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Mejia Lagoons Lagoons & Marshes Birding Tour, Peru - 2 Days

Mejia Lagoons Lagoons & Marshes Birding Tour, Peru

Mejía Lagoons & Marshes Birdwatching Tour, Peru

This 2-days Mejia Lagoons Lagoons & Marshes Birding Tour which is moderately paced available on request will introduce you to some coastal birds, 1 of them endemics and some others with a range restricted to southern Peru. We expect to see on average we see between 50-60 bird species on this tour.

Our Mejia Lagoons Birding Tour starts and ends in Arequipa, a city founded by the Spaniards more than 470 years ago, all of its old buildings are made of Sillar a white volcanic rock, from which the “White City” name came. Your expert bird guide will accompany you for the full duration of the tour which will ensure that you do not miss any of the most important bird species.

The Mejia Lagoons National Sanctuary is located on the southern coast of Peru, in the province of Islay, are just a 3 hours drive from Arequipa. It was created in 1984, and designated a RAMSAR site from 1992. It constitutes a unique wildlife refuge in southern coastal Peru, especially for migratory birds, both for boreal migrants, during (Sep- Mar) and also austral migrants, during (Mar-Oct).

The Mejia Lagoons are situated in a depression parallel to the beach, which was initially formed by the Tambo River. It extends 7.5 km north of the mouth of the Tambo River. This Mejia Lagoons Birding Tour introduces The Mejia Lagoons Natural Sanctuary has an extension of more than 690 hectares, it has a bird list of 209 species of birds: 84 of them migratory, 93 residents, and 32 of the occasional.

The Mejia Lagoons National Sanctuary is just one of the two places in Peru where you can see them: Red-fronted Coot and White-winged Coot. We will also stop near Matarani, close to the Lighthouse pier, to see: Surf Cinclodes (endemic); IncaTern, one of the few dark terns in the world, with impressive white mustaches and colorful red bill and legs; and Humboldt Penguin, one of the easiest penguins to see in South America.

Mejia Lagoons Tour highlights include:

● Mejia Lagoons National Sanctuary: The Mejia, Iberia (north and south) and Boquerón Lagoons. Egrets, Herons, Ducks, Teals, Spoonbill, Coots, Grebes. The Salicornial (stores water on top of its branches) and Gramadal (put out salt over its leaves) habitats, both are a low height vegetation, the habitat of the Peruvian Pipit.
● Mejia Lagoons National Sanctuary: Tambo River mouth: Herons, Egrets, Gulls, Plovers.
● La Motobomba channel and beach: Ducks, Teals, Egrets, Grebes, Coots.
● Lighthouse pier: It’s a rocky shore, where we could see the Inca Tern, Surf Cinclodes (endemic) and Red-legged Cormorant.
● Riparian Vegetation along the Tambo River: Good place for Flycatchers, Pigeons and the Slender-billed Finch.

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

Alternative Tour Name: Birding Mejia Lagoons
Day 1
Day 1 - Arrival | Mejia through El Fiscal on the Tambo Valley

After picking you up from the Alfredo Rodriguez Ballón Airport or Hotel, depending on the hour, we proceed straight to Mejia through El Fiscal on the Tambo Valley. We have a stop for an early lunch. After lunch, in the riparian forest crossing the bridge we could see: Slender-billed Finch. Our next stop will be the Mejia Lagoons National Sanctuary (209 bird species!).

We will visit the Interpretation Center. The birds that can be seen here are Slate-colored, White-winged, Red-fronted Coots, Great and Pied-billed Grebes, some ducks, Chilean Flamingo, Peruvian Thick-knee, Great Egret, Snowy, Tricolored, Little Blue Herons, Gulls, Cinereous Harrier, etc.

Following our trip, we take a small detour to the Motobomba beach, where we could see more birds similar to our previous stop.

Then we proceed to Mejia, around 10 minutes away, to our hostel in a typical wooden house. Dinner will be nearby.

Day 2
Day 2 - Last Day | Birding around Mejia

After breakfast we go birding around Mejia, for some riparian forest and beach birds:

In the riparian forest, we could see: Oasis Hummingbird, Purple-collared Woodstar, Vermillion Flycatcher, Cinereous Conebill, White-crested Elaenia, Shiny Cowbird, Slender-billed Finch, Chestnut-throated Seedeater, Blue-black Grassquit.

