BIRDING IN SOUTHERN PERU TOUR, CUZCO AND MANU

Birding in southern Peru tour, Cuzco and Manu

19-day tour

This 19-day Birding in Southern Peru tour traverses the richest biodiverse region of the country. Peru is known for its incredible biodiversity; however, Peru is also rich in cultural heritage. Undoubtedly, the flagship of this heritage is Machu Picchu.

The Birding in Southern Peru tour begins birding nearby Machu Picchu and Abra Malaga. Of course, Abra Malaga is well-known for its special birds, for example, Royal Cinclodes, or White-browed Tit-spinetail. After that, we go into the eastern slope of the Andes, along the “Manu road”. First, we stop at the pleasant Wayqecha lodge. Here, we will be birding at high elevation grassland and elfin forest.

After that, we spend some time at Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge, where the hummingbird and tanager feeders are generally very active. Also, we visit a large Cock-of-the-Rock lek nearby the lodge.

We finish our adventure along the Manu road, by visiting the Villa Carmen Biological Station. Villa Carmen is located at a lower altitude than the other lodges, therefore, this is the most bird diverse place of the trip.

After exploring the Manu Road, the Birding in Southern Peru tour continues into the Manu lowlands. The first stop is at Tambo Blanquillo lodge. Here, the main attractions are the Macaw clay lick and the canopy tower.

Finally, we visit Los Amigos Biological Station for a few nights. They have a superb trail system, allowing to visit several kinds of habitats, for example bamboo patches, varzea forests, and terra firme.

The Birding in Southern Peru tour ends in the city of Puerto Maldonado, where we will take a flight back to Lima.

Additionally, we include a day for birding around Lima, to look for Humboldt Penguins and Inca Terns!

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

Details and itinerary

PRICES:

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

US$ 6,300.oo

Single supplement: US$ 420.oo

 

Private departures only.

All itineraries are fully customizable to fit your requirements.

ABOUT THE TRIP:

Duration: 19 days

Best time to travel: April through November

Group size: 1 to 8 people

DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS?
Lima

Arrival in Lima.

Overnight at Wyndham Lima Airport Hotel.

Meals: None.

Birding Peru Cuzco and Manu

Lima

First, the Andean Endemics tour will explore the Pacific coast nearby the Pucusana fishing port. Here, we will take a boat trip around the rocky shore, looking for Red-legged Cormorant, Humboldt Penguin, and Inca Tern.

Next, on the way back to Lima, we will stop at the Villa Marshes, to look for Peruvian Thick-knee, Many-colored Rush-Tyrant, and lots of shorebirds.

Overnight at Wyndham Lima Airport Hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Birding Peru Cuzco and Manu - Inca Tern

Lima – Cuzco – Ollantaytambo

Today we’ll be taking an early flight to Cuzco. Thus, we can be birding at lake Huacarpay in the morning. The lake is good for typical Andean waterbirds like Puna Teal, Silvery Grebe, Andean Duck. Also, there are other birds like Rusty-fronted Canastero, Andean Negrito, Bearded Mountaneer, and more.

Later, after lunch in the city center, we’ll drive to our hotel in the town of Ollantaytambo, at the heart of the Sacred valley of the Incas. There, the gardens of the hotel can bring nice surprises, notably, Giant Hummingbird, Great Sapphirewing, or Shining Sunbeam.

Overnight in Ollantaytambo.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Machu Picchu

First in the morning, we will take an early train for the town of Aguas Calientes, the entrance gate to Machupicchu. The habitat nearby the archaeological site is good to look for Inca Wren. Of course, we plan to spend about two hours exploring the archaeological site.

Next, we plan to spend about two hours birding the forest near Aguas Calientes. There, we will be looking for birds like Green-and-white Hummingbird, Andean Motmot, Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, and many more.

Later in the afternoon, we will take our train back to Ollantaytambo.

