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ANDEAN BIRDING TOUR IN PERU, THE ENDEMICS

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This 20-day Andean Birding Tour focuses on finding some of Peru’s key endemic species.

According to the updated list of HBW/BirdLife International, Peru has 136 endemic species of birds. This tours focus on finding some of this peruvian endemic birds by intensely travelling the mountains of Peru.

The Andean birding tour begins on the western central Andes in Lima, around the Santa Eulalia valley and the coastal “Lomas” and marshes. Some of the specialties here are Surf Cinclodes, Coastal Miner, Rufous-breasted Warbling-finch, Black Metaltail, White-bellied Cinclodes, just to mention a few.

Then, we flight northwards to southern Cajamarca, to explore the Rio Marañon valley. First, we will explore the surrondings of the city of Cajamarca, looking for Grey-bellied Comet, Great Spinetail, Black-necked Woodpecker, or Buff-bridled Inca-finch. In the Marañon valley itself, we will be looking for specialties like Peruvian Pigeon, Yellow-faced Parrotlet, Grey-winged Inca-finch, Chestnut-backed Thornbird, and others.

After this, the Andean birding tour enters the eastern Andes, travelling around the cloud forests of Abra Patricia, into the forests of the valleys of the Mayo and Huallaga rivers. We expect to find up to 56 Peruvian endemics and another 57 range restricted species*. Main attractions in the area are the Marvelous Spatuletail, Long-whisketed Owlet, Johnson’s (Lulu’s) Tody-flycatcher, Black-bellied (Huallaga) Tanager, Koepcke’s Hermit.

In this trip, we will visit different kind of habitats, ranging from the dry Pacific desert on the central west coast, the dry high elevation grasslands of central Peru, to the humid mountain forests of Abra Patricia, along with the dry forests of the Marañon and Huallaga valleys.

* We consider “range restricted species” those species that can be found in small areas with unique habitats, shared with at least one contiguous country. Also, we count the species that have a relatively large distribution range but are rare in their very specific habitats.

The Andean birding tour is suited for intense birders, looking for the country’s endemic birds.

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 initiatives. If additionally, you wish to give a more generous donation, please send an email to wilson.diaz@greentours.com.pe

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Andean birding tour in Peru, the endemics
20 Days Tour Program
DAY 1: Lima

Arrival in Lima and transfer to the hotel in the Miraflores district.
Overnight at Hotel Casa Andina Standard***.

Meals: None.

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DAY 2: Lima

This morning we will take our way south of Lima for about one hour 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.
Then we drive southwards for another hour to the "Lomas de Asia Reserve", to look for Thick-billed Miner, Coastal Miner, Oasis Hummingbird, Collared Warbling-Finch; and, depending on the time of the year we could find Peruvian Sheartail and Raimondi’s Yellow-Finch. A common mammal in the area is the Vizcacha (Lagidium viscacia), a close relative to the Chinchilla.
After a picnic-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.
Overnight at Hotel Casa Andina Standard***.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic-lunch, dinner.

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DAY 3: Lima: the Santa Eulalia valley

Early morning drive for about two hours eastwards to the Santa Eulalia valley, on the western Andean foothills.
The first stop is after the town of Santa Eulalia, where we will take a picnic breakfast. Possible birds in the area are Black-necked Woodpecker, Peruvian Pygmy-Owl, Oasis Hummingbird or Purple-collared Woodstar. Then we will drive up the mountains to look for Great Inca-Finch, Streaked Tit-spinetail, Rusty-crowned Tit-spinetail, Raimondi’s Yellow-Finch, and Peruvian Sheartail.
At higher elevations (between 2,300 and 3,100 meters) we will look for Rusty-bellied Brush-Finch, Black Metaltail, Pied-crested Tit-Tyrant, Black-necked Woodpecker, and Rufous-breasted Warbling-Finch (although this bird is very rare, but this is the most reliable place to look for it).
Then we will drive back to San Eulalia for the overnight.
Overnight at Cabañas de Peter lodge.

Meals: Picnic-breakfast, picnic-lunch, dinner.

