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Complete Manu Birding Tour, Peru - 17 Days

Complete Manu Birding Tour, Peru

Peru Birding Tour Along the Manu Road

This 17-day Complete Manu Birding Tour is a set departure (or available request) where you can expect to see around 450 species of bird, including a dozen or so endemics. It is a moderately paced birding trip that takes you to the most diverse wildlife areas of Peru. Over 1,000 species of birds have been recorded between the starting point in Cuzco and the end of the tour in Puerto Maldonado. Birding on this complete Manu tour will include time spent on the famous Manu Road and in Manu National Park and the southeastern Peruvian Amazon.

You can expect highlights such as good views of the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, the bright orange national bird of Peru. The males can be seen on display with as many as 10 birds at the time and close enough for fantastic bird photography.

"My husband, myself and a friend toured Peru with Kolibri Tours. It was a fast, but complete look at both high and lowland birds. We were treated to very well thought out itinerary and the wonderful hospitality of good food, even on the road. The Manu road had many wonderful stops and great birds. The added Machu Picchu tour enabled us to view the site, but best of all the walk back down to town had excellent birding. What a wonderful addition! " - Lora Losi

On this Manu birdwatching tour, you will visit the macaw clay lick of Blanquillo and the mega diverse surroundings of the Manu Wildlife Center, which provide more stunning photography opportunities. The hummingbirds at the Cock-of-the-Rock and Amazonia Lodges are legendary, and at Villa Carmen you will find habituated Amazonian Antpittas and Black-capped Tinamou, giving you many chances to capture great images.

Our last stop on this complete Manu birdwatching adventure takes you to the Amigos Birding Lodge (aka CICRA). The incredible trail network there takes you to the home of what is perhaps the cutest monkey of the Amazon, the Emperor Tamarin.

Many other mammals can be seen as you travel along on the Manu birding trip. There are the Giant River Otters at Cocha Blanco, Tapir at a nighttime mammal clay lick and sometimes, if you're lucky, an Ocelot at the macaw clay lick. It's also quite possible to see around 10 species of primate of the 13 recorded in Peru.

Most of the lodges you will stay at on this Manu birding holiday have been refurbished in recent years. Some offer rooms with private bathrooms, some have shared bathroom facilities and these rooms are charged at a lower rate. The lodges you will visit over the 17 days are Wayqecha, Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge, Villa Carmen, Amazonia Lodge, Pantiacolla Lodge, Blanquillo Lodge and Amigos Birding Lodge.

For a more luxurious, private and upmarket stay on your Complete Manu Birding Tour, you could consider our MST option and enjoy a VIP package, which includes a free transfer from Lima and alcoholic and bottled beverages at the lodges. Details of our unique tiered pricing structure can be found on the Kolibri Expeditions introduction page. The MST service for this tour is $925 extra.

Complete Manu Birding Tour highlights include:

  • Birding along the famous Manu Road
  • Photo opportunities at a Cock-of-the-Rock lek
  • Impressive flocks of macaws plus Ocelot and Tapir at clay licks
  • The chance to tick as many as 1,000 bird species

Are you also a keen wildlife photographer? Our special Hummingbird Photography: Marvellous Spatuletail Tour could well be a welcome addition to your Manu birdwatching and wildlife adventure.

Alternative tour name: Birding in Manu National Park
Day 1
Day 1 - Bird watching along Manu Road Rufous-capped Thornbill and Swallow-tailed Nightjar:

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.

Day 2
Day 2 - Birding Wayqecha to Cock of the Rock Lodge

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

Day 3
Days 3 & 4 - Birding 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.

Day 4
Day 5 - Cock of the Rock Lodge to Villa Carmen:

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.

Day 5
Day 6 - Birding Pilcopata to Amazonia Lodge. Fine-barred Piculet and Spangled Cotinga

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.

Day 6
Day 7 - Birding Amazonia Lodge. Rufous-crested Coquette and Black-capped Tinamou

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.

Day 7
Day 8 - Birding Pantiacoola Lodge. White-cheeked Tody-Tyrant and Manu Antbird

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.

Day 8
Day 9 - Birding Pantiacolla Ridge. Black Tinamou and Band-bellied Owl

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.

Day 9
Day 10 - Pantiacolla to Manu Amazon Lodge. Pale-winged Trumpeter and Buckley’s Forest Falcon.

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.