Overnight in Ollantaytambo.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Birding Peru Cuzco and Manu - Inca Wren

Abra Málaga – Cuzco

We will spend the full day birding around the Abra Málaga pass. First, we will stop after the mountain pass. Here, the humid mountains forests are good for Puna Thistletail, Urubamba Antpitta, and White-browed Conebill.

Then, at the mountain pass itself, at 4,200 meters of elevation, we will be looking for not only Ash-breasted Tit-tyrant, White-browed Tit-spinetail, Giant Conebill, but also we could spot a Royal Cinclodes.

Later, 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. There, we will be looking for Chestnut-breasted Mountain-finch, Creamy-crested Spinetail, and White-tufted Sunbeam.

Overnight in Cuzco.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic-lunch, dinner.

Cuzco – Manu Road

We start early today, in order to be on the Manu Road as early as possible. The birding adventure begins at the Acjanaco pass, where the elfin forest holds a set of interesting birds like Puna Thisteltail, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-tanager, Blue-backed Conebill, and much more

Overnight at Wayqecha Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic-lunch, dinner.

Birding Peru Cuzco and Manu - Grey-breasted Mountain-toucan

Wayqecha lodge

Once in Wayqecha, the elfin forests make birding even more intense. During our stay here, we could find Grey-breasted Mountain-toucan, Grass-green Tanager, Hooded Mountain-tanager, Golden-collared Tanager, and many others.

Then, we will go to lower elevations. There, the cloud forest offers a different set of birds, for example: Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Golden-plumed Parakeet, Long-tailed Sylph, Masked Trogon, Inca Flycatcher, Barred Fruiteater, and much more.

Overnight at Wayqecha Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge

We have two full days to explore the cloud forests around the Cock-of-the-Rock lodge. Here, the main attraction is the Cock-of-the Rock lek, located alongside the road, not far from the lodge. In the middle of lodge’s gardens it’s not difficult to find Versicolored Barbet and Rufescent Screech-owl. Additionally, the forest around the lodge has a high diversity of birds, including: Yellow-breasted Antwren, Yungas Manakin, Cerulean-capped Manakin, and lots of mixed species flocks. In fact, the complete list for this area has about 500 bird species.

Overnight at Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Birding Peru Cuzco and Manu - Andean Cock-of-the-Rock

Cock-of-the-Rock lodge – Villa Carmen lodge

Today, we leave early to reach lower elevations, so that we can seize de day. The mountain and lowland forests of the lower section of the road have a different set of birds from the previous sections. Therefore, the list includes birds like Orange-breasted Falcon, Blue-headed Parrot, Fine-barred Piculet, Fiery-capped Manakin, among others.

Later, we will arrive to Villa Carmen Lodge. The lodge is strategically located at an altitude of 520 meters, consequently, it holds different types of habitats that we will explore the next days.

Overnight at Villa Carmen Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Villa Carmen lodge

There are nearly 50 Km of trails around the lodge, going across mature and secondary forest, bamboo thickets, and around lakes.

Here, possible Bamboo specialists are Manu Antbird, Striated Antbid, Bamboo Antshrike, and White-cheeked Tody-tyrant.

Also, around the fishpond we could find Rufescent Tiger-heron, Sunbittern, Sungrebe, among other species.

Additionally, other interesting birds in the area are Black Hawk-eagle, Blue-crowned Trogon, Black-faced Dacnis, Golden-bellied Euphonia, and a lot more.

Overnight at Villa Carmen Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Villa Carmen – Tambo Blanquillo lodge

Today, we leave Villa Carmen and take a boat to enter the into Manu lowlands.

We will spend the night at the equally delightful Tambo Blanquillo Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic-lunch, dinner.

Tambo Blanquillo lodge

The Manu lowlands are considered a paradise for birders. Around the oxbow lakes, we could find Pale-eyed Blackbird, Spotted Tody-flycatcher, or Little Cuckoo. The Guadua bamboo patches are a very special habitat, usually occupied by species like Rufous-capped Nunlet, Peruvian Recurvebill, or Goeldi’s Antbird.

