With over 1850 bird species and counting, Peru vies with Colombia as having the biggest bird list in the world, and has around 30 more endemics. We currently offer three set-departure tours to Peru, and can also arrange custom tours to other areas.
Our Manu and Macchu Picchu tour to southern Peru is a popular place to start. Manu National Park is one of the greatest protected areas on the planet, covering the entire elevational transect from the Amazonian lowlands up to the highest elevations in the Andes. A series of nice lodges makes it a joy to visit, and every day offers something special, from displaying cocks-of-the-rock to parrot licks, canopy towers, and flocks of jewel-like tanagers. The ancient city of Cuzco and its mountainous surroundings offer totally different birds as well as ruins and vibrant culture. We’ll devote a morning to a guided tour of Machu Picchu, and also visit the threatened Polylepis forests nearby.
Northern Peru has made huge strides in recent years in terms of accommodation – we stay in some very nice lodges, many with superb feeders, and no camping is necessary. Habitat diversity is very high, and we’ll visit the deserts and dry forest of the northwest, coastal wetlands, montane scrub, the Marañon Valley with its numerous endemics, the lush cloudforests of the east slope of the Andes, and even spend a few days on the Andean altipano. Marvelous Spatuletail tops a long list of memorable birds we’ll be looking for, but just to mention a few others: White-winged Guan, Black-cowled Saltator, Marañon Crescentchest, Buff-bridled Inca-Finch, Long-whiskered Owlet, Royal Sunangel, Ochre-fronted Antpitta, Fiery-throated Fruiteater, and Yellow-faced Parrotlet. A few long drives are necessary, but the birding is easy on most days, with trails required on only a few days.
Central Peru is a more demanding tour that visits remote corners of the Andes, targeting some truly superb endemics such as Golden-backed Mountain-Tanager, Bay-vented Cotinga, White-bellied Cinclodes, Fire-throated Metaltail, and Rufous-backed Inca-Finch not to mention a number of newly-described and even undescribed species. Tourist infrastructure is lacking compared to other areas of Peru, but there is no camping involved, and we use decent hotels except for two nights. If you don’t mind some long days and early starts, this truly is an unforgettable trip off the beaten track.
Southern Peru: Birding with a Camera® is one of our new BwC tours, where we balance seeing lots of birds with also trying to photograph as many of them as possible. We will visit some of the best lodges in this part of the Andes, traversing the unforgettable Manu Road in the process. High Andean lakes, treeline elfin forest, emerald green cloudforest, and lush foothill rainforest will combine to give a fantastic array of birds including colorful toucans, trogons, and tanagers, spritely hummingbirds, and skulking but surprisingly beautiful antbirds. Some are tough to photograph, but we’ll try our luck with the cooperative ones, and the ones that don’t, we’ll still enjoy seeing. We will also have a day in Machu Picchu, where we visit the ruins with a local expert and also spend the night in a terrific lodge with feeders. An optional extension to an Amazon lodge is available for a chance to see and photograph a whole new suite of birds.