Challenge level: 4 out of 5
|10 September - 18 September 2022||On Sale|
Discover the wild beauty of the Amazon rainforest, the most biodiverse ecosystem of our planet!
Paying respect to the diverse natural habitat, we’ll use only the bare necessities we need to survive as we trek through the jungle.
Together, we’ll trek the untrodden paths of the cloud forest and rainforest lowland in Peru, camp in the middle of the jungle and visit an amazing Indigenous village to learn about their harmonious way of life.
Our life-changing adventure gives us the chance to spot an Amazon-azing array of animals, from bats, hummingbirds and parrots to monkeys, sloths and tapirs. Keep your eyes peeled as if we’re really lucky, we may see a jaguar!
We’ll trek through misty forest, identify more plants than you ever knew existed and enjoy a stunning boat rides on the astonishingly wild Madre de Dios River, a main tributary of the mighty River Amazon.
As if that’s not enough to get excited about, we have the special chances to build shelters using only the resources provided by Mother Nature and spot the giant river otters playing in their stunning jungle lake!
At the beginning and end of our adventure, we see another side of Peru with free days to explore the ancient Inca capital of Cusco.
The excitement starts at the airport in London, where we meet for the first time and catch our group flights to Cusco in Peru.
Our local challenge leader welcomes us upon our arrival and we transfer to our hotel in the city. This stunning ancient Inca capital enjoys a mountainous backdrop and streets bursting with colourful cultural history.
Once we’ve settled into our hotel, we finish the day with an exciting briefing from our challenge leader.
After a restful night and breakfast, enjoying the luxuries of a hotel, we journey into the wilderness of the high Andes.
Waking early, we transfer (approx. 5 hours) to our starting point in Acjanaco (3,600m) at the entrance of the Manu Biosphere Reserve, stopping at the charming village of Paucartambo (2,700m) along the way.
We couldn’t have asked for a better place to commence our challenge. The amazing Manu National Park covers a whopping 1,716,295.22 hectares, extending from the High Andes to the lowlands of the Amazon Jungle.
That’s an area nearly twice the size of Jamaica – and you can bet that every inch of it is beautiful, every square mile alive with tropical wildlife!
Heading down the easters slopes of the Andes, we hike through humid puna grassland, dotted here and there with orchids, ferns and bromeliads.
We keep our eyes peeled for the rare spectacled bears that live here, plus over 150 bird species, from brightly coloured emerald toucanets to handsome hawks and caracaras.
The cloud around us thickens as we venture deeper into the forest, creating a sense of magic and shrouding us in a world void of every-day stresses.
Finally, we reach Pillahuata, where we set up camp and settle down for dinner. We sleep in cosy tents.
A freshly made breakfast at our camp set us up for a longer trek today. Winding our way through forested mountains, we’re now in birds’ country, so we recommend you bring your binoculars with you.
Our challenge leader, who knows this area inside out, will point out the many different plants, birds and other animals we’ll pass, eyes attuned to spotting them even with their intricate camouflage, in some cases.
We’re likely to see the national bird, the bright red Cock of the Rocks (Rupicola peruviana) and hooded mountain tanagers, among many others, including hummingbirds, the golden-headed quetzals, a small bird whose gold head, green wings and red breast may make you think of Christmas!
If we’re lucky, we might glimpse a woolly monkey swinging between the branches above us.
Stopping for lunch, we continue through the cloud forest to our minibus and transfer to the Park Guard Station at the Rio Tono (850m).
Here, we set up our camp by the stream in the lower cloud forest. Now, we can tuck into dinner and settle down in our tents, surrounded by an array of tropical flora, alive with the chattering of birds and insects. We may even hear the whine of a monkey.
We have an easy day, beginning with a coach drive past the village of Pilcopata and across the neighbouring river to the small port town of Atalaya. Along the way, we jump on the chance to visit a stunning local orchid garden and stroll along the road to spot monkeys and still more birds.
We’ll look out for all kinds of animals as we catch our scenic motorised canoe ride to the Manu lowland. Kingfishers, fasciated tiger herons, vultures and skimmers may perch by the riverbank or even dart down into the water in front of us to catch their prey.
We might also spot caimans (crocodiles) basking in the sunshine and the fantastic thirteen species of monkeys enjoying the humid habitat.
We take a short break from the boat to stretch our legs and wander around the beautiful Boca Manu (or Fitzcarrald), the main village of Manu. This gives us the amazing opportunity to meet the local residents and gain insight into their harmonious way of life.
Then, it’s back in the boats until we find the Maquisapayoj Lodge, our home for the night, whose name translates to “Place of the Black Spider Monkey”!
Eager to stretch our legs, we finish our day with a night walk to watch out for snakes, insects, frogs and of course, black spider monkeys!
