Welcome to Birdquest
Birdquest's Central Peru birding tour is one of a series of Peru birdwatching trips we offer. This exciting tour focuses on the many species found in the central part of Peru, home to numerous specialities, ranging from Junin Grebe and Diademed Sandpiper-Plover to White-cheeked Cotinga and Golden-backed Mountain-Tanager, and finishes off with an exciting pelagic out into the cool waters of the Humboldt Current.
Sunday 11th November —
Thursday 29th November 2018
Leader: Eustace Barnes
Group Size Limit: 8
Tour Category: Easy or moderate walking for the most part and mostly comfortable accommodations (but 3 nights camping)
Forming a huge block of land on the western side of South America, Peru is one of the continent’s most mountainous countries, where isolated valleys and cordilleras have seen avian evolution in full swing. Not only boasting an amazing avifauna of about 1800 species, it also holds a considerable number of little-known and highly localized endemics, several dozens of which have only been discovered in the last few decades.
Designed as the ultimate itinerary for Peruvian endemics, this fabulous journey takes us through a wide range of habitats across the topographically complex Peruvian Andes.
We start our journey in Lima, from where we will head up the arid Santa Eulalia Valley to look for Bronze-tailed Comet, Canyon Canastero, Rufous-breasted Warbling-Finch and many other interesting birds.
Next we will visit the high Andean bogs of Marcapomacocha, the haunt of the legendary Diademed Sandpiper-Plover and a handful of exciting endemics including the critically-endangered White-bellied Cinclodes. Farther inland lies Lago Junín, the second largest lake in the country, and home to the endangered Junín Grebe.
From here we will continue our journey to Huancayo (after which the famous Peruvian dish ‘papas huancainas’ is named) to explore some seldom-visited mountains and valleys where our main targets will be several more endemics: Fire-throated Metaltail, Eye-ringed Thistletail, Black-goggled Brush-Finch and a newly discovered but as yet undescribed tapaculo, and likewise a new wren.
Next we shall descend to Huanuco, our base for exploring the rich and bromeliad-laden cloudforests of the Carpish Mountains and the Paty Trail. An enticing set of multi-hued tanagers and shimmering hummingbirds will await us here, as well as such secretive forest-floor endemics as Bay and Chestnut Antpittas, and a superb supporting cast of other cloudforest birds.
One of the highlights of the tour will undoubtedly be our stay at the remote Bosque Unchog, where will camp for three nights. Only first visited by ornithologists in the 1970s, this land of misty paramos and contorted elfin forests is where we shall seek out some of Peru’s most wanted endemics, including the enormous Golden-backed Mountain-Tanager, the smart Bay-vented Cotinga, the awkward Pardusco and the elusive Rufous-browed Hemispingus.
The penultimate leg of our journey will be through the breathtaking Cordillera Blanca, not only the setting for some of the continent’s most spectacular scenery but also home to yet another set of exciting endemics. Here we will search high-elevation Polylepis woodland, shrubby gullies and boulder-strewn slopes for such interesting birds as Ancash Tapaculo, White-cheeked Cotinga, Plain-tailed Warbling-Finch and Rufous-eared Brush-Finch, whilst the awesome contours of Huascaran, Peru’s highest mountain, constantly loom in the background.
Finally we will visit the Lomas de Lachay and their characteristic ‘fog vegetation’, inhabited by such desirable endemics as Coastal and Thick-billed Miners, Cactus Canastero and Raimondi’s Yellow-Finch.
At the end of the tour there will be an exciting pelagic excursion to the rich waters of the Humboldt current. We will make a full day excursion to the deep waters where two rare and localized species, Markham’s and Ringed (or Hornby’s) Storm Petrels can be found. As well as these there’s an excellent supporting cast which may well include White-vented and Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrels, Waved Albatross, Peruvian Diving-Petrel and Swallow-tailed Gull amongst others. It is also likely that we will see some cetaceans during the day.
Birdquest has operated tours to Peru since 1982.
Accommodation & Road Transport: The hotels/lodges are of good or medium standard. At Bosque Unchog we will stay for a total of three nights in a simple but comfortable tented camp (with twin or single occupancy available) specially set up for us by our local agent. Road transport is by small coach and roads are decidedly variable in quality (rough in some areas).
Walking: The walking effort is mostly easy or moderate, but there are two or three more strenuous hikes.
Climate: Rather variable. At low and middle elevations many days are warm or hot, dry and sunny, though on other days it can be cool and overcast. A large part of our time will be spent at high altitudes, where conditions range from warm or cool to decidedly cold. It may well rain at times and it will be rather humid in the Carpish Mountains and at Bosque Unchog.
Bird Photography: Opportunities are quite good.
Can be taken together with: AMAZONIAN PERU: IQUITOS
Prices are provisional
Tour Price: £4990, €5890, $6540 Lima/Lima.
Price includes all transportation, all accommodations, all meals, bottled water, some drinks, all excursions, all entrance fees, all tips for local drivers/guides and for accommodations/restaurants, leader services.
Single Room/Tent Supplement: £573, €676, $750.
Deposit: £650, €800, $850.
Air Travel To & From The Tour: Our in-house IATA ticket agency can arrange your air travel in connection with the tour from a departure point anywhere in the world, or you may arrange your own air travel if you prefer. We can tailor-make your itinerary to your personal requirements, so if you would like to travel in advance of the tour (and spend a night in an hotel so you will feel fresh when the tour starts), or return later than the end of the tour, or make a side trip to some other destination, or travel business class rather than economy, we will be happy to assist. Please contact us about your air travel requirements.
Many of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOL Certificate
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