On the beach: American and Blackish Oystercatchers, Snowy Plover, Sanderling, Wimbrel, Grey, Grey-hooded, Franklin’s, Belcher’s, Kelp Gulls; Elegant, Royal, Common, Sandwich Terns; Peruvian Booby, Peruvian Pelican; Neotropical and Guanay Cormorants. On the rocky side of the beach, we could see: Surf Cinclodes (endemic), Ruddy Turnstone and Surfbird.

Our next stop will be the Lighthouse pier, where we could see: Surf Cinclodes (endemic), Inca Tern, Red-legged Cormorant, Peruvian Booby, Gulls, Humboldt Penguin. Then we drive back to Arequipa, to drop you at the Alfredo Rodriguez Ballón Airport or your hotel.

Wildlife species expected to see:

On average we see between 50-60 bird species on this tour.

Some of the birding target species we expect to see on this tour include: The endemic Surf Cinclodes, Humboldt Penguin, Snowy Plover, Peruvian Thick-knee, Red-fronted Coot, White-winged Coot, Roseate Spoonbill, Red-legged Cormorant, Blackish Oystercatcher, Slender-billed Finch.

From a mammal point of view, we expect to see: South American Sea Lion.

What is included?

  • The accommodation in Mejia.
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Drinking water in the vehicle.
  • Air-conditioned Vehicle.
  • Fuel.
  • Transfer from/to Alfredo Rodriguez Ballón International Airport or Hotel.
  • Tolls.
  • Full time services of a personal Nature Travel bird guide.

What is not included?

  • Items of a personal nature.
  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance.
  • Visa Fees.
  • International or local flights.
  • Laundry.
  • Tourist Ticket.
  • Gifts.
  • Souvenirs.
  • Gratuities.
  • All drinks.
  • Anything that is not mentioned in the itinerary and "what is inlcuded"

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Why should I book Mejia Lagoons Lagoons & Marshes Birding Tour?

This birding tour is offered as a small group or private tour, which offers some of the best birding in southwest Peru. Your expert bird guide will be with you for the full duration of the tour, guiding you to all the top birding spots to maximize your chances of seeing your target birds.

What sort of accommodation and vehicles do you supply?

All accommodations are mid-range from 1 to 3 stars depending on your preferences. The vehicle used for this tour is a 4x4 pick-up.

What forms of travel are involved in this tour?

All travel is done via road (tar and dirt road). Bird watching activities are done by vehicle and on foot.

What are your group sizes?

Our groups have a maximum of 4 travelers to ensure an exclusive birding experience.

Do you arrange airport pick up/drop off?

Yes, airport pick up and drop off are included.

What time do I need to arrive in Arequipa on the day the tour starts?

If you want to start your tour straight from the airport it is advisable to arrive early in the morning (first flight from Lima or Cusco), if not you have to allow an overnight stay in Arequipa. Also if you don’t have any previous experience with high altitude birding it is advisable to stay at least one night in Arequipa in order to acclimatize to the altitude.

Is there a specific time I need to book my departure flight for?

Normally you have to confirm your flight with 48 hours in advance to the flight from Alfredo Rodriguez Ballón International Airport. You have to be 2 hours before the departure time for the check-in.

Do you ever change the tour leader or itinerary? If so, what sort of notice do you give?

No, we do not change the tour leader or itinerary. Should this happen, we will contact the client immediately with the updated tour leader, accommodation or itinerary.

Do you offer a single supplement option? Can you accommodate a third person/family?

Yes, but it must be arranged in advance. Some hotels have rooms that can accommodate three adults in a room (depending on availability). Should the hotel or hostel not offer triple accommodation, two rooms will be booked and the single supplement will be applicable

Do you include meals?

All meals are included on this tour.

When is the best time to travel and why?

The best time for birdwatching is between March and November each year. In order to avoid the rainy/snowy season.

Do you need a minimum fitness level to join this tour?

