South Peru 6: Cusco, Machu Picchu and Manu Road (Manu Wildlife Center Not Included)

In this fascinating trip we will visit Machu Picchu.  Machu Picchu is the Incan city, it is said that it was built in XV century by Pachacutec, founder and first emperor of Tahuantinsuyo. Due to its strategic location among mountains and clouds Machu Picchu represents a great biology and landscape diversity. Manu Wildlife Center Not Included.
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Day 1     Lima – Cusco – Huacarpay Lake

Early in the morning transfer to the Airport to take a domestic flight to Cuzco city. A mid-morning we will visit Lakes of Huacarpay, we can take breakfast in this zone. This wetland is a RAMSAR site to 30Km from Cuzco, it has three lakes Huatón, Huacarpay and Lucre also, four marshes called Huáscar, Uncca, Anchibamba and Huacarpay making a variety of habitats with plentiful aquatic vegetation, wet grassland, muddy areas. The bordering areas to these lakes are made up of mountains with thorny bushes , brushes , here we mainly search for species like Peruvian Sierra-Finch, Mourning Sierra-Finch, Ash-breasted Sierra-Finch, Greenish Yellow-Finch, Blue-and-yellow Tanager and the endemics like Rusty-fronted Canastero(E) and Bearded Mountaineer(E). Also we can find beautiful hummingbird like the Black-tailed Trainbearer, Green-tailed Trainbearer and Giant Hummingbird the biggest one of the family. The prey birds also are present here like the Aplomado Falcon, Cinereous Harrier, Variable Hawk,  Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle that we bird in the lake surroundings. Also we will be looking for species like Andean Negrito, Puna Ibis, Streak-fronted Thornbird, Yellow-winged Blackbird, Many-colored Rush-tyrant, Wren-like Rushbird among others. Many birds associated to wetland ecosystems are present like Blue-winged Teal, Cinnamon Teal, Silvery Grebe, James’s (Puna) Flamingo and other migratory depending on the season. Stay overnight in Cusco at Emperador Plaza Hotel. (L, D)
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Day 2     Cusco  Wayquecha Biologic Station

We leave Cuzco city, and take breakfast on the route to the wetlands and we go into it,  at approximately 3370 m. elevation, we will be going down and the sun will be getting warmer little by little as we descend  and we will observe the trees under us, here we can find Puna Tapaculo, Diademed Tapaculo, Red-crested Cotinga, Barred Fruiteater, Hooded Mountain-Tanager, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager, Moustached Flower-piercer, Black-throated Flowerpiercer, Golden-collared Tanager, White-throated Tyrannulet, Puna Thistletail and many mixed flocks in the dosel. Stay overnight at Wayquecha Biologic Station. (B, L, D)
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Day 3     Wayquecha Biologic Station and surroundings

We will spend all day at this area, it is an important tipical cloud forest,we will be moving on 2900 m elevation, here we will explore the almost virgin forest surroundings of the Biologic Station where we will find species like Golden-plumed Pararakeet, Andean Parakeet, Lyre-tailed Nightjar. Also hummingbirds like Gould’s Inca, Violet-throated Starfrontlet, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Tyrian Metaltail, Long-tailed Sylph and others. An excellent day of birding. Stay overnight at Wayquecha Biologic Station. (B, L, D)
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Day 4,5,6  Cock of the Rock Lodge

