This Marvelous Spatuletail Tours is very good value since we have decided to cooperate with Kolibri Expeditions in sharing vehicle and thus keeping the costs down. You will still have your own guide, and sometimes the benefit of having two guides. You will be able to choose from different activities at the lodges if you want to walk less. All in all it gives you more flexibility to choose your pace. All nights will be spent in lodges. This is an inexpensive alternative to the often very expensive Manu itineraries. If you are a birder it becomes even more expensive, since Manu is a bit difficult to do on your own logistically as the set departure programs to Manu are not catered for birders. You need a bird-guide who knows the calls. Since birding in this area includes literally 1000 possibilities it is an overwhelming task to study up on all the birds prior to the trip.
We have therefore since 2002 chosen to offer the cheapest way to see all the birds in SE Peru, with mostly quite comfortable lodging. The key is to combine Manu rd and some of the lodges accessible with the Tambopata area close to Puerto Maldonado- which holds the same lowland species as Manu at a lower cost. This program is something for the birder who wants to have a go at most the specialties and endemic species, but wants reasonable comfort available. But it is still adequate to bring your more generally interested spouse, since the general extremely rich biodiversity provides for everyone.
The lodges vary in comfort.
At Union/San Pedro there are two different lodges available which both have cabins with private bath and hot water.
At Amazonia there are several communal showers with hot water. The screened rooms are large and spacious. One of the best birding verandas (colonial style) in Peru.
Pantiacolla Lodge is more basic with just few communal showers with cold water (well not that cold since we are in tropical climate in the Amazon rain forest). However, Pantiacolla is improving for every year...and we can expect added facilities in 2004. The trail system and the birding is outstanding however. Now you know what you get.
See Tambopata program prior to this trip.
After the trip you may add on an Abra Malaga Machu Picchu program
Day 1. Those of you arriving from Lima will be taken to Sacsayhuaman to look for Chestnut-breasted Mountain-Finch, as well as Tufted Tit-Tyrant, Greenish Yellow-Finch, Buff-throated Saltator and Hooded Siskin. When the passengers arriving from Puerto Maldonado arrives to Cusco, all will continue to Huacarpay lake 30 minutes from Cusco, where a variety of wetland birds can be seen such as Andean and Cinnamon Teal, Andean Duck, Puna Ibis and Plumbeous Rail. Waders in season may include Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Stilt, Baird´s and Pectoral Sandpipers and White-backed and Black-necked Stilts. The reeds hold secretive birds like the smart Many-colored Rush-Tyrant and Wren-like Rushbird. However, most time will be spent on finding the endemics Bearded Mountaineer and Rusty-fronted Canastero as well as secretive Streak-fronted Thornbird. You will sleep in a hotel in Cusco.
Day 2. A very early start gets us going towards Manu National Park. As the sun rises we shall be at the highest altitude and will look out for species such as Puna Hawk, Spot-winged Pigeon, Andean Flicker and Andean Lapwing. We shall concentrate today´s birding on the temperate zone which contains both semi-dry scrub with i.e. the endemic Creamy-crested Spinetail and more humid woodland with species like Marcapata Spinetail, Yungas Pygmy-Owl, Puna Thistletail, Diademed Tapaculo, Grey-breasted Mountain Toucan, Chestnut-breasted Coronet and Swallow-tailed Nightjar when dusk sets in. Night at Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge.
Day 3. We will bird up the road towards Rocotal, situated just at the upper limit of the subtropical zone. Birds include Red&White Antpitta, Crimson-backed Woodpecker, Blue-banded Toucanet, White-eared and Andean Solitaires, Pearled Treerunner, Streaked Tuftedcheek, Golden-plumed Parakeet, Scaly-naped Parrot, Rufous-capped Thornbill, Amethyst-throated Sunangel and many more. Night at Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge.
Day 4-5. The private reserve around Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge holds a number of good birds such as Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Rufescent Screech-Owl, Long-tailed Antbird, Dusky-Green Oropendula, Yungas Manakin, Black-throated Brilliant, Black-billed Treehunter, Orange-eared Tanager, Black-and-Chestnut Hawk-Eagle and of coarse the famous Cock-of-the-Rock lek, where a dozen or so of the bright orange males gather for a noisy display trying to catch the attention of a passing female. On the last day we will slowly approach the lowlands and hoping for species like Amazonian Umbrellabird, Peruvian Piedtail, Cerulean-capped Manakin, Russet Antshrike, Lanceolated Monklet and scrutinize a bamboo patch on the way to Amazonia Lodge. The bamboo holds species like Ornate Antwren, Bamboo Antshrike and White-cheeked Tody-Flycatcher. The second night you will stay at Amazonia Lodge.
Day 6. The road between Pilcopata and Atalaya have produced a number of very good species in the past, such as Military and Blue-headed Macaw, Wattled Guan, Orange-fronted Plushcrown, Manu Antbird and Pheasant Cuckoo. In the afternoon we will start to explore Amazonia Lodge, where we will also spend the night.
Day 7-8. At Amazonia lodge the specialties include Koepcke´s Hermit, Rufous-vented Ground Cuckoo, Black-spotted Bare-eye, Long-tailed Potoo, Amazonian and Thrush-like Antpitta, Red-billed Tyrannulet and many more. We will all in all use one afternoon, a full day and a morning.
Day 9. After a mornings birding at Amazonia Lodge we will travel by river to Shintuya where we will transfer to the basic Pantiacolla Lodge, which provides brilliant birding. Birding is somewhat similar to Amazonia, but there is more terra firme type forest easily accessible and splendid bamboo.
Day 10-12. We shall be doing an overnight camp at the mirador at 1000m, where we hopefully shall hear and possibly encounter the rare Black Tinamou, as well as Band-bellied Owl and many others. The view must be seen. You have virtually the whole Amazon region at your feet. The rest of the time will be used to explore the extensive trail system at Pantiacolla. In the bamboo species like Rufous-headed Woodpecker and White-cheeked Tody-Flycatcher have been easy in the past.
Day 13. We will travel back to Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge
Day 14. All day in the area picking up species we may have missed. Night at Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge.
Day 15. The morning will be spent at the higher altitudes to pick up species we may have missed on the way down. In PM we will travel back to Ollantaytambo and Cusco.
NB: If comfort is important, but not everything, please look at our combo Kolibri Pro/MST program. You will use a camp night at Pillahuata (Day 2)and a night in the basic hostel in Pilcopata (Day 5) - but your total price tag is lowered by 100 dollars. Choosing this alternative. You will also have a better chance on i.e. Red-and-White and White-throated Antpitta and nightbirds like Swallow-tailed Nightjar and Andean Potoo, as well as more time for species like Peruvian Piedtail, Cerulean-capped Manakin, Rufous-webbed Briliant, etc -all quite rare, but only possible at the midlevel between CotR-lodge and Pilcopata.