Birding in The South Peruvian Cloud Forest Expedition 11D / 10N
One of the best known routes and well conceptualized by experts in birds, Birding in the South Peruvian Cloud Forest. In this expedition, we will visit forests with greater biodiversity, deep high Andean valleys, elfin forest, cloud forest and Machupicchu.
Day 1. Cusco – Huacarpay – Ollantaytambo
Transfer to Ollantaytambo. Depending on your arrival to the city, we can arrange a short visit to Huacarpay wetland, home of more than 110 species, including some endemics such as, Rufous-fronted Canastero, Bearded Mountaineer, Chestnut-breasted Mountain Finch, among others.
We stay overnight in a hotel at Ollantaytambo Town.
Day 2. Ollantaytambo – Abra Malaga
Very early in the morning in our private van we will go to the area with a lot of endemics in the south Peruvian, Abra Málaga. During the trip we will make small stops to delight ourselves with the high Andean morning birds, in it, we will have our breakfast as well. We can see the endemic Creamy-crested Spinetail, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Red-crested Cotinga, among others. The next stop will be to see Ground-tyrants, Canasteros, Snipes, Seed-snipe and many other species of the Puna. Before reaching the pass, we will visit a private reserve of Polylepis forest where unique species are concentrated in that forest. Later, after lunch we will explore the lower part of this route, San Luis and surroundings where we can see the Cusco Brush-finch, Inca Wren, among others.
Day 3. Ollantaytambo – Machupicchu – Cusco
Early in the morning after our first activity in the hotel´s garden, we embark on the train towards Machupicchu, the Inca citadel that receive thousands of tourists every year. We visit the archaeological complex in the morning and after lunch we will do bird watching in the garden of the hotel-restaurant, and then take the train back to Cusco.
Day 4. Cusco – Soraypampa – Chonta
This day will be a great opportunity to spot wildlife and beautify ourselves all day with the high Andean nature of the place. In the morning we take the van towards Soraypampa, a magical place of great scenic beauty in which the fauna is the main attraction. We can see the endemic Koepcke’s owl, Apurimac Spinetail, White-tufted Sunbeam, etc.
In the afternoon we drive to Chonta, the special viewpoint to see the majestic Andean Condor, sacred and intriguing from different angles. The Condor, the second largest flying bird in the world.
We return to Cusco at night and stay in the hotel.
Day 5. Cusco – Wayquecha Lodge
Today, we will go to the North-East of Cusco. Our destination, the Manu National Park, the protected area with the greatest biodiversity in South America, World Heritage Site and the Biosphere zone. We will obviously make many stops, and the first will be in the Huacarpay wetland to observe aquatic birds from the Andes. We will cross mountains and valleys that make up our landscapes to later reach Wayquecha Biological Station, our first Lodge. This place hosts a great quantity and variety of fauna and flora unique in that ecosystem such us, Tanagers, Spinetails, Toucan, Hummingbirds, Flycatchers, and many more. Puma, Bear, Fox are the other animals found here.
We stay overnight at the Lodge.
Day 6. Wayquecha Biological Station Lodge
We will have the whole day to explore the great forest of the area. The lodge has trails that lead us through the low vegetation which helps us observe and photograph wildlife, mainly birds such us, Scarlet-bellied mountain Tanager, Hooded Mountain Tanager, Andean Pygmy owl, Amethyst-throated Sunangel, White-throated Tyrannulet, among other colorful birds. In the afternoon, we will explore the road and the garden.
Day 7. Wayquecha Biological Station – Cock of the Rock Lodge
Early in the morning after a delicious breakfast, we take our van to continue descending to another totally different ecosystem. After several stops along the route to beautify by the biodiversity of the place, we will arrive at the lodge in the afternoon to take advantage of the light in the garden and observe Hummingbirds, Tanagers, Oropendolas, Euphonias, etc. Along the route we will have the opportunity to see the Golden-headed Quetzal, White-collared Jay, Cinnamon Flycatcher, Crested Quetzal, primates, and many more. The garden has plenty of hummingbirds and tanagers that come out for food, here we can see the Violet-fronted Brilliant, Booted Racket-tail, Speckled Hummingbird, Blue gray Tanager, Silver-beaked Tanager, among others.
Overnight at the Cock of the rock Lodge
Day 8. Cock of the rock Lodge
We will have the whole morning to explore the trails, the garden and the road next to the Lodge. This excellent place has a unique vegetation and creatures, such us Paradise Tanager, mammals. In the afternoon we will visit the Lek of Cock of the Rock, where the males make every effort to attract the female. We return to the Lodge birding on the road.
Day 9. Cock of the rock Lodge – Amazonia Lodge
Early in the morning, we continue our expedition to the transitional forest. On this route we will have the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Swallow Tanager, Turquoise Tanager, Speckled Chachalaca, Blue-crowned Trogon, Golden-collared Honeycreeper, Black Solitary Eagle, among others. At noon we will arrive at Atalaya village, where we will change the vehicle and continue with the expedition by boat with outboard motor. After a 15-minute journey, we arrive at the Amazonia lodge, where we can take advantage of natural light and see hummingbirds such us, White-necked Jacobin, Rufous-crested Coquete, Blue-tailed Emerlad and many more.
Day 10. Amazonia Lodge
The lodge has a very good trails system for birding/photography and the small towers that help us have a better view. Here, we will have the opportunity to see the Great Antshrike, Black-tailed Trogon, Chestnut-eared Arasari, Royal Flycatcher, Amazon Kingfisher, Ringed Woodpecker, Spangled Cotinga and among others.
We can also do a night walk in search of Great Potoo, Spectacled Owl, and Common Pauraque and among others.
Day 11. Amazonia Lodge – Cusco
After our last breakfast, we will have the last chance to see the Rufous-crested Coquete flying around the garden. Traveling by boat, we reach Atalaya village, where our private car will be waiting for us. We drive back to Cusco making some stops, for watching or photographing birds.
- All the transportation from/to Cusco
- Experienced Bilingual Birding Guide
- Accommodation (in hotel and lodges)
- Train Ticket to/from Machupicchu
- Bus Ticket from/to Aguas Calientes
- Duffle bag
- All food included (except the first breakfast and last dinner)
- Extra drinks (beer, pisco sour, etc.)
- Travel Insurance
- Tips for the staff (optional)
- Take extra money with you
- Good Binoculars
- Eco-friendly clothes
- Repellent for mosquitoes