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Carpish and Colibri Cloudforest on Satipo Road, 8-days


Carpish, Unchog and Colibri Cloudforest on Satipo Road

Golden-backed Mountain-Tanager, Buthraupis aureodorsalis. Unchog, Per? Photo:Gunnar Engblom

This is an old itinerary which we don't offer in our regular program. Please check our 5 day Satipo road trip, the 5 day Carpish, Unchog and Junin Lake birding tour, and the Lima day tours for a short itinerary and the Complete Central Peru Birding for a 16 day tour to Satipo road.  Should you want to spend additional time on Satipo road, please let us know. 

Also check our tour calendar

This is a concise Satipo road and Carpish program meant to be a fund-raiser promotional tour for the communities in the area to get into eco-tourism. The itineray is serious contender to compete with Manu road for both species and biodiversity in general as well as excellent roadside habitat which is easy to bird. And as with Manu road -  there is very little traffic on the road. It is extremely dense in endemics and also many of the flashy species such as Cock of the Rock, Amazonian Umbrellabird, Grey-breasted Mountain-Toucan, Solitary Eagle, Black-and-Chestnut Eagle, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager, Barred Fruiteater, Torrent Duck and some 40 species of hummingbirds.

Satipo road now gets some support from RainForest Partnership as well as having set off some of their own money to build a basic community lodge in Apaya.

Unchog – home of the Golden-backed Mountain-Tanager that put a spell on legendary Ted Parker – will be visited during a day trip starting at from Huanuco.

This trip supports the local community iniciative which is developing the area for responsible eco-tourism. Kolibri Expeditions is proud to be a part of this effort.

No Departures for this Tour

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

Travel by comfortable overnight bus to Satipo

The bus leaves at 9pm. It is a 10 hour drive in comfortable, wide seats that fold down to a near horizontal position. Earlier in the day there may be time to do one of our short Lima area trips such as Lomas de Lachay and Paraiso.

Day 1: Mariposa-Apaya, Torrent Duck and Solitary Eagle

Birding lower section of Satipo road with targets such as Blue-browed Tanager, Russet Antshrike, Lanceolated Monklet, Spotted Rail, Rufous-sided Crake, Lemon-browed Flycatcher, Umbrellabird, Fasciated Tiger-Heron. Chestnut-crowned Gnateater, Hairy-crested Antbird (foothill form), Peruvian Piedtail.  A bit higher up flocks contain Peruvian Tyrannulet, Cinnamon-faced Tyrannulet, Versicolored Barbet, Crested and Golden-headed Quetazal and Deep-blue Flowerpiercer. We shall be on the look-out for soaring Solitary Eagles and Black-and-Chestnut Eagles also on the river Torrent Duck, Sunbittern, Faciated Tiger-Heron and White-capped Dipper. Owling can produce Rufescent Screech-Owl, Parauque and Common Potoo. Night at Colibri Cloud Forest hostel, Apaya.

Day 2: Apaya-Pucacocha Area-Apaya, Black-spectacled Brushfinch and Lyre-tailed Nightjar

Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager Anisognathus igniventris,Carpish, Per? Photo: Gunnar Engblom

After some birding in the temperate zone with hopefully Gray-breasted Mountain Toucan, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager, Unstreaked Tit-Spinetail, Taczanoswski’s Slaty Brushfinch (a likely split from the ssp. in Ecuador) and the white-crowned weskei ssp of Marcapata Spinetail (possible split?), we shall continue to the Andamarca valley.

The climate is warmer and drier here. Many new species to science have been found here in recent years – such as Black-spectacled Brushfinch, Millpo Tapaculo, a new Thryothorus wren "Mantaro Wren" and a new undescribed species of Thornbird "Mantaro Thornbird". There may be more surprises. Since habitat is so different many species will be added to the list. Possibilities include White-winged Black.Tyrant, Black-backed Grosbeak, Golden-billed Saltator, Black-and-WhiteSeedeater and others. We have lately been able to find the soon to be described Apurimac ssp of Koepcke's Screech-Owl on day roost. At night we shall search for nightjars such as Lyre-tailed and Swallow-tailed Nightjar and owls like White-throated Screech-Owl. Night at Colibri Cloud Forest hostel, Apaya.

Day 3: Carrizales Area - Apaya, Eye-ringed Thistletail and Fiery-throated Metaltail

Bird Carrizales for Fiery-throated Metaltail, Eye-ringed Thistletail, obscura form of Rufous Antpitta (certainly a good species), Pardusco, the undescribed "Millpo" and Tchudi’s Tapaculo, Golden-plumed Parakeet etc.
Higher up regular Andean birds such as Andean Gull, Andean Goose and Andean Ibis may be see. Night at Colibri Cloud Forest hostel, Apaya.

Day 4: Apaya- La Merced-Tarma, Cinnamon-faced Tyrannulet and Creamy-bellied Antwren

Bird mid-section of Satipo road to Apaya village. Peruvian Tyrannulet, Cinnamon-faced Tyrannulet, Versicolored Barbet, Solitary Eagle, Black-and-Chestnut Eagle, Crested Quetazal, Torrent Duck, Deep-blue Flowerpiercer. We shall leave for La Merced around midday to travel in the heat of the day when activity is as lowest. In the afternoon we shall check out some forest patches above San Ramon for the endemic Creamy-bellied Antwren. We drive to Tarma to spend the night there in a comfortable hotel.

