Birding Tour Peru: South Peru – the Inca Empire, Mountains and Lowland Rainforests July 2019

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01 - 16 July 2019

Tour Costs

Price: US$7,957 / £6,580 / €7,347
per person sharing for 4 – 8 participants, US$8,407 / £6,952 / €7,762 per person sharing for 3 participants, US$10,168 / £8,408 / €9,388 per person sharing for 2 participants

Single Supplement: US$1,454 / £1,202 / €1,342

* Please note that currency conversion is calculated in real-time, therefore is subject to slight change. Please refer back to the base price when making final payments.

Tour Details

Duration: 16 days
Group Size: 2 – 8
Date Start: July 01, 2019
Date End: July 16, 2019
Tour Start: Lima
Tour End: Lima

Price includes:
All accommodation (hotel and lodges)
Private bilingual tour leader
Domestic airfares
Private transportation (includes train tickets and bus tickets for Machu Picchu)
All meals (except where indicated)
Admission fees for Machu Picchu ruins

Price excludes:
International airfares
Dinner in Lima the first night on day 01 as well as lunch and dinner on day 16
Personal expenses such phone calls, internet access, laundry, souvenirs, etc.
Any activity, tour, excursion, visit, or city tour to a place which is not described above
Any service on day 16 after you arrive at Lima airport

Eduardo's BioEduardo's Bio

South Peru Birding Tour: Birding the Inca Empire, Mountains and Lowland Rainforests July 2019

Welcome to the next tour in our ‘Birding Tour Peru’ collection. This is a classic Southern Peru birding tour, in which we sample a huge range of different habitats from coastal desert to high altitude desert to Andean cloudforest and steaming Amazonian lowlands – the richest biome on the planet for birds. It is also a tour in which we see, incidentally to the birding, one of the world’s greatest archaeological wonders, Machu Picchu, along with old Spanish architecture.


Itinerary (16 days/15 nights)

Day 1. Arrival in Lima

You will arrive at Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima and will be transferred to your hotel.

No activities are included on Day 1, since most international flights arrive in Lima late in the evening. If you arrive on an early flight you might be charged an extra accommodation fee for an early check-in at the hotel, or we can organize an additional birding morning near the city.

Overnight: Costa del Sol Airport Hotel, Lima International Airport.

Day 2. Flight to Puerto Maldonado and birding the town

After a 2.5-hours’ flight we will reach the Amazon town of Puerto Maldonado. Once in Puerto Maldonado we will check in at the hotel and after lunch explore the town’s surroundings for our first set of birds.

The birding around Puerto Maldonado is quite good early in the morning and then in the afternoon. The type of habitat is agricultural pastures with tropical secondary growth, which is quite good for finding some specialists like the localized White-throated Jacamar. A population of Brazilian Teal has established itself around town, and we should have close-up views of this bird. Other birds include Rusty-margined FlycatcherSpotted Tody-FlycatcherCobalt-winged ParakeetBlue-headed ParrotBare-necked FruitcrowGreen IbisRoadside HawkRed-breasted BlackbirdWhite-tailed KiteChestnut-bellied SeedeaterPurus JacamarGreat AntshrikeBarred Antshrike, and others.

After dinner we can try for Tropical Screech Owl and Striped Owl around town.

Overnight: Hotel Cabaña Quinta, Puerto Maldonado

Days 3 – 6. Birding the Amazon Rainforest

We will spend the next four days exploring the Refugio Amazonas Lodge located along the Tambopata River, a tributary of the Amazon. This lodge can only be reached by boat from Puerto Maldonado.

Birds on the boat ride include the mythical HoatzinAnhingaNeotropic CormorantSungrebeSunbittern, Agami HeronRinged, AmazonGreenGreen-and-rufous, and American Pygmy KingfishersRufescent Tiger HeronRed-bellied MacawBlue-and-yellow MacawScarlet-shouldered Parrotlet, and White-throated Toucan, among others.

