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Cusco Bird Watching and Culture Tour, Peru - 4 Days

Cusco Bird Watching and Culture Tour, Peru

Cusco Birding and Culture Tour, Peru

A 4-day Cusco bird watching tour that combines nature watching, culture and gastronomy in the Cusco area. This moderately paced trip, which is available on request, takes in the Huacarpay wetlands, Balcón del Diablo, Ensifera Camp hummingbird garden and the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. Expect to see over 100 bird species including eight endemics, more than ten hummingbird species, Chusquea Bambu specialist birds, as well as the iconic Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Andean Motmot and Torrent Duck.

" This was a great trip choice! Each day we experienced some culture, some archeological/ historical visits and birding! Each day begin around 5:30-6:00am. Our host guide met us and transported us ( car, van, bus, train) to birding locations. When necessary, breakfast or lunch was provided so that we could optimize our time birding. Other times of the days we were met by experienced and congenial guides like Fabrizzio and Vogner who toured us through places like Cusco’s Temple of the Sun. - Helen Kittredge

Most people come to Cusco in order to visit Machu Picchu. Not many know that the Cusco region is also one of the best destinations in the world for birdwatching. According to Cornell Lab of Ornithology's ebird.org website, there are more than 1,000 bird species that can be seen in this region. One reason for this is the fact that the Cusco area varies in altitude from 530m above sea level to 3,680m. This huge range promotes a great diversity of species for Cusco bird watching, as does the area's unique geographical location, close to the Equator and nestled in the mighty Andes mountain range.

Only 10km from the Plaza de Armas, Cusco's Main Square, there is a place known as Balcón del Diablo where five endemic birds can be found. In the Sacred Valley, there are various species of hummingbirds and it's easy to spot at least 10 different types in a single hummingbird garden on this Cusco birding trip.

Birds are everywhere - even in the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu where small patches of bamboo shelter Inca Wrens and the Cuzco Brushfinch. With a bit of luck, at the foot of Machu Picchu, near the Site Museum, you can see the colourful national bird of Peru, the Cock-of-the-Rock.

In the four days of this Cusco bird watching tour you'll have the opportunity to look for some of the most important Cusco area birds, plus endemics, and combine this with the region's culture and delicious cuisine.

If you want to visit one of the most important historical destinations in the world and you are also a bird lover, this Cusco birding trip is the opportunity of a lifetime for you. Contact us to arrange this tour on a date to suit your itinerary, subject to availability.

Cusco Bird Watching and Culture Tour Highlights

  • The chance to combine birding with the sights of the world-famous Machu Picchu
  • The sights of Huacarpay wetlands, located only 30 minutes' drive from Cusco
  • The fascinating cloud forest species and many hummingbirds
  • Five endemic birds of the high Andes
 Alternative Tour Name: Cusco Birding and Culture Tour
Day 1
Day 1: Huacarpay Wetland, City walking & Pisco tasting

We will start our Cusco Birdwatching tour at 05:30 hrs picking you up from your hotel in the city of Cusco and we will go 30 km south of the city to Huacarpay Wetlands. Upon our arrival to Huacarpay Wetlands we will go to the different strategic points during the next three hours to spot as many Cusco birds and Cusco endemic birds as possible. We may see Rusty-Fronted Canastero (Asthenes ottonis) and Bearded Mountaineer (Oreonimpha nobilis) Ending our Cusco Birdwatching tour, we will start the return from Huacarpay Wetlands to the city of Cusco. Approximate arrival time to Cusco at 10:00 am

After lunch (lunch is not included) we will start our walking tour at 15:00 hrs with the pick-up from your hotel or restaurant and then we will walking through the city center, where we will visit two important buildings such as the Cathedral of Cusco and the imposing Temple of the Sun also known in Quechua as the "Qoricancha".

At 06:30 pm our pisco tasting will start. More than just a Pisco tasting, this will be a journey into the realm of Peru's national liquor, we will taste different Pisco varieties and with our friendly bartender we will learn to make Pisco sour and chilcano of pisco.

