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Acclaimed as one of the premier natural history and birding sites in the world protecting diverse habitats where species such as the beautiful Cock of the Rock, quetzals, colorful mountain tanagers, secretive antpittas, avid hummingbirds among others, find their home. Manu is also well known for the impressive list of primates where 13 species of monkeys are not an uncommon encounter, home also to the critically endangered giant otter, the largest Amazonian mammal the tapir, the largest macaw clay lick where hundreds of parrots and macaws gather to eat the rich mineral clay, makes this area a must for a birder. To explore this fascinating area we have to start our journey in Cusco, the navel of the world, capital city of the great inca empire, where the birder and non birder will find an incredible set of archaeological remains unique to this part of south america ,explore with us the cobbled stone streets of this city, admire the mysterious citadel of Machupicchu while you enjoy the birds such as the Peruvian endemic Inca Wren found in the vicinity of the site.
This trip suits the needs of a nature and a bird lover with a great combination of visits to dazzling historical sites and admiring the traditions and costumes of the peoples of Peru.Our trips starts and ends in Cusco.
Arrival to Cusco, transfer to hotel, morning rest for acclimatization. Afternoon visit of the city. including the formidable and major temple of the Incas the Koricancha, as we admire Cusco´s sites out of town like Sacsayhuaman with its huge stones, we carry our binoculars to do some birding hoping to find our first andean species like Andean Lapwings, Band tailed Seedeaters, Sparkling Violetear Hummingbird, Andean Flicker, Black-throated Flowerpiercer and others. Overnight in Cusco.(B)
Early departure, setting off to explore the famous Manu National Park, driving along the famous Manu Road know as one of the finest birding roads in the world where a hand full of species are found, we will make selected stops on the way for some Peruvian endemics like the Creamy-crested Spinetail, Chesnut-breasted Mountain-finch and the adorable Bearded Mountaineer, our destination is the cloud forest of Manu, once we go over the 12,000 ft pass Acjanacu the forest change is quiet dramatic, we hope to bump into colorful mountain tanager flocks, some raptors, Collared Jay, Mountain Caciques and many more, we arrive to lodge at dusk good time of the day to spot Lyre tailed Nightjar .Arrival to our comfortable lodge and overnight at Cock of the Rock Lodge, this lodge features very comfortable bungalows both with cold and hot running water, flush toilets and 02 single beds in each room, the lodge also has several room with shared facilities.(B, Box-lunch, D)
This lodge offers us the most accessible Lek of Andean cock of the rocks a beautiful dweller of this forest, we hope to see a few males during their dawn mating rituals, the forest around us is untouched and protected therefore is a guarantee that beautiful and colorful tanagers, hummingbirds, cotingas, flycathers, furnarids and many more may please us with their presence.Overnights at Cock of the Rock Lodge.(B, L, D)
After an early breakfast we set off to higher areas on the road around 8,500 ft, hoping to see some more highlands species, like mountain tanagers, good chances for the top predator of this forest the Black and Chesnut Eagle, other possibilities include Blue-banded Toucanet, Saffron-crowned and Slaty tanagers, Deep-blue Flowerpiercers, Crested Quetzal, Masked Trogon, Spotted Barbtail, Montane woodcreeper, Chesnut-crested Cotinga and more.Today we will take a pack-lunch so on our way back we will do some night birding hoping to find Andean Potoo, Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Rufescent Screech Owl.Overnight at Cock of the Rock Lodge.(B, L, D)
Early breakfast, drive down road to our next location the foothills of Manu at Amazonia Lodge.This drive will give us the chance to experience a whole set of birds the possibilities include Golden-collared Honeycreepers, Golden-bellied Warbler, bamboo specialties like Warbling Antbird, Striped-chested Antwren, good chances for Black-backed Tody-tyrant, Bamboo Antsrike and others.Middle afternoon arrival to Atalaya where we will take a short boat trip across the upper Madre de Dios river to our next inn Amazonia Lodge, overnight at lodge.(B, L, D)
