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Birding North Peru Tour - 12 Days

Birding North Peru Tour

Mayo and Huallaga Valleys Birding Tour in Northeast Peru

This 12-day birding North Peru tour covers the eastern slopes of the Andes and requires a reasonable level of fitness. This area is known to be one of the most diverse places in the neotropics for bird species. And the most important locations are the Huallaga and Mayo Valleys, in the San Martín region, which the tour will visit.

Our North Peru birdwatching tour begins with a visit to the mountain forest of the Cordillera Escalera Reserve. This is the ideal spot for birds such as Plumbeous Euphonia, Dotted Tanager, Koepcke’s Hermit and Blackish Pewee. After that, we go to the dry forest of the Upaquihua Valley, the only place in Peru to find the Planalto Hermit.

The Alto Mayo cloud forest, near the city of Moyobamba, is well known for its high bird diversity and endemisms. Certainly, this forest is the only place in the world to find special birds such as the Long-whiskered Owlet, Yellow-scarfed Tanager, Ochre-fronted Antpitta and Johnson’s Tody-Flycatcher. As a special extra for this birding North Peru tour, we will spend a full day birding the Rio Marañon area, searching for the renowned Marvelous Spatuletail hummingbird.

However, this tour is not just about endemic birds. The woodlands are full of mixed-species flocks and the area is also home to more than 40 other species of hummingbirds that are easy to see at feeding stations. In fact, our North Peru birding tour could be the trip of a lifetime for hummingbird lovers.

As a special addition, we start the tour with a full day's birding around the capital, Lima, looking for good sightings of Peruvian Thick-knee, Humboldt Penguins and Inca Terns.

If you are planning your next birding escapade, our Birding North Peru Tour may be your ideal choice.

Birding North Peru Tour highlights include:

  • A high diversity of bird species.
  • Well-set feeding stations for hummingbirds, tanagers and tinamous.
  • The Alto Mayo mountains and the Marañon Valley, which are rich in endemic bird species.
  • Mixed species flocks of birds almost every day.
  • Humbolt Penguins and Inca Terns

Please note: this tour is also available as a private tour on request.  Please complete the enquiry form and let us know your preferred dates to travel.

If you have a little more time to spend on your holiday, maybe you'd consider a longer a trip like this one: Andean Endemic Birding Tour in Peru

Alternative Tour Name: North Peru, the Mayo and Huallaga Valleys
Day 1
Day 1 - Lima

Arrival in Lima and transfer to the hotel at the airport.

Overnight at Wyndham Lima Airport Hotel****.

Meals: None.

Day 2
Day 2 - Lima - Tarapoto

This morning we will take our way south of Lima for about two hours to the Pucusana fishing port where we will take a boat to search for Humboldt Penguin, Inca Tern, Peruvian Booby, Guanay Cormorants, and Surf Cinclodes. After lunch we will drive back to Lima, with a stop at the Villa Marshes, the place is good for Great Grebe, White-tufted Grebe, Peruvian Thick-knee, Many-colored Rush-Tyrant, Wren-like Rushbird, and lots of shorebirds.

Then we will be transferred to the airport for the flight toTarapoto.

Overnight at hotel La Patarashca***.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 3
Day 3 - Tarapoto

We start the day at the Cordillera escalera reserve. The mountains forests here is home of special birds like Blackish Pewee, Blue-banded Toucanet, Lanceolated Monklet, and more. Then we visit ACONABIKH, a private reserve establish for the protection of the Koepcke's Hermit, and endemic hummingbird to northern Peru. Other birds we might see in the reserve are Gould's Brilliant, Golden-headed Manakin, and several species of Aracaries, Toucans, Flyacatchers, etc.

Overnight at hotel La Patarashca***.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 4
Day 4 - Tarapoto

Early start to drive south of Tarapoto to the Upaquihua valley. This is the only place in Peru where Planalto Hermit and Ashy-headed Greenlet can be found. Other possible interesting birds in the area are Northern Slaty Antshrike, Rufous-fronted Thornbird, Plain-crowned Spinetail, Sulphur-bellied Tyrant-manakin,Rufous Casiornis, and more.

