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Tours and Tips: Manu, an adventure without equal

Location: The Manu Biosphere Reserve is located in the departments of Cusco and Madre de Dios, in the extreme southwest of Peru. It consists of three areas: the Cultural Zone, the Reserved Zone and the National Park. Visitors may only visit the first two areas.

Climate: The best time to visit the reserve is between May and October, when there is less rain. During those months there is intense sun and temperatures are above 35 degrees C. This is high tourist season, so it is advisable to make reservations early.

How to Get There: There are three possible ways to Manu. The first leaves Cusco by highway, passing picturesque Andean villages until arriving at Tres Cruces (4000 meters above sea level). The descent begins from there, after which it is necessary to travel by boat along the Alto Madre de Dios and Manu Rivers. This route will take two full days.
A second route is by air. It is possible by air-taxi in Cusco and take a 30-minute flight to the airport at Boca Manu. Then travel continues by boat for four hours. The third access route is by river, starting from Puerto Maldonado. It is the longest and the least recommended.

Studying in the Jungle: The School of Ecological Studies offers unforgettable safari-style courses in five areas: Herpetology (amphibians and reptiles), botany (plants), ornithology (birds), entomology (insects) and zoology (mammals). After a brief explanation of basic theories, the imposing jungle of Manu serves as a living laboratory for participants to see the jungle's diversity, gather data and samples, identify different species and later analyze the results using computers. 

Lodging: There is only one place to stay in the Reserved Zone. The Manu Lodge is located on the banks of the Juarez pampa. It offers the accommodations and service of a good hotel. An alternative is to camp on one of the many beaches along the Manu River, an experience without equal for those who wish to have closer contact with the wildlife of the region. 

Volume II/Issue 9, Page 50
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