Birding around lodge grounds.Our lodge strategically located in the foothills, a quiet interesting habitat, time will be spend around lodge grounds where beautiful hummingbirds are attracted to the verbena flowers strategically planted around lodge, species include Rufus-crested Coquete, Golden-tailed Saphire, Blue-tailed Emerald, Wire-credted Thorntail.This lodge has a long bird list, time will be spend it at lodge trails, the possibilities include the rare Blue-headed Macaw, Buckley´s Forest Falcon, Chesnut-capped Puffbird, Fine-barred Piculet, the bizarre looking Hoatzin, Cinnamon-throated Woodcreeper, and the list goes on. Overnight at lodge.(B, L, D)
Early departure to our next location, a comfortable lodge in the lowlands of the western amazon, with lots of trails for good lowland birding, the Manu Wildflife Center Lodge features comfortable double bungalows with nice hot running water as well as spacious dinning and bar areas, today we will travel along the river for part of the day, good chance to spot large mammals and common river birds such as herons, kingfishers and screamers.Overnight at Manu Wildlife Center(B, L, D)
This is for sure is one rare spectacle of nature, we set off early at dawn for a 30 minute trip down the river by boat to reach the Blanquillo Clay-Lick, where hundreds of parrots which includes the gorgeous Orange-cheeked Parrots, Blue-headed Parrots, the larger Yellow-crowned and Mealy Parrots, the small visitors include White-eyed Parakeet, Cobal-winged Parakeet, as the day goes the area is also visited by large Red and Green Macaws, after activity diminishes we go back to lodge to explore the extensive Varzea forest for more birds.Rest of day, exploration of lodge trails.Night birding may produce Amazonian Pigmy Owl, Pauraque, Great and Common Potto, Spectacled Owl amongst others. Overnight at lodge.(B, L, D)
Today you will experience the forest from the canopy, Camungo Tower at about 150 ft above the ground, safely resting on a huge giant of this forest the Kapok tree, this place is reach by a large spiral metal staircase, excellent place for canopy flocks where the possibilities include Sclater´s Antwren, Chesnut-shoulder Atwren, Yellow-shoulder Grosbeak, Red-billed Pied Tanager and more.Once the activity diminishes we will explore the Camungo Cocha, oxbow-lake good for other target birds like Purus Jacamar, Pale-eyed Blackbird, Little Cuckoo and Hoatzins.Boat trip back to lodge for lunch.Afternoon exploration of some of the 20 miles of trail system around lodge.Overnight at lodge.(B, L, D)
This morning will be dedicated to explore bamboo forest good for a big variety of birds specialized to this kind of habitat like Bamboo Antshrike, Ihering´s Antwren, White-lined Antbird, Dusky-cheeked and Brown-rumped Foliage-gleaner, Peruvian Recurvebill just to name a few.Afternoon walk to high-ground forest to reach a mammals clay lick, excellent for tapir, deer, peccaries as well as other forest interior birds like Guans, Chachalacas, Curassows, Rose-fronted and Rock Parakeets and Dusky-billed Parrotlets.Overnight at lodge.(B, L, D)
Early departure for our last boat trip which will take us to the gold mining town of Colorado, where we will take local transport to the city of Puerto Maldonado on time for our early afternoon flight to Cusco.On arrival drive to the Urubamba Valley making selected stops, including Huacarpay Wetlands for some more andean birding. Here we will see a variety of Andean waterfowl and wetland associated birds like Many-colored Rush- Tyrant, Puna ibis, Puna, Cinnamon and Speckled Teals, Yellow-winged Black-birds just to name a few, if time allows we may visit the traditional Pisaq market.Arrival to hotel in Sacred valley of the incas and overnight. (B ,Box-Lunch)
Early train to Machupicchu from Ollantaytambo, on arrival check-in at hotel.Morning birding, bus ride to site for lunch, afternoon guided tour of the citadel, and possible encounter with one dweller of this mountains the Peruvian endemic Inca Wren found in the vicinity of the site, common to see White-tipped Swifts flying overhead.Bus back to the Urubamba gorge for some more late afternoon birding. Overnight in Aguas Calientes.(B, L)
Breakfast, morning dedicated to birding as well as a second visit to Machupicchu on your own.We will bird a portion of the road that used to lead to the ruins of Machupicchu, good for Silver-backed Tanagers, Black-streaked Puffbird, Oleaginous Heminspingus, and hopefully the endemics Masked fuiteater and Green and White Hummingbird.Afternoon train back to Cusco.On arrival transfer to hotel.Overnight in Cusco.(B)
Breakfast, morning transfer to airport for flight back to Lima, day use of room in Lima, close to airport for international connections.(B)