Challenge level: 4 out of 5
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|9 September - 17 September 2023||On Sale|
For a limited time only, we're introducing £1 registration fees for all Dream Challenges in 2022 and 2023 and up to 15% off your tour costs for early 2023 challenges!*
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 will give 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 ride on the wild Madre de Dios River, a main tributary of the mighty River Amazon.
As if that’s not enough to get excited about, we'll have special chances to build shelters using only the resources provided by Mother Nature and spot the giant river otters playing in their beautiful jungle lake!
We'll end our adventure with a fantastic Celebration Dinner in the 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 Lima in Peru. We continue our journey with an internal flight to Cusco. Our local challenge leader welcomes us upon our arrival and we transfer to our hotel in the city.
Arriving in the evening, you'll have time to settle in and freshen up after your long journey, before we meet again for a short Challenge Briefing. Then it's to bed for a good night's sleep before our challenge begins tomorrow.
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 eastern slopes of the Andes, we hike through humid puna grassland, dotted here and there with orchids, ferns and bromeliads. The terrain will range from an old footpath down the mountains and a gravel road, which may be muddy if it's a rainy day.
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.
It will be slow going these next few days trekking in the lowland rainforest, through thick vegetation and possibly some roots underfoot to avoid, with a few creek crossings.
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!
This morning is free for you to spend as you wish in the amazing Inca capital of Cusco. To give you maximum flexibility on your free morning, your lunch is not included today so please make your own arrangements - a final chance to try more of the delicious local food.
We reunite in the afternoon and transfer to the airport for our internal flight from Cusco to Lima. From here, we board 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
The Amazon Wilderness Trek 2023 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 2023.
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.
Everyone who is at least 18 years old by the challenge date is more than welcome to join this awesome challenge. There is no maximum age limit. One of the amazing things about the challenge is that people of all ages will come together to do something very special.
If you know someone under 18 who would like to join the challenge with you, please get in touch with our team to discuss their participation. Simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01590 646410 (Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm).
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, due to the remote location, we may need to triple share on one or two of the nights.
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 £1,995 (ie. 50% of the fundraising target if you choose the Sponsorship option) cover:
In addition to paying your registration fee (£349) and either paying your challenge costs (£1,995) or raising the minimum sponsorship target, you'll need to budget for your:
The group size for this challenge will be no more than 18 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 a UK doctor with expedition medicine training, who will accompany the group at all times throughout the challenge, along with a team of experienced, outdoor remote first aid trained challenge guides.
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 a UK doctor with expedition medicine training and a team of outdoor remote first aid trained challenge guides, who will be with you the whole time,
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
On our first two days of trekking in the Andes/cloud forest, the terrain will range from an old footpath down the mountains to a gravel road, which may be quite muddy if it is a rainy day.
As we move into the more humid lower ground over the next few days, it will be slower going, with denser vegetation and possibly some roots underfoot to avoid.
At some points, we may have to cross little creeks, which means taking off your shoes or using rubber boots (we provide boots).