We will have lunch at Pumarinri lodge, located by the Huallaga river. We will spend the afternoon birding around the lodge, possible birds around the lodge are Black-fronted Nunbird, Cinnamon-throated Woodcreeper, Blue-crowned Trogon, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Riparian Antbird, Spangled Cotinga, Purple-throated Cotinga, and others.

Overnight at hotel La Patarashca***.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 5
Day 5 - Tarapoto - Moyobamba

In the morning you will be transferred to the city of Moyobamba, with one stop on the road to look for Oilbirds at Puente Quiscarrumi bridge.

Before noon we will arrive to our next lodge near the city of Moyobamba.

We will spend the afternoon at the hummingbird feeders where the usual visitors are Black-throated Hermit, White-necked Jacobin, Fork-tailed Woodnymph, White-chinned Sapphire, the fantastic Rufous-crested Coquette, and other species. The forest around the feeders can also produce Tataupa Tinamou, Green-backed Trogon; mixed flocks of tanagers with Paradise, Black-bellied, Blue-necked, Guira, Golden, and many other tanagers.

Overnight at Waqanki Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 6
Day 6 - Moyobamba

Early morning visit to Punta de Tahuishco, some 5 minutes from the hotel. The place is good for Blue-headed Parrot, Lettered Aracari, Yellow-browed Tody-flycatcher, Pale-breasted Thrush, Blue-necked Tanager, and more.

Then we will go to Morro de Calzada, where we look for Ringed Kingfisher, White-shouldered Tanager, Fiery-capped Manakin, Lafresnaye’s Piculet, Cobalt-winged Parakeet, Chestnut-eared Aracari, and more.

Rest of the day exploring the rice fields of the Mayo valley looking for Pale-eyed Blackbird, Point-tailed Palmcreeper, Rufous-fronted Thornbird, Chestnut-bellied Seedfinch, Red-capped Cardinal, Spotted Rail, Paint-billed Crake, and more.

Overnight at Waqanki Lodge.

Meals: Picnic breakfast, picnic lunch, dinner.

Day 7
Day 7 - Moyobamba - Aguas Verdes - Agua Patricia

Early departure towards the mountains of Abra Patricia.

First, we stop at the Fundo DOn Laureano reserve, to look for Rufous-headed Woodpecker.

Another important stop along the road is the “Arena Blanca Reserve”, where the hummingbird feeders attract Blue-fronted Lancebill, Black-throated Brilliant, Rufous-crested Coquette, Wire-crested Thorntail, and another 20 species of hummingbirds. The Tinamou feeders are usually visited by Cinereous and Little Tinamous, along with Rufous-breasted Woodquail and Orange billed Sparrow. Other interesting birds in the area are Huallaga Tanager, Northern Chestnut-tailed Antbird, Peruvian Antwarbler, Dark-breasted and Cinereous-breasted Spinetails, and flocks of tanagers.

After lunch, we stop around the town of El Afluente, a good spot to look for White-winged Tanager, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, the fantastic Andean Cock-of-the Rock, and a myriad of other tanagers, woodcreepers, antbirds, woodpeckers, flycatchers and more.

We also will make a brief stop at La Llanteria hummingbird feeding station for Green Hermit, Booted Racket-tail, and Ecuadorian Piedtail.

We will arrive to the Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge before it gets dark.

Overnight at Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 8
Day 8 - Abra Patricia

In the gardens of the lodge you will have ample time to seat comfortably and enjoy the myriad of hummingbirds coming to the feeders: Long-tailed Sylph, Speckled Hummingbird, White-bellied Woodstar, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Collared Inca, and many more.

Then we will walk the “Grallaria trail” that starts in the upper part of the lodge and goes down the hill for about two and a half hours. The trail goes through humid mountain forest where birds like Sharpe’s Wren, Chestnut-crested Cotinga, Bicolored Antvireo, Golden-headed Quetzal, are quite common.

In the afternoon we can walk around the parking lot, looking for Johnson’s Tody-Flycatcher, Yellow-Scarfed Tanager, Grass-green Tanager, Black-throated Tody-tyrant, Rufous Spinetail, Drab Hemispingus, and many more.