Leaving early from Wayquecha Biologic Station we will go down to 1300 m. This is a tipical Lower montane evergreen forest with Chusquea bamboo. In the constant humidity of the zone live many living beings of great beauty like orchideas. Bromeliads and big ferns also butterflies, Spectacled Bear and some monkey variety among other mammals. We will spend three days in this area. We will walk along the neighboring trails of the Lodge. Also we will visit the lek o Cock-of-the-Rock to observe the courting rituals before the mating. Many species of birds can be observed in this area llike: Spix’s Guan, Crested Quetzal, Versicolored Barbet, Cinnamon Flycatcher, Olivaceous Siskin, Russet-crowned Warbler, Three-striped Warbler, Short-billed Bush-Tanager, Yellow-throated Bush-Tanager, Slaty Tanager, Fawn-breasted Tanager, Orange-bellied Euphonia, Orange-eared Tanager, Paradise Tanager, Saffron-crowned Tanager, Golden-naped Tanager, Blue-necked Tanager, Beryl-spangled Tanager and the recently discovered Cinnamon-faced Tyrannulet. Also, Blue-headed Parrot, Speckle-faced Parrot, Rufous-breasted Wood-Quail, Marbled-faced Bristle-Tyrant, Golden-crowned Flycatcher, White-winged Tanager, Yellow-throated Bush-Tanager, Lanceolated Monklet, Versicolored Barbet, Chestnut-collared Swift, Russet Antshrike, Fulvous-breasted Flatbill, Peruvian Piedtail, Golden-collared Honeycreeper, Three-striped Warbler, Three-banded Warbler, Dusky-green Oropendola. Stay overnight at the Cock of the Rock Lodge. (B, L, D)
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Day 7     Cock of the Rock Lodge – Madre de Dios River – Amazonia Lodge

We leave the Lodge early, to go along the remaining road, take lunch and bird on the road, we will make some stops before aboarding the speedboat by Madre de Dios river to Amazonia Lodge, arriving in the afternoon to the lowlands of the Manu Biosphere Reserve. We will bird species like: Blue-headed Parrot, Speckle-faced Parrot, Rufous-breasted Wood-Quail, Marbled-faced Bristle-Tyrant, Golden-crowned Flycatcher, White-winged Tanager, Yellow-throated Bush-Tanager, Lanceolated Monklet, Versicolored Barbet, Chestnut-collared Swift, Russet Antshrike, Fulvous-breasted Flatbill, Peruvian Piedtail, Golden-collared Honeycreeper, Three-striped Warbler, Three-banded Warbler, Dusky-green Oropendola. Stay overnight at the comfortable Amazonia Lodge. (B, L, D)
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Day 8, 9 Amazonia Lodge

This Lodge is located in the buffer zone of the lowlands of the Amazon, in the Madre de Dios River surroundings.Years ago, these lands were dedicated to tea crop, nowadays we can bird a great variety of living beings on these  recovered lands. At night we will explore the neighboring trails where we will be able to find  the Common Potoo, Great Potoo, Long-tailed Potoo, Black-banded Owl, Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl, and other nocturnal birds. In the surroundings and on the trails of the lodge at a 30m high tower we will bird and listen to birds like: Cinereous Tinamou, Black-capped Tinamou, Brown Tinamou, Speckled Chachalaca, Blackish Rail, Red-throated Caracara,Buckley’s Forest-Falcon, Military Macaw, Scarlet Macaw, Red-and-green Macaw, Blue-headed Macaw, Pheasant Cuckoo, Fine-barred Piculet, Plain Softtail, Dark-breasted Spinetail, Fiery-capped Manakin, Round-tailed Manakin, Bran-colored Flycatcher, Mottle-backed Elaenia, Amazonian Antpitta, Rufous-fronted Antthrush, Bamboo Antshrike, Chestnut-backed Antshrike, Rusty-belted Tapaculo, Red-billed Tyrannulet, Slender-footed Tyrannulet, Johannes’s Tody-Tyrant, Dusky-cheeked Foliage-gleaner, Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner, White-thighed Swallow, White-banded Swallow, Barn Swallow, Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Slate-throated Redstart, Golden-bellied Warbler, Black-faced Dacnis, Green Honeycreeper, Chestnut-capped Puffbird, Striolated Puffbird, Rufous-capped Nunlet and the mythical Hoatzin, additionally  beautiful hummingbirds like White-necked Jacobin, Rufous-crested Coquette, Golden-tailed Sapphire, Blue-tailed Emerald, Black-eared Fairy, Fork-tailed Woodnymph, Wire-crested Thorntail, Koepcke’s Hermit, Rufous-webbed Brilliant among others. Stay overnight at the comfortable Amazonia Lodge. (B, L, D)
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Day 10   Amazonia Lodge – Ollantaytambo

