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Birding Andes to the Amazon

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Birding Manu 7 Days (Manu road, cloud forest & parrot clay lick)

Manu Biosphere Reserve has the highest biodiversity of any protected area in the world. The unparalleled beauty of this trip is in the landscape and variety of habitats ranging from orchid-draped cloud forest where Spectacled Bears and Cock-of-the-Rocks still exist unbothered, to pristine Amazon rainforest with 13 primate species and oxbow lakes frequented by Giant Otters. A trip to Manu is a trip to one of the world´s great wilderness areas where wildlife is still plentiful and over 1000 species of birds have been recorded. Add to this a breathtaking visit to Machu Picchu and you have a trip of a lifetime.

Tour Itinerary: 7 days birding.

Day 1: Cusco to Wayqecha Biological Station (2950m)

Today we will leave early, first driving through scenic intermontane valleys. We will make selected stops for two smart endemics: Creamy-crested Spinetail and Chestnut-breasted Mountain-Finch. In addition, we may find Cinereous Conebill, Golden-billed Saltator, Band-tailed Seedeater, Peruvian and Ash-breasted Sierra-Finches, and Rufous-collared Sparrow. Reaching a high mountain pass at Ajcanacu, we will begin our journey into a vast intact wilderness area as we descend along the sinuous road that will take us to the Manu foothills. Along the extraordinary altitudinal transect that this remarkable road represents, new bird species continually appear whilst others drop out. Initially, the steep Andean slopes are clad in stunted forest, temperate shrubbery and wet paramo, and here we may well encounter such high-elevation species as Mountain Caracara, Shining Sunbeam, Bar-winged Cinclodes, Puna Thistletail, Tufted Tit-Tyrant, Black-throated and Moustached Flower-piercers. A little lower down, where the magnificent cloudforests begin, we shall look out for White-throated and Variable Hawks soaring over the impressive slopes. With a little luck we will see a Swallow-tailed Nightjar this evening. We will stay for one night at the Wayqecha Biological Station. In upper Manu-cloudforest. L:D.

Day 2: Wayqecha to Cock-of-the-rock Lodge.

Today we´ll target some tough birds like: Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Blue-banded Toucanet the hummingbirds may include Gould´s Inca, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Violet-throated Starfrontlet, Tyrian Metaltail and Rufous-capped Thornbill. Sorting through mixed flocks we hope to find Montane Woodcreeper, Marcapata Spinetail, Pearled Treerunner, Streaked Tuftedcheek, White-throated and White-banded Tyrannulets, Handsome and Inca Flycatchers, Barred Becard, Mountain Wren, Spectacled Redstart, Citrine and Pale-legged Warblers, Capped Conebill, Blue-and-black, Golden-collared, Blue-capped, Rust-and-yellow and Grass-green Tanagers, Hooded and Chestnut-bellied Mountain-Tanagers, Yellow-whiskered Bush-Tanager, and Black-capped, Black-eared and Superciliaried Hemispinguses. Additional species we may find in this area include Andean Guan, Speckle-faced and Scaly-naped Parrots, Andean Pygmy-Owl, Azara´s Spinetail, Striped Treehunter the endemic but hard to see Red-and-white Antpitta, TrillingTapaculo, Barred and Band-tailed Fruiteaters, Red-crested Cotinga, Sierran Elaenia, Black-throated Tody-Tyrant, Olive and Pale-edged Flycatchers, Rufous-breasted and Maroon-chested Chat-Tyrants, Streak-throated Bush-Tyrant, White-winged Black-Tyrant, Blue-and-white and Pale-footed Swallows, White-collared Jay, Fulvous Wren, Glossy-black, Great and Chiguanco Thrushes, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager, Mountain Cacique and many more. Night in Cock of the rock Lodge. B:L:D.

Day 3: Cock-of-the-rock Lodge (Lower Manu cloud forest 1400m).

