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10 Day Manu National Park Birding and Machu Picchu Tour

On this 10-day birding tour, you’ll travel with an expert naturalist across the diverse landscapes of Manu National Park and Biosphere Reserve — from Andean highlands, to the Amazon River Basin. Encounter hundreds of species, get singular looks at endemic birds, add to your Life List, and explore world-famous Machu Picchu!

USD $3,000.00USD $3,500.00

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Enjoy Exceptional Birding on this Manu National Park Birding and Machu Picchu Tour

On this 10-day Manu National Park Birding Tour and trip to Machu Picchu, you’ll travel with an expert naturalist through the lowland rainforests, cloud forests, and Andean grasslands of Manu National Park and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. You’ll also experience the spectacular biodiversity and natural history at Machu Picchu UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Encounter hundreds of species, get singular looks at endemic birds unique to the region, add to your Life List, and enjoy outstanding birding each day.

Highlights

  • Observe hundreds of diverse species, as well as birds endemic to the Reserve
  • Hike through the breathtaking landscapes and diverse habitats of Manu National Park
  • Experience breathtaking biodiversity in an important UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
  • Travel with an experienced naturalist and expert on Peruvian birds
  • Explore UNESCO World Heritage Site Machu Picchu with an expert guide

Itinerary

Day 1: Birding Huacarpay Natural Reserve
Begin your birding excursion at 5:30 am, with a transfer from your hotel in Cusco 45 minutes to Huacarpay Lake and Natural Reserve. The wetlands are home to 108 native bird species, including the endemic Bearded Mountaineer (Oreonympha nobilis). Eat breakfast at the Reserve and enjoy the morning on the lake. You may observe the following species, among many others!

Note: Bird species marked with an asterisk (*) are endemic to the region

  • Bearded Mountaineer (Oreonympha nobilis)*
  • Plumbeous rail (Pardirallus sanguinolentus)
  • Cinnamon teal (Anas cyanoptera)
  • Puna teal (Anas puna)
  • Yellow billed pintail (Anas georgica)
  • White tufted grebe (Rollandia rolland)
  • Cinereous harrier (Circus cinereus)
  • Black chested buzzard Eagle (Geranoaetus melanoleucus)
  • Streak fronted thornbird (Phacellodomus striaticeps)
  • Many colored rush tyrant (Tachuris rubrigastra)
  • Rusty fronted canastero (Asthenes ottonis)*
  • Creamy crested spinetail (Cranioleuca albicapilla)*

Later in the afternoon, you’ll continue onward to Manu National Park and Biosphere Reserve. Enjoy lunch at a picnic area near the entrance to the park, and venture into the cloud forest to observe species of tanagers, hummingbirds, antipitts, tyranulets, and toucans. In the evening, you’ll arrive at Huayquecha Biological Station for the night. In the evening, you’ll search for swallow-tailed nightjars nearby.

Day 2: Birding from Huayquecha Biological Station to Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge
Today you’ll hike onward through Manu National Park to Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge. Throughout the day you’re likely to observe the following species:

  • Golden collared tanager (Iridosornis jelskii)
  • Grass green Tanager (Chlorornis riefferii)
  • Scaled metaltail (Metallura aeneocauda)
  • Mountain Cacique (Cacicus chrysonotus)
  • White collared jay (Cyanolyca viridicyanus)
  • Barred parakeet (Bolborhynchus lineola)
  • Barred fruiteater (Pipreola arcuata)
  • Band tailed fruiteater (Pipreola intermedia)
  • Marcapata Spinetail (Cranioleuca marcapatae)*
  • Red and white antpitta (Grallaria erythroleuca)
  • Blue Banded Toucanet (Aulacorhynchus coeruleicinctis)
  • Hooded Mountain Tanager (Buthraupis montana)
  • Black and Chestnut Eagle (Spizaetus isidori)
  • Black solitary Eagle (Buteogallus solitarius)
  • White throated Antpitta (Grallaria albigula)
  • Slaty Tanager (Creurgops dentatus)
  • Slaty Backed Chat tyrant (Ochthoeca cinnamomeiventris)
  • Fulvous Wren (Cinnycerthia fulva)
  • Chestnut crested Cotinga (Ampelion rufaxilla)
  • Crested Quetzal (Pharomachrus antisianus)
  • Golden Headed Quetzal (Pharomachrus auriceps)
  • Black Streaked Puffbird (Malacoptila fulvogularis)
  • Yellow Throated Tanager (Iridosornis analis)
  • Buff Breasted Mountain Tanager (Dubusia taeniata)
  • Superciliary Hemispingus (Hemispingus superciliaris)

