This 17-day birding tour is the longest fixed departure tour, on the whole of the Manu Road, where more than 1000 species have been recorded. For logistical reasons, this tour should be booked well in advance.
Well before dawn, we are on our way to the humid temperate zone. We travel over the Andes where we look for species such as Puna Hawk, Spot-winged Pigeon, Andean Flickerand Andean Lapwing.
Checking out the scrub near Paucartambo, we may find the endemic Creamy-crested Spinetail as well as Tufted Tit-Tyrant, White-winged Black-Tyrant, Shining Sunbeamand Rust-and-Yellow Tanager. Birding the temperate woodland near Tres Cruces we will target Puna Thistletail, Diademed Tapaculo and Scribble-tailed and Junin Canasteros.
Slightly lower the forest is more developed and we sometimes find Undulatedand Stripe-headed Antpitta. Yungas Pygmy-Owl, Rufous-capped Thornbill, Grey-breasted Mountain Toucan, Yellow-throated and Golden-collared Tanagers, Hooded, Grass-Green and Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager.
At dusk we look out for Puna Snipe and Swallow-tailed and Band-winged Nightjars at Wayqecha research station.
Primary targets above Pillahuata are the endemic Red-and-White Antpitta, Marcapata Spine-tail, Chestnut-breasted Coronetand Ochraceous-breasted Flycatcher.
Below Pillahuata one could see Golden-plumed Parakeet, Handsome Flycatcher and the rare Greater Scythe-bill.
Continue to Rocotal, situated just at the upper limit of the subtropical zone. Birds here include White-throated Antpitta, Crimson-backed Woodpecker, Blue-banded Toucanet, White-eared and Andean Solitaires, Pearled Treerunner, Streaked Tuftedcheek, Golden-plumed Parakeet, Scaly-naped Parrot, Amethyst-throated Sun-angel and many more.
In the afternoon we shall watch displays of the brilliant, orange coloured male Andean Cock of the Rock. At nightfall we will look for Lyre-tailed Nightjar and Rufescent Screech-Owljust above the lodge. Night at Cock of the Rock Lodge
We’ll continue birding at the Cock of the Rock encountering species such as Long-tailed Antbird, Dusky-Green Oropendula, Yungas Manakin, Black-billed Treehunter, Orange-eared Tanager, Versicolored Barbetand Black-and-Chestnut and Solitary Eagles.
Other species around the lodge include Yellow-rumped Antwren and Bolivian Tyrannulet. On nearby trail often see Slaty Gnat-eaterand Rufous-breasted Antthrush. Other birds include Lemon-browed Flycatcher, Golden-headed and Crested Quetzal, Uniform Antshrikeand Golden-collared Tanager.
At the lodge clearing there are feeders and flowers where hummingbirds like Violet-fronted Brilliant, Many-spotted Hummingbird, Booted Racket-tailand Wire-crested Thorn-tail are present. Night at Cock of the Rock Lodge.
Birding at Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge in the morning. Specifically, we shall be looking for a new soon to be described tanager that lives in the bamboo. Other birds here include the endemic and recently described Cinnamon-faced Tyrannulet, Chestnut-breasted Wren, Russet Antshrike, Chestnut-backed Antshrikeand Rufous-webbed Brilliant.
In the afternoon we will continue to Pilcopata at 1000m and look for specialties such as Amazonian Umbrellabird, Peruvian Piedtail, Cerulean-capped Manakin, Black-streaked Puffbird, Russet Antshrike, Lanceolated Monkletand Black-backed Tody-Flycatcher.
The bamboo holds species like Ornate Antwren, Bamboo Antshrike and Pheasant Cuckoo. In the afternoon we reach Villa Carmen where White-cheeked Tody-Tyrant is regularly recorded, as well as sightings of Black-capped Tinamou. Beautiful garden and lodging in cabins. Night at Villa Carmen Lodge just outside of Pilcopata.
The road between Pilcopata and Atalaya has produced a number of very good species in the past, such as Military Macawand Blue-headed Macaw, Wattled Guan, Red-billed Tyrannulet, Orange-fronted Plushcrown, Manu Antbird and Pheasant Cuckoo, Spangled Cotinga, Yellow-billedNunbird and Fine-barred Piculet.
In the afternoon we will start to explore Amazonia Lodge. The clearing, filled with Blue Vervain and hummingbird feeders is a spectacle. Special hummers visiting include Rufous-crested Coquette , Koepcke´s Hermit, Gould’s Jewelfront, Gray-breasted Sabrewing, White-necked Jacobin, Golden-tailed Sapphire and many more. Night at Amazonia Lodge.
At Amazonia Lodge the famous jeep-track has produced many specialties over the years such as Black-capped Tinamou, Rufous-vented Ground- Cuckoo, Black-spotted Bare-eye, Long-tailed Potoo, Amazonian Antpittaand Thrush-like Antpitta, Fiery-capped Manakin and many more.
