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Peru - Macaws & Machu Picchu

Tour Code: PER04

A 16-day holiday combining Peru's rich Pacific coast, the ancient Inca capital of Cusco, the classic trek through the Andes to Machu Picchu, and one of the world's finest wildlife spectacles: an isolated macaw clay-lick on the upper Tambopata River in the south-eastern rainforest.

17 days from £4695(inc flights) Land Only Price: £3995 SRS: £495


H3>An birdwatching and wildlife adventure of a lifetime/H3>

When designing this tour to Peru back in 1999 it was difficult to know what to leave out, such are the multitude of possibilities!  The highlights for us, we decided, were the spectacle of the Humboldt Current ecosystem, the world's biggest macaw clay-lick (in Tambopata, not Manu!) and one of the world's great treks, the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, walking and birdwatching from one stupendous Inca ruin to the next under the watchful eyes of our superb trekking guides and porters, themselves Quechua-speaking descendants of the Incas. Such is the richness and

  • Thousands of Humboldt Current seabirds and Southern Sealions
  • The world's biggest Macaw clay-lick, surrounded by pristine upper Amazonian rainforest
  • A sprinkling of exciting mammals including an outside chance of Jaguar or Tapir
  • A unique opportunity for serious birdwatching along the Inca Trail - no day trips and bus fumes for us
  • Condor, Cock-of-the-Rock and Sunbittern among many other avian specialities
  • Short historical tours of Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu - we don't ignore the culture
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Food

All included in the price except evening meals in Cusco. Allow £50.

Accommodation

A mixture of comfortable lodges and hotels (most with private facilities), and fully serviced camping on trek.

Macaws (Peter Price)

Macaws (Peter Price)

Outline Itinerary Download

Day 1 Fly Lima

Day 2 Islas Palomino/Pantanos de Villa, Lima

Day 3/6 Tambopata rainforest

Day 7/9 Cusco and Sacred Valley

Day 10/14 Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Day 15 Machu Picchu and train to Cusco

Day 16 Lima and depart

Peru epitomises what, for many of us, are those unique characteristics which make South America so fascinating: a profoundly rich history and culture; wonderfully varied geography and topography, including some of the most spectacular scenery and biodiverse ecosystems on Earth; and, of course, an immense bird list comprising over 1,800 species!

This tour focuses on three of the most rewarding sites in Peru. First, we visit Islas Palomino along the Pacific coast, then the south-eastern rainforest and isolated macaw clay-lick on the remote upper Tambopata River. Finally, we visit South America’s best known and most spectacular archaeological site, Machu Picchu.

We begin our tour from Lima, with a boat trip out from Callao, Peru's principal port. A short distance offshore lie the Palomino Islands. Bathed in the cold, nutrient-rich waters of the Humboldt current these small but rugged islands are home to thousands of raucous and inquisitive Southern Sea Lions, as well as Inca Terns, Peruvian Boobies, Peruvian Pelicans, Guanay and Red-legged Cormorants, and Humboldt Penguins. Keeping a close eye on the sea, on the journey to and from the islands, we may also see White-vented Storm Petrels, Sooty Shearwaters and Peruvian Diving Petrels. Occasionally, Bottlenose Dolphins put in an appearance too. Later in the day, after lunch, we'll explore the quiet wetlands of Pantanos de Villa on the southern outskirts of Lima, looking for species such as Wren-like Rushbird, Many-coloured Tyrant and Peruvian Thick-knees.

Next, a domestic flight takes us high over the majestic Andes and down into the Amazon Basin and the jungle boom-town of Puerto Maldonado. Following a short bus ride to the native Eseja community of Infierno, a 45-minute motorised canoe journey takes us up the Tambopata River to a comfortable jungle lodge, our base for one night. From here we strike out upstream, away from civilisation, and stay beside one of nature’s most spectacular sights; at dawn the next day, with dry weather, we hope to see hundreds of Scarlet, Red-and-green and Blue-and-yellow Macaws descending onto an almost vertical bank of red clay to take advantage of the high mineral and salt content of the soil. It should be a sight to behold, and one of the highlights of our holiday. Our days will be spent on the trails that take us through superb virgin floodplain rainforest as we search for inner forest birds, such primates as Red Howler, Dusky Titi, Brown Capuchin, Squirrel Monkeys and, with luck, the endangered Black Spider Monkey. The lowland rainforest ecosystem is a fascinating one and there is so much to learn. For those wishing to do so there are clear rainforest streams to bathe in and, on red-letter days, the sighting of a Brazilian Tapir or a Giant River Otter is not out of the question. A handful of our groups in recent years have also had magnificent views of Jaguar. After three nights in this remote, pristine setting at Tambopata Research Centre, we journey downriver to Puerto Maldonado to catch a flight to Cusco in the heart of the Andes for the final leg of our holiday.

