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Cuzco altitude adaptation. Birding Cuzco-Ollantaytambo

 INTRODUCTION:

If your time is short, you don't want to waste your time. Many agencies will fly you to Cusco and tell you to take it easy the first day not to get affected by the altitude, We prefer, to drive you around do some sites both for birding and for culture, and then have you sleep 450 meters lower at Ollantaytambo or even lower by taking the evening train to Aguas Calientes. That makes a difference. And you get a gradual exposure to altitude when coming back. 



 DEPARTURES:
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 MAP:
 GALLERY OF BIRDS ON THE TOUR:
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 THE TOUR:

There are currenly a number of flights from Lima that have you arrive in Cusco before 6:30 AM, so technically you could start birding straight away. But you are at  3400 m (11000 ft) and everyone recommends you to go easy. If your time is short, you don't want to waste your time. Many agencies will fly you to Cusco and tell you to take it easy the first day not to get affected by the altitude, We prefer, to drive you around do some sites both for birding and for culture, and then have you sleep 450 meters lower at Ollantaytambo or even lower by taking the evening train to Aguas Calientes. That makes a difference. And you get a gradual exposure to altitude when coming back. 

We shall starting by picking you up at the airport and via short sightseeing of Plaza de Armas, soon start birding near the impressive Inca site of Sacsayhuaman. Here we may see Golden-billed Saltator, Moustached Flowerpiercer, Black-throated Flowerpiercer, Chestnut-breasted Mountain-Finch, Creamy-crested Spinetail, Giant Hummingbird, Yellow-billed Tit-Tyrant and Blue-and-Yellow Tanager. You may want to make a visit to the magnifiscent ruins of Sacsayhuaman, before leaving for Sacred valley (entrance fee not included). 

We depart for Laguna Huaypo, a highland lake with reeds, that makes for a good alternative for more famous Laguna Huacarpay to the south. Here there are a number of good waterbirds such as Puna Teal, CInnamon Teal, Yellow-billed Pintail, Yellow-billed Teal, Andean Ruddy Duck, White-tufted Grebe, Puna Ibis, Andean Coot, Andean Gull and sometimes even Chilean Flamingo. Also skulkier Plumbeous Rail is often seen as well as Wren-like Rushbird, Many-colored Rush-Tyrant and Yellow-winged Blackbird in the reeds. We continue to Urubamba for a late all you can eat lunch buffe. 
In the afternoon we shall do some scrub birding close to Urubamba. Hopefully, we can get both Rusty-fronted Canastero and Bearded Mountaineer in the afternoon. Those who wish can also visit the very impressive Ollantaytambo Inca fortress next to town (entrance fee not included but included in the same ticket as Sacsayhuaman). 

Some clients shall stay in Ollantaytambo to either take a very early train at 5:05 to Aguas Calientes to visit Machu Picchu, or make an early excursion to Abra Malaga, or take an evening train for overnight in Aguas Calientes. 



 PRICE :

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