Then we settle down at the lodge to enjoy a touch of luxury, sleeping in double rooms with private bathrooms.
Waking at daybreak, we’re out into the wilderness to watch out for the early birds and listen to the dawn chorus of the jungle. We return to the lodge for breakfast and set off to enjoy nature at its best.
Following no trail we can see with our untrained eyes, our guide leads the easiest way through the dense jungle. This wild terrain may be tricky underfoot, but the chances to encounter the extraordinary animals and plants hiding here are worth a thousand times the challenge!
Hiking through this unique habitat gives us the opportunity to spot more species than is possible anywhere else on our planet. Parrots, Pavonine Quetzal and Manakins fly overhead, while sloths, saddle-backed tamarins, black spider monkeys and red howler monkeys roam the trees.
These aren’t any old trees either. As we walk, our guide points out the varying plants we pass, including giant water lilies, rubber trees, the walking palm tree, spiky passion flowers, monkey trees and many, many more. If we’re lucky, we’re also in for a chance of spotting anteaters and jaguars!
Fuelling up with lunch, we’re back on our feet this afternoon to hike through the primary rainforest to the mammal salt lick of the reserve. Salt licks or clay licks are the rainforest’s equivalent to the African savannah.
Here, we have the best chance to see different animal species, especially tapirs, as they come to feast on the salt and other nutrients that they can’t get from the rest of their diet.
The excitement doesn’t end here. We now set out building shelters, using only the resources provided by Mother Nature! Our challenge leader gathers the resources and teaches us how to construct them in the way of the Natives!
After dinner, we may have the chance to feel the fruits of our labour and sleep in the shelters we’ve constructed. Otherwise, we’ll lay out our roll mats by the mammal salt lick to maximise our chances of seeing more of these incredible animals by night. You may also choose to sleep back at the lodge if you prefer.
Beginning the day with another early morning, those of us who slept in our shelters or by the tapir lick return to meet those who rested at the lodge for breakfast.
Gathering our things, we hike to Cocha Blanco (Blanco Lake) a beautiful oxbow lake full of waterlilies. We find catamarans banked at the lake and clamber in for a chance to encounter the giant otters swimming here!
As the name implies, these adorable mammals are the longest of the weasel family and the noisiest of the otters! Sadly, like most of the animals hiding in the Amazon Rainforest, they’re critically endangered, thanks to decades of poaching and the destruction of their habitat.
We’re likely to find this chance to spot them bittersweet, as it weren’t for protected havens, like the Manu Biosphere Reserve, they could be driven to extinction in our lifetime.
Taking in the lake’s serene surroundings on a boat ride, we have another chance to see caimans, monkeys and all sorts of flora soaking up its waters.
After we’ve bid the otters a fond farewell, we return by boat to the lodge. Fuelling up with lunch, we take our wildlife watching further in the afternoon by exploring another trail. Now a little more accustomed to the rainforest, we know what to look and listen out for.
Tonight, we have the option again to sleep at the lodge or on a platform by the mammal salt lick or at the lodge near the river.
Waking at the mammal salt lick or at the lodge, we tuck into our final breakfast in the rainforest, before catching a scenic boat ride (approx. 2.5 hours) to the small gold mining town of Colorado. Here, our car awaits to transfer us (approx. 1 hour) to Puerto Carlos.
Crossing the river with small boats, we meet our coach in the small town of Santa Rosa. From here, we journey to Cusco, enjoying our last view of the mystical cloud forest and the spectacular Ausangate Mountain in the Andes.
Tonight, we toast our success at having conquered this Amazon-azing adventure, with a delicious celebration dinner, before a great night’s sleep at our hotel in Cusco!
Today is free for you to spend as you wish in Cusco before our journey home tonight.
You might want to check out the incredible Koricancha, a golden temple said to be the holiest site in Incan mythology, including the Santa Domingo Church (or the Iglesia de Santa Domingo) and/or get a load of the colonial architecture, enormous Inca stones and beautiful local handicrafts.
Otherwise, simply kick back and enjoy the spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.
Please make your own lunch arrangements today – a final chance to make the most of the delicious local food.
Later in the day, we reunite and transfer to the airport for our overnight flight back to the UK.
Touching down in London on Day 9, we say goodbye and you make your own way home, your mind and camera bursting with unbeatable memories!
Pay your registration fee and your challenge costs yourself.
Pay the balance
Pay your registration fee and raise the minimum target for your chosen charity.
Minimum sponsorship target
As we hope you know, the health and safety of our participants is always - and has always been - our highest priority.
Our team of experts here at Dream Challenges has created a brilliant 14-step initiative, to minimise the risk of coronavirus and maximise your safety. Please click here to see our ground-breaking plan and rest assured that you're safe booking with us.
