Peru is such an immense country that it is impossible to do it all in one go. It boasts over 1,800 species in its various ecological zones. We have chosen a tour which will enable you to see 300-400 species and you will have a fair chance of seeing most of the endemics along the route. The itinerary entails many different habitats ? pelagic and coastal birds, birds of the dry west slope, high Andean species (Diaderned Sandpiper-Plover, Condor), sub-tropical rainforest (Tanagers), Cock-of-the-Rock at Lek, commonplace lowland birds, the awe-inspiring Inca ruins at Machu Picchu as well as the endemics of the Polylepsis forests at Abra Malaga. In short you will be getting a very nice overview of Peru.
Oxapampa and Pozuzo are German/Austrian settlements from the end of 19th century. Around are lush rainforests protected in the Yanachaga-Chemillen National Park. This region has long been a favorite among internal Peruvian tourism, its about time that foreign birders also discover this area. Villa Rica is the capital of ecological coffee. It gives good possibilities for birding in the hills around the town.
Satipo road may become an alternative to Manu road in the future. It cuts through from temperate elfin forests and vast puna plains with highland lakes and rocky grassland through lush subtropical and upper tropical forest to the lowland town of Satipo.
Last but not least, the last days are spent in Cusco and Machu Picchu.
Day 1. Arrival
Transfer to Hotel Melodia.
Day 2. Drive to La Merced via Ticlio pass
Spectacular scenery awaits you along the central highway. Scrub Blackbird and Long-tailed Mockingbirds make the morning serenade. The endemic and beautiful Great Inca-Finch is best sought after in the early hours so we shall make a stop to get this bird under the belt. But we also need to get to the higher bushy slopes where one may find the rare and threatened Rufous-breasted Warbling-Finch. Here we shall for Pied-crested Tit-Tyrant, Bronze-tailed Comet, Black Metaltail, Black-necked Woodpecker, Rusty-crowned and Streaked Tit-Spinetails, Canyon Canastero, Rusty-bellied Brush-Finch and Peruvian Pygmy-Owl. We shall also look out for soaring Condors, Scarlet-fronted and Mountain Parakeet. We shall pass Ticlio pass and make a short stop to look for White-bellied Cinclodes. We spend the night at the comfortable Hotel Reyna in La Merced.
Day 3. San Ramon, Oxapampa
Near San Ramon there are many mountain roads through coffee and fruit plantations. This provides excellent birding for Fasciated Tiger-Heron, Orange-breasted Falcon, Round-tailed Manakin including Orange-eared and Paradise Tanagers. Mid-morning trip continues to the Oxapampa. On the way Lanceolated Monklet, Inca Flycatcher, Peruvian Tyrannulet, Cinnamon-faced Tyrannulet and Blackish Pewee may be spotted. Night at charming Casa Böttger in Oxapampa.
Day 4. Antenna Road near Oxapampa
Early start. At predawn we shall be searching for the rare Cloud-forest Screech-Owl. The habitat is moist ridge-top elfin forest, but there are no trolls, but rather a number of colourful birds. One of the best that has a good population here is the Chestnut-crowned Cotinga. There is also an Antpitta ? that still has no formal name. Other birds include Andean Guan, Scaly-naped Parrot, Black-winged Parrot, Barred Parakeet, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Collared Inca, Bay Antpitta, Yellow-scarfed Tanager, Grass-green Tanager, Lachrymose Tanager, Peruvian Wren, Strong-billed Woodcreeper and many more. In the afternoon we shall continue to Pozuzo through lovely Yanachaga-Chemillen National Park. It is not unusual to see large flocks of Blue-headed Macaws here. Overnight at Hospedaje Frau Maria Egg, Pozuso.
