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“great birding and guide” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Manu Wildlife Center

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Manu Wildlife Center
Flint Hills, Kansas
Level Contributor
146 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
“great birding and guide”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 May 2012

We took the inka natura trip by driving to the Cock of the Rock Lodge the first day on some pretty adventurous roads. At times we actually drove through some water falls. We saw the cock of the rock and enjoyed the stay at the lodge.
The next day we drove a short distance and then took a boat for two or three hours to the Amazonia lodge. We took a short walk birding and enjoyed sitting on the front porch of the lodge and watched the humming birds.
The next day we boated about six ours down the Madre de Dios River to the MWS. The total trip takes a lot of time. In the car and on the river but you constantly have a chance to see birds.
Arriving at the centre we were amazed at how nice the grounds and lodge was. We were accompanied from the beginning by our personal guide Jose Louis. He had to be one of the best guides in Peru. There were not any birds, plants, or animals he missed.
The next two and a half days were spent birding at the macau lick, ox bow lake and in the rain forrest.
The last day was spent transferring back to Cusco. This is accomplished by boat, then a short taxi between rivers, a quick river crossing by boat, a two and a half hour drive to Puerto Maldonado and then 45 minute flight to Cusco
If you are not a pretty interested birder this might not be for you. You do get a real taste for the rain forest but you can get this closer and more accessible in Peru.
If your expectations are high, the top flight guides are at this lodge. The training ground for new guides are at some of the other lodges, at least this is the case with inka natura.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank stonestacker52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Barcelona
Level Contributor
25 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 April 2012

We travel for our easter vacations to manu with inkanatura, and all the arrangements were perfect, our guide was incredible and our lodge was a fabulous place to experience the incredible reserve of Manu. The staff was incredible nice and helpful, we saw many monkeys around and the candle lights at night give an amazing atmosphere to the place a real disconnection to modern world!!!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank caffaworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bayside, New York
Level Contributor
31 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 December 2011

We stayed here for two nights as part of a six-night trip to Manu National Park with Inknatura. All in all the 5 nights we spent in Inkanatura lodges were wonderful, as was our entire trip, and I would highly recommend Inkanatura if you are looking to visit this gem of a protected area in the Amazon.

The MWC is not actually within the national park, but it sits in an area that is, I believe, a private reserve that is protected from development. We arrived by boat. The grounds are beautifully landscaped , with hummingbird-attracting bushes planted all around the main lodge, and a huge kapok tree the houses active oropendola and cacique colonies. Macaws seem to love to go to this tree, I saw Blue-and-yellow and Scarlet Macaws hanging out there, very easy to see. The main building is a spectacular huge, high-ceilinged room for dining and relaxing, with a row of hammocks to while away the heat of the afternoon, and a wonderful bar in the center with gas-powered refrigerators so you can actually have a drink with ice cubes in it (try a chilcano: pisco, lime juice, ginger ale and bitters, so refreshing after drinking warm water from bottles for days on end!). There is no electricity except when the generators run several hours a day to run the battery chargers in the dining room. At those times you can also use (slow) wifi in the dining room (and have a pisco sour since the blender will be running).

The cabins are beautiful, with tiled baths and showers with ample hot water. Staff are warm, friendly and helpful. Food is ample and quite good. A 24 hour snack area is there with hot water for drinks, fruit and cookies.

Best of all, the activities around MWC are amazing. We spent an evening at the tapir clay lick. After a 90 minute walk to the clay lick, we ate a boxed dinner as darkness fell and we heard the night sounds of the forest, saw bats and an agouti, and fell asleep in the open air (there are mattresses with mosquito nets on the viewing platform). Our guide woke me up when a tapir arrived, and we watched this 400lb animal for over an hour as she ate clay and moved around quite close to us. The walk back yielded views of tarantulas, frogs, and various insects. The next day we went to the huge, well constructed blind to see the parrots and macaws at their clay lick--at least 90 Red-and-green Macaws, the largest in Peru, congregated there. Many more birds were seen at an oxbow lake floating on a wooden catamaran.

