BIRDING PERU AND MACHU PICCHU

Birding Peru and Machu Picchu

15-day tour

A 15-day Birding Peru and Machu Picchu tour, that combines intense birding with delightful 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 pleasant 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 charming 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. Birding Peru and Machu Picchu tour finishes 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 people 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!

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$ 4,500.oo

Single supplement: US$ 330.oo

 

Private departures only.

All itineraries are fully customizable to fit your requirements.

ABOUT THE TRIP:

Duration: 15 days

Best time to travel: April through December.

Group size: 1  to 8 people

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Lima

Arrival in Lima. Overnight at Wyndham Airport Hotel.

Meals: None.

Birding Peru Machu Picchu

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 Machu Picchu - Many-colored Rush-tyrant

Lima – Cuzco – Wayqecha Lodge

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.

Then, we will be transferred straight to our next lodge inside the buffer zone of Manu National Park. 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.

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.

Birding Peru Machu Picchu - Golden-collared Tanager

Wayqecha lodge – Cock-of-the-Rock lodge (COTR)

After breakfast, we will drive down the road towards our next lodge, located at around 1,400 meters of elevation. At these lower elevations (between 2,600 and 1,500 meters), the cloud forest offers a different set of birds, for example: 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.

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 Machu Picchu - 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 – Wayqecha lodge

Now, we start to drive back to Cuzco, including one stop at Wayqecha lodge. At the same time, this will give us more chances to explore the cloud forest again. This time, we will be looking for the birds we might have missed the previous days.

Overnight at Wayqecha Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic-lunch, dinner.

Wayqecha Lodge – Cuzco – Ollantaytambo

Today we are taking the road straight back to Cuzco, we expect to arrive there just for lunch.

After lunch, we will drive to our hotel in the town of Ollantaytambo, at the heart of the Sacred valley of the Incas. There, some birding can bring nice surprises, for instance: Great Sapphirewing, Giant Hummingbird, or Bearded Mountaineer.

Overnight in Ollantaytambo.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Birding Peru Machu Picchu - Manu road

Machu Picchu

Today, we take a morning train to the town of Aguas Calientes. First, we will go to the hotel, and immediately after that we will explore the archaeological site of Machu Picchu. Of course, it will take us about two hours to walk around Machu Picchu. Naturally, we expect to see birds inside the archaeological site. For example, we could find Inca Wren, Andean Swifts, and flocks of tanagers. Then, we will return to Aguas Calientes for lunch.

The forests around Aguas Calientes are reach in bird diversity. Therefore, we plan to spend the full afternoon looking for birds like Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Andean Motmot, Green-and-white Hummingbird, White-capped Dipper, and more.

Afterwards, we will return to Ollantaytambo late in the afternoon.

Overnight in Ollantaytambo.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Birding Peru Machu Picchu - Machu Picchu

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 – Lima

The Birding Peru and Machu Picchu tour finishes today. You´ll have the morning at leisure, so you can to explore the city on your own.

Then, at proper time, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Lima.

Meals: Breakfast.

TRAVEL TIPS & RECOMENDATIONS:

Weather

Most days in the Manu Road will be rather warm and humid, with a mixture of sunshine and overcast conditions. Also, some rain should be expected. 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 walk on moderate rough, steep terrain for about 3 hours.

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.
  • Train tickets to Machu Picchu.
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Drinking water supply 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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