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DAY 4: Lima: the Santa Eulalia valley

Early morning drive for about three hours up the Santa Eulalia valley to an elevation of 3,870 meters to look for White-cheeked Cotinga. Other possibilities in this area are Andean Condor, Rusty-crowned Tit-spinetail, Giant Hummingbird, Black Metaltail, Golden-spotted Ground-Dove, among others.
Then we drive to lake Millpo to look for Giant Coot, Andean Goose, and Andean Gulls. We will take our picnic-lunch around this area.
Not far from here we will star to look for Puna Snipe, Buff-breasted Earthcreeper, Striated Earthcreeper, Junin Canastero, Streak-throated Canastero, Dark-winged Miner, Yellow-bellied Siskin, Black Siskin, and more.
Then we will cross the mountain pass at an elevation of 4,800 meters, as we descent the other slope of the mountain range we will be looking for White-bellied Cinclodes, White-winged Diuca-Finch (sub-species magnirostre), Grey-breasted and Rufous-bellied Seedsnipes, Puna Tinamou, Taczanowski’s Ground-Tyrant, Diademed Plover, Black-breasted Hillstar, and Olivaceous Thornbill.
Overnight at a small hostel in the town of San Mateo.

Meals: Picnic-breakfast, picnic-lunch, dinner.

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DAY 5: San Mateo - Lima - Cajamarca

Morning drive back to Lima, we will drive straight to the airport for the flight to the city of Cajamarca. Once in Cajamarca you will be transferred to the hotel.
Overnight at Hotel La Ensenada***.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

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DAY 6: Cajamarca

Morning drive to the town of Jesus, one of the few known places for the Great Spinetail. Other special birds here are Buff-briddle Inca-finch, Amazilia Hummingbird, Purple-collared Woodstar, Spot-throated Hummingbird, Black-necked Woodpecker, and Marañon Gnatcatcher.
Then we will drive towards the Chonta valley, to look for the endemic Grey-bellied Comet, along with other birds like Black Metaltail, Rusty-crowned Tit-spinetail, Chestnut-naped Ground-Tyrant, Tyrian Metaltail, Andean Parakeet, Northern Andean Flicker, and more.
Afternoon visit to lake San Nicolas lake for another chance for Great Spinetail, along with other interesting birds like Andean Gull and Andean Duck.
Overnight at Hotel La Ensenada****.

Meals: Picnic-breakfast, lunch, dinner.

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DAY 7: Cajamarca

Early start birding the Abra Gavilán area, looking for Rufous-backed Inca-Finch and Unicolored Tapaculo. Other interesting birds here are Paramo Seedeater, Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant, Black-crested Tit-Tyrant, Purple-throated Sunangel, and Piura Hemispingus.
Then we drive for about two hours to the San Pablo area to look for Bay-crowned Brush-finch. Other interesting birds in the area are Pacific Parrotlet, Elegant Crescentchest, Chestnut-crowned Antpitta, Rufous-winged Tyrannulet, Streak-throated Bush-Tyrant, Three-banded Warbler, Collared Antshrike, Black-and-white Becard, and many more.
Overnight at Hotel La Ensenada****.

Meals: Picnic-breakfast, picnic-lunch, dinner.

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DAY 8: Cajamarca - Celendín

TToday we will drive northeast towards the city of Celendín, with a few stops looking for Andean birds like Rufous Antpitta (cajamarcae subspecies), Jelski’s Chat-Tyrant, Northern Mountain Cacique, Many-striped Canastero, Blue-and-Black Tanager, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager, Black-crested Tit-Tyrant, White-tailed Shrike-Tyrant, Rufous-webbed Bush-Tyrant, Paramo Pipit, Shining Sunbeam, and many others.
After having lunch in Celendín, we will drive to the small town of El Utco, to look for the endemic Chestnut-backed Thornbird.
Overnight in Celendín.

Meals: Picnic breakfast, lunch, dinner.

