16 days on Great Northern Peruvian Birding Route, with knowledgeable guides.
High Amazon, Cloud Forest, Dry Forest: remarkable variety of eco-systems & species.
Price: from £3,490 / $US 4,290 p/p, when sharing a twin/double room.
Single Supplement: from £249 / $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 mega-diverse Marañon Valley, tropical lowland rainforest replete with flooded forest and swamps, tropical dry forest, high montane cloud forest abundant in epiphytic plants and elfin trees.
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 if you choose to.
Moreover, all groups are accompanied by experienced local guides along with international specialists, Detlef & Carol Davies. 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.
DAY 1 - TARAPOTO: PUMARINRI LODGE
Arrive Tarapoto in evening. Transfer by minibus to Pumarinri Amazon Lodge, about a 40-minute journey. Transfers from the airport at any pre-arranged time.
Local birding or sightseeing for anyone arriving in daylight.
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 230 m (755 ft).
DAY 2 - PUMARINRI – trails, boat trip
Recover from very long travelling day. There are trails through the dry forest, along the road or by the river. There is good birding - and some amazing poison dart frogs - around the Lodge.
Boat trip upriver in afternoon and trail on south side of river.
Spotlighting by the Lodge in the evening ... if still awake!
Overnight at Pumarinri Lodge.
Possible birds: Yellow-rumped Cacique, Cinnamon-throated Woodcreeper, Black-fronted Nunbird, Yellow-browed Tody-Flycatcher, Blue-grey, Palm, Turquoise & Paradise Tanagers, honeycreepers, various parrots, 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. Evening: Tropical Screech Owl, Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, Band-bellied & Crested Owls.
DAY 3 - QUEBRADA UPAQUIHUA & HUALLAGA RIVER
An early start, leaving Pumarinri for the day, driving south past roadside wetland, eventually arriving at a little village called Buenos Aires. We head north-west from here, up rough road, to some good areas of dry forest at Quebrada Upaquihua.
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 4 - THE TUNNEL at CERRO ESCALERA
Early morning departure, with packed lunch, north-eastwards from the town to the high-forested ridge at Cerro Escalera.
We stop at the highest point, the 100 m (328 ft) long ‘Tunnel’ which cuts through the top part of the 900 m (2,953 ft) high 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.
Overnight at at Tucan Suites, Tarapoto.
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 5 - TARAPOTO to MOYOBAMBA
Early morning departure westwards. Stop en route at an Oilbird roost site under Quiscarrumi Bridge. We then continue to Wakanki Reserve to view up to 15 species of hummingbirds.
Lunch on site, followed by afternoon walking trail at Quebrada Mishquiyacu with local guide.
Late afternoon at Morro de Calzada, an isolated forested hill. We stay till dusk here for Rufous Nightjar & other nocturnal species.
Overnight at Wakanki.
Possible birds: Oilbird, White-eyed Parakeet, Russet-backed Oropendola, 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, Short-tailed Hawk, Chestnut-bellied Seedfinch, Lafresnaye’s Piculet, Rufous Motmot, Coraya Wren, Long-tailed Tyrant, Rufous Nightjar, other possible nightjars.
DAY 6 - MOYOBAMBA to ABRA PATRICIA
Early morning at Yacumama on main road west of Moyobamba for Point-tailed Palmcreeper & Russet-crowned Crake. Other roadside stops.
We continue to higher altitude, arriving at Abra Patricia (2,300 m / 7,546 ft) by mid-afternoon. This is a prime birding site in Peru. Owlet Lodge was built here in 2007.
Evening walk to look for Long-whiskered Owlet.
Overnight at Owlet Lodge, Abra Patricia.
Possible birds: Point-tailed Palmcreeper, Russet-crowned Crake, Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Cinnamon Flycatcher, Speckle-chested Piculet, Great Thrush, various cloud forest hummingbirds, high altitude tanagers & flowerpiercers, Barred Becard, Lulu’s Tody-Tyrant, Rufous-naped Brush-finch, Pearled Tree-runner, Striped Tree-hunter, Long-whiskered Owlet, Common Potoo.
DAY 7 - ABRA PATRICIA
All day at Abra Patricia, birding the trails and roadside on foot, from the lodge, in the morning and late afternoon.
In the evening, we go spotlighting for Cinnamon Screech Owl.
Overnight at Owlet Lodge, Abra Patricia
Possible birds: 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, Striped Treehunter, hummingbirds, tanagers etc as yesterday, Chestnut-crested Cotinga, Cinnamon Screech Owl.
DAY 8 - ABRA PATRICIA & evening drive to GOCTA
We spend the morning birding at Abra Patricia, then drive to nearby sites for Royal Sunangel & other species.
We have lunch at a trout farm, and then drive west to Huembo Reserve, in the afternoon, to see a variety of hummingbirds, including the iconic Marvellous Spatuletail.
We continue driving to Pedro Ruiz, where we turn south onto a minor road to Cocachimba and to Gocta Lodge. Gocta Falls were revealed to the outside world in 2006 and the Lodge opened a couple of years later.
Overnight at Gocta Lodge.