Truly spectacular place in a wonderful, remote location.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank kenito799
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Virginia
Level Contributor
70 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 November 2011

We stayed here because I wanted private bath with hot water ( saved the tent camping for the Inca Trail). In this world, it takes a long time to truly get to the wilderness. We arrived here after 4 hr boat ride, the last two hours in the dark ! Be careful getting off the boat, the rocks are slippery. We were met at the boat ( edge of the river) by the manager, who was very gracious. We found the cottage to be very cozy and comfortable. The first day, there was a problem with hot water, but it was fine after that. We thought the lodge was nice, and the candlelight really added to the ambience. The food wasn't fabulous, but most of it was very good, and none of it was bad. The snacks and fresh fruit were available all the time. The vine-ripened bananas were great ! ( Can't get those at home). Also they assured us that they used purified water for ice. It was the only time I put ice in a drink for 3 wks in Peru. I didn't expect luxury or gourmet food in the middle of the wilderness. They do offer electricity in the lodge for a few hours in the late afternoon & evening so you can charge batteries, download photos, etc.
It has a beautiful garden, and we could see and hear lots of birds. Very early in the morning, we thought we were hearing some kind of machinery, but it was the howler monkeys ! The lodge maintains a schedule board for the group guides, so the groups don't get in each other's way at the various wildlife viewing sites. We didn't see as much wildlife as other reviewers, but it was still a fabulous experience.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank quackmar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minnesota, USA
Level Contributor
31 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 November 2011

My husband and I visited the MWC in mid October as part of the Biotrip tour offered by Inkanatura. The whole trip was amazing and I loved it just as much as an earlier reviewer hated it. I do love birds and nature in general, and I don't really expect to be shielded from the elements on a wildlife trip, so that's possibly the difference. I will say that having the right guide really makes all the difference on a trip like this, and our guide Fiorella was the absolute tops, with an encyclopedic knowledge of the local birds and animals. That said, this is a review of the lodge, where we spent 3 nights, so I'd best get on with it.

We had spent the previous night at buggy coldwater Pantiacolla Lodge so my expectations were not high when we arrived at the Manu Wildlife Center to see a beautiful landscaped campus with an amazing lodge (other people have posted pics already). Considering the remote location, we were amazed at the amenities. The food, in contrast to what others have said, was very good and varied. My only complaint is that they served more than I could eat. We had fresh fruits and juices, wonderful cream soups, quiche, omelettes, and a chicken with pineapple sauce that I am trying to create at home. The lodge even has a full bar, and more important, cold cokes. The individual huts are roomy and have character, with traditional thatch roofs. They are designed for maximum airflow, so shy people may find them a bit open, but most people who like wilderness camping aren't that shy. The downside is that you can hear the people in the next hut cough in the middle of the night, but you can also hear the howler monkeys in the morning. The beds are nice and firm and the showers in your own private bathroom are huge, with plenty of hot water. The lodge has a laundry service, which is nice as nothing will dry in the jungle humidity. Just be warned that they use bleach.

The wildlife trips available around the MWC were fantastic. The claylick was very fancy, with a large elevated blind with chairs and a roof to keep off the occasional rain. We saw not only macaws, but several kinds of parrot and a large number of other birds. The oxbow lake is home to a family of giant otters who came quite close and showed off their fishing ability, and also many birds including hoatzin. The canopy platform gave a whole new perspective. We opted to skip the tapir trek in order to spend a quiet evening enjoying the lodge, but we still got to see both the tame tapir at the lodge and a wild one in the river. We even went out in the boat at night to spot caimans. For weather we had everything from sun and 98 degrees F to rain and 70 degrees. The rain didn't last long when it came, though it was pretty impressive in volume.

We never had any communication issues with Inkanatura, but then I regularly traded emails with their reservation staff. They told us about the change to flying out through Puerto Maldonado. I just saw it as bonus river birding time. The day before our trip they sent a rep to our hotel in Cusco to explain all the parts of the trip and make sure we were comfortable. I was really impressed with their people, from our guide to our amazing van and boat drivers to the MWC staff. We got to see a variety of ecozones and get a real feel for the wilds of Peru. It was exactly what we wanted.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Muirenn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 November 2011

We visited the Manu Wildlife Centre with InkaNatura in early October 2011 doing the 4 day 3 night adventure but unfortunately were very disappointed with the extensive travel that was required to get there and back. This really was in fact not 4 days and 3 nights but instead 2 full days of travel and only 2 days actually at the wildlife centre. It was not worth the money and travel time and I would not recommend this trip.