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DAY 9: Celendín - Leymebamba

This morning we will enter the Río Marañon valley. The first stop is at El Limón, to look for Grey-winged Inca-Finch, Marañon Thrush, Andean Emerald, Tumbes Tyrannulet, Ecuadorian Ground-Dove, Marañon Gnatcatcher, Lesser Goldfinch, Fasciated Wren, and Streaked Saltator.
At lower elevations, we could find Peruvian Pigeon, Yellow-faced Parrotlet, Buff-bridle Inca-Finch, Yellow-tailed Oriole, and Black-necked Woodpecker.
After crossing the Marañon river we will gain altitude again, as we get into more humid areas, we will start to look for Coppery-naped Puffleg, Slate-throated Whitestart, Yungas Pygmy-Owl, Blackish Tapaculo, White-chinned Thistletail, White-throated and White-banded Tyrannulets, and more.
After the mountain pass of Calla Calla (also known as Barro Negro), we will be looking for Coppery Metaltail, Neblina Tapaculo, Large-footed Tapaculo, Superciliared Hemispingus, Moustached Flowerpiercer, Russet-mantled Softtail, Rainbow Starfrontlet, Mountain Velvetbreast, Purple-throated Sunangel, Purple-backed Thornbill, Speckle-faced Parrot, White-browed Spinetail, and many more.
Overnight at hotel Casona de Leymebamba.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic-lunch, dinner.

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DAY 10: Leymebamba - Huembo

In the morning we will drive along the Río Atuén valley for about 20 minutes to look for Southern Tawny Antpitta and Andean Condors, a couple of these birds is roosting in the cliffs by the valley. Other possibilities in this valley are Rufous-breasted Antpitta, Russet-mantled Softtail, Unstreaked Tit-Tyrant, Peruvian Citrine Warbler, Golden-headed Quetzal, Andean Guan, Masked Trogon, Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Slaty-backed Chat-Tyrant, Slaty-backed Nightingale-thrush, Andean Slaty Thrush, Golden-browed Chat-Tyrant, Grey-breasted Mountain-toucan, and many more.
After lunch we will drive along the Utcubamba river towards our next lodge in Huembo.
Overnight at Huembo lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic-lunch, dinner.

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DAY 11: Huembo - Abra Patricia

Huembo Conservation Center is a nature reserve created to protect the endemic Marvelous Spatuletail hummingbird, others hummingbirds attending the feeders here are Andean Emerald, Brown Violetear, White-bellied Hummingbird, Purple-throated Woodstar, Purple-throated Sunangel, White-bellied Woodstar. The forest inside the reserve is good for Black-billed Toucanet, Speckled-faced Parrot, White-sided Flowerpiercer, Northern Rufous-capped Antshrike, Silver-backed Tanager, and many others.
After lunch we will drive up a side road for about 15 minutes and then walk down the road looking for Peruvian Citrine Warbler, Sickled-winged Guan, Lacrimose Mountain-tanager, Pale-eyed Thrush, and many more. Then we will go straight to our next lodge at the famous Abra Patricia.
We will arrive to the Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge at by the end of the afternoon, In the gardens of the lodge you will have the time to seat comfortably and enjoy the myriad of hummingbirds coming to the feeders: Emerald-bellied Puffleg, Green Violetear, Long-tailed Sylph, Speckled Hummingbird, White-bellied Woodstar, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Collared Inca, and many more.
Overnight at Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

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DAY 12: Abra Patricia

This morning we will try our chances at the antpitta feeding station, where the regular visitor is Chestnut Antpitta, a rare endemic bird of these mountains. Not far is the Rusty-tinged Antpitta feeding station, the only place where we will have some chances to see this secretive bird.
Then, we will walk the “Grallaria trail” that starts in the upper part of the lodge and goes down the hill for about two and a half hours. The trail goes through humid mountain forest where birds like Sharpe’s Wren, Chestnut-crested Cotinga, Bicolored Antvireo, White-fronted Nunbird, Golden-headed Quetzal, are quite common.
In the afternoon we can walk around the parking lot, looking for Lulu’s (Johnson’s) Tody-Flycatcher, Yellow-Scarfed Tanager, Grass-green Tanager, Black-throated Tody-tyrant, Rufous Spinetail, Drab Hemispingus, and many more.
Overnight at Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

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DAY 13: Abra Patricia: Fundo Alto Nieva

