Many activities at MWC take place early in the morning, at dusk and at night when wildlife is most active. Visit the local macaw lick to photograph and observe macaws eating mineral-rich clay on the bank of the river. Throughout your stay join guided walks or venture on your own around the lodge on the extensive trail system to search for some of the 12 species of monkeys that are frequently seen. Partake in guided hikes through diverse habitats that include bamboo forests, forest stream riparian vegetation, and large strangler figs and other fruiting trees that attract monkeys and birds. Ascend a sturdy steel circular staircase 115 ft. up to a platform built into the crown of a huge Kapok tree to observe the rainforest canopy from above with chances of seeing passing troops of monkeys, many birds and a view over the Madre de Dios River.
In the evenings guides organize nocturnal forays into the forest to the tapir clay lick. The elevated, screened platform structure is equipped with simple mattresses so that you can relax comfortably in wait for the first tapirs to arrive typically between 5:30 and 8:00 p.m. Sometimes deer and peccaries also come in.
On one morning you visit an oxbow lake to see waterfowl, the prehistoric-like hoatzin bird, and to search for a family of giant otters. This two-meter-long, 70-pound predators are the only social mustelids (family of weasels, minks, badgers, wolverines, skunks, otters) in the world. Overnights at Manu Wildlife Center.
Optional Blanquillo Macaw Lick Visit: $150 per person
Depending on the season you can elect to join an optional early morning visit to the Blanquillo macaw clay lick. The spacious, privately owned blind is located at a further distance (300 fit) in front of a wide swath of river bank where the macaws perch. Breakfast and coffee can be purchased in the blind and a bathroom is available. First smaller parrots flock to the lick, and if the weather is good and no predators are in sight, the macaws congregate and descend in a cacophony of sound and color. This activity would be in lieu of the smaller but still very active Manu clay lick that is closer to the lodge.
Although the macaw clay lick is active year round, the best months for viewing and photography are July through November when there are larger flocks and less rain.