Peru – Tour Description
Day 1 – Arrival in Lima.
Overnight at Wyndham Lima Airport Hotel****.
Day 2 – Lima – Tarapoto – Moyobamba
Today we fly to Tarapoto where we will meet the local guide. After lunch we drive towards the city of Moyobamba. On route we will make a short stop at Puente Quiscarrumi to look for a colony of Oilbirds that live under a bridge.
Arrive to Hotel Alta Vista, Moyobamba. You will have the rest of the afternoon to enjoy the different bird species coming to the bird feeding station at the hotel. The most common species visiting the feeders are Pale-breasted Thrush, Floodplain (Black-billed) Thrush, Purple-throated, Orange-bellied and White-vented Euphonias and Blue-necked Tanagers. Other birds that can be found in the area are Gilded Barbet, Little Woodpecker, Blue-headed Parrot, Black-bellied Tanager, Turquoise Tanager and many more.
Just before dinner we can walk the trail that goes toward the river looking for Black-banded Owl.
Overnight (2 nights) and dinner at Hotel Alta Vista***.
Day 3 – Moyobamba
Early in the morning we will drive for about 10 minutes to the Tahuishco tower, located on top of a ridge above the banks of the Rio Mayo. Being slightly above the forest canopy can bring great views of birds like Blue Ground-dove, Humboldt’s (Lettered) Aracari, Lafresnaye’s Piculet, Spot-breasted Woodpecker, Lineated Woodpecker, Barred and Great Antshrikes, Rufous-fronted Thornbird, just to mention a few of more than 50 species possible here.
By mid-morning we will drive to the Waqanki Reserve. This is a family owned reserve in the montane forests near the city of Moyobamba. We will spend the full morning at the hummingbird feeders and the lodge’s gardens. The targets here are Rufous-crested Coquette, Black-throated and Great-Billed Hermits, Black-throated Mango, Violet-headed Hummingbird, White-chinned Sapphire, Many-spotted Hummingbird, among others. From the canopy tower there are good chances to see and photograph Mishana Tyrannulet, Chestnut-eared Aracari, Crested Oropendola, and many others.
In the evening we can spend a couple of hours doing a relaxed hike at the Humedales de Rioja, where possibilities are Rufous-sided Crake, Blackish Rail, Red-capped Cardinal, Donacobius, Orange-backed Troupial, and much more.
Before heading back to the hotel we can check the road to Waqanki for Striped Owl, Tropical Screech-Owl, or Rufous-banded Owl.
Day 4 – Moyobamba – Arena Blanca reserve – Abra Patricia
Drive towards the town of Aguas Verdes to visit the Arena Blanca Reserve. The reserve is located in a patch of white-sand forest. Full day at the hummingbird and tinamou feeders. Regular visitors at the hummingbird feeders are Blue-fronted Lancebill, Fork-tailed Woodnymph, Wire-crested Thorntail, Rufous-crested Coquette, Black-throated Brilliant, just to mention a few. The Tinamou feeders are good for Grey-necked Wood-Rail, Rufous-breasted Wood-Quail, Little and Cinereous Tinamous, and others. Northern Chestnut-tailed (Zimmer’s) Antbird, Black-bellied Tanager, Dark-breasted Spinetail, and Cinereous-breasted Spinetail are quite common and easy to see in the reserve trails.
Early afternoon departure towards Abra Patricia Owlet lodge. The lodge is strategically located inside the Abra Patricia Protected Area, surrounded by pristine montane cloud forest.
We will make a brief stop at La Llanteria hummingbird feeding station for Green Hermit, Booted Racket-tail, and Ecuadorian Piedtail. Then we will drive straight to the lodge.
We will have ample time to enjoy the myriad of hummingbirds coming to the feeders in the garden, only some of which may include: Green Violetear, Long-tailed Sylph, Speckled Hummingbird, White-bellied Woodstar, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Fawn-breasted Brilliant, Emerald-bellied Puffleg, and Collared Inca.
Regular visitors to the lodge gardens are White-sided Flowerpiercer, Yellow-bellied Brush-Finch, Sierran Elaenia, Flame-faced Tanager, and many other colourful birds.
Overnight (3 nights) at Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge.
