FAQ & Practical info
FAQ
When is the best time to visit Manu?
The best time to visit Manu is during the dry season from April - October. That said we take tours to Manu all year round evening during the rainy season as there are always fascinating things to see and experiences to be had any day of the year in the Amazon!
When is the wet season and dry season?
Dry season is April - end of October and Wet season is from November to end of March.
Are the flights included?
We do not include flights in the price of your programme but all transport, accommodation. food and professional training and instruction is included from pick up to drop off at the airport in Cusco. The only extras would be alcoholic drinks or extra snacks that can be bought at the MLC.
What vaccinations do I need and are we in a malarial zone?
For vaccinations please see health section below and no we are not in a malarial zone.
What’s the difference between the programmes? What can I do in the 6 week programme, that I can’t do in the 4 week programme?
The difference in programme lengths is purely just on time spent in the jungle. The more time you spend with us the more you will learn about our projects to get a deeper understanding of our conservation and community work. The more days spent with us offers the chance of seeing more wildlife and making life long friendships with like-minded people.
How far in advance shall I book?
There is no set time you need to book in advance however once you know the date when you want to go then it is an idea get booking to avoid the start dates being booked when you want to go especially during the summer months.
What is the booking process?
Simple! Once you would like to book we can send you a link to our booking form so we have all your information. Once you have paid your deposit we then send you an invoice as confirmation of your booking and you are all set.
What time will we be picked up from our hotel?
Your Crees' representative will meet you the night before to advise on timings for pick up so make sure you tell us where you are staying in Cusco prior to departure. Normally it is any early start to head down to Manu, departing Cusco from around 6am,
Do we get picked up from the airport? Who will be picking us up?
A Crees' representative will be there to pick you up from the airport. They will be holding up a sign that says "crees" and your names.
Hotel recommendations in Cusco for before or after your programme?
There are a huge variety of hotels in Cusco from the very basic hostel to the 5 star options. For hostels we use the Cusco Plaza I and II. Antigua Casona San Blas, Rumi Punku or the Casa Andina chain are good mid range hotels and if you are splashing out then the Monasterio or the Palacio del Inka are great options!
Do we need to bring water purifying tablets?
No we provide drinking water for all our guests.
Are you able to accept payment by credit card?
No. We provide bank account information on booking for your to transfer funds.
What is the age restriction on your volunteer programme?
You must be 18 years of age at the start of your programme to book on.
Responsible Travel

Our love and care for Peru is the driving force behind our operating crees tours and taking tourism to Manu. For this reason we are extremely concerned to ensure that our impact is always positive and never damaging. We aim to bring benefit to local communities, especially the vulnerable and the poor and to help sustain a healthy environment where both people and nature can thrive. To aid this process, we would like to encourage you to: understand and respect local cultures and customs, get involved with local communities, buy locally and support local businesses. 

Manu Biosphere Reserve

The Manu Biosphere Reserve at the furthest tip of the Upper Amazon River, in the remote south-eastern region of Peru. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest tropical rainforest biosphere reserve on earth, protecting 4,646,564 acres (1,881,200 hectares) of land; an area almost half the size of Switzerland. The area is situated within the Amazon River basin and protects almost the entire watershed of the River Manu and most of the tributaries of the River Alto Madre de Dios. The Manu Learning Centre is situated within regenerating secondary forest, ideally placed for studies of regeneration of habitats after disturbance.

Flora and Fauna

The Manu Biosphere Reserve’s biological diversity is one of the greatest on Earth, some species so exotic they have never been named. The Puna is home to tassel-eared llamas and alpacas; the cloud forests are inhabited by brilliant-red Cock of the Rocks, Spectacled Bears and scores of dripping tree ferns; and the lowland rainforest is inhabited by the giant Black Caiman, Giant Otter, 13 species of monkeys and over 1000 species of birds and of course the majestic Jaguar. Whilst flora of Manu is vastly under-researched, but it is thought that over 15000 species of plant species have been identified in the park, and it is likely that the number of species to be found within the park is well over this figure.

Climate

The Amazon climate is generally hot and humid, around 30 degrees. The dry season is from Apr-Oct and the wet season is from Nov-Apr. The wet season is characterised by a few hours of rain each day and temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees. In May there is often a layer of low cloud over the rainforest. The Manu National Park is closed in February so crees tours to Romero Rainforest Lodge do not operate but the Manu Learning Centre is open all year round.

February is a time of heavy rains and roads can be inaccessible during this period.

