Pantiacolla Tours (Plateros 360, Cusco, tel. 084/23-8323, www.pantiacolla.com, five days/four nights: US$1,295 pp) was started in 1991 by conservationist Gustavo Moscoso, who was born in Boca Manu, and his Dutch wife, biologist Marianne van Vlaardingen.
Pantiacolla offers a series of highly recommended camping trips into Parque Nacional Manu, which are broken up with stays in rustic lodges. Pantiacolla operates a wooden lodge with shared bunkrooms in the cloud forest and a similarly rustic tented camp near Cocha Salvador.
The couple also operates the nearby Yine Project, one of Peru’s more successful community-based tourism efforts. Working with the Yine Indians in the community of Diamante, Pantiacolla has built an attractive and rustic wooden lodge that is a four hour walk from Diamante. Guests spend time with villagers, participate in traditional art workshops, and learn how to canoe with the expert Yine boatsmen.
Far from the staged village visits offered by Iquitos lodges, the Yine Project projects a realistic view of a people who are caught between their traditional ways and the encroachments of modern society. Pantiacolla also offers seven-day trips and nine-day trips, with an option to visit the large macaw clay lick downriver from Boca Manu.
© Ross Wehner and Renée del Gaudio from Moon Peru, 3rd Edition