also available for a minimum of only 2 travelers.
Wildlife expert Josh Cohen, Director of Wild Planet Adventures, says “Our Peru trip represents one the world’s greatest wildlife destinations. The protected regions visited on this itinerary are home to up to 30 percent of the world’s species; a single hectare of forest may have more than 480 species of trees alone.”
Manu National Park is the perfect destination for Wild Planet’s wildlife expertise; it is the number one park in the world for biodiversity, and one of two Amazon reserves visited on Wild Planet’s itinerary. Manu’s extreme biodiversity offers once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to see 200 species of mammals and 1,000 species of birds –the highest concentration on earth — plus 13 species of primates including woolly monkeys, monk saki and the extravagantly mustachioed Emperor tamarins. Travelers also enjoy a unique pack-dinner at a wildlife camouflage blind to photograph tapirs at night.
The second reserve visited is Tambopata Biosphere Reserve, where travelers venture deep into the remote Reserved Zone – visited by less than 3,000 visitors a year – to witness the spectacle of the world’s largest clay-lick where up to 1,000 vibrantly colored macaws and parrots cluster during peak activity, turning the sky into a rich tapestry.
Wild Planet is known for its exclusive wildlife activities that are designed to see rare animals, with special arrangements for silent approach and intimate habitat access. No other company offers these exclusive wildlife activities. In Manu Wild Planet mounts special excursions to see the pygmy marmosets, the world’s smallest primate, and in Tambopata travelers can enjoy the company’s exclusive sunrise Jaguar Kayak Float looking for jaguar and tapir riverside.
The wildlife portions of the trip are balanced with cultural visits to Machu Picchu, Cusco, and the Sacred Valley, with options to visit Lake Titicaca, the Nazca Lines, and Colca canyon.
Accommodations include intimate jungle lodges where guests mingle with staff from nearby indigenous communities and who, in the case of the lodges in Tambopata Reserve, actually own the lodge. Some 170 native and ribereño (second or third generation settlers) families work and profit from the operation of these Amazon lodges, which feature wellness and holistic centers utilizing traditional Amazonian medicinal herbs, massage and aromatherapy. Guests will also meet an authentic Ese’eja Amazonian Shaman, tour his medicinal garden and learn ancient secrets used in healing.