North Peru 4: Tarapoto – Cajamarca

This fascinating route is one of the most beautiful in Perú, due to the landscapes along the trip.  We begin at Tarapoto in the High Jungle of Peru, going through the Abra Patricia, a very important endemic zone due its clouded forest and many species.

Then we will go up to the Utcubamba river close to the Chachapoyas city, also visit the Kuelap fortress. This was a bastion of the Chachapoyas culture one of the last places conquered by the Incas, we will observe many  birds on the way. 

Leymebamba with its momies will fascinate us , we continue going up to  Barro Negro Mountain Pass, this place in the Marañón Canyon surroundings next to the river of the same name will be the perfect stage to birdwatch  and observe uniques and beautiful landscapes.

At the end we will be arriving to the famous Cajamarca city.

Day 0.    Reception at the airport in Lima.

Transfer to the hotel previously chosen.


Day 1.    Lima – Tarapoto

At the time indicada transfer from the hotel to LimaAirport.

We will take the flight to Tarapoto.

In the afternoon we will birdwatch several species at the city sorroundings.

Overnight at a comfortable hotel in Tarapoto

(L, D).

Day 2.    Tarapoto – Zona del Tunel (camino a Yurimaguas)

We will have breakfast on the route. This day will be excellent, we road by an asphalted highway to  Yurimaguas. Our birding trip is focused to the zone before the tunnel belonging to the high jungle, in the surroundings of the tunnel and after the tunnel which is a defined transition low jungle zone, here live many species for birding like Rufous-winged Antwren, Violet-headed Hummingbird, Ruddy Foliage-gleaner, Slaty-capped Flycatcher, Koepcke’s Hermit, Golden-tailed Sapphire, Golden-headed Manakin.

We will spend all day in this area.

In the afternoon we will go back to Tarapoto.
Overnight at hotel in Tarapoto.

(B, BL, D)

Día 3.   Tarapoto – Quebrada Upaquihua

We depart early in the morning to Quebrada Upaquihua on the way to Juanjui, have breakfast on the route,  we will find a Tropical  DeciduousForest.

This zone adjacent to HuallagaRiver is very important, here we can find the Ashy-Headed Greenlet, Mishana Tyrannulet, Planalto Hermit, Chestnut-Throated Spinetail.

Going back to Tarapoto we get closer to the river to observe shore birds associated to this ecosystem

Overnight at a comfortable hotel in Tarapoto

(B, BL, D)

Day 4.    Rioja -Yacumama – Morro Calzada

Early in the morning we will be visiting the Recreational Complex Yacumama, the owner of this place is protecting some hectares of forest, we will be able to find some good species like Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Cobalt-Wingd Parakeet, Little Cuckoo, Violaceous Trogon, Ringed Kingfisher, Lafresnaye’s Piculet. We will be welcome by The Speckled Chachalaca, then we can listen to the Cinereous Tinamou song and  others, we will spend almost all the morning here in Yacumama.  Lunch in Rioja.

In the afternoon we get on board to Morro Calzada. This is an amazing stone formation in the Amazonic prairie,  it is possible to climb to the top, from this point we will be able to see a beautiful landscape, however  we can bird species like Mishana Tyrannulet, Lafresnaye’s Piculet, Chestnut-Eared Aracari, White-Bellied Pygmy-Tyrant, Cinereous-Breasted Spinetail, among others in the surroundings.

Overnight at hotel in Tarapoto

 (B, L, D)

Day 5     Rioja- Aguas Verdes -Afluente

We leave Rioja and on the road we make a stop at Aguas Verdes bridge, go beyond an iron jail and we go deep into a small path to be able to observe the Andean Cock-of-the-rock the national bird of Peru, furthermore, the Red-Ruffed Fruitcrow, Ecuadorian Piedtail, Napo Sabrewing, Black-mandibled Toucan and others.

We road from Aguas Verdes to  the Afluente town, this is a town next to the highway , we look for the path to the lowest part , there we will find species like Scarlet-breasted Fruiteater, Ash-Throated Antwren, Vermilon Tanager among other species. In the afternoon, we will be arriving to the Patricia mountain pass surroundings.

Overnight at Long-whiskered Owlet Lodge.

(B, BL, D)

Day 6,7  Abra Patricia  (Patricia Mountain Pass)

Our day will begin early in the morning, during these days this lodge will be our headquarters which will allow us to move around the Abra Patricia comfortably in the three sections and in many paths available in the area.

The Abra Patricia is very famous because is the place where the Lousiana State University (LSU) expedition had its headquarters some years ago, being the pioneers in the bird investigation in  Peru.

If we are lucky enough we can see and listen to the endemics Rusty-tinged Antpitta (E), Ochre-fronted Antpitta (E)  and look for the Long-whiskered Owlet (E), the latter practically re-discovered.

Also we will be able to see species like Blue-browed Tanage, Johnson’s Tody-Tyrant, White-Capped Tanager, Metallic-green Tanager, Red-Hooded Tanager, Yellow-Scarfed Tanager, Montane Woodcreeper, Scaly-naped Parrot, Cinnamon-breasted Tody-Tyrant, Bar-winged Wood-Wren(E), Equatorial Graytail, Wedge-billed Hummingbird, Tyrranine Woodcreeper, Rusty-winged Barbtail, Spotted Barbtail, Royal Sunangel(E), Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Ochre-Fronted Antpitta, Bar-Winged Wood-Wren in the three sections of the Abra.

One of these nights we will go out to bird near the lodge the White-throated Screech-Owl, Rufous-banded Owl. Far form the lodge we will find the Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Cinnamon Screech-Owl, Rufous-banded Owl, Rufous-bellied Nighthawk.