Overnight at Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 9
Day 9 - Abra Patricia

Today we spend the morning at the hummingbird feeders and the trails around the main house at Fundo Alto Nieva. Usual visitors to the feeders are Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Royal Sunangel, Booted Racket-tail, Greenish Puffleg, Rufous-vented Whitetip, and White-tailed Hillstar. The trails around the main house in Alto Nieva are good to look for Rufous-vented Tapaculo, Yellow-throated Tanager, Bar-winged and Grey-breasted Wood-wrens, and the rare Cinnamon-breasted Tody-tyrant.

We will drive back to the Owlet Lodge for lunch.

In the afternoon we will drive back down the road again to look for mixed species flocks with Flame-faced Tanager, Metallic-green Tanager, Blue-browed Tanager, Beryl-spangled Tanager, and more. White-capped Tanagers might also be in the area.

Then we will enter Fundo Alto Nieva again, this time for a visit to the Ochre-fronted Antpitta feeding station. Before hiking back to the car, we will spend a couple of hours looking for the legendary Long-whiskered Owlet.

Overnight at Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 10
Day 10 - Abra Patricia

This morning we will explore the Alto Mayo Protected forest. This is located at a lower elevation than Abra Patricia and holds a different set of birds.

At the Mirador area we will look for birds like Subtropical Cacique, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Bar-winged Wood-wren, Andean Solitare, and Yellow-throated Tanager.

Afternoon walk along the “Tino trail”, looking for birds like Masked Trogon, Yungas Pygmy-Owl, Variable Antshrike, White-backed Fire-eye, and flocks of tanagers with Golden-naped, Beryl-spangled, Saffron-crowned and Flame-faced Tanagers. More difficult to find, but yet possible, are mammals like Yellow-tailed Wooly-Monkey, Kinkajou, and Andean Night-Monkey.

Overnight at Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 11
Day 11 - Abra Patricia - Huembo

Morning transfer to Huembo for the Marvelous Spatuletail hummingbird. Others hummingbirds attending the feeders here are Andean Emerald, White-bellied Hummingbird, Purple-throated Woodstar, White-bellied Woodstar. The forest inside the reserve is good for Southern Emerald Toucanet, Silvery Tanager, and others.

The Rio Chido road (about 15 minutes from Huembo) is good for Black-crested Warbler, Peruvian Citrine Warbler, Sickled-winged Guan, Lacrimose-mountain Tanager, Pale-eyed Thrush, and many more.

Overnight at Huembo Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch., dinner.

Day 12
Day 12 - Huembo - Jaén

Morning at the hummingbird feeders again for more chances to get good pictures of the Marvelous Spatuletail.

By mid-morning we will drive for about 4 hours to the town of Jaén. After a late lunch you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Lima.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch.

Some of the birds we expect to see in this trip:

Humboldt Penguin, Inca Tern, Guanay Cormorant, Red-legged Cormorant, Surf Cinclodes, Peruvian Thick-knee, Many-colored Rush-tyrant, Maroon-tailed Parakeet, Dotted Tanager, Plumbeous Euphonia, Lanceolated Monklet, Blackish Pewee, Koepcke’s Hermit, Black-throated Brilliant, Pale-tailed Barbthroat, Golden-headed Manakin, White-plumed Antbird, Planalto Hermit, Ashy-headed Greenlet, Northern Slaty Antshrike, Rufous Casiornis, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Spangled Cotinga, Oilbird, Rufous-crested Coquette, Paradise Tanager, Huallaga Tanager, Golden Tanager, Short-tailed Pygmy-tyrant, Mishana Tyrannulet, Humboldt’s (Lettered) Araçari, Red-stained Woodpecker, Pale-breasted Thrush, American Comb Duck, Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Cream-colored Woodpecker, Pale-legged Hornero, Black-and-white Antbird, Anhinga, Palmcreeper, Varzea Thrush, Blue-fronted Lancebill, Wire-crested Thorntail, Little Tinamou, Rufous-breasted Wood-quail, Andean Cock-of-the Rock, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Ochre-fronted Antpitta, Chestnut Antpitta, Chestnut-crested Cotinga, Golden-headed Quetzal, Long-whiskered Owlet, Lulu’s Tody-flycatcher, Yellow-scarfed Tanager, Grass-green Tanager, Botted Racket-tail, Royal Sunangel, White-capped Tanager, Masked Trogon, Rusty-tinged Antpitta, Northern Chestnut-breasted Wren, Golden-naped Tanager, Beryl-spangled Tanager, Saffron-crowned Tanager, Flame-faced Tanager, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Bar-winged Wood-wren, Andean Solitare, Metallic-green Tanager, Blue-browed Tanager, Yellow-throated Tanager, Olive-chested Flycatcher, Marvelous Spatuletail, Blue-cowled Barbet, Green Hermit, Grey-chinned Hermit, Masked Duck, Fiery-throated Fruiteater