Day 2
Day 2 : Balcon del Diablo and Humminbirds garden of the sacred valley.

Our Cusco birdwatching tour will start by picking you up from your hotel at 5:30 am to go in a private vehicle to “El Bacon del Diablo”. This amazing place, special for watching Cusco birds, is located next to Sacsaywaman archaeological site, like 20 minutes from Cusco City. Upon arrival at Balcon del Diablo we are going to start the exploring in 2 kilometres around looking for the Cusco birds and especially the Cusco endemic birds. Ending our Cusco birdwatching morning at approximately 9:00 am, we will bring you to your hotel for breakfast

At 11:00 am we will go to the Sacred Valley in order to visit Ensifera Camp, a garden with feeders that give us the chance to see more than 10 different species of hummingbirds. Our lunch it will be an andean barbecue in Ensifera Camp.

At indicated time transfer to Ollantaytambo train station to board our train that will bring us to Aguas Calientes town. Overnight at Aguas Calientes town (accommodation is not included)

Day 3
Day 3 : Machu Picchu Birdwatching and Citadel Tour

We will start our Machu Picchu Birdwatching Tour at 5:30 am with a peaceful walk towards the Ruinas bridge. Once we get there, we will explore the area in order to look for Machu Picchu birds like woodpeckers, tanagers, flycatchers, hummingbirds, but especially we will look for the Machu Picchu endemic birds known as Masked Fruiteater, Green-and-White Hummingbird and Inca Flycatcher and other incredible Machu Picchu birds like Andean Motmot, Green Jay and Cook of the Rock. According to the time, we will continue on the way to Mandor cascades. The landscape is flat and it will give us the chance to look for other Machu Picchu birds.

At the appropriate time we will return to Aguas Calientes town to have our lunch (Lunch is not included)

At 1:00 pm with our guide, we will catch the bus to go uphill to the Machu Picchu citadel to begin the one-hour and half tour of this magical place.

In some areas of Machu Picchu citadel (On the bamboo patches) you will have the opportunity to find other Machu Picchu endemic bird known as Inca wren and Cuzco bruchfinch.

At indicated time (30 minutes before your train schedule) you will board, on your own and with the assistance of the staff of the railway company, the train to go back to the train station of Poroy or Ollantaytambo.

Upon arrival our staff will be waiting outside the station with a board with your name to transfer you to your hotel in the city of Cusco.

Day 4
Day 4 : Bye Bye Day

According your flight schedule we will pick you up from your hotel and transfer you to the airport of Cusco.

End of the services.

Some of the wildlife expected to see on this trip:

Huacarpay wetland Key species:

  • Spotted Sandpiper
  • Yellow-winged Blackbird
  • White-bellied Hummingbird
  • Yellow-billed Tit-tyrant
  • Tufted Tit-tyrant
  • Yellow-billed Pintail
  • Speckled Teal
  • Great Egret
  • Rusty-Fronted Canastero (E)
  • Cattle Egret
  • Striated Heron
  • Baird’s Sandpiper
  • Bearded Mountaineer (E) and more.

Balcon del Diablo Key species:

  • Chestnut-breasted Mountain- Finch (E),
  • Creamy-crested Spinetail (E),
  • Bearded Mountaineer (E),
  • Rusty-fronted Canastero (E)
  • White-tufted Sunbeam (E) and more.

Machu Picchu Key species: (Citadel, Mandor waterfalls and Ruinas bridge)

  • Torrent Duck,
  • Black and Chestnut Eagle,
  • Lyre-tailed Nightjar,
  • Band-billed Owl,
  • Chestnut-collared
  • White-tipped Swifts,
  • Green Hermit,
  • Speckled Hummingbird,
  • Long-tailed Sylph,
  • Buff-thighed puffleg,
  • Collared Inca,
  • Chestnut-breasted Coronet,
  • Booted Racket-tail,
  • White-bellied Woodstar,
  • Green-and-White Hummingbird (E),
  • Masked Trogon,
  • Andean Motmot,
  • Black-streaked Puffbird,
  • Versicolored Barbet,
  • Blue-banded Toucanet,
  • Ocellated Piculet,
  • Streak-necked and Inca,
  • Masked Fruiteater (E)
  • Inca Wren (E), as well as other interesting birds.

