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5 Day Birding in Abra Malaga Pass

Spot unique bird species and visit lake, mountain, and forest ecosystems on this five day birding tour. See endemic birds, explore beautiful landscapes, and visit world-renowned historical sites in the Abra Malaga and Machu Picchu regions of Peru.

USD $1,500.00USD $1,750.00

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Discover Exotic Birds in Peru’s Abra Malaga Pass and Visit Machu Picchu

This birding tour takes you from the scenic shores of Huacarpay Lake to the mountainous Abra Malaga Pass, with excursions to Machu Picchu and Ollantaytambo. The first four days focus on birding, while the last day takes you to the iconic Machu Picchu historical sites. You will be able to see a variety of birds as you visit some of the best destinations in Peru for bird watching. Many birds you will see are endemic to the region; this is the only place in the world where you can observe them in their natural habitat!

Highlights

  • Observe unique and diverse bird species
  • Travel through the breathtaking habitat of the Abra Malaga Pass
  • An experienced guide will show you Peru’s best birding locations
  • Explore Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Tour Information

Duration: 5 Days
Start and end location: Cusco
Availability: Year-round

Itinerary

Day 1 – Birdwatching at Huacarpay Lake and Visit the Historic Town of Ollantaytambo
Early in the morning, you will start birding at scenic Huacarpay Lake, where you can see colorful birds such as:

  • Endemic Bearded Mountaineer (Oreonympha nobilis)
  • Streaked fronted Thornbird (Phacellodomus striaticeps
  • Cimnamon teal (Anas cyanoptera)
  • Plumbeous Rail (Pardirallus sanguinolentus)
  • Endemic Rusty Fronted Canastero (Asthenes ottonis)
  • Puna teal (Anas puna)
  • Giant Hummingbird (Patagona gigas)

In the afternoon, you will continue traveling through the sacred valley and then to Ollantaytambo, a historic town and Inca archaeological site. Along the way, you will stop in specific places along the road to observe birds. We will spend the night at Ollantaytambo in a hotel.

Day 2 – Birdwatching in the Abra Malaga Pass and Cloud Forest
The day starts with an early morning, leaving the hotel and traveling by bus from Ollantaytambo to the Abra Malaga Pass. In the area, you will look for several endemic species and other fascinating birds. In the afternoon you will return to Ollantaytambo to spend the night. Birds you can see include:

  • Endemic Inca wren (Pheugopedius eisenmanni)
  • Endemic Marcapata Spinetail (Cranioleuca marcapatae)
  • Endemic Cusco Brush Finch (Atlapetes canigenis)
  • Parodi´s Hemispingus (Hemispingus parodii)
  • Endemic Unstreaked tit tyrant (Anairetes agraphia)
  • Puna Thistletail (Asthenes helleri)

Day 3 – High Altitude Forest Birdwatching and Travel to Machu Picchu
Today you will start your day birding at an elevation of 14,160 ft (4,316m) in the Polylepis forest near the Abra Malaga Pass. The forest has  birds unique to the area such as:

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

After lunch, you will go back to Ollantaytambo, take a train to the town Aguas Calientes, near Machu Picchu, and spend the night there in a hotel.

Day 4 – Endemic Birdwatching near Machu Picchu
The area of Machu Picchu has a superb forest for birding and is a great region to see endemic species. You can look forward to seeing the Andean cock of the rock (Rupicola peruvianus), the national bird of Peru, along with:

  • Endemic Masked Fruiteater (Pipreola pulchra)
  • Ocellated Piculet (Picumnus dorbignyanus)
  • Slaty tanager (Creurgops dentatus)
  • Sclater’s´Tyrannulet (Phyllomyias sclateri)
  • Torrent Duck (Merganetta armata)
  • White Capped Dipper, (Cinclus leucocephalus)
  • Hightland motmot (Momotus aequatorialis)

Day 5 – Visit Historic Machu Picchu and Return to Cusco
After breakfast, you will visit the historic Inca town at Machu Picchu. A guided tour will take you through the town for about two hours and then you will be free to explore the Citadel, take pictures, and go up toward Huaynapicchu Mountain. At 2:26 pm. or 6:03 pm, depending on availability, you will take a train to Ollantaytambo. From there, a bus will drive you to your hotel in Cusco.

What’s Included

  • Tour guide with binoculars and Swarovski spotting scope
  • Bird Check List
  • Hotel Accommodation in Aguas Calientes and Ollantaytambo
  • Meals during the tour except the last dinner
  • Round trip train tickets from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes
  • Private bus transportation during the tour
  • Entrance fee to Machu Picchu
  • Mineral water and snacks

What to Bring

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

Important Notes

  • Please note that prices are based on tours booked at least 2 months in advance. If you’d like to book a tour within 2 months, please contact us at info@keteka.com for updated pricing information.

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Abra Malaga, Urubamba Province, Peru

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Abra Malaga, Urubamba Province, Peru -13.135000, -72.303889

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What Happens After I Book?

After you book your experience, you will receive a confirmation email from us confirming that your payment went through. You will then be connected directly to the tour operator, in case you have any further questions. We are also happy to answer any questions about the tour, or travel in general in your country of destination.

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