DAY 01: CUSCO- HUAYQUECHA (biological station)
We will leave from Cusco early in the morning in our car through high Andes where we begin our birding expedition to cloud forest in Manu National park.
In high Andes inhabit the Canasteros (Asthenes), they like high elevations and within this group we have the Rusty-Fronted Canastero (endemic), Creamy-Crested Canastero (endemic), Chestnut- Breasted Mountain-Finch (endemic); these birds are considered important into our record for this Manu birding tours, also we can see other beautiful birds today such as: Peruvian Sierra-Finch, Ash-Breasted Sierra-finch, Plumbeous Sierra-Finch, Hooded Siskin, Band-Tailed Seedeater, Scribble-Tailed Canastero fairly common but very poorly known in high grasslands elevations of Cusco.
When we get to entrance of the Manu National Park we will dropping to cloud forest where we start to birding colorful birds for example: Scarlet-Breasted Mountain-Tanager, Hooded-Mountain-Tanager, Chestnut-Bellied Mountain-Tanager; all of them are relatively large tanagers and in the afternoon will arrival to lodge to overnight.
DAY 02: HUAYQUECHA – SAN PEDRO (cloud forest) (2950m.a.s.l. / 9678ft)
Today early morning we starting our full cloud forest birding around the biological station of Huayquecha in this elevation we can see: Grey-Breasted Mountain-Toucan , Red-and-white Antpitta, Puna Thistletail, Marcapata Spinetail, in this area also have the possibility to find the Rufous-Chested Tanager as day grows warming will have the opportunity to find mixed flocks through cloud forest where we can see many species such as : Grass-Green Tanager , Black-Throated Tody-Flycatcher, Barred Fruiteater , White-Banded and White-throated Tyrannulets and much more .
The cloud forest is a paradise to see tanagers and hummingbirds also have to see Collared Inca, Chestnut-Breasted Coronet, Violet-Throated Startfrontlet and Amethyst-Throated Sunangel. As we are descending to Cock of the rock lodge will have variation in climate and also mixed flocks be composed of other species such as Yellow-Throated Bush-Tanager , Common Bush-Tanager, Blue-Winged Mountain-Tanager, Brown-Capped Vireo, Streaked Tuftedcheek, Bar-Bellied Woodpecker, Ochre-Faced Tody-Flycatcher, Cinnamon Flycatcher, Slaty-Capped Flycatcher, etc.
In the afternoon we arrive at our lodge.
DAY 03: SAN PEDRO (cock of the rock lodge/paradise lodge) (1400m.a.s.l/ 4600ft)
At breakfast you will be greeted by warbling of birds early in the morning and then we take our private car to get to Cock of the Rock lek where we will see a spectacular ritual from a comfortable hideaway here Cock of the Rock (males) considered national of Perú making dance for luring females that are there. Cock of the Rock lives in the pristine cloud forest of the Manu mountains this area is also a paradise of colorful birds and after to see the cock of the rocks dance will make birding along the road for observing: Masked Trogon, Highland Motmot, Blue-Banded-Toucanet, Montane Foliage-Gleaner, White-Backed Fire-Eye Variable Antshrike, Yungas Mankin, Saffron-Crowned Tanager, Yellow-Rumped and Slaty Antwrens, Deep-Blue Flowerpiercer, Golden Tanager, Orange-Eared Tanager, etc...
All the morning we will move to strategic points to observe most interesting birds.
After lunch continue our birding in this area in order to add more species all afternoon we will move our car to strategic points where we can see for example: orange bellied Euphonia, Bay headed tanager, swallow tanager, black faced dacnis blue dacnis, buff throated saltator, violaceous jay, purplish jay, masked Tityra, barred becard, gray crowned flycatcher. The wrens are small or medium size insectivores birds of dark plumage and inconspicuous, but they catching the attention for their strong songs and some are considered among the most lovely warbles of the world and we have the chance to see: Grey-Mantled Wren, Chesnut-Breasted Wren, Grey-Breasted wren … etc.