Possible birds: White-faced Nunbird, Red-hooded Tanager, Royal Sunangel, Bar-winged Wood-Wren, Equatorial Greytail, White-capped & Vermilion Tanagers, Pale-billed, Rusty-tinged & Rusty-breasted Antpittas, Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant, Variable Hawk, Rufous-capped Antshrike Smoky Bush-Tyrant, Mountain Velvetbreast, Peruvian Wren, Torrent Duck; Marvellous Spatuletail, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Green & Sparkling Violetears, Bronzy Inca, Green-tailed Trainbearer, White-bellied & Little Woodstars.
DAY 9 - GOCTA FALLS (the low road)
The spectacular Falls are visible from the lodge. We walk directly from Lodge to the foot of Gocta Falls. This usually takes four hours, but birding will probably make it longer, so we take a packed lunch.
Evening walk in nearby scrub.
Overnight at Gocta Lodge.
Possible birds: Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Maranon Thrush, Andean Solitaire, Smoky Brown Woodpecker, White-bellied Hummingbird, Golden-bellied Grosbeak, Hooded Siskin, Golden-rumped Euphonia, Russet-backed & Crested Oropendolas, Olive-backed & Montane Woodcreepers, Emerald Toucanet, Blackish Tapaculo, Rufous-winged Tyrannulet, Mitred Parakeet, Buff-bellied, Blue-necked, Beryl-spangled & Flame-faced Tanagers, Sparkling & Green Violetears.
DAY 10 - GOCTA FALLS (the high road); GOCTA to LEYMEBAMBA
Another visit to Gocta Falls today, starting with a drive up to San Pablo. From here, we walk through a varied habitat to a viewpoint, and then on to the centre point of the Falls.
We have a packed lunch, in a scenic spot.
On return to Gocta Lodge, we pack up and drive south following the course of the Utcubamba River to Leymebamba. If time allows, make roadside stops for Torrent Duck & other specialities.
Overnight at Casa Mallqui, which is within the grounds of the Museum of Mummies.
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 11 - LEYMEBAMBA: RIO ATUEN VALLEY
Morning up the Rio Atuen valley, in local 4WD vehicles, to a private forest with hummer feeders.
Lunch at a café near the Museum of the Mummies, followed by a visit to the Museum, which is famous for its collection of pre-Inca mummies, in the afternoon.
Birding in museum gardens, spotlighting here for Band-winged Nightjar & Koepcke’s Screech Owl.
Overnight at Casa Mallqui, Leymebamba.
Possible birds: Andean Condor, Rainbow Starfrontlet, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Booted Racket-tail, Purple-throated Sunangel, Grey-breasted Mountain Toucan, Golden-headed Quetzal, Masked Trogon, Blue-capped & Blue & Yellow Tanagers, Russet-mantled Soft-tail, Fasciated Tiger-Heron, Torrent Duck, Fasciated Tiger-Heron, Torrent Duck, Spot-throated Hummingbird, Torrent Tyrannulet, White-capped Dipper, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Spectacled Whitestart, Amazon Kingfisher, Scarlet-fronted & Mitred Parakeets, Hepatic Tanager, Black-necked Woodpecker, Rainbow Starfrontlet, Band-winged Nightjar, Koepcke’s Screech Owl.
DAY 12 - LEYMEBAMBA TO CELENDIN: ABRA BARRO NEGRO & UPPER MARAÑON VALLEY
Day trip to Abra Barro Negro, the high pass rising to 3,600 m (11,800 ft).
Roadside stops for high altitude specialities, then down to Balsas in the hot, dry Marañon valley where we have lunch.
After lunch we cross the river, and drive up to Celendin, a sleepy town in the Central Andes, with roadside stops including at El Limon.
Overnight at Hostal Turistico, Celendin
Possible birds: Moustached Flowerpiercer, White-chinned Thistletail, Rusty-crowned Tit-Spinetail, Tufted & Black-crested Tit-Tyrants, Rufous Antpitta, Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant, Shining Sunbeam, Tyrian & Coppery Metaltails, Great Sapphirewing, Plumbeous Sierra-Finch, Plain-coloured Seedeater, Black-necked Woodpecker, Buff-bridled Inca Finch, Scarlet-fronted Parakeet, Peruvian Pygmy Owl, Bare-faced Ground-Dove, Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Aplomado Falcon, Fasciated Wren.
DAY 12 – CELENDÍN, CRUZ CONGA & ENCANADA TO CAJAMARCA
Leaving Celendin, we continue west through the Andes to Cruz Conga and La Encañada for high altitude specialities such as Rufous Antpitta, Rufous-webbed Tyrant, and Black-crested Tit-Tyrant
We stop in the Rio Chonta area to look for Grey-bellied Comet, then continue to the town of Cajamarca.
Overnight at Hotel Casona del Incas, Cajamarca
DAY 13 – CAJAMARCA
Early morning birding at Rio Chonta. Other sites near the town including Chugur and San Marcos (for Great Spinetail), Sangal, Cumbemayo and Abra Gavilan.
Overnight at Hotel Casona del Incas, Cajamarca
DAY 14 – CAJAMARCA - end of tour
At the appropriate time, we transfer you to Cajamarca Airport, for your return flight to Lima.