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Marañón Valley Endemic Birding Tour, Peru - 10 Days

Marañón Valley Endemic Birding Tour, Peru

Endemic Birdwatching Tour of the Marañón Valley, Peru

This 10-day Marañón Valley endemic birding trip is  available on request and suitable for intense birders looking to increase their “life list” significantly in just a short trip. Expect to see over 200 species of birds with the majority endemics to the Marañon valley. The aim is to search for northern Peru's exceptional birds that are to be found in and around the Marañon Valley. The area is home to a unique set of birds such as the Great Spinetail, Grey-bellied Comet, Rufous-backed Inca-Finch and Unicolored Tapaculo.

Departures for this endemics tour are from the Peruvian capital, Lima, on a flight to the city of Cajamarca in the northern Andes.  After spending a few days birding around Cajamarca, we go to the heart of the Río Marañon Valley, famous for its incredibly high number of endemic species. Time will be spent in the area looking for specialties such as the Marañon Gnatcatcher, Grey-winged Inca-Finch, Marañon Thrush, Chestnut-backed Thornbird, Yellow-faced Parrotlet, Buff-bridled Inca-Finch, Peruvian Pigeon.

After crossing the Marañon Valley, the endemic birding tour will enter the cloud forests on the eastern slopes of the Andes. These humid forest habitats are strongly influenced by the Marañon Valley and are home to some interesting bird species such as the Russet-mantled Softtail, Leymebamba Tapaculo, Leymebamba Antpitta, Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Yellow-scarfed Tanager, along with many others. There's also a chance of spotting Andean Condors in the Leymebamba area.

The Marañón Valley Endemic Birding Tour will also visit Huembo and San Lorenzo. Huembo is a private reserve created for the protection of the Marvelous Spatuletail hummingbird. The Spatuletail usually visits the feeders there, and there is a recently discovered lek not far from the reserve. San Lorenzo is famous for being the only accessible place for Pale-billed Antpitta, although guests should note that the visit to San Lorenzo involves a two-hour hike to the top of a mountain.

Other interesting birds in San Lorenzo are Speckled-faced Parrot, Rufous-capped Antshrike, Lacrimose Mountain-tanager, Pale-eyed Thrush, Chestnut-belted Chat-Tyrant and Black-and-white Becard among others.

The Marañón Valley tour ends in the northern extreme of the valley, near the city of Jaén. There we will have one and a half days to spend looking for Marañon Spinetail, Marañon Antshrike, Little Inca-finch and Peruvian Pigeon.

Marañón Valley Endemic Birding Tour highlights include:

  • Birding around Cajamarca for Great Spinetail and Rufous-backed Inca-Finch
  • The many endemics of the Marañón Valley
  • The eastern Andes cloud forest species
  • Views of Marvelous Spatuletail in a private reserve
  • The heights of San Lorenzo for Pale-billed Antpitta
  • Birding for specialities around Jaén

If you’d like to try an alternative endemics tour, look at what this Andean Endemics Birding Tour, Peru has to offer.

Alternative tour name: The Special Endemic Birds of Northern Peru
Day 1
Day 1 - Lima

Arrival in Lima and transfer to the hotel.

Overnight at Wyndham Airport Hotel.

Meals: None.

Day 2
Day 2 - Lima - Cajamarca

Morning flight to the city of Cajamarca.

Then we will drive southeast near the town of Jesus, this is one of the more reliable places to look for Great Spinetail. Other possibilities in the area are Buff-bridled Inca-Finch, Amazilia Hummingbird, Purple-collared Woodstar, Spot-throated Hummingbird, Black-necked Woodpecker, and Marañon Gnatcatcher.

By mid-morning we drive to San Nicolas lake for another chance for Great Spinetail, along with other interesting birds like Andean Gull, Andean Duck, Andean Lapwing. Picnic lunch by the lake.

In the afternoon we take a side-road to La Masma, looking for the endemic Plain-tailed Warbling-finch, a rare tanager unique to northern Peru.

Overnight at a 3 stars hotel in Cajamarca.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic-lunch, dinner.

Day 3
Day 3 - Cajamarca

This morning we will drive to the Chonta valley to look for Grey-bellied Comet, Black Metaltail and Rusty-crowned Tit-spinetail. Other interesting possibilities there are Chestnut-naped Ground-Tyrant, Black Metaltail, Andean Flicker, and more.

