• 21 days on Great Northern Peruvian Birding Route, with knowledgeable guides. 

  • From Pacific to Andes to Amazon: remarkable variety of eco-systems & species.

  • Price: £3,636 / $US 4,800 p/p, when sharing a twin/double room.

  • Single Supplement: £285 / $US 350

  • 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. 

  • 2017 Dates: Mon 21st Aug - Sun, 10th Sep
  • 2018 Dates: Mon 20th Aug - Sun, 9th Sep

NB. For a shorter and more intense version of this tour - missing out Leymebamba and Abra Barro Negro - have a look at our 14-day tour which moves eastwards, from the Pacific Coast, across the Andes, to end up in the Amazon Basin.


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 - PUMARINRI – Pucayaquillo Waterfall

All day at Pumarinri, exploring local trails, in the company of a local guide.

Waterfall Trail: good forest birding & opportunity to swim in the waterfall pool.

Cave Trail, later, for antbirds.

Spotlighting around lodge in the evening.

Overnight at Pumarinri Lodge

Possible birds: Peruvian Warbling, Black-faced, Spot-winged & Chestnut-tailed Antbirds, Fiery-capped Manakin, White Hawk, Swallow-tailed Kite, White-browed Purpletuft, White-winged Becard, White-collared Swift, woodcreepers, tanagers.
Evening: owls, Pauraque.


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.

An early start, leaving Pumarinri & driving back in the direction of Tarapoto. We spend the morning in the dry forest at Juan Guerra.

Late lunch at Tucan Suites, a new 4-star hotel on the edge of town

Local birding in afternoon or time to relax, explore Tarapoto etc.

Overnight at Tucan Suites, Tarapoto

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 10 - 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 depart in the late afternoon and drive west to Pedro Ruiz. We turn south here 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: As yesterday, White-faced Nunbird, Red-hooded Tanager, Royal Sunangel, Bar-winged Wood-Wren, Equatorial Greytail, White-capped & Vermilion Tanagers.

Early morning drive back east to the Rio Chido Trail at San Lorenzo for some special rarities, including several antpittas.

On to Huembo Reserve, in the afternoon, for a variety of hummingbirds, including the Marvellous Spatuletail.

Overnight at Gocta Lodge.

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 12 - 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.

Leave early for a day at Kuelap ruins, an ancient Chachapoya settlement high above the road, in the company of a local guide. Aside from the archaeological wonders, there are also great birding opportunities.

Lunch is taken in a nearby village. 

Overnight at Gocta Lodge. 

Possible birds: Plumbeous Rail, Band-tailed Pigeon, Mountain Caracara, Streaked Tuftedcheek, White-browed Chat-Tyrant, White-banded Tyrannulet, Black-throated Flowerpiercer, Rufous-naped Brush-Finch, Buff-browed Foliage-Gleaner, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Shining Sunbeam, other hummingbirds.

Driving south from Gocta, the road rises slowly along the Utcubamba River. We make roadside stops for Torrent Duck & other specialities.

Arrive in Leymebamba for lunch.

Visit Leymebamba 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, which is within the grounds of the Museum. 

Possible birds: 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 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 Chaconta in the hot, dry Marañon valley.

Back to Leymebamba at dusk.

Overnight at Casa Mallqui, Leymebamba.

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.

Morning up the Rio Atuen valley, in local 4WD vehicles, to a private forest with hummer feeders.

Lunch at a café near the museum, then leave to return to Gocta via Chachapoyas.

Overnight at Gocta Lodge. 

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.
DAY 17 - GOCTA FALLS (the high road)

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.

Overnight at Gocta Lodge.

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.

Leave Gocta, head back to Pedro Ruiz and go west along the highway beside the Utcubamba River to Jaen. Roadside stops for birding.

Check in to hotel El Bosque, a quality town hotel, where we have lunch.

Afternoon in riverside and marsh habitat along Bellavista road, north of Jaen.

Overnight at Hotel El Bosque, Jaen. 

Possible birds: Fasciated Tiger-Heron, Savanna Hawk, Long-tailed Mockingbird, Spot-throated Hummingbird, Vermilion Flycatcher, Collared Antshrike, Scarlet-fronted Parakeet, Red-crested Finch, Peruvian Pigeon, Yellow-tailed Oriole, Rufous-fronted Thornbird, Greater Ani, Spotted Rail, Lesser Nighthawk.

Morning at a local reserve, Gotas de Agua, with owner and local guide, Luciano Troyes. This is a dry bush and scrub habitat.

Lunch in Jaen, then we depart for Tucume, via the pass at Porculla.

Evening birding / spotlighting.

Overnight at Los Horcones de Tucume. 

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 and Chinchipe Spinetails; Fasciated Wren, Purple-collared Woodstar, Three-banded and Grey & Gold Warblers, Chapman’s Antshrike, Piura Chat-Tyrant, White-headed Brush-Finch, Line-cheeked Spinetail, Lesser Goldfinch, Plumbeous-backed Thrush, Amazilia Hummingbird, Peruvian Pygmy Owl, Short-eared Owl, Scrub Nightjar.

All day in the Bosque de Pomac dry forest area, including visit to the Pyramids. We are now west of the Andes and within range of many new species, endemic to the region.

Optional afternoon visit to the Museo Tumbes Reales in Lambayeque.

Overnight at Los Horcones de Tucume. 

Possible birds: Pacific Parrotlet, Grey & White Tyrannulet, Baird’s Flycatcher, Streak-headed Woodcreeper, Peruvian Plantcutter, Tumbes Sparrow, Cinereous Finch, Superciliated Wren, Scarlet-backed and Guayaquil Woodpeckers, Necklaced Spinetail, Cinereous Conebill, Tawny-crowned Pygmy-Tyrant.
DAY 21 - PUERTO ETEN & CHICLAYO - Tour ends, Extension starts

Leave Tucume and head for the coast, via the town of Chiclayo. Explore the coastal lagoons, sand dunes and marshes between Pimentel & Puerto Eten. Sea-watching from top of hill south of Puerto Eten.

From here, we take you to Chiclayo airport, at the appropriate time for your onward flight.

Tour ends. 

Alternatively, you may wish to enjoy further wonderful birding on our four-day Chaparrí Extension. The number one dry forest site in the north has excellent birding opportunities and fantastic accommodation, run by the local community. You may even have the opportunity to see the Spectacled Bear in the wild!

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, shorebirds, Coastal Miner, Peruvian & Blue-footed Boobies, Neotropic, Guanay & Red-legged Cormorants, possible Waved Albatross, skuas & shearwaters, Inca, Peruvian & Elegant Terns, Harris’s & Savanna Hawks.