Manu National Park Amazon Rainforest
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
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Topics We Will Cover
Nature & Conservation Photography
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 a photographer, writer, and archaeologist from Jackson, Wyoming. The majority of his work focuses on travel, nature, and cultural and environmental conservation. 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. Matt’s work has been published with Smithsonian Magazine, The New York Times, National Geographic, GEO, BBC, Archaeology Magazine, Outdoor Photographer Magazine, and more. Matt’s work at Summit is diverse and ranges from assisting at our core workshops to planning and running many of our international and destination workshops.
Clay Bolt is a Natural History and Conservation Photographer specializing in the world’s smaller creatures. He regularly partners with organizations such as the National Geographic Society, National Wildlife Federation, and Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. He is an Associate Fellow in the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) and past president of the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA). His current major focus is on North America’s native bees and the important roles that they play in our lives. He was a leading voice in the fight to protect the rusty-patched bumble bee as a federally protected species under the Endangered Species Act, which became North America’s first federally protected native bee in 2017. In 2019, Bolt became the first photographer to document a living Wallace’s Giant Bee—the world’s largest bee—as a part of a four person exploration team to rediscover the species in the Indonesian islands knowns as the North Moluccas. Learn more at www.claybolt.com.
Hear From Past Participants
Workshop Information & Itinerary
Costs Included In Tuition
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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 (July 14) 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!
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.
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