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Northern Peru Complete Standard Birding Route in 16 days.


Demand for Northern Peru trips is increasing every year.  The below is the standard tour that covers practically all standard sites and species on the regular Northern Peru trip. Additions can be made for the Tumbes area, Scarlet-banded Barbet and the White-masked Antbird. Make a request with us so we can tie these extensions to your program. 

The trip is in general quite easy in terms of that there is little walking. Most birding is beside the road or on short trails. However the walk for Pale-billed Antpitta and Long-whiskered Owlet requires a tiny bit of fitness. This trip is offered three times a year as fixed departure in November, February and June.  You may also request the tour at anytime as a customized departure. You decide whether you want to let other people join your party (for better overall price) or if you want a private group. 

The trip starts in Chiclayo and Chaparri Lodge and continues to Cajamarca and Leimebamba. At Pedro Ruis it makes a half circle to Jaen and then returns, to continue through Pomacochas for the Marvelous Spatuletail and Abra Patricia on through Moyobamba to finally reach Tarapoto. 

Sometimes and indicated in the Tour Calendar the tour will be reversed, thus starting in Tarapoto and ending in Chiclayo.  See the outline of the reversed program below the main program. 

  June 10 - 2017
September 16 - 2017

If the departure dates don't fit you, please suggest another date.

Day 0. Best if you could be in Lima in the afternoon to fetch a flight the same evening to Chiclayo. This year LAN leaves at 20.05 and Avianca/Taca 21.10. Alternatively, add a day at the beginning for a Pelagic in Lima. Always a lot of fun and great species. It would give you some contingency if bags are lost on the way. Other Lima excursions are also available as pretrips.

Day 1. Bosque Pomac- Chaparri. Night at Chaparri. Tumbes Swallow, Peruvian Plantcutter, Rufous Flycatcher in Bosque Pomc and White-winged Guan, White-tailed Jay, Tumbes Tyrant, Collared Antshrike, West Peruvian Screech-Owl in Chaparri

Day 2. Casupe (replaces more famous Abra Porculla site and give pretty much the same birds. Habitat is better and thus better birding. Guayaquil Woodpecker, Henna-hooded Foliage-gleaner, Rufous-necked Foliage-gleaner, Piura Chat-Tyrant, Chapman's Antshrike, Black-cowled Saltator, etc. In the mid-morning we bird Tinajones dam for Great Grebe and Comb Duck. Puerto Eten in afternoon for Peruvian Tern, Least Seedsnipe and Tawny-throated Dotterel. Night in Chiclayo.

Day 3. Second chance if necessary at Rafan for Peruvian Plantcutter, otherwise very early start for Cajamarca. Unicolored Tapaculo en route Afternoon will be spent looking for Gray-bellied Comet. NIght in Cajamarca.

Day 4. Morning searching for Great Spinetail at San Marcos. The species has become difficult there in recent years, why the above extension also makes sense for having a better chance for this species. Afternoon drive and birding to Celendin. White-tailed Shrike-Tyrant Plain-tailed Warbling-Finch, Rufous-eared Brush-Finch and Black-crested Tit-Tyrant and the Cajamarca ssp of Rufous Antpitta (certainly a good species) are possible. If time permits we shall look for Jelski's Chat-Tyrant in the afternoon near Celendin. Night in Celendin.

Day 5. We start at El Limon on the way to Balsas, where we have the chance to clear up on the endemics of the region, such as Buff-bellied Tanager, Grey-winged Inca-Finch, Greater Spinetail, Chestnut-backed Thornbird and Marañon Thrush. Lower down we shall look out for flocks of Yellow-faced Parrotlet and Peruvian Pigeon. On the other side of the Marañon valley close to the high pass of Abra Barro Negro we shall look for Russet-mantled Softtail, Peruvian Thistletail (likely split from White-chinned Thistletail), Coppery Metaltail, intermedius form of Blackish Tapaculo (probably also a good species) are possible. Night in Leymebamba.

Day 6. We shall explore the temperate forests of Atuen valley for Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan, Northern Mountain Cacique, Red-hooded Tanager and Peruvian (Buff-throated or Rufous-backed) Treehunter. There are good tanager flocks that are easy to see. Andean Condor is often seen in the area. The afternoon will be spent in the lovely gardens of Kenticafe looking for hummingbirds such as Purple-throated Sunangel, Rainbow Starfrontlet and Sword-billed Hummingbird. Nigh in Leimebamba.

Day 7. Predawn start to Chillo for Koepcke's Screech-Owl and selected stops along the Utcubamba river for Speckle-chested Piculet, Buff-bellied Tanager, Marañon Spinetail, Marañon form of Black-capped Sparrow, Marañon form of Speckle-chested Wren until we get to Jaen. Birding near Jaen in the afternoon for Marañon Crescentchest, Marañon Slaty-Antshrike and Chinchipe Spinetail, Also perhaps the Marañon subspecies of the Peruvian Screech-Owl. (all these ssp are potential and even likely future splits). Night in Jaen.

Day 8. Additional birding in the morning in Jaen looking for Little Inca-Finch and Shumba Antshrike -distinct subspecies of Collared Antshrike. The drive back to Pedro Ruiz with additional stops for Marañon Spinetail which can be tricky and then turn north to Pomacochas. We'll stop at Huembo to have a session with Marvelous Spatuletail and Little Woodstar, and a host of other hummingbird species. Night in Pomacochas

Day 9. In the morning we shall hike above San Lorenzo for Pale-billed Antpitta, Chestnut-crested Cotinga, Russet-mantled Softtail and schulenbergi ssp of Plain-tailed Wren. Then we continue to Abra Patricia and Fundo Alta Nieva. NIghtsearch for Long-whiskered Owlet.

