• Violet-fronted Brilliant

Peru

From the Concrete Jungle to the Amazon Jungle

  • Duration

    24 August to 8 September 2018

  • Location

    Peru

  • Group size

    up to 6 participants

  • Price

    £3,150 per person plus flight. Based on twin occupancy

  • Single supplement

    £600

  • Deposit

    £630 per person

  • Remaining balance due

    60 days before travel start date

Free loan of Leica Ultravid binoculars is available for the duration of the tour – subject to availability.

Please ask for details.

About Peru

If you have never visited this fascinating country your first imaginative thoughts about Peru could be of dark, steaming jungles, lost tribes and the mystical Paddington Bear!

Well, Peru is all those things although you will probably have more chance of finding a secretive Spectacled Bear than perhaps the more legendary Paddington version! Peru is an amazingly biodiverse country situated in northwestern South America. It is rich in ancient culture and the areas that we will be visiting on this tour are prime places for finding this history. The Pacific Ocean laps onto the shores of its western coastline whilst it is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia and Chile borders it in the south.

It is a relatively safe country filled with very friendly people – unless in the very unlikely event that you bump into a hitherto unknown Amazonian tribe. You would probably find Paddington Bear consuming a large jar of marmalade before that would happen. So come to Peru and enjoy the culture, cuisine and the country’s rich biodiversity is something to behold.

The local currency is the Sol.

Tour overview

We will be visiting a remote part of the Peruvian Amazon known as the Manu Biosphere Reserve one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. During our time in Manu we stay in lodges owned and run by the Crees Foundation. They are a Peruvian based not-for-profit NGO dedicated to supporting a sustainable Amazon through better understanding of the value of the rainforest and helping local people to access its resources in ways that are both profitable and that will preserve the forest for the future.

At both ends of the holiday we will be spending time urban birding – in Lima the capital and around historic Cusco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site set 3,400m in the highlands.

This amazing tour will promise to blow your mind and be a birding, indeed, wildlife trip of a lifetime. Aside from howler monkeys, tapirs and gaudily coloured coral snakes there will be lots of Inca history to investigate at the magical Machu Picchu and lost Amazonian tribes to learn about. And that will be just the start!

We can’t wait to take you there!

Expected birds

Urban birding in Lima should provide a wealth of species including:

  • Amazilia Hummingbird
  • Andean Coot
  • Andean Gull
  • Belcher’s
  • Black Skimmer
  • Black Vulture
  • Black-crowned Night Heron
  • Blue-and-white Swallow
  • Cattle Egret
  • Cinnamon Teal
  • Cinnamon Teal
  • Cocoi Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Great Grebes
  • Grey Gulls
  • Grey-hooded Gull
  • Harris’ Hawk
  • Inca Tern
  • Kelp
  • Least Bittern
  • Limpkin
  • Little Blue Heron
  • Long-tailed Mockingbird
  • Many-coloured Rush Tyrant
  • Neotropic Cormorant
  • Peruvian Booby
  • Peruvian Pelican
  • Pied-billed
  • Puna Ibis
  • Puna Ibis
  • Roseate Spoonbill
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Rufous-coloured Sparrow
  • Snowy Egret
  • Southern Beardless Tyrannulet
  • Southern House Wren
  • Striated Heron
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Yellow-crowned Night Heron
  • and a host of migrant Nearctic waders

Around Cusco we will on the lookout for:

  • Bare-faced Ground Dove
  • Bearded Mountaineer
  • Black Caracara
  • Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle
  • Chilean Flamingo
  • Cinereous Harrier
  • Mountain Caracara
  • Plumbeous Rail
  • Puna Ibis
  • Puna Teal
  • Roadside Hawk
  • Spot-winged Pigeon
  • Variable Hawk
  • White-cheeked Pintail
  • White-collared Swift
  • White-faced Ibis
  • White-tufted Grebe
  • Yellow-billed Pintail
  • Yellow-billed Teal
  • and a host of passerines

Around Machu Picchu we will expect to see:

  • American Kestrel
  • Andean Guan
  • Blue-and-white Swallow
  • Chiguanco Thrush
  • Golden-crowned Flycatcher
  • Saffron-crowned Tanager
  • Speckled Chachalaca
  • Spot-winged Pigeon
  • Torrent Duck
  • White-capped Dipper
  • and many more

The bulk of the bird species will be seen (and more likely heard).