Day 10
Day 11 & 12 - Birding Manu Amazon Lodge. Long-crested Pygmy-Tyrant and Rufous-vented Ground-Cuckoo

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.

Day 11
Day 13 - Manu Wildlife Center

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.

Day 12
Day 14 - Macaw lick and Cocha Camungo

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.

Day 13
Day 15 - Blanquillo Lodge to Amigos

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.

Day 14
Day 16 - Amigos Research Center.

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.

Day 15
Day 17 - Fly or bus to Cusco

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.

5 most spectacular birds on the Manu tour

Andean Cock of the Rock, Macaw lick, Many hummingbirds at feeders including Rufous-crested Coquette., Pale-winged Trumpeter, Hoatzin

10 Manu road bird specialities usually seen on the birding tour

Red-and-White Antpitta, Black-backed Tody-Tyrant, Manu Antbird, Bamboo Antshrike, Black-faced Cotinga , Long-crested Pygmy-Tyrant, White-cheeked Tody-Flycatcher, Rufous-fronted Anttrush, Pavonine Quetzal, Amazonian Antpitta

5 best mammals often seen on the Manu road birding Tour

Giant Otter, Tapir, Red Howler Monkeys, Monk Saki Monkey, Emperor Tamarin

What is included?

  • Transport,
  • Entrance fees,
  • Food,
  • Guiding,
  • Checklist.
  • Kolibri Pro Service - list price: Private rooms with shared bath at Cock of the Rock Lodge, Amazonia Lodge, Pantiacolla Lodge and Blanquillo Lodge.
  • Kolibri Pro Service: Dorms with shared bath at Wayqecha and Villa Carmen.
  • Kolibri Pro Service: Room with private bath but only cold water at Amigos.
  • MST Premium Service (Surcharge): Private cabin or better room with hot water at Wayqecha, Carmen. Cock of the Rock Lodge, Amazonia Lodge, Pantiacolla Lodge, Blanquillo Lodge and Amigos.
  • MST Premium Service: 3 units of bottled drinks, or 2 units of wine or beer per day free of charge.
  • MST Premium Service: A pack of Kolibri Expeditions merchandise (value $50)
  • MST Premium Service: One free transfer in Lima from airport to hotel or vice versa.
  • MST Premium Service: VIP treatment throughout.

What is not included?

  • Domestic flights
  • Kolibri Pro: bottled drinks at the lodges
  • personal expenses
  • tips
  • Anything that is not mentioned in the itinerary and "what is inlcuded"
Wildlife Reviews
4.54 stars
- based on 4  reviews
  1. Great Manu road and MachuPicchu trip.
    Lora Losi27 Nov 2018







    My husband, myself and a friend toured Peru with Kolibri Tours. It was a fast, but complete look at both high and lowland birds. We were treated to very well thought out itinerary and the wonderful hospitality of good food, even on the road. The Manu road had many wonderful stops and great birds. The added Machu Picchu tour enabled us to view the site, but best of all the walk back down to town had excellent birding. What a wonderful addition!
  2. Central Peru trip
    Trevor Hardaker13 Jun 2013







    I had a great experience with Kolibri who managed to find all the targets I was looking for on a short trip in central Peru.
  3. Fantastic tour
    Dan Kaplan09 Jul 2018







    Had a fantastic trip with Kolibri in Sept 2017 - started with the fixed Manu Rd departure and Gunnar enabled me to customize around flights before and after to bird nearly every waking moment, all at very reasonable cost. Guides and drivers could not have been better. I'd bird with Kolibri again anytime.
  4. More birds
    lora losi01 Dec 2019







    We chose to visit the Manu road because of the great biodiversity. And that is what we got. The expert guiding and ease of locating birds made the "more birds" slogan real. The logistics were handled brilliantly.

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17 Days

Price & Availability

USD4,715 / per person
Based on twin/double room
Single Suppliment USD 550
This tour is operated by: Kolibri Expeditions
4.76 based on 13 reviews

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Operator Review Summary

4.76 Based on 13 reviews

Tour Facts

  • Manu road start \ Cuzco
  • Set Departure
  • Multi-Day Tour
  • Birds
  • Up to 12 people. Usually, 2-6. Larger groups will have two guides, and from 9 people there will be two vehicles, giving more flexibility.
  • 16 days
  • April-November
  • No limit.
  • Moderate
  • No
  • English, Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, German, French, Portuguese, Italian + (Japanese and Mandarin with translator).
  • Cuzco
  • Puerto Maldonado