A tour from Lima through the Andes to the deep rainforests of Manu. We could not conceive of a birdwatching trip in southern Peru without including the world's most famous touristic site, Machu Picchu, where we will marvel at one of the wonders of the New World.

Peru
15 days
From 4290 US$
Birding tours Birding tours
Photo and bird watching tours Photo and bird watching tours

Your travel expert

Xavier Amigo

Responsible for naturalist, botanical and ornithological travel. Responsible of fixing and profesional contact.

Xavier Amigo
xavier@ecuador-experience.com
Contact our expert
15 15 days

Day 1: Arrival in Peru - Lima

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After arrival at Lima International Airport, transfer to your hotel. Your guide will give you a short briefing on the upcoming trip. If the flight schedule allows, we will visit the Pantanos de Villa coastal reserve south of the city. These coastal marshes are home to many of the resident avian species affiliated with mixed coastal areas. They are also, at the right times, very interesting staging areas for migratory birds. At the end of the day, return to your hotel for some rest. For those who wish, there is also the possibility of visiting the colonial districts of the Peruvian capital at your own pace.

Dinner and overnight stay in a charming hotel in Lima in the peaceful Miraflores district.

Welcome and local transfer

Great Grebe, White-cheeked Pintail, Cinnamon Teal, Peruvian Thicknee, Plumbeous Rail, Belcher's Gull, Kelp Gull, Gray-headed Gull, Franklin's Gull, Black Skimmer, Yellowish Pipit, Peruvian Meadowlark, Yellow-hooded Blackbird, Many-colored Rush Tyrant, Wren-like Rushbird, Grassland Yellowfinch

Day 2: Lima - Cuzco – Huacapay lake

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This morning we will take the first flight to the ancient Inca capital, Cuzco. As soon as we arrive, we will board our private transport and head south of the city to the high altitude lake of Huarcapay. Here, a classic array of high altitude aquatic species awaits us. We will also look for some species of Furnaridae typical of these xerophytic Andean environments. Finally, our main objective will be to observe the rare and incredible Bearded Mountainer hummingbird, which is foraging on Tobacco flowers. Return to Cuzco in the early afternoon for a peaceful visit of the city. Discover the highlights of the colonial and pre-Hispanic architecture and history of the Inca capital.

Dinner and overnight stay in a charming hotel.

Private transport, English-speaking specialist guide

White-tufted Grebe, Silvery Grebe, Andean Ruddy Duck, Cinnamon Teal, Puna Teal, Andean Gull, Giant Hummingbird, Bearded Mountaineer, Andean Negrito, Yellow-winged Blackbird, Rusty-fronted Canastero, Streak-fronted Thornbird, Golden-billed Saltator, Line-fronted Canastero, Scribble-tailed Canastero, Puna Thistletail, Diademed Tapaculo, Rufous-bellied Bush-Tyrant, Black-throated Flowerpiercer, Scarlet-bellied Mountain Tanager, White-browed Conebill, Three-striped Hemispingus, Drab Hemispingus,

Day 3: Sacred Valley - Ollantaytambo

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This day will be essentially a day of relaxation, we will visit the historical and archaeological highlights of one of the most emblematic Inca areas in South America. We will take our transport to explore different archaeological sites in the "Sacred Valley" to the small Inca village of Ollantaytambo. We will stroll through the traditional Sunday market of the colonial village of Pisac, between Andean tubers, wool handicrafts and traditional clothes. We will also have the opportunity to visit part of the archaeological site of Pisac, which overlooks the city. Lunch in a local country restaurant in or around Urubamba. Departure to the village of Chinchero, less popular with tourists. We will then stroll through the streets of the village to discover some of the remains of the Inca past of this high place of beliefs and myths. Arrival at the end of the day in Ollantaytambo.  There are two options for the late afternoon. Those who wish can visit the Inca site of Ollantaytambo freely. The rest of the group can go for a short bird walk around the village in search of some of the specific species of this dry and xerophytic Andean area.

Dinner and overnight stay in a charming hotel in Ollantaytambo.

Private transport, English-speaking specialist guide

White-tufted Sunbeam, Creamy-crested Spinetail, Rusty-fronted Canastero, Black-throated Flowerpiercer, Junin Canastero, Bearded Mountainer, Tit-like Dacnis, Chestnut-breasted Mountain-Finch.

Day 4: Abra Malaga – Aguas Caliente

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Early this morning we will head to the highlands and the Abra Malaga pass. This famous birding site is home to a number of special ecosystems. On the way up we will look for several endemic hummingbirds in the mixed alto-andine forests and flower gardens. At the pass, we will explore extremely specific environments at an altitude of more than 4000 meters: scrub, herbaceous areas, Polylepis woods and rocky peat bogs. After surveying these high altitude ecosystems we will then descend along the eastern side of the pass to areas of subtropical forest and clouds. We will pay particular attention to the large bamboo patches (Chusquea) that line the road. At the end of the day we will return to Ollantaytambo where we will take the last train to Aguas Calientes, the last village at the foot of Machu Picchu.