The lodge forest provides us not only with skulking birds like Ornate AntwrenIhering’s AntwrenBamboo AntshrikePlain-winged AntshrikeBluish-slate AntshrikePygmy AntwrenAmazonian Streaked AntwrenSilvered AntbirdRufous-capped AntthrushBlack-faced Antthrush, and Thrush-like Antpitta, but also with canopy birds like Pavonine QuetzalBlue-throated Piping GuanSpix’s GuanCurl-crested AracariChestnut-eared AracariStriolated PuffbirdWhite-necked PuffbirdCollared Trogon, and Blue-crowned Trogon.

Other birds include Black-capped TinamouGreat TinamouBluish-fronted JacamarCinnamon-throated WoodcreeperBuff-throated WoodcreeperBand-tailed ManakinRinged WoodpeckerChestnut WoodpeckerLemon-throated BarbetPale-winged Trumpeter, and King Vulture, and even the elusive Harpy Eagle has been recorded here. Venezuelan Red Howler Monkeys are common around the lodge.

At night we can try for Tawny-bellied Screech OwlSpectacled OwlAmazonian Pygmy Owl, and Common and Great Potoos.

Overnight: Refugio Amazonas Lodge

Day 7. Flight to Cusco, birding Huacarpay Lake, transfer to Ollantaytambo

Today we will fly to the city of Cusco in the Peruvian Andes. The city of Cusco is well known to be the capital of the ancient Inca Empire and one of the most important archeological destinations in the world. Cusco is a busy tourist destination with good facilities. However, we will continue our adventure elsewhere, skipping town on our first time in Cusco.

We will drive about 30 minutes from town to the Huacarpay Lake. Here we will look for several species of Andean waterfowl, like Yellow-billed TealYellow-billed PintailPuna TealCinnamon TealRuddy Duck, and also Plumbeous RailAndean CootYellow-winged BlackbirdMany-colored Rush TyrantStreak-fronted ThornbirdWren-like RushbirdAndean GullAndean LapwingAndean Flicker, and Cinereous Harrier, among others. We will also look for Giant Hummingbird, the largest hummer in the world, as well as for two Peruvian endemics, Bearded Mountaineer and Rusty-fronted Canastero.

Later we continue our trip to Ollantaytambo, a small Andean town in the Urubamba Valley, the “sacred valley of the Incas”.

Overnight: Hotel Pakaritampu, Ollantaytambo

Day 8. Birding Machu Picchu

Ollantaytambo is a very busy small tourist town. From here we will take a train for a 1.5-hour journey to the village of Aguas Calientes, the entry point to the famous Machu Picchu ruins. After our arrival we will visit this renowned Inca site to look for the endemic Inca Wren and also Pale-legged Warbler.

After lunch we will walk along the river, looking for Andean MotmotCollared IncaSlate-throated WhitestartGreen HermitPlum-crowned ParrotTorrent DuckTorrent TyrannuletBlack PhoebeSilver-backed Tanager, and Mottle-cheeked Tyrannulet.

Overnight: Hotel Presidente, Aguas Calientes

Day 9. Birding the Urubamba River, return to Cusco

We will spend a full morning along the Urubamba River, looking for two endemics, Masked Fruiteater and Green-and-white Hummingbird. We hope to find Sclater’s TyrannuletPlumbeous-crowned TyrannuletAshy-headed TyrannuletBlue-necked TanagerSaffron-crowned TanagerOcellated PiculetSlaty TanagerFawn-breasted TanagerBarred BecardAzara’s SpinetailChestnut-capped Brush FinchCapped ConebillMitred ParakeetGrey-breasted Wood Wren, and more.

After lunch we will take the train back to Ollantaytambo and then drive back to Cusco.

Overnight: Hotel Munay Wasi, Cusco

Day 10. Birding the Manu Road

Today we will explore the famous road that connects the Andes of Cusco with the Amazon rainforest, the Manu Road. The Manu Road passes through different types of habitat like dry high Andean mountains, elfin forest, cloudforest and upper tropical humid hill forest.