With even the government unsure how exactly the coronavirus situation will eventuate, we can't make any guarantees; but we can promise you that we will always put your health and security first and will always be just and flexible in any decisions we have to make, regarding postponements and transfers.
As we're not medically trained, we're afraid we can't offer you advice on this. We recommend you contact your GP or your local travel clinic, who will have the latest travel health advice.
We also recommend you visit the NHS Fit for Travel website here, to keep up to date with current travel health news and advice on staying healthy abroad.
NHS Fit for Travel website: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home
The Amazon Wilderness Trek 2022 is not designed for Olympic athletes – it is designed for people looking for an amazing goal to train and get fit for. A number of the people who will take part in this trek will have a low level of fitness when they sign up.
This challenge is the perfect motivation to get fit, while exploring one of the world's most beautiful places and supporting the charity of your choice.
We strongly recommend you train for the trek and we'll send you a fantastic training plan once you sign up. This training plan builds up as time goes on, so you'll be ready and raring to go by the time we jet to Peru!
Please don't be! The majority of people will sign up on their own and our Dream Challenges are renowned for the amazing camaraderie and lifelong friendships made as our groups take on these incredible feats together.
Once you've signed up for the challenge, we'll send you a link to a private Facebook group for everyone registered for the Amazon Wilderness Trek 2022
Please feel free to use this space to swap questions, advice and updates with your fellow trekkers on your training and fundraising. You may also want to reach out to your fellow participants in this group to see if there's anyone in your local area you can meet up to train and fundraise with.
Absolutely not! One of the amazing things about the challenge is that people of all ages will come together to do something very special. Everyone who is at least 18 years old by the challenge date is more than welcome to join this awesome trek in Peru.
You will of course need a pair of walking boots. You will also need to bring your own two-to-three-season sleeping bag. All other camping equipment is provided, including mosquito nets. We will supply you with a comprehensive list of everything you will need to take on the event well before your departure date.
This challenge includes a mix of accommodation on a twin-sharing basis, from comfortable camps in the rainforest to a pretty jungle lodge to viewing platforms at the mammal/tapir salt licks and perhaps even our home-made shelters on our nights spent in the Amazon Rainforest, to comfortable hotels in Cusco.
We organise our accommodation on a twin-sharing basis, which is included in the challenge cost.
However, if you would rather pay for a single supplement (£150 per person, NOT included in your challenge cost) and have a room to yourself in the lodge and/or our hotel in Cusco, please get in touch at least fourteen weeks before departure and we can arrange this for you.
Yes of course! If you wish to extend your stay in Peru, please let us know at least 14 weeks before our departure date and we can arrange this for you.
Your registration fee of £349 per person is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
Your challenge costs of £1,875 (ie. 50% of the fundraising target if you choose the Sponsorship option) cover:
*Please note, your lunch and dinner on Day 8 and your lunch on Day 9 are not included in your challenge costs, to allow for maximum flexibility on your free days.
*Accommodation is included on a twin-sharing basis. If you would rather pay for a single supplement and have a room to yourself in Cusco, we can arrange this for you for an additional cost of £150.
In addition to paying your registration fee (£349) and either paying your challenge costs or raising the minimum sponsorship target, you'll need to budget for your:
The group size for this challenge is likely to be around 30 people.
You will need to take out your own personal travel insurance covering health, accident, loss and repatriation.
We have found an insurance policy provider that covers you for this and also covers you for cancellation due to medically-diagnosed COVID-19. We will send you the details once you have registered. You can, however, take out your own insurance, providing it covers you for a charity trek in Peru.
Please ask the insurer about the nature of the cover. It is your responsibility to ensure you have adequate cover for your challenge.
Currently, GB citizens don't require a visa to enter Peru, but we'll let you know if this changes.
The Dream Challenges team are here to help you achieve your challenge and will support you all the way. We are on hand from the minute you sign up to answer any questions that you may have about your training or the challenge itself.
Once you have registered, we will send you a realistic training programme to help you get fit for the challenge. The programme builds up gradually as our departure date gets closer.
During the trek, we'll have at least one UK doctor with expedition medicine training, who will accompany the group at all times throughout the challenge, along with a team of experienced challenge guides.
Absolutely! As part of our amazing 14-step initiative to minimise the risk of coronavirus and maximise your safety on all our challenges we're delighted to have found a fantastic travel insurance policy, which covers you for this type of activity and also covers you for cancellation due to medically diagnosed COVID-19.
Please ask the insurer about the nature of the cover. It is your responsibility to ensure you have adequate cover for your challenge.
Porters will carry your luggage, food and water, so you will only need to carry a small day pack, containing essential accessories and equipment.
We’ll have an event leader, plus at least one UK doctor with expedition medicine training, who will be with you the whole time.