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Bird Watching Peru: Cusco & Manu Lowlands Tour - 19 Days

Bird Watching Peru: Cusco & Manu Lowlands Tour

Cusco & Manu Lowlands Birding Tour in Peru

This 19-day bird watching Peru tour explores a deeper side to this fascinating country. You probably know Peru for its great natural biodiversity, especially Manu National Park. But Peru is also famous for its rich cultural heritage and this extensive but lesiurely paced tour will introduce you to both.

The tour in Peru begins with bird watching in Cuzco with a visit to Machu Picchu and the Abra Malaga area. Inside the archaeological site we will not only be spending time admiring this flagship of Peruvian heritage - as we are birdwatchers we will also spend some time looking for species such as Inca Wren and flocks of tanagers.T

The Abra Malaga area is famous for its Polylepis habitat specialists such as Royal Cinclodes and White-browed Tit-spinetail. We will drive towards the eastern slope of the Andes along the famous Manu Road. We will stay at the delightful Wayqecha Lodge to bird the higher elevation grasslands and the elfin forests of Manu National Park.

Next, we will spend a few nights at the Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge, famous for its Cock-of-the-Rock lek and its bird feeders that attract several species of hummingbirds and tanagers. Our last day in this area will be spent at the wonderful Villa Carmen Biological Station, just at the entrance gate to the Manu lowlands. This lodge is located at a lower elevation than the previous lodges and is probably the most bird-rich area of the Manu Road.

So, after our high altitude birding in Cuzco, this bird watching Peru tour enters the Manu lowlands. We will be travel by boat on the Madre de Dios River and the first stop will be at Tambo Blanquillo Lodge. From here we will visit the clay lick for macaws and parrots, the canopy tower and the Blanco oxbow lake where the Giant River Otters should be visible.

Then we will spend a few nights at Los Amigos Biological Station, probably the best birding place in southeastern Peru. The fabulous network of trails here allows us to visit different types of habitat such as terra firme and varzea forests, palm swamps and bamboo patches. The wide diversity of monkeys and raptors in this area is astonishing.

As a bonus at the beginning of the trip we include a day's birding around the capital, Lima, as we don’t want you to miss opportunities to see Humboldt’s Penguins, Peruvian Thick-knee and Inca Terns!

As you can see, this Peruvian bird watching tour promises to be a great lifetime experience!

Bird Watching Peru Cusco & Manu Lowlands Tour Highlights include:

  • The Amazon and its great biodiversity, Manu NP and several fabulous ecolodges.
  • The archaeological site of Machu Picchu, one of the world's New Seven Wonders.
  • Access to the Cock-of-the-Rock lek, the largest lek known in Peru for this species.
  • A visit to Villa Carmen and Los Amigos Biological Stations.
  • Humbolt Penguins and Inca Terns

Are you also a keen photographer? This special tour might be just what you are looking for: Birding Peru Photo Tour

Alternative Tour Name: Cusco & Manu Lowlands Tour
Day 1
Day 1 - Lima

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

Overnight at Wyndham Airport Hotel.

Meals: None.

Day 2
Day 2 - Lima

Morning birding south of Lima, around the coastal town of Pucusana. We will be looking for Inca Tern, Peruvian Booby, Humboldt Penguin, Surf Cinclodes. Afternoon a the Villa Marshes, a protected area near the Pacific shore, that is good for Peruvian Thick-knee, Great Grebe, Many-colored Rush-tyrant, Wren-like Rushbird.

Overnight at Wyndham Airport Hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 3
Day 3 - Lima - Cuzco - Ollantaytambo

We take an early flight to Cuzco. Right from the Cuzco airpot we move to lake Huacarpay, a good place to see typical Andean waterfowl like White-tufted and Silvery Grebes, Andean Duck, Puna Teal, and others. The hills around have good habitat for Andean Negrito and Bearded Mountaineer.

We leave Cuzco towards Ollantaytambo just after lunch. We could have great sights of Giant Hummingbird and Great Sapphirewing at the hotel garden's in Ollantaytambo

Overnight in Ollantaytambo.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 4
Day 4 - Machu Picchu

Today we take a train to the town of Aguas Calientes, fhere, we will explore the famous Machu Picchu. It will takes us about two hours to explore the archeological site and know about its history. Nevertheless, we will make some time to look for birds in the surrounding vegetation, looking specially for the Inca Wren.

Back in Aguas Calientes, we plan to make a walk just aoutside the city. Along the Urubamba river we could find birds like Andean Motmot, Green-and-white Hummingbird, Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Ocellated Piculet, and more.

Then we will take a train back to Ollantaytambo

Overnight in Ollantaytambo.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 5
Day 5 - Abra Málaga - Cuzco

Full day birding around the Abra Málaga area. The Málaga pass is located at an altitude of 4,230 meters. First, we stop just after the mountain pass, here, the humid mountains forests are good for Parodi’s Hemispingus, Puna Thistletail, White-browed Conebill, Tit-like Dacnis.

