Peru is literally a birders paradise with an amazing species list of just over 1,800. This tour takes us from the coast, up to the high puna zone and all the way along the fabled Manu Road into the heart of Amazonia on one of the world’s greatest birding journeys. Our coverage includes boat rides below seacliffs teeming with seabirds, secluded lodges in the Amazonian wilderness, boat rides into the Amazon, a spectacular macaw clay lick, high altitude specialities and more! To walk the numerous trails in the Manu Biosphere Reserve, searching for the various antbirds, antpittas or 1,000 other species recorded here is surely one of the most exciting birding experiences imaginable. We will have several days to explore and marvel at the sheer beauty and feeling of pure wilderness of this most diverse of eco-systems. We can watch in awe at the sight of hundreds of macaws, parrots and parakeets flying in the early morning light to a salt lick on the banks of an isolated river. We can enjoy the spectacle of an Andean Cock-of-the-Rock lek, and we can sail across tranquil oxbow lakes and travel to one of the best-known archaeological sites in the world – Machu Picchu. We aim to see in excess of 600 species and this is without doubt one of the most exciting holidays that ZOOTHERA currently run. Imagine sailing down one of the tributaries of the Amazon as the early morning mist slowly recedes, raucous Blue-and-Yellow Macaws flying overhead and the eerie cry of Howler Monkeys calling from the surrounding jungle. This holiday of a lifetime will see us well looked after by our local guides, as we relax in picturesque lodges in prime birdwatching areas. From the Pacific coast, to Machu Picchu and the Manu - Peru has it all!
Western Striolated Puffbird
Day 1 Arrival in Lima - 6th October
Arrival inLima and transfer to a nearby hotel for the night. Night in Lima.
Day 2 Puerto Viejo - Pucusana
We will begin our coverage of this amazing country by heading south of Lima and visit the marshes and lowland scrub at the northernmost tip of the Atacama Desert, which should provide a gentle introduction to the Peruvian avifauna such as Great and White-tufted Grebes, Andean Coot, White-cheeked Pintail, Plumbeous Rail, Peruvian Thick-knee, West Peruvian Dove, Croaking Ground-dove, Long-tailed Mockingbird, Amazilia Hummingbird, the endemic Coastal Miner, Many-coloured Rush-tyrant, Wren-like Rushbird, Drab and Chestnut-throated Seedeaters, Blue-black Grassquit, Collared Warbling-finch, Hooded Siskin, Cinereous Conebill and Pied-crested Tit-tyrant. Probably the highlight will be our boat ride around the picturesque harbour and nearby sea cliffs of Pucusana in search of the endemic Surf Cinclodes. This is also a great place for close views of the stunning Inca Tern, Humboldt Penguin, Red-legged and Guanay Cormorants, Peruvian Pelican, Peruvian and usually a few Blue-footed Boobies plus a good variety of other seabirds are sometimes present close to shore. Gulls are well represented with Kelp, Belcher’s and the beautiful Grey, and other species here include American and Blackish Oystercatchers and Snowy Plover. Night in Lima.
Day 3 Lima - Cusco - Huacarpay Lakes
This morning we will take an early morning flight across the mighty snow-capped peaks of the Andes to Cusco, the 3400m gateway to Amazonia and some of the best birding on the planet. On arrival at Cusco we will spend the rest of the day in relaxing style around the bird-rich Huacarpay Lake and surrounding arid hillsides just outside of town. This is an amazing place to bird, where the lake is home to many high Andean water birds including Puna Ibis, Plumbeous Rail, Andean Lapwing, White-backed Stilt, Speckled and Puna Teals, Andean Duck, Yellow-billed Pintail and Andean Gull. Amongst a variety of hummingbirds present, we will search out the rare and local endemic Bearded Mountaineer which is only found in a few arid valleys. We will watch for the local Bare-faced and Black-winged Ground-Doves along the cactus hillsides and other specialities include Streak-fronted Thornbird, the endemic Rusty-fronted Canastero, Wren-like Rushbird, Andean Negrito, Spot-billed and Rufous-naped Ground-Tyrants, Many-coloured Rush-Tyrant, Brown-bellied Swallow, Sparkling Violetear, Green-tailed Trainbearer, Giant Hummingbird, Blue-and-yellow Tanager, Greenish Yellow-Finch, Band-tailed Seedeater, Ash-breasted, Mourning, and Peruvian Sierra-Finches and Yellow-winged Blackbird. We will spend the first of 3 nights in Urubamba.
