Hummingbird photography in Manu and Machu Picchu
Day 1. Flight to Cusco. After visiting the Huacarpay lake, where we usually easily see Bearded Mountaineer, Green-tailed Trainbearer, Sparkling Violetear and Giant Hummingbird, we will take you through Cusco to see the major sites such as the Coricancha sun temple, Sacsayhuaman (the impressive fortress above Cusco), over the Chinchero plain down to Sacred Valley and the impressive Ollantaytambo Inca fortress. Nearby, it is usually easy to find White-bellied Hummingbird. Night at Pakaritampu Hotel in Ollantaytambo. B.L.D.
Day 2-3. You will board the first morning train to Machu Picchu for an overnight visit at superbly set Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. You stay in cabins surrounded by flowering subtropical plants and gardens full of Hummingbird feeders. The possible hummers here include the endemic Green and White Hummingbird, Green Violetear, Speckled Hummingbird, Gould´s Inca, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Long-tailed Sylph and White-bellied Woodstar. The impressive Inca ruins at Machu Picchu are the most famous of Peru and an icon of world-wide recognition. Even with hoards of tourists, the ancient citadel does not stop to impress. The setting above the Urubamba river is awe-inspiring. There are also a couple of other birds that are particularly easy to get at Machu Picchu, such as the endemic Inca Wren and the stream-tied Torrent Duck and White-capped Dipper. The second day we will return to Ollantaytambo and stay overnight at Pakaritampu Hotel.
Day 4. Visit to Abra Malaga - spectacular views of Mt Veronica (5750 meters). Hummers today include Shining and White-tufted Sunbeam and endemic birds such as Unstreaked Tit-Tyrant, Parodi´s Hemispingus, Marcapata Spinetails, Andean Hillstar, Giant Hummingbird, Great Sapphirewing, Violet-throated Starfrontlet, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Coppery-naped Puffleg, Scaled Metaltail, Tyrian Metaltail and Blue-mantled Thornbill. Other birding include Tanager flocks on the wet north slope at Canchayoc. Near the pass there is a remnant Polylepis forest where rare birds such as Royal Cinclodes, Ash-breasted Tit-Tyrant, White-browed and Tawny Tit-Spinetails, Giant Conebill, etc occur. For those that so wish you can make an exciting down-hill walk through the Tastayoc valley and meet the car at the bottom. Night at Pakaritampu Hotel in Ollantaytambo. B.L.D.
Day 5. We will travel over land to Cock-of-the Rock Lodge. On the way we have chance of spotting Rufous-capped Thornbill. At the lodge Violet-fronted Brilliant, Many-spotted Hummingbird, Wire-crested Thorntail, Speckled Hummingbird and Booted Racket-tail come to the feeders. In the afternoon we shall be visiting the famous lek of Cock-of-the-Rock where the orange males gather to show off for females passing by B.L.D.
Day 6. Lower down this road two very rare Hummingbirds have been seen recently- Peruvian Piedtail and Rufous-webbed Brilliant. Later you shall be travelling to Amazonia Lodge. Amazonia lodge has a great garden that is frequently visited by over 10 species of Hummingbirds including Rufous-crested Coquette. Amazonia Lodge is great place to get close up views of the peculiar Hoatzin. B.L.D.
Day 7. A full day will be used to explore the trails around Amazonia Lodge. Hummingbirds regularily recorded at Amazonia Lodge are the following Buff-tailed Sicklebill, Rufous-breasted Hermit, Pale-tailed Barbthroat, Green Hermit, White-bearded Hermit, Great-billed Hermit, Koepcke´s Hermit, White-browed Hermit, Green-fronted Lancebill, Gray-breasted Sabrewing, White-necked Jacobin, Sparkling Violetear, Black-throated Mango, Violet-headed Hummingbird, Blue-tailed Emerald, Fork-tailed Woodnymph, Golden-tailed Sapphire, Many-spotted Hummingbird, Sapphire-spangled Emerald, Peruvian Piedtail, Gould´s Jewelfront, Black-throated Brilliant, Rufous-webbed Brilliant, Booted Racket-tail, Wedge-billed Hummingbird, Black-eared Fairy, Blue-chinned Sapphire, Rufous-crested Coquete, Rufous-throated Sapphire, White-chinned Sapphire, Wire-crested Thorntail and Needle-blled Hermit
Day 8. Next morning you will travel down the Alto Madre de Diós river the whole day to reach Manu Amazon Lodge in the afternoon. B.L.D.
Day 9-10. Two full days at Amazon Manu Lodge. One morning will be spent at the Macaw lick where large numbers of Red-and-Green Macaws and many other parrots gather. You are also invited to make a night hike to the famous Tapir clay lick, where Tapirs are often seen at very close range. Hummingbird options are plentiful and there will be another chance for many of those mentioned under Amazonia Lodge. Recently Festive Coquette has been found here with regularilty. B.L.D.
Day 11. We shall continue down river to the new great option for comfortable birdwatching in SE Peru - Amigos Research Center. While the hummingbirds are largely the same as at Amazonia Lodge and Amazon Manu Lodge, the great trail system with broad trails, the easily observed primates (including Emperor Tamarin), a staked out 7m Anaconda, and some special birds such as Black-faced Cotinga and Long-crested Pygmy-Tyrant, together with comfortable lodging, electricity and wi-fi, makes Amigos a must on our itinieray.
Day 12. A full day at Los Amigos.
Day 13. Travel down river to Puerto Maldonado for a Midday flight back to Lima. Free afternoon which you may want to allocate to shopping, museum visit or more birds at Pantanos de Villa.
Two day Lima extension:
This trip can be added after any of the above programs.
Day 1. We will travel up the Santa Eulalia valley where hummingbirds such as Bronze-tailed Comet, Peruvian Sheertail and Black Metaltail may be seen. B. L. Different Hotel options in Lima.
Day 2. Marcopomacocha area at 15000 ft (4500m) gives the extreme altitude hummers Olivaceous Thornbill and Black-bellied Hillstar as well as the best highland birding in Peru with Diademed Sandpiper Plover and White-bellied Cinclodes and extraordinary scenery at 15.000 feet. Birder or non-birder will love this place!!! Altitude sickness is not a problem during a day visit, as the exposure is very short. You will spend only 5 hours over 4000 meter (13000 ft), so by drinking lots of fluid, eat very little and not doing any physical work it will affect you very little. Consult you physician if in doubt. B.L.