Dinner and overnight stay in a charming hotel.

Private transport, English-speaking specialist guide

Andean Goose, White-winged Diuca-Finch, Giant Conebill, Tit-like Dacnis, Line-fronted Canastero, Puna Thistletail, Streak-throated Canastero, Tawny tit-Spinetail, White-browed Tit-Spinetail, Stripe-headed Antpitta, Puna Tapaculo, Royal Cinclode, Unstreaked Tit-Tyrant. Inca Wren, White-browed Conebill, Slaty Tanager, Three-striped Hemispingus, Parodi's Hemispingus, Scaled Metaltail, Marcapata Spinetail, Rufous Antpitta, Diademed Tapaculo, Golden-collared Tanager, Rufous-bellied Bush-Tyrant

Day 5: Machu Picchu – Aguas Caliente

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Early in the morning (5:30 am), we will leave for the archaeological site of Machu Picchu, discovered in 1911 by the American anthropologist Hiram Bingham. Visit of this mysterious Inca citadel. We will visit the Plaza de Armas, the Circular Tower, the royal dwellings and the Temple of the Three Windows. We will also have the opportunity to take a leisurely stroll through the ruins. We will not forget our binoculars either to enjoy the rich birdlife around the ruins, we will look for the Inca Wren, the Mottle-cheeked Tyrannulet, the Masked Fruiteater, the Sclater's Tyrannulet or the Variable Antshrike. After the arrival of the hordes of tourist buses from Cuzco, we will descend to Aguas Calientes, through the high altitude temperate forests.

Dinner and overnight stay at the same hotel.

Private transport, English-speaking specialist guide

Day 6: Aguas Calientes – Cuzco - Ajcanacu – Pillahuata - Wayqecha

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This morning we will take the train to Ollantaytambo and then our private bus to take the southern route through the sandy landscapes of the eastern cordillera, discovering different ecosystems and typical Andean landscapes, between ornithological and archaeological stops. It is a long way to the Tres Cruces pass. The panorama from this point is breathtaking. Here begins the famous Manu road. We descend gently through high altitude elfin forest and temperate forest sectors to the Wayqecha lodge located 15 kilometres from the pass. Several endemic species are present along this route, we will try to find them. We arrive at the Wayqecha lodge, in the heart of the high part of the Manu road in the late afternoon. For the more courageous there will be the possibility to go out at night during the next two evenings.

Dinner and overnight in Wayqecha

Private transport, English-speaking specialist guide, entrance to the Wayqecha reserve

Chestnut-breasted mountain-finch, Andean hillstar, Andean flicker, Black-throated Flowerpiercer, chuiguanco thrush, creamy-crested spinetail, scribble-tailed et lline -fronted canasteros, puna wren, puna et diademed tapaculo, gray-breasted mountain toucan, White-browed Conebill, collared jay, mountain cacique, swallow-tailed nightjar

Day 7: Wayqecha Biological Station

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We will spend the whole day in the heart of the Wayqecha reserve. This reserve is home to a vast territory covered by a magnificent temperate forest. We will walk extensively along the various trails of this conservation area in search of the many specialities of the area. We will look for the gigantic rounds of Thraupidae that can be seen in this area. We will also listen for the characteristic songs of the Antpittas present at this altitude. In the afternoon we will walk along the main road, where the slightly more open environments will allow us to make some nice additional observations as well as easier photographic shots. We will take advantage of the nightfall to make a nocturnal excursion in search of the Strigidae of the area. The Swallow-tailed Nightjar is also quite common here.

Dinner and overnight at the same lodge.

Private transport, English-speaking specialist guide

Golden-plumed Parakeet, Andean Parakeet, Yungas Pygmy Owl, White-throated Screech-Owl, Gould's Inca, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Violet-throated Startfrontlet, Scaled Metaltail, Long-tailed Sylph, Masked Trogon, Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan, Pearled Treerunner, Trilling Tapaculo, White-crowned Tapaculo, Barred Fruiteater, Chestnut-crested Cotinga, Barred Becard, White-eared Solitaire, White-collared Jay, Grass-green Tanager, Chestnut-bellied Mountain Tanager, Moustached Flowerpiercer

Day 8: Wayqecha – Cock Of The Rock Lodge

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Today we will take the day from the temperate forests around Wayqecha Lodge to the subtropical forests of the legendary Cock of the Rock Lodge. Along this incredible altitudinal gradient we will make a number of stops at well-known sites such as the "tunnels", but also wherever the magnificent forest seems favourable. The flocks will be carefully observed. We will arrive in the middle of the afternoon at the Cock of The Rock Lodge where we will be able to use the last hours of the day for some "Veranda Birding".