Day 4 Machu Picchu
We begin this morning with a short transfer by bus to the delightful town of Ollantaytambo from where we board the train for the downriver journey to Aguas Calientes at the base of the famed ruins of Machu Picchu. The tracks follow alongside the Urubamba River, so watch for the splendid Torrent Duck and White-capped Dipper en-route. Once at Aguas Calientes we will board a comfortable bus for the twenty-minute ride up hairpin switchbacks to Machu Picchu, where we will have ample time to learn about this “Lost City of the Incas”, admiring its unique architecture and the dramatic scenery. And of course there are numerous photographic opportunities! Not only is Machu Picchu a must-visit site at least once in your life it is also a fantastic place to see a good variety of interesting and specialized birds. While at the ruins keep an eye out for the endemic Inca Wren as well as White-winged Black-Tyrant, which likes to hunt along the forest edge, and the local White-throated Hawk can sometimes be seen soaring overhead. We even saw the might Andean Condor here on our last visit. Below the ruins lies good forest where we will look for Mitred Parakeet, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, White-bellied Woodstar, the endemic Green-and-white Hummingbird, Ocellated Piculet, Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Sclater’s Tyrannulet, the local Pale-legged and Russet-crowned Warblers, a host of tanagers including Rust-and-yellow and Silver-backed, Chestnut-capped Brush-finch and Dusky-green Oropendola to name a few. We then backtrack by train upriver to Ollantaytambo, before returning to our lovely hotel this evening. Overnight in Urubamba.
Day 5Abra Malaga
As dawn breaks across a landscape of rugged snow capped peaks we will find ourselves on the way to Abra Malaga this morning. After crossing the 4,230 m pass our descent will take quite a while and the lower we go the more the vegetation increases and we find ourselves in a world of lichen-covered elfin forest. A profusion of birds awaits in this beautiful temperate forest where we will look for the local White-rumped Hawk, Mitred Parakeet, the extraordinary Sword-billed Hummingbird, Coppery-naped Puffleg, Marcapata Spinetail, Pale-footed Swallow, Inca and Mountain Wrens, Barred Fruiteater, Unstreaked Tit-Tyrant, Three-striped, the local Parodi’s, Oleaginous, Black-capped and Superciliared Hemispinguses, Golden-collared Tanager, several species of mountain-tanagers, White-browed Conebill, Cusco Brush-finch and Plush-capped Finch! Moving higher up we will search for Andean Condors, Rufous Antpitta which skulks in the shadows, Violet-throated Starfrontlet, Rufous-breasted Chat-tyrant, Red-crested Cotinga, Puna Thistletail, Trilling Tapaculo, Tit-like Dacnis, White-browed Conebill and Rusty Flowerpiercer. Higher up still we will reach the puna zone with its grassland and small lakes where we may see Andean Goose, Andean Ibis, Andean Condor, Mountain Caracara, Aplomado Falcon, Grey-breasted Seed-Snipe, Andean Hillstar, Blue-mantled Thornbill, Puna and Ochre-naped Ground-Tyrants, the very local Line-fronted Canastero, Paramo Pipit, White-winged Diuca-Finch and Bright-rumped Yellow-Finch. Weather permitting we will search in the Polylepis forest for three highly prized species: Royal Cinclodes, White-browed Tit-Spinetail and Ash-breasted Tit-Tyrant. Other possibilities in this forest include Tawny Tit-Spinetail, Puna Tapaculo, Red-rumped Bush-Tyrant and D’Orbigny’s Chat-tyrant. Late in the afternoon we will make one final stop to find the endemic White-tufted Sunbeam, and as always there will be other birds to see such as Shining Sunbeam, Giant Hummingbird, Andean Flicker, Creamy-crested Spinetail, Stripe-headed Antpitta, Tufted Tit-Tyrant and Plain-capped Ground-Tyrant among many others. Our comfortable hotel will be a welcome sight after a long but rewarding day of birding in the High Andes of Peru. Night in Urubamba.