Our first evening will wisely be spent acclimatising to the altitude in Cusco with a gentle city tour. Next, we will enjoy a day exploring the area, including a visit to the Huacarpay lakes. We will look out for Cinnamon, Speckled and Puna Teal, Andean Negrito, Wren-like Rushbird, Manycoloured Rush-tyrant, Bearded Mountaineer and Cinereous Harrier. Moving around to the north of Cusco and the Pisac ruins, we hope to see Chestnut-breasted Mountain-finch and Bearded Mountaineer amongst a fine selection of Andean birds. We will be free in the evenings to explore some of Cusco’s varied restaurants and perhaps sample some of the local culinary specialities.

We will next undertake one of the world’s classic hikes. Five easy-paced days on the famous Inca Trail will allow ample time for acclimatisation, some rewarding birdwatching and stunning scenery en route to the World Heritage site of The Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu. Far too many people visit this spectacular area on a day-trip from Cusco and miss out on the time needed to fully appreciate this unique location. Ours will be an experience never to be forgotten.

Finally, we must take the train along the Urubamba Valley back to Cusco, where we stay overnight before our return to Lima and our onward flight to London.

 

Paracas coastal scenery (Steve Wakeham)Dancer in Paracas (Peter Price)Inca Tern (Peter Price)Peruvian Boobies (Ian Williamson)Peruvian Booby (Peter Price)Peruvian Brown Pelican (Peter Price)Peruvian Pelican (Roger Wasley)Southern Sealion (Peter Price)Humboldt Penguin (Peter Price)Great Grebe (Roger Wasley)Nazca LinesTambopata River (Steve Wakeham)Hoatzin (Roger Wasley)Brown Capuchin Monkey (Peter Price)Butterfly (Steve Wakeham)Bolivian Squirrel (Peter Price)Blue and Yellow Macaws (Ian Williamson)White-throated Toucan (Roger Wasley)Yellow-spotted Side-necked Turtle (Ian Williamson)Blue-and-Yellow Macaw (Roger Wasley)Scarlet Macaws (Peter Price)Blue-and-Yellow Macaws (Roger Wasley)Blue and Yellow Macaws (Peter Price)Red-and-Green Macaws (Roger Wasley)Cusco (Peter Price)Encouraging the locals (Peter Price)Coppery-naped Puffleg Hummingbird (Ian Williamson)Chestnut-breasted Coronet (Ian Williamsom)Vermilion Flycatcher (Roger Wasley)Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager (Roger Wasley)Burrowing Owls (Roger Wasley)Pisac (Peter Price)Saffron-crowned Tanager (Peter Price)Blue-necked Tanager (Peter Price)Sparkling Violet-ear (Peter Price)Trekking through the AndesViva el Peru (Ian Williamson)Machu Picchu (Ian Williamson)Machu Picchu (Thomas Mills)Lima (Peter Price)Dawn in the Andes (Thomas Mills)Torrent Ducks (Roger Wasley)The train from Machu Picchu to Cusco (Thomas Mills)
A.C.
September 2014
Jose Antonio’s enthusiasm, good humour and in-depth knowledge about the birds, the wildlife and his country as a whole contributed enormously to my enjoyment of the trip. The local guides were also outstanding. For example, one of our local guides on the Inca Trail was both an archaeologist and a first-class mountain guide. Who could ask for anything better? The great variety was the main benefit of the holiday for me. Although I enjoy the birds, my interests are much more general. That is why I chose this holiday and it did not disappoint. We saw a lot of beautiful birds, but I was also able to enjoy the country as a whole. This was largely due to Jose Antonio, who was happy to talk about his country as well as the wildlife. It was also because ALL the local guides spoke such excellent English and were so knowledgeable. We were able to get to know them as people and enjoy their company as well as benefit from their expertise. We were very well looked after at every stage, including the trek.
D.J.
September 2014
Jose Antonio was an excellent leader. His range of knowledge, his helpfulness, his professionalism and organisational skills married with obvious enthusiasm and friendliness really made this a wonderful overall experience. He was ably assisted by other local guides who were also excellent. Some fantastic birding, a fascinating country and all topped off with the Inca Trail on a trip that felt like three separate fantastic holidays (coast, Amazon basin and Inca Trail).
A.P.
September 2014
The itinerary was well planned with the three different focus areas. I particularly enjoyed the jungle section during which the local guides were able to give us a lot of insight into living in such a fascinating area. I also enjoyed the Inca Trail and I thought all the logistics were well planned.
M.K.
Newcastle
