PURPLE-BACKED SUNBEAM TOUR

and other special hummingbirds of north Peru

8-day tour

For hummingbird lovers, it is clear that these are the most fascinating creatures on Earth. Nevertheless, it is also clear that some hummers are more fascinating than others, some are rare, exceptionally beautiful, have adapted to extreme environments, or are restricted to small geographic areas. The main goal of this tour is to find the very special Purple-backed Sunbeam, a unique hummingbird restricted to a few small patches of vegetation along the Marañon basin, in north Peru.

We reserve the Purple-backed Sunbeam for the last part of the tour, as the cherry on the pie. Before the Sunbeam, the tour visits the mountains of Lima, and then, the Marañon valley and its tributaries. During the trip, it is possible to find up to 25 species of hummingbirds, including 5 Peruvian endemics.

First, in the Lima area, we will focus on looking for Peruvian Sheartail, Amazilia Hummingbird, Black-breasted Hillstar, and Olivaceous Thornbill. Also, the area is home of other fascinating birds like Andean Condor, Diademed Plover, Black Siskin, Andean Swallow, just to mention a few.

Afterwards, we flight north, to the Andean city of Cajamarca. There, our main targets are Grey-bellied Comet, Black Metaltail, Spot-throated Hummingbird, Giant Hummingbird, Green-headed Hillstar, and Shining Sunbeam. Besides hummingbirds, other interesting birds in the area are Striated Earthcreeper, Curve-billed Tinamou, Black-necked Woodpecker, Great Spinetail, Buff-bridled Inca-finch, Rusty-crowned Tit-spinetail, among others.

Having spent a couple of days around Cajamarca, we move east, to explore the area between the cities of Cajabamba and Huamachuco. First, not far from Cajabamba we will look for Great Sapphirewing, along with other birds like Rufous-eared Brushfinch, Plain-tailed Warbling-finch, and the colorful Tit-like Dacnis. The next stop is at El Molino, near the city of Huamachuco, where our main target is the endemic Purple-backed Sunbeam.

After having seen the Purple-backed Sunbeam, the tour finishes in the coastal city of Trujillo, from where you can flight back to Lima, or maybe take an extension tour for more hummingbirds.

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.
TOP 5 HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Purple-backed Sunbeam
  • Grey-bellied Comet
  • Black-breasted Hillstar
  • Olivaceous Thornbill
  • Black Metaltail

Details and itinerary

PRICES:

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

US$ 2,000.oo

Single supplement: US$ 220.oo

Private departures only.

All itineraries are fully customizable to fit your requirements.

ABOUT THE TRIP:

Duration: 8 days

Best time to travel: late April through November

Group size: 1 to 4 people

DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS?
Lima

Arrival in Lima. Overnight at a 3 stars hotel in Lima

Meals: None.

Purple-backed Sunbeam tour

 

Lower Santa Eulalia valley

Today, we hace an early morning departure to drive along the Santa Eulalia valley. Here, our target birds are Oasis Hummingbird, Amazilia Hummingbird, and Peruvian Sheartail. Besides, other birds in the area are Great Inca-finch, Black-necked Woodpecker, Spot-winged Pigeon, Streak Tit-spinetail, and more.

Then, we will drive back to the main road (Central Highway) to get to the town of San Mateo, located at 10500 feet of elevation.

Overnight in San Mateo.

Meals: Picnic breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner.

Casapalca – Lima

Today, we will get up to 15800 feet of elevation, to look for Black-breasted Hillstar, and Olivaceous Thornbill. Also, we could find Diademed Plover, Andean Condor, White-bellied Cinclodes, Glacier Finch, Andean Goose, Puna Snipe, just to mention a few.

Then, we will drive to back to Lima.

Overnight at the Lima Airport Hotel.

Meals: Picnic breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner.

Lima – Cajamarca

This morning, we take the first flight to Cajamarca. There, right from the airport, we go to the Chonta valley to look for Grey-bellied Comet, Giant Hummingbird, Black Metaltail, Green-tailed Trainbearer.

Then, after lunch, we move to Cerro El Gavilán for Green-headed Hillstar and Purple-throated Sunangel. Also, other interesting birds today are Chestnut-naped Ground-Tyrant, White-winged Cinclodes, Andean Flicker, Yellow-billed Tit-tyrant, Striated Earthcreeper, Unicolored Tapaculo, Stripe-headed Antpitta, and others.

Overnight at a 3 stars hotel in Cajamarca.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Cajamarca – Cajabamba

Today, we spend the morning at a drier habitat, near the small town of Jesús, looking for Amazilia Hummingbird (leucophoea sub-species) and Spot-throated Hummingbird. Again, other possible birds in the area are Great Spinetail, Buff-bridled Inca-finch, Marañon Gnatcatcher, Chestnut-backed Thornbird, and others.

Later, in the afternoon, we drive east to the city of Cajabamba to spend the night.

Overnight at a 3 stars hotel in Cajabamba.

Meals: Picnic breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner.

Cajabamba – Huamachuco

Today, we have an early start to drive to the Cochecorral river. Here, our main target is the amazing Great Sapphirewing, since this is the most reliable place to find this bird in north Peru. Also, there are other great birds in the area like Rufous-eared Brushfinch, Tit-like Dacnis, Plain-tailed Warbling-finch, among others.

Then, after lunch, we drive towards the town of Huamachuco for the overnight.

Overnight at a 3 stars hotel in Huamachuco, the city is located at an elevation of 10400 feet.

Meals: Picnic breakfast, lunch, dinner.

El Molino

Again, we have a very early start today, driving for about 3 hours to the small town of El Molino. There, the main target, and the star of the trip, is the Purple-backed Sunbeam hummingbird. The bird is quite common in the area, and it won’t be difficult to find. Besides, other interesting hummingbirds here are Sword-billed Hummingbird, Rainbow Starfrontlet, Tyrian Metaltail, and Black Metaltail. Also, we could find Unicolored Tapaculo, Undulated Antpitta, Red-crested Cotinga, and more.

After lunch, we start our drive back to Huamachuco.

Overnight at a 3 stars hotel in Huamachuco.

Meals: Picnic breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Huamachuco – Trujillo

This is the last day of the trip. After breakfast, we will take the road for about 5 hours to the city of Trujillo. Along the road, we plan to make a couple of stops, trying to find Blue-mantled Thornbill.

After a farewell lunch in Trujillo, we will take you to the airport for your flight back to Lima.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch.

TRAVEL TIPS & RECOMENDATIONS:

Weather

Since we will be in the Andes, most days will be dry and not very cold, with a mixture of sunshine and overcast conditions. In the mountains of Lima, between June and August it can be very dry and cold. The Marañon valley is warm and dry, and Cajamarca and Cajabamba are dry, can be warm in sunny days, and cold when cloudy. Huamachuco is at high elevation (10400 feet), and the temperatures at night can be cold.

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

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 all cities. All lodges do have electricity.

Physical effort

People should be in good physical condition in order that they can do short hikes in the mountains at high elevations (4,000 meters, or about 13,000 feet).

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
  • 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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