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Bird and Run. Machu Picchu and Lima Marathon


There is more to life than birding. This is specifically true for birders who are also runners. They can be very hard to combine, although most running birders will have several anectodes to tell about heard or seen birds while on a run. For the first time ever there is a tour that combines birding and long-distance running. What better place than Peru to start. There shall be birding in the mornings and the afternoons, and the runs will mainly be fitted in the middle of the day.The lodge has proven very good for Peruvian Recurvebill and Rufous-headed Woodpecker. A great Potoo has been seen recently just next to the building. The area is also good for Pale-winged Trumpeters.


As Inca trail permits have sold out, there is no possibility to hike the inca trail on this trip. Instead the alternative program includes the following items.

May 3: Arrival transfer and an evening run

May 4 flight to Cusco. 

May 4-7. Machu Picchu and Abra Malaga overland

May 8-10.  Cuzco-Puerto Maldonado Overland

May 11. Birding Saona Lodge near Puerto Maldonado

May 12-16. Pampas del Heath

May 17. Flight to Lima

May 18. Lima Marathon. 

Price set for 2014 is for this year's version. We may try for INca Trail again in 2015. Please allow to book at least 6 months before the trip. 

No Departures for this Tour

If the departure dates don't fit you, please suggest another date.

Day 1. Arrival Lima. Hotel Miraflores. 8-18k easy run. 

After being transfered to the hotel, there will be a late afternoon run along the Malecon de Miraflores with a beaitiful view. We shall safe the Lima birdwatching to the last day, although a few species will be picked up while running.

Day 2-4.  Birding Abra Malaga and altitude training.

This program is much like our regular training program for people to cope with the altitude on the Inca Trail with the idea of work high and sleep low.

Day 2. Sleep low at Ollantaytambo

After picking up early arrivers at the Cusco airport we will do a short city tour and work our way to Ollantaytambo, passing the Huacarpay Lake for Bearded Mountaineer and wetland birds on our way. Above Ollantaytambo we will search for species like Rusty-fronted Canastero, Chestnut-breasted Mountain-Finch, White-tufted Sunbeam, Creamy-crested Spinetail, Giant Hummingbird, Great Sapphirewing and White-bellied Hummingbird. Night in Ollantaytambo. (2900m). In the late afternoon we shall do an easy 5-10 k near Ollantaytambo

Day 3. Work high. Birding Abra Malaga

We will get up very early for the drive up beyond the Abra Malaga pass at 4200m and continue to the north side of the pass and the wet temperate forest at Canchayoc. Here we may see Diademed Tapaculo, Unstreaked Tit-Tyrant, Golden-collared Tanager, Violet-throated Starfrontlet, Parodi´s Hemispingus, Marcapata Spinetail, 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. Returning to the pass around midday we will do a short, but quite strenuous walk to the quite disturbed Polylepis woodland on the ridge beside us. This is the most accessible high Polylepis woodland that holds the very rare Royal Cinclodes, Ash-breasted Tit-Tyrant and White-browed Tit-Spinetail. Among other specialties are Giant Conebill, Line-fronted and Junin Canstero, Puna (Andean) Tapaculo, Stripe-headed Antpitta, Thick-billed Siskin, Tawny Tit-Spinetail, Red-rumped Bush-Tyrant and various species of Ground-Tyrants. As we come out of the valley, we stand good chance of encountering Andean Parakeet and Tit-like Dacnis. Back on the main road in roadside scrub we often find Junin Canastero, Chestnut-breasted Mountain-Finch and Golden-billed Saltator. Part of the day at altitudes around 4200m. Sleep in Ollantaytambo (2950m). No running.

Day 4. No more Soroche! Goodbye altitude sickness!

Additional day on the Abra Malaga road. We will concentrate on birds we may have missed the previous day. Weather conditions - even snow sometimes - may make it impossible to visit the Polylepis forest on one of the days. A 10-15k run in the afternoon. 

Day 5-8 Run and bird the Inca Trail.

During for days we shall birdwatch along the inca trail to Machu Picchu in the mornings and afternoons and run or hike the sections between. This is high altitude, so often the running may in effect be hiking. 

There are a couple of species such as Vilcabamba Tapaculo and Cusco Brush-FInch which are readily seen on the Inca Trail and difficult elsewhere. There are some good cloud forest en route with habitat similar to that of Abra Malaga, 

In total the Inca Trail is about 48km with lots of ups and downs.  The hike ends at Machu Picchu on the morning of Day 4 in the afternoon we shall return to Cusco and sleep at 3400m

Day 9-10. Saona Lodge.

This week is taper week before Lima Marathon. What better way than to oxigenate in the rain forest lowlands. 

Saona Lodge is a new place with extremely high bird species diversity but very close to Puerto Maldonado near the community of Inferno. 

SInce the access is by road it is easy to through in some runs along the road between Puerto Maldonado and Inferno if anyone wants to.

The lodge has proven very good for Peruvian Recurvebill and Rufous-headed Woodpecker. A great Potoo has been seen recently just next to the building. The area is also good for Pale-winged Trumpeters.

Day 11-14. Pampas del Heath

Four days in tropical Savanna at Pampas del Heath. Valqui lists the following species for the area. Red-winged Tinamou, Ash-throated and Ocellated Crake, Nacunda Nighthawk, Little, Spot-tailed and Scissor-tailed Nightjars, Striped Owl, Red-shouldered and Red-bellied Macaws, White-tailed Golden-throat, Swallow-tailed Hummingbird, Toco Toucan, White Woodpecker, Collared and White-eared Puffbird, Cinereous-breasted Spinetail, Rusty-backed Antwren, Small-billed and Plain-crested Elaenia, Stripe-necked and Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant,  Gray Monjita, Hudson's Black-Tyrant, White-naped Xenopsaris, Grassland Sparrow, Black-masked Finch, Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch, Plumbeous and Tawny-bellied Seedeater and Chopi Blackbird.

Day 15. Fly to Lima.

Pick up badge for Lima Marathon. Rest. 

Day 16. Lima Marathon.

Raceday. Go to https://www.lima42k.com/ to sign up for Adidas Lima 42K.. There are 10K, Half Marathon or full Marathon options available. The Marathon is After the Marathon we shall do some birding at Pantanos de Villa., 


Option: BIRD AND RUN. INCA TRAIL AND LIMA MARATHON. Birding in Amazon Rain forest and Pampas del Heath Days: 16
Price: US$ 4960 (Minimum 5 people).
Less than 5 people: (see pricing)
Price is including the 2 flights, entrance fee at Machu Picchu, hotels, transport and guiding. Does not include personal expenses such as tips and bottled beverages.


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Telephone: +51-1- 652 76 89. From the US: 011-51-1- 652 76 89. Cell: 988 555 938 (Gunnar) or 999 007 886 (Elia Gallo) - Email: kolibriexp@gmail.com