Day 5 – Abra Patricia and Fundo Alto Nieva
Birding around the lodge gardens and the parking lot can produce Lulu’s (Johnson’s) Tody-Flycatcher, Yellow-Scarfed Tanager, Grass-green Tanager, Black-throated Tody-tyrant, Rufous Spinetail, Drab Hemispingus, and many more. Then we will try our chances at the antpittas feeding station, where the regular visitor is Chestnut Antpitta, a rare endemic bird of these mountains.
Later we will drive to Fundo Alto Nieva Reserve, where the hummingbird feeders can produce Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Royal Sunangel, Booted Racket-tail, Greenish Puffleg, Rufous-vented Whitetip, and White-tailed Hillstar. On the way back we can make a couple of stops along the road looking for special birds like Golden-headed Quetzal, White-collared Jay, Torrent Duck, or White-capped Dipper.
By mid-afternoon we will drive back to Fundo Alto Nieva for a hike to the Ochre-fronted Antpitta feeding station.
Before hiking back to the car we will spend a couple of hours looking for the legendary Long-whiskered Owlet. Since this is a very rare bird, we should keep our expectations low for this bird.
Day 6 – Abra Patricia and Fundo Alto Nieva
Short drive to Fundo Alto Nieva Private Reserve, this time for a hike to the Rusty-tinged Antpitta feeding station. The trails around the main house in Alto Nieva are good to look for Rufous-vented Tapaculo, Yellow-throated Tanager, Bar-winged and Grey-breasted Wood-wrens, and the rare Cinnamon-breasted Tody-tyrant.
In the afternoon we will drive to lower elevations looking for birds like Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Blue-cowled (Versicolored) Barbet, Collared Trogon, and maybe mixed species flocks with some woodpeckers, woodcreepers, and tanagers.
Day 7 – Abra Patricia – Huembo Lodge
Morning hike along the Grallaria trail, that makes a loop around the lodge. Possibilities here are Lulu’s (Johnson’s) Tody-Flycatcher, Masked Trogon, Yungas Pygmy-Owl, Variable Antshrike, White-backed Fire-eye, Northern Chestnut-breasted Wren, and flocks of tanagers with Golden-naped, Beryl-spangled, Saffron-crowned and Flame-faced Tanagers.
After lunch we transfer to Huembo. Huembo is a nature reserve created to protect the endemic Marvelous Spatuletail hummingbird; other hummingbirds attending the feeders might be Andean Emerald, Brown Violetear, White-bellied Hummingbird, Purple-throated Woodstar, Purple-throated Sunangel, and White-bellied Woodstar.
Overnight (2 nights) at Huembo Lodge.
Day 8 – Huembo Lodge
The fruit feeders in front of the main house are good for Andean and Sickle-winged Guans, Silver-backed Tanager, Green-mantled (Blue-and-yellow) Tanager, Blue-capped Tanager, Streaked Saltator, Golden Grosbeak, and some others. On the hummingbird feeders near the rooms we can look for Green-tailed Trainbearer and Purple-collared Woodstar. Other special hummingbird in the gardens is the Little Woodstar.
We will spend the rest of morning birding along the Rio Chido road, looking for Black-billed (Southern Emerald) Toucanet, White-capped Parrot, Rufous-capped Antshrike, White-sided Flowerpiercer, Silvery Tanager, Chestnut-belted (Slaty-backed) Chat-tyrant, Pale-eyed Thrush, and many others.
After lunch we will explore a trail near Pomacochas lake looking for birds like Speckle-chested Piculet, Smoky-brown Woodpecker, Peruvian Meadowlark, and more.
Day 9 – Huembo Lodge – Jaén – Lima
After some birding around the gardens in the morning we will transfer to the Jaén airport for the flight to Lima.
Overnight (2 nights) at Hotel Casa Andina Select**** in Miraflores
Day 10 – Birding in the surroundings of Lima
This morning we will make our way south of Lima for about one hour to the Pucusana fishing port. In Pucusana we will take a boat to search for Humboldt Penguin, Inca Tern, Peruvian and Blue-footed Boobies, Guanay and Red-legged Cormorants, and Surf Cinclodes.