Day 6 Urubamba - Wayquechas Biological Station
This morning we will head towards the fabled Manu Road, finding plenty of new birds along the way as we cross dry valleys interspersed with Puna grassland. Searching this seemingly barren area we will look for Andean Tinamou, Mountain Caracara, Variable Hawk, Spot-winged Pigeon, Creamy-crested Spinetail, Hooded Siskin, Cinereous Conebill and the smart endemic Chestnut-breasted Mountain-Finch. On one tour we also found a flock of Tawny-throated Dotterels as well. Once over Acjanaco Pass and onto the eastern slope of the Andes we enter elfin forest, humid montane forest and chusquea bamboo where the birdlife inevitably changes and should include White-collared Jay, Grey-breasted Mountain-Toucan, Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Barred Fruiteater, Sierran Elaenia, Red-crested Cotinga, Moustached Flowerpiercer, Hooded, Scarlet-bellied and Chestnut-bellied Mountain-Tanagers, Golden-collared Tanager and Mountain Cacique. We will inevitably encounter numerous mixed-species feeding flocks throughout our time on the Manu Road, and as we try and keep up with the action and the kaleidoscope of colours and movement we can see Tyrian Metaltail, Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Ochraceous-breasted Flycatcher, White-throated and White-banded Tyrannulets, Pearled Treerunner, Rufous-breasted Chat-tyrant, Drab Hemispingus, and Blue-black, Gold-naped, Blue-capped and Grass-green Tanagers and Grey-eared Brush-Finch. As the road drops in elevation quickly we will make a special effort to find the beautiful endemic Red-and-White Antpitta, whilst chances of finding Rusty-breasted Antpitta are a lot less! And we need to keep an eye on the roadside trees for Andean Guan, Speckle-faced and Scaly-naped Parrots, Highland Motmot and Golden-headed Quetzal. We will spend tonight at Wayquechas Biological Station.
Day 7 Manu Road - Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge
Maybe the first bird of the day will be a Swallow-tailed Nightjar as we explore the surroundings of the lodge before first light. Later this morning we will drive down the Manu Road towards our next lodge situated in lower montane evergreen forest beside crystal clear streams - the famous Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge. However, it could well take us all day to get there depending on how awesome the bird activity is! Other possibilities today could include Buff-thighed Puffleg, Blue-banded Toucanet, Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, White-eared Solitaire, Maroon-belted Chat-Tyrant, Handsome Flycatcher, Fulvous Wren, Northern White-crowned Tapaculo, Dusky-green Oropendola, Yellow-whiskered Bush-Tanager, and a whole assortment of tanagers including Slaty, Golden-collared and Orange-eared amongst an incredibly long list of other possibilities. Night at Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge.
Days 8 - 9 Manu Road - Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge We will have two full days to bird the Manu Road both above and below our lodge and this represents an altitude range of 7,000 ft to 2,000 ft, and the range in bird diversification is even more impressive. There is very good birding right around the lodge itself with banana feeders that attract Highland Motmot, the glorious Versicoloured Barbet, Golden, Saffron-crowned and Paradise Tanagers, and Orange-bellied Euphonia. The hummer feeders and flowerbeds here attract Rufous Booted Racket-tail, Violet-fronted Brilliant, Green Hermit, Lesser Violetear, Wire-crested Thorntail, White-bellied Woodstar, and Wedge-billed, Many-spotted and Speckled Hummingbirds. Other garden birds include Stripe-chested Antwren, Two-banded Warbler, Orange-bellied Euphonia, Beryl-spangled, Blue-necked and Spotted Tanagers and Black-faced Brush-finch, whilst mammals such as Tayra and Agouti are also present. A nearby hide overlooks an Andean Cock-of-the-Rock lek where one can sit and watch males of this splendid bird display at very close range. Trails near the lodge can produce such stars as Brown Tinamou, Rufous-breasted Antthrush, Yellow-breasted and Yellow-rumped Antwren, Slaty Gnateater, Inca Flycatcher, Yungas and Cerulean-capped Manakins, Golden-eyed Flowerpiercer, and Spotted Nightingale-Thrush. Along the road just above the lodge watch for the charming Crested Quetzal, Bolivian Tyrannulet, Smoke-coloured Pewee, Black-streaked Puffbird, Red-billed Scythebill, Montane Woodcreeper, Grey-mantled Wren, Andean Solitaire, Inca Jay, Golden-eared, Orange-eared and Black-goggled Tanagers, Blue-naped Chlorophonia, Black-eared Hemispingus, Golden-collared Honeycreeper and Dusky-green Oropendola.
