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Peru: Trekking the Amazon Rain Forest
Adventure-approved trips just right for right now.  
Text by Costas Christ
Photo: Amazon bird

The EcoTrip

The 4.4-million-acre (1.8-million-hectare) Manu Biosphere Reserve, in eastern Peru's Amazon territory, has the highest concentration of bird species on the planet. It is also home to tapirs, a dozen varieties of monkeys, and the playful giant otter—an animal hunted nearly to extinction elsewhere but still thriving within the reserve. But Manu's most charismatic wildlife attraction is a garish little bird called the Andean cock-of-the-rock (pictured); males famously congregate for a bizarre mating ritual—a sing-off that may be the animal kingdom's closest approximation of American Idol. Outfitter Adventure Life has been leading guests to this spectacle for five years and doing it in a way that gives back to the surrounding human and animal communities. "We use local guides and transportation and family-run hotels so that our Peruvian hosts can share the benefits of tourism," says the company's founder, Brian Morgan.
Expect high altitude (13,000 feet or 3,962 meters) in the cloud-forest portion of the reserve. Accommodations at Manu are comfortable and simple—you'll have your own bed and bath, but the electricity is on for only eight hours a day.

Days: 9

Outfitter: Adventure Life

Cost: $1,820

Photograph courtesy of Peter Price

Photo: May 2006 Cover

Pick up the May 2006 issue for 38 amazing family escapes, wild beaches, and cool festivals; Sebastian Junger's lessons from the road; and the best bikes for summer.

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