Then, we drive back to the mountain pass itself. At this high elevation habitat we will look for Giant Conebill, Stripe-headed Antpitta, White-browed Tit-spinetail, Royal Cinclodes, and Ash-breasted Tit-tyrant

We will be back on the road by mid-afternoon, to make our way back to Cuzco. We will make a few stops along the way on the search of White-tufted Sunbeam, Creamy-crested Spinetail, and Chestnut-breasted Mountain-finch.

Overnight in Cuzco.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic-lunch, dinner.

Day 6
Day 6 - Cuzco - Manu Road

We leave Cuzco very early towards the Manu road. We will reach the Acjanaco mountain pass, the entrance to the Manu National Park. after some hours on the road. After the pass, the vegetation becomes more humid, and we could find different birds like Puna Thisteltail, Diademed Tapaculo, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-tanager, Blue-backed Conebill, and more

Overnight at Wayqecha Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic-lunch, dinner.

Day 7
Day 7 - Wayqecha Lodge

Morning birding around the lodge, looking for Andean Guan, Shining Sunbeam, Amethyst-throated Sunagel, Grey-breasted Mountain-toucan, Grass-green Tanager, White-collared Jay, Hooded Mountain-tanager, Golden-collared Tanager, Black-faced Brush-finch, and more.

At lower altitudes we could find another species like Long-tailed Sylph, Golden-plumed Parakeet, Masked Trogon, Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Barred Fruiteater, Band-tailed Fruiteater, Handsome Flycatcher, and much more.

Overnight at Wayqecha Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 8
Days 8 & 9 - Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge

We have two days to explore the mountain forest around the lodge, at an elevation of 1,400 meters. The lodge's gardens have plainty of bird activity with tanagers and hummingbirds coming to the feeders.

The bird diversity around the lodge is astonishing, with brids like Ash-browed Spinetail, Yellow-breasted Antwren, Ornate Antwren, Yungas Manakin, Hazel-fronted Pygmy-tyrant, Ornate Flycatcher, and others. More than 500 bird species have been reported for this area.

But, the main attraction in this area is the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock lek, located a few minutes' drive from the lodge.

Overnight at Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 9
Day 10 - Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge - Villa Carmen lodge

Morning drive down the mountains to reach lower elevations, hence we will find different bird species. Along the road we might find Blue-headed Parrot, Orange-breasted Falcon, Lanceolated Monklet, Fine-barred Piculet, among others.

We will spend three nights at Villa Carmen lodge, the reserve holds different kind of habitats that we will explore the next days.

Overnight at Villa Carmen Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 10
Days 11 & 12 - Villa Carmen lodge

The trail system around the lodge goes through different and diverse habitas.

In the bamboo patches we could find Bamboo Antshrike, Manu Antbird, Striated Antbid, Red-billed Scythebill, Cabanis's Spinetail, Flammulated Bamboo-tyrant, Black-throated Antbird.

Possibilities at the fishpond in front of the lodge are Purple Gallinule, Sungrebe, Rufescent Tiger-heron, Sunbittern, among others species.

Other interesting birds are Black Hawk-eagle, Zone-tailed Hawk, Black-tailed Trogon, Blue-crowned Trogon, Little Woodpecker, Rusty-belted Tapaculo, Little Ground-tyrant, Masked Crimson Tanager, Golden-bellied Euphonia.

Overnight at Villa Carmen Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 11
Day 13 - Villa Carmen - Tambo Blanquillo lodge

We leave Villa Carmen Lodge and head by boat to our next destination, the equally delightful Tambo Blanquillo Lodge, where we spend the next days.

Overnight at Tambo Blanquillo Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic-lunch, dinner.

Day 12
Days 14 & 15 - Tambo Blanquillo lodge

Manu is a birder's playground. The small lakes in the forests are home of Pale-eyed Blackbird, Hoatzin, Black-collared Hawk, Anhinga, Rufescent Tiger-heron. Across the river from the lodge there is a stand of Guadua bamboo, habitat for Rufous-capped Nunlet, Bamboo Antshrike, and Goeldi's Antbird.

In the tall forest we could find special birds like Pavonine Quetzal and Rufous-fronted Antthrush. From the canopy tower you can enjoy the magnificence of the amazonian forest, with great views of raptors, parrots, toucans, etc.

Probably the most exciting site around the lodge is the Parrot clay lick. with several species of macaws and parrots coming to the cliff.

Overnight at Tambo Blanquillo lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 13
Day 16 - Tambo Blanquillo - Los Amigos lodge

Early in the morning we will take a boat down the river to Los Amigos lodge. We should be arriving to Los Amigos for lunch. In the afternoon we will explore the forest nearby the lodge. Some common species here are Fiery-capped Manakin, White-collared Puffbird, Rufous-fronted Antthrush. At night time we should pay attention to owl calls since like Crested Owl and Tropical Screech-owl might be around.