In the afternoon we do some highland birding by visiting the Cumbemayo area (at an elevation of 11,400 feet), interesting birds here are Stripe-headed Antpitta, Yellow-rumped Yellow-Finch, Slender-billed Miner, Striated Earthcreeper, and more.

Overnight at a 3 stars hotel in Cajamarca.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 4
Day 4 - Cajamarca

Early start birding the Abra Gavilán area, looking for Rufous-backed Inca-Finch and Unicolored Tapaculo. Other interesting birds here are Paramo Seedeater, Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant, Black-crested Tit-Tyrant, Purple-throated Sunangel, and Black-eared Hemispingus.

Then we drive for about two hours to the San Pablo area, to look for Bay-crowned Brush-finch, Pacific Parrotlet, Elegant Crescentchest, Chestnut-crowned Antpitta, Rufous-winged Tyrannulet, Streak-throated Bush-Tyrant, Three-banded Warbler, Collared Antshrike, Black-and-white Becard, and many more.

Overnight at a 3 stars hotel in Cajamarca.

Meals: Picnic-breakfast, picnic-lunch, dinner.

Day 5
Day 5 - Cajamarca - Celendín

Today we will drive northeast towards the city of Celendín, with a few stops looking for Andean birds like Cajamarca Antpitta, Jelski’s Chat-Tyrant, Northern Mountain Cacique, Many-striped Canastero, Blue-and-Black Tanager, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager, Black-crested Tit-Tyrant, White-tailed Shrike-Tyrant, Rufous-webbed Bush-Tyrant, Paramo Pipit, Shining Sunbeam, and many others.

Overnight at a 2 stars hotel in Celendín.

Meals: Picnic-breakfast, picnic-lunch, dinner.

Day 6
Day 6 - Celendín - Leymebamba

This morning we will enter the Río Marañon valley. The first stop is at El Utco to look for Grey-winged Inca-Finch, Chestnut-backed Thornbird, Marañon Thrush, Andean Emerald, Tumbes Tyrannulet, Marañon Gnatcatcher, Lesser Goldfinch, and Streaked Saltator. At lower elevations we could find Peruvian Pigeon, Yellow-faced Parrotlet, Buff-bridled Inca-Finch, Yellow-tailed Oriole, and Black-necked Woodpecker.

After crossing the Marañon river we will gain altitude again. As we get into more humid areas, we will start to look for Coppery-naped Puffleg, Slate-throated Whitestart, Yungas Pygmy-Owl, Leymebamba Tapaculo, White-chinned Thistletail, and more.

After the mountain pass of Calla Calla (also known as Barro Negro) we will be looking for Coppery Metaltail, Neblina Tapaculo, Moustached Flowerpiercer, Russet-mantled Softtail, Rainbow Starfrontlet, Purple-throated Sunangel, Leymebamba Antpitta, Grass-green Tanager, Yellow-scarfed Tanager, and many more.

Overnight in Leymebamba.

Meals: Breakfast, picnic-lunch, dinner.

Day 7
Day 7 - Leymebamba - Huembo

In the morning we will drive along the Río Atuén valley for about 20 minutes to look for Tawny Antpitta and Andean Condors, a couple of these birds is roosting in the cliffs by the valley. Other possibilities in this valley are Russet-mantled Softtail, Unstreaked Tit-Tyrant, Citrine Warbler, Golden-headed Quetzal, Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Grey-breasted Mountain-Toucan, and many more.

After lunch we will drive along the Utcubamba river towards our next lodge in Huembo, with a few stops to look for Torrent Duck, Fasciated Tiger-Heron, Mitred Parakeet, and Marañon Crescentchest.

Overnight at Huembo lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 8
Day 8 - Huembo

Huembo Conservation Center is a nature reserve created to protect the endemic Marvelous Spatuletail hummingbird, others hummingbirds attending the feeders here are Andean Emerald, Brown Violetear, White-bellied Hummingbird, Purple-throated Woodstar, White-bellied Woodstar. The forest inside the reserve is good for Southern Emerald Toucanet, Speckled-faced Parrot, White-sided Flowerpiercer, Rufous-capped Antshrike, Silver-backed Tanager, and many others.

We wil spend the afternoon exploring the road to San Lorenzo, looking for Mountain Velvetbreast, Sickled-winged Guan, Lacrimose-mountain Tanager, Pale-eyed Thrush, Chestnut-belted Chat-Tyrant, Black-and-white Becard, and many more.