The tour is a bit strenuous, a basic level of general fitness is needed as some of the days are long and a basic level of fitness can be helpful. We are going to do some moderate walking on level ground or with a bit gradient, at high altitude (around 4800m or 15750 feet).

Do you have any age restrictions to join this tour?

We welcome clients of all ages on our birding tours but as the days are generally quite long and tiring, we do not recommend that children under 12 join the birding tour except if they have experience of joining trips like this before.

What is the level of connectivity or WiFi access during this tour?

Most hotels offer Wi-Fi but it cannot be guaranteed as it is not very reliable. Please note that there are areas on this tour where there is no phone reception or Wi-Fi.

Can you book accommodation for us prior to the start of or after the tour?

Yes, we can arrange accommodation as well as trips extension as part of your tour.

Do you provide travel and/or medical insurance (incl. repatriation)?

No, it is not provided. It is compulsory for each client to obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance, beside repatriation arrangements for the tour at the time of booking. We highly recommend that you purchase comprehensive travel insurance at the time of paying a deposit. The policy should provide cover for loss of deposit, cancellation and additional expenses, medical expenses and repatriation and loss or damage to baggage and valuables. You are responsible for making any special or increased insurance arrangements which you deem are necessary.

How do I pay, and what are the terms, for this tour?

A 30% deposit is needed to confirm the tour. Payments can be made by bank transfer. The balance of the payment is due 60 days before the start of the tour.

What should I pack for this tour?

We will send a comprehensive packing list once the tour has been booked but to give you an idea of the general items to bring, see the list below. General packing: • Neutral coloured clothing • Warm jacket, gloves and hat for early morning and high altitude activities • Sturdy closed walking shoes (trainer type shoes are fine) • No need for any formal clothing, most dinners are casual and informal • Binoculars • Camera • A small daypack • A refillable water bottle Medical: • Please bring some basic medication for headache, nausea etc with you as well as any prescription medication you might need during your tour. • All of our guides carry a basic first-aid kit with them but it is best to bring your personal medication with you. • Please contact your closest travel clinic for information on malaria and other medical information you might need. • Currently yellow fever certificate is needed to travel to the Jungle part of Peru.

Do I need visas for this tour?

No, it is not necessary for the majority of countries. But most nationalities from Asia and Africa does. Please check this link: https://www.gob.pe/institucion/rree/informes-publicaciones/279522-convenios-de-visas-para-ciudadanos-extranjeros and download the PDF about information on visa requirements.

Do I need to bring my own food and drink during the day?

Drinks are not included (except for drinking water in the vehicle) but your guide will assist you with arranging to buy some drinks during the day en-route. Lunches are usually either packed or your guide will stop at a small restaurant en-route where you will be able to enjoy a meal of your choice.

Can you cater for special dietary requirements?

Most hotels cater for special dietary requirements, please let us know at the time of booking and we will let them know in advance. Should you have a severe food allergy, please carry the necessary medication with you at all times in case this is needed.

Should we bring credit cards and/or cash?

Credit Cards (Mastercard and Visa) are accepted at most hotels, but hostels only accept Peruvian Soles. We advise to bring some amount of cash in small bills (10, 20 and 50 Peruvian Soles bills) for smaller purchases like drinks, laundry, souvenirs, tips etc. Your guide can also assist with arranging a stop at an ATM in Arequipa. For this tour you will need US Dollar (only bills in very good condition, bills in bad shape are not accepted). The exchange rate is around 4.10 Peruvian Soles per 1 US Dollar (Set 2021).

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

2 Days

Price & Availability

USD185 / per person
Based on twin/double room
Group Discount Available
Group Discount Guide
Refer to Group Discount Terms
This tour is operated by: Chalco Birdwatching
4.67 based on 2 reviews

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Operator Review Summary

4.67 Based on 2 reviews

Tour Facts

  • Mejia Lagoons, Peru
  • Multi-Day Tour
  • On Request
  • Birds
  • March to October
  • +12
  • 1 to 4 pax
  • 2 Days
  • Moderate
  • No
  • English & Spanish
  • Alfredo Rodriguez Ballón Airport
  • Alfredo Rodriguez Ballón Airport