Interoceanic Highway Manu
Bird tours in Peru usually are long, especially if we want to get lowland forest, so if you are in Cusco and you would like to birding Amazon forest, here is the best combination, short andean birding just focused on endangered and local endemic birds, without leaving aside the wonderful Andean landscape in a short trip to the tropical rainforest.
Tambopata Lowland Forest - 7 days
Chuncho Macaw clay lick is not to be missed, the biggest in the world, the only place where the 3 big Aras are together eating the clay, Red-and-Green, Blue-and-Yellow and Scarlet Macaw next to 8 species from Psittacidae family, visiting a protected lowland forest enjoying well protected area at the same time you can help this amazing job.
Day 1: ANDEAN INTEROCEANIC HIGHWAY.
We are going to pick you up from your hotel with the first light, driving ahead southern east with a private transport, on the way you will have a breakfast, quickly stop in Huacarpay Lake to look for some endemics species: Bearded Mountaineer, Rusty fronted Canastero, Chestnut-breasted Mountain-finch, Creamy-crested Spinetail, Streak-fronted Thornbird, and high wetland birds, we keep going by interoceanic paved route, in the high andes we have another birding stop, Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe, Giant Coot, Andean Goose, Crested Duck, Ground Tyrants, and some other common andean species are part of bird list, scenery is so great, biggest southern Peru Mountain is just in front of us – Ausangate (6384mt. – 20944,88 ft.).
Road pass is 4725 mt. – 15501,97 enough high feel to touch sky, at this point we can see at the distance tropical Rainforest and start dropping down east slope on the andes, we have several birding stops, cloud forest, Bamboo chusquea and humid montane forest are waiting with excellent selection of mix flocks, Red-and-White Antpitta, Marcapata Spinetail, Blue-banded Toucanet, Chestnut-capped Brush-finch, Rufous-capped Antshrike, Mountain Caracara, Andean Cock of the Rock, Dusky-green Oropendola, going down mix flocks are richful in tanagers and flycatchers.
Night: Camanti – Quincemil. B:L:D.
Day 2: AMAZON FOOTHILL – CHUNCHO LODGE.
We’ll be birding up and down the road around quincemil,as forest is not pristine as Manu road, but some birds can be easier. Black-backed Tody-flycatcher, Cinnamon-faced Tyrannulet, Slaty Gnateater, and some other bamboo specialties, we start with lowland mix flocks, Paradise, Blue-necked, Bay-headed, Golden, Swallow, Orange-Eared tanagers are mix flocks members, we keep going into the lowland, habitats and birds will be changing together, late in the day we arrive to Chuncho lodge on Tambopata river bank, we’ll enjoy garden and trails system if time allows.
Night in Chuncho Lodge. B:L:D.
Day 3: CHUNCHO MACAW CLAY LICK – TAMBOPATA.
Early in the morning we sail upstream on Tambopata river, after 1.5 hours about boat ride we get the biggest Macaw clay lick in the world, where you can see the three big ARAS together, eating the clay Red-and-Green, Blue-and-Yellow, and Scarlet Macaw, in total 11 Psittacidaes, of course some other nice birds in the successional forest, along the river we have our best chance for the enigmatic Jaguar and some other wildlife: Capybara biggest rodent, monkeys and more.
After midday we enjoy the trails looking for first understory lowlands mix flock.
Night: Chuncho Lodge. D:L:D.
Day 4: TO CICRA – LOS AMIGOS BIOLOGICAL STATION.
After a morning birding we leave the lodge towards Laberinto village, where we take a boat, we sail up stream on Madre de Dios river, until to get CICRA Spanish acronym (Centro de Investigación y Capacitación Rio Los Amigos) – Los Amigos Biological Station, The station sits at the tip of a peninsula on a high terrace between the Madre de Dios and Los Amigos Rivers and provides easy access to various forest types terra firme, Bamboo forest and aquatic habitats and accessible from Puerto Maldonado, so after lunch we start with amazon birding, Rufous-headed Woodpecker, Peruvian Recurvebill, Rufous-fronted Antthrush, Long-crested Pygmy-Tyrant, these are our main bamboo targets.
Night: Los Amigos Biological Station.Station.
Day 5 – 6: CICRA – AMAZON LOWLAND BIRDING.
We’ll have 2 busy days at CICRA. The terra firme forest here is excellent, with seemingly endless diversity; some targets include Banded Antbird, Ash-throated Gnateater,Ochre-bellied Flycatcher, White-bellied Tody-tyrant, Royal Flycatcher, Musician Wren, Great Jacamar and Pavonine Quetzal in addition to a great variety of foliage-gleaners and of course antbirds and flycatchers.
Black-faced Cotinga, White-throated Jacamar & Gray-bellied Hawk, rare local species are located in area, and canopy flocks can include White-winged Shrike-tanager, Lemon-chested Greenlet, Black-capped Becard, Rufous-tailed Xenops, Striped Woodhaunter Grey Elaenia, Lineated Woodcreeper, and of course lots of others.
so we’ll also watch for Spangled Cotinga, White-throated and Channel-billed Toucans, Ivory-billed and Curl-crested Aracaris, Plumbeous Kite, the noisy Red-throated Caracara, Bat Falcon, Sungrebe, Grey-necked Wood-Rail, , Black-tailed, Blue-crowned, Amazonian and Collared Trogons, and raptors. The ultimate prize here is Red-billed Pied Tanager, which although not common, is a good possibility.
This place is a paradise for mammals like, monkeys, Brazilian tapir and lots of wildlife.
Night: Los Amigos Biological Station. B:L:D.
Day 7: TO PUERTO MALDONADO – FLIGHT TO CUSCO / LIMA.
We leave the lodge after breakfast by boat downstream to get Laberinto and then to take a ground transport to get Puerto Maldonado airport and flight to Cusco / Lima.
We recommend to book midday flight in advance to have enough time to arrive Puerto Maldonado.