The Cloud Forests and Mountains of Manu

The Andes and Cloud forests of Manu

Diademed-Sandpiper-PloverPhotographer: Gary Rosenberg
The Manu Biosphere Reserve has the highest diversity of life on Earth and is one of the most important conservation units in the world. The Cloud forests and Mountains of Manu is a trip to the more temperate orchid and epiphyte laden montane and foothill forests. Here Spectacled Bears, Gray Woolly Monkeys and Cock-of-the-Rocks still live unmolested, we stay at a selection of the most comfortable and bird friendly lodges in the area.

Day 1:Arriving in Lima our staff will transfer you to our selected hotel in Lima or connect to Cusco. The hotel chosen will vary depending on flight arrival times.We strongly advise guests to arrive in Cusco a day early to rest up and be ready for the long birding tour

Day 2: We will take an early morning flight from Lima to Cusco or if already in Cusco pick you up at your Cusco hotel. Your tour leader will greet you and we will then head out south of town to Huarcapay Lakes. The lakes are surrounded by Inca and pre-Inca ruins. Here we will see a variety of high Andean waterfowl including Puna, Yellow-billed and Cinnamon Teal, Yellow-billed Pintail, Andean Duck and other wetland-associated birds. White-tufted Grebe and Andean Coot will be here too. Depending on the time of year migrant North American shorebirds (waders) may also be present. We will be specifically on the look-out for Wren-like Rushbird, Many-colored Rush-tyrant, Yellow-winged Blackbird, Puna Ibis, Plumbeous Rail and Andean Negrito. Birds of prey we may see include Aplomado Falcon, Cinereous Harrier, Variable Hawk and Black-chested Buzzard-eagle. We’ll enjoy a leisurely picnic lunch by the lake and in the surrounding arid scrub we will look for the endemic Rufous-fronted Canastero and Streak-fronted Thornbird. We should find the endemic Bearded Mountaineer feeding in the tree tobacco (Nicotania sp.), along with Giant Hummingbird and Trainbearers. Peruvian, Ash-breasted and Mourning Sierra-finches will also be here, as well as Greenish Yellow-finch, Golden billed Saltator and Blue and Yellow Tanager. In the afternoon we will drive long the Vilcanota River with some stops for the night in Pisac below the megalithic Inca terraces. B: L: D
Day 3: We will make an early start in our expedition bus. We will make our first stop as the sun hits the inter-andean slopes and colorful Quechua peasant farmers and their livestock pass by. Our target bird here is the endemic Chestnut-breasted Mountain-finch. We should also see Andean Hillstar, Andean Flicker, Black-throated Flowerpiercer and Chuiguanco Thrush and other high Andean birds including ground-tyrants and canasteros. Our next stop will be to look for the endemic Creamy-crested Spinetail. Traveling on we will arrive at the last Andean pass, Ajcanacu, and if the weather is clear we will be able to look out over the Amazon basin as it stretches into the distance, just as the Incas did when they would worship the sun rising over the endless rainforest. A further stop along the Tres Cruces road may find us Scribble-tailed and Line-fronted Canasteros, the newly described Puna Wren and maybe both Puna and Diademed Tapaculos. In the afternoon we will bird our way down the eastern slope of the Andes, as the forest becomes more continuous. Possibilities are many but we hope to encounter mixed species flocks comprising tanagers, flycatchers and ovenbirds. Gray-breasted Mountain-toucan, Collared Jay and Mountain Cacique are some of the many species we may find. In the evening we may go to a favorite spot where we have had luck calling in Swallow-tailed Nightjar. Night at the Wayquecha Lodge at an altitude of 2,800 meters. B: L: D
A side stop along the Tres Cruces road may find us Scribble-tailed and Line -fronted Canasteros, the newly described Puna Wren and maybe Puna and Diademed Tapaculo. In the after-noon we will bird the upper limits of the eastern slopes. Working our way down the eastern slope of the Andes, the forest becomes more continuous and we will spend the afternoon birding to our accommodations at 2800 meters above sea level above Pillahuata. Possibilities are many but we hope to encounter mixed species flocks of Tanagers, Flycatchers and Ovenbirds. Gray-breasted Mountain Toucan, Collared Jay and Mountain Cacique are among some of the many species we may find. In the evening we will go to a favorite spot where we have had luck calling in Swallow-tailed Nightjar. Night at the Wayquecha Biological Station B: L: D
Day 4: After an early hot breakfast we will start birding near the Biological Station. A full day exploring the humid temperate forest from tree line down for such species as Moustached Flowerpiercer, Tit-like Dacnis, Golden-collared Tanager and Puna Thistletail. We will then spend the rest of the day birding downhill through the forest, looking for mixed feeding flocks that will contain Grass-green Tanager, Hooded Mountain-tanager, Black-throated Tody-flycatcher, Barred Fruiteater, White-banded and White-throated Tyrannulets and many more. If we are lucky we may see Peruvian Treehunter, Golden-plumed Parakeet or even Greater Scythebill. We will then return for a second night spent at the Wayquecha Lodge. B: L: D
Day 5:At breakfast we will again be greeted with a varied dawn chorus, with both Red and White Antpitta and the occabambae race of Rufous (Urubamba) Antpitta calling. We will then leave the Biological Station and spend the whole day birding down a little-travelled road, bordered with pristine forest, until we reach our next lodge. Some of the special birds which we will look for today include: Black and Chestnut Eagle, Andean Guan, Scaly-naped Parrot, Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Bar-bellied Woodpecker, the endemic Marcapata Spinetail, Barred and Band-tailed Fruiteaters, Ochraceous-breasted Flycatcher, Barred Becard, Pale-footed Swallow and many tanagers. We will also encounter a wide variety of hummingbirds including Collared Inca, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Violet-throated Startfrontlet, Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Purple-backed Thornbill, Scaled Metaltail and White-bellied Woodstar. We will then spend the night at the comfortable Lodge at an altitude of 1,300 meters at San Pedro. B: L: D
