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BIRDING PERU AND MACHU PICCHU TOUR

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15-day Birding Peru and Machu Picchu tour combines intense birding and the charming sights of Machu Picchu. With our Birding Peru and Machu Picchu tour, we have designed a birding itinerary for those serious birders who want to be birding all the time, but are willing to devote a full day to experience the magic of Machu Picchu. Certainly, we will spend some time looking for birds like Inca Wren or flocks of tanagers inside Machu Picchu.

First, the tour goes to the eastern slope of the Andes, in Cuzco, along the famous “Manu road”. Here we will stay at the delightful Wayqecha lodge, to bird the high elevation grasslands and the elfin forests of the Manu National Park. Also, we will spend a few nights at Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge, famous for its Cock-of-the-Rock lek and its bird feeders that attract several species of birds. To finish birding the Manu road, we stay at the pleasant Villa Carmen Biological Station. Since this lodge is located at a lower altitude than the other lodges, the bird diversity is much higher.

After spending 10 days on the Manu road, we will drive back to Cuzco for the Machu Picchu experience. We finish the trip by visiting the Abra Malaga area, famous for its great diversity of Polylepis specialists like Royal Cinclodes or White-browed Tit-spinetail.

The Birding Peru and Machu Picchu tour is ideal for those looking for fantastic birds, scenery, a bit of history, and of course, birding in Cuzco, the great capitol of the Incas.

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 initiatives.

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DAY 1
DAY 2
DAY 3
DAY 4
DAY 5
DAY 6, 7
DAY 8
DAY 9, 10
DAY 11
DAY 12
DAY 13
DAY 14
DAY 15
Birding Peru and Machu Picchu tour
15 Days Tour Program
DAY 1: Lima

Arrival in Lima. Overnight at Wyndham Airport Hotel.

Meals: None.

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DAY 2: Lima

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 Booby, Red-legged Cormorant, and Surf Cinclodes. In the afternoon we will drive back to Lima, with a stop at the Villa Marshes, a protected area that is good for Peruvian Thick-knee, Great Grebe, Many-colored Rush-tyrant, White-tufted Grebe, Wren-like Rushbird and lots of shorebirds. Then we will be transferred back to the hotel.
Overnight at Wyndham Lima Airport Hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

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DAY 3: Lima - Cuzco - Wayqecha Lodge

Early morning flight to Cuzco. After arrival in Cuzco we'll move straight to lake Huacarpay, this is a reliable place to see typical waterfowl like White-tufted Grebe, Puna Teal, Andean Duck, and others. The vegetation around the lake holds populations of Yellow-winged Blackbird, Andean Negrito, and Bearded Mountaineer.
Then we will be transferred straight to our next lodge inside the buffer zone of Manu Biosphere reserve. The birding adventure begins at the Acjanaco pass, where the high elevation forest holds a set of interesting birds like Masked Flowerpiercer, Scribble-tailed Canastero, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-tanager, Puna Thisteltail, Blue-backed Conebil, Golden-Collared Tanager, and much more.
Overnight at Wayqecha Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic-lunch, dinner.

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DAY 4: Wayqecha Lodge

The elfin forests of Wayqecha are good for Andean Guan, Amethyst-throated Sunagel, Grey-breasted Mountain-toucan, White-collared Jay, Parodi's Hemispingus, Grass-green Tanager, Golden-collared Tanager, Blue-backed Conebill, Black-faced Brush-finch, and many others.
At lower altitudes the cloud forests offer a different set of birds: Golden-plumed Parakeet, Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Masked Trogon, Barred Fruiteater, Black-streaked Puffbird, Inca Flycatcher, and much more.
Overnight at Wayqecha Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

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DAY 5: Wayqecha Lodge - Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge (COTR)

After breakfast we will drive down the road towards our next lodge located at 1,400 meters of elevation. At these lower elevations (between 2,600 and 1,500 meters) the cloud forests offer a different set of birds: Black-and-Chestnut Eagle, Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Marcapata Spinetail, Band-tailed Fruiteater, Handsome Flycatcher, and much more.
Overnight at Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

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DAY 6, 7: Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge

Two days exploring the cloud forests around Cock-of-the-Rock lodge, located at an altitude of 1,400 meters. The main attraction here is the Andean Cock-of-the Rock lek. In the gardens of the lodge it's not difficult to find Versicolored Barbet and Rufescent Screech-Owl. The forest around the lodge has a high diversity of birds: Yellow-breasted Antwren, Ash-browed Spinetail, Yungas Manakin, Ornate Antwren, Ornate Flycatcher, and lots of mixed species flocks. The complete list for this area has about 500 species.
Overnight at Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

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DAY 8: Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge - Villa Carmen lodge

