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Chiguata and Laguna de Salinas Birding Tour, Peru - 1 Day

Chiguata and Laguna de Salinas Birding Tour, Peru

Birdwatching Tour in Chiguata and Laguna de Salinas, Peru

This Full-day tour Chiguata and Laguna de Salinas Birding Tour which is moderately paced available on request will introduce us to some Andean birds, 2 of them endemics and some others with a range restricted to southern Peru. Around Chiguata village, we could see different species like Thick-billed Miner an endemic bird,  White-throated Earthcreeper, Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant, Pied-crested Tit-Tyrant, Golden-billed Saltator. Expect to see on average of around 40 bird species on this tour.

Going up through El Simbral, towards the Salinas Lagoon we cross  Polylepis and Gynoxys forest patches, here it is possible to watch: Tamarugo Conebill (only between March and September), Black-hooded Sierra-Finch, Black Metaltail (endemic), with luck  Andean Condor.

" Thank you so much for your wonderful guiding services to see and enjoy Peru birds. This has been a fantastic experience! Best wishes always, and good birding. We hope our paths cross again.- Carrol & Ethelle Henderson

In Salinas Lagoon, we could see the 3 species of Andean flamingos: Chilean Flamingo, the most common of all; Andean Flamingo, the bigger and scariest; and, Jame’s Flamingo, the small one. Here I found the first record for Peru of Horned Coot, besides that: Andean Avocet; Puna Yellow-Finch; Puna Plover; Golden-spotted Ground-Dove; Cinnamon-bellied Ground-Tyrant (and austral  migrant), Cordilleran Canastero; Grey-breasted Seedsnipe and Puna Tinamou during this Chiguata and Laguna de Salinas Birding Tour.

Expect to be amazed at the incredible scenery of 3 volcanoes: Misti, Pichu-Pichu, and Ubinas, hot springs, and when the Salinas Lagoon is dry, the vast expanse of salt, and the diversity of habitats due to different altitudes visited in this trip.

Our Chiguata and Laguna de Salinas Birdwatching Tour starts and ends in Arequipa, a city founded by the Spaniards more than 470 years ago, all of its old buildings are made of Sillar a white volcanic rock, from which the “White City” name came. Your expert bird guide will accompany you for the full duration of the tour which will ensure that you do not miss any of the most important bird species.

The diversity of habitats on this Chiguata-Salinas Lagoon Birding Tour leads to avian highlights, such as Black Metaltail, Thick-billed Miner; both endemics. The opportunity to see the three Andean flamingoes: Chilean, Andean, and James’s Flamingoes. There is also as always the possibility of a rarity like Horned Coot found for the first time for Peru in Salinas Lagoon Jancoccota Lagoon in 2013, normally found in Argentina and Chile that can be experienced in Chiguata and Laguna de Salinas Birdwatching Tour.

Chiguata and Laguna de Salinas Birding Tour Highlights include:

  • Salinas Lagoon: A high altitude salty lagoon.
  • Aguas Calientes and Salinas Huito Bogs: With a special set of high altitude birds.
  • The El Simbral Polylepis forest: the habitat for Giant Conebill and Tit-like Dacnis.
  • Chiguata surroundings: With its people, history, old church made of “Sillar” a volcanic rock, and scenic landscapes.
  • Many volcanoes: The Misti, Pichu-Pichu and Ubinas.
Alternative Tour Name: Birding Chiguata and Salinas Lagoon
Day 1
Full Day Trip - Arrival | Pampa Larga | Salinas Lagoon and more

After picking you up from the Alfredo Rodriguez Ballón Airport or Hotel, we proceed straight to the Salinas Lagoon, just for a quick stop in Pampa Larga for the Thick-billed Miner (endemic).

Following our trip, we go to the Salinas Lagoon; here, we could see: Puna Plower, Andean Avocet, Chilean, Andean and Jame’s Flamingoes. Slate-colored Coot, Andean Gull, Wilson’s Phalarope, Cordilleran Canastero, Gray-breasted Seedsnipe, Puna Yellow-Finch. Even once the vagrant Horned Coot was seen here. In the surrounding bogs: Puna Teal, Puna Ibis, Crested Duck, Yellow-billed Teal, Cordilleran Canastero, Andean Goose, Andean Negrito, Grey-breasted Seedsnipe. In the dry brushland: Ornate and Puna Tinamous, Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant Here we could also see Vicunas, they have the finest wool of the world (1kg could worth more than 400 $).

On the way back to Chiguata, we do some birding in the El Simbral Polylepis forest, and the surroundings of Chiguata. After that we go to our hotel or hostel in Arequipa, around 45 minutes away.

Wildlife species expected to see:

On average we see around 40 bird species on this tour.

Some of the birding target species we expect to see on this tour include: Black Metaltail, Thick-billed Miner (endemics); Tamarugo Conebill; White-throated Earthcreeper; Black-hooded Sierra-Finch; Chilean, Andean and Jame’s Falmingoes; Andean Avocet, Puna Plover, Cinnamon-bellied Ground-Tyrant; Horned Coot (the first record for Peru).

From a mammal point of view, we expect to see: Vicuna; Vizcacha; and Andean Deer (Taruca), rare to see.

What is included?

  • Snacks and sandwiches
  • Drinking water in vehicle
  • Air-conditioned Vehicle
  • Fuel
  • Transfer from/to Alfredo Rodriguez Ballón International Airport or Hotel in Arequipa
  • Full time services of a personal Nature Travel bird guide

What is not included?

