Iquitos: Amazon and White Sand Rainforests

DYNAMITE AMAZON RIVER, RAINFOREST, CANOPY WALKWAY, RIVER ISLAND AND WHITE SAND FOREST SPECIALTIES TRIP

Zimmer's-AntbirdRufous-necked PuffbirdPhotographer: Fred Tavares

Iquitos, on the Peruvian Amazon, features many birding highlights: and specialties like Nocturnal and Wattled Curassow and Black-necked Red Cotinga, the Antbirds, and the fabulous canopy walkway. Iquitos is one of the best places to actually see the legendary Nocturnal and Wattled Curassows.

This is Antbird paradise and we'll spend a lot of time examining and observing the special variety that exists here on both banks of the Amazon. The Amazon is a population barrier to many passerines including Antbirds and as we bird on bith the North and South Banks we'll see a lot!  But Curassows and Antbirds are just a few of the many birds we will see. From Screamers, Guans, Toucans, Trogons, and Barbets to Hummingbirds, Woodcreepers, Foliage-gleaners, Manakins, and Seedeaters, we'll explore all the habitats that constitute Amazonia. We will explore new and old river islands – a difficult micro-habitat to access and here is the best place, in varzea forest, along an old ox-bow lake, and from a network of trails through terra firme forest.

We'll stay at three lodges throughout this tour in order to have maximum opportunity at the specialist species. There is even greater reason to get to Iquitos: a 1500-foot, continuous walkway through the canopy of the rainforest. This sturdy and easily accessible walkway reaches a height of 115 feet and was planned by botanists and vertebrate biologists to allow visitors to walk through the canopy between fruiting and flowering trees particularly attractive to wildlife. Here we can follow canopy flocks as they move through the treetops at eye level! Imagine great looks at all those birds that you have only seen from below before—birds like Dugand's Antwrens, Lawrence's Thrush, Spangled Cotinga, White-browed Purpletuft, Paradise Jacamar and countless others. On our return to Iquitos we'll spend two full days at the Allpahuayo-Mishana reserve that protects some endangered sand soil forest and in particular look for the recently described birds to science. A trip to Muyuna Lodge will give us a chance of the endangered Wattled Currasow and other birds not found on the north bank of the Amazon such as Blue-cheeked Jacamar and Rufous-necked Puffbird and more.