Day 5: Junin-Huanuco-Carpish, Junin Grebe and Giant Conebill

Very early start to reach the shores of Junin Lake. During the months of April-September it is usually possible to see the Junin Grebe from shore, while water levels are high. We have been lucky recently near Carhuamayo town. Other birds here include a number of aquatics such as Silvery Grebe, Puna Teal, Yellow-billed Pintail, Andean Duck, Speckled Teal, as well as Correndera Pipit, Common and Dark-winged Miner.

After breakfast we shall continue towards Huanuco passing Polylepis forest on the way with possible species such as Black-crested Tit-Tyrant, Giant Conebill, Stripe-headed Antpitta and others. Lower down we shall look out for the endemic Brown-flanked Tanager and Baron’s Spinetail and near endemic Black-crested Tit-Tyrant. Near the Huallaga River one can easily find Fasciated Wren and White-bellied Hummingbird.

We continue to the Carpish area. Additional birds to look for especially near the Carpish tunnel include Unstreaked Tit-Tyrant, Tchudi’s Tapaculo, Stripe-headed Brushfinch, Rufous Spinetail, Peruvian Wren, Yellow-scarfed Tanager, Orange-breasted Falcon, Black-and-Chestnut Eagle, Golden-plumed Parakeet, Scaly-naped Parrots and hopefully Bay and Chestnut Antpitta. Night birding can get Rufous-banded Owl and Andean Potoo. Night in basic hotel in Huanuco.

Day 6: Full Day in the Carpish area, Masked Fruiteater and Masked Saltator

We bird Paty trail with a large number of possible birds like Peruvian Tyrannulet, Band-tailed and Masked Fruiteater, Masked Saltator, Drab Hemispingus, White-eared Solitaire, Grey-breasted Mountain-Toucan, Inca Flycatcher, Bay Antpitta, Buff-browed Foliagegleaner, Orange-breasted Falcon and Chestnut-breasted Wren. On occasions we have seen Red-ruffed Fruitcrow and Masked Saltator here. Night in basic hotel in Huanuco.

Day 7: Unchog, Golden-backed Tanager and Bay-vented Cotinga

Day 8: Huanuco-Lima, Rufous-backed Inca-Finch and Diademed Sandpiper-Plover3am start for the Golden-backed Mountain Tanager twitch. We have been surprisingly successful with this strategy on recent trips, although no guarantees can be made as we only have one shot. Either way we should see many of the other endemics in the extremely humid cloud covered temperate habitat and patches of elfin forest such as: Rufous-browed Hemispingus, Pardusco, Bay-vented Cotinga, Plenge’s Thistletail. Large-footed Tapaculo, Neblina Tapaculo, “Obscure” Rufous Antpitta (ssp. obscura a good species to check off), Baron’s Spinetail, Black-crested Tit-Tyrant, Line-fronted Canastero and more.  Hotel in Huanuco.

Bay-vented Cotinga Doliornis sclateri.Unchog, Per? Photo: Juan Chalco

Note: There is a US$20.00 charge to the community which is not included in the price.

On the way back to Lima we shall search for the endemic Rufous-backed Inca-Finch. A stop at Ticlio and the Marcapomacocha road entrance gives us Giant Coot, Gray-breasted and Rufous-bellied Seed-snipes, Puna Snipe, and of course all the targets: Diademed Sandpiper-Plover, White-bellied Cinclodes, Olivaceous Thornbill, Black-breasted Hillstar, Dark-winged Miner and  Junin Canastero.  Lower down in the valley we shall if time permit also search for: Great Inca-Finch, Rusty-bellied Brush-Finch, Peruvian Pygmy-Owl, Rusty-crowned Tit-Spinetail, Black-necked Woodpecker and many more. Please note, that we recommend to add a seperate day trip to Santa Eulalia Canyon to cover the species mentioned on the lower section of the road to Lima.



Price: US$ 2340 (Minimum 5 people).
Less than 5 people: (see pricing)
Single supplement: 100 US$

Includes night bus to Satipo. Food, lodging, guiding, transport. Does not include US$20 fee to the community at Bosque Unchog.



Hi Gunnar,
what a spectacular trip it was! Thank you. Especially after being back in Manhattan it seems unreal. - ...the last day with Goyo (to Lomas de Lachay) was worth it, the least seedsnipe and the dotterel. ...........What sticks most to me though is B.Unchog.

Fritz Müller
New York City.

thank you for a great trip. It went beyond my expectations. Hit list was almost wiped clean.
Juan Jose was fine for my purpose. He knows the specialeties and where to find them.....his enthusiasm is hard to rival. He found me some great birds and I have no complaints whatsoever and would gladly use him again.
I will be calling you again when I decide to do the South. Maybe in november and rain is ok i'm English.. Thanks again Dave.
PS: Your driver also did a great job.

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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