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Manu Light - Manu road and lowlands in 14 days.

 
 INTRODUCTION:

So what if you don't have 22 days available to do Manu and you still want to get some of the Manu road and some of lowlands. Well here it is. Manu Light. We use a few basic hotels in Pilcopata and Charro to have a better yield of endemics and special species.



 DEPARTURES:
No Departures for this Tour


If the departure dates don't fit you, please suggest another date.
 
 GALLERY OF BIRDS ON THE TOUR:


 THE TOUR:

Day 1. Cusco-Wayquecha ACCA Red-and-White Antpitta  and Marcapata Spinetail.
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-bellied Mountain-Tanager can be seen near Wayquecha ACCA research station at 2700m  where we will spend the night.  B. L. D.

Day 2.  ACCA - Cock-of-the Rock Lodge. Golden-plumed Parakeet and Andean Potoo.
Further down we may be lucky with Andean Potoo, 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. 

Day 3. Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge. Cinnamon-faced Tyrannulet and Yellow-rumped Antwren.
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 and Versicolored Barbet. 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. Peruvian Piedtail and Rufous-webbed Brilliants are rare but sometimes seen. There is also an apparently new form of Otus to look out for - something in between Black-and-White and Black-banded Owl – the same that is known from San Isidro in Ecuador. Night at Cock of the Rock Lodge.


Day 4. Cock-of-the Rock Lodge. Black-and-Chestnut Eagle and Solitary Eagle
Additional birding at Cock-of-the Rock Lodge. At the mirador some 30 minutes drive from the lodge one can often see Black-and-Chestnut and Solitary Eagles soaring in the mid-morning thermal winds.The dense forested trail below the lodge holds manu birds of the understory such as Chestnut-breasted Wren, Slaty Gnateater,  Yungas Manakin, Spotted Barbtail, Scaled Antpitta and Rufous-breasted Ant-thrush

Day 5. Cock of the Rock Lodge- Pilcopata.  Peruvian Piedtail and Amazonian Umbrellabird
Continued birding in the vicinity of Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge in the morning. Specifically, we shall be looking for a new soon to be described tanager that lives in the bamboo. In the afternoon we will continue to Pilcopata at 1000m and look for specialties such as Amazonian Umbrellabird, Peruvian Piedtail, Cerulean-capped Manakin, Black-streaked Puffbird, Russet Antshrike, Lanceolated Monklet and Black-backed Tody-Flycatcher. The bamboo holds species like Ornate Antwren, Bamboo Antshrike and White-cheeked Tody-Tyrant.Sometimes Wholly Monkeys are seen along this stretch. Basic hostel in Pilcopata a few rooms have private bath.

Day 6. Pilcopata - Amazonia Lodge.  Blue-headed Macaw and Fine-barred Piculet.
There is good foothill forest accessible from Pilcopata. Some of the targets include Military and  Blue-headed Macaw, Wattled Guan, Fine-barred Piculet, Chestnut-breasted Wren, Russet Antshrike, Orange-fronted Plushcrown, Red-billed Tyrannulet, Plum-throated and Spangled Cotingas, Yellow-billed Nunbird, Pheasant Cuckoo. At Amazonia Lodge we shall be checking out the blue vervain for hummingbirds. Rufous-crested Coquette is one of the specialties here.  Special features at Amazonia Lodge include a good canopy tower up the ridge trail and the famous jeep-track, which is very good for crossing Tinamous (including Black-capped Tinamou). B. L. D.

Day 7. Amazonia Lodge-Charro. Koecke's Hermit and Selva Casique
At Amazonia lodge the specialties include Koepcke's Hermit, Black-spotted Bare-eye, Amazonian and Thrush-like Antpitta, Fiery-capped Manakin and many more.  In midmorning we will travel down river. If time permit also making a stop at Boca Manu looking for Giant Otters on a nearby lake and this way also support the community. In this area our guide Alex Duran has heard Selva Casique, so we will be on our toes for any Casique like noises that could correspond to this rare species. On the way to the lake we have often seen Rufous-fronted Ant-thrush. On the lake itself it is easy to see Sungrebe and Snail Kite. We shall also look for Pale-eyed Blackbird in this area. In the afternoon we continue to Charro Lodge on a large river island 40 minutes below Boca Manu. Private Cabins shared bath.