Day 1:
Arrive in Lima and transfer to our hotel in Lima. Overnight at our hotel close to the airport.
Day 2:
Early morning flight from Lima to Iquitos and straight onto the Amazon for the fast boat ride to the Sucusari River and the comfortable ACTS canopy walkway lodge. Food and accommodation is excellent and from this lodge we will concentrate on terra firma birds and especially night excursions for Nocturnal Curassow. We'll arrive in time for lunch and take our first walk in the afternoon to the medicinal gardens in search of Cinereous Becard and the recently described Orange-eyed Flycatcher.B:L:D
Day 3 and 4:
All days exploring the canopy walkway and terra firme forest. In terra firme forest and from the canopy walkway we'll be on the hunt for Dugand's Antwren, Band-tailed Oropendola, Sapphire-rumped Parrotlet, Olive-striped Antpitta, White-browed Purpletuft, Paradise, Great and Yellow-billed Jacamars, Yellow-browed, Sooty, Bicolored, Lunulated, Spot-winged and Slate-colored Antbirds, Chestnut-belted Gnateater, Collared Antwren, Reddish and Black-spotted Bare-eyes and more. It's a great place for Manakins, and we'll visit leks of Band-tailed, Golden-headed, Striped, Blue-backed, Blue-crowned and Wire-tailed. We have even seen Red-billed Ground-Cuckoo here. Local staff will be alert during the night for the song of Nocturnal Curassow and if we here one those who wish can participate in a night-time hunt for this rarely seen species. Nights ACTS canopy walkway lodge B:L:D
Day 5 and 6:
We'll move to Explornapo Lodge to-day and for the next 2 days explore the varzea forest and river islands. Species we'll be looking for include Zimmer's Woodcreeper, Short-tailed Parrot, Lesser Wagtail Tyrant, Castelnau's Antshrike, Parker's and White-bellied Spinetail, Bay and Lesser Hornero's, Leaden Antwren, Bicolored and Pearly-vented Conebill, Black and White and Ash-breasted Antbirds, Olive-spotted Hummingbird, River Tyrannulet, and more. In varzea forest we'll look for the recently described Orange-eyed Flycatcher, Yellow-crowned Elaenia, Cinnamon Atilla, Dot-backed Antbird, Spotted Antpitta, Velvet-fronted Grackle, Black Bushbird,  White-chinned Jacamar, Spotted Puffbird, and more. B:L:D
Day 7:
Morning at Explornapo Lodge and after lunch transfer to Iquitos. Some may want to wander down to the Malecon Marshes right in town in the late afternoon before dinner in the bustling interesting city B:L:D
Day 8 and 9:
Two full days with early starts from Iquitos at the Allpamayo-Mishana reserve outside Iquitos. Here we'll be on the lookout for some rare and recently found white sand forest birds – including the newly described Ancient Antwren, Allpahauyo Antbird, Mishana Tyrannulet, Northern Zimmers Antbird and an the very rare Iquitos Gnatcatcher. Other special birds here are Pompadour Cotinga, Yellow-throated Flycatcher, Orange-crowned Manakin, Sulphur-crested Tyrant-Manakin, Cinnamon-crested Spadebill, White-crowned Manakin, Citron-bellied Atilla, Zimmers Tody-Flycatcher, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Yellow-browed Antbird and more. We'll try some night birding - White-winged and Rufous Potoo are here as well as the commoner Crested and Spectacled Owls. All nights at a comfortable air conditioned hotel in Iquitos. One afternoon we may visit the Nanay river to look for Black-crested Antshrike and the soon-to-be-split form of the Band-tailed Nighthawk. Nights at our comfortable air conditioned hotel in Iquitos. B:L:D
Day 10 - 13:
3 full days at Muyuna Lodge. Our main target here is the endangered Wattled Curassow which is to be seen in the flooded areas – this is one of the few places in the world where you can see this species. Other birds here include Black-tailed Antbird which is common and Rufous-necked Puffbird, Bluish-cheeked Jacamar, Saturnine Antshrike, Gray-chested Greenlet. Also here is Rufous-headed Woodpecker, Festive Parrot, Amazonian Antshrike, Velvet-fronted Grackle. Waterbirds are common such as Horned Screamer, Black-collared Hawk, Green Ibis, 5 species of Kingfishers. Trails around the lodge could produce Wire-tailed Manakin, Blue-crowned Manakin, Black-tailed and Amazonian Trogons, Curl-crested and Chestnut-eared Aracaris, and Bluish-fronted Jacamar. Aquatic habitats around the lodge support Sunbittern, Sungrebe, Hoatzin, Gray-necked Wood-rail, Black-banded Crakes, Black-capped Donacobius, and Wattled Jacana. Cuvier's Toucan and Festive Parrots call from the upper canopy, and Plumbeous and Snail Kites, Black-collared Hawk and Lined Forest-Falcon are among the raptors that occur here. We get into some different Antbirds here including Band-tailed Antbird and, Bluish-Slate Antshrike. Primates are common including Coppery Titi-Monkey, Ma's Night Monkey and Colombian Red Howler Monkey, also two species of freshwater dolphin – Pink and Gray - can be seen.  At the mouth of the Yanayaco River is an excellent river island and we'll have another session here with second chances at birds we may have missed such at Zimmer's Woodcreeper, Brownish Elaenia and Plain-breasted Piculet.  Nights at Muyuna Lodge B:L:D
Day 14:
Morning at Muyuna Lodge and after lunch transfer to Iquitos for evening flights to Lima B:L:D.
Does not include air Lima – Iquitos - 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.LAN.com, www.TACA.com and www.StarPeru.com

Customer Testimonials

Ron Jensen - Canada

I want to say thank you very much for a wonderful birding experience, your enthusiasm and seemingly endless energy for finding those hard to see species. I hope to have the opportunity to participate in another birding trip which you are involved. I would like to hear of your trips with potential for others to join.

Bill and Liz Heinsen

We were totally pleased with the Manu trip and especially with the services you provided. Your willingness to share your knowledge and experiences made this one of our most memorable experiences. For now, feliz navidad, amigo. May you have the best Christmas ever this weekend.

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Comments

I want to say thank you very much for a wonderful birding experience, your enthusiasm and seemingly endless energy for finding those hard to see species. I hope to have the opportunity to participate in another birding trip which you are involved. I would like to hear of your trips with potential for others to join.

We were totally pleased with the Manu trip and especially with the services you provided. Your willingness to share your knowledge and experiences made this one of our most memorable experiences. For now, feliz navidad, amigo. May you have the best Christmas ever this weekend.

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