Peru Birding Tour along the Manu Road
This tour takes you to the most diverse areas of Peru from birding along the Manu Road, Manu National Park and the south eastern Peruvian Amazon. Over 1000 species of birds recorded between the starting point in Cuzco to the end of the tour in Puerto Maldonado. The Complete Manu Road Birding trip gives you highlights such as the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, the bright orange national bird of Peru. The males can be seen on display with up to as many as ten birds at the time and close enough for fantastic bird photography.
We visit the macaw clay lick of Blanquillo close to mega diverse birding at Manu Wildlife Center, providing more stunning photography opportunities. The hummingbirds at Cock of the Rock Lodge and Amazonia Lodge are legendary, as well as the habituated Amazonian Antpitta and Black-capped Tinamou at Villa Carmen. Many chances to capture great images. Last stop takes us to Amigos Birding Lodge (aka CICRA). This incredible trail system is home to perhaps the cutest monkey of the Amazon, the Emperor Tamarin.
Many other mammals can be seen as we move along our journey such as Giant Otters at Cocha Blanco, Tapir at clay collpa during the night, and sometimes if we are lucky, we'll see Ocelot at the Macaw lick. Chances to see around 10 species of the 13 recorded species of primate is also quite possible.
Most of the lodges have improved their accommodations in recent years and the lodges have some rooms with private bathrooms. Some of these lodges offer shared bathroom facilities at a lower rate, these comfortable and clean lodges are Wayqecha, Cock of the Rock Lodge, Villa Carmen, Amazonia Lodge, Pantiacolla Lodge, Blanquillo Lodge, and Amigos.
For a more luxurious, private and upmarket stay, consider our MST option and enjoy the VIP package, including a free transfer in Lima, alcoholic and bottled beverages at the lodges. The MST service is $925 extra.
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.
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
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
- Red Howler Monkeys
- Monk Saki Monkey
- Emperor Tamarin
What is included?
- Entrance fees,
- 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