Birding the Andes, Colca Canyon and the Pacific Coast

Giant Conebill

Giant Conebill

This trip starts in the “White City” of Arequipa which is easily accessed by flights from Lima or Cusco and the city lies beneath the towering volcano of El Misti. We stay at a comfortable lodge above the Colca Canyon which is nearly twice as deep as the US' Grand Canyon and visit two sites out of our selected hotel in Arequipa. A magical tour with Condors and Flamingos, Inca Terns and the coast and much much more.!


DAY 1: AREQUIPA TO CABAÑACONDE :Early arrival in Arequipa (no later than 8 am) or you may want to come in a day early and spend time in the city. On arrival we’ll head out towards Cabañaconde perched on the edge of the immense Colca Canyon. We’ll be birding all day. Our first stop will be to look for the endemic Cactus Canastero. Grayish and Thick-billed Miner, Streaked Tit-Spinetail and others will be here too. Moving higher we’ll be looking for a variety of yellow-finches, sierra-finches, cinclodes and birds typical of the wet bogs of the highlands. Laguna Janccocota should have plenty of wildfowl maybe Flamingos, Puna Plover and Andean Avocet and the surrounding grassland’s Miners and Ground-Tyrants. We will stop at suitable bogs to look for the enigmatic Diademed Sandpiper-Plover. We’ll see Giant Coot along the way. All this in the most stunning scenery you can imagine with great photo ops. Arriving in Cabañaconde we’ll check in at our mountain lodge. L:D
DAY 2: CABAÑACONDE AND VICINITYA relaxing day with great photo opportunities. We’ll spend the morning after breakfast at one of the several Andean Condor lookouts overlooking the Colca Canyon where the Andean Condors have their dormitories– watch your hats! Sometimes these birds come so close its hard to imagine! Also rising out of the canon on the thermals are other Birds of Prey such as Black-chested Buzzard eagle, Variable Hawk and Falcons. The rest of the day will be spent looking for birds such as Canyon Canastero, Black-hooded Sierra-Finch and high Andean birds. We stay at the same lodge in Cabañaconde B:L:D
DAY 3: CABAÑACONDE TO AREQUIPAWe’ll take a different road back to Arequipa via Tuti – Callalli – Chalhuanca and stop at different sites or as we see something along the road. Grasslands may produce Andean and Ornate Tinamous and Darwin’s Nothura. Others we may see include White-throated Sierra-Finch, Arequipa (Creamy-breasted Canastero), Golden-spotted Ground-Dove Night at our selected hotel in Arequipa (we will be 3 nights here) B:L:D
DAY 4: A FULL DAY ON THE COAST MEJIA AND MATARANITo-day we’ll drive the two and a half hours to the coast with stops if we see anything interesting. We’ll visit two locations. One will be the Matarani lighthouse where we can see many of the Humboldt current seabirds including Humboldt Penguin, Peruvian Booby, 3 species of cormorants, Surf Cinclodes, gulls, terns and shorebirds, Blackish Oystercatcher and close up views of the enigmatic Inca Tern and more. The second location will be the Mejia Lagoons Sanctuary and the mouth of the Tambo River. In the vegetation we will be looking for arid littoral passerines and the range restricted Slender-billed Finch. The lagoons will be filled with waterfowl, herons and we should see Great Grebe, Many-colored Rush-Tyrant, Wren-like Rushbird and much more. We return in the afternoon to our selected hotel in Arequipa B:L:D
DAY 5: LAGUNA SALINAS SALT LAKEA dusty road ascends through scrub Polylepis forest to the high Andean saline lake of Salinas. On the way up or down we will stop at various altitudes looking for amongst others, Hummingbirds such as Andean Hillstar, Giant Hummingbird and Black Metaltail, Ovenbirds including Andean and Streaked Tit-Spinetail, Straight-billed and White-throated Earthcreeper’s, Puna and Canyon Canastero’s and a variety for ground-tyrants and sierra-finches, Giant Conebill and the range restricted Tamarugo Conebill. At Laguna Salinas itself, depending on water levels, we may see Puna Plover, Andean Avocet, 3 species of Flamingo, Seedsnipe and high altitude Canasteros. Night at our selected hotel in Arequipa B:L:D
DAY 6: AREQUIPA TO LIMA AND HOME OR CUSCOTransfer to the airport and flights out B:
CAN BE COMBINED WITH BIRDING THE RIVER OF FRIENDS TOUR