Cock-of-the-rock Lodge, Birding the Manu road to the comfortable subtropical and lower temperate life zones with their spectacular avifauna: In a short distance is a lek of the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock. The most spectacular of the birds of paradise. The displays of these splendid birds and their unearthly strangled shrieks will be emblazoned in our memories for years to come. Near the lodge we shall search for such specialities as Black-billed Treehunter, Slaty Gnateater, Cinnamon-faced Tyrannulet, Versicoloured Barbet, Golden-olive Woodpecker, Olive-backed Woodcreeper, Montane Foliage-gleaner, Yellow-breasted Antwren, Streak-necked and Slaty-capped Flycatchers, Bolivian Tyrannulet, Marble-faced Bristle-Tyrant, Grey-mantled Wren, Andean and White-eared Solitaires, Brown-capped Vireo, Tropical Parula, Russet-crowned and Three-striped Warblers, Slate-throated Redstart, Deep-blue and Bluish Flower-piercers, Blue-naped Chlorophonia, Fawn-breasted, Orange-eared, Golden, Saffron-crowned, Yellow-throated and Slaty Tanagers, Yellow-throated and Common Bush-Tanagers, Black-faced Brush-Finch, Golden-headed and Crested Quetzals and  Hummingbirds such jewels as Violet-fronted Brilliant, Many-spotted Hummingbird, Speckled Hummingbird, Booted Rackettail and Long-tailed Sylph as the morning sun warms up the crisp air we shall scan the skies for these huge raptors: Solitary and Black-and-chestnut Eagles. Additional birds we may encounter here include Band-tailed Pigeon, Chestnut-collared Swift, Masked Trogon, Highland Motmot, Amazonian Umbrellabird, Yungas Manakin, White-crowned Tapaculo, Cinnamon, Lemon-browed and Golden-crowned Flycatchers, Smoke-coloured Pewee, Green Jay, Grey-breasted Wood-Wren, Two-banded Warbler, Dusky-green Oropendola, Olivaceous Siskin  and a dazzling array of tanagers. At nights we search for Rufescent Screech-Owl and Lyre-tailed Nightjar. Night in Cock-of-the-rock Lodge. B:L:D.
NOTE: If Wayqecha and Cock-of-the-rock Logde are full we´ll stay at the nearby very comfortable Paradise Lodge.

Day 4: Lower Manu road

After a final morning in the birdy cloudforests we will descend further down the Manu road to the comfortable Amazonia Lodge, we shall scan the boulder-strewn rapids for Black Phoebe and White-capped Dipper. Most of the day will be spent birding the upper tropical forests of the foothills in search of such species as Military Macaw, Peruvian Piedtail, Chestnut-backed Antshrike, Stripe-chested Antwren, Black Antbird, Ornate Flycatcher, the localized Red-billed Tyrannulet the endemic Black-backed Tody-Flycatcher. With a modicum of luck we will find an Amazonian Umbrellabird perched in a roadside tree. Cleared areas may produce Smooth-billed Ani, the odd-looking Swallow-Tanager, Blue-black Grassquit, Black-and-white and Chestnut-bellied Seedeaters, and Lesser Seed-Finch. During good weather, raptors often soar overhead and we shall keep an eye out for White Hawk and Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle in particular. Later we will cross the Alto Madre de Dios River to Amazonia Lodge, located at an elevation of 1750 ft (500 m). Our base for the next three nights stay. B:L:D.

Day 5: Amazonia Lodge 500m(1,750 feet)

We have two full days at this family-run hacienda, which already has a bird list of well over 500 species. It is situated where the last low foothills of the Andes begin to flatten out into the vast Amazonian lowlands. The floodplain near the lodge is covered in second growth only a few decades old, while on the steep hillsides tall primary forest is found. While birding the varied habitats at the lodge we will see a very rich assortment of birds. Some species we will especially look for include Blue-headed Macaw, Rufous-crested Coquette, Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Chestnut-capped Puffbird, Fine-barred Piculet, Bamboo Antshrike, Black-backed Tody-Flycatcher, and Golden-bellied Warbler. we should get good views of most if not all of them. Such localized species as Fiery-capped Manakin and Johannes´s Tody-Tyrant can often be found here as well and sometimes even the elusive Black-capped Tinamou can be seen. False Vervain flowers in the lodge garden attract a multitude of dazzling hummingbirds, with possibilities including Violet-headed Hummingbird, Blue-tailed and Sapphire-spangled Emeralds, Golden-tailed Sapphire and Amethyst Woodstar. Although the hummingbird feeder is usually dominated by the large Grey-breasted Sabrewing, patience should reward us with the lovely Gould´s Jewelfront. Many birds can even be observed from the lodge porch, including the huge Boat-billed Flycatcher, the noisy Pale-legged Hornero and the skulking Plain-crowned Spinetail. Male Yellow-rumped Caciques engage in vocal imitations from their nesting trees while the bird table provides close-up views of several species of tanager. A small marsh provides shelter for secretive Blackish Rails, though we shall be fortunate if we get to see these vocal birds, while even harder to see is the small Uniform Crake, which prefers the undergrowth of dense swampy forest. While climbing up the primary forest-clad ridge that overlooks the lodge we may encounter the endemic Koepcke´s Hermit, the terrestrial Grey-throated Leaftosser in the dark understorey the Plain Antvireo, whilst lively mixed canopy flocks could hold Olivaceous and Ocellated Woodcreepers, Speckled Spinetail, Rufous-tailed Antwren, Spectacled Bristle-Tyrant, and Carmiol´s Tanager. We can try our luck with the nightbirds found in the vicinity of the lodge, such as Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl, Black-banded Owl, Common Potoo and Common Pauraque. Other birds we may find in this wonderful area include Undulated Tinamou, Speckled Chachalaca, White-eyed Parakeet, White-collared Swift, Violaceous Trogon, Chestnut-capped Puffbird, Straight-billed Woodcreeper, Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner, Band-tailed Antbird, Amazonian Antpitta, Band-tailed Manakin, Yellow-crowned and White-lored Tyrannulets, Forest Elaenia, Long-tailed Tyrant, Dusky-capped, Short-crested, Social, Grey-capped and Streaked Flycatchers, Tropical Kingbird, White-winged Becard, Purplish Jay, House Wren, Black-billed Thrush, Solitary Black Cacique, Bananaquit, Spotted, Yellow-bellied, Blue-necked, Turquoise, Bay-headed, Palm and Blue-grey Tanagers, and Greyish and Buff-throated Saltators. If we are very fortunate we will find one of the more difficult and highly sought-after species of the area such as Buckley´s Forest-Falcon, Long-tailed Potoo or Rufous-webbed Brilliant. Night at Amazonia Lodge B:L:D.

