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North Peru, the Mayo and Huallaga Valleys - 14 Days

North Peru, the Mayo and Huallaga Valleys

A 14 days tour in intense birding in north Peru. The eastern slopes of the Andes of Peru are one of the most diverse places in the neo-tropics for birdwatching. The tour starts in the Huallaga valley, near the city of Tarapoto, visiting the humid forest of the Cordillera Escalera Reserve, the perfect place to look for Dotted Tanager, Plumbeous Euphonia, Koepcke’s Hermit, Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, or the rare Blackish Pewee; then, we go to the dry forest of the Upaquihua valley, the most reliable place in Peru for Planalto Hermit and Ashy-headed Greenlet. The cloud forests of the Alto Mayo, between the city of Moyobamba and the forests of Abra Patricia, are rich in bird diversity and endemic species; indeed, this forests are the only places in the world to find “bird delicatessen” like Rusty-tinged Antpitta, Ochre-fronted Antpitta, Long-whiskered Owlet, Lulu’s (Johnson’s) Tody-Flycatcher, or Yellow-scarfed Tanager. As a bonus, we devote one day to go to the Rio Marañon area looking after the famous Marvelous Spatuletail hummingbird. But there is not only about endemic birds, the forests of the Alto Mayo are also home of more than 40 species of hummingbirds that can be seen at well set feeding stations, and the forests are full of mixed species flocks full of Tanagers, Barbets, Flycatchers, Woodcreepers, and much more.

As a bonus, at the beginning of the trip we include a day for birding around Lima, we don’t want you to miss sights of Humboldt Penguins, Peruvian Thick-knees, or Inca Terns!

Day 1
Day 1 - Lima

Arrival in Lima and transfer to the hotel at the airport.

Overnight at Wyndham Lima Airport Hotel****.

Meals: None.

Day 2
Day 2 - Lima - Tarapoto

This morning we will take our way south of Lima for about two hours to the Pucusana fishing port where we will take a boat to search for Humboldt Penguin, Inca Tern, Peruvian and Blue-footed Boobies, Guanay and Red-legged Cormorants, and Surf Cinclodes. After lunch we will drive back to Lima, with a stop at the Villa Marshes, a protected area near the Pacific Ocean that is good for Great Grebe, White-tufted Grebe, Peruvian Thick-knee, Many-colored Rush-Tyrant, Wren-like Rushbird, Grassland Yellow-Finch, and lots of shorebirds.

Then we will be transferred to the airport to catch a flight to the city of Tarapoto.

Overnight in Tarapoto.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 3
Day 3 - Tarapoto

This morning we will drive for about 30 minutes to the mountains of Cordillera Escalera Reserve. The area is a good area to look for Wattled Guan, Chestnut-tipped Toucanet, Maroon-tailed Parakeet, Dotted Tanager, Plumbeous Euphonia, Striolated Puffbird, Lanceolated Monklet, Blackish Pewee, and many more.

In the afternoon we will visit the Koepcke’s Hermit Conservation Center, another private reserve created to protect the endemic hummingbird Koepcke’s Hermit. The bird is easy to see at the feeders inside the reserve along with other hummingbirds like Gould’s Brilliant, Black-throated Brilliant, Black-throated Mango, and more. A walk on the trails near the hummingbird feeders can produce Pale-tailed Barbthroat, Golden-headed Manakin, White-plumed Antbird, and probably a Long-tailed Potoo that has been seen roosting in the area several times per year.

Overnight in Tarapoto.

Meals: Breakfast, boxed-lunch, dinner.

Day 4
Day 4 - Tarapoto

Early start to drive south of Tarapoto to the Upaquihua valley. This is the only place in Peru where Planalto Hermit and Ashy-headed Greenlet can be found. Other possible interesting birds in the area are Northern Slaty Antshrike, Rufous-fronted Thornbird, Plain-crowned Spinetail, Sulphur-bellied Tyrant-manakin, White-flanked Antwren, Rufous Casiornis, and more.

