How close is Cusco to the Rainforest ?
Manu rainforest at the southeast has a regular access by overland transport from Cusco, Manu National Park its fabled reputation as the jewel in the crown of the Amazon Rainforest viewing experiences and for those whose choose to take the land route into spectrum on contrasting natural environments and wildlife from the dry Andean mountains, traversing the cloud forest to tropical rainforest, In fact the travel time to Manu rainforest depends of few factors:
- Season of the year
From May to October is the dry season and the road it’s in better shape, not delays caused by landslides that contrary happens during the wet season.
- The distance , How deep you want to travel ?
with about 6 – 7 hours driving, you essentially get to tropical rainforest, descending as low as 1,700 feet where the average temperature is about 28 C so the vegetation has a mid-large trees with great diversity of plants and wildlife (monkeys, birds, rodents, insects, small reptiles) multi days tour will demand boat transport to explore deeper along the Madre De Dios River
- Your Interest
The overland transportation TIME depends of the number of stops proposed along the road so guided tours usually takes longer journeys due they follow an itinerary so nature walks are involved along the road in the search of wildlife at the cloud forest and other activities can be visit to the Andean villages for cultural aspects, landscapes pictures.
If travelling in search of birds it would take the slowest pace, as mentioned above a nonstop travel would be around 6 hours from Cusco.
Travel Time from Cusco to Guadalupe Lodge – Rainforest (1,800 Ft)
From Cusco to Manu how long is the travel time? Is it worth driving around six or seven hours from Cusco city to Manu National Park’s rainforest? In the rainy season as well? What can I see and do around Guadalupe Lodge? Is there any proper rainforest at Guadalupe Lodge ? What about mosquitos and other annoying insects?
In fact, six hours can be even wasted at the airport of large cities and traffic while embarking in tour that depends of flights so it could even be longer in case of a flight delay due weather conditions. Whenever I can, I go for overland trips, they are much more fun!
A family- and eco-friendly place…
Falling asleep and waking up to the sound of the river, the trees and the animals living in the yard felt so magical! I can assure you, this place is a real remedy for sleep problems. If you feel like having a lazy day, you can just sit back and relax, read or play some board games on the dining terrace, or you can take a walk along the river. Yes, you can also swim in it without getting attacked by piranhas (they live further away, in warmer parts of the rainforest), or catch some fish for dinner. But be warned that you will enjoy delicious Peruvian meals and tropical snacks provided by your hosts all the time.
By the way, food: you do not have to worry about being flooded by hungry mosquitos. Insects mostly found me when I walked deeper in the forest without putting enough repellent on myself. In the lodge I felt totally safe and comfortable.
Another reason I respect the work of Wild Watch Peru is that they are doing their best to conserve the environment by renewable energy sources like using water conservation methods and other sustainability-focused initiatives.
With a never-before-seen wildlife
while driving in the cloud forest you get to see: waterfalls, cascades, tropical birds, butterflies, small reptiles, woolly monkeys and many more iconic tropical species are awaiting, enough to see in a trip from Cusco to Manu jungle where travel time are hours. If you are one of the adventure-seekers, you will be in your element whilst taking a night walk searching for nocturnal animals . No, there are no anacondas around, only harmless snakes, spiders and scorpions,.
Our Guide told me he can recognize 1000 different birds species, from which 300 live in the Guadalupe Nature Reserve. Wow!
If you are lucky enough, you can even spot some macaws in the garden when they are munching on the unripe fruits of Moriches palms. (These fruits are edible for humans as well, but you’d better go for the ripe ones.)
If you want a memorable experience, let yourself be guided by experts who will lead you deeper in the forest to find out the hiding places of certain species. It might be harder to see them in the rainy season when they have more access to their favorite foods further from the lodge, but that is just one more reason to set out on a proper hiking tour.
Travelling During the rainy season
“Wet rain.” I remember when I first heard this phrase from a Welsh friend of mine. Sounded quite weird. Is there any dry rain? Where? I want to see and feel it! Okay, joking apart, let’s go back to the rainforest. The Amazon basin receives 4 meters of rain a year on average.
I found all the answers, and not only theoretically, as I had a chance to spend a few days at Guadalupe Lodge in the middle of February. I was not only drinking in the sight of mind-blowing landscapes, but was also enjoying how the temperature was changing with the altitude during the drive whilst we were descending from 3600 to 560 meters.
In a typical year, that adds up to 200 rainy days, which means that there will be days of heavy rain even in the dry season.