Dinner and overnight stay in a standard lodge

Private transport, English-speaking specialist guide, entrance to the CORL reserve

Hooded Tinamou, Solitary Eagle, Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Rufous-capped Thornbill, Blue-banded Toucanet, Marcapata Spinetail, Rufous-backed Treehunter, Red-and-white Antpitta, White-throated Antpitta, Band-tailed Fruiteater, Inca Flycatcher, Fulvous Wren, White-eared Solitaire, Black-faced Brushfinch

Day 9: Cock Of The Rock Lodge

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Early in the morning, we will enjoy one of the most fabulous spectacles that the Andean subtropical forests can offer: the parade of the fabulous Cotinga, the Cock of the rock. After a long observation of the incredible positions adopted by the orange males of this eastern subspecies, we will leave the concert of raspy cries and other borborygms to walk along the paths of the lodge in search of the specialities of the area. After a well deserved meal and some time to relax on the veranda watching the incessant ballet of hummingbirds, we will head back to the main trail to bird around the lodge until nightfall. After dinner we will enjoy a night walk in search of the Strigidae of the area as well as some mammals and reptiles.

Dinner and overnight at the same lodge.

Private transport, English-speaking specialist guide

Black Tinamou, Brown Tinamou, Torrent Duck, Rufescent Screech-Owl, Black-Streaked Puffbird, Lanceolated Monklet, Versicolored Barbet, Ash-browed Sponetail, Scaled Antpitta, Crested Quetzal, Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Yungas Manakin, Cerulean-capped Manakin, Hazel-fronted Pygmy-Tyrant, Moustached Wren, Chestnut-breasted Wren, Slaty Tanager.

Day 10: Cock Of The Rock Lodge – Villa Carmen

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Last observations throughout the morning on the different ecosystems of the reserve, gallery forests, swamp areas and adjacent bamboo forests before taking our dugout canoe up the Madre de Dios River to Atalaya, where our transport will be waiting for us for a short transfer to our next accommodation: the scientific station of Villa Carmen (500m), near Pillcopata. After settling in to this new accommodation option recently opened to tourism and receiving a short briefing on the project, we will start exploring the surroundings of the station.

Dinner and overnight stay in a standard Biological Station.

Private transport, English-speaking specialist guide, entrance to the Villa del Carmen reserve

Horned Screamer, White-cheeked Tody-Tyrant, Flammulated Tody-Tyrant, Large-headed Flatbill, Dusky-cheeked Foliage-gleaner, Rufous-headed Woodpecker, Manu Antbird, Goeldi’s Antbird, Red-billed Scythebill, Bamboo Antshrike, White-lined Antbird, Ornate Antwren and Dot-winged Antwren. Scarlet-hooded barbet

Day 11: Villa Carmen's bamboo forests

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The particular bamboo ecosystems of the Manu bio-region have generated a very particular evolutionary process. Here, in the Amazonian foothills, the biota has undergone a process of speciation around these monotypic forests and particularly the avifauna that has populated the different vegetative strata and a very particular food niche. Leaving the forests of these giant Poaceae, we will also have the opportunity to visit and explore the great hydric valley of Piñipiñi and its different types of vegetation that host a large number of understorey species, including many thamnophilids and formicarids. The night walks here can also be very productive, both in terms of birds and mammals, nocturnal monkeys, Tayra, Kinkajou, Opossum, etc...

Dinner and overnight at the same charming lodge.

Private transport, English-speaking specialist guide

Military, Blue-headed et Chestnut-fronted Macaws, White-cheeked Tody-Flycatcher, Manu, Striated, Goeldi's, et White-lined Antbirds, Ihering's Antwren, Bamboo Antshrike, Large-headed et Dusky-tailed Flatbills Flammulated Tody-Tyrant, Rufous-capped Nunlet,, Brown-rumped et Dusky-cheeked Foliage-gleaners, Red-billed Scythebill, Dot-winged Antwren, Ornate Antwren, Rufous-breasted Piculet, Rufous-headed Woodpecker, Peruvian Recurvebill, Rusty-belted Tapaculo, Amazonian Antpitta, Red-necked Woodpecker, Striolated Puffbird Scarlet-hooded Barbet, Fine-barred Piculet

Day 12: Villa Carmen - Atalaya - Manu Willife Center

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From Villa del Carmen we continue our descent to the small port village of Atalaya to board our pirogue down the Madre de Dios River, leaving behind the green ridges of the eastern foothills to plunge deeper into the wet lowlands, where the first bird sightings will soon come. Careful scanning of the riverbank may reveal some new species: Sand-colored Nighthawk, Cormorant, the curious Orinoco Goose, Black-Hawk, the rare Sunbittern and perhaps some Capybaras, the world's largest rodent. With a bit of luck we should also be able to spot the majestic and iconic Razorbill Curassow, a species driven to near extinction in most of the Amazon, but still quite common here. Cocoi and Capped Herons, Tantalus, the enormous Jabiru, Roseate Spoonbill, Horned Screamer, Greater yellow-headed Vulture, Plumbeous kite, the graceful Swallow tailed Kite, Crane Hawks, but also Black Caracara, Bat Falcons, Pied Plover, and many species of Terns, Macaws, Kingfishers, Cotingas, Cowbirds and Oropendolas are all genera encountered along this mythical river. Finally, we arrive at the Manu Birding Lodge, where we settle into our cabins.

