Birding and Inca culture: Cuzco and Machu Picchu

7-day tour

A relaxed 7-day “Birding and Inca Culture” tour in southern Peru. The tour focuses on the most iconic historic sites around Lima and Cuzco. These excursions are mixed with birding activities around the archaeological sites, along with visits to well-known birding spots in the Cuzco area.

First, the tour devotes a half day to visit the city of Lima. Of course, the city centre still preserves its colonial spirit in its buildings and streets. Moreover, we include a visit to the Larco Museum, Lima’s most important and impressive museum. The museum features exquisite art from the Incan and pre-Incan periods. In fact, the most remarkable artefacts are the silver and gold artwork pieces.

Then, the “Birding and Inca Culture” tour explores the rich cultural heritage of the city of Cuzco and its surroundings. Upon arriving in Cuzco, the tour visits the City Cathedral and the Temple of the Sun. Other important historic site is the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, built with immense stones weighing up to 120 tons. Also, we visit the archaeological sites of Pisac and Ollantaytambo; and the Incan salt pans of Maras.

Of course, the itinerary includes ample time for birdwatching at well-known birding spots around Cuzco. The tour visits lake Huacarpay, the Sacsayhaman fortress, the humid forest around Machu Picchu, and the road to Abra Malaga. Important bird species for this trip are Rusty-fronted Canastero, Bearded Mountaineer, Andean Gull, Giant Hummingbird, Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, White-tufted Sunbeam, just to mention a few. Expect to see about 200 bird species during this trip.

In brief, our “Birding and Inca Culture” tour offers a well-balanced experience of Peruvian culture and birdwatching.

Your holidays and nature conservancy: Cheqa Peru SRL, owner of Green Tours, will donate 50 US$ of its benefits per participant to association “Plantando Futuro” to support local nature conservancy initiatives.

Details and itinerary


Reference price per person, base on a group of 4 people and on double occupancy:

US$ 2,100.oo

Single supplement: US$ 350.oo

Private departures only.

All itineraries are fully customizable to fit your requirements.


Duration: 7 days

Best time to travel: April through December.

Group size: 1 to 8 people


Arrival in Lima and transfer to the hotel.

Overnight at a 3 stars hotel in Lima.

Meals: None.

Lima – Cuzco

We start the tour with a private excursion to the city centre of Lima. The car will take us to the Lima Historical Centre where we can visit the Main Square, enjoying views of the XVIIc buildings, palaces, and churches. Later we will enjoy a welcome lunch at the Larco Museum restaurant. The museum exhibits one of the most spectacular collection of silver and gold artifacts from pre-Incan times.

Then we will take a late afternoon flight to Cuzco.

Overnight at a 3 stars hotel in Cuzco.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch.

Birding and culture Cuzco Machu Picchu - City center


First, we will make a city tour exploring the most important spots of the city centre. We visit the Temple of the Sun (Qoricancha), the Cathedral church, and a short walk on the narrow streets of the San Blas neighbourhood.

Then, we will have lunch at a traditional restaurant in the city centre.

Afternoon visit to the fortress of Sacsayhuaman, one of the most sacred Inca places in the city. The walls of Sacsayhuaman have been built with massive stones, some of them weighing more than 120 tones. We will finish the day birding around Sacsayhuaman looking for specialties like Tacksanowski’s Tinamou, Andean Flicker, Peruvian Sierra-finch, Rust-and-yellow Tanager, and many more.

Overnight at a 3 stars hotel in Cuzco.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch.

Birding and culture Cuzco Machu Picchu - Giant Hummingbird

Cuzco – Ollantaytambo

Early breakfast. Morning birding around lake Huacarpay, south of Cuzco. Interesting birds here are Rusty-fronted Canastero, Andean Negrito, Andean Gull, Puna Teal, Chilean Flamingo, Giant Hummingbird, Spot-winged Pigeon, Yellow-winged Blackbird, and much more.

Then we drive straight to the Sacred Valley of the Incas. First stop at the archaeological site of Pisac, which is made up of platforms, aqueducts, paths associated with walls and doorways, canalized water channels. In the area, we might see interesting birds like Bearded Mountaineer, Hooded Siskin, Black-backed Grosbeak, Creamy-creasted Spinetail, and others. We also visit the famous Pisac artisans’ market.

Lunch in the town of Urubamba.

Afternoon visit of the Ollantaytambo archaeological site, an important administrative and religious Inca town.

Overnight at a 3 stars hotel in the town of Ollantaytambo.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch.

Machu Picchu

We take a morning train to the town of Aguas Calientes. After check-in at the hotel we explore the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. It will take us about two hours to walk around Machu Picchu. Then, we return to Aguas Calientes for lunch.

We spend the afternoon birding the forest around Aguas Calientes, expecting to see birds like Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Andean Motmot, Mitred Parakeet, Torrent Duck, Green-and-white Hummingbird, White-capped Dipper, and more.

We return to Ollantaytambo late in the afternoon.

Overnight at a 3 stars hotel in the town of Ollantaytambo.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch.

Birding and culture Cuzco Machu Picchu - White-tufted Sunbeam

Ollantaytambo – Cuzco

Morning birding on the road to Abra Malaga, specifically at Las Peñas area. Important birds here are White-tufted Sunbeam, Creamy-crested Spinetail, Chestnut-breasted Mountain-finch, Great Sapphirewing, and a lot more.

Lunch in the town of Urubamba.

Afternoon visit to the Incan salt pans of Maras. Then we will drive to the hotel in Cuzco.

Overnight at a 3 stars hotel in Cuzco.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch.

Birding and Culture Cuzco Machu Picchu

Cuzco – Lima

Morning at leisure to explore the city on your own.

Then, in the afternoon, we will take you to the airport for the flight back to Lima.

Meals: Breakfast.



Cuzco is at moderate high elevation. Consequently, the weather conditions range from warm to decidedly cold at the highest altitudes. Also, it might rain at times.

Time Zone

Peru is 5 hours behind GMT. Also, it is in the same time zone as US Eastern Standard Time Zone. Additionally, it does not observe daylight-savings time.


Having a Yellow Fever vaccine at least 10 days before your trip is recommended, but not mandatory.


220 volts in Lima and Cuzco.

Physical effort

People should be in good physical condition in order that they can walk on moderate rough terrain for about 2 hours. Rubber tipped walking sticks are welcome.


  • Lodging as described above.
  • Ground transportation and driver throughout the tour.
  • English speaking bird and cultural guide in Cuzco.
  • All entrance fees for nature reserves, archaeological sites and museums.
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Train tickets to Machu Picchu.
  • Applicable taxes, fees, and licenses.


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 (e.g. weather).

See our Booking Terms and Conditions.

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