Today we spend the morning at the hummingbird feeders and the trails around the main house at Fundo Alto Nieva. Usual visitors to the feeders are Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Royal Sunangel, Booted Racket-tail, Greenish Puffleg, Rufous-vented Whitetip, and White-tailed Hillstar. The trails around the main house in Alto Nieva are good to look for Rufous-vented Tapaculo, Yellow-throated Tanager, Bar-winged and Grey-breasted Wood-wrens, and the rare Cinnamon-breasted Tody-tyrant.
We will drive back to the Owlet Lodge for lunch.
In the afternoon we will drive back down the road again to look for mixed species flocks with Flame-faced Tanager, Metallic-green Tanager, Blue-browed Tanager, Beryl-spangled Tanager, and more. White-capped Tanagers might also be in the area.
Then we will enter Fundo Alto Nieva again, this time for a visit to the Ochre-fronted Antpitta feeding station. Before hiking back to the car, we will spend a couple of hours looking for the legendary Long-whiskered Owlet. Since this is a very rare bird, we should keep our expectations low for this bird.
Overnight at Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

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DAY 14: Alto Mayo reserve

This morning we will explore the Alto Mayo reserve. This is located at a lower elevation than Abra Patricia and holds a different set of birds.
At the Mirador area we will look for birds like Subtropical Cacique, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Sickled-winged Guan, Bar-winged Wood-wren, Andean Solitare, Metallic-green Tanager, Blue-browed Tanager, and Yellow-throated Tanager.
We will drive back to the lodge at around noon.
Afternoon walk along the “Tino trail”, looking for birds like Masked Trogon, Yungas Pygmy-Owl, Variable Antshrike, White-backed Fire-eye, and flocks of tanagers with Golden-naped, Beryl-spangled, Saffron-crowned and Flame-faced Tanagers. More difficult to find, but yet possible, are mammals like Yellow-tailed Wooly-Monkey, Kinkajou, and Andean Night-Monkey.
Overnight at Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

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DAY 15: Abra Patricia - Moyobamba

Today we will drive to the Rio Mayo Valley.
The first stop is around El Afluente, looking for birds like Slaty Antwren, Rufous-crested Tanager, Chestnut-crowned Gnateater, Bronze-green Euphonia, Marble-faced Bristle-tyrant, Olive-chested Flycatcher, Yellow-throated, Cuvier’s, and Yellow-ridged Toucans, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Golden Tanager, Blue-cowled (Versicolored) Barbet, Equatorial Greytail, and much more.
At the “Arena Blanca Reserve” where the hummingbird feeders can produce Reddish Hermit, Blue-fronted Lancebill, Black-throated Brilliant, Rufous-crested Coquette, Blue-tailed Emerald, Wire-crested Thorntail, Many-spotted Hummingbird, and another 15 more species of hummingbirds. The Tinamou feeders are usually visited by Cinereous and Little Tinamous, along with Rufous-breasted Wood-quail and Orange-billed Sparrow. Other interesting birds in the area are Huallaga (Black-bellied) Tanager, Northern Chestnut-tailed Antbird, Peruvian Antwarbler, and flocks of Tanagers.
On our way to Moyobamba we will make a couple of stops for Pale-eyed Blackbird, Chestnut-bellied Seed-Finch, Ocellated Crake, and Masked Duck.
We will be arriving to our next lodge by the end of the day.
Overnight at Waqanki Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic-lunch, dinner.

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DAY 16: Moyobamba

Early morning visit to Punta de Tahuishco, some 5 minutes from the hotel. The place is good for Blue-headed Parrot, Lettered Aracari, Yellow-browed Tody-flycatcher, Pale-breasted Thrush, Blue-necked Tanager, and more.
Then, visit to the Waqanki hummingbird feeders, where the usual visitors are Black-throated Hermit, White-necked Jacobin, Fork-tailed Woodnymph, White-chinned Sapphire, the fantastic Rufous-crested Coquette, and another 20 species. The forest around the feeders can also produce Tataupa Tinamou, Green-backed Trogon; mixed flocks of tanagers with Paradise, Black-bellied, Blue-necked, Guira, Golden, and many other tanagers; Short-tailed Pygmy-Tyrant and Mishana Tyrannulet are also possible.
In the afternoon, we will make a short hike to visit a lek of Band-tailed Manakin. Several species of tanagers are also possible in this area.
Overnight at Waqanki Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