The main holiday was wonderful and we were among the lucky few in place when the bear appeared. The extension worked like clockwork and everything was perfect. The Inca Tours guides were really helpful and the MP guide also knew the bird species! The Inkaterra hotel was also excellent. We particularly like the mix of wildlife and cultural attractions. Thank you for all your help in organising this. Andy Smith was a very knowledgeable and helpful leader.
S.W.
Gloucestershire
This was a fabulous trip, greatly enhanced by the trip leader, Andy Smith, who had great energy, knowledge and enthusiasm.
V.O.
Kent
This was a stunning holiday! The itinerary was excellently planned, enabling us to see a huge variety of habitats and their denizens – from desert to rainforest to cloud forest to the high Andes – a truly amazing panorama of a very diverse and rich country… Without hesitation I would say he (Pepe) is the best Naturetrek leader we have encountered so far. We felt privileged to have him as our guide.
J.S.
Manchester
Thanks to Nick for his expertise and company.
S.C.
Manchester
Having an overall interest in both the wildlife and culture of Peru, we especially enjoyed the Inca Trail and Machu Picchu. Nick and Juan ensured we had a fabulous and unforgettable experience. Please pass on our genuine thanks and best wishes.
G.S.
London
Pepe Rojas was such a talented leader from my point of view he made an excellent itinerary perfect. This was the best Naturetrek holiday I have been on. All the local guides were of a very high calibre.
C.E.
Norfolk
Pepe was an excellent guide who ensured that the needs of all of the group were met. Any problems were dealt with swiftly and efficiently.
J.F.
West Yorkshire
Pepe was one of the best local bird leaders I’ve come across in South America. He worked hard to make sure the trip ran smoothly and was a good organiser, was an outstanding birder and worked hard to make sure everyone got onto birds.
A.W.
Wales
Pepe was an exceptional guide who was sympathetic towards the less able/ knowledgeable birdwatchers amongst the party. He made sure wherever possible everyone in the party saw everything.
J.W.
Wales
Overall an excellent trip with a superbly knowledgeable and able leader in Pepe. He certainly knows his bird calls. Overall tally for me/us was 357 species – excellent. Accommodation everywhere was excellent…overall a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding adventure.
N.P.
Hampshire
A really excellent trip, which my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed.
A.S.
Cumbria
Machu Picchu was all that I expected and more, and I have to say that the Inkaterra Hotel was excellent, especially for the birdlife in the grounds. I must also mention our guide for the trip, Pepe Rojas. He was one of the best guides that Ive ever encountered, and is to be thoroughly commended. His cheerfulness and good humour never wavered throughout the trip, and his obvious passion and knowledge of his subject was a huge bonus for us lucky enough to be with him. He was honest and open, at pains to please the various interests of the group fairly, always punctual and dependable, and must have worked tremendously hard behind the scenes to make things run as smoothly as they did. My thanks go to him.
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DeparturesAvailableCost

Wed 12th September 2018 - Fri 28th September 2018

YES

£4695

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Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £3995 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Visiting: Peru

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Andy Tucker
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01962 733051

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BirdsCultureTrekking

Tour Leaders

Tour Reviews

Jose Antonio’s enthusiasm, good humour and in-depth knowledge about the birds, the wildlife and his country as a whole contributed enormously to my enjoyment of the trip. The local guides were also outstanding. For example, one of our local guides on the Inca Trail was both an archaeologist and a first-class mountain guide. Who could ask for anything better? The great variety was the main benefit of the holiday for me. Although I enjoy the birds, my interests are much more general. That is why I chose this holiday and it did not disappoint. We saw a lot of beautiful birds, but I was also able to enjoy the country as a whole. This was largely due to Jose Antonio, who was happy to talk about his country as well as the wildlife. It was also because ALL the local guides spoke such excellent English and were so knowledgeable. We were able to get to know them as people and enjoy their company as well as benefit from their expertise. We were very well looked after at every stage, including the trek.
A.C., September 2014