What is included?

  • Cusco's Cathedral, Qoricancha (Inca Temple) and Machupicchu entrance fee
  • Pisco tasting experience
  • Bus and train tickets for Machu Picchu excursion
  • Transfers from and to Ollantaytambo Train Station
  • Accomodation (3 stars hotel) - Ask for another choices of accommodation
  • Ground transportation
  • English bird guide
  • Transfer from Cusco's hotel to Cusco's Airport

What is not included?

  • International or domestic flights,
  • Travel or medical insurance (incl. personal equipment and repatriation)
  • Airport departure taxes or visa fees
  • Items of personal nature
  • Optional tour extensions
  • Staff gratuities
  • Anything else not mentioned in “What is included”
Wildlife Reviews
5 stars
- based on 1  reviews
  1. Machu Picchu-Cusco Birding Tour (4 Days)
    Helen Kittredge13 Oct 2019







    This was a great trip choice! Each day we experienced some culture, some archeological/ historical visits and birding! Each day begin around 5:30-6:00am. Our host guide met us and transported us ( car, van, bus, train) to birding locations. When necessary, breakfast or lunch was provided so that we could optimize our time birding. Other times of the days we were met by experienced and congenial guides like Fabrizzio and Vogner who toured us through places like Cusco’s Temple of the Sun, The Cathedral of Cusco and The Citadel at Machu Picchu. Our hosts handled all the remade arrangements for entry tickets and transportation needed throughout the tour. What a fabulous birding experience we had with Oscar and José on the Inca Trail! Although we hiked during several hours of rain, we saw many beautiful and endemic species of birds. We had great recommendations for places to eat, such as Uchu and enjoyed learning the history of Pisco and as well as attending the bar tending class with Alejandro! We tumbled into our beds by 9:00pm most nights after long, exciting and satisfying days. Best of all, we met so many thoughtful and knowledgeable people throughout our tour that the memories created will warm our hearts forever. A special thanks to our main hosts, José Luis and Cristina, whose friendly natures and detailed communications made us feel both happy and secure as we explored this area of Peru.

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Why should I book this Cusco Birdwatching Tour ?

Cusco Birdwatching Tour is based in Cusco and local wildlife experts with over 20 years experience. This short tour will combine just in 4 days the most popular Cusco cultural attractions with the chance to look for resident, endemic and near-endemic birds of the area including a big list of hummingbirds, tanagers and much more.

Is airport pick up/drop off included?

This program starts early in the morning of the first day, so it is necessary to spend the night before in Cusco City. At 05:30 am of the first day, we will pick you up from the hotel. The drop off to the airport is included in the rate at the end of the tour. Note: If you will need a pick up from airport you can arrange it with us.

What happen if I want to book this tour but I cannot arrive the night before?

No problem at all. We can switch or move your first activity (the Huacarpay experience) to your last day. In this case, be aware to have a flight schedule after 5:00pm to leave Cusco.

Why book with Machu Picchu & Cusco Birding?

Machu Picchu & Cusco Birding can offer affordable South Peru birding tours without sacrificing on the quality of service as we are just a small travel operator working from Cusco, a city not as expensive as capital city Lima, with an office located on our own property.  We also have a team of ornithologist experts who are in an extremely professional way and our tours offer matching cultural activities in the afternoon and culinary experiences at night which benefits more Peruvians.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

4 Days

Price & Availability

USD900 / per person
Based on twin/double room
Single Suppliment USD 150
Group Discount Available
Group Discount Guide
Refer to Group Discount Terms
This tour is operated by: Machu Picchu Cusco Birding
4.89 based on 9 reviews

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Operator Review Summary

4.89 Based on 9 reviews

Tour Facts

  • Cusco
  • 2 to 6 passengers
  • 4D / 3N
  • On Request
  • Multi-Day Tour
  • Birds
  • Moderate
  • English
  • At Cusco's hotel
  • Alejandro Velasco Astete Airport