Day 6 to 8: We will spend the next 3 days based at the comfortable Lodge, situated in the pristine cloud-forest of the mountains of Manu.
The lodge has 12 private, en-suite, bungalows, each with its own balcony. The rooms have hot and cold running water, flush toilets and two single beds in each room. Lighting is by candle and lantern but there is a small generator available for charging batteries. There is a large dining area and lounge, overlooking a feeding station for Large-headed Capuchin Monkeys and Tayras (a large mustellid related to the martens). Hummingbird feeders in the lodge garden attract several species including Wire-crested Thorntail and Peruvian Piedtail. The lodge sits just a few minutes’ drive away from a spectacular Cock-of-the-Rock lek, where one morning we will observe these colorful birds during their dawn mating rituals from the comfort of a blind (hide).
There is trail system behind the lodge that enables us to explore the cloud-forest understory. He we can find species not likely seen from the road, such as Chestnut-breasted Wren, Scaled Antpitta, Rufous-breasted and Short-tailed Antthrushes, Slaty Gnateater and the endemic Cerulean-capped Manakin.
One of our days here will be devoted to the 2,500-meter altitude zone, with another day being dedicated to the 1,500-meter zone. Possible species include Solitary Eagle, Rufous-capped Thornbill, Crested Quetzal, Golden-headed Quetzal, Highland Motmot, Black-streaked Puffbird, Blue-banded Toucanet, Spotted Barbtail, Montane Foliage-gleaner, Amazonian Umbrellabird, Uniform and Variable Antshrikes, Slaty Gnateater, Chestnut-crested Cotinga, Scaled Fruiteater, Bolivian Tyrannulet, Inca Flycatcher (endemic), Yungas Mankin, Uniform Antshrike, White-throated Spadebill, Fulvous-breasted Flatbill, Saffron-crowned Tanager, Yellow-rumped and Slaty Antwrens amongst others. We will also do some night birding whilst staying here and we have been lucky previously with Foothill and Rufescent Screech-owls, Rufous-banded Owl, Lyre-tailed Nightjar and Andean Potoo. All nights at our Cloud Forest Lodge. B: L: D.
Day 9: After a dawn breakfast, accompanied by the singing of Andean Solitaires and Paradise Tanagers, we will leave Cock-of-the-Rock lodge and spend the day birding slowly down the road until we reach our next lodge. We will pay particular attention today to the stretch of upper tropical zone forest between 1,500- and 800-meters altitude. This upper tropical zone forest has disappeared on much of the Andean slopes in South America because of its suitability for cash crops such as tea, coffee and coca. Fortunately, in this part of Peru this forest remains untouched.
We will be keeping a keen eye out for a spectacular, yet to be described, new species of tanager, which we have seen on several of our tours. Other birds which we may see on this stretch of road include: Rufous-breasted Wood-quail, Speckle-faced Parrot, Yungas and Three-banded Warblers, Long-tailed Sylph, Lanceolated Monklet, Versicolored Barbet, Russet Antshrike, Rufous-lored Tyrranulet, Marble-faced Bristle-tyrant, Fulvous-breasted Flatbill, Golden-collared Honeycreeeper, White-winged Tanager, Yellow-throated Bush-tanager and the endemic Black-backed Tody-flycatcher. We plan to arrive at the comfortable Villa Carmen Lodge in time for some birding in the lodge grounds. Night at Villa Carmen Lodge, at an altitude of 500 meters. B: L: D
Day 10:The area around Villa Carmen lodge is characterized by large stands of Chusquea bamboo and we will spend the morning looking for some specialties of this micro-habitat, such as White-cheeked and Flammulated Tody-tyrants, Large-headed Flatbill, Dusky-cheeked Foliage-gleaner, Rufous-headed Woodpecker, Manu, White-lined and Goeldi’s Antbirds, Red-billed Scythebill, Bamboo Antshrike, Ornate and Dot-winged Antwrens. Scarlet-hooded Barbet is here too, along with a wide variety of foothill species. There are feeders where Amazonian Antpitta and Tinamous attend. There is much to see here at this comfortable lodge. Night Villa Carmen Lodge.B:L:D
DAY 11After an early breakfast at Villa Carmen we will bird the road to Atalaya where from look-outs we often see Blue-headed and Military Macaws. As the day warms up we’ll cross the Madre de Dios River for a late lunch at the comfortable Amazonia Lodge, our base for the next 2 nights. Night at Amazonia Lodge. B: L: D
DAY 12:We will spend this day working the birdy garden at Amazonia Lodge. The lodge has a bird list of around 650 species.There are butterfly bushes in the lodge garden that attract various hummingbird species, including the pretty Rufous-crested Coquette, Golden-tailed Sapphire, Blue-tailed Emerald, Black-eared Fairy and Wire-crested Thorntail.
The possibilities around Amazonia Lodge are enormous and we will bird a variety of habitats, including floodplain and hill forest. Some of the many species that we will be on the look-out for include: Wattled Guan, Military and Blue-headed Macaws, Pheasant Cuckoo, the endemic Koepcke’s Hermit, Chestnut-capped Puffbird, Fine-barred Piculet, Red-billed Scythbill, Thrush-like Antpittas, Rusty-belted Tapaculo, Mottle-backed Elaenia, Red-billed Tyrranulet, Johannis’ and Yellow-browed Tody-tyrant, Ornate Flycatcher, Band-tailed, Fiery-capped and Round-tailed Manakins, White-thighed Swallow. We will also have the possibility of night birding whilst staying here and in the past we have seen Mottled Owl, Black-banded Owl, Tawny-bellied Screech-owl, Great, Long-tailed and Common Potoos. Night at Amazonia Lodge. B: L: D
Day 13:To-day we say goodbye to our friends continuing into the lowland and return to Cusco by van arriving in the evening. Night in Cusco B: L
Day 14:Morning to explore the old city of Cusco and afternoon flight to Lima for your international flights B
Does not include air Lima - Cusco– Lima but we will purchase these on request – the price depends on when we get your full name, deposit and passport numbers – you can check current prices at www.LATAM.com, and www.AVIANCA.com