DAY 04: SAN PEDRO –AMAZONIA
Today we have completely birding day towards Amazon Basin we spend most of the day in upper parts of the rainforest; here we have the opportunity to looking for Peruvian Piedtail (rare endemic hummingbird), black goggled tanager, Fawn breasted tanager, blue gray tanager, ruddy foliage-gleaner, fine-barred piculet, rufous breasted piculet, black streaked puffbird (rare to uncommon), as we are shifting of ecosystem toward Amazon Basin some birds will be often observed such as: Russet-Back Oropendola, Purplish Jay, Violaceous Jay, Tropical Kingbird, Roadside Hawk, Turkey Vulture, Black Vulture, etc ... but other large group of birds with greater difficulty like Antbirds, Antwrens, Woodcreepers, Foliage-Gleaners, etc... Will be birding challenge for us. In the afternoon we take our comfortable motorized boat to the Amazonia lodge about ten minutes of navigation that will be enough to see some water birds for example: Fasciated Tiger-Heron, Snowy Egret, Great Egret, and Amazon Kingfisher …. Etc.
DAY 05, 06: AMAZONIA (500m.a.s.l./1640ft)
The lodge is located in the tropical rain forest of the Manu Biosphere Reserve. will be our activity center at this place will making bird watching these two days, here we find species of secondary and primary forests These forests also have very interesting mixes flocks high in the trees and understory for example: White-Browed antbird, Bluish-Slate Antshrike, Pygmy Antwren, Grey Antwren, Dot-Wing Antwren, Bamboo Antshrike, Great Antshrike, Grey Antbird, Chesnut-Tailed Antbird, Blue-Headed Parrot, Blue-Headed Macaw, Chestnut-Fronted Macaw, White-Wing Becard, Yellow-Crowned Tyrannulet, Grey-Crowned Flycatcher, Black-Tailed Trogon, etc…. We can also observe medium size hummingbirds such as: Fork-Tailed Woodnymph, White-Chinned Sapphire also have the possibility to see the small hummingbirds Rufous-Crested Coquette, Blue-Tailed Sapphire, Violet-Headed Hummingbird, etc…..
Early the next morning we will leave the clay lick located fifteen minutes downstream, here we see parrot species such as: Blue-Headed Parrot, Blue-Headed Macaw, Chestnut-Fronted Macaw, Dusky-Headed Parakeet, white-Eye Parakeet interacting together on cliff of clay eating minerals to protect digesting system. After this activity will go to a small but very interesting lake called Machuwasi where we’ll see some species along the trail to lake such as: White-Lined Antbird, Pale-Legged Hornero, Scarlet-Hooded Barbet, Chesnut-Vented Conebill, black throated antbird etc…
On lake we use traditional small raft for a short tour where we see swamp birds such as: Hoatzin and Horned Screamer foraging there other interesting birds like Black-Capped Donacobius, Red-Capped Cardinal, Pale-Eye Black-Bird, Social Flycatcher, Greater and Lesser Kiskadee, Striaked Heron, Rufescent Tiger- and Heron, etc..
DAY 07: AMAZONIA – CUSCO
After six days of having birding, today we return to Cusco making strategic stops for picking up some spices we have missed.
Difficulty level: 01 of 08 (easy to moderate)
Climate: The weather can change suddenly (very important) according to the season we can have some landslides (rainy season) December to April
Route: we do the tour by dust and narrow road (cloud forest) and motorized boat (Madre de Dios river).
Jungle lodges are basic but comfortable, some have electricity all day from a solar panel and provide energy to charge our batteries from a generator engine, and the rooms are double beds with mosquito net (depending on the area) with some shower and toiled shared and some are private with dining room and living room wide.
THINGS YOU SHOULD HAVE:
Stuff for birder
Torch for nocturnal birding
Poncho / rain jacket
Telescope if you have one
Camera and extra batteries
Meals (some are picnic)
Expert bilingual guide
The entire transport system
We recommend each passenger to tip ten soles per day (about five dollars) according to your personal satisfaction because in our culture is gratefully received it.