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CURASSOW QUEST IN NORTHERN PERUVIAN AMAZONIA

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Curassows are large Cracids (related to Guineafowls and Phaesants) of the Neotropical woodlands. Due to intensive hunting, these birds tend to be shy and, as a result, they are very difficult to find. This trip focus on finding two of this elusive birds in northern Peruvian Amazonia. First, we flight to the city of Iquitos for 5 nights at the Explornapo Lodge and the Amazon Conservatory for Tropical Studies (ACTS) Research Station, both located near the Napo river. Here we will look for the Nocturnal Curassow (our departure dates have been carefully chosen in order to be at the right place when the chances to heard the birds calling are higher (the days around New Moon between June and July, when the nights should be dark but clear). Then we will move up the Amazon River to the Muyuna Lodge, located on the southern bank of the river. The varzea forests near this lodge are the best place in Peru to look for the very rare Wattled Curassow. Before leaving Amazonia we will spend a couple of days birding the Alpahuayo-Mishana National Reserve, looking for specialties like Ancient Antwren, Zimmer’s Tody-tyrant, Pompadour Cotinga, or Guyanan (Iquitos) Gnatcatcher.

As a bonus, at the beginning of the trip we include a day for birding around Lima, we don’t want you to miss sights of Humboldt Penguins, Peruvian Thick-knee, or Inca Terns!

Birding and conservation: Cheqa Peru SRL, owner of Green Tours, will donate 50 US$ of its benefits per participant to “Asociación Green Tours” to support local conservation. If additionally, you wish to give a more generous donation, please send an email to wilson.diaz@greentours.com.pe

DAY 1
DAY 2
DAY 3
DAY 4, 5
DAY 6
DAY 7
DAY 8
DAY 9
DAY 10
DAY 11
DAY 12
DAY 13, 14
DAY 15
Curassow quest in northern Peruvian Amazonia
15 Days Tour Program
DAY 1: Lima

Arrival in Lima and transfer to the hotel at the airport.
Overnight at Wyndham Lima Airport Hotel****.

Meals: None.

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DAY 2: Lima - Iquitos

This morning we will take our way south of Lima for about two hours to the Pucusana fishing port where we will take a boat to search for Humboldt Penguin, Inca Tern, Peruvian and Blue-footed Boobies, Guanay and Red-legged Cormorants, and Surf Cinclodes. After lunch we will drive back to Lima, with a stop at the Villa Marshes, a protected area near the Pacific Ocean that is good for Great Grebe, White-tufted Grebe, Peruvian Thick-knee, Many-colored Rush-Tyrant, Wren-like Rushbird, Grassland Yellow-Finch, and lots of shorebirds.
Then we will be transferred to the airport to catch a flight to the city of Iquitos.
Overnight in Iquitos.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

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DAY 3: Iquitos - Explornapo Lodge

This morning we will take a boat to go down the Amazon river to Explornapo Lodge. During the boat trip we shall look for common river birds like Yellow-billed and Large-billed Terns, Black Skimmer, Lesser-headed Vulture, or White-winged Swallow. Grey Dolphins are also easy to see from the boat; Pink Dolphins are also possible but rare.
On our way to our lodge we will explore a river island looking for specialties like Red-and-white Spinetail, Blue-winged Parrotlet, Pale-billed Hornero, Brownish Elaenia, Hooded Tanager, Bicolored and Pearly-breasted Conebills.
After lunch at Explorama Lodge we'll continue our boat trip to Explornapo Lodge.
Overnight at Explornapo lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

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DAY 4, 5: Explornapo Lodge

We'll expend two days exploring terra firme and varzea forests around the lodge. Interesting possibilities on terra firme are Purple-throated Cotinga, Double-banded Pygmy-Tyrant, Orange-eyed Flycactcher, Pink-throated Becard, Fulvous Shrike-Tanager, Flame-crested Tanager, Cinereous Antshrike, Bicolored Antbird, Wing-barred Piprites, Red-necked Woodpecker, Stripe Manakin, Golden-headed Manakin, and many others.
Varzea and transitional forests offers Lunulated Antbird, Black-spotted Bare-eye, Silvered Antbird, Purplish Jacamar, White-chinned Jacamar, Cream-colored Woodpecker, Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Striped Woodcreeper, Long-billed Woodcreeper, and many others.
Overnight at Explornapo lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

