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Amazing experience in Manu with SAS...
Visiting Amazonia may not be for everyone, but we were willing to rough it a bit and SAS delivered an experience that will stay with us for a lifetime.
We engaged SAS Travel in Cusco for an 8-day tour to Manu National Park in Peruvian Amazonia for December 2011. All arrangements were made online before our arrival. Our family party of four was joined in Cusco by a Canadian couple, SAS naturalist/guide Herbert, cook Renaldo, driver Guillermo, and in Atelaya by local boatman Milton and crewman Luiz. Herbert is an exceptionally knowledgeable naturalist guide; Renaldo is a first class wilderness cook. We felt quite safe in the hands of Guillermo, Milton, and Luiz on treacherous roads and rain swollen rivers. We would definitely use SAS again and would recommend them to friends.
It takes a full day and then some for the drive from Cusco to the Alto Madre de Dios River at Atelaya. The single lane, unpaved road is not for the faint of heart, especially in the rainy season, which was just beginning when we were there. Our driver was very conscientious, however, allowing us to enjoy the cloud forest clinging to vertical mountainsides without our being too concerned with the ruts, washouts, and streams rushing over the road. From Atelaya, the trip was on a long and narrow, locally built wooden riverboat, two seats abreast, with a canvas canopy to protect from rain and sun, a 60HP outboard in the stern and an extra in the bow (just in case). Overnight accommodations were in small bamboo or canvas-sided huts raised off the ground on stilts. Tasty and creative meals were prepared in a dining hut or, for lunches, on the boat. Because we were there for Christmas, Renaldo prepared a Christmas cake in a double boiler over a gas flame. Given that all of the food, water, and other supplies had to be carried on the boat with us, the quality and variety of the meals was excellent. After dinner, we the guests would play cards by lantern or candle light with Herbert, Renaldo, Milton, and Luiz. The camaraderie was welcoming, despite language limitations.
We chose the 8-day tour because we wanted to get into the Reserved Zone of the park. It was a good choice. We saw wildlife along the river, from jungle trails, from hides and blinds, and flying overhead. We saw giant river otters up close, black caiman, six species of monkey, and well over 100 different birds. At the Blanquillo clay lick we stopped counting macaws at 75. They were surrounded by hundreds of smaller parrots and parakeets. We spent the night at a blind overlooking a tapir lick, where individual mattresses were laid out for us, each with its own mosquito netting. We saw seven individual tapirs over the course of the night. Huge bats were flying so close to the blind that one of us was slapped in the face by a bat wing. There were fresh jaguar tracks on the trail. The day we entered the Reserved Zone, the park register at the ranger station showed that a small group had left that morning, leaving us as the only party in the Zone. To say we were pleased with our trip would be a huge understatement.
Earl & Jane April 2012
SAS Travel provides Ecotourism at its best, working with people from the region to improve their lives, conserving the Environment and preserving the Rain Forest Ecosystem of Manu National Park and the Amazon for the future generations.
SAS Travel "Manu Official Operator"
Small group Specialists !! Office: Calle Garcilaso 270 (near Plaza San Francisco)
CUSCO- PERU - Tél: + 51 84 249194 + 51 84 261920
Fax: + 51 84 225 800 + 51 84 249194
Emergencies: + 51 84 402040 - Movil: 984 65 2232
Office hours: Mon to Sat: 8am – 8pm - Sun:from 4-8pm
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