Day 5. Pozuso, Oxapampa
Early morning we shall visit a nearby Cock-of-the-Rock lek. We will continue birding in the excellent habitat between 1000m-1500m in Yanachaga-Chemillen N.P . which is traversed by the Oxapampa-Pozuso road. (Black-and-Chestnut Eagle, Amazonian Umbrellabird, Paradise Tanager, Black-faced Dacnis, Purple Honeycreeper, Peruvian, Ashy-headed, Cinammon-faced and Marble-faced Tyrannulet, and others). Hummingbird-feeders placed in the park may attract hummingbirds like Black-throated and Rufous-webbed Brilliant, Booted Raquet-tail, Green Hermit and Speckled Hummingbird. Overnight in Oxapampa again at Casa Böttger
Day 6. Oxapampa, Villa Rica Road
Remarkably good birding along this road. (White-capped Tanager, Creamy-bellied Antwren, Golden-headed Quetzal, Long-tailed Sylph, Olivaceous Greenlet, Bay Antpitta, White-backed Fire-eye, Red-throated Caracara, White-winged Becard, Blue and Black Tanager and many more). Around midday we will reach our hotel at Villa Rica overlooking the Laguna Oconal. In the after noon at the lakeside for Least Grebe, Blackish Rail and Wattled Jacana. Coffee plantations nearby for Cabani's and Plain-crowned Spinetails, Moustached Wren and Black-faced Tanager. Overnight at comfortable Rapallo Hotel.
Day 7. Villa Rica coffee plantations cloud forest
Morning birding at altitudes between 1500m-1700m with birds like Cerulean-capped Manakin, Scissor-tailed Nightjar, Band-bellied Owl and others. Later in the forests for hummingbirds and tanagers. Rapallo Hotel
Day 8. Villa Rica, Puerto Yurinaki, Satipo
On the way to Satipo more lowland species. Selected stops en route for Black Caracara, Plumbeous Kite, Speckled Chachalaca, Grey-breasted Sabrewing, Little Woodpecker, Plain-crowned Spinetail, Great Antshrike, Black-faced and Warbling Antbirds, White-banded Swallow, Rusty-fronted Tody Flycatcher, Little Ground-Tyrant, Epaulet Oriole, Spot-breasted Woodpecker and Black-fronted Nunbird. Near the Perene river Collared and Pied Plovers can be seen, and just before dusk Sand-coloured Nighthawks. Overnight in Satipo. Hotel Majestic
Day 9. Satipo Road lower part
Mariposa early morning is good for crakes and rails, both Chestnut-crowned and Rufous-sided Crake, Blackish Rail and Black-capped Donacobius, Versicoloured Barbet, Yellow-throated Tanager, Crested Quetzal, White-eared and Andean Solitaire, Grey-breasted Mountain-Toucan, Barred Fruiteater, Andean Guan, Solitary Eagle and many more. We have often seen Black Spider Monkeys along this road. On our way back to Satipo we shall search for some nightbirds such as Ladder-tailed Nightjar and Band-bellied Owl. Night in camp at the village school of Apalla.
Day 10. Satipo road: Carrizales-Concepción
Our main targets are the endemics Fiery-throated Metaltail and Eye-ringed Thistletail, other birds possible include Tchudi's and Large-footed Tapaculo, as well as the yet to be split obscura form of Rufous Antpitta. Often the rare Golden-plumed Parakeet can be seen. Others include Moustached, Masked and Black-throated Flowerpiercer and Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant. We carry on through Puna habitat. The yet formally unnamed Millpo Tapaculo is easily seen in bunch grass in the higher areas. Also Andean Tit-Spinetail, Striated Earthcreeper, Mountain Caracara and Puna Hawk. Other highland species encountered Andean Lapwing, Andean Goose, Andean Ibis, Andean Gull, Giant Coot, Silvery Grebe, Andean Flicker, Puna Ibis, Speckled Teal, Crested and Andean Ducks and Bright-rumped Yellow-Finch. Overnight in country-side hotel at Concepcion.
Day 11. Concepción, Ticlio, Lima.
Diademed Sandpiper-Plover and White-bellied Cinclodes will be the star birds this day. Other endemics include Olivaceous Thornbill, Black-breasted Hillstar and Dark-winged Miner. We shall trickle ourselves through the impressive Santa Eulalia gorge to add additional birds. Overnight in Lima, Hotel Melodia.