What is included?

  • Lodging as described in the itinerary (some lodges, hotels, might change depending on room's availability).
  • Ground transportation and driver throughout the tour
  • English speaking bird guide
  • All entrance fees for nature reserves
  • Meals as mentioned in the program
  • Applicable taxes, fees, and licenses

What is not included?

  • International or domestic airfares
  • Airport departure taxes or visa fees
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Additional nights during the trip due to flight cancellations
  • Alcoholic beverages or bottled drinks
  • Snacks
  • Insurance of any kind
  • Laundry
  • Phone calls or messages
  • Reconfirmation of flights and items of personal nature
  • Anything else not mentioned in “What is included”

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Why book with Green Tours?

Green Tours, the trade name of Cheqa Peru SRL, is a Peruvian tour operator company stablished in 2006 with the objective to offer high quality ground services for tourism operations in Peru with innovation, comfort, safety, and commitment with our social and environmental responsibilities. The last few years Green Tours has established itself as an important Peruvian tour operator, providing ground logistics for American, Canadian and British birding companies like Wings, Paradise Birding, Sunrise Birding, Worldwide Birding Tours, Sierra Club, Avocet Tours, and Heatherlea. Green Tours is part of a Carbon Neutral partnership to offset the carbon footprint for its operations, with this partnership we are helping to improve the conservation efforts in the Tambopata National Reserve. Also, since 2016 we are supporting small conservation efforts in north western Peru for the conservation of the habitat of the tropical dry forest, specially the habitat of the Peruvian Plantcutter. Currently, our General Manager is the executive director of APTAE (the Peruvian Association for Eco and Adventure Tourism). Our Sales and Marketing Manager, Wilson Díaz, is an active birder and has been travelling with birding groups since 2001 providing logistic support for several companies. Also, we have created “Asociación Green Tours”, a non-profit organization aimed to support conservation initiatives for endangered species like Grey-bellied Comet and Peruvian Plantcutter.

What are your group sizes?

A minimum of 4 and a maximum of 8 people

Do you include internal flights costs?

No, but we can book the flights for you if requested.

Do you have any age restrictions to join this tour?

Do you have any age restrictions to join this tour?

Do I need a Yellow Fever vaccine to enter Tambopata ?

Yes, but it is not mandatory by the government, but having the vaccine is highly recommended.

Join Our Fixed Tour Starting Date

Tour Dates Tour Availability From Price Spaces Left
18/09/2023 - 28/09/2023 available USD 3,200
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17/09/2024 - 27/09/2024 available USD 3,500
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12 Days

Price & Availability

USD3,200 / per person
Based on twin/double room
Single Supplement USD 450
Group Discount Available
Group Discount Guide
Refer to Group Discount Terms
This tour is operated by: Green Tours
4.93 based on 7 reviews

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Operator Review Summary

4.93 Based on 7 reviews

Tour Facts

  • Lima, Tarapoto, Moyobamba, Abra Patricia, Jaén
  • Set Departure
  • Set Departure Tour
  • Birds
  • 2 to 8 pax
  • 12 days
  • Moderate
  • English, Spanish
  • Jorge Chavez Lima International airport
  • Jaén, Peru