Overnight at Los Amigos Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 14
Day 17 - Los Amigos lodge

Early morning walking in the floodplain forest, looking for Spot-winged Antshrike, White-eyed Antwren, White-throated Antbird, Cinereous Mourner, Chestnut-winged Hookbill, Bar-bellied Woodcreeper, and more.

After lunch, birding between terra firme and floodplain forest could provide some understory and canopy mixed species flocks with White-winged Shrike-tanager, Opal-crowned Tanager, Pink-throated Becard, and many more.

Overnight at Los Amigos Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 15
Day 18 - Los Amigos Lodge - Puerto Maldonado

This morning we have chances to look for bamboo specialists like Long-crested Pygmy-tyrant, Bamboo Antshrike, Striated Antbird, Rufous-headed Woodpecker, Yellow-breasted Antwarbler, Bamboo Pygmy-tyrant, Yellow-billed Nunbird, Red-billed Scythebill, Rufous-capped Nunlet, Chestnut-capped Puffbird, White-lined Antbird, Brown-rumped Foliage-gleaner, White-cheeked Foliage-gleaner, Dot-winged Antwren, Ornate Antwren, beside the rest of the surrounding birds. Lunch at the lodge.

In the afternoon we will take the boat for four to six hours (depending on the conditions of the river) towards the city of Puerto Maldonado.

Overnight at Cabaña Quinta Hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 16
Day 19 - Puerto Maldonado - Lima

Morning at leisure. A shuttle bus from the hotel will take you to the airport at proper time.

Meals: Breakfast.

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, Bearded Mountaineer, Giant Hummingbird, Inca Wren, Green-and-white Hummingbird, Andean Motmot, Ocellated Piculet, Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Tit-like Dacnis, Parodi’s Hemispingus, White-browed Tit-spinetail, Ash-breasted Tit-tyrant, Stripe-headed Antpitta, Giant Conebill, Royal Cinclodes, White-tufted Sunbeam, Creamy-crested Spinetail, Chestnut-breasted Mountain-finch, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-tanager, White-browed Conebill, Grey-breasted Mountain-toucan, Grass-green Tanager, Hooded Mountain-tanager Golden-collared Tanager, Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Masked Trogon, Barred Fruiteater, Handsome Flycatcher, Inca Flycatcher, Versicolored Barbet, Yungas Manakin, Lanceolated Monklet, Fine-barred Piculet, Rufous-crested Coquette, Bamboo Antshrike, Grey-cheeked Nunlet, White-cheeked Tody-tyrant, Flammulated Bamboo-tyrant, Chesnut-capped Puffbird, Sunbittern, Sungrebe, Black-tailed Trogon, River Tyrannulet, Spotted Tody-flycatcher, Pale-eyed Blackbird, Peruvian Recurvebill, Goeldi’s Antbird, Pavonine Quetzal, Rufous-fronted Antthrush, Blue-and-Yellow Macaw, Scarlet Macaw, Red-and-Green Macaw, Fiery-capped Manakin, White-collared Puffbird, White-eyed Antwren, White-throated Antbird, Cinereous Mourner, Chestnut-winged Hookbill, Bar-bellied Woodcreeper, White-winged Shrike-tanager, Pink-throated Becard, Opal-crowned Tanager, Opal-rumped Tanager,Long-crested Pygmy-tyrant, Black-faced Cotinga

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
  • Private boat for the Amazonian part of the tour
  • Train tickets to Machu Picchu
  • 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 sort of accommodation and vehicles do you supply?

We use 9 or 28 seats vehicles, depending on the size of the group. Also, we use 3 and 4 stars hotels, and the best available ecolodges.

Do you include internal flight costs?

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

Do you arrange airport pick up/drop off?

Yes, the aiport pick up/drop off is included in the regular price.

Can you book accommodation for us prior to the start of the tour?

Yes we can, jsut send us an email with the details of your request.

Join Our Fixed Tour Starting Date

Tour Dates Tour Availability From Price Spaces Left
02/05/2023 - 19/05/2023 available USD 5,250
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01/05/2024 - 18/05/2024 available USD 5,700
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19 Days

Price & Availability

USD5,000 / per person
Based on twin/double room
Single Supplement USD 982
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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4.93 Based on 7 reviews

Tour Facts

  • Lima, Cusco, Manu National Park, Puerto Maldonado
  • Set Departure Tour
  • On Request
  • Birds
  • 2 to 8 pax
  • 19 days
  • Moderate
  • English, Spanish
  • Jorge Chavez Lima International airport
  • Padre Aldamiz, Puerto Maldonado airport