After you arrive at Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge, you’ll eat dinner and venture back out into the night in search for the Rufous-bellied Nighthawk (Lurocalis rufiventris).

Day 3: Birding near Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge
Today, you’ll travel to a lek of the Cock-of-the-Rock to observe the Peruvian National Bird in its daily morning mating display. Nearby you’re likely to see the following species:

  • White crowned Tapaculo (Scytalopus atratus)
  • Yungas Manakin (Chiroxiphia boliviana)
  • Crested Quetzal (Pharomachrus antisianus)
  • Versicolored Barbet (Eubucco versicolor)
  • Orange Eared Tanager (Chlorochrysa calliparaea)
  • Highland Motmot (Momotus aequatorialis)

After the exciting morning activity, you’ll return to the lodge for breakfast, then spend the day exploring nearby trails. In addition to the following bird species, you’re likely to see abundant wildlife including multiple monkey species!

  • Slaty Gnateater (Conopophaga ardesiaca)
  • Chestnut breasted Wren (Cyphorhinus thoracicus)
  • Cinnamon faced Tyranulet (Phylloscartes parkeri)
  • Spotted Nightingale Thrush (Catharus dryas)
  • Amazonian Ambrella Bird (Cephalopterus ornatus)
  • Tyrannine Woodcreeper (Dendrocincla tyrannina)
  • Masked Trogon (Trogon personatus)
  • Crimson Bellied Woodpecker (Campephilus haematogaster)
  • Black Streaked puffbird (Malacoptila fulvogularis)
  • Paradise Tanager (Tangara chilensis)
  • Saffron Crowned Tanager (Tangara xanthocephala)
  • Golden Tanager (Tangara arthus)
  • Brown Tinamou (Crypturellus obsoletus)

You’ll return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon, you’ll explore the lodge’s spectacular gardens where you’ll be able to identify abundant hummingbird species. In the evening, you’ll search for the (Uropsalis lyra) and Rufescent Screech Owl (Megascops ingens).

  • Booted Racket Tail (Ocreatus underwoodii)
  • Wire crested Thorntail (Discosura popelairii)
  • Gree Hermit (Phaethornis guy)
  • Buff Tailed Sicklebill (Eutoxeres condamini)
  • Many Spotted Hummingbird (Taphrospilus hypostictus)
  • Violet Fronted Brilliant (Taphrospilus hypostictus)
  • White Bellied Woodstar (Chaetocercus mulsant)
  • Peruvian Piedtail (Phlogophilus harterti)
  • Long Tailed Sylph (Aglaiocercus kingi)
  • Wedge Billed Hummingbird (Schistes geoffroyi)
  • Speckled Hummingbird (Adelomyia melanogenys)
  • Fawn Breasted Brilliant (Heliodoxa rubinoides)
  • Common Sparkling Violetear (Colibri coruscans)

Day 4: Birding from Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge to Amazonia Lodge
After breakfast, you’ll drive deeper into Manu National Reserve toward Amazonia Lodge. When you reach Atalaya, you’ll transfer to a boat to sail downriver to the Lodge. Throughout the day, you’re likely to observe the following species.