Then we drive southwards for another hour to the Lomas de Asia Reserve, to look for Thick-billed Miner, Coastal Miner, Cactus Canastero, Oasis Hummingbird, Collared Warbling-Finch; and, depending on the time of the year we could find Peruvian Sheartail and Raimondi’s Yellow-Finch. A common mammal in the area is the Vizcacha (Lagidium viscacia), a close relative to the Chinchilla.
After a picnic-lunch we will drive back to Lima, with a stop at the Villa Marshes, a protected area near the Pacific Ocean that is good for Great Grebe, White-tufted Grebe, Peruvian Thick-knee, Many-colored Rush-Tyrant, Wren-like Rushbird, Grassland Yellow-Finch, and lots of shorebirds.
Day 11 Transfer to Puerto Maldonado – Tambopata Research Centre lodge (TRC)
This morning we take a flight to Puerto Maldonado. Our guide from northern Peru leaves the group here at the airport. We will meet our guide for the Amazonia region at the airport at Puerto Maldonado.
Transfer to the Tambopata River Port. At the river port we will take a boat up-river to Tambopata Research Centre lodge. The boat-ride will take several hours, but there is a lot to see during the transfer. Numerous egrets, Capped Heron, Cocoi Heron, Large and Yellow-billed Tern, Black Skimmer, the classic Horned Screamer, Razor-billed Curassow, Blue-throated Piping Guan and Orinoco Goose and during the dry season months, migrant shorebirds are possibilities for this portion of the trip. Every now and then macaws, toucans and raptors will be spotted flying above us. Also, Tapirs, Jaguars and Ocelots could be seen on the river banks.
Overnight (3 nights) at TRC lodge.
Days 12-13 – Tambopata Research Centre
The Macaw clay lick is the largest of the country where hundreds of parrots and macaws of up to 15 species congregate daily. We can expect to see ten to twelve of the following members of the parrot family: Red-and-green, Blue-and-gold, Scarlet, Red-bellied, Chestnut-fronted and Blue-headed Macaws.
Floodplain and Terra Firme Forest. We will explore the quintessential rainforest on the five-mile Ocelot Trail and the five-mile Toucan Trail systems. The Ocelot Trail is in the floodplain with ponds (anacondas and jaguars are possible in this kind of habitat) and streams forming during the rainy season. The Toucan Trail on the other hand is tall rainforest that rarely or never floods. Both of these trails represent the most speciose habitats for birds. Too many possibilities to list, this is habitat for Starred Wood-Quail, Pale-winged Trumpeter, several Trogons, Foliage-gleaners, Black-tailed Leaftosser, many Woodcreepers, Antbirds, Flycatchers, Manakins, and much more. Mixed species flocks are especially diverse with understory flocks led by Dusky-throated Antshrike and Red-crowned Ant-Tanagers. They often contain 30-40 species (or more!) including Plain winged Antshrike, Bluish Slate Antshrike, White eyed Antwren, Plain breasted Antwren, Thrush-like Antpitta, White-winged Shrike Tanager, Amazonian Barred Woodcreeper and Spix’s Woodcreeper. The Ocelot trail also crosses some permanently flooded old ponds inhabited by Agami Heron, Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Pygmy and Green-and-Rufous Kingfishers, and Sunbittern.
Riparian Habitat. We will explore older river created habitats at the pond five minutes upstream from TRC (anacondas also possible here!) – forests of Cecropia and Balsa Wood with a bamboo understory. This is the habitat of the legendary Rufous-fronted Anthrush, we could also find Lemon-throated Barbet, Spot-breasted Woodpecker, Cabanis Spinetail, Amazonian Antpitta, Blackish Antbird, Fuscous Flycatcher, Guira Tanager and Troupial. As we exit the pond’s forests, we will bird on grassy areas with Tessaria and young Cecropia trees. These are not very diverse for birds but are the main habitat for Plain-crowned and Dark-breasted Spinetails, Mottle-backed Elaenia, Spotted Tody-Flycatcher, Black-billed Thrush, Orange-headed Tanager, and Seedeater species among others.
Transitional forests above the clay lick. These were bamboo forests until they flowered and died out a few years ago. Now they are akin to riparian forests but will eventually grow into terra firme as they are not affected by yearly floods. Here we would spot Manu Antbird, White-throated Jacamar, Buff-throated Saltator, Grayish Saltator, Scarlet-hooded Barbet, Crested and Russet-backed Oropendolas, Piratic Flycatcher, Yellow-billed Nunbird and others. While birding these spots we will have extraordinary views of the Tambopata river winding its way from the highlands.