Leaving early in the morning we will observe the Lanceolated Monklet, Fiery-throated Fruiteater, Sharpe’s Wren, Sulphur-bellied Tyrannulet, Long-tailed Antbird, Large-footed Tapaculo, Fine-barred Piculet(E), Ecuadorian Tyrannulet, Black-crested Warbler, Scaled Fruiteater, Barred Becard, Golden-faced Tyranulet, Bicolored Antvireo.

Overnight Long-whiskered Owlet Lodge.

(B, L, D)

Day 8     Abra Patricia – Pomacochas – Chido 

After having breakfast at the Lodge, we will begin our ascent to Pomacochas to look for the Marvelous Spatuletail. We will look for this species at the lake surroundings, specifically at the plot of a local citizen, who is protecting them. The meeting will be amazing, since it is the most beautiful hummingbird.

Then we go down the hill, we take our transport to Chido, this is a path near the  Pomacochas lake, here in Chido trail we walk next to the river seeing on the opposite shore some mixed floks, besides the Speckled Hummingbird, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Collared Inca, Strong-billed Woodcreeper, Golden-headed Quetzal, Versicolored Barbet ,Torrent Duck, Chestnut-crested Cotinga , White-collared Jay, White-tailed Tyrannulet, White-banded Tyrannulet, Inca Flycatcher (E), Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan ,Andean Solitaire, White-capped Tanager, Silver-backed Tanagers  Mountain Velvetbreast and others.

Overnight at the comfortable lodge in Pomacochas.

(B, L, D)

Day 9     Pomacochas – Chillo

Leaving early in the morning we begin our trip to Chillo, this area is located in the Utcubamba river surroundings, on the way to Leymebamba near the ruins of Kuelap of the Chachapoyas culture that we will be visiting during the day.

At night we look for the Koepcke Screech-Owl among other species.

Overnight at El Chillo Lodge.

(B, BL, D)

Day  10  Chillo – Leymebamba

The famous Utcubamba natural habitat of the Marvelous Spatuletail river will join us, we can look for the trails where we can find species like Marañón Thrush (E), Lafresnaye’s Piculet, Torrent Tyrannulet y en el rio podemos buscar también Torrent Duck, White-capped Dipper, Fasciated Tiger-Heron in the surroundings.

On the way to Atuen , in the main trail we can find the  White-bellied Woodstar, Rainbow Starfrontlet, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Purple-throated Sunangel, among other hummingbirds, also we can look for  the Montane Woodcreeper, Buff-throated(Peruvian) Treehunter, Red-hooded Tanager  among others.

Overnight  at La Casona in Leymebamba.

(B, BL, D)

Day 11   Leymebamba – Abra Barro Negro – Celendín

Early in the morning we leave Leymebamba to Abra Barro Negro,  this zone is very famous for the great amount of endemics, here we can find hummingbirds like the Sapphire-vented Puffleg, Coppery Metaltail, Violet-throated Startfrontlet, Great Sapphirewing, other species like Buff-bridled Inca-finch(E), Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan, Red-crested Cotinga, Yellow-scarfed Tanager(E), Swallow-tailed Nightjar, Peruvian Pigeon, Plain-colored Seedeater, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager,  Yellow-tailed Oriole, Drab Hemispingus, Puna Hawk, Andean Guan, Andean Flicker, Andean Lapwing, Grass-green Tanager, Undulated Antpitta, Blackish Tapaculo, Russet-mantled Softtail, Rufous-headed Pygmy-Tyrant.

In the route, we will explore the fields of  Bombax, besides we can see also the  Rufous-capped Antshrike, Yellow-tailed Oriole, Baron’s Spinetail among other species. Stay at basic hotel in Celendín.

(B, BL, D)


Day 12   Celendín – Cajamarca

Going down the Marañón canyon we will arrive to Cajamarca city, we will make several required stops, the first one in the High Puna Grassland to bird species like  Many-striped Canastero, Black-crested Warbler and Rainbow Startfronlet, another obliged stop at the point of Cruz Conga here we will be able to find Rufous Antpitta, Shining Sunbeam, Black-crested Warbler, White-browed Chat-Tyrant, Striated Earthcreeper(E), White-tailed Shrike-Tyrant, Rufous-webbed Bush-Tyrant, Andean Gull, Correndera Pipit , Rufous-eared Brush-Finch, Andean Lapwng, Andean Flicker, Green-tailed Trainbearer y Black-tailed Trainbearer.

Overnight at a comfortable hotel in Cajamarca.

(B, BL, D)

Day 13   Cajamarca

We could find many touristic attractions in this beautiful city, but we will concentrate in two endemic species.

Early in the morning we leave the hotel to Valle de Chonta  where we will look for the rare Gray-bellied Comet, then in the afternoon, we will look for the Great Spinetail in San Marcos a town 50 Km. from the Cajamarca city. Today we will be able to observe Buff-bridled Inca-Finch(E), White-winged Black-Tyrant, Rufous-chested Tanager ,Plain-tailed Warbling-Finch(E), Lesser Goldfinch, Streak-throated Bush-Tyrant, Rufous-chested Tanager y Fasciated Wren. Overnight at hotel in Cajamarca.

(B, BL, D)

Day 14   Cajamarca

This is the last day of our trip, as usual we will try to make our best effort, we will get up early to have enough time to birdwatch this area. We road to Abra Gavilán  at the entrance of the city , there we can find some species like Unicolored Tapaculo, Rufous-backed Inca-Finch and others until it be the time to go to the Airport to take the flight to Lima.


Duration: 14 days

Included: All meals (unless contrary be indicated), guide, double accommodation with private bathroom, Air Tickets Lima – Chiclayo and Tarapoto – Lima.

Not included: Bottled alcoholic and soft drinks.