Manu Andes and Foothills 10 days
Birding tours in Manu is the crown jewel of Peru's top birding areas. Nowhere else in the Andes & Amazon, birdwatching & bird photography tour can be combined like here, there is an easily accessible road that travels through pristine cloud forest from the treeline down to the lowlands! And at the bottom of the road, there is an excellent selection of Tropical rainforest lodges where you can comfortably birdwatching one of the best biodiverse habitats in the world.
For the first-time visitor to Peru, Manu birding tours will give you chance for bird photography enjoying wildlife and pristine forest with a great number & selection of endemic birds with restricted range, so Manu is not to be missed!
Manu Andes and Foothills Itinerary
Day 1: THROUGH THE DRY ANDES TO MANU
We'll spend the morning birding at Huacarpay Lake , looking for wetland species like Many-coloured Rush-Tyrant and Plumbeous Rail and searching the adjacent scrub for Rusty-fronted Canastero, Streak-fronted Thornbird and a variety of others. We'll then make the drive through the dry Andes towards Manu, hoping to find three endemics en route: Chestnut-breasted Mountain-Finch, Bearded Mountaineer, and Creamy-crested Spinetail. In the afternoon we'll have our first crack at the humid forest, hoping for treeline specialties like Golden-collared Tanager, Moustached Flowerpiercer, and - with lots of luck - the rare Scribble-tailed Canastero."
Late in the day, we will have our first chance for one of the enigmatic and endemic red-and-white Antpitta.
We spend the night in the humid montane forest, enjoying the stars with the opportunity to look for some nocturnal birds located in this area: Yungas Pygmy-Owl, Rufous-banded Owl, Swallow-tailed Nightjar.
Night in Wayquecha Lodge. B:L:D
Day 2: MIDDLE MANU ROAD
After a morning around Wayqecha, looking for more high-elevation species like Grey-breasted Mountain-Toucan, Red-and-white Antpitta, Puna Thistletail, Marcapata Spinetail, Rufous-capped Thornbill, and many others, we'll work our way down the Manu Road, birding the most productive areas. Possibilities are nearly endless, from relatively common specialties like Blue-banded Toucanet and Handsome Flycatcher to mega-rarities like Greater Scythebill and Andean Potoo. We should encounter some good flocks that could include a variety of tanagers as well as Versicoloured Barbet, Striped Treehunter, Inca Flycatcher, and even Band-tailed Fruiteater if we're lucky. In the not-so-rare but difficult category are Hazel-fronted Pygmy-Tyrant, Unadorned Flycatcher, and White-throated Antpitta... sound like enough to keep us busy for the day?.
We will spend the night in cloud forest in more temperate environment at 1400 meters of height less than the previous night (4593,176 ft,) in the ideal habitat for the Cock of the rock.
Night in Cock of the Rock Lodge. B:L:D.
Day 3 - 4: MANU CLOUD FOREST
We'll have two full days around Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge - this is tanager paradise! Depending what birds we need, we'll visit elevations from 1000 m. - up to 2400 m.( 3280,84 ft. - 7874,016 ft.). We can expect at least a couple great mixed flocks during our stay which could include Golden-eared (uncommon), Golden-naped, Black-goggled, Orange-Eared, Fawn-breasted, Yellow-throated, Spotted, Paradise, Golden, Bay-headed, and Black-goggled Tanagers, Golden-olive Woodpecker, Olive-backed Woodcreeper, Montane Foliage-gleaner, Grey-mantled Wren, Streak-necked, Slaty-capped and Lemon-browed Flycatchers, the restricted-range Bolivian Tyrannulet, Marble-faced Bristle-Tyrant, Tropical Parula, Russet-crowned and Three-striped Warblers, Slate-throated Whitestart, Golden-eyed (or Deep-blue) and Bluish Flower-piercers, Blue-naped Chlorophonia, the restricted-range Slaty Tanager, Yellow-throated and Common Bush-Tanagers, and Black-faced (or Dark-faced) Brush-Finch (split from Rufous-naped). Yellow-rumped and Yellow-breasted Antwren, Ash-browed Spinetail, and many, many more. Away from flocks we'll search for Crested and Golden-Headed Quetzal, Andean and White-eared Solitaires, Amazonian Umbrellabird, and Solitary and Black-and-chestnut Eagles, rare and Difficult to detect Black-Streaked Puffbird.