Around the Amazon region we will expect to see:

  • Black-and-chestnut Eagle
  • Capped Heron
  • Cocoi Heron
  • Fasciated Tiger Heron
  • Great Black Hawk
  • Great Potoo
  • Horned Screamer
  • Large-billed Tern
  • Lyre-tailed Nightjar
  • Plumbeous Kite
  • Plumbeous Pigeon
  • Purple Gallinule
  • Sand-coloured Nighthawk
  • Spix’s Guan
  • Yellow-billed Tern

and toucans, parrots, hummingbirds, antbirds and the like, aplenty!

Other Wildlife

We could see a wide range of mammals including the world’s largest rodent the Capybara. Others like Red Brocket, Brown-throated Sloth, Spectacled Bear and Puma are all possible. Up to 11 species of monkey can be seen in the Manu Biosphere Reserve and around the lodges including capuchins and Night Monkeys. In the rivers are caimans meanwhile on land and variously fluttering and buzzing in air are multiple invertebrate species. From army ants and the best to be avoided Bullet Ant through to glorious beetles, butterflies and depending on how much you love them, spiders.

Itinerary

August 24 – Arrive in Lima

Depart for Lima, the Peruvian capital. We will arrive in the evening and then transfer to the hotel.

Overnight stay and breakfast at Casa Andina Miraflores, Lima.

August 25 – Lima birding: Parque de El Olivar, boat trip at Pucusana, visit to Pantanos de Villa Marshes and Playa Maravilla

Arrive in Lima and then straight into some urban birding action. The first port of call will be Parque de Olivar where we will hopefully be eyeing up Long-tailed Mockingbird, Shiny Cowbird, Vermilion Flycatcher, Southern House Wren and Pacific Parrotlet amongst other beauties. We will then take a short boat trip from Playa Pucusana to the islands close offshore. We should pick up Peruvian Pelican, Inca Tern, Guanay Cormorant, Grey Gull and possible Humboldt Penguin.

After a picnic lunch we will explore Pantanos de Villa wetland to watch scores of American Black Vulture along with Harris’s Hawk plus Neotropic Cormorant, Andean Coot, the elegant Great Grebe, Killdeer and Andean Gull. We will end our birding day at Playa Maravilla where we will marvel at a lot of the birds that we have already seen previously plus possible Peruvian Thick-knee, Franklin’s Gull, Black Skimmer, Little Blue Heron and waders like Western Willet and Spotted Sandpiper.

Thereafter we will chill, dine and overnight stay in Lima.

Overnight stay at Casa Andina Miraflores, Lima.

August 26 – travel to Cusco and down day

We take a domestic flight to the altitudinal ancient Incan capital of Cusco. We will take it very easy today whilst we acclimatize to being 3,400 metres (11,200 feet) up in the Andes. Some people may initially experience breathlessness whilst others may even feel nauseous. Provided you take it easy those feelings will eventually pass, so it is important not to over exert. If we are up for it we will do some gentle urban birding around the hotel looking at Rufous-collared Sparrows and several tanager and hummingbird species.

Dinner in Cusco. Overnight stay at Casa Andina, Cusco.

August 27 – Huarcarpay Lake, Cusco

We will head south of Cusco to visit the beautiful Huacarpay Lakes. A 30 minute drive from Cusco, this mountain wetland habitat is good for Puna Ibis, Puna Teal, Andean Gull, Cinereous Harrier, Mountain Caracara, Rusty-fronted Canastero, Black-chested Buzzard Eagle, Chilean Flamingo and the enigmatic and wonderfully named Bearded Mountaineer – a rare hummingbird.

We will spend the whole day circuiting the lake to uncover a whole array of bird life.

