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Northern Peru Bird Photography Tour - 12 Days

Northern Peru Bird Photography Tour

This 12 day birding tour delves into the eastern slopes of the Andes of Peru which are one of the most diverse places in the neo-tropics for birdwatching; of course, bringing excellent possibilities for photography. In the recent years, several private reserves in the Alto Mayo and Huallaga valleys, have developed good infrastructure for bird photography with hummingbird and tanager feeders.

The tour starts in Huembo, with good chances to photograph the fantastic Marvelous Spatuletail hummingbird. Then, we go to the famous Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge, where a myriad of hummingbirds attends the feeders; the gardens and trails are also good to look for flycatchers, tanagers, woodpeckers, and more. Here, we will also try to photograph some owls like Long-whiskered Owlet, Cinnamon Screech-owl, and White-throated Screech-owl. In the same area we also visit the Fundo Alto Nieva Private Reserve, for chances to photograph the Royal Sunangel hummingbird, along with other species of hummers and tanagers coming to the feeders. We also do some short walks trying to photograph specialties like Lulu’s (Johnson’s) Tody-flycatcher, or Yellow-Scarfed Tanager.

As we go down the Abra Patricia mountains into the Alto Mayo valley, we will found more hummingbird feeder stations. Up to 45 species of hummingbirds can be found attending these feeders, offering great chances for photographs. Down on the Alto Mayo valley, we make a long stop at the Arena Blanca Private Reserve, the place has tinamou feeders attended by Cinereous and Little Tinamous, Rufous-breasted Wood-quail, Grey-necked Wood-rail, Orange-billed Sparrow, and several species of doves and pigeons. The fruit feeders here are regularly visited by Euphonias and Tangaras. Arena Blanca hummingbird feeders also offers great chances to photograph special hummingbirds like Wire-crested Thorntail Rufous-crested Coquette, or Blue-fronted Lancebill.

Before leaving the Alto Mayo valley we spend some time at the delightful Waqanki Lodge, the canopy tower, feeders, and trails offer the chance to photograph special birds like Black-throated Hermit (and some other 20 species of Hummingbirds !), Mishana Tyrannulet, or Fiery-thoated Fruiteater; also, the road just outside the lodge offers great chances to photograph Owls like Tropical Screech-owl, Black-banded Owl, Band-bellied Owl, or Striped Owl.

The tour finish around the Huallaga valley, at the relaxing Sumaj Lodge, on the shores of El Sauce Lake. You´ll be able to photograph a great diversity of birds from your room’s verandas or from the dining room (while having a drink or a snack !). Flycatchers, tanagers, trogons, are quite common in the lodge’s gardens. We flight back to Lima from the Tarapoto airport.

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 - Jaen - Huembo Lodge

This morning we take a flight to the city of Jaen. Then you will be transferred to Huembo. Huembo is a nature reserve created to protect the endemic Marvelous Spatuletail hummingbird; other hummingbirds attending the feeders might be Andean Emerald, Brown Violetear, White-bellied Hummingbird, Purple-throated Woodstar, Purple-throated Sunangel, and White-bellied Woodstar. The forest inside the reserve is also an excellent place to photograph Sickle-winged and Andean Guans, Black-billed (Southern Emerald) Toucanet, Speckle-chested Piculet, Rufous-capped Antshrike, White-sided Flowerpiercer, Silver-backed Tanager, and many others.

Overnight at Huembo Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 3
Day 3 - Huembo Lodge

Full day photographing around de lodge trails and feeders.

Overnight at Huembo Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 4
Day 4 - Huembo Lodge - Abra Patricia

Today we drive towards Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge. The lodge is strategically located inside the Abra Patricia Protected Area, surrounded by pristine montane cloud forest. We will spend the next four days birding in this kind of habitat.

We spend the full day photographing around de lodge trails and hummingbird feeders. Will have ample time to enjoy the myriad of hummingbirds coming to the feeders, only some of which may include: Green Violetear, Long-tailed Sylph, Speckled Hummingbird, White-bellied Woodstar, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Fawn-breasted Brilliant, Emerald-bellied Puffleg, and Collared Inca.

Overnight at Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 5
Day 5 - Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge

Morning photographing at the hummingbird feeders or gardens around the lodge. Regular visitors to the lodge gardens are White-sided Flowerpiercer, Yellow-bellied Brush-finch, Sierran Elaenia, Flame-faced Tanager, and many other colorful birds. A family of Tayras also walks around the gardens regularly. Optionally, by mid-afternoon we could hike to the Long-whiskered Owlet place for photographs of this mythical owl (use of flashes won’t be allowed, we will use a high power torch and set our cameras to the higher possible ISO)

Overnight at Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 6
Day 6 - Abra Patricia: Fundo Alto Nieva hummingbird feeders

Today we spend the morning photographing at the hummingbird feeders at Fundo Alto Nieva. Usual visitors to the feeders are Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Royal Sunangel, Booted Racket-tail, Buff-thighed Puffleg, Rufous-vented Whitetip, and White-tailed Hillstar. We will drive back to the Owlet Lodge for lunch. Afternoon birding around the parking lot of the lodge trying to photograph the endemic Lulu’s (Johnson’s) Tody-Flycatcher, and (only if we are very lucky) the Yellow-Scarfed Tanager.

Overnight at Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 7
Day 7 - Alto Mayo Protected Forest: La Llanteria Hummingbird feeders

The first hours of the morning we will have another chance to photograph Lulu’s (Johnson’s) Tody-Flycatcher and Yellow-Scarfed Tanager. Then we drive down the mountains for a visit to the La Llanteria feeders, our targets are Grey-chinned Hermit, White-tipped Sicklebill, or Ecuadorian Piedtail hummingbirds. We will take a boxed-lunch at La Llantería.

