Just 3.5 hours northeast of Cusco—via a spectacular drive through the snow-capped Andes—Wayqecha Cloud Forest Biological Station is one of the world’s best sites to explore the lush cloud forest ecosystem bordering Manu National Park. Situated where the eastern slopes of the Andes meet the Amazon lowlands, the cloud forest absorbs moisture from passing clouds and is often blanketed in mist and fog. The constant supply of moisture allows a remarkable diversity of plants to grow here, which in turn supports thriving populations of birds, amphibians, and mammals.
The 1,400-acre property serves as a protective buffer for Manu National Park, located immediately across the road. At Wayqecha, explore over nine miles of trails and see where the Andean grasslands transition into lush cloud forests and montane forests below. Winding through elfin forest, you can have close encounters with tanager flocks, maybe sighting a Grass Green or Golden-collared. Listen for the endemic but fairly common Red-and-white Antpitta, or a Marcapata Spinetail. Maybe catch sight of the recently seen Orange-breasted Falcon.
Max occupancy 18 (3 per cabin), minimum stay 1 night. Children must be accompanied by their parent(s) but are welcome throughout Wayqecha. Children under age 13 are eligible for a discounted stay.
Limited internet is available in the dining hall during evening hours. Smoking is prohibited indoors.
Wayqecha is not handicap accessible; paths include steps fashioned from a variety of materials including loose gravel, cement, or dirt. Physical limitations should be considered when contemplating hikes or other excursions.
Meals include local, fresh Peruvian cooking, with some ingredients grown on site in the kitchen garden. If you have special meal requirements (vegetarian, gluten free, etc.) please inform the reservation staff prior to your arrival to the station. Given the location of stations, it may be difficult to accommodate all dietary preferences and the variety of food may be limited.
All in-country transportation will be arranged, including flights, shuttles/other vehicles, and river transport by boat, as necessary. A 25% administrative fee will be charged for these or other logistical services performed in service of your trip. Our staff in Peru will meet you at the airport or dock to ensure a smooth next leg of your trip.
Guests must pay the full balance for their reservation no less than 30 days prior to their arrival. Refunds may be issued according to the following:
3 months prior to arrival – 100%
2 months prior to arrival – 50%
1 month prior to arrival – 0%
Wayqecha is located approximately 3.5 hours by road from Cusco. The road is paved for the first two hours of the journey, and the remainder is a winding dirt road. The picturesque drive passes through grasslands, several Andean communities, cultural sites, and the town of Paucartambo where you can buy fresh-made bread and fruits from area farmers.
We can arrange for a private vehicle with an experienced driver. If you are prone to motion sickness, you might consider taking medication such as Dramamine.
The elevation at Wayqecha is 9,880 feet, lower than the 11,500 feet in Cusco, but still high enough where you will feel easily winded when climbing trails and stairs. Keeping hydrated is important, as is rest and eating lightly. Acetazolamide (Diamox) is a recommended preventative medicine. Oxygen is available if needed.
The best time to visit our three lodges is May through November. At Wayqecha, the mean annual temperature is 54° F, with the daytime temperature generally in the 50s, with alternating sun, mist and rain throughout the day. The rainy season is roughly December through March. During the rainy season, the dirt/gravel road to Wayqecha can experience flooding causing significant delays that may necessitate shifting travel plans. However, the peak time for the blooming orchids is January through March.
We highly recommend that a guide accompany you throughout your trip. Please let us know at the time of your reservation if we can arrange one for you.
Visiting Wayqecha should be done at your own risk. You should schedule an appointment with a travel clinic at least four to six weeks prior to travel. We encourage talking with your doctor to decide what is most appropriate for you given your health history. Please see more information on our Traveler’s Health Info sheet.
Highlights of a stay at Wayqecha
- Over 200 birds listed
- Hot Showers/Private Baths
- 24-hr Internet
- Friendly Staff
- Local, fresh Peruvian cooking
- Canopy walkway, over 200 orchid species
Sounds of Wayqecha
What Travelers Say
Such a professional and friendly establishment. We dream of returning and bringing friends.
It has been a dream to visit the Peruvian cloud forest and to experience the bird life here. One recommendation: don’t leave without seeing a Grass-green Tanager!
The views were amazing, and the staff so friendly and helpful.
Thank you!!! What an inspiring place! The highlight of my vacation. Hope to have occasion to visit again
This is a perfect place for birders. Excellent service, food, environment, and birds! Keep this place forever!
A brilliant stay ― great birding, fantastic food and incredible scenery!
Everything from the birds to, the views to the room, food, and staff was excellent. I will never forget my time here, and the amazing trails with an abundance of various species of plants (bromeliads, orchids, ferns and more) and animals. I am eternally grateful for the experience that I had here at Wayqecha.
The people, accommodations, and divine scenery at Wayqecha blew me away. I feel so blessed to have experienced the mystical mountain magic that exists in this beautiful valley.
The hummingbirds and butterflies are plentiful here. I got to see three tinamous. Few places are more majestic, either day or night. The sky shows ten times more stars than I have ever seen before. The staff is amazingly friendly as well.