  • Ornate flycatcher (Myiotriccus ornatus)
  • Lanceolated monklet (Micromonacha lanceolata)
  • Peruvian piedtail (Phlogophilus harterti)
  • Black backed tody flycatcher (Poecilotriccus pulchellus)
  • Black faced tanager (Schistochlamys melanopis)
  • Blue headed Macaw (Primolius couloni)
  • Chestnut fronted Macaw (Ara severus)
  • Fiery capped Manakin (Machaeropterus pyrocephalus)
  • White eyed parakeet (Psittacara leucophthalma)
  • Chestnut backed Antshrike (Thamnophilus palliatus)
  • Golden Tanager (Tangara arthus)
  • Orange eared Tanager (Chlorochrysa calliparaea)
  • Black solitary eagle (Buteogallus solitarius)
  • Rufous crested coquette (Lophornis delattrei)
  • Violet headed hummingbird (Klais guimeti)
  • Golden tailed sapphire (Chrysuronia oenone)
  • Koepcke´s Hermit (phaethornis koepckeae)
  • Amethyst woodstar (Calliphlox amethystina)
  • Rufous webbed Brilliant (Heliodoxa branickii)
  • Gould´s jewelfront (Heliodoxa aurescens)
  • Amazonian Antpitta (Hylopezus berlepschi)
  • Blue headed macaw (Primolius couloni)
  • Great Tinamou (Tinamus major)
  • Spot back antbird (Myrmeciza exsul)
  • Hoalzin (Opisthocomus hoazin)
  • Sungrebe (Heliornis fulica)
  • Chestnut capped puffbird (Bucco macrodactylus)

After eating dinner at the Lodge, you’ll head back out to the trails for an evening owl prowl.

  • Tawny bellied screech owl (Megascops watsonii)
  • Long tailed potoo (Nyctibius aethereus)
  • Black bandad owl (Strix huhula)
  • Great potoo (Nyctibius grandis)
  • Band Bellied owl (Pulsatrix melanota).

Day 5: Birding at Amazonia Lodge
After breakfast at the lodge, spend the day birding along the trails, and climb an observation tower for spectacular views of the canopy up close. You’re likely to see the following species:

  • Plum-throated Cotinga (Cotinga maynana)
  • Spangled Cotinga (Cotinga cayana)
  • Opal rumped tanager (Tangara velia)
  • Turquoise tanager (Tangara mexicana)
  • Round tailed Manakin (Ceratopipra chloromeros)
  • Striolared puffbird (Nystalus striolatus)
  • Half collared Gnatwren (Microbates cinereiventris)
  • Tawny-throated Leaftosser (Sclerurus mexicanus)
  • Razor billed Corassow (Mitu tuberosum),
  • Military Macaw (Ara militaris)
  • Scarlet Hooded Barbet (Eubucco tucinkae)
  • Lemon throated Barbet (Eubucco richardsoni)
  • Buff Throated Woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus guttatus)
  • Red Billed Tyrannulet (Zimmerius cinereicapilla)
  • Fine Barred Piculet (Picumnus subtilis)
  • Double Toothed Kite (Harpagus bidentatus)
  • Undulated Tinamou (Crypturellus undulatus)
  • Rufous breasted Piculet (Picumnus rufiventris)
  • Plain browen Woodcreeper (Dendrocincla fuliginosa)
  • Blue crowned Trogon (Trogon curucui)
  • Red Throated Caracara (Ibycter americanus)
  • Chestnut fronted Macaw (Ara severus)
  • Black Capped Tinamou (Crypturellus atrocapillus)
  • Cinereous Tinamou (Crypturellus cinereus)
  • Bluish fronted Jacamar (Galbula cyanescens)
  • Pygmy Antwren (Myrmotherula brachyura)
  • Goldi’s Antbird (Myrmeciza goeldii)

Day 6: Birding from Parrot Clay Lick to Ollantaytambo
Wake up early to visit a parrot clay lick along the riverbank where various species of parrots and macaws descend on the banks in hundreds to extract minerals from the clay. You’ll observe Parakeets, Amazon Parrot, the Blue headed Parrot, Chestnut fronted Macaw, and the Blue Headed Macaw color the banks and greet the day with a rowdy good morning. Later in the day, you’ll sail up river towards Atalaya and continue toward Ollantaytambo in the evening.

