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By far the richest, most extraordinary biological transect in the Peruvian Amazon, or the world, starts in Cusco and runs northeast by road and river to the great Manu Wilderness.
Manu offers by far the greatest quantity and diversity of animals and plants in the world. No other destination in Peru or beyond can compare with Manu Nowhere else can you enjoy a superbly intact transect of tropical habitats from Andean grasslands and cloud forests down to foothill and lowland forests.
Manu boasts the highest bird, mammal, and plant diversity of any park on Earth, including 1,000 of the world's 9,700 bird species, 200 species of mammals, and 15,000 species of flowering plants. The most photogenic spectacles are frolicking Giant Otters, 1,000 parrots and macaws at a riverbank clay lick, dancing Cocks-of-the-Rock, habituated monkeys, and huge Lowland Tapirs at a forest clay lick.
One of our lodges, Manu Wildlife Center currently offers the world's finest viewing of this exclusive animal, which elsewhere is harder to see even than the Jaguar, which also is a frequent sight in Manu.
Rainfall in the Manu Lowlands is around 2500-3500 millimeters/98-138 inches per year, with most rainfall occurring in the rainy season months from November to April. The average temperature in the Manu lowlands is 28°C (82°F), with daily highs of 34°C (93°F) and nightly lows of 22°C (72°F). During the dry season cold fronts from the South Atlantic (friajes) occur once every month or so, with daily temperatures dropping to 15°C (59°F) and nightly temperatures to 13°F (55°F).
Best season to travel: Late March through December.
Some of the Manu trips described here start in Cusco and other start in Puerto Maldonado.