Day 1. Cusco-Wayquecha research station (2700m).
It will take a good five-six hours before we reach good forest, but there are many highland species that can be seen on the way such as Mountain Parakeet, Black-tailed Shrike-Tyrant, Cinereous Ground-Tyrant and Spot-winged Pigeon.
Birding the temperate woodland beyond Tres Cruces, we will specifically look for Puna Thistletail and Diademed Tapaculo. Lower down we may find the endemic Red-and-White Antpitta. Yungas Pygmy-Owl and species like Marcapata Spinetail, Rufous-capped Thornbill, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Grey-breasted Mountain Toucan, Blue-banded Toucanet, Hooded, Grass-Green and Scarlet-breasted Mountain-Tanagers can be seen near Wayquecha and the ACCA research station where we will spend the night. B. L. D.
Day 2. Wayquecha - Cock-of-the Rock Lodge.
Further down we may be lucky with White-throated Antpitta, Crimson-backed Woodpecker, Blue-banded Toucanet, White-eared and Andean Solitaires, Pearled Treerunner, Streaked Tuftedcheek, Golden-plumed Parakeet, Scaly-naped Parrot, Amethyst-throated Sunangel and many more. In the late afternoon we shall arrive to the Cock of the Rock lek. We will spend the night at the comfortable Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge. B. L. D.
Day 3 Cock-of-the Rock Lodge.
All day at Cock of the Rock Lodge and surroundings. The private reserve around the lodge holds a number of good birds such as Long-tailed Antbird, Dusky-Green Oropendula, Yungas Manakin, Black-billed Treehunter, Orange-eared Tanager, Versicolored Barbet and Black-and-Chestnut and Solitary Eagles. The permanent mixed species flock around the camp contains species like Yellow-rumped Antwren and Cinnamon-faced and Bolivian Tyrannulet. Other birds include Lemon-browed Flycatcher, Crested Quetzal, Uniform Antshrike and Golden-collared Tanager. At the lodge clearing there are feeders and blue vervain flowers where hummingbirds like Violet-fronted Brilliant, Many-spotted Hummingbird, Booted Raquet-tail and Wire-crested Thorntail. At night we search for Rufescent Screech-Owl and Lyre-tailed Nightjar.
Day 4 Cock-of-the Rock Lodge-Amazonia Lodge.
As we contunue to Amazonia Lodge we shall be looking out for Amazonian Umbrellabird, Black-backed Tody-Flycatcher and the recently described Cinnamon-faced Tyrannulet. Sometimes Wholly Monkeys are seen along this stretch. At Amazonia Lodge we shall be checking out the blue vervain for hummingbirds. Rufous-crested Coquette is one of the specialties here. B. L. D.
Day 5. Amazonia Lodge.
At Amazonia lodge the specialties include Koepcke's Hermit, Gould's Jewelfront, Black-spotted Bare-eye, Amazonian and Thrush-like Antpittas, Fiery-capped Manakin and many more. B. L. D.
Day 6. Amazonia Lodge – Yine Lodge.
Additional birding at Amazonia Lodge. Particularly the jeep track can often bring crossing tinmous and Woodrails. Around midmorning we leave for Boca Manu where we will stay the night in the community run Yine Lodge. In the afternoon we shall visit the nearby Cocha to try to see the resident Giant Otter family. There are also good birds nearby such as Rufous-fronted Antthrush and Pale-eyed Blackbird. B. L. D.
Day 7-9. Machiguenga Manu Lodge.
Gamedrives on the river in early morning, birding trails in midmorning and game drives again in the early afternoon to try to spot Jaguar and other wildlife along the Manu river. The Machiguenga Lodge in the heart of the Manu park close to Cocha Salvador lake is quite comfortable. It is managed by the indigenous community, who in this way gets an important income. Close by is the trail that crosses terra firme forest for birds like Rufous-capped Antthrush and Black-faced Cotinga and on Cocha Salvador itself we usually see a group of Giant Otters, Green Ibis, Pale-eyed Blackbird and many more. The forest is full of monkeys. Saddle-backed Tamarins, Black Spider-monkey, Monk Saki and many more – and they do not quickly disappear when we pass, but mind their own business. Since there has been no hunting in this area for around 50 years – they have little fear of humans.
From the lodge there is good access to the river for our early morning and late afternoon gamedrives. Jaguars are most often spotted along the riverbanks in the mornings and afternoon, but hardly any tour company has made this fact into a strategy for wild-life watching. It is more of an "accident" that the jaguars are spotted very frequently in the Manu areas when the groups "have to" leave early to reach the area of the Macaw-lick down river. This will however be systematized by Kolibri Expeditions.
One day we shall travel early to reach the bamboo of Pakitza and look for a number of Bamboo specialist. Chance of seeing Jaguar and capybaras on the way and birds like Bamboo Antshrike, Long-crested Pygmy-Tyrant, Rufous-headed Woodpecker and the recently described Rufous Twistwing. We shall also visit a canopy tower at Cocha Otorongo and do some trail birding. B. L. D.
Day 10. Machiguenga Manu Lodge-Manu Amazon Lodge.
We shall leave in the early morning to further use the best hours of game-driving.
At Manu Amazon Lodge we shall be staying in comfortable cabins with private bath and hot showers. Those that like may give the Tapir lick a try this afternoon. B. L. D.
Day 11. Manu Amazon Lodge.
Manu Amazon Lodge recently built a great canopy Tower which will be used in the first thing in the morning. There is a good trail system with good bamboo for bamboo specialists. Emperor Tamarin is quite commonly encountered here. There are two tapir clay licks near the lodge. Where tapirs come to indulge valuable minerals (probably to neutralize plant toxins much in the way caolin works) in the afternoons and nights. We hope to see Tapir during the late afternoon or early evening. B. L. D.
Day 12. Macawlick (OPTIONAL).
In the early morning we shall travel down river to the famous Macawlick. A clay wall where 100s of Macaws, Parrots, Parakeets and Parrotlets gather in the mornings. A great show! If we have not seen Giant Otters in Cocha Salvador we have another chance today. Back to Manu Amazon Lodge for lunch and work the trails. (COST for Macawlick is $80 per person. We felt that the increase of price for the Macaw lick (operated by another company) was simply too high to have it included - especially since some birders prefer to have another mornings birding in the forest.
Day 13. Manu Amazon Lodge-Colorado-Puerto Maldonado.
We shall do yet one more visit at the canopy tower before heading downriver to Colorado. Arrival in Puerto Maldonado at nightfall. B. L. D.
Day 14. Puerto Maldonado - Cusco/Lima.
Some morning birding in savanna like habitat will add birds to our expanding lists. Midday flight to Lima or Cusco. Several things make this trip more expensive than average. Lodges are as good as they can be. Private boat is costly. Need of authorized guide.