Day 7: Birding from Ollantaytambo to Abra Malaga
Today, you’ll travel by bus from Ollantaytambo to the high mountain pass of Abbra Malaga. Here you’re likely to observe the following species, including several spectacular endemic species to the region:

  • Inca wren (Pheugopedius eisenmanni)*
  • Marcapata Spinetail (Cranioleuca marcapatae)*
  • Cuzco Brush Finch (Atlapetes canigenis)*
  • Parodi´s Hemispingus (hemispingus parodii)
  • Unstreaked tit tyrant (Anairetes agraphia)
  • Puna Thistle tail (Asthenes helleri)

Day 8: Birding in the Pololepys Forest
Begin your day birding in the Pololepys forest with unique and specialized birds. You’re likely to see the following birds:

  • White browed tit Spinetail (Leptasthenura xenothorax)
  • Royal Cinclodes (Cinclodes aricomae)
  • Puna Tapaculo (Scytalopus simonsi)
  • Andean Hillstart (Oreotrochilus estella)
  • Giant conebill (Oreomanes fraseri)
  • Creamy Crested Spinetail (Cranioleuca albicapilla)
  • White tufted Sunbean (Aglaeactis castelnaudii)
  • Chestnut Breasted mountain finch (Poospiza caesar)
  • Stripe Headed Antpitta (Grallaria andicolus)

After lunch, you’ll return to Ollantaytambo where you’ll take the train to Aguas Calientes for the night.

Day 9: Birding from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu
Today, you’ll go bird-watching in the dry highlands around Machu Picchu. The area is excellent for birding, particularly for getting a look at the endemic Masked Fruiteater (Pipreola pulchra). You’ll have a chance to observe the following species:

  • Masked Fruiteater (Pipreola pulchra)
  • Ocellated Piculet (Picumnus dorbignyanus)
  • Slaty tanager (Creurgops dentatus)
  • Sclater´sTyrannulet (Phyllomyias sclateri)
  • Torred Duck (Merganetta armata)
  • White Capped Diper (Cinclus leucocephalus)
  • Andean cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola peruviana)
  • Highland motmot (Momotus aequatorialis)

Day 10: Explore Machu Picchu 
Today, enjoy a guided tour of Machu Picchu, the Lost City of the Incas. Your tour will last about two hours, and you’ll have time in the afternoon to explore the citadel on your own or hike Huaynapicchu Mountain. In the evening, you’ll take the train back to Ollantaytambo where you’ll catch a bus back to Cusco.

What’s Included

  • Expert naturalist and bilingual tour guide
  • Binoculars and spotting scope
  • Bird check list
  • Transportation between tour sites
  • Accommodation
  • All meals (prepared by professional cook) except the last dinner
  • Entrance fee to Manu National Park
  • Snacks and water
  • Rubber boots
  • First aid kit

What to Bring

The following items are recommendations, and are not required:

  • Binoculars
  • Photo-equipment
  • A spotting scope
  • Flashlight for night birding
  • Light day pack
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent
  • T-shirts and a long-sleeved shirt
  • Jeans or other cotton pants
  • Quick-drying nylon pants
  • Cotton socks
  • Sweater, jacket or fleece for night birding
  • Water resistant jacket or poncho
  • Hiking boots or sturdy shoes
  • Water bottle/canteen or camel pack
  • Sandals for after-hours
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Plastic bags for camera, clothes, etc.
  • Personal toiletries (shampoo, towel, etc)
  • Converter/adaptor for the electric items (Plugs are typically the 2 pronged flat type found in the US)

Important Notes

Difficulty: Easy, There are some long journeys and early starts, but the walking is fairly easy.

Climate: Humid, cold and foggy in the mornings as well as in the afternoons at midday it can be very hot, sometimes very cold and wet, we recommend to bring rain ponchos and umbrellas for this tour because the weather conditions are unpredictable.

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Manu National Park, Madre de Dios, Peru

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Manu National Park, Madre de Dios, Peru -12.040649, -71.723036

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