Health and Vaccines

The Amazon is well known for its huge biodiversity and the wealth of different ecosystems it supports. In each one of these there are always dangers that face visitors, which is why preparation is key. Rainforest excursions lead people into the heart of the rainforest on an adventure that will consequently expose them to its raw nature. In order to be prepared please talk to your doctor about their recommendations. See section below for specific inoculations that are recommended. Due to mosquito related diseases such as malaria, leishmaniasis and even pesky bites, we recommend purchasing an effective repellent and also wear to long sleeve shirts and trousers at all times. We have a detailed kit list with recommendations, it’s better to be covered up and bug bite free …. General safety and sanitary standards in Peru are often not as high as those in Europe. Public health facilities are available, but these are often only rudimentary. It is there essential that you take out fully comprehensive insurance before travelling.

In isolated places such as the Peruvian Amazon there are few facilities available so it is advisable to take a well-equipped first aid kit.

Pharmacies in Peru are well stocked and most products, even antibiotics, can be bought over the counter. Check validity dates on packaging. There is an important distinction between a recommendation (advice) and a requirement (you may be refused entry to the country without proof of vaccination).

All the vaccinations that you need (other than Yellow Fever) are available from your GP or from a travel clinic. Please refer to www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk for all the latest information.

Malaria

Manu as such is not a malarial area but if you are travelling onwards from any of our tours please make sure you have the requirements needed. Please consult your GP or health centre for accurate details of malarial areas within the region.

Money

Cash

It is sensible to take cash, as much as your insurance will allow, which can be exchanged locally. The currency in Peru is the Sol. The value varies but it is around 3 to 4 soles to the dollar and 5 to 6 soles to the pound. It is not normally possible to get soles in the UK before departure but it makes sense to take some US dollars with you for your arrival as it is normal to pay for hotels and tourist services in dollars throughout Peru. All other normal day to day expenses are paid for in soles. One dollar bills can be useful for tipping and paying fees on borders if you are going outside Peru before/after your trip with crees. Do not take money from your own home country as they can be difficult to exchange.

Credit and Debit cards

Credit cards are widely accepted and are valid as proof of funds at borders. Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted with American Express not so much. Using cashpoints locally is a great way to get cash out and the rate of exchange is often the most favourable. It may be worthwhile advising your bank of where you are going as often some banks detect irregular spending abroad and freeze the account which can take days to sort out.

Money at crees lodges

You need to bring cash to the jungle to make purchases in the nearby towns in the rainforest and for your bar/shop bill at the Manu Learning Centre and/or Romero Rainforest Lodge – we do not take card payments.

Travellers’ Cheques

Travellers’ cheques are increasingly less favoured these days as are more cumbersome to carry than credit or debit cards. If you do decide to take some take US Dollars only and make sure you bring receipt of purchase.

Tipping

The Spanish word for tipping is “propina” and we cannot express enough that tipping is a personal choice and one should not ever feel obliged to give one if you are unsatisfied with the service. With regards to guides it is advisable totip $5.00 per couple per half day but of course if you have been particularly satisfied by all means give more! Naturalist guides the convention is more like $10 per person per day. Don’t forget the drivers who in many cases may have shown extreme skill on difficult roads but in general terms should be tipped lower than the guides.

Visas

If you are from the UK, USA, Canada, or Australia you do not require a visa to come through Peru as a tourist.

Insurance

We recommend that you buy comprehensive travel insurance for your trip. It is important to check that you are covered for trekking activities above 2500m (both Cusco and the Inca trail are higher than this), repatriation, a medical cover minimum of $50000 and an emergency medical evacuation minimum of at least $10,000,000 for emergency medical transport. If you need to buy travel insurance please contact Campbell Irvine on 0207 937 6981.

Passports

Your passport must have at least six months before it expires from the date you intend to return to England at the end of your trip. It should also have a few unused pages for the necessary visas and stamps that you will accumulate on your travels. If your flight goes via the USA then your passport will need to be one that can be read electronically or they will not let you through, and you will also need to register on the US government’s new visa waiver list.

Please see http://www.unitedstatesvisas.us/ for more information.

Emergency Contacts

Email: reservas@crees-manu.org

Mobile: +51 984108241  ( 24hrs/365 days)

Address: Mariscal Gamarra B-5 , Cusco – Perú

Kit List

This is a short overview of essentials – please refer to our full Kit List for more detailed information on what to bring.
• Short and long sleeved shirts/t-shirts
(lightweight wicking fabric controls
perspiration and dries quickly)
• Long-sleeved shirts in light colour (cotton)
• Lightweight trousers
• Shorts
• Swim wear and towel
• A light sweater (it can get surprisingly chilly in
the rainforest especially on boat trips)
• Sun hat / cap
• Footwear – comfortable outdoor shoes/
trainers
• for the evenings, a pair of flip flops, we
provide rubber boots – please inform us of
your shoe size before departure.
• Bad weather gear – a lightweight raincoat
or waterproof poncho, cold fronts can
sometimes pass through the rainforest so
heavier clothing can be beneficial.
• Travel accessories – insect repellent (50%
deet), suncream, aftersun, general toiletries,

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