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DAY 6: Explornapo lodge - ACTS research station

This morning we will walk to the Amazon Conservatory for Tropical Studies research station (ACTS), this place offers the same facilities than Explornapo and it will take us about two hours to get there, of course with a lot of birds on the way like Yellow-billed Jacamar, Black-tailed Trogon, Lanceolated Monklet, Rusty-breasted Monklet, and, if we get lucky enough, we could find an army-ant swarm with lots of antbirds and antwrens following it.
The main attraction of the ACTS is the canopy walkway, 500 meters long and 35 meters above the ground. This bridge gives the opportunity to see birds from an exceptional location.
At night we'll be making our first attempt for the Nocturnal Curassow. This night excursion will also provide opportunities to see Short-tailed Nighthawk, Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl, Long-tailed Potoo, or Crested Owl.
Overnight at ACTS.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

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DAY 7: ACTS research station

At dawn we'll be already at the canopy walkway, the first hours of the morning are the best time to be here, just before the sun heats the canopy. The myriad of canopy avifauna can include White-vented Euphonia, Paradise Tanager, Green-and-gold Tanager, Yellow-bellied Tanager, Short-billed Honeycreeper, Red-and-green Macaw, Maroon-tailed Parakeet, Sapphire-rumped Parrotlet, Many-banded Aracari, Golden-collared Toucanet, Bare-necked Fruitcrow, White-fronted Nunbird, Moustached Antwren, Paradise Jacamar, Yellow-throated Woodpecker, or Yellow-browed Tody-Flycatcher.
The terra firme forests around ACTS are exceptionally good for birds like Stripe Woodhaunter, Olive-back Foliage-gleaner, Ocelated Woodcreeper, White-chinned Woodcreeper, Plain-winged Antshrike, Black-throated Trogon, Great Jacamar, Large-headed Flatbill, Brightrumped Attila, Citron-bellied Attila, Musician Wren, and many others.
At night we can try again to look for Nocturnal Curassow if we failed to find it the previous night. This excursion also offers the chance to find other birds like Spectacled Owl, Great Potoo, Ladder-tailed Nightjar, or even Rufous Potoo.
Overnight at ACTS.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

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DAY 8: ACTS research station - Explornapo lodge

Last morning birding the forests around ACTS and the canopy walkway. After lunch we will walk back to Explornapo lodge for the overnight.
Overnight at ACTS.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

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DAY 9: Explornapo - Iquitos

This morning we will discover the successional forests of river islands, these exceptional habitats offer shelter to a set of special birds like Lesser Hornero, White-bellied Spintetail, Parker`s Spinetail, Black-and-white Antbird, Orange-headed Tanager, Lesser Wagtail-Tyrant, Riverside Tyrant, Castelnau's Antshrike, Ash-breasted Antbird, Leaden Antwren, Solitary Black Cacique, and many others.
After lunch we will be transferred to Iquitos. Today we're leaving the north bank of the Amazon river behind, and tomorrow we'll be heading up-stream the Amazon to explore the south bank of the river at Muyuna lodge, this is also the most accessible place to look for the rare Wattled Curassow and Boat-billed Heron.
Overnight in Iquitos.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

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DAY 10: Iquitos - Muyuna Lodge

In the morning we'll be transferred by boat to Muyuna lodge. We'll be arriving to the lodge just in time to enjoy lunch.
Then we will walk the terra firme forest just behind the lodge looking for interesting bids like Rufous-necked Puffbird, Dotted-backed Antibird, Grey-headed Tanager, or White-bearded Manakin.
At the end of the afternoon, just before heading back to the lodge, we'll do some night birding looking for Tropical Screech-Owl, Black-banded Owl, or Crested Owl.
Overnight at Muyuna Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