One morning we will drive up the road into a different life zone where we will look for stunners like Solitary Eagle, White-throated Hawk, Blue-banded Toucanet, Yungas Pygmy-Owl, Rufous-capped Thornbill, Greater Scythebill, Striped and Black-billed Treehunters, Montane Foliage-gleaner, White-capped Dipper, White-eared Solitaire, Glossy-black Thrush, Band-tailed Fruiteater, Three-striped and Russet-crowned Warblers, Deep-blue Flowerpiercer, tanagers galore, Yellow-throated Bush-tanager, and if we are lucky we may find a superb Chestnut-crested Cotinga, as we did on our last tour.
We will also spend time along the road below the lodge. Here we will watch for Sunbittern, Black-and-chestnut Eagle, Wattled Guan, Fine-barred Piculet, Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Amazonian Umbrellabird, White-backed Fire-eye, Cabanis’s Spinetail, Chestnut-backed Antshrike, Stripe-chested, Foothill, Yellow-breasted Warbling Antbird, Warbling and Ornate Antwrens, Mottle-backed Elaenia, Black-backed Tody-Tyrant, and Swallow Tanager to name a few. And we should at least hear Brown Tinamou and Rufous-breasted Wood-quail! On at least one evening we will visit a special site for Lyre-tailed Nightjar, and can also search for Andean Potoo, Rufescent Screech-owl and Rufous-banded Owl, which were all seen on our last tour. All of this takes place in a beautiful setting of forested valleys, rushing rivers, waterfalls, mild temperatures, good food and comfortable lodging. Nights at Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge.
Day 10 Manu Road - Amazonia Lodge
We will take the entire day to travel and bird the Manu Road to Hacienda Amazonia, where we will spend the next 3 nights. Stopping along the way we will look for the mythical Lanceolated Monklet, flowering trees with hummingbirds, Plum-throated Cotinga, Military Macaw, fruiting trees with elaenia and tanager flocks, and Epaulet Oriole just to name a few. Lower down we will make a stop for the rare and local Rusty-fronted Tody-Flycatcher, and will also look for Black Caracara, Golden-tailed Sapphire, Yellow-breasted Antwren, Manu Antbird, Russet, Uniform and Chestnut-backed Antshrikes, Chestnut-breasted Wren, Hazel-fronted Pygmy-tyrant, Variegated Bristle-Tyrant, Slender-footed and Cinnamon-faced Tyrannulets, Olive-backed Woodcreeper, Black-billed Treehunter, Ash-browed Spinetail, Buff-fronted Foliage-gleaner, Red-eyed Vireo, Slate-throated Whitestart, Golden-bellied (Cusco) Warbler, Tropical Parula and Olivaceous Siskin. Tanagers should be well represented with numerous possibilities as always, such as Black-goggled, Yellow-crested, Golden-naped, Spotted, Beryl-spangled and Bay-headed Tanagers all likely,whilst Blue-headed Macaw can sometimes be seen along the road once we are in sight of the river. In the tropical lowlands some wide open fields and cultivated areas are good for Chestnut-bellied Seed-finch, Bran-coloured Flycatcher and both Black-faced and Magpie Tanagers. We eventually come to the river at Atalaya, keeping an eye out for Bat Falcons, and then cross by boat with all of our luggage. This lovely Hacienda is the former home of Ramiro Yabar, our local leader whose expertise and intimate knowledge of the area is unsurpassed. We will spend the first of 3 nights at Amazonia Lodge.
Days 11 – 12 Amazonia Lodge
This is a birder's paradise with a variety of habitats within a short walking distance of the lodge, including the gardens, an oxbow lake, nearby secondary growth and clearings, bamboo forest, the hill behind the lodge, and the primary forest. Here some very local species are seemingly easy to find and this is the best location anywhere for the endemic Koepcke’s Hermit, White-cheeked Tody-Tyrant and Blue-headed Macaw. Flowering bushes and feeders around the lodge bring in hummingbirds such as Grey-breasted Sabrewing, Blue-tailed and Sapphire-spangled Emeralds, White-necked Jacobin, the local Rufous-crested Coquette, Golden-tailed Sapphire, Gould’s Jewelfront, Fork-tailed Woodnymph, Violet-headed Hummingbird, White-bearded, Rufous-breasted and Long-tailed Hermits, the tiny Amethyst Woodstar, and sometimes Long-billed Starthroat or Blue-fronted Lancebill. This place really is that good! Banana feeders attract Black-billed and Creamy-bellied Thrushes, Red-capped Cardinal, Masked Crimson and Silver-beaked Tanagers, or you can watch the Russet-backed Oropendolas display near their nests in the garden. Other frequent visitors to the garden include Gery-necked Wood-Rail, Grey-fronted Dove, Speckled and Plain-crowned Spinetails, Slender-billed Xenops, Plain Softail, Black-and-white Seedeater and Pale-legged Hornero amongst many others. Indeed the garden is surrounded by superb forest and is a great place to set up your scope and scan the surrounding treetops and hillside where there is always something new to find, maybe Greater Yellow-headed Vulture, several other species of raptor are possible including White Hawk and Double-toothed Kite, and there's also Spix’s Guan, Chestnut-fronted Macaw, Blue-headed Parrot, Dusky-headed and Cobalt-winged Parakeets, Chestnut-eared Aracari, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Plum-throated Cotinga, Long-tailed Tyrant, Swallow-wing, Turquoise Tanager, and both Golden-bellied and Rufous-bellied Euphonias.
