Birding Peru Tours and Wildlife Holidays
Kolibri Expeditions has been operating since 1998 offering Birding Peru Tours suitable for birdwatchers of all levels. The company is based in Peru’s capital, Lima, and arranges set departure trips to all the best birding spots in the country. We also offer attractive itineraries that not only include excellent birding but also some of Peru’s fascinating culture and historic heritage.
At Kolibri Expeditions we take pride in our highly trained local guides. Our experts know where to find endemics and their finely tuned ears home in on the calls of the most sought-after target species. They will share with you their unique insights into Peru, including its birds, wildlife and nature, and introduce you to its world-famous cuisine and culture.
For beginner birders and aspiring bird photographers, there is a choice of many short tours of only 5 days’ duration that will introduce you to many of the iconic, and often endemic, species to be found in Peru, with close up views and staying at comfortable birding lodges in the heart of the Andes mountains or the Amazon rainforest.
These shorter birding tours are also suitable for more experienced birders who have limited time but want to add some of the best birds in Peru to their life lists. These trips generally run Monday to Friday, which means you can fly to your chosen destination to settle in on the first weekend and fly back the following weekend. Once the COVID-19 pandemic allows, we will be organising weekly departures of our most popular 5-day trips.
For those with more time available for birdwatching in Peru, the 5-day tours can be put back to back and supplemented with 1-2 day tours for birding or bird photography. These can be arranged around Lima, Cusco, Machu Picchu, Arequipa and Puno.
More traditional birders and listers also enjoy our longer classic Peru birdwatching tours. These have durations of two weeks or more and take you along the Northern birding route or following a Central Peru birding itinerary looking for many of the most sought after endemics at Bosque Unchog, Junin Lake, and the Satipo road. Of course, we include the most diverse birding road on earth – the Manu road – in many of these itineraries. The latter is often combined with birdwatching in the lowland Amazon rainforests of Manu National Park, Tambopata and Rio Amigos.
Kolibri Expeditions is also your go-to choice if you want to combine your birding Peru tour with some of the history, culture and cuisine of Peru. Our birding and archaeology tours to places such as Nazca and Machu Picchu will give you an all-round flavour of this fascinating country.
Kolibri Expeditions pioneered Peruvian pelagic tours back in 2000 and have the longest track record of pelagic expeditions of any tour operator in Peru. On our trips you can hope to see the special and rare species of the Humboldt Current such as Hornby’s and Markham’s Storm-Petrels, Peruvian Diving-Petrel and a variety of Albatross species.
Itineraries are arranged to suit all budgets, including a choice of accommodation from comfortable lodgings in rural areas to upmarket hotels. There are also options to just rent a car and trained driver who knows all the best birding spots.
Pricing for our longer tours
Even though planning your tour through a local operator such as Kolibri Expeditions can be the most cost-effective way of doing it, there can still be expense involved if group sizes are small, there are a number of internal flights or you opt for luxurious lodgings. This may well be the choice of many travellers but at Kolibri Expeditions we recognise that some are working with tighter budgets or prefer a simpler way of touring.
In order to offer a memorable experience whatever the guests’ preferences, we have developed a tiered pricing structure on our longer tours. You decide the manner of travel and the comfort level you prefer and the cost reflects those choices.
As an example, there are three different flight categories on our Peru Birding and Culture Tour: Nazca, Titicaca and Machu Picchu.
- Budget: the cheapest possible flights and offers with airlines that charge less if you don’t require services such as checked-in luggage, extra leg room, meals and complementary drinks.
- Standard Economy: the service you would expect with conventional airlines.
- Business: a high level of comfort and added extras that raise the trip to luxury level.
In addition, we have tiered pricing that reflects the level of involvement the guest is prepared to put into the trip planning and the standard of accommodation preferred.
- Kolibri Flex! This is a budget/DIY option in which the traveller uses online resources to make reservations for their own hotels, places for meals and domestic flights and we provide only the group guiding at the destination. This results in a much cheaper overall price and you don’t have to be with the group 24/7.
- Kolibri Pro. This is perhaps the option to choose if you know you will be out birding all day, every day and are unlikely need a pool, gym, spa or cocktail bar. If you just want clean hotels with hot showers and a comfortable bed then this is a good value plan that includes domestic flights. On the Peru Birding and Culture Tour: Nazca, Titicaca and Machu Picchu, however, we do spend a little extra money on some amazing Peruvian food at exquisite restaurants.
- MST Premium. This is what we call our Marvellous Spatuletail (MST) price level. It includes domestic flights and, in most cases, carefully chosen 4- and 5-star hotels where you spend a bit more on your comfort and perks such as a complementary water bottle and coffee mug and drinks with lunch and dinner.
Our Owner & Guides
Kolibri Expeditions and its owner Gunnar Engblom were featured in Noah Strycker’s book “Birding Without Borders“. Gunnar is a biologist with a particular interest in the conservation of threatened bird species, discovering new species and human impact on the environment. As well as guiding Gunnar takes care of all the tour logistics from Lima. In his spare time, he is a marathon runner and singer/songwriter of the Swedish punk/alternative rock scene with his band Guran Guran. Check out the Birding Hit Song – Bird Party in this video.
Alejandro Tello guides many of Kolibri Expeditions’ tours, those that originate in Lima and the trips to Central Peru. He is a very skilled wildlife photographer who has published a number of books of photographs. Alejandro is involved in the conservation of wetlands in Lima, Ica and Junin.
Alex Durand started training with Kolibri Expeditions in 2003. He is now the number one birder in Peru with a list of 1,748 species. Alex is very sharp at finding elusive birds and has an outstanding memory for bird calls. A native of Puerto Maldonado, he guides all over Peru.
Photos and videos supplied by Dustin Chen, Alex Durand, Carlos Altamirano, Max Waugh, Kevin Bartlett, and Gunnar Engblom. All rights reserved.
Kolibri Expeditions has for many years been committed to being single-use plastic free, providing filtered water in the field as well as reusable food containers and utensils. We also, whenever and wherever possible, will give preference to our partners in the hospitality industry who provide alternatives to single-use plastic products, and we actively encourage local communities to work towards a plastic-free lifestyle.
Our breakfasts in the field are vegetarian and most of our lunches in the field are vegan in order to be kinder to the planet. Dinner we leave to individual choice.
Kolibri Expeditions trains local community members as guides and conservation specialists. This is especially important in areas where deforestation is rampant and the need for conservation to promote tourism as a viable alternative to unsustainable logging and coca production. We are the lead partner in the Satipo Road community initiative.
Kolibri Expeditions also provide financial and logistical support towards the conservation of the critically endangered Junin Grebe.
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