  • Items of a personal nature
  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance
  • Visa Fees
  • International or local flights
  • Laundry
  • Tourist Ticket
  • Gifts
  • Souvenirs
  • Gratuities
  • All drinks
  • Anything that is not mentioned in the itinerary and "what is included"
Wildlife Reviews
4.67 stars
- based on 1  reviews
  1. Wonderful guiding service
    Carrol & Ethelle Henderson01 Aug 2017







    Thank you so much for your wonderful guiding services to see and enjoy Peru birds. This has been a fantastic experience! Best wishes always, and good birding. We hope our paths cross again.

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Why should I book the Chiguata – Salinas Lagoon Birding Tour?

This birding tour is offered as a small group or private tour, which offers some of the best birding in southwest Peru. Your expert bird guide will be with you for the full duration of the tour, guiding you to all the top birding spots to maximise your chances of seeing your target birds.

What sort of vehicles do you supply?

The vehicle used for this tour is a 4x4 pick-up or SUV.

What forms of travel are involved in this tour?

All travel is done via road (tar and dirt road). Bird watching activities are done by vehicle and on foot.

What are your group sizes?

Our groups have a maximum of 4 travelers to ensure an exclusive birding experience.

Do you arrange airport pick up/drop off?

Yes, airport pick up and drop off are included.

What time do I need to arrive in Arequipa on the day the tour starts?

If you want to start your tour straight from the airport it is advisable to arrive early in the morning (first flight from Lima or Cusco), if not you have to allow an overnight stay in Arequipa. Also if you don’t have any previous experience with high altitude birding it is advisable to stay at least one night in Arequipa in order to acclimatize to the altitude.

Is there a specific time I need to book my departure flight for?

Normally you have to confirm your flight with 48 hours in advance to the flight from Alfredo Rodriguez Ballón International Airport. You have to be 2 hours before the departure time for the check-in.

Do you ever change the tour leader or itinerary? If so, what sort of notice do you give?

No, we do not change the tour leader or itinerary. Should this happen, we will contact the client immediately with the updated tour leader, accommodation or itinerary.

Do you include meals?

Snacks are included on this tour.

When is the best time to travel and why?

The best time for birdwatching is between March and November each year. In order to avoid the rainy/snowy season.

Do you need a minimum fitness level to join this tour?

The tour is a bit strenuous, a basic level of general fitness is needed as some of the days are long and a basic level of fitness can be helpful. We are going to do some moderate walking on level ground or with a bit gradient, at high altitude (around 4200m or 13780 feet).

Do you have any age restrictions to join this tour?

We welcome clients of all ages on our birding tours but as the days are generally quite long and tiring, we do not recommend that children under 12 join the birding tour except if they have experience of joining trips like this before.

What is the level of connectivity or WiFi access during this tour?

Please note that there are areas on this tour where there is no phone reception or Wi-Fi.

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

Yes, we can arrange accommodation as well as trips extension as part of your tour.

Do you provide travel and/or medical insurance (incl. repatriation)?

No, it is not provided. It is compulsory for each client to obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance, besides repatriation arrangements for the tour at the time of booking. We highly recommend that you purchase comprehensive travel insurance at the time of paying a deposit. The policy should provide cover for loss of deposit, cancellation and additional expenses, medical expenses and repatriation and loss or damage to baggage and valuables. You are responsible for making any special or increased insurance arrangements which you deem are necessary.

How do I pay, and what are the terms, for this tour?

A 30% deposit is needed to confirm the tour. Payments can be made by bank transfer. The balance of the payment is due 60 days before the start of the tour. You could also pay in cash.

What should I pack for this tour?

We will send a comprehensive packing list once the tour has been booked but to give you an idea of the general items to bring, see the list below. General packing: • Neutral colored clothing • Warm jacket, gloves and hat for early morning and high altitude activities • Sturdy closed walking shoes (trainer type shoes are fine) • No need for any formal clothing, most dinners are casual and informal • Binoculars • Camera • A small daypack • A refillable water bottle Medical: • Please bring some basic medication for headache, nausea etc with you as well as any prescription medication you might need during your tour. • All of our guides carry a basic first-aid kit with them but it is best to bring your personal medication with you. • Please contact your closest travel clinic for information on malaria and other medical information you might need. • Currently yellow fever certificate is needed to travel to the Jungle part of Peru.

Do I need visas for this tour?

No, it is not necessary for the majority of countries. But most nationalities from Asia and Africa does. Please check this link: https://www.gob.pe/institucion/rree/informes-publicaciones/279522-convenios-de-visas-para-ciudadanos-extranjeros and download the PDF about information on visa requirements.

Do I need to bring my own food and drink during the day?

Drinks are not included (except for drinking water in the vehicle) but your guide will assist you with arranging to buy some drinks during the day en-route. Snacks and sandwiches are provided.

Can you cater for special dietary requirements?

Should you have a severe food allergy, please carry the necessary medication with you at all times in case this is needed.

Should we bring credit cards and/or cash?

We advise to bring some amount of cash in small bills (10, 20 and 50 Peruvian Soles bills) for smaller purchases like drinks, laundry, souvenirs, tips etc. Your guide can also assist with arranging a stop at an ATM in Arequipa. For this tour you will need US Dollar (only bills in very good condition, bills in bad shape are not accepted). The exchange rate is around 4.10 Peruvian Soles per 1 US Dollar (Set 2021).

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

1 Day

Price & Availability

USD133 / per person
Group Discount Available
Group Discount Guide
Refer to Group Discount Terms
This tour is operated by: Chalco Birdwatching
4.67 based on 2 reviews

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Operator Review Summary

4.67 Based on 2 reviews

Tour Facts

  • Chiguata and Laguna de Salinas, Peru
  • On Request
  • Full Day Trip
  • Birds
  • 1 to 4 pax
  • 1 Day
  • March to November
  • +12
  • Moderate
  • No
  • English, Spanish
  • Alfredo Rodriguez Ballón Airport
  • Alfredo Rodriguez Ballón Airport