CAN BE COMBINED WITH THE TRIPSLima to Cusco Overland: The Pacific Coast, West Slope and Apurimac Endemics, Andean Condors
Manu Macaw Lick and Amazonian Rainforest

Customer Testimonials

Sylvia Nye - USA

I was on the trip back May with Silverio with the Edward Thompson group. I have wanted to drop a line and send my thoughts over the trip. It was all so well planned, loving the lodging, and transportation with everyone so helpful and most of all knowledgeable. I can’t say enough wonderful things about Silverio, he has such a vast knowledge of the birds and environment of Peru—not just looking at a bird but hearing, finding them amongst the heavy thickets of bamboo or near the water—what an eye (and ears)! You are very fortunate to have him as a guide, professional but also social and also very capable. Thank you so much for such a wonderful trip.

Lynn Dunlap - USA

I'm writing to express my deepest appreciation for the tour I took through Manu Expeditions and Legacy Tours. I am so very happy to say that everything about the tour was wonderful. I was very appreciative of the logistical aspects of the tour. The hotels and lodges were great. And the meals were substantial and delicious. I was especially delighted by our alfresco lunches on the road--and very appreciative of snack packs we received while traveling. The complex arrangements for transportation were handled smoothly. The buses and boats were comfortable and the drivers and boatmen conscientious.

In particular, I would like to express my thanks for the guides. Silverio Duri is a superb birding guide. He located the birds and patiently helped our entire group to get our bins on them. And he equally patiently answered our questions about the birds, their habits, identification tips, etc.

I am delighted to recommend Manu to all my birding friends.

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Comments

I was on the trip back May with Silverio with the Edward Thompson group. I have wanted to drop a line and send my thoughts over the trip. It was all so well planned, loving the lodging, and transportation with everyone so helpful and most of all knowledgeable. I can’t say enough wonderful things about Silverio, he has such a vast knowledge of the birds and environment of Peru—not just looking at a bird but hearing, finding them amongst the heavy thickets of bamboo or near the water—what an eye (and ears)! You are very fortunate to have him as a guide, professional but also social and also very capable. Thank you so much for such a wonderful trip.

I'm writing to express my deepest appreciation for the tour I took through Manu Expeditions and Legacy Tours. I am so very happy to say that everything about the tour was wonderful. I was very appreciative of the logistical aspects of the tour. The hotels and lodges were great. And the meals were substantial and delicious. I was especially delighted by our alfresco lunches on the road--and very appreciative of snack packs we received while traveling. The complex arrangements for transportation were handled smoothly. The buses and boats were comfortable and the drivers and boatmen conscientious.

In particular, I would like to express my thanks for the guides. Silverio Duri is a superb birding guide. He located the birds and patiently helped our entire group to get our bins on them. And he equally patiently answered our questions about the birds, their habits, identification tips, etc.

I am delighted to recommend Manu to all my birding friends.

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