Day 12. Fly to Cusco and travel by train to Aguas Calientes
Early morning flight to Cusco. Introductory birdwatching at Sacsayhuaman fortress and then on to Huacarpay lake (marsh birds and gaudy Bearded Mountaineer). Buffet lunch then spectacular train ride to Aguas Calientes along the Urubamba river. From train Torrent Duck and White-capped Dipper. Overnight in Hotel Presidente.
Day 13. Machu Picchu
Early morning birding up to the Machu Picchu ruins. Nearby the endemic Inca Wren, Cusco Brush-Finch and Green-and-White Hummingbird. The area below the ruins for Torrent Duck, White-capped Dipper, Mitred Parakeet, Barred Parakeet, Andean Guan, Cock-of-the Rock, Ocellated Piculet, White-eared Solitaire, Highland Motmot, Variable Antshrike, Grey-breasted Mountain-Toucan, Black-streaked Puffbird, White-crowned, Sierran and Highland Elaenias, Masked Fruiteater, Saffron-crowned, Flame-faced, Rust-and-Yellow and Beryl-spangled Tanagers, Mottled-cheeked and Sclater´s Tyrannulet and many more. Overnight in Ollantaytambo, Hotel Muñay Tika.
Nov 15. Day 14. Thursday. Abra Malaga
Early drive to the Abra Malaga pass at 4200m. Continue to the north side to the wet temperate forest at Canchayoc (Diademed Tapaculo, Unstreaked Tit-Tyrant, Golden-collared Tanager, Violet-throated Starfrontlet, Parodi´s Hemispingus, Marcapata Spinetail, Cusco Brush-Finch, Tit-like Dacnis and many others). Rusty-breasted (Leimebamba), Red-and-White, Rufous and Undulated Antpitta are often heard and with some luck we may be able to lure some of them into view with play-back of its song. In the afternoon return to the dry Ollantaytambo side of the pass (Rusty-fronted Canastero, Chestnut-breasted Mountain-Finch, White-tufted Sunbeam, Creamy-crested Spinetail, Giant Hummingbird, Great Sapphirewing and White-bellied Hummingbird). Overnight in Ollantaytambo, Hotel Muñay Tika.
Day 15. Abra Malaga Polylepis or shopping trip to Pisac in Sacred Valley
A four to five hour hike rising from 4200m ? 4300m and then down hill through Polyepsis forested slopes to main road at 3700m. (Hike is not too strenuous but some of you may prefer walking boots and/or a walking stick). Alternatively shopping in Sacred Valley. For those doing the walk it will be remembered as the highlight of the trip. The scenery is breathtaking. Snowclad peak Veronica accompanies us throughout the hike. The birds are also among the best - Royal Cinclodes, Ash-breasted Tit-Tyrant and White-browed Tit-Spinetail, Giant Conebill, Line-fronted and Junin Canstero, Puna Tapaculo, Stripe-headed Antpitta, Thick-billed Siskin, Tawny Tit-Spinetail, Red-rumped Bush-Tyrant and various species of Ground-Tyrants. Coming out of the valley Andean Parakeet and Tit-like Dacnis. PM. Flight to Lima. Hotel Melodia.
Day 16. Pelagic
Full day on the sea. The inner waters just after the harbours for Peruvian Booby, Peruvian Pelican, Band-tailed, Kelp, Gray, Franklin's (in season) and Gray-winged Gulls and many terns including South American and Inca Terns. Close to the North tip of San Lorenzo island we shall encounter Humboldt Penguin, Sooty Shearwater and Peruvian Diving-Petrel. Sail on for two hours to the continental shelf for Storm-Petrels such as Markham's, Ringed, Wedge-rumped and White-vented Storm-Petrels as well as Waved Albatross, White-chinned Petrel, Pink-footed Shearwater, Chilean Skua and sometimes Cape Petrel. During the Southern winter (May-September) other Albatrosses such as Salvin's, White-capped, Black-browed, Gray-headed and Buller's Albatrosses. On the way back to port sea lion colony at Islas Palomino.