The lodge gardens are visited by Many-spotted Hummingbird, Violet-fronted Brilliant, Booted Racket-Tail, and others, sometimes including Wire-crested Thorntail and the rare Buff-Tailed Sicklebill and of course Andean Cock-of-the-Rocks are frequently seen in the area - if all else fails, we can visit a lek!
Behind the garden there is a trail system where we can look for Chestnut-breasted Wren, Scaled Antpitta, Rufous-breasted and Short-tailed Antthrush's, Slaty Gnateater and the endemic Cerulean-capped Mankin (very rare). Night birding is usually slow, but we should see Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Band-Bellied Owl and Rufescent Screech-Owl is also a possibility.
Night Cock of the Rock Lodge. B:L:D.
Day 5: LOWER MANU ROAD - VILLA CARMEN
Today we'll spend the morning on the lower part of the Manu Road where we'll try for some very difficult endemics: Black-backed Tody-Flycatcher, Cerulean-capped Manakin, Peruvian Piedtail, and even an beautiful but undescribed tanager species known from this location ( "Bamboo Tanager" - "San Pedro Tanager" ), although it appears to be very rare, species of tanager are possible - feeling lucky? There are lots of others to hope for too, including Lanceolated Monklet, Two-banded Warbler, Chestnut-backed Antshrike, Stripe-chested Antwren, Versicolored Barbet, Golden-collared Honeycreeeper, Fulvous-breasted Flatbill, Cinnamon-faced Tyrannulet, Ornate and Lemon-browed Flycatcher, Cabanis's Spinetail.and many more birds Around mid-day we'll have a quick look for some open country birds (there isn't much appropriate habitat on this tour!)
We'll arrive in the afternoon for a short walk around Villa Carmen lodge (biological station recently working in turism 500m - 1640,42ft ), this area will provide different selection of trails with special habitats in the southeast of South America "Bambo" where many specialties are restricted to this type of habitat and make birdwatching so special around Manu National Park.
We have a night birding with some great night birds: Stripe, Black-banded and Spectacled Owl are some goodies that we can get, including Tawny-Bellied Screech-Owl (Garden guy)
Night in Villa Carmen Lodge. B:L:D
Day 6 - 7: BAMBOO FOREST - AMAZON FOOTHILL
Bamboo forest offers a great selection of birds restricted to this habitat so we will be birding 2 full days looking for all possible specialties.
Some of our bamboo targets are the wonderful White-cheeked Tody-Flycatcher, Manu, Striated, Goeldi's, and White-lined Antbirds, Ihering's Antwren, Bamboo Antshrike, Large-headed and Dusky-tailed Flatbills, Flammulated Tody-Tyrant, Rufous-capped Nunlet, and Brown-rumped and Dusky-cheeked Foliage-gleaners, Red-billed Scythebill, Dot-winged Antwren, Ornate Antwren ans Rufous-breasted Piculet If we're very lucky, we may also get Rufous-headed Woodpecker and Peruvian Recurvebill, but these are usually difficult and rare species,
Outside the bamboo we can expect good activity too; we may add Rusty-belted Tapaculo, Amazonian Antpitta, Red-necked Woodpecker, and Striolated Puffbird and rare and local Scarlet-hooded Barbet to our list. And of course this is an amazing place for antbirds & amazonian birds, we should build up a good list over our two days, Fine-barred Piculet is one of the local endemic specie found in the area usualy around the lodge, Including lowland hummingbirds and of course flying by some psittacidae Military, Blue-headed and Chestnut-fronted Macaws as well as we can find some mammals - Monkeys, without forgetting the nocturnal activity.
Night in Villa Carmen Lodge. B:L.D.