We will have lunch at Pumarinri lodge, located by the Huallaga river. We will spend the afternoon birding around the lodge, possible birds around the lodge are Black-fronted Nunbird, Cinnamon-throated Woodcreeper, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Blue-crowned Trogon, Swallow-winged Puffbird, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Riparian Antbird, Spangled Cotinga, and much more.

After dinner we can do a night walk looking for some owls like Tropical Screech-Owl and Black-banded Owl.

Overnight at Pumarinri lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 5
Day 5 - Tarapoto - Moyobamba

In the morning you will be transferred to the city of Moyobamba, with one stop on the road to look for Oilbirds at Puente Quiscarrumi bridge.

By noon we will arrive to our next lodge near the city of Moyobamba.

We will spend the afternoon at the hummingbird feeders where the usual visitors are Black-throated Hermit, White-necked Jacobin, Fork-tailed Woodnymph, White-chinned Sapphire, the fantastic Rufous-crested Coquette, and another 20 species. The forest around the feeders can also produce Tataupa Tinamou, Green-backed Trogon; mixed flocks of tanagers with Paradise, Black-bellied, Blue-necked, Guira, Golden, and many other tanagers; Short-tailed Pygmy-Tyrant and Mishana Tyrannulet are also possible.

Overnight at Waqanki Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 6
Day 6 - Moyobamba

Early in the morning we will drive towards the city of Moyobamba for a visit to the Tahuishco tower. This is a view point above a nice patch of forest inside the city, this forest is good to look for great birds like Humboldt's (Lettered) Araçari, Red-stained Woodpecker, Great Antshrike, Barred Antshrike, Pale-breasted Thrush, and more. The endemic San Martin Titi-Monkey is common in the area.

The rest of the morning can be spend at the hummingbird feeders. The afternoon we will be at the hummingbird feeders, and birding around the lodge.

After dinner we can explore the road outside the lodge looking for owls like Tropical Screech-Owl, Black-banded Owl, Band-bellied Owl, or Striped Owl.

Overnight at Waqanki Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 7
Day 7 - Santa Elena and Yacumama

This morning we drive for about 30 minutes to the Santa Elena reserve, this is a private conservation area in the Mayo valley wetlands. In Santa Elena we will take small canoes to navigate the Romero river looking for birds like Comb Duck, Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Cream-colored Woodpecker, Pale-legged Hornero, Black-tailed and Black-and-white Antbirds, Anhinga, and more.

Then we will drive to the Yacumama Center, a kind of resort that has good areas with Mauritia palm trees that are good to look for Point-tailed Palmcreeper, Blue Ground-Dove, Green-and-Rufous Kingfisher, and Varzea Thrush.

Overnight at Waqanki Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, boxed-lunch, dinner.

Day 8
Day 8 - Moyobamba - Abra Patricia

Today we will be transferred to our next lodge with several stops along the road. The first stop is at Morro de Calzada, located 15 minutes from Waqanki. This is a mountain that rises lone over the valley and a set of great birds can be found at its base like Rufous Motmot, Blackish Nightjar, Mishana Tyrannulet, White-browed Purpletuft, Pale-breasted Thrush, among others.

Near the town of Aguas Verdes we will have the chance to visit the “Arena Blanca Reserve” where the hummingbird feeders can produce Reddish Hermit, Blue-fronted Lancebill, Black-throated Brilliant, Rufous-crested Coquette, Blue-tailed Emerald, Wire-crested Thorntail, Many-spotted Hummingbird, and another 15 more species of hummingbirds. The Tinamou feeders are usually visited by Cinereous and Little Tinamous, along with Rufous-breasted Wood-quail and Orange-billed Sparrow. Other interesting birds in the area are Huallaga (Black-bellied) Tanager, Northern Chestnut-tailed Antbird, Peruvian Antwarbler, and flocks of Tanagers.

Another important stop is before the town of El Afluente, a good spot to look for White-winged Tanager, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, the fantastic Andean Cock-of-the Rock, and a myriad of other tanagers, woodcreepers, antbirds, woodpeckers, flycatchers and more.