Dinner in Cusco. Overnight stay at Casa Andina, Cusco.

August 28 – travel from Cusco – Machu Picchu

After breakfast we will journey by road from Cusco to Ollantaytambo stopping along the way to check out any interesting bird life. In the town we will spend a bit of time urban birding checking for Giant Hummingbird, Bearded Mountaineer, Brown-bellied Swallow and Black-backed Grosbeak. From Ollantaytambo we will board the train to Aguas Calientes traversing through some of the most stunning scenery in the world, dominated by the imposing snowcapped peaks of the Andes. Whilst enjoying this luxury train ride we will count the number of Torrent Ducks that we come across amongst the rapids of the Urubamba River, whose course we will follow towards Aguas Calientes.

Once there and settled in, we will indulge in some urban birding around this very touristy town to pick up Blue-and-white Swallow, White-capped Dipper feeding in the torrents of the Urubamba River and a range of tanagers and hummingbirds. We will also pop into the wooded grounds of the Inkaterra Hotel for some amazing birding. We should see a host of species like Green-and-white Hummingbird, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Highland Motmot, Black-capped Donacobius, Vermilion Flycatcher and tanagers like Blue-grey, Saffron-crowned and Golden-naped.

Dinner in Aguas Calientes. Overnight stay at Tierra Viva Cusco Machu Picchu Hotel, Aguas Calientes.

August 29 – Machu Picchu

We will rise predawn to catch the first buses out to Machu Picchu to be wandering around the mystical ruins as they are bathed in the rays of the morning light – provided it’s a sunny morning. We will be given an official two hour tour around these incredible ruins being told about the site’s incredible history. Machu Picchu is certainly one of those places that you need to visit at least once in your life.

Thereafter, we will be able to have a good look for ourselves. There is good birding to be had too, so we will be on the look out for American Kestrel, Blue-and-White Swallow, Southern Rough-winged Swallow and Andean Guan.

After lunch and more local exploration we will head back to Aguas Calientes before catching the afternoon train back to Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley.

Dinner in Ollantaytambo. Overnight stay at Tierra Viva, Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley

August 30 – Sacred Valley onwards to the Cloud Forest

The Sacred Valley basically runs from east to west for 100km and encompasses Machu Picchu. Our journey overland from Ollantaytambo to the Cloud Forest will take us through this fascinating area. We will drive at a leisurely pace to the Cloud Forest leisurely stopping on route looking for such beauties as Black-and-chestnut Eagle, Plumbeous Kite, Variable Hawk, Croaking Ground Dove, Andean Flicker and Creamy-crested Spinetail.

When we get to the Cock of the Rock Lodge the habitat would have totally changed and we will be in the Cloud Forest. Be prepared to feel a little chilly and expect to sometimes feel as if a very fine light shower is spraying you. This will also be your first introduction to Amazon birding. The dining area of the lodge has a great veranda from where you can start to get acquainted with the myriad of hummingbird and tanager species coming to the feeders along with the Spider Monkeys.

By the time we go to bed in our lodges we would already seen some of the amazing moths coming to the lights.

Dinner and overnight stay in the Cock of the Rock Lodge, Manu Biosphere Reserve.

August 31 – Cock of the Rock Lodge and environs

There will be birds everywhere although most will be unseen. Just heard. We will attempt to recognise as many as possible over breakfast and on our way to El Mirador, a fantastic lookout point for seeing several species of tanager, Highland Motmot, Golden Olive Woodpecker and much more.

In the afternoon, we will return to the Lodge to watch the legendary Andean Cock-of-the-rock activity from a hide at a nearby lek. Spectacular!

Dinner and overnight stay in the Cock of the Rock Lodge, Manu Biosphere Reserve.

September 1 – onwards to the Manu Learning Centre

After more Cock-of-the-rock displays in the morning we will journey on into the cloud forest, catching a boat along the Alto Madre de Dios, a meandering Amazonian river, to the Crees Foundation run Manu Learning Centre. During the boat journey we should get our first introductions to Fasciated Tiger Heron, Yellow-billed Tern, Sand-coloured Nighthawk, Chestnut-fronted Macaw, Little Woodpecker, Emerald Toucanet, White-throated Toucan and White-banded Swallow amongst others.