Day 6: Parrot Clay Lick & Machuwasi Lake

Early start to visit the small Parrot Clay Lick, 25 minutes downriver along the Madre de Dios River bank. We will see Chestnut-Fronted Macaw, Blue-Headed Macaw, Dusky-Headed Parakeet, White-Eyed Parakeet, Blue-Headed Parrot and Yellow-Crowned Parrot. Then we will board our motorized canoe that we will take us to Machuwasi Lake. We will bird the lake for Horned Screamer, Rufesent Tiger-Heron, Pale-eyed Blackbird and few bamboo forest let, for Bamboo Antshrike, Fasciated Antshrike, White-Lined Antbird, White-Eyed Antwren, Yellow-breasted Warbling-Antbird, Striated Antbird, Manu Antbird, Goeldi´s Antbird, Whithe-Throated Antbird, Band-tailed Antbird, Spot-backed Antbird, Plain-throated Antwren and many more. Night at Amazonia Lodge. B:L:D.

Day 7: Amazonia Lodge to Cusco

After some final birding in lower Manu cloud forest, we will travel back to Cusco picking up species we may missed. B:L.

TOUR INFORMATION

*PRICE: USD $ 1595 per person. (min. 2 passengers) based in double occupancy.
*INCLUDED: All Lodging, Meals, transpotation, Expert bilingual birdguide, Hotel transfer and entrance fees.
*NOT INCLUDED:  Personal expenses

TRIP CONSIDERATIONS

Walking: The walking effort is easy to moderate.

Climate: Rather variable. At high altitudes conditions range from cool to decidedly cold in the early morning. At middle elevations many days are dry and sunny, and overcast.

ACCOMMODATION: The jungle lodges are comfortable but simple; some do not have full-time electricity, but provide a generator for a few hours a day to charge batteries. Amazonia Lodge and Wayqecha Research Center with shared bathroom facilities. Single rooms are not available at Wayqecha Biological Station, but we will find you a roommate of the same sex if you are booking as a single. Cock-of-the-rock Lodge consists in double rooms with a private toilet and shower facilities. Hot and cold water is always available and all toilets facilities are flush.

Bird Photography: Opportunities are worthwhile.
Linkable Amazon birding:  Northern,Central &Southern peru tours
What to Bring
We advise you to bring:

Aside from Binoculars and photo-equipment (the important birdwatchers stuff) we advise:
A spotting scope, if you have one
Flashlight for night birding
Light day pack
Sunscreen and insect repellent
T-shirts and a long-sleeved shirt
Jeans or other cotton pants are comfortable, as well as quick-drying nylon ones
Cotton socks
Sweater, jacket or fleece for night birding
Light jacket, water resistant, or poncho
Hiking boots or sturdy shoes
Sandals for after hours
Hat and sunglasses
Plastic bags for camera, clothes, etc
Personal toiletries (shampoo, towel, etc)

Amazon Birding look forward to welcoming and guiding you soon!
Last minute bookings will be accepted but you must be aware that there is the possibility that we will not get space at the hotel or tour that you need.

* PLEASE CHECK OUR MANU NATIONAL PARK BIRD LIST

PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS.

AMAZON BIRDING: Conservation through bird-ecotourism.

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