Night walk. We will venture out near the lodge trying to spot-light Common Pauraque, Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl, Great Potoo, Long tailed Potoo, Ocellated Poorwill and if we are lucky a Mottled Owl or Crested Owl. There is also the possibility of taking macro shoots of American Bullfrogs, Horned Frog, tree frogs and other creatures of the night.
Day 14 – Transfer from TRC – Posada Amazonas Lodge
Boat trip to Posada Amazonas lodge, with several stops for Pied Lapwing, Collared Plover, King Vulture, Bat Falcon, Olive and Russet-backed Oropendolas and Ringed Kingfisher and Amazon Kingfisher and many others. Hike along one of the several trails around the lodge looking for Pale-winged Trumpeter, Spix’s Guan, Rufous Motmot, Amazonian Motmot, Broad-billed Motmot, White-throated Antbird, Band-tailed Manakin, Casqued and Amazonian Cacique, and many more.
Overnight (2 nights) at Posada Amazonas Lodge.
Day 15 – Posada Amazonas Lodge
Visit to the canopy tower. Many of the trees in the Peruvian Amazon grow to heights of 30 plus meters (100 feet or more). It’s a challenge to see birds that frequent the tall canopy of the rainforest but only if you look for them from the ground. Watch for them from a canopy tower and you can get close, eye-level looks at colorful toucans, parrots, macaws, tanagers, jacamars, trogons, woodpeckers, monkeys, and other rainforest wildlife.
Tres Chimbadas oxbow lake. The lake is thirty minutes by boat from Posada Amazonas. Once there we will paddle around the lake in a catamaran, searching for the resident family of Giant River Otters and other lakeside wildlife such as caiman, Hoatzin, Horned Screamers, Scarlet and red-and-Green Macaws, and more.
Bamboo forest. Then we depart on a fifteen minutes’ boat drive to the bamboo patches around Tres Chimbadas Lake. We will look for bamboo specialists like White-cheeked Tody Tyrant, Peruvian Recurvebill, Red-billed Scythebill, Rufous-headed Woodpecker, Rufous-breasted Piculet, Brown-rumped Foliage Gleaner, Large-headed Flatbill, Dusky- tailed Flatbill, Dusky-cheeked Foliage-gleaner, Flammulated Bamboo-tyrant, Dot-winged and Ornate Antwrens, White-lined Antbird, Rufous capped Nunlet, Pheasant Cuckoo, and many others.
Day 16 – Posada Amazonas Lodge – Lima
Visit to the parrot clay lick. Usual visitor are Mealy and Yellow-crowned Amazons; Blue-headed, Orange-cheeked and White-bellied Parrots; Dusky-headed, White-eyed, Cobalt-winged and Tui Parakeets and Dusky-billed Parrotlets.
Transfer to the town Puerto Maldonado. Local guide leaves the group.
We will take a flight to Lima. We will leave you at the Lima airport for your international flights.
Cultural Extension to Machu Pichu
Day 1 (Day 16 of our Main Tour) – Posada Amazonas Lodge – Cusco
We leave the airplane at Cusco airport saying farewell to our fellow travelers who are going home already. We will meet our specialist guide at the airport.
Visit of Sacsayhuaman archaeological complex. Then transfer to the city centre for the Temple of the Sun and the Main Plaza.
Overnight at Hotel San Agustin Internacional***.
Day 2 – Sacred Valley of the Incas
Transfer to the town of Ollantaytambo, in the Sacred valley of the Incas.
Visit of the Ollantaytambo archaeological site. Then we will visit the traditional market of Pisac.
Overnight (2 nights) at Lizzy Wasi hotel***.
Day 3 – Machu Picchu
Transfer to the Ollantaytambo train station to take the train to Aguas Calientes, the entrance gate to Machu Picchu.There we will take a shuttle bus to Machu Picchu. We will have all day for this visit and the birds around it. At least we are still Bird Watchers
Day 4 – Cusco – Lima
We will travel back to Lima and after an early farewell lunch go to the airport to take our flight to Lima, and later our International flight back home
Travelling together as Friends