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DAY 11: Muyuna Lodge

This morning we'll be taking a boat very early to look for our second Curassow: the very rare Wattled Curassow. The vegetation along the river margins has some interesting birds like Anhinga, Agami Heron, Black-tailed Tityra, Masked Tityra, Scarlet-crowned Barbet, Hooded Tanager, Blue-and-yellow Macaw, Red-bellied Macaw, Dusky-headed Parakeet, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Bare-necked Fruitcrow, Plum-throated Cotinga, Cinnamon Attila, Masked Crimson Tanager, and many more.
We will be looking for the Wattled Curassow in the varzea forest, it is usually perched high in canopy. These forests can also hold Orange-winged Parakeet, Black-tailed Antbird, Plumbeous Antbird, Band-tailed Antbird, Dark-breasted Spinetail, Long-billed Woodcreeper. Rufescent Tiger-Herons and Muscovy Ducks can be seen near small oxbow lakes.
After lunch we'll be taking the boat again to explore the river margins where we could find Oriole Blackbird, Dusky-capped Flycatcher, Orange-headed Plushcrow, Plain-breasted Piculet, Greater Ani, Yellow-crowned Parrot, Green-and-Rufous Kingfisher.
At night we'll be birding from the boat to look for the elusive American Pygmy-Kingfisher and the rare Boat-billed Heron; Common and Great Potoos are also possible.
Overnight at Muyuna Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

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DAY 12: Muyuna Lodge - Iquitos

The terra firme forest behind the lodge is so diverse that deserves another visit, and in our last morning in Muyuna we will walk again inside this forest to look for more interesting birds like Bluish-slate Antwren, Plain-breasted Antshrike, Fuscous Flycatcher, Royal Flycatcher, Zimmer's Woodcreeper, Cinnamon-throated Woodcreeper, Dwarf Tyrant-manakin, Collared Puffbird, Blue-cheeked Jacamar, and much more.
After a farewell lunch we will be transferred to the hotel in Iquitos. You will have the late afternoon at leisure to visit the city.
Overnight in Iquitos.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

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DAY 13, 14: Iquitos

We will spend two days visiting the Alpahuayo-Mishana Reserve, a protected area well known for the quite important ornithological discoveries made here. Possible birds here are Ancient Antwren, Zimmer's Tody-tyrant, Pompadour Cotinga, Brown-banded Puffbird, Pied Puffbird, Brown Nunlet, Pearly Antshrike, Alpahuayo Antbird, Mishana Tyrannulet, Cinnamon-crested Spadebill, Black Bushbird, Orange-crowned Manakin, Iquitos Gnatcatcher, and many others.
Overnight in Iquitos.

Meals: Breakfast, boxed-lunch, dinner.

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DAY 15: Iquitos - Lima

Early transfer to the airport for the flight to Lima. In Lima we will leave you at the airport for your international connections.

Meals: Breakfast

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PRICES INCLUDE:
  • Lodging as described above
  • Private car and boat for all tours and transfers (except in Iquitos, where you will have a shared bus to get in and out of the river port, and a shared boat to get in and out of each lodge)
  • English speaking bird guide
  • All entrance fees for nature reserves
  • Applicable taxes, fees, and licenses
PRICES DOES NOT INCLUDE:
  • International or domestic airfares, airport departure taxes or visa fees, excess baggage charges, additional nights during the trip due to flight cancellations, alcoholic beverages or bottled water, snacks, insurance of any kind, laundry, phone calls or messages, reconfirmation of flights and items of personal nature.
If you want us to include the internal flights within Peru just let us know.
All itineraries are given as a guide only. Actual holiday content may vary according to the judgement of your guide, and elements beyond our control (eg weather).
Some hotels and lodges might change depending on their room’s availability.
PRICES
Per pax based
on double occupancy:
$ 4,415.oo
Single Suppl.:
$ 560.oo
ABOUT THE TRIP
Duration: 15 Days
Fixed Departure:
May 29th 2019
June 27th 2019
--
Bookings close 90 days prior to departure
Group Size: 4 to 8 pax

Private departures under request, ask for a quotation

Do you have any question?
TRAVEL TIPS & RECOMMENDATIONS
Weather: Most days in Amazonia will be warm and humid, with a mixture of sunshine and overcast conditions. Some rain should be expected, from brief showers to sometimes extended periods of heavy rain.
Time Zone: Peru is 5 hours behind GMT. Also, it is in the same time zone as US Eastern Standard Time Zone and does not observe daylight-savings time.
Immunizations: Having a Yellow Fever vaccine at least 10 days before your trip is recommended but not mandatory.
Electricity: 220 volts in Lima and Iquitos. The lodges lack electricity but a generator is turned on once a day to recharge batteries for guests or lodge facilities. At night it is very dark, so we recommend good flashlights. Light is provided by numerous kerosene lamps and candles.
Physical effort: People should be in good physical condition to do hikes in the humid Amazonian forest for up to 4 hours. Also, people should be able to step in and out of boats and canoes with any problem.