Around the oxbow lake, the bizarre Hoatzin is common, whilst it is also a very good place for Sunbittern, the occasional Agami Heron or Sungrebe, Green-and-rufous Kingfisher, up to 4 species of trogon, Black-fronted Nunbird, Red-billed Scythebill, Silvered and Band-tailed Antbirds, Amazonian Streaked Antwren, Thrush-like Wren, Little and Dark-billed Cuckoos, Cinnamon-throated Woodcreeper, Green-backed Becard, Black-capped Donacobius and Hauxwell’s Thrush.
The famous jeep track offers more open birding in the canopy as well as possibilities of undergrowth skulkers. Species to look for here are Cinereous, Undulated, Black-capped and Little Tinamous, Collared and Barred Forest-falcons, Razor-billed Curassow, Spix’s Guan, Blue-throated Piping-Guan, Grey-necked Wood-Rail, Chestnut-eared Aracari, the rare Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo, Lemon-throated Barbet, Blue-crowned and Black-tailed Trogons, Johanne’s Tody-tyrant, Yellow-browed Tody-flycatcher, the stunning Black-spotted Bare-eye, Warbling, Spot-backed and Chestnut-tailed Antbirds, Bluish-slate Antshrike, Amazonian Antpitta, Fiery-capped and Band-tailed Manakins, Ringed Antpipit, Long-tailed Woodcreeper, Pink-throated Becard, Grey-capped Flycatcher, Purplish and Violaceous Jays, Yellow-crested Tanager, and many, many more.
The bamboo forest is home to some very local species including Scarlet-hooded Barbet, Rufous-headed Woodpecker, Rufous-capped Nunlet, Bamboo and Crested (Dusky-cheeked) Foliage-Gleaners, Bamboo Antshrike, Black-throated, Spot-backed and Southern Chestnut-tailed Antbirds, Large-headed Flatbill, White-cheeked Tody-Tyrant and Flammulated Bamboo-Tyrant. The primary forest is home to such prizes as Bartlett’s, Cinereous and Grey Tinamous, Great Razor-billed Curassow, Red-throated Caracara, Cobalt-winged Parakeet, White-throated Toucan, Black-throated Toucanet, Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Great Jacamar, Western Striolated and Chestnut-capped Puffbirds, Rusty-belted Tapaculo, Black-tailed Leaftosser, Ornate and Ochre-bellied Flycatchers, Fiery-capped Manakin, Pygmy Antwren, Goeldi’s, White-lined, Black, White-browed and Black-throated Antbirds, Bamboo and Plain-winged Antshrikes, Thrush-like and Amazonian Antpittas, Bare-necked Fruitcrow, Round-tailed Manakin, Yellow-bellied Dacnis, and both Olive and Casqued Oropendolas to name just a few.