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DAY 17: Moyobamba - Tarapoto

In the morning we will go to Morro de Calzada, where we look for Fiery-capped Manakin, Ringed Kingfisher, White-shouldered Tanager, White-eyed Parakeet, Lafresnaye’s Piculet, Cobalt-winged Parakeet, Swallow Tanager, Chestnut-eared Aracari, and many more.
Rest of the morning exploring the rice fields of the Mayo valley, looking for birds like Pale-eyed Blackbird, Point-tailed Palmcreeper, Rufous-fronted Thornbird, Chestnut-bellied Seedfinch, Red-capped Cardinal, Spotted Rail, Paint-billed Crake, and more.
After lunch we will be transferred to the city of Tarapoto, with a short stop at Quiscarrumi bridge to look for a colony of Oilbirds that live under the bridge.
Overnight at hotel La Patarashca***.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

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DAY 18: Tarapoto

This morning we will drive for about 30 minutes to the mountains of Cordillera Escalera Reserve. The area is a good area to look for Wattled Guan, Chestnut-tipped Toucanet, Maroon-tailed Parakeet, Dotted Tanager, Plumbeous Euphonia, Striolated Puffbird, Lanceolated Monklet, Blackish Pewee, and many more.
In the afternoon we will visit the Koepcke’s Hermit Conservation Center, another private reserve created to protect the endemic hummingbird Koepcke’s Hermit. The bird is easy to see at the feeders inside the reserve along with other hummingbirds like Gould’s Brilliant, Black-throated Brilliant, Black-throated Mango, and more. A walk on the trails near the hummingbird feeders can produce Pale-tailed Barbthroat, Golden-headed Manakin, White-plumed Antbird, and probably a Long-tailed Potoo that has been seen roosting in the area several times per year.
Overnight at hotel La Patarashca***.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic-lunch, dinner.

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DAY 19: Tarapoto

Early start to drive south of Tarapoto, to the Upaquihua valley. This is the only place in Peru where Planalto Hermit and Ashy-headed Greenlet can be found. Other possible interesting birds in the area are Northern Slaty Antshrike, Rufous-fronted Thornbird, Plain-crowned Spinetail, Sulphur-bellied Tyrant-manakin, White-flanked Antwren, Rufous Casiornis, and more.
We will have lunch at Pumarinri lodge, located by the Huallaga river. We will spend the afternoon birding around the lodge, possible birds around the lodge are Black-fronted Nunbird, Cinnamon-throated Woodcreeper, Ferruginous Pygmy-owl, Blue-crowned Trogon, Swallow-winged Puffbird, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Riparian Antbird, Spangled Cotinga, Purple-throated Cotinga, and much more.
Overnight at hotel La Patarashca***.

Meals: Picnic breakfast, lunch, dinner.

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DAY 20: Tarapoto

Drive to the airport at proper time for your flight to Lima.

Meals: Breakfast.

PRICES INCLUDE:
  • Lodging as described (some lodges, hotels, might changed depending on room's availabilty)
  • Ground transportation and driver throughout the tour
  • English speaking bird guide
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All entrance fees for nature reserves
  • Drink water supply and snacks available in the car during the whole trip
  • 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.

See our Bookings Terms and Conditions
PRICES
Per pax based
on double occupancy:
$ 4,290.oo
Single Suppl.:
$ 515.oo
ABOUT THE TRIP
Duration: 20 Days
Fixed Departure:
August 10th 2021
August 9th 2022 (price TBC)
--
Bookings close 90 days prior to departure
Group Size: 4 pax

Private departures under request, ask for a quotation. We have a special discount if you travel between January and June 2021

Do you have any question?
TRAVEL TIPS & RECOMMENDATIONS
Weather: Most days in the Andes will be dry and not very cold, with a mixture of sunshine and overcast conditions. In the Abra Patricia area conditions are humid and warm during the day, and slightly cold at night. The Tarapoto area is warm and humid.
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 all cities. All lodges do have electricity.
Physical effort: People should be in good physical condition to do short hikes in the mountains at high elevations (4,800 meters, or about 15,800 feet). Also, people should be able to walk on rough, steep terrain for up to 4 hours.