Our original travel plans, and what we signed up for, consisted of a 45 minute flight to Boca Manu followed by a 3 hour boat ride to the lodge. This was changed at the last minute due to “plane troubles” to a new itinerary being an hour flight to Puerto Maldonado, 2 1/2 hour minivan ride on good roads, a 15 minute river crossing, a 1 hour bone racking taxi ride on a terrible dirt road and then finally a 5 hour (yes 5) boat ride up river. All in all about 10 hours of travel to get to the resort (basically all day) and to boot we arrived in the pitch dark in the middle of an Amazon thunderstorm. We took it all in stride as an ‘adventure’ but it really was too much.

To add insult to injury we learned when we arrived to the lodge that the airport in Boca Manu had shut down in June and this was the permanent itinerary. We were not told by InkakNatura until right before our trip in August and of course only after final payment. The website was updated accordingly after our trip but of course the price was not adjusted down.

To be fair, the lodge itself was wonderful and the main building was gorgeous, huge and in fabulous shape. All beautiful wood, great furnishings and very cool especially at night with all the candles lit. The rooms/huts were also very quaint and clean with nice bug nets to keep the critters out. The accommodations as a whole were 5 star for the jungle! Very nice. The food too was quite good and especially considering again you are in the middle of nowhere. Again it was wonderful having dinner at night under candlelight.

The grounds themselves were great too with many extensive trails, interesting plants, lots of birds everywhere and fabulous jungle sounds filling the air. The tapir platform was neat although we saw nothing and ended up just sitting there in the dark sweating for hours. Also, the canopy platform was very cool to climb so high to get a birds view of the jungle. The lodge grounds were very meticulously kept, quiet and quaint.

The wildlife viewing was actually very good with us being lucky to see many macaws and parrots at the clay lick, monkeys (3 varieties) as well as tons of other birds. It is important to know that the Amazon is vast and viewing wildlife is hit and miss so be prepared that you may see a ton of stuff or nothing at all. It is not like Costa Rica where you are totally overwhelmed with nature everywhere.

Inkanatura as a company was terrific to deal with outside of the itinerary change. They were great with email and Skype, answered all our questions, made payment very easy and a representative came right to our hotel and answered all of our questions. The guide too was very good and knowledgeable.

It’s really too bad that the travel time is so crazy as the wildlife centre has so much potential but unfortunately, in our opinion, it is just not worth it for such as short stay with such extensive travel at the high price of ~$1,500pp.

I definitely would recommend the place if you were staying an extended period of time (at least 7 days) but for the trip we did I would absolutely say don’t do it. I would recommend going to a closer lodge near Puerto Maldonado where you will get the same experience for much less money and a ton less travel time. We had friends who went there and they saw as much if not more than we did.

Room Tip: All the rooms/huts are basically the same and all are located equally well so any will do.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Bala_U2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
1,079 reviews
288 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 485 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 June 2011

Family of four had a great time, wonderful wildlife adventure in semi isolated area. McCaws, otters, Tapirs, great staff.

Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank OntarioCanuck1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Manu Wildlife Center

Property: Manu Wildlife Center
Address: At the Confluence Of the Manu And Alto Madre de Dios Rivers, Manu National Park 17700, Peru
Region: Peru > Madre de Dios Region > Manu National Park
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 11 Speciality Lodging in Manu National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3 star — Manu Wildlife Center 3*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Is located in a private, 16,190 ha./40,000-Acre rain forest reserve adjacent to the one million-acre protected area named the "Amarakaeri Reserved Zone". Visitors will welcome the amenities and comfort of this lodge, the only one in the Manu lowlands with roomy, private bungalows, en suite private bathrooms and tiled, hot water showers, especially if they are arriving from the rustic simplicity of Manu National Park. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Manu Wildlife Centre Hotel Manu National Park

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