Overnight at Huembo Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 9
Day 9 - San Lorenzo - Jaén

After an early breakfast we will drive for a few minutes to the town of San Lorenzo. There we hike up a hill for about one and a half hours to the Pale-billed Antpitta site. Other interesting birds in the area are Unstreaked Tit-Tyrant, Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Ash-colored Tapaculo, Violet-throated Starfrontlet, Plain-tailed Wren, Rusty-winged Barbtail, just to mention a few.

We will be back to the lodge for lunch. Afternoon drive to the city of Jaén, with a stop for Little Inca-finch, Marañon Antshrike, Red-crested Finch, Chinchipe Spinetail.

Overnight at a 3 stars hotel in Jaén.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 10
Day 10 - Jaén

Visit to Fundo Yanahuanga reserve for Plain-breasted Ground-dove, Streaked Saltator, Marañon Crescentchest, Marañon Spinteail, and others.

We will leave you at the airport for your flight back to Lima.

Meals: Breakfast.

Day 11

Wildlife species expected to see:

Marvelous Spatuletail, Great Spinetail, Grey-bellied Comet, Grey-winged Inca-finch, Peruvian Pigeon, Pale-billed Antpitta, Marañon Spinetail, Yellow-faced Parrotlet, Chestnut-backed Thornbird, Fantastic scenery of the Marañon valley

What is included?

  • Lodging as described above (some lodges, hotels, might change depending on room’s availability)
  • Ground transportation and driver throughout the tour
  • English speaking bird guide
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Drinking water supply available in the car during the whole trip
  • All entrance fees for nature reserves
  • Applicable taxes, fees, and licenses

What is not included?

  • International or domestic airfares
  • Airport departure taxes or visa fees
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Additional nights during the trip due to flight cancellations or reasons beyond our control
  • Alcoholic beverages or bottled water
  • Snacks
  • Insurance of any kind
  • Laundry
  • Phone calls or messages
  • Reconfirmation of flights
  • Items of personal nature
  • Anything that is not mentioned in the itinerary and "what is included"

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Why book with Green Tours?

Green Tours, the trade name of Cheqa Peru SRL, is a Peruvian tour operator company stablished in 2006 with the objective to offer high quality ground services for tourism operations in Peru with innovation, comfort, safety, and commitment with our social and environmental responsibilities. The last few years Green Tours has established itself as an important Peruvian tour operator, providing ground logistics for American, Canadian and British birding companies like Wings, Paradise Birding, Sunrise Birding, Worldwide Birding Tours, Sierra Club, Avocet Tours, and Heatherlea. Green Tours is part of a Carbon Neutral partnership to offset the carbon footprint for its operations, with this partnership we are helping to improve the conservation efforts in the Tambopata National Reserve. Also, since 2016 we are supporting small conservation efforts in north western Peru for the conservation of the habitat of the tropical dry forest, specially the habitat of the Peruvian Plantcutter. Currently, our General Manager is the executive director of APTAE (the Peruvian Association for Eco and Adventure Tourism). Our Sales and Marketing Manager, Wilson Díaz, is an active birder and has been travelling with birding groups since 2001 providing logistic support for several companies. Also, we have created “Asociación Green Tours”, a non-profit organization aimed to support conservation initiatives for endangered species like Grey-bellied Comet and Peruvian Plantcutter.

Do you arrange airport pick up/drop off?

Yes, airport pick up and drop off are included in the price.

When is the best time to travel and why?

Schedule your travel between April and December. During this period pf time it does not rain too much in the Andes and the roads are easy to drive on. Between January and March the heavy rains can be a problem on the unpaved roads.

Do I need a Yellow Fever vaccine ?

Yes, it is not mandatory by the government, but we strongly recommend to have the vaccine.

How is the weather in the area ?

It is pleasant in the Cajamarca area, with daytime temperatures between 18°C to 23 °C. It can be cold at night. The Marañon valley is warm and dry, with daytime tempertures above 30°C.

What forms of travel are involved in this tour?

9 seats van, flights are involved but not included in the base price. We can book the flights for you if requested.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

10 Days

Price & Availability

USD2,490 / per person
Single Supplement USD 250
Group Discount Available
Group Discount Guide
Refer to Group Discount Terms
This tour is operated by: Green Tours
4.93 based on 7 reviews

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Operator Review Summary

4.93 Based on 7 reviews

Tour Facts

  • Cajamarca, Peru
  • Multi-Day Tour
  • 1 to 4 pax
  • 10 days
  • April to December
  • Challenging
  • English, Spanish
  • Jorge Chavez Lima International airport
  • Jaén, Peru