Manu National Park
Location: Manu, Peru
Dates: July 15 – 29, 2022
Deposit: $3,000 / Tuition: $6,995
A Photographic Journey Into the Amazon
Join Summit Workshops on an unforgettable, small, group trip deep into the heart of the Peruvian Amazon.
The Madre de Dios and Manu Regions of Peru are considered to be two of the most biodiverse environments on earth. They provide crucial habitat for over 1,000 species of birds, 14 species of primates, 150 species of mammals, and incorporate vast territory ranging from alpine plateaus, river basins, to tropical rainforest. The area is also home to several indigenous and ‘uncontacted’ tribes and is considered to be one of the most remote corners of the Amazon Rainforest.
In this workshop, you’ll be immersed in the landscape, history, and culture of the Amazon. We will begin our journey by exploring the Inca civilization in Cusco at the ancient city of Pisac. We will then drive over the top of the Andes and into the cloud forests of Cosñipata Valley. This is one of the most biodiverse valleys in the entire world and is a dream for macro photography, exotic birds, and the elusive Woolly Monkey.
From the mountains, we will drive into the Amazon Basin where we will follow the Madre de Dios and Manu River in motorized canoes. We will stay at riverside eco-lodges where we will spend our days watching hundreds of macaws, scouting for giant river otters, watching capybaras swim, and conducting night hikes in search of boas, anacondas, dart frogs, and tarantulas. This trip is like no other and offers an engaging blend of wildlife, culture, and conservation.
What To Know
During this workshop, we will travel through some of the most breathtaking and pristine areas of the Amazon Basin.
The photography opportunities are never ending, expect to fill your memory cards every day!
Our itinerary is remote and will entail full-day air conditioned van rides on windy mountain roads, and 8-10 hours in a motorized canoe. The views are absolutely stunning and always changing, so the time easily passes.
Temperatures will range from 40-95 degrees and we will spend two nights over 10,000 feet in elevation.
All of the eco-lodges are first class and luxurious, but internet will be intermittent or not available for most of the trip. But not to worry, the incredible amount of wildlife you can watch and photograph from the front steps of your hotel rooms will make up for the lack of technology.
While we will not hike more than a few miles each day, be prepared to carry telephoto lenses on rough terrain and in hot temperatures.
Lima is a wonderful city to explore, consider arriving an extra day early to walk around the city and sample its world class cuisine. Summit can easily arrange an extra night at our arrival hotel to accommodate an early arrival.
Spouse and companion discounts are available for this workshop! These discounts are for non-photographers who want to share in this amazing experience with you. Please contact us for more information.
Hear From Past Participants
Traveling to Manu with Summit has to be the best way for anyone interested in conservation photography to explore the park. The faculty are some of the most passionate and knowledgeable people in the field of conservation. Their enthusiasm for every living thing, whether it’s a Giant River Otter or the tiniest beetle, is contagious. I found myself learning as much out in the field as I did sitting around the table at dinner, listening to all of their stories. The people you meet at Summit truly do become like family and there’s no one else I’d rather travel with. As for Manu itself, it is impossible to run out of subjects to photograph; from macro to wildlife, landscapes to culture, night photography and everything in between. Rest up beforehand, because with all that Manu has to offer, you definitely won’t get enough sleep!LisaSummit Peru 2018
Traveling to Peru with Summit Photography was one of the best decisions I have made. Not only did I learn how shoot in a myriad of environments, the planning and execution of the trip was top notch. We started in Lima with a free day to explore than quickly found ourselves leaving Cusco and driving over the Andes to nestle in on the Eastern side of the range for a few days. While traveling we would stop for amazing vistas and historical sights, always getting a bit of information from our guides. The Andes were surreal as we were able to focus on macro-photoghraphy, something I had never delved into. The experience got me hooked. There were so many insects day and night to capture. Diving into the Amazon Basin by motorized canoe will go down as one of my top experiences ever. We were remote as remote can get but so well taken care of. Taking photos of the giant river otters and also going on night hikes will stay with me forever. Thanks again for such an awesome experience and such a great learning environment Summit!WillSummit Peru 2018
2022 WORKSHOP INSTRUCTORS
The founder and owner of Rainshadow Expeditions, Ian has spent the past decade traveling and guiding in over 40 countries, covering every continent. He has a background in conservation biology and environmental science, which has fueled his passion for nature and exploration. Ian is a highly experienced scuba instructor and technical cave diver, and has completed thousands of dives all over the world, including the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, Antarctica, and the Caribbean. He is also a contributing photographer for National Geographic Magazine, and his film work has appeared on Discovery Channel and BBC. In addition to guiding, Ian still has ongoing research and exploration in numerous locations around the world, and he will be happy to share his expertise on these topics.