Day 8. Charro Lodge. Pervuian Recurvebill and White-cheeked Tody-Tyrant
Charro has the best varzea forest in the whole Manu area and there is very good bamboo accessible.
Birding highlights include Striolated Puffbird, Peruvian Recurvebill, Long-billed and Amazonian form of Strong-billed Woodcreeper, Red-billied Scythbill, Amzonian and Elusive Antpittas, Rufous-fronted Antthrush, White-cheecked Tody-tyrant and more. Furthermore, the varzea specialties such as Varzea Mourner and Plumbeous Antbird are easily picked up here.

We shall travel another hour and a half to reach Amazon Manu Lodge. Lodging at comfortable cabins. In the afternoon we shall be able to check the surroundings of the camp lodge. In the vicinity a hide has been made at a clay-lick for Tapirs. Sometimes Red-brocket dear and Ocelots are also seen near the lick. On the way to the clay-lick it is possible to see the rare Red-billed Pied-Tanager.

Day 9. Manu Amazon Lodge. Rufous-headed Woodpecker and Long-crested Pygmy-Tyrant.
Full day at the trails of Amazon Manu Lodge. There is a great trail system at the camp which includes both terra firme and varzea like forest, heliconia thickets, aguajales (palm swamps) and extensive bamboo with all the specialists including Long-crested Pygmy-Tyrant, White-cheeked Tody-Tyrant, Pavonine Cuckoo, Rufous-headed Woodpecker and Rufous-vented Ground Cuckoo. Monkeys are plentiful including Black Spider Monkey, Monk Saki and Emperor Tamarin. Pale-winged Trumpeters and Razor-billed Curassows are often seen

Day 10. Macaw lick, Cocha Camungo and Cocha Blanco. Red-and-Green Macaw and Pale-winged Trumpeter.Giant Otter.
Early morning start to reach the famous Macaw lick. One of the true natural wonders where Blue-headed and Mealy Parrots and White-eyed Parakeet later are replaced by large raucous Red-and-Green Macaws. The rest of the morning we will spend time at the tower of Cocha Camungo for canopy species and walk the trails. The trails are good for Banded Antbird, Semi-collared Puffbird, Pale-winged Trumpeter and Rufous-fronted Antthrush. In the afternoon we shall go to Cocha Blanco to see the local Giant Otter colony and additional marsh birds.  Night at Amazon Manu Lodge.

Day 11. Cocha Camungo to Amigos. Long-billed Woodcreeper
Break of dawn at the Canopy tower at Cocha Camungo with breakfast served 40 meters up in the air with a splendid view over the awakening Amazonian rain forest. Camungo means Horned Screamer. Toucans, parrots, raptors, cotingas and woodpeckers are best appreciated from up here.  The bizarre Long-billed Woodcreeper often comes in to a rendition of its song.  We shall continue down river to Amigos Research Center for a two night stay.

Day 12. Amigos Research Center. Rufous-fronted Ant-thrush and Long-crested Pygmy-Tyrant.
Outstanding place in the Peruvian rainforest with a 7m Anaconda staked out and recent sightings of Tapir and Jaguar on the trails. Rio Los Amigos Research Station is a vey modern set-up in the rain forest with good trails, electric light and even wi-fi internet and it has the specialities of SE Peru even such rare species as Long-crested Pygmy-Tyrant, Black-faced Cotinga, Rufous-fronted Ant-thrush and Peruvian Recurvebill. There are 10 species of monkeys regularly seen including Emperor Tamarin and Monk Saki Monkey. The rooms have private bath, but not yet hot water. It is possible to upgrade to a private cabin for 30 US$ more per person/per night.
 
Day 13. Amigos to Puerto Maldonado. Purus Jacamara and Point-tailed Palmcreeper
Aditional birding at Amigos. Around midday we shall leave for Puerto Maldonado, Near Puerto Maldonado there are some pastures and marshes where Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, Red-breasted, White-browed and Pale-eyed Blackbirds, Chestnut (Purus) Jacamar, Pearl Kite, Sulphury Flycatcher and Point-tailed Palmcreeper may be seen.

Day 14. Puerto Maldonado-Lima or Cusco. Harpy Eagle and Black-faced Cotinga.
Additional birding near Puerto Maldonado or optional visit to Harpy Eagle nest (additional cost US$150). The same tree as the nest has had a Black-faced Cotingaon the last visits. There has been very good hit rate so far in 2009 to see the adult. The young will stay near the nest until it is abount a year and a half. Thus it shall be quite possible to see through 2010. The parent is also nearby and can be seen with some luck. In any case - adult or juvenile - this is an impressive bird.
Around midday we shall fly to Lima or Cusco. Those flying to Lima have the option to do some birding at no additional cost at Ventanilla near the airport with goodies such as Peruvian Thickknee and Great Grebe.

 


 TRIP SUMMARY:
 
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