Day 8: TO THE EDGE OF THE LOWLANDS - AMAZONIA LODGE
Just after breakfast we leave the lodge, we have some birding on the way Yellow-billed Nunbird and Plain softail are our target before taking a short boat ride to Amazonia Lodge 10 minutes down stream from Atalaya Port.
Scanning from the boat we'll catch Fasciated Tiger-heron, White-banded, White-winged and Southern Rough-winged Swallow,depending of the season, Boreal and Austral migrants are present.
There we'll concentrate on the wonderful garden, where we could find Rufous-crested Coquette, Gould's Jewelfront, and Sapphire-spangled Emerald, Violet-headed Hummingbird, Blue-tailed Emerald, Koepcke's Hermit (endemic species) rare visitor among a variety of other hummingbirds. A short afternoon walk will get us our first Hoatzin for the trip, Amazonian Antpitta, Black-capped & Cinereous Tinamou, Blue-throated Piping-Guan, Fiery-capped, Band-tailed and Round-tailed Manakins, Bluish fronted Jacamar, Chestnut-capped Puffbird, Spot-backed Antbird, and rare and local threatened Razor-billed Curassow are possible. And of course this is an amazing place for lowland birds, with luck we can find Long-tailed, Great and Common Potoo on roosting place, in the evening we have a good chance of seeing Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl, but the local Black-banded Owl - though we usually hear it - is much more difficult!"
Night in Amazonia Lodge
Day 9: LOWLAND FOREST - BACK TO THE ANDES
We'll spend most of the day at Amazonia Lodge, first heading into the hill forest for the most difficult forest birding of the trip. Rewards are there to be found though; flocks typically include Half-collared Gnatwren, Spectacled Bristle-Tyrant, Carmiol's Tanager, Cuzco Warbler, Yellow-browed Tody-flycatcher, and Rufous-tailed Antwren; with lots of luck we may also find Foothill Antwren, Brownish-headed Antbird or even Sapphire Quail-Dove or Grey Tinamou - now it's really getting tough! We'll also visit a White-browed Hermit lek, while other possibilities include Black and Spot-backed Antbirds, Ringed Antpipit, and Round-tailed Manakin. After a mid-morning walk we scan around the lodge (check for soaring raptors and swifts!), we'll try the floodplain forest for Slender-billed Xenops, Fine-barred Piculet, Black-faced Antthrush, Amazonian Antpitta, Dark-breasted Spinetail,Speckled Spinetail Red-billed Tyrranulet, Black-banded Woodcreeper after lunch we'll catch a boat down the river to 15 minutes about from where we visit an small oxbow, Horned Screamer, Pale-eyed Blackbird, Rufous-sided Crake and stremely lucky would be Agami Heron.
Late in the day we sail back up stream to the port, we will also pick up some riiver-edge species, in Atalaya our ground transport will be waiting to go back to the andes.
Night Cock of the rock Lodge. B:L:D.
Day 10: BACK TO CUSCO
Today we'll make the 5 - 6 hour drive back to Cusco, birding in a few select spots depending what species we're still missing.
We finish our birding trip in Cusco, depending your preference we can drop you in your hotel / airport for your flight to Lima or connect one of our bird tour extention see our itineraries. B:L.
- Pick up at your Cusco hotel
- Birding Guide
- Private ground and River Transportation
- Accommodations with private bathroom in all the tour
- 3 Meals per day, Snacks, Drinking Water
- Annotated Bird Checklist
- Extra Drinks (eg Soft Drinks, Beer, Wine)
- Day pack
- Rain gear
- Sweater, fleece or light jacket
- Long pants, long socks and long-sleeved shirts
- Hiking Boots, Sandals, Rubber Boots
- Sun hat, sunglasses, sun block
- Insect repellent (with at least 35% 'deet') and afterbite
- Toilet paper
- Water bottle
- Copy of yellow fever (required) and tetanus (optional) vaccinations
- Malaria medication
- Money for soft drinks or beers and handicrafts