Leaving early in the morning we will be going for our last walk at Ollantaytambo. Birding in this route. Stay overnight at the comfortable Tunupa Lodge. (B,BL,D)
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Day 11    Ollantaytambo – Abra Malaga( Humid Zone) – Aguas Calientes

Early in the morning we leave to visit the humid zone in Abra Malaga (Carrizales), we will explore the neighboring trails where we will be able to find  the White-browed Conebill, Inca Wren, Tit-like Dacnis, Plush capped Finch, Slaty Tanager, Three-striped Hemispingus, Marcapata Spinetail, Red and White Antpitta, Parodis Hemispingus and mixed flocks. In the night we will ride the train to Machu Picchu Pueblo (Aguas Calientes). Stay overnight at Killa Inn Hotel in Aguas Calientes (B, BL, D)
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Day 12   Machu Picchu and Aguas Calientes

Early in the morning we leave to visit the amazing ruins of Machu Picchu, we will be birding almost all day in the ruins surroundings then in Aguas Calientes all the afternoon. Close to the river we will bird Torrent Duck, White-capped Dipper, Sickle-winged Guan, also we can find endemics like Inca Wren, Cusco Brush-Finch(E), Green-and-white Hummingbird(E), Masked Fruiteater(E). Stay overnight at Killa Inn Hotel in Aguas Calientes (B, L, D)
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Day 13   Aguas Calientes – Ollantaytambo

This day excursion to the lower area and the bridge area can be seen Cock-of-the Rock, Golden-headed Quetzal, Ocellated Piculet, Grey-breasted Mountain-Toucan, White-eared Solitaire, Highland Elaenia, Sierran Elaenia, White-crested Elaenia, Highland Motmot, Golden-plumed Parakeet, Mitred Parakeet, Barred Parakeet, Saffron-crowned Tanager, Flame-faced Tanager, Rust-and-Yellow Tanager, Beryl-spangled Tanager, Variable Antshrike, Black-streaked Puffbird, Mottle-cheeked Tyrannulet, Sclater’s Tyrannulet, Green Violetear, Sparkling Violetear, Shining Sunbeam and other species. Stay overnight at the comfortable Tunupa Lodge in Ollantaytambo.(B,L,D)
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Day 14   Ollantaytambo – Abra Malaga (Polylepis Zone)

We leave early in the morning from Ollantaytambo to Abra Málaga (Polylepis zone). The Abra Málaga is located in the Vilcanota mountain at 4.000 to 4.200 m elevation, there are montane woodlands with vast zones of bamboo and puna scrubland also small Polylepis – Gynoxis woodland. Here we can find endemic species like White-tufted Sunbeam(E), White-browed Tit-Spinetail(E), Junín Canastero(E), Creamy-crested Spinetail(E), Rusty-fronted Canastero(E), Chestnut-breasted Mountain-Finch(E) and the Royal Cinclodes, Ash-breasted Tit-Tyrant,  Tawny Tit-Spinetail, Giant Conebill, Stripe-headed Antpitta, Puna Tapaculo, Thick-billed Siskin, Tit-like Dacnis, Blue-mantled Thornbill and others. We will make our best to bird the Rufous-naped Ground-Tyrant, Puna Ground-Tyrant, Taczanowski’s Ground-Tyrant, Plumbeos Sierra-Finch, Band-tailed Sierra-Finch, Line-fronted Canastero. Stay overnight at the comfortable Tunupa Lodge in Ollantaytambo or Emperador Plaza Hotel in Cusco.(B,BL,D)
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Day 15   Ollantaytambo or Cusco – Lima

In the morning go to the airport at the time scheduled. Flight to Lima. Transfer to the hotel of your preference.(B).
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Day 16   Lima – Airport

Transfer to the Airport.

 

Days: 15

Departure: All year

Included: All meals (unless contrary is indicated), guide, double accommodation with private bathroom, air tickets Lima – Cuzco – Lima.

Not included: Alcoholic or bottled drinks.