One of the many highlights of a visit here is a session viewing from the canopy tower located on the hillside above the lodge. The walk up is relatively steep but passes through yet more excellent forest and we usually encounter lots of feeding flocks on the walk. We regularly see Black-eared Fairy, Bar-breasted Piculet, Strong-billed Woodcreeper, White-winged Shrike-tanager, Rufous-tailed Foliage-gleaner, Striped Woodhaunter, Green and Purple Honeycreepers, Half-collared Gnatwren, Sooty Antbird, Rufous-tailed Antwren, Dusky-capped and Tawny-crowned Greenlets, and both Carmiol’s and Yellow-crested Tanagers. The view below us and across the valley into Amazonia is breath-taking and we have never failed to produce a whole string of great birds on our previous visits. Over our 3 previous tours we have had many excellent sightings including Lettered Aracari, Scarlet-shouldered Parrotlet, Yellow-browed Tody-flycatcher, Lanceolated Monklet, and both Opal-crowned and Opal-rumped Tanagers amongst a vast assortment of furnariids, antbirds and tanagers. After the session has quietened down we’ll walk a trail back to the lodge taking in a lek of Round-tailed Manakins along the way, and we could also see Grey Tinamou if we are very lucky, or Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner, Plain Xenops, Grey Antwren, Plain Antvireo, the awesome Hairy-crested and Sooty Antbirds, Black-faced Antthrush, Black-banded Woodcreeper, Sepia-capped Flycatcher and Pectoral Sparrow.
Nocturnal species to listen and look for are Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl, Black-banded Owl, Great and Grey Potoos, and the rare and local Long-tailed Potoo. Hacienda Amazonia is possibly the best location to actually see the latter. Primates here include Wedge-faced Capuchin, Common Woolly Monkey, Dusky Titi Monkey and Red Howler Monkey. As the temperatures here will be a little warmer than the previous lodge with bird activity highest in the morning and late afternoon we will usually split the day's birding into two sessions with a leisurely lunch and plenty of time taken to enjoy the garden birds over refreshing cold drinks. You definitely need at least a couple of days here! Nights at Amazonia Lodge.
Day 13 Boat ride into Manu Biosphere Reserve
Today we will leave early for the long but exciting boat ride down the Alto Madre de Dios River to the Manu - possibly one of the remotest locations you will ever visit on a birding tour! Expect a lot of birds along the journey such as Fasciated Tiger-Heron, the gorgeous Capped and Cocoi Herons, Slate-coloured Hawk, Bat Falcon, Collared Plover, the boldly patterned Pied Lapwing, Horned Screamer, Large-billed and Yellow-billed Terns, Blue-and-yellow, Scarlet, Red-and-green, Chestnut-fronted and Red-bellied Macaws, Blue-throated Piping-Guan, the tern-like Sand-coloured Nighthawk, Ladder-tailed Nightjar, Ringed and Amazon Kingfishers, Bare-necked Fruitcrow, Drab Water-Tyrant, White-banded Swallow and Red-capped Cardinal. As we get further into Amazonia more and more macaws and parrots will appear and there is nothing as exhilarating as sailing along the river with flocks of Blue-and-yellow Macaws screeching overhead. This being our introduction into Manu will surely be a memorable day for us all! We shall spend the next 5 nights at the Manu Wildlife Centre in the Manu.
Days 14 - 17 Manu Biosphere Reserve
With over 550 species having been recorded around the lodge and surrounding area we will have much to keep us busy. We will bird varzea forest (seasonally flooded), terra firma forest (non-flooded), old oxbow lakes known locally as cochas and even get a different vantage point from a canopy tower high in the forest. Highlights on previous tours include Pale-winged Trumpeter, Orinoco Goose, Crested Eagle, Crested Owl, White-chinned Sapphire, Channel-billed Toucan, Golden-collared Toucanet, Curl-crested Aracari, White-bellied Parrot, Tui Parakeet, Pavonine Cuckoo, Gilded Barbet, Cream-coloured Woodpecker, Pavonine Quetzal, Great and Paradise Jacamars, Black-faced Cotinga, Western Striolated and Semicollared Puffbirds, Rufous-breasted Piculet, Long-billed Woodcreeper, Screaming Piha, Yellow-billed Nunbird, Wing-barred Piprites, Crowned Slaty-flycatcher, Olive Oropendola and Pale-eyed Blackbird.
An extensive trail system enables us to cover a lot of ground and species to look out for include Little Tinamou, Starred Wood-Quail, Barred Forest-Falcon, Crimson-crested, Red-necked and Chestnut Woodpeckers, Lemon-throated Barbet, Collared Trogon, Black-tailed Leaftosser, Chestnut-winged Hookbill, Broad-billed Motmot, Cinereous Mourner, Dwarf Tyrant-Manakin, White-bellied Tody-Tyrant, Flammulated Pygmy-Tyrant, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Elegant, Long-tailed, Wedge-billed and Buff-throated Woodcreepers, Rufous-tailed Flatbill, Blue-backed and Blue-crowned Manakins, White-crested Spadebill, Rufous-capped Antthrush, Striated Antbird, Dusky-throated Antshrike, Sclater’s and White-flanked Antwrens, Amazonian Royal Flycatcher, Yellow-billed Nunbird and Black-and-White Becard, whilst a huge amount of luck is needed to find an Elusive Antpitta!