Day 10-12. Three full days in the are will be used to work the trails at Fundo Alto Nieva, The Owlet Lodge, The LSU trail and the flocks around Afluentes. The last night we transfer to Nueva Cajamarca. En route there we'll bird the amazing feeders at Aguas Verdes in the late afternoon. Cinereous and Little Tinamou, Rufous-breasted Wood-Quail and Orange-billed Sparrow, as well as the feeders with hummingbirds such as Green-fronted and Blue-fronted Lancebill and Black-breasted Brilliant.

Day 13. We may do an additional stop at Aguas Verdes in the morning both for the Wood-Quail which is often tricky, and to bird the trails. This is a good place for Zimmer's Antbird. The we continue via birding the savanna for Point-tailed Palmcreeper and Russet-crowned Crake. Often we have seen and heard Buckley's Forest-Falcon here. We spend the night Wakanqi Fruiteater Lodge outside of Moyobamba.

Day 14. Wakanqi lodge all day. Basically working the ridge trail for Mishana Tyrannulet, Roraiman Flycatcher, Short-tailed Antthrush, Black-and-White Tody-Flycatcher, Chestnut-throated Spinetail, Red-shouldered Tanager, Cinereous-breasted spinetail, Milky-rumped Manakin, possibly Black Manakin, Fiery-throated and Scarlet-breasted Fruiteaters. The area is good for Owls and Nightjars. Vermiculated Screech-Owl, Stygian Owl, Band-bellied Owl, Spectacled Owl, Subtropical Pygmy-Owl, Blackish Nightjar, Spot-tailed Nightjar, Rufous NIghtjar and Little Nightjar. Wakanqui

Day 15. Additional birding in the area and then travel to Tarapoto.
Oilbird en route. Visiting in Juan Guerra for Marañon Slaty-Antbird, Chestnut-throated Spinetail, Rufous Casiornis, Ashy-headed Greenlet in the afternoon.

Day 16. Morning at tunnel area for Dotted Tanager, Purplish Euphonia, Cock-of-the-Rock and Blackish Pewee and hummingbird feeders at Aconabikh with Kopecke's Hermit and Gould's Jewelfront and many more. You may add a program to search for Scarlet-bande Barbet or White-masked Antbird from Tarapoto.


Price: US$ 3630 (Minimun 5 people).
Less than 5 people: (see pricing)
Single supplement: 345 US$

This is our second standard tour with tiered pricing (the other one is Complete Manu).

  • Kolibri Pro - standard tour. This tour contains budget birding with the necessary comfort without going luxurious. We choose moderate priced hotels that suits most clients. The idea is to give good value but still comfortable lodging even if there are more expensive and perhaps better known options available nearby. Does not include entrance fees. Drinks not included.
  • Marvelous Spatuletail Tours - luxury and VIP treatment. All entrance fees included. Two units of wine or beer included per day. Surcharge $90 per night and person.
  • Kolibri Boot Camp. Dinner not included, sometimes shared baths when at backpacker lodging in larger towns. $45 less than Kolibri Pro in general and much bigger difference those nights when Kollbri Pro stays in lodges.This means you can get a budget price if you want to stay at a more basic place and be self reliant in the evenings. Dinners are not included. We call this Kolibri Boot Camp. This option is particularly useful for anyone who wants to save money but still have the luxury of a professional bird guide and a driver who knows the areas and the needs of birders. You still get to bird all the same places. To some spots there are entrance fees for feeders that needs paying at the spot and these are not included in your price. You may opt out from these to save more money.  Prices for each entrance fee is forth coming  to be added in the itinerary. 

Our standard tour is called Kolibri Pro.

The luxury option is called Marvelous Spatuletail Tours. Perks include VIP service with the best available lodging, all entrance fees, merchandise from Kolibri Expeditions, a free transsfer from the airport to your hotel. two units of wine/beer per day. Soft drimks with meals.

In some places the service are the same for two price categories or even all three. The different nights are mentioned below.

Chiclayo: Pro: Hotel Inti - Standard room. MST: Hotel Inti - suite. Boot Camp: Backpacker Hostel in town

Chaparri: Pro Standard room at Chaparri. MST: Superior room at Chaparri. Boot Camp: Good lodging at Chaparri entrance.

Cajamarca. Pro: Hotel Mirador. MST: Continental Hotel. Boot Camp. Backpacker Hostel.

Celendin: Same for all.

Leymebamba. Pro: La Casona. MST: Casa Mallqui. Boot Camp: Laguna de los Condores or similar in town.

Jaen: Pro: Prims Hotel. MST: Prims Business. Boot Camp: Hotel Cancun.

Pomacochas: Pro and Boot camp: Las Brisas. MST: Puerto Pumas or Huembo Lodge.

Abra Patricia area: Pro: Fundo Alto Nieva. MST: Owlet Lodge. Boot Camp: either basic lodging near Fundo Alta Nieva or at Venceremos Park HQ (to be determined). Moyobamba: Pro: Casa Seizo. MST: Wakanqi Fruiteater Lodge. Boot Camp: Hostal Moyobamba.

Tarapoto: Pro: Cumbaza. MST: Rio Shilcayo Lodge. Boot Camp: Hostal Mirador or similar.

Prices for MST and Boot Camp options. 

Boot Camp: $860 less. At Celendin and Pomacochas the lodging is the same as the other categories and dinner is included. 
MST: $1115 more


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