We will arrive to the Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge at by the end of the afternoon, In the gardens of the lodge you will have the time to seat comfortably and enjoy the myriad of hummingbirds coming to the feeders: Green Violetear, Long-tailed Sylph, Speckled Hummingbird, White-bellied Woodstar, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Collared Inca, and many more.

Overnight at Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, boxed-lunch, dinner.

Day 9
Day 9 - Abra Patricia

This morning we will walk the “Grallaria trail” that starts in the upper part of the lodge and goes down the hill for about two and a half hours. The trail goes through humid mountain forest where birds like Ochre-fronted Antpitta, Chestnut Antpitta, Sharpe’s Wren, Chestnut-crested Cotinga and Golden-headed Quetzal have been seen regularly.

This afternoon we will have our first attempt to spot the enigmatic Long-whiskered Owlet, a tiny owl endemic to this mountain range. We will walk down a trail for about one hour to the first spot and wait until it gets dark, then our local guide will call the owlet. There are chances to find Ochre-fronted Antpitta, Bicolored Antvireo and White-fronted Nunbird along the trail. We will be back in the lodge at around 08:00 pm.

Overnight at Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 10
Day 10 - Abra Patricia: Fundo Alto Nieva

Today we will explore the southeastern slope of the Abra Patricia mountains. Before departure we can do some birding around the parking lot that can bring superb birds like Lulu’s (Johnson’s) Tody-Flycatcher, Deep-blue Flowerpiercer, Yellow-scarfed Tanager, Grass-green Tanager, Rufous Spinetail and many others.

The first stop is at Fundo Alto Nieva, where the hummingbird feeders attract Botted Rackettail, Royal Sunangel, Violet-fronted Brilliant, Tawny-bellied Hermit, Rufous-vented Whitetip, and a few other hummers. The forest around the house can produce White-capped Tanager, Crested Quetzal, Ornate Flycatcher, Green-and-black Fruiteater, and many more.

In the afternoon we will stay at the Owlet lodge to walk the “Tino trail” looking for birds like Masked Trogon, Yungas Pygmy-Owl, Variable Antshrike, White-backed Fire-eye, Rusty-tinged Antpitta, Northern Chestnut-breasted Wren, and flocks of tanagers with Golden-naped, Beryl-spangled, Saffron-crowned and Flame-faced Tanagers. More difficult to find, but yet possible, are mammals like Yellow-tailed Wooly-Monkey, Andean Night-Monkey, and Spectacled Bear.

Overnight at Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 11
Day 11 - Alto Mayo Protected Forest

This morning we will explore the Alto Mayo Protected forest. This is located at a lower elevation than Abra Patricia and holds a different set of birds.

At the Mirador area we will look for birds like Subtropical Cacique, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Sickled-winged Guan, Bar-winged Wood-wren, Andean Solitare, Metallic-green Tanager, Blue-browed Tanager, and Yellow-throated Tanager.

After lunch at the lodge, we will drive back to lower elevations looking for birds like Slaty Antwren, Rufous-crested Tanager, Chestnut-crowned Gnateater, Bronze-green Euphonia, Marble-faced Bristle-tyrant, Olive-chested Flycatcher, and many more.

Overnight at Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 12
Day 12 - Pomacochas and Huembo

Today we will explore the northwestern slope of the Abra Patricia mountains, our first stop is at Huembo Conservation Center, this 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, Purple-throated Sunangel, White-bellied Woodstar. The forest inside the reserve is good for Black-billed (Southern Emerald) Toucanet, White-capped (Speckled-faced) Parrot, White-sided Flowerpiercer, Silver-backed Tanager, and many others.

We will take lunch in Huembo.

After visiting Huembo we will drive up a side road for about 15 minutes and then walk down the road looking for Black-crested Warbler, Peruvian Citrine Warbler, Sickled-winged Guan, Lacrimose-mountain Tanager, Pale-eyed Thrush, and many more. Then we drive back to the Owlet lodge.