We will also visit a salt lick on the riverbank one early morning where thousands of macaws, parrots, and parakeets come to scrape the mineral rich clay deposit to help in their digestion. This is truly a spectacle and one of the highlights of any Peru tour, and the views from the floating hide are simply superb of the multitude of brightly-coloured birds that include Red-and-Green Macaws, Yellow-crowned, Orange-cheeked, Mealy and Blue-headed Parrots, and both Cobalt-winged and White-eyed Parakeets. Our trip to the salt-lick inevitably turns up yet more new species and in the past we have seen Sunbittern, Green Ibis, King Vulture, Ferruginous Pygmy-owl, Spot-breasted and Little Woodpeckers, Fork-tailed Palm Swift, Little Ground-tyrant, Spotted Tody-flycatcher, Goeldi’s Antbird, Great Antshrike and Black-billed Seed-finch.
We also have a couple of rides on tranquil oxbow lakes, one of which is good for Giant Otters. But there will be many birds such as Least Grebe, Boat-billed Heron, Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Limpkin, Wattled Jacana, Rufous-sided Crake, Black-collared Hawk, Grey-headed Kite, Chestnut-bellied Macaw, Ruddy Pigeon, Greater Ani, Purus Jacamar, Pale-rumped Swift, Brown-chested Martin, Band-tailed and Silvered Antbirds, Buff-throated Woodcreeper, Dark-breasted Spinetail, Lesser Kiskadee, Short-crested Flycatcher, White-lored and Yellow-crowned Tyrannulets, Moustached Wren, Black-capped Donacobius, Green-and-Gold Tanager and Troupial. Nearby, dense stands of bamboo have a network of trails that allow us to fully explore this habitat and give us an opportunity to see some of the rare bamboo specialists like Rufous-headed Woodpecker, Peruvian Recurvebill, Rufous-fronted Antthrush, Ihering’s Antwren, Striated Antbird and Flammulated Bamboo-Tyrant. Mammals are well represented here with ten species of monkey including Saddle-backed Tamarin and Black Spider-Monkey. Other possible mammalian highlights may include Capybara, which is the largest rodent in the world, the huge Brazilian Tapir, and the elusive Jaguar. As there are no roads in this pristine wilderness, we will be travelling by boat to and from trails and cochas along the river.
Day 18 Manu - Puerto Maldonado - Lima
After an early morning start we will travel downriver to Colorado town and along the way we should see some commoner species such as Jabiru, American Wood Stork, Roseate Spoonbill, Black Caracara and Bat Falcon amongst others. We then take a car for an hour to the Inambari River where we will cross over and then drive another 3 hours to Puerto Maldonado for the late afternoon flight to Lima. Night in Lima.
Airfare: £700.00 - £850.00 (Approx) - UK/UK Single supplement:£650.00 (please note single rooms may not be available in the Manu)
Group size: Minimum for tour to go ahead 6 and maximum 10 with 2 leaders.
Included in cost:Accommodation in twin rooms en-suite, all meals including picnic lunches where necessary (from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 19), domestic flights, bottled water, all entrance fees, transport throughout, coastal boat excursion at Pucusana and services of local guides and leaders.
Not included:International airfare, insurance, departure tax, drinks, tips, and items of a personal nature.
Accommodation: The hotels used during this tour range from good to standard, all with en-suite facilities except at Amazonia Lodge where there are separate shower/toilet blocks. We will stay in the best available lodges/hotels which are as close to the birding sites as possible in order for us to maximise our time in the field.
Tour Code:This is a relatively adventurous tour as we make early starts and have long days in the field, although in the Manu we usually take a couple of hours off to relax over the midday period. There is some high-altitude birding on this tour and you need to be of a reasonable fitness to walk at these elevations. Some long drives are necessary but the roads are mainly paved now and our minibus/coach is comfortable and well maintained. The weather is variable at this time of year, but expect it to be hot and humid in the Manu, ranging to cold with possible snow showers in higher areas. Some rain is to be expected in the Amazon and cloud forest.