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If there was a way to explore a rarely visited area of Peru’s Manu National Park, gain a once in a life time experience and give something back to the environment and wildlife at the same time, then Crees Tours is absolutely the way to discover the Amazon.
Peru's Manu National Park has become accessible to visitors through Crees Tours, a research-based organisation that has operated in this region for 10 years. Profits from tourism here fund valuable research undertaken by scientists and experts, alongside sustainability projects involving the local environment and communities.
Departing from Cusco, guests can travel through the high Andes towards the Sacred Valley, down into the cloud forest and the depths of the rainforest canopy. This area is a remote and relatively undiscovered part of the Amazon, promising real adventure and exceptional wildlife encounters.
Research and accommodation is based at the Manu Learning Centre, built in the style of the local Machiguenga tribe and set just above the river. Up to 36 guests can be comfortably housed in 'pods' linked by raised wooden walkways. The learning centre is an Amazonian Mecca, which creates a little something different for its guests. Even mealtimes are communal which makes for a real friendly atmosphere with researchers, volunteers and guests coming together throughout their stay to share stories and experiences. Alternatively the more intimate Romero lodge, with just eight en-suite rooms, can be reached by boat from the centre or by plane directly from Cusco; one highlight there is seeking the endangered giant river otter from the comfort of a catamaran.
From the moment guests arrive in Manu they are designated a private guide for the duration of their tour; these naturalist specialists have experience as park rangers and are proud to share their expert knowledge of the area and wildlife. Some are expert botanists or biologists, and can tailor excursions to the interests of the guests. Further to all that they have a great understanding of this UNESCO world heritage region.
These tours can appeal to anyone's journey, as each tour is bespoke, with many different itineraries and durations possible, many featuring a night in the Cloud Forest and all including a host of activities; excursions include privately guided walks, rafting, cycling, night walks, research trips and community visits. Manu is one of the most bio diverse regions on our planet owing to its geographical diversity, resulting in a vast array of flora and fauna for visitors to encounter. Over 13 primate species, black caiman and the elusive jaguar can all be spotted around the lodge. With the help of Crees' seasoned researchers and volunteers visitors can get involved in worthwhile conservation and research projects and gain hands-on experiences, viewing camera trap footage of the wildlife and collecting data.
Environmental sustainability is a cornerstone of the ethos at Manu Learning Centre; solar power, gravity-fed water pumps and recycling all help to achieve this aim.
Will, Original Traveller