Overnight at Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 13
Day 13 - Abra Patricia - Moyobamba

Today we will drive back to the Mayo Valley. We will make a few stops on the road near the town of El Afluente to look for a lek of Andean Cock-of-the-Rock. This place is also good to look for Yellow-throated, Cuvier’s, and Yellow-ridged Toucans, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Golden Tanager, Blue-Cowled (Versicolored) Barbet, Equatorial Greytail, and much more. The hummingbird feeders at La Llanteria attract Green Hermit, Grey-chinned Hermit, Violet-headed Hummingbird, and Ecuadorian Piedtail.

On our way to Moyobamba we will make a couple of stops for Pale-eyed Blackbird, Chestnut-bellied Seed-Finch, and Masked Duck. We will be arriving to our next lodge by the end of the day.

Overnight at Waqanki Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, boxed-lunch, dinner.

Day 14
Day 14 - Moyobamba - Tarapoto - Lima

The first hours of light today are devoted to hike up the Quebrada Mishquiyacu creek where Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Montane Woodcreeper, Fiery-throated Fruiteater, Varzea Thrush, Peruvian Antwarbler, Plain-winged Antshrike, and many others can be found.

By mid-morning you will be transferred to the Tarapoto airport for the flight to Lima and your international connections. Before heading to the airport we will make a visit to Ricuricocha lake looking for Southern Lapwing, Comb Duck, and Black-bellied Whistling-Duck.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch.

Some of the birds we expect to see in this trip:

Humboldt Penguin, Inca Tern, Guanay Cormorant, Red-legged Cormorant, Surf Cinclodes, Peruvian Thick-knee, Many-colored Rush-tyrant, Maroon-tailed Parakeet, Dotted Tanager, Plumbeous Euphonia, Lanceolated Monklet, Blackish Pewee, Koepcke’s Hermit, Black-throated Brilliant, Pale-tailed Barbthroat, Golden-headed Manakin, White-plumed Antbird, Planalto Hermit, Ashy-headed Greenlet, Northern Slaty Antshrike, Rufous Casiornis, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Spangled Cotinga, Oilbird, Rufous-crested Coquette, Paradise Tanager, Huallaga Tanager, Golden Tanager, Short-tailed Pygmy-tyrant, Mishana Tyrannulet, Humboldt’s (Lettered) Araçari, Red-stained Woodpecker, Pale-breasted Thrush, American Comb Duck, Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Cream-colored Woodpecker, Pale-legged Hornero, Black-and-white Antbird, Anhinga, Palmcreeper, Varzea Thrush, Blue-fronted Lancebill, Wire-crested Thorntail, Little Tinamou, Rufous-breasted Wood-quail, Andean Cock-of-the Rock, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Ochre-fronted Antpitta, Chestnut Antpitta, Chestnut-crested Cotinga, Golden-headed Quetzal, Long-whiskered Owlet, Lulu’s Tody-flycatcher, Yellow-scarfed Tanager, Grass-green Tanager, Botted Racket-tail, Royal Sunangel, White-capped Tanager, Masked Trogon, Rusty-tinged Antpitta, Northern Chestnut-breasted Wren, Golden-naped Tanager, Beryl-spangled Tanager, Saffron-crowned Tanager, Flame-faced Tanager, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Bar-winged Wood-wren, Andean Solitare, Metallic-green Tanager, Blue-browed Tanager, Yellow-throated Tanager, Olive-chested Flycatcher, Marvelous Spatuletail, Blue-cowled Barbet, Green Hermit, Grey-chinned Hermit, Masked Duck, Fiery-throated Fruiteater

What is included?

  • Lodging as described in the itinerary
  • Ground transportation and driver throughout the tour
  • English speaking bird guide
  • All entrance fees for nature reserves
  • Meals as mentioned in the program
  • 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
  • Alcoholic beverages or bottled drinks
  • Snacks
  • Insurance of any kind
  • Laundry
  • Phone calls or messages
  • Reconfirmation of flights and items of personal nature

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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.

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18/06/2020 - 01/07/2020 available USD 3,305
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14 Days

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This tour is operated by: Green Tours

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Tour Facts

  • Northeast Peru
  • Set Departure
  • Set Departure Tour
  • Birds
  • 4 to 8 pax
  • 14 days
  • Moderate
  • English
  • Lima airport
  • Lima airport