Mountain Rainforests & Amazon Dry Forest Birding 4-Day Tour

  • 4 days' birding in and around Pumarinri Amazon Lodge

  • A variety of eco-systems means a wide range of species


Pumarinri, which means 'puma's ear' in Quechua, is a quality lodge, with comfortable, spacious en-suite rooms, set on the banks of the Huallaga River, between Shapaja and Chasuta, at an altitude of 230 m (755 ft).

Three-toed sloth in the grounds of Pumarinri Amazon Lodge.

Three-toed sloth in the grounds of Pumarinri Amazon Lodge.

You can walk straight from the lodge along hill forest or riverside trails; while just a short drive from the lodge is high rainforest - such as along the Pucayaquillo Waterfall trail - and dry forest.

So, we spend four days in the area, in the company of an expert birding guide, exploring this range of ecosystems, and the plethora of avian species that inhabit them.

Along with great birding, there are amazing poison dart frogs, two species of sloth and exotic butterflies to be found in the surrounding area.

Itinerary Outline:

Day 1: Arrive Tarapoto; Transfer to Lodge; Night Birding. Overnight at Pumarinri.
Day 2: Pumarinri Trails; Huallaga Boat Trip. Overnight at Pumarinri.
Day 3: Quebrada Upaquihua & Juan Guerra Birding, Overnight at Pumarinri.
Day 4: El Tunnel Birding; Transfer to Tarapoto


Below prices are per person, based on two people sharing a room, and include all meals and specialist guides. 

ItineraryLengthPrices From
4 Days£1,100 / $1,400


4-Day Mountain Rainforests & Amazon Dry Forest Birding Itinerary: 

Day 1 – Tarapoto: Arrival & Night Birding at Pumarinri

We pick you up from Tarapoto Airport - or your hotel - and transfer by minibus to Pumarinri Amazon Lodge, a journey of about 40 minutes.

The grounds of Pumarinri are well-known for nocturnal specialities, including at least six species of owls, two opossums, Pauraques. Ocelots have even been seen on the trail cameras. So, we take an evening-night tour around the lodge, with the aim of seeing at least some of these. 

Overnight at Pumarinri Amazon Lodge, with all meals. 

Possible birds: Ferruginous Pygmy Owl; Tropical Screech Owl; Band-bellied & Black-banded Owls.

Day 2 – Pumarinri: River & Forests

The Huallaga River, a tributary of the Amazon.

The Huallaga River, a tributary of the Amazon.

We spend the morning birding a variety of trails in the vicinity of Pumarinri. Some trails lead through the hill forest along the road; while others go beside the Huallaga, which attracts many riverside species.

In the afternoon, we take a boat trip upriver and spend time birding on the south side of river. 

Overnight at Pumarinri Amazon Lodge, with all meals.

Possible birds: King Vulture; Cinnamon-throated Woodcreeper; Black-fronted Nunbird; Yellow-browed Tody-Flycatcher, Blue-grey, Palm, Turquoise & Paradise Tanagers; White-winged & White-banded Swallows, Ladder-tailed Nightjar; Hoatzin; Drab Water-Tyrant; Black Phoebe, Fasciated Tiger-Heron; Pale-rumped Swift; Black-faced Dacnis, Plain-winged Antshrike; Olive Oropendola; Chestnut-eared Aracari; Peruvian Warbling, Black-faced, Spot-winged & Chestnut-tailed Antbirds; White-tailed Trogon; Black & White Becard; euphonias; various parrots.

Day 3 - Quebrada Upaquihua & Juan Guerra

South of Tarapoto, the forests are drier and produce a different set of birds from those north of the town. So, leaving early, we drive south down the main road - past roadside wetland where the elusive Masked Duck can sometimes be seen, along with other waterbirds - to reach a small village called Buenos Aires.

Sand-coloured Nighthawk.

Sand-coloured Nighthawk.

From here, we head south-west up rough road to some good areas of dry forest at Quebrada Upaquihua. This area is good for Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Ashy-headed Greenlet, Hook-billed Kite, Northern Slaty Antshrike, White-browed Antbird. The lovely Band-tailed Manakin can sometimes be found.

We usually return to Pumarinri by boat, landing on a couple of the river islands along the way.

Close to Tarapoto, the trail leading east from the village of Juan Guerra is very good for spotting Great Antshrike, and sometimes Chestnut-crowned Puffbird, Stripe-necked Tody-Tyrant and Troupial. So, we spend the afternoon birding here and at Puente Colombia.

Overnight at Pumarinri Amazon Lodge, with all meals. 

Possible birds: Masked & Comb Ducks; Pied Lapwing; Black Skimmer; Wattled Jacana; Russet-crowned Crake; Cobalt-winged & Canary-winged Parakeets; Greater Ani; Sand-coloured Nighthawk; Ladder-tailed Nightjar; Planalto Hermit; Blue-crowned Trogon; Green Kingfisher; Bluish-fronted Jacamar; Lafresnaye's Piculet; Great, Nothern, Slaty & Barred Antshrikes; Plain-crowned & Chestnut-throated Spinetail; Band-tailed Manakin; Sulphur-bellied Tyrant-Manakin;White-browed Antbird; Mishana Tyrannulet; Pearly-vented & Stripe-necked Tody-Tyrant; Lesser Kiskadee; Brown-crested & Grey-capped Flycatchers; Black-capped Donacobius; Stripe-chested Antwren; Red-capped Cardinal; Troupial; Ashy-headed Greenlet; White-bellied Pygmy-Tyrant; Hook-billed Kite; Rufous Casiornis; Green & Violaceous Jays; Yellow-tufted Woodpecker; Lettered Aracari; Chestnut-crowned Puffbird; Laughing Falcon; herons and egrets.

Day 4: The Tunnel at Cerro Escalera

Spotted Tanager at  Cerro Escalera .

Spotted Tanager at Cerro Escalera.

Early morning departure, with packed lunch, north-eastwards to the high forested ridge at Cerro Escalera (Stair Mountain). We stop at the 100 m (328 ft) 'Tunnel', which cuts through the top part of the 900m (2,953 ft) mountain. This is cloud forest habitat with a very different avifauna from the dry forest down below, so we spend the day at various sites at this altitude.

At the end of the day, we transfer you to Tarapoto airport or you can hook up with our Alto Mayo & Abra Patricia birding tour, for the chance to see many more species. 

Possible birds: White-tipped Swift; White Hawk; Yellow-crested, Yellow-bellied & Spotted Tanager; Smoky Brown & Red-stained Woodpeckers; Ruddy Foliage-Gleaner; Slaty-capped Shrike-Vireo; Blackish Pewee; Andean Cock-of-the-Rock; Dusky-chested & Cliff Flycatchers; Blue-crowned Manakin.


We had a great time throughout our whole trip. The time with Henry [the birding guide] and Pumarinri was exceptional!

I keep replaying memories of it in my mind and we’re already talking about our next venture to North Peru.
— Michael Rigsby & Mary Jane Kelley - Athens, OH