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Tour to Peru: Birdwatching in Cusco


This tour combines bird watching with some of the best archeological sites to make sure you can enjoy both the both culture and birds of Peru. You will be looked after by either two guides or a bird guide who is an expert on the ruins. We can run this trip at any time. Let us know if you would like two extra days at Aguas Calientes and/or Abra Malaga and surroundings for more bird viewing. It is possible to add either one day (Machu Picchu day ) or two days (one more day at Machu Picchu/Aguas Calientes and one more day along the Abra Malaga road). The latter option makes it possible to arrive earlier in Cusco on the last night – and considerably slows down the pace. Thus we recommend the 7 day program for those who want a slower pace.



Early flight to Cusco. City tour. Sacsayhuaman, Cathedral, Coricancha in this order. Lunch. Departure to Pisac. Visit Huacarpay on the way for lake birds and the endemic hummingbird Bearded Mountaineer. Other birds include the endemic Rusty-fronted Canastero, Many-colored Rush-Tyrant, Wren-like Rushbird, Plumbeous Rail, Yellow-hooded Blackbird and many others. Overnight in Pisac. Charming town and charming small hotel.


Early visit to Pisac ruins. Usually also some birding possible, especially if you decide to do the walk back down to Pisac town. Visit the Pisac market. Continue to Ollantaytambo via the salt-mines near Urubamba. Visit the archeological site of Ollantaytambo in the PM. Night in Ollantaytambo at Hostal Munay Tika. Birds during the day include Giant Hummingbird, Golden-billed Saltator, Black-backed Grosbeak and White-bellied Hummingbird.


Full day to Abra Malaga. Temperate forest. Polylepis birds. Fantastic views of the Veronica massive. The Quechuas living in the area are dressed with their traditional cloths. We shall see plenty of alpaca herds as well. We will get up very early for the drive up beyond the Abra Malaga pass at 4200m and continue to the north side of the pass and the wet temperate forest at Canchayoc. Here we may see Diademed Tapaculo, Unstreaked Tit-Tyrant, Golden-collared Tanager, Violet-throated Starfrontlet, Parodi´s Hemispingus, Marcapata Spinetail, Tit-like Dacnis and many others. Rusty-breasted (Leimebamba), Red-and-White, Rufous and Undulated Antpitta are often heard and with some luck we may be able to lure some of them into view with play-back of its song. It is possible to do a walk through high Polylepis woodland for species like Royal Cinclodes, White-browed Tit-Spinetail, Ash-breasted Tit-Tyrant, Puna Tapaculo, and Stripe-headed Antpitta. In the afternoon we will look for the endemic White-tufted Sunbeam. We shall take evening train to Aguas Calientes (Machupicchu). Night in Hostal Pachacutek.


For birding and visit to ruins it is best to do birding in the morning and visit the ruins during midday when there are actually very few people there. However, for photography it may be worth to sacrifice the birding in the morning for a sunrise at the ruins. It is up to you. Afternoon train to Ollantaytambo and bus on to Cusco. Arrival at 8 PM. Hostal Emperador Plaza.


Morning in Cusco for a last look and last minute shopping! Flight leaves in the afternoon (3.20 PM at present).It is possible to upgrade the stay at Aguas Calientes to either Hostal Presidente or Rupa Wasi ecolodge for a cost of 15 dollars per night/person. Hostal Pachacutek is amenable but Presidente is closer to the train station and Rupa Wasi is in a nicer surroundings. Let us know!