Frequently Asked Questions
What do I have to take with me?
Aside from binoculars and photo-equipment (the important bird watcher stuff) we advise:
- flashlight with spare bulb and batteries,
- extra battery packs if using video-camera or digital camera
- sleeping bag (for the mountain area),
- day pack and water bottle,
- plastic bags (to keep everything dry),
- insect repellent and sunblock,
- a small medical kit,
- water resistant shoes, not necessarily boots,
- rain gear (the best is a simple poncho),
- sweater or jacket (for the higher altitude),
- long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
On the flight Cusco-Boca Manu there is a baggage limit of 10 kg. Please keep this in mind as excess baggage can be expensive.
What are the weather conditions?
In general the weather is fine with the exception of the period January till April. That is the mean rainy season in the mountain area as well as in the rain forest. It seldom rains the whole day and the bird activity can be very good but the major problem is that the unpaved roads are in bad condition.
The temperatures are comfortable. At higher altitudes it is pleasant in the daytime and cool at night. In the rainforest, the reverse is true. Generally speaking, it is not as hot as one might expect. Amazonia Lodge and Pantiacolla Lodge lie at an altitude of 450 m. and dont experience the heat of true lowland rainforest. When cold winds called "friajes" blow from the mountains it can feel strangely cold.
Is it dangerous in Peru?
No. The terrorist activity has virtually ended. The country has stabilised and is now a safe place in which to travel. Despite the problems with the elections in the year 2000 Perú continues in his process to be a recently started democracy. The cities, like all other cities in the world have problems with robbery, but it is not commonplace and seldom violent. Outside the cities, crime doesn't exist.
Is the trip dangerous, diseases etc.?
The boats and cars that we use are well maintained, the drivers are experienced. . The journey -however- is the most dangerous part of a trip, much more so than seldom encountered venemous snakes or the strange tropical diseases you could catch.
The incidence of Malaria is extremely low and there are few mosquitos at 450 m anyway. Mosquito nets are still provided in all the lodges. There is a far greater risk of being bitten by other insects such as the 2cm izula ant.
On the trails it is advisable to carry insect repellent (at least with 25 % DEET) even though it may not be necessary. The real problems are mainly irritations like the chiggers on the trails and the sand flies on the beach. They cause itching, but, you problems can avoided by covering exposed parts. Long pants, long sleeved shirts and socks are advised at all times.
And what about high-altitude sickness?
When you are going to the Junin area near Lima, the Colca Valley near Arequipa or the Abra Malaga pass near Cusco you are coming above the altitude of 4000 m. above sea level. The best is to acclimatise some days at an altitude of 3000 m. or more (for instance in Cusco) before going on a trip. The road to Manu is not a really big problem.
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