The forest along the river holds a huge diversity of birds. Among them, we could find different woodpeckers, woodcreepers, foliage-gleaners, tanagers, wrens, and others. In fact, possible special birds here are Pavonine Quetzal and Rufous-fronted Antthrush. Additionally, the canopy tower allows to have magnificent views of raptors, parrots, toucans, aracaris, flycatchers, tanagers, cotingas.

Definitively, one of the most spectacular experiences of Manu is the Parrot clay lick.  We might see interesting birds such as Blue-and-Yellow Macaw, Scarlet Macaw, Red-and-Green Macaw, Orange-cheeked Parrot, or Mealy Parrot.

Overnight at Tambo Blanquillo lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Birding Peru Cuzco and Manu - Manu parrot clay lick

Tambo Blanquillo – Los Amigos lodge

After breakfast, we will take a boat to Los Amigos lodge.

Once at the lodge, we will focus on exploring terra firme habitats. In particular, we will be looking for birds like Grey-headed Kite, Barred-forest Falcon, White-collared Puffbird, Black-faced Cotinga, and more. Immediately after dinner, we can get out to look for owls like Crested Owl and Tropical Screech-owl.

Overnight at Los Amigos Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Los Amigos lodge

After breakfast, we will go to the floodplain forest. Some time birding over this trail could bring good birds, for instance: Spot-winged Antshrike, White-eyed Antwren, or Bar-bellied Woodcreeper.

Later, in the afternoon, we will continue exploring terra firme and floodplain forests. During this hike, we expect to find special birds like Pink-throated Becard, White-winged Shrike-tanager, Opal-rumped Tanager, and many more.

Overnight at Los Amigos lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Los Amigos lodge – Puerto Maldonado

After an early breakfast, we will explore the bamboo patches. There, we will try for bamboo specialists like: Long-crested Pygmy-tyrant, Bamboo Antshrike, Rufous-headed Woodpecker, Bamboo Pygmy-tyrant, Yellow-billed Nunbird, Rufous-capped Nunlet, and a lot more.

Then, in the afternoon, we will take a boat to get back to Puerto Maldonado.

Overnight at a 3 stars hotel in Puerto Maldonado.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Puerto Maldonado – Lima

Last day of the Birding in Southern Peru tour. You will have the morning at leisure, so you can explore the city or stay at the hotel. In due time, a shuttle bus will take us to the airpot for the flight to Lima.

Meals: Breakfast.

TRAVEL TIPS & RECOMENDATIONS:

Weather

Since we are in Amazonia, most days in the Manu will be warm and humid, with a mixture of sunshine and overcast conditions. Also, some rain should be expected, from brief showers to sometimes extended periods of heavy rain. Additionally, in the Cuzco region, the weather conditions range from warm to decidedly cold at the highest altitudes.

Time Zone

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

Immunizations

You need to have a Covid-19 vaccine to enter the country. Additionally, having a Yellow Fever vaccine at least 10 days before your trip is recommended, but not mandatory.

Electricity

220 volts in Lima. 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. Also, light is provided by numerous kerosene lamps and candles.

Physical effort

People should be in good physical condition in order to do hikes in the mountains at elevations up to 4,200 meters (about 13,800 feet). Also, people should be able to step in and out of boats and canoes with any problem.

PRICES INCLUDE:

  • Lodging as described above (some lodges, hotels, might change depending on room's availability).

  • Ground transportation and driver throughout the tour.

  • Private boat for the Amazonian part of the tour.

  • Train tickets to Machu Picchu.

  • English speaking bird guide.

  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary.

  • Drinking water supply and snacks available in the car during the whole trip.

  • All entrance fees for nature reserves.

  • 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 (e.g. weather).

See our Bookings Terms and Conditions.

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