14 days on the Great Northern Peruvian Birding Route, with acclaimed guides.
From Pacific to Andes to Amazon: huge variety of eco-systems & species.
2017 price: £3,248 / $US 3,995 p/p, when sharing a twin/double room.
Single Supplement: £245 / $US 300.
Includes all land transport, lodging, guided excursions and most meals.
The Northern Peru Birding Route offers an astonishingly rewarding and diverse experience for the serious birder. It is becoming the most desirable birding destination in the world, owing to the presence of endemics such as the White-winged Guan and Marvelous Spatuletail ... and its unrivalled range of mega-diverse eco-systems and endemic areas.
Home to 1,600 species, including 140 restricted-range species from 10 endemic areas and 75 globally-threatened species, the Northern Peru Birding Route traverses the Pacific coast, the Andes and the Amazon basin. It covers the Pacific coastal deserts and the megadiverse Marañon valley, tropical lowland rainforest replete with flooded forest and swamps, tropical dry forest, high montane cloud forest abundant in epiphytic plants and elfin forest.
For the keen nature photographer there are incredible photographic opportunities en route, as we pass through rapidly changing landscapes of cactus-studded scrub and undulating cloud forest.
We include the option of enjoying choice cultural highlights along the route.
Moreover, all groups are accompanied by experienced local guides and international specialists. And by participating in this birding route, you are actively supporting local communities, providing long-term educational and occupational opportunities and qualifications, maintaining trails and continually updating species lists on account of our year-round presence.
- 2017 Dates: Thu, 14th - Wed, 27th Sept.
- 2018 Dates: Thu, 13th - Wed, 26th Sept.
NB. For a longer, more in-depth version of this tour - including Leymebamba and Abra Barro Negro - have a look at our 21-day tour which moves westwards, from the Amazon Basin, across the Andes, to end up in the Pacific Coast.
DAY 1 - CHICLAYO – PUERTO ETEN - TUCUME
On arrival at Chiclayo Airport, we welcome you. On the way to our hotel, we stop to explore the coastal lagoons, sand dunes and marshes between Pimentel & Puerto Eten. Sea-watching from top of hill south of Puerto Eten.
In the evening, drive to Tucume.
Overnight at Los Horcones de Tucume, or similar.
Possible birds: Cinnamon Teal, herons & egrets, Kelp, Grey & Grey-hooded Gulls, Wren-like Rushbird, Many-coloured Rush-Tyrant, Yellowish Pipit, Burrowing Owl, Peruvian Thick-knee, Tawny-throated Dotterel, Coastal Miner, Peruvian & Blue-footed Boobies, Neotropic, Guanay & Red-legged Cormorants, possible Waved Albatross, skuas & shearwaters, Inca, Peruvian & Elegant Terns, Harris’s & Savanna Hawks.
DAY 2 - BOSQUE DE POMAC
We spend all day in the Bosque de Pomac dry forest area, including a visit to the pre-Columbian pyramids, looking for specialities of the western side of the Andes.
Lunch at Los Horcones.
Optional afternoon visit to the Museo Tumbes Reales in Lambayeque.
Spotlighting in evening.
Overnight at Los Horcones de Tucume, or similar.
Possible birds: Pacific Parrotlet, Grey & White Tyrannulet, Baird’s Flycatcher, Streak-headed Woodcreeper, Peruvian Plantcutter, Tumbes Sparrow, Superciliated Wren, Cinereous Finch, Scarlet-backed and Guayaquil Woodpeckers, Necklaced Spinetail, Cinereous Conebill, Tawny-crowned Pygmy-Tyrant, Fasciated Wren, Peruvian Pygmy Owl, Short-eared Owl, Scrub Nightjar.
DAY 3 - TUCUME TO JAEN via ABRA PORCULLA
We depart Tucume early in order to head east to Chamaya. We stop en route at Abra Porculla.
We arrive in Jaen in time for lunch.
After settling into our rooms, we spend the afternoon birding a riverside and marsh habitat along Bellavista road, north of Jaen.
Overnight at Hotel El Bosque, Jaen, or similar.
Possible birds: Purple-collared Woodstar, Three-banded and Grey & Gold Warblers, Chapman’s Antshrike, Piura Chat-Tyrant, White-headed Brush-Finch, Line-cheeked Spinetail, Lesser Goldfinch, Scarlet-fronted Parakeet, Red-crested Finch, Peruvian Pigeon, Yellow-tailed Oriole, Rufous-fronted Thornbird, Greater Ani, Spotted Rail, Lesser Nighthawk.
DAY 4 - JAEN to GOCTA
Early morning drive to Gotas de Agua a dry woodland and scrub reserve near Jaen, where we are guided by owner, Luciano Troyes. The 1,800ha reserve is the best birding site in north Cajamarca.
Lunch in Jaen.
Afternoon drive to Gocta, with roadside stops along the way.