We will drive up the mountains to 12,500 feet (3,800 meters), where we will have a chance to see Slender-billed MinerMountain CaracaraAndean FlickerBrown-bellied SwallowPuna ThistletailBrown-backed Chat-Tyrant, the Peruvian endemics Creamy-crested Spinetail and Chestnut-breasted Mountain FinchD’Orbigny’s Chat-TyrantWhite-throated TyrannuletViolet-throated StarfrontletAmethyst-throated SunangelWhite-banded Tyrannulet, and much more.

Overnight: Wayqecha Biological Station near Manú National Park

Day 11. Birding the Manú Cloudforest

We will explore the area around our base and will then slowly drive through the magical cloudforest to our next destination, the Cock of the Rock Lodge.

We are  looking for the Peruvian endemics Red-and-white Antpitta and Marcapata Spinetail, and other birds include Grey-breasted Mountain ToucanMasked TrogonGolden-collared TanagerGrass-green TanagerScarlet-bellied Mountain TanagerBlue-and-black TanagerSouthern Mountain CaciqueRed-crested CotingaBlack-throated Tody-TyrantTrilling TapaculoBarred FruiteaterChestnut-bellied Mountain TanagerMoustached FlowerpiercerMasked FlowerpiercerWhite-collared JayHooded Mountain TanagerMontane WoodcreeperYungas Pygmy Owl, and, if we are lucky Swallow-tailed Nightjar and Lyre-tailed Nightjar at dusk.

Overnight: Cock of the Rock Lodge, Manú Cloudforest

Day 12 – 14. Birding around Cock of the Rock Lodge

We have three full days to explore the area around Cock of the Rock, looking for an amazing flock of tanagers such as Bay-headed TanagerGolden TanagerBlue-necked TanagerOrange-eared TanagerSpotted TanagerParadise TanagerStraw-backed TanagerGreen-and-gold TanagerGolden-eared TanagerBeryl-spangled Tanager, and also many other birds like Blue DacnisBlack-faced DacnisVersicolored BarbetMontane Foliage-gleanerPeruvian Warbling AntbirdStripe-chested AntwrenChestnut-backed AntshrikeWhite-backed Fire-eyeYungas ManakinOlive-backed WoodcreeperPlumbeous PigeonLemon-bellied FlyrobinSlaty-capped FlycatcherBlack-and-chestnut EagleOchre-faced Tody-FlycatcherMagpie Tanager, Long-tailed TyrantBlue-banded ToucanetWhite-eared SolitaireAndean Cock-of-the-rock, and much more.

At night we may find Rufescent Screech OwlBlack-banded Owl, and Band-bellied Owl.

Then we have another day to explore the lowest parts of the road, where we can find Bamboo AntshrikeRed-billed ScythebillDot-winged AntwrenWhite-lined AntbirdOrnate AntwrenScaly-naped AmazonBuff-rumped WarblerWhite-winged Tanager, the Peruvian endemic Black-backed Tody-Flycatcher, and many more. Hummingbird feeders provide great views of Violet-fronted BrilliantWire-crested ThorntailRufous-booted Racket-tailFork-tailed WoodnymphSpeckled HummingbirdSparkling Violetear, and Many-spotted Hummingbird.

Overnight: Cock of the Rock Lodge, Manú Cloudforest

Day 15. Transfer to Cusco

On our final day on the Manu Road we will drive from Cock of the Rock Lodge back to Cusco, making selective stops along the road while looking for species we may have missed on previous days.

Overnight: Hotel Munay Wasi, Cusco

Days 16. Flight to Lima and departure

You will fly to Lima city and connect to your international flights.


Please note that the itinerary cannot be guaranteed as it is only a rough guide and can be changed (usually slightly) due to factors such as availability of accommodation, updated information on the state of accommodation, roads, or birding sites, the discretion of the guides and other factors.

Download Itinerary

Eduardo, thanks so much for all your efforts to make this a fantastic , superbly well organised, entertaining, comfortable, informative , comprehensive   and safe tour through Southern Peru. The Peru you showed me  is indeed fabulous. Thanks also to Raul for his  skilful  driving .   It was a trip of a lifetime for me, which Sue and I can now  enjoy “remembering” together.

Owen Oertli – Johannesburg

SOUTH PERU: Inca Empire, Mountains and Lowland Rainforests TRIP REPORT JULY 2015

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