Today we leave early to reach lower elevations, the mountain and lowland forests of the lower section of the road have a different set of birds than the previous sections. Along the road we could find Blue-headed Macaw, Buff-tailed Sicklebill, Fine-barred Piculet, Fiery-capped Manakin, Golden-collared Honeycreeper, Manu Antbird, among others.
Villa Carmen Lodge is strategically located at an altitude of 520 meters and holds different types of habitats that you will explore the next days.
Overnight at Villa Carmen Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

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DAY 9, 10: Villa Carmen lodge

There are nearly 50 Km of trails around the lodge going through mature and secondary forest, bamboo thickets and around lakes.
The trails near the lodge with bamboo patches and second grow vegetation are good for Blue-headed, and Red-and-green Macaws. Also, hummingbirds like Rufous-crested Coquette, Reddish Hermit, White-bearded Hermit, and Golden-tailed Sapphire can be found around the garden.
Bamboo specialists are also possible like Bamboo Antshrike, Red-billed Scythebill, White-cheeked Tody-tyrant, or Flammulated Bamboo-tyrant. Among the most important specialist in this bamboo vegetation are Black-throated Antbird, Chesnut-capped Puffbird, and Fine-barred Piculet.
The fishpond is good for Sunbittern, Purple Gallinule, Sungrebe, Rufescent Tiger-heron, Amazon Kingfisher among other species.
The complete list for the area has more than 600 species.
Overnight at Villa Carmen Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

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DAY 11: Villa Carmen - Wayqecha Lodge

We start to drive back to Cuzco today, with one night at Wayqecha lodge again. This will give us more chances to explore the cloud forest, looking for the birds we might have missed the previous days.
Overnight at Wayqecha Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic-lunch, dinner.

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DAY 12: Wayqecha Lodge - Cuzco - Ollantaytambo

Today we are taking the road straight back to Cuzco. We will be arriving in Cuzco by noon.
After lunch we will drive to our hotel in the town of Ollantaytambo, at the heart of the Sacred valley of the Incas. Birding around the hotel's garden can bring nice surprises like Great Sapphirewing, Giant Hummingbird, or Bearded Mountaineer.
Overnight in Ollantaytambo.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

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DAY 13: Machu Picchu

This morning we will have an early train departure to the town of Aguas Calientes, the entrance gate to Machupicchu. The habitat inside the archaeological site is good for Inca Wren. We will spend about two hours exploring the archaeological site of Machu Picchu.
In the afternoon we will spend about two hours birding the forest near Aguas Calientes looking for birds like Green-and-white Hummingbird, Andean Motmot, Ocellated Piculet, Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, and many more.
Then we will take our train back to Ollantaytambo
Overnight in Ollantaytambo.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

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DAY 14: Abra Málaga - Cuzco

Full day birding excursion to Abra Málaga pass. This is probably the best place to find Polylepys elfin forests specialists. The Málaga pass is located at an altitude of 4,230 meters. The first stops will be after the pass, where the humid mountains forests of the eastern slope are good for Puna Thistletail, Tit-like Dacnis, Parodi’s Hemismpingus, Urubamba Antpitta, or White-browed Conebill.
At the pass itself, we will be looking for White-browed Tit-spinetail, Ash-breasted Tit-tyrant, Stripe-headed Antpitta, Giant Conebill, and Royal Cinclodes.
By mid-afternoon we will drive to the city of Cuzco, during our descent from Abra Málaga we will make a few stops at some patches of semi-humid mountain scrub where will be looking for White-tufted Sunbeam, Creamy-crested Spinetail, and Chestnut-breasted Mountain-finch.
Overnight in Cuzco.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic-lunch, dinner.

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DAY 15: Cuzco - Lima

Morning at leisure to visit the city.
In the afternoon you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Lima.

Meals: Breakfast.

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PRICES INCLUDE:
  • Lodging as described above (some lodges, hotels, might change depending on room's availability)
  • Ground transportation and driver throughout the tour
  • English speaking bird guide
  • All entrance fees for nature reserves
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Drinking water supply available in the car during the whole trip
  • Train tickets to Machu Picchu
  • Applicable taxes, fees, and licenses
PRICES DOES NOT INCLUDE:
  • International or domestic flights, reconfirmation of flights, visa fees, airport taxes, excess luggage charges, additional nights during the trip due reasons beyond our control, bottled water, alcoholic beverages, snacks, laundry, phone calls or messages, any kind of travel insurance, 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:
$ 4,212.oo
Single Suppl.:
$ 580.oo
ABOUT THE TRIP
Duration: 15 Days
Fixed Departure:
August 9th, 2022
November 22nd, 2022
--
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 the Manu Road will be rather warm and humid, with a mixture of sunshine and overcast conditions. Some rain should be expected. In the Cuzco region conditions range from warm to decidedly cold at the highest altitudes. It might rain at times (or even snow at the highest altitudes).
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 Cusco. 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 mountains at elevations up to 4,200 meters (about 13,800 feet). Also, people should be able to walk on moderate rough, steep terrain for about 3 hours.