Overnight at Gocta Lodge.
Possible birds: Collared Antshrike, Red-crested Finch, Tataupa Tinamou, Maranon Crescentchest, Little Inca Finch, Scarlet-backed Woodpecker, Peruvian Pygmy Owl, Yellow-tailed Oriole, Rufous-fronted Thornbird, Maranon & Chinchipe Spinetails; Fasciated Wren, Maranon thrush, Buff-bellied Tanager, Hooded Siskin, Golden-bellied Grosbeak.
DAY 5 - GOCTA FALLS from SAN PABLO
Drive across valley to the village of San Pablo. For here, we walk the trail to the mid-point of Gocta Falls (the Falls have two drops). There are wonderful views of the surrounding scenery all along the way, and we will have our packed lunch at one of these viewpoints.
Overnight at Gocta Lodge, or similar.
Possible birds: Yellow-bellied and Black & White Seedeaters, Maranon Thrush, Azara’s Spinetail, Rufous-capped Antshrike, Chestnut-crested Cotinga, Chestnut-crowned Antpitta, Montane Woodcreeper, Golden-winged & Lulu’s Tody-Tyrants, Flavescent Flycatcher, tanagers, Lineated Foliage-gleaner, Rusty-winged Barbtail, White-eared Solitaire.
DAY 6 - RIO CHIDO & HUEMBO RESERVE
An early departure to the village of San Lorenzo, located further east along highway, where the steep Rio Chido Trail is a great place to find several rarities, including antpittas.
We then drive to the Huembo Reserve. Established to protect the Marvelous Spatuletail, it also attracts 11 other hummingbird species. It has good trails on which to bird.
We have lunch here, before returning to Gocta.
NB. There is the option to visit Kuelap archaeological ruins in place of either today’s or yesterday’s excursion.
Overnight at Gocta Lodge, or similar.
Possible birds: Pale-billed, Rusty-tinged & Rusty-breasted Antpittas, Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant, Variable Hawk, Rufous-capped Antshrike Smoky Bush-Tyrant, Mountain Velvetbreast, White-capped Tanager, Peruvian Wren, Torrent Duck; Marvellous Spatuletail, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Green & Sparkling Violetears, Bronzy Inca, Green-tailed Trainbearer, White-bellied & Little Woodstars.
DAY 7 - GOCTA to ABRA PATRICIA
Depart Gocta Lodge and drive east along to Abra Patricia, arriving mid-morning.
The rest of the day is spent birding trails and the roadside. Renowned amongst birders, the Alto Nieva Private Reserve (1,275 ha / 3,150 acres) has excellent accommodation, providing an ideal base. It is next to the Alto Mayo Protected Forest (182,000 ha / 450,000 acres)
Evening walk to look for Long-whiskered Owlet.
Overnight at Owlet Lodge, or similar.
Possible birds: Great Thrush, various cloud forest hummingbirds, high altitude tanagers & flowerpiercers, Barred Becard, Lulu’s Tody-Tyrant, Rufous-naped Brush-finch, Pearled Tree-runner, Long-whiskered Owlet, Common Potoo.
DAY 8 - ABRA PATRICIA
All day birding at Abra Patricia
In the evening, spotlighting for Cinnamon Screech Owl.
Overnight at Owlet Lodge, Abra Patricia, or similar.
Possible birds: As yesterday & perhaps Chestnut, Ochre-fronted, Rusty-tinged & Rusty-breasted Antpittas, Lulu’s Tody-Tyrant, Long-tailed Antbird, Grass-Green, Yellow-scarfed, Flame-faced & Silver-backed Tanagers, Green & Black Fruiteater, Sickle-winged Guan, Cinnamon Screech Owl.
DAY 9 - ABRA PATRICIA TO MOYOBAMBA – CALZADA & WAKANKI
We leave Abra Patricia and head east towards Moyobamba, via a site for spotting Royal Sunangels, Afluente, Yacumama & Morro de Calzada.
The Wakanki private reserve is located on the ridge of Mishquiyacu- Rumiyacu and is host to 300 bird species ... along with orchids and bromeliads.
Spotlighting for nightjars.
Overnight at Wakanki, or similar.
Possible birds: Royal Sunangel, Bar-winged Wood-Wren, Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Point-tailed Palmcreeper, Russet-crowned Crake, Cinnamon Flycatcher, tanagers, Short-tailed Hawk, Chestnut-bellied Seedfinch, Lafresnaye’s Piculet, Rufous Motmot, Coraya Wren, Long-tailed Tyrant, Rufous Nightjar, other possible nightjars.
DAY 10 - MOYOBAMBA to TARAPOTO
In the morning, we observe hummingbirds from a tower at Wakanki, and then walk the Quebrada Mishquiyacu trail.
Lunch at Wakanki.
Afternoon drive to Tarapoto via Quiscarrumi Bridge, a good place to spot Oilbirds.