Dinner and overnight stay in a superior lodge.

Private transport, English-speaking specialist guide

Day 13: Salines and hides

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This will be another day full of observations and photographic opportunities. We will visit a number of hides, strategically placed in front of natural feeding areas called collpas, which attract a wide range of species emblematic of the Amazon basin. This morning we will focus on two particular sites, firstly a clay lick where an extraordinary number of psittacines gather every morning. The rest of the day will be dedicated to the observation of some species of hummingbirds around the lodge and to the exploration of different trails in the terra firme.

Dinner and overnight stay at the same superior lodge.

Private transport, English-speaking specialist guide, entries to the various hides

Day 14: Laguna Blanco & tapir saltpan

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Early departure to the oxbow Blanco lagoon for a variety of bird, mammal and reptile observations. From the floating platform we will spend some time observing and immortalizing all these species. Back on land we will go on different trails to look for new species, many of them endemic. Many ecosystems are mixed here, bamboo forest, Varzea, Terrafirme, giving us a huge variety of biotope to visit. Armed with a lot of patience we will also visit the mammal salt pan where, with a bit of luck, we will be able to observe Tapir, Peccary and why not Jaguar.

Dinner and overnight stay at the same superior lodge.

Private transport, English-speaking specialist guide

Day 15: Manu Wildlife Center – Puerto Maldonado – Lima

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After breakfast, we descend from the Madre de Dios for 3 hours to reach the town of Boca Colorado, the gold capital of the region. From there, we will take the road to San Carlos, for 45 minutes. A new 15 minutes crossing by pirogue will allow us to discover the Inabari river and reach Puerto Santa Rosa. The last two hours of the trip will take us to Puerto Maldonado, on the Brazilian border, for our flight to Cuzco. Immediate flight to Lima for our international connection.

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Private transport, English-speaking specialist guide

Dates of the next departures

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Prices per person

2 travelers 4 travelers 6 travelers
5,960 US$ 4,720 US$ 4,290 US$

You are a group of travelers and want a special rate? Contact us Request a personalized quote

Included

  • Private transport (petrol, road taxes, parking, insurance for the vehicle and its passengers).
  • Entrance fees to the natural sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • All transfers as mentioned.
  • Specialised English-speaking guide throughout the trip
  • 24-hour assistance
  • Accommodation in double rooms with private bathroom
  • Meals as mentioned, picnics for some hikes.

Not included

  • International flight. (You can consult our list of tour operators offering flights).
  • Excursions and activities indicated as optional in the programme.
  • Entrance fees to archaeological sites
  • Luggage weight supplements for flights (23 kg allowed on internal flights)
  • Some dinners (count between 12 and 18.00usd/meal)
  • Single room supplement.
  • Soft and alcoholic drinks during and outside meals.
  • Personal expenses.
  • Personal insurances and bank commissions for payments.

Important note

Itineraries may be subject to last minute changes due to natural events or changes in domestic legislation. The visitor must take into account and accept the possibility of last minute changes in the organisation of the trip. The operator therefore reserves the right to make any changes necessary to ensure the safety and integrity of the travellers and to comply with the laws in force. The hotels are given as an indication subject to availability at the time of booking the tour. In case of unavailability, a hotel of the same category will be proposed.

Your guide for this trip

Xavier Amigo

Xavier Amigo

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A great enthusiast of the neo-tropical environment, he has now resided for more than 25 years in Ecuador, where he founded Nature Experience. A self-taught ornithologist and naturalist, he holds a diploma in Conservation Strategy and Techniques in the neo-tropical zone, an active member of several conservation foundations and a founding member of the National Bird Watch Network ( RedAvesEcuador). He will help you in the elaboration of your natural, ornithological and professional requests. He will also share with you his experience of more than fifteen years as a guide in Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil but also in Peru and the Galapagos.

Characteristics of the trip

Travel theme

Ornithology, photography and culture

Accompaniment

Bilingual guide

Group

From 4 to 6 people

Arrival city

Lima

Departure city

Lima

Accomodation

Charming Hotels, Lodges and Hacienda

Transport

Private

Physical condition

moderate (some walks at altitude, although slow, can be tiring)
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