Take an all-inclusive day trip to breathtaking Machu Picchu from Cusco. Visit the world-famous Incan ruins and learn about the city, its history and the people who once lived there.
Manu Expeditions are owners of the only tented camp within the national park, and co-owners of Manu Wildlife Center, with more than two decades of Manu experience.
‘Iron Way’ in Italian, this climb features a series of ladders, holds and bridges built into a sheer rock face. First developed in the Italian Alps in WWII, it’s a way for reasonably fit non-rock climbers to have some adrenaline-pumping fun. It was constructed and is operated by rock-climbing and high-mountain professionals.
This local family-operated company is run by Ryse Choquepuma and his brothers, who grew up in Manu and know it better than most. Tours are arranged to the family home, which has been converted into a well-appointed lodge. The land here virtually backs onto the park proper and there are trails as well as a clay lick that attracts plenty of wildlife.
These stunningly landscaped, council-owned natural hot springs are truly a world-class attraction. Pools washed out in the river flooding of 2010 have been rebuilt, though camping areas have not. As if huge, warm pools and a natural shower straight out of a jungle fantasy weren’t enough, you can buy beer and snacks It’s 4km from town.
Pantiacolla owns three lodges in the Manu region and is frequently recommended by a variety of travelers for its knowledgeable and responsibly executed tours, helped by the fact that its staff members were raised in the area. It offers a variety of tours, including the opportunity to study Spanish at its jungle lodge.
This outfit operates the respected Manu Lodge, the only fully appointed lodge within the reserve and open year-round. A 20km network of trails and guided visits to lakes and observation towers are also provided. A five-day tour, flying in or out, is US$1628 per person, double occupancy, with fixed departures every Thursday.
This outfit comes reader-recommended and has a growing reputation for providing the best service among the cheaper tour operators. Tours provide a great deal of quirky insider information on places en route.
On the opposite side of the valley, a clear trail climbs upward before heading north and down to the Río Urubamba Valley about four hours away. At the river, the trail turns left and continues to a bridge at Wayllabamba, where you can cross. From here, the Sacred Valley road will take you to Calca (turn right, about 13km) or Urubamba (turn left, about 9km).
You can hike to the hydroelectric station via Llactapata, a six-hour walk up and over a hill on the well-marked Inca Trail, affording views of Machu Picchu and access to a half-cleared ruin. The trail is well-marked and can be done without a guide, though they are helpful to indicate ruins, as well as the flora and fauna. Start early as it gets hot on the trail.
South America’s highest zipline is a must for thrill seekers. A total of 2500m of cables with six separate sections whiz high above the spectacular scenery of the Sacsara Valley. Allow two hours The owners of Cola de Mono, river guides from way back, also run rafting on the spectacular, and so far little-exploited, Santa Teresa river and camping on their extensive grounds.