In the afternoon we will do a short walk around La Llanteria looking for special birds like Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Blue-cowled (Versicolored) Barbet, Collared Trogon, and maybe some woodpeckers, woodcreepers, and tanagers.

Overnight at Abra Patricia Owlet Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, boxed-lunch, dinner.

Day 8
Day 8 - Arena Blanca reserve - Moyobamba

Today we drive towards the town of Aguas Verdes to visit the Arena Blanca Reserve. The reserve is located in a patch of white-sand forest. Full day photographing at the hummingbird feeders and the trails in the reserve. Regular visitors at the hummingbird feeders are Blue-fronted Lancebill, Fork-tailed Woodnymph, Wire-crested Thorntail, Rufous-crested Coquette, Black-throated Brilliant, just to mention a few. Northern Chestnut-tailed (Zimmer’s) Antbird, Huallaga (Black-bellied) Tanager, are quite common and easy to photograph in the reserve trails. If lucky enough, we could be able to photograph a Dark-breasted Spinetail.

We will take our lunch at the reserve. By mid-afternoon we will depart towards the next lodge near the city of Moyobamba.

Overnight at Waqanki Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 9
Day 9 - Moyobamba

Waqanki is a family owned reserve in the montane forests near the city of Moyobamba. We will spend the full day photographing at the hummingbird feeders and the trails in lodge’s property. At the hummingbird feeders the targets are Black-throated and Great-Billed Hermits, Black-throated Mango, Violet-headed Hummingbird, White-chinned Sapphire, Many-spotted Hummingbird, among others. From the canopy tower it is possible to photograph Mishana Tyrannulet, Chestnut-eared Aracari, Crested Oropendola, and many others.

In the gardens of the lodge there are some feeders with fruit attracting different species of tanagers. 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 10
Day 10 - Moyobamba - Tarapoto - Sumaj Lodge

Morning photographing at the tanager and hummingbird feeders. After lunch we will drive towards the city of Tarapoto, then we go on southwards to Lake El Sauce, where our next lodge is located. Arrive to the Sumaj Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 11
Day 11 - Sumaj Lodge

Sumaj Lodge is a high standard lodge offering a relaxed birding around the gardens. They have hummingbird and tanager feeders just in front the room’s verandas. The most common birds around the gardens and easy to photograph are Reddish Hermit, Long-billed Starthroat, Blue-headed Parrot, Humboldt’s (Lettered) Aracari, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Yellow-bellied Elaenia, Purple-throated Euphonia, Yellow-rumped Cacique, and more.

For those who like to walk, there is also a trail behind the lodge that’s goes up a hill with nice patches of forest where the photographic possibilities are Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Swallow Tanager, Cobalt-winged Parakeet, and more.

Overnight at Sumaj Lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Day 12
Day 12 - Sumaj Lodge - Tarapoto - Lima

Morning photographing birds around the lake and the lodge gardens. During the boat trip we will be looking for Sungrebes and Hoatzins. After lunch you will be transferred to the airport for the flight to Lima.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch

Some of the wildlife we expect to see are:

Lulu’s Tody-Flycatcher, Royal Sunangel, Ochre-fronted Antpitta, Chestnut Antpitta, Marvelous Spatuletail, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Emerald-bellied Puffleg, Flame-faced Tanager, Long-whiskered Owlet, Booted Racket-tail, Ecuadorian Piedtail, Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Blue-fronted Lancebill, Wire-crested Thorntail, Rufous-crested Coquette, Huallaga Tanager, Cinereous Tinamou, Rufous-breasted Wood-quail, Violet-headed Hummingbird, Crested Oropendola, Paradise Tanager, Flame-faced Tanager, Beryl-spangled Tanager, Bay-headed Tanager, Humboldt’s (Lettered) Aracari, Sungrebe, Hoatzin.

What is included?

  • Lodging as described above.
  • Ground transportation and driver throughout the tour.
  • English speaking guide, with local guides at some private reserves.
  • Meals as described above.
  • Entrance fees to all nature reserves and use of hides and bird feeding stations.
  • 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
  • Insurance of any kind
  • Laundry
  • Phone calls or messages
  • Reconfirmation of flights and items of personal nature
Wildlife Reviews
4.83 stars
- based on 1  reviews
  1. A Great Birding Experience in Northern Peru
    Hank Tan25 Jul 2019







    We came across Green Tour on the Blue Sky Wildlife website. Getting in touch with the contact person at Green Tour, Wilson, and working out a customized itinerary for the two of us was a smooth and pleasant process. Wilson turned out to be the guide for our entire 19-day trip, who is very diligent and pleasant. He was quite persistent in looking for birds throughout the trip, eg. finding Rainbow Starfrontlets and Shining Sunbeams out in the mountain roads above Leymabamba. Since we share the same interest in birding photography, I quite enjoyed his guidance throughout the trip. He was as patient as we were when waiting for the Marvelous Spatuletail to show up at the feeders at Huembo Lodge. All in all, this has been a very pleasant birding trip and I must say a good guide makes all the difference. We highly recommend birding with Green Tour.

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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.

Join Our Fixed Tour Starting Date

Tour Dates Tour Availability Price Spaces Left
07/04/2020 - 18/04/2020 available USD 2,762
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12 Days

Price & Availability

USD3,176 / per person
This tour is operated by: Green Tours

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Operator Review Summary

4.94 Based on 8 reviews

Tour Facts

  • Northeast Peru
  • On Request
  • Set Departure Tour
  • Birds
  • 4 to 8 pax
  • 12 days
  • Leisurely
  • English
  • Lima airport
  • Lima airport