Matt is the Program Manager at Summit Workshops, a photographer and journalist from Jackson, Wyoming. Focusing on stories related to culture, history, and conservation, Matt's work can be found in Smithsonian Magazine, National Geographic, GEO Magazine, Archaeology Magazine, and the BBC. He is a National Fellow for the Explorer's Club and has worked as a senior photographer and on assignment for archaeological and conservation projects on four continents.
Workshop Information & Itinerary
Small Group Experience (7 Students, 2 Faculty)
Visit Ancient Incan City of Sacsayhuaman
Stay at a Private Eco Lodges
Macro photography in Cosñipata cloud forests
Conduct Night Hikes in Search of Nocturnal Animals
Photograph from a canopy bridge in the cloud forest
Photograph the Cock of the Rock
Travel By Boat Into Remote Manu National Park
Observe hundreds of macaws at a riverside clay lick
Photograph from a platform at the top of a 300 foot tall tree
Search For Jaguars, Giant Otters, Monkeys, Macaws, Parrots, and More
Costs Included In Tuition:
Hotels, Meals, Non-Alcoholic Drinks, Transfers, Entrance / Guide Fees, Domestic Flights, Local Guide Tips
***Due to the remote nature of this trip, most hotel rooms will be double occupancy if the trip completely fills (7 students, 2 faculty)
Arrival day in Lima, Peru. Stay overnight in Lima, get a group dinner, and go over goals and itinerary of the trip. We strongly suggest you arrive a day earlier (October 12) to avoid travel delays.
Wake up early and fly from Lima to Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca empire. We will spend the day exploring the UNESCO World Heritage City of Old Cusco and the Incan site of Sacsayhuaman located just outside the city. In the afternoon we will drive over the Andean altiplano to Wayquecha Lodge located high in the valley’s cloud forests in Manu National Park. This journey will take us out of Cusco, over the top of the Andes Mountains, and into one of the most biodiverse valleys on the planet. We will stop several times en route, in each of the various ecosystems as we cross over the Andes and begin the journey down towards the Amazon. The evening will be spend photographing hummingbirds, Andean foxes, and the stunning cloud forests surrounding the lodge.
After breakfast we will spend the morning exploring the cloud forests and photographing from the lodge’s private canopy bridge. After lunch we will hop back in the van and make our way towards the Manu Paradise Lodge further down the valley. Along the drive we will stop to photograph waterfalls and will keep an eye out for exotic birds such as Quetzals and Cock of the Rock.
We will wake up early and drive to a short distance in search of the spectacular Cock of the Rock. We will be here during mating season and will have the opportunity to witness up to 20-30 males performing their courtship display. We will photograph in the forest for the rest of the day and after dinner, head out on our first night hike in search of nocturnal animals!
DAYS 5 – 6
The following three days will be spent at the Manu Paradise Lodge and around the Cosnipata Valley photographing birds, reptiles, amphibians, monkeys, and other large mammals. We will return to the Cock of the Rock lek at least one more time and will have the opportunity for after dinner night hikes every evening. Our exact itineraries these days will depend on what people are interested in photographing and where wildlife can be found.
Today we head into a new section of the magical Manu National Park. We will drive two hours through the rainforest to the port town of Atalaya. From here we will board a motorized canoe for a 5 – 7 hour trip deep into the Amazon down the Alto Madre de Dios River and eventually up the Manu River into the core of Manu National Park. We will stay at a riverside eco lodge with miles of jungle trails just outside.
DAYS 8 – 9
For the next two days in the core of Manu will wake before the sun and be the first boat on the river to search for swimming tapirs, jaguars, and other early rising animals. During the afternoon we will float along oxbow lakes looking for otters, and exploring jungle trails for monkeys, birds, and other exciting animals. In 2019 we saw 8 species of primates in just two days at this location!
From Manu we will hop back in our boat for a 5 – 7 hour trip to the Tambo Blanquillo Private Reserve. During our boat journey we will have the chance to observe an abundance of wildlife along the river including Jaguars, Tapirs, Monkeys, and exotic birds.
Today will be spent at the Tambo Blanquillo Private Reserve traveling by boat and by foot to explore the region’s immense biodiversity. We will visit the macaw, parrot, and mammal licks, search for giant river otters, capybaras, monkeys, and jaguars. We will also spend an evening photographing sunset from an observation tower located hundreds of feet in the canopy.
Today we depart Manu, but the adventure isn’t quite over! Our journey out of the Amazon will take us on a 5 hour boat trip to Puerto Maldonado during which we will have a final chance to search for wildlife and landscapes to photographer before our departure. From Puerto Maldonado we will catch a late afternoon flight back to Lima where we will have a farewell dinner before parting ways.
Departures back to the US