Peru ........ 12th to 28th September 2018
Peru is a superb birding and topographically diverse country from Amazonia to the High Andes. It has an amazing avifauna of around 1,800 species and can boast more than 120 that are endemic to the country. Peru is also extremely rich in archaeology, with Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas, its most famous attraction and itself an excellent birding location. After a flight to Lima, our itinerary begins with a visit to the Pacific Coast where we hope to see Inca Tern, Humboldt Penguin, Surf Cinclodes and many other species. After this we fly to Tarapoto in north-eastern Peru and then drive north to Moyobamba and a wonderful lodge with a feeding station that is 'Hummingbird Wonderland' - with around 25 species on show. The adjacent forest supports a great variety of species, with an array of tanagers that includes Paradise, Black-bellied & Blue-necked as well as Blueish Jacamar, Green-backed Trogon, Fiery-throated Fruiteater, Varzea Thrush, plus various woodcreepers, antbirds and antshrikes. During the next 5 Day period we stay in a lodge that is set in awe-inspiring scenery of the Abra Patricia Mountains. We’ll explore the moss clad humid and Elphin forests of the Andean slopes and valleys. One of the rare endemic and little known species of the area is the Long-whiskered Owlet. Another gem we hope to encounter is arguably the world’s most stunning humming bird, the Marvellous Spatuletail. This area has an immensely rich and diverse avifauna, typical of one of the top two South American bird watching countries.
Finally we spend four days in the area around Machu Picchu and the nearby town of Cusco,where we’ll have a guided tour of the amazing Inca archaeological site. We will also visit the temperate forest of Abra Malaga Pass.
Days 1 & 2: Depart UK to Lima for a two-night stay. On Day 2 we’ll travel to the coast in search of Humboldt Penguin, Inca Tern, Red-legged Cormorant, Belcher's & Kelp Gulls and lots more. We’ll also visit Puerto Viejo’s marshes, where Great Grebe, Peruvian Thick-knee, Grassland Yellow Finch and Many-coloured Rush-Tyrant occur.
Overnight – Lima
Days 3 - 5: After a flight to Tarapoto we’ll transfer to Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge, with great birding en route. The lodge grounds support a marvellous array of bird species, including many specialities, which include the endemic Long-whiskered Owlet, Ochre-fronted Antpitta, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Bicolored Antvireo, Golden-headed Quetzal and many tanager species.
Overnights - Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge
Day 6: Our main target today will be the Marvellous Spatuletail, now evaluated as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Among an amazing selection of other hummingbirds that we may find at the feeders are Collared Inca, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Sparkling Violet-ear, Long-tailed Sylph, White-bellied Woodstar, Bronzy Inca, Andean Emerald, Brown Violetear and Purple-throated Woodstar. There should also be a good selection of forest species in the area such as Emerald Toucanet, Speckled-faced Parrot, White-sided Flowerpiercer, Silvery & White-capped Tanagers.
Overnight – Tarapoto
Days 7 & 8: We’ll drive to Moyobamba and stay at Waqanki Lodge for two nights. The lodge has superb hummingbird feeders, which attract up to 25 species of these gems. The lodge also has good birding along its trails, where Tataupa Tinamou, Peruvian Warbling Antbird, Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Green-backed Trogon and Fiery-throated Fruiteater are present.
Overnight - Waqanki Lodge
Day 9: After some early morning birding at Waqanki Lodge, we’ll drive back to Tarapoto. Stops will be made along the way to look for specific birds including Andean Cock-of-the-rock and Oilbird.
Overnight - Tarapoto
Day 10: An early start to visit another Andean Cock-of-the-rock lek and a private reserve for Koepcke’s Hermit, Wattled Guan, Chestnut-tipped Toucanet and Napo Sabrewing. Later we will drive to the airport to catch a flight back to Lima for an overnight stay before the return flight to the UK.
Overnight - Lima
Optional extension as follows:
Days 11-13: After a flight to Cusco on Day 11 we’ll drive to the town of Urubamba in the ‘Sacred Valley of the Incas’. There should be good birding en route. Species possible include flamingos, Mountain Caracara, Yellow-billed Teal, Silvery Grebe, Wilson’s Phalarope and Yellow-winged Blackbird. On Day 12 we have a full day’s birding in the high elevation of Abra Malaga Pass. Amidst the mountain habitats, which include Paramo lakes, Cloud and Elfin Forests are a superb selection of species. We’ll be looking for Crested Duck, Andean Lapwing, Rufous Antpitta, Paramo Pipit, Puna Thistletail, Parodi’s Hemispingus, Plushcap, Citrine Warbler, Cuzco’s Brush-Finch, White-browed Conebill and Chestnut-breasted Mountain-Finch. During the late afternoon we’ll travel back to Urubamba. Our venue on Day 13 is a visit to the world renowned tourist attraction - the Inca archaeological site of Machu Picchu. We will have a guided tour of the site and afterwards some birding for a number of specialties.
Overnight - Ollantaytambo
Day 14: Today we travel back to Cusco for an overnight stay, but with further birdwatching in montane habitat. After lunch in Cusco there will be a visit to another archaeological site and also the chance to seek out further bird species. We may encounter Andean Gull, Aplomado Falcon, Andean Flicker, Spot-winged Pigeon, Chiguanco Thrush and Black-faced Flowerpiercer.
Day 15: After breakfast we’ll travel to Cusco Airport to catch our return flight to Lima. We should arrive at lunch-time. Afterwards we’ll visit the Larco Museum and enjoy a guided tour. Nearby a local park will provide us with a spot of birdwatching. We have a chance of seeing West Peruvian Doves, Amazillia Hummingbirds, Mitred Parakeets and Cinereous Conebills amongst other species.
Overnight - Lima
Day 16: Although today is a travel day, back to UK, there will be plenty of opportunity to do one’s own thing such as sightseeing or some birdwatching, either at the coast or a local park. In the afternoon we will transfer to the airport for our early evening flight to UK, where we arrive on Day 17.
Tour ref: AA1856
Cost: Main tour £4,790; Main tour with extension £6,480
Single Room Supplement: Main tour £480; Main tour with extension £850
Leaders: Peter Dedicoat & Local Guide
Max. Group: 12
Includes: Economy class scheduled return flights (UK-Lima-UK), accommodation based on twin occupancy, meals, all transportation in Peru, reserve entrance fees and services of leaders.
Excludes: Travel insurance, drinks and items of a personal nature.