At the MLC we will learn about the human history of the area and the conservation challenges faced by Crees Foundation researchers on site.

Thereafter we will have a quick look around the lodge site for Black-billed Thrush, McConnell’s Flycatcher, Swallow Tanager, Yellow-browed Sparrow, Yellow-rumped Cacique and a ton of other birds plus monkeys and sloths.

Dinner and overnight stay at the Manu Learning Centre, Manu Biosphere Reserve.

September 2/6 – Manu Learning Centre

We will spend the next few days exploring jungle trails birding and general wildlife watching. Expect to have your mind frazzled by the wide variety of wildlife and flora. On the bird front antpittas, tyrannulets, parrots and toucans are just some of the families richly represented here plus the possibility of a few monkey species including howlers and Night Monkeys. Speaking of night, there will also be the possibility for a night walk to check out the after dark denizens. All walks will be conducted in complete safety and following strict codes of conduct. The walks will not be major hikes either and they will be conducted at leisurely pace.

One morning will be spent with the Crees Foundation scientists and volunteers monitoring a nearby clay lick that attracts hordes of parrots and macaws including the endangered Blue-headed Macaw.

Another day will include a trip to a nearby wetlands or a boat journey along the river to see the enigmatic Hoatzin, as well as Fasciated Tiger Heron, Capped Heron, Orinoco Goose, Horned Screamer and Masked Crimson Tanager and a host more.

Dinner and overnight stay at the Manu Learning Centre, Manu Biosphere Reserve.

September 7 – Manu Learning Centre – Cusco

We will spend the day journeying back to Cusco amidst dramatic landscapes as we climb up into the cloud forest towards the Andes and then down into Cusco. We will be stopping to watch the wildlife along the way.

Dinner in Cusco. Overnight stay at Casa Andina, Cusco.

September 8 – journey home

With memories rattling around in our brains we will fly back to Lima to pick up our flight home.

Special trip notes

Peru is GMT +6 hours.

Peru is a remarkably easy country to travel around and if reasonable care is taken there should be no reason for anything to go wrong. Always listen to your guides when they are issuing precautionary advice.

This is not an exhausting trek. There will not be excessively long walks into dangerous terrain. Instead, expect a relaxed adventure that is set at your pace. We want you to experience Peru not rush through it.

A reasonable level of fitness will be required for this tour, as we will be occasionally trekking over a variety of terrains carrying daypacks.

If you have a heart or respiratory issues please consult your doctor to confirm that you will be able to be comfortable spending some of the tour at high altitude.

Check with your local health centre that you have the adequate vaccinations.

Bring plenty of insect repellant.

Long sleeves and long trouser bottoms are advisable to ward of unwanted insect attention.

Bring a wide rimmed hat for protection from the sun.

Recommended field guide

Birds of Peru – Thomas S Schulenberg et al (Helm Field Guides)

Book now

  • £3,150 per person plus flight based on twin occupancy.

    For help with flights please contact: Round the World Experts 0808 278 1760

  • Group size: up to 6 participants
  • Single supplement: £600
  • Deposit: £630 per person
  • Remaining balance due 60 days before travel start date
  • Please contact us if you have any other queries

    Email: tours@theurbanbirderworld.com

Clear

Please select

Price includes

  • Half board en-suite accommodation
  • Breakfast and lunch outside of the Amazon and all meals within the Amazon
  • Minibus, jeep, boat and train transport
  • Minibus and jeep transport
  • Machu Park entrance fees
  • The services of David Lindo along with a Crees Foundation wildlife guide
  • The optional loan of a pair of sexy Leica binoculars for the duration of the tour – subject to availability

Price does not include

  • Airline tickets and airport taxes
  • All dinners outside of the Amazon
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Visas, if applicable
  • Drinks, laundry and personal items
  • Gratuities