Evening birding along Shilcayo River.
Overnight at Tucan Suites, Tarapoto, or similar.
Possible species: White-necked Jacobin, Rufous-crested Coquette, Sapphire-spangled Emerald, Green & Brown Violetears, Long-billed Starthroat, Golden-tailed Sapphire, Great-billed, Black-throated & Rufous-breasted Hermits, Fiery-capped Manakin, Yellow-bellied Tanager, Oilbird, White-eyed Parakeet, Russet-backed Oropendola, Black-billed Thrush, Lettered Aracari, Pale-legged Hornero.
DAY 11 - THE TUNNEL at CERRO ESCALERA
Early morning departure, with packed lunch, north-eastwards from the town - on the road to Yurimaguas which crosses the Cordillera Escalera Regional Conservational Area (149,870 ha) - to the high-forested ridge at Cerro Escalera.
We stop at the highest point, the 100m-long (328 ft) ‘Tunnel’ which cuts through the top part of the 900m-high (2,953 ft) mountain. This is cloud forest habitat with different avifauna from the dry forest down below.
We spend the rest of the day at various sites at this altitude, in the company of a local guide. A box lunch is provided.
Overnight at at Tucan Suites, Tarapoto, or similar.
Possible birds: White-tipped Swift, Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Koepcke’s Hermit, Yellow-crested, Yellow-bellied, White-winged & Dotted Tanagers, Short-billed & Purple Honeycreepers, Blue-naped Chlorophonia, Black-faced Dacnis, Lineated & Red-stained Woodpeckers, Slaty-capped Shrike-Vireo, White Hawk, Blackish Pewee, Dusky-chested & Cliff Flycatchers, Mishana Tyrannulet, Black Antbird, Channel-billed Toucan, Golden-collared Toucanet, Blue-crowned Manakin, Orange-breasted Falcon.
DAY 12 - JUAN GUERRA & PUMARINRI
Leave Tarapoto & travel south to the village of Juan Guerra. Trail eastwards into the forest, from here, during the morning.
On to Pumarinri for lunch.
Afternoon boat ride upriver to Shapaja.
Overnight at Pumarinri, a quality lodge with comfortable, spacious en-suite rooms, set on the slopes of the Huallaga River at an altitude of around 230m (755 ft).
Possible birds: Troupial, Short-crested Flycatcher, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Southern Beardless Tyrannulet, Blue-crowned Motmot, Stripe-necked Tody-Tyrant, Hook-billed Kite, Rufous Casiornis, Chestnut-capped Puffbird, White-browed Antbird, Green Jay, Lettered Aracari, Speckled Chachalaca, Black-throated Mango, Great Antshrike, White-winged & White-banded Swallows, Drab Water-Tyrant, Black Phoebe, Chestnut-eared Aracari, Green-backed Trogon, Hoatzin, Ladder-tailed Nightjar, Fasciated Tiger-Heron, Pied Lapwing.
DAY 13 - PUMARINRI – WATERFALL TRAIL
Morning walk up the Rainforest Trail to Pucayaquillo Waterfalls. Good for antbirds & raptors. Chance to swim in waterfall pool.
Overnight at Pumarinri Lodge.
Possible species: Peruvian Warbling, Black-faced, Spot-winged & Chestnut-tailed Antbirds, Fiery-capped Manakin, White Hawk, Double-toothed & Swallow-tailed Kites, White-browed Purpletuft, White-winged Becard, White-collared Swift, White-flanked Antwren, woodcreepers, tanagers.
DAY 14 - QUEBRADA UPAQUIHUA & HUALLAGA RIVER
An early start, leaving Pumarinri for the day, driving south. We make a stop at a roadside wetland and lagoon, before eventually arriving at a little village called Buenos Aires.
We head north-west from here, up rough road, to some good areas of dry white-sand forest at Quebrada Upaquihua, where we also have lunch.
Return from Buenos Aires to Pumarinri by river boat.
Overnight at Pumarinri Lodge
Possible birds: Masked Duck, Wattled Jacana, Green Kingfisher, Black-capped Donacobius, Cobalt-winged & Canary-winged Parakeets, Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant, Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Great Antshrike, Barred Antshrike, Violaceous Jay, White-browed Antbird, Northern Slaty Antshrike, Chestnut Woodpecker, Blue-crowned Trogon, Mishana Tyrannulet, Lafresnaye’s Piculet, Ashy-headed Greenlet, Comb Duck, Pied Lapwing, Sand-coloured Nighthawk, Brown-crested Flycatcher, Stripe-chested Antwren.
DAY 15 - TARAPOTO - HOME
At the appropriate time, we transfer you to Tarapoto Airport for your flight to Lima and onward.
End of tour.
Alternatively, you may wish to extend your tour by going in search of the elusive Scarlet-banded Barbet. Ask us how.