We will bird Amazonia Lodge until midday and then move down river with motorized canoes to Pantiacolla Lodge. The access to the Pantiacolla ridge makes this lodge special.
At our arrival at around 3 PM we will start checking out the bamboo for species like White-cheeked Tody-Tyrant, Bamboo Antshrike and Manu Antbird. Some night birding may reward us with Spectacled Owl, Crested Owl, Amazonian Pygmy-Owlor Tawny-bellied Screech-Owl. Night Pantiacolla Lodge.
Pantiacolla has a very good trail system. Frequently groups of Pale-winged Trumpeters are found. On the trail we may find a canopy flock. Night Pantiacolla Lodge.
If you like to try for some very rare Peruvian birds it may be a good idea to aim for the Pantiacolla ridge.
After Coffee at 3 AM , we shall start the trail. It is about an 8K walk and a 500m ascent. Before dawn we will be out looking for Band-bellied Owl. A very seldom seen upper tropical replacement of Spectacled Owl. The sun-rise from the view-point is well worth the early morning hike in the dark.
This is one of the most spectacular sights in Peru. You will virtually have the whole Amazon bellow you. Our prime goal is to encounter the rareBlack Tinamou. This is the only place on earth where you have a chance of seeing one.
Other species here include Chestnut-tipped Toucanet, Orange-breasted Falcon, Black-and-White Hawk Eagle, Pavonine Quetzal, Koepcke’s Hermit, Scaly-breasted Woodpecker and a foothill form of Thrush-like Manakin whose call is different from the lowland form and may yet prove to be a separate species. We will be back at the lodge again around lunch for our afternoon birding or a well deserved rest. Night Pantiacolla Lodge.
In this in depth program to the Peruvian Amazon we have added an additional morning on the trails at Pantiacolla. One of the best things about Pantiacolla Lodge is the birder’s note-book where the birders leave their best observations. Thus we can get up-to-date info on special birds that have been seen lately.
At around midday we will leave with a box-lunch on the river to Manu Amazon Lodge and Manu Wildlife Center.
Two full days at the trails of Manu Amazon Lodge. There is a great trail system at the camp which includes both terra firme and varzea like forest, heliconia thickets, aguajales (palm swamps) and extensive bamboo with all the specialists including Long-crested Pygmy-Tyrant, White-cheeked Tody-Tyrant, Pheasant Cuckoo, Rufous-headed Woodpeckerand Rufous-vented Ground Cuckoo. Monkeys are plentiful including Black Spider Monkey, Monk Sakiand Emperor Tamarin. Pale-winged Trumpeters and Razor-billed Curassows are often seen.
There are two clay-licks for Tapirs to visit. Sometimes Red-brocket Deer and Ocelots are also seen near the lick and on the way there is is sometimes possible to see the rare Red-billed Pied-Tanager.
We continue to Manu Wildlife Center the next lodge downriver. The Manu Wildlife Centre has a good canopy tower and a great trail system which we shall explore for toucans, parrots, raptors, cotingas, woodpeckers, and furnarids and antbirds. There is also a Tapir-lick here.
Early morning visit the famous Macaw lick. One of the true natural wonders where Blue-Headed Parrot, Mealy Parrot and White-eyed Parakeet are seen and later the large, raucous Red-and-Green Macaws.
The rest of the day we will spend time at the tower of Cocha Camungo for canopy species and walk the trails. The trails are good for Banded Antbird, Semi-collared Puffbird, Pale-winged Trumpeterand Rufous-fronted Antthrush. After an additional morning at the Manu Lodge we will go down the Madre de Dios river to Cocha Blanquillo to see the local Giant Otter colony and additional marsh birds such as Pale-eyed Blackbird, Snail Kite, Horned Screamer, Sungrebe and Limpkin. We stay the night in Blanquillo Lodge.
After some additional birding at Blanquillo lodge in the morning we shall continue downriver to Amigos Research Center. We whall arrive in the late afternoon to look for Black-faced Cotinga and Rufous-fronted Anthrush among other species.
Outstanding location in the Peruvian rain forest with a resident 7m Anaconda at Pozo Don Pedro. Also sightings of Tapir and Jaguar on the trails. Rio Los Amigos Research Station is a very modern facility in the rain forest with good trails, electric lighting and even internet and it has the specialties of SE Peru including the rare Long-crested Pygmy-Tyrant and Peruvian Recurvebill. There are 10 species of monkeys regularly seen including Emperor Tamarin and Monk Saki Monkey.
Midmorning we go down the river to Laberinto. On the way we may see Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, Red-breasted, White-browedand Pale-eyed Blackbirds, Chestnut Jacamar, White-throated Jacamar, Pearl Kite, Sulphury Flycatcher and Point-tailed Palm-creeper. Tour ends.