Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu and Abra Malaga

The Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu and Abra Malaga

Diademed-Sandpiper-PloverPhotographer: Manu Expeditions

This trip is a perfect short trip, that may be after a Manu trip or it can be taken on its own. We not only take the Orient express train to visit the famous Inca ruins of Machu-Picchu but also visit some very good temperate cloud forest as well as looking for some of the rarest birds on earth in the Polylepis woodlands of the High Andes and in the surrounding grasslands. On this trip we stay at comfortable country inns throughout.

Day 1:Arriving from Lima (or Puerto Maldonado if coming off the Manu tours), we will drive for about one and a half hours through the Andes to the Inca town of Ollantaytambo with a lunch stop on the way – a picturesque journey indeed. If time permits we'll stop at the high Andean Lakes of Huaypo and Piuray where we'll encounter a variety of Andean Waterfowl including Andean Goose, Sierra-Finches and others. We should be able to find Wren-like Rushbird and Many-colored Rush-Tyrant. We should arrive in the Inca town of Ollantaytambo to get our first view of the Inca fortress before sunset and head for an early dinner and a good night's rest to prepare ourselves for tomorrow. B: L: D

Day 2: We leave early in the morning for the 2.5 hour Belmond train journey to the world famous Inca Ruins of Machu-Picchu. Going to Machu Picchu at 2500 meters first will help us acclimate to the altitude. From the train we will certainly see Torrent Ducks and White-capped Dipper on the Urubamba River and get closer looks as we leave the train. Arriving at the ruins, birding takes a back seat for once as we are taken on a guided tour of this mystical archeological complex. White-tipped Swifts will be flying overhead. After lunch we will look for Inca Wren, which is quite common in the bamboo around the ruins and then descend into the Urubamba gorge for late afternoon birding. Night at our Hotel El Mapi in Aguas Calientes (Upgrades to The Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel by request). B: L: D
Day 3: All morning birding the railway track along the Urubamba River. In the remnant cloud forest, we will be looking specifically for Sclater's and Bolivian Tyrannulets, Silver-backed Tanager, Pale-eyed Thrush, Masked Fruiteater (endemic), Black-streaked Puffbird, Oleaginous Hemispingus and Capped Conebill. Mixed flocks contain many species of Tanager and the endemic Green and White Hummingbird is common here. After a late lunch at our favorite French Bistrot, we return on the tourist train to Ollantaytambo for the night. We may have time to look for Hummingbirds in the hotel garden B: L: D
Day 4: Early start. After a substantial field breakfast, we'll have all day to work the humid temperate forest. Starting at a large patch of Chusquea bamboo we should see Parodi's Hemispingus (endemic) and Puna Thistletail (endemic). Other possibilities throughout the day include: Drab, Three-striped, Black-eared and Black-capped Himispingi, Golden-collared and other Tanagers, White-throated and White-banded Tyrannulets, Andean Ibis, Unstreaked Tit-tyrant (endemic), White-rumped Hawk, Sierran Elaenia, Marcapata Spinetail (endemic), Inca Wren (endemic), Diademed and Trilling Tapaculo plus a lot more. Rufous and Undulated Antpittas are here too. In the afternoon we'll look for Cuzco Brush Finch (endemic). We'll return to the Sacred Valley of the Incas in the evening. B: L: D
Day 5: We'll head for the Polylepis woodland at Abra Malaga. We'll devote the whole morning to explore this unique habitat. Your guide will explain the terrain and bird the upper portions of the woodland. Then those who wish may return to the bus as others pick their way through the Polylepis to the valley floor white a walk amongst herds of Llamas and Andean birdlife takes us down the valley to lunch. Possibilities include Line-fronted Canastero, Ash-breasted Tit-tyrant (endemic), White-browed Tit-Spinetail (endemic), Tawny Tit-Spinetail, Giant Conebill, Stripe-headed Antpitta, Puna Tapaculo, Tit-like Dacnis, Blue-mantled Thornbill, Andean Condor, Thick-billed Siskin, Junín Canastero (endemic) and more. Our major target bird here will be the Royal Cinclodes, which we re-discovered to science here in the 80's. On the valley floor we'll check a variety of Ground-tyrants and Sierra-finches. After a picnic lunch we'll concentrate on some local endemics on the west side, including Creamy-crested Spinetail, (endemic) Rusty-fronted and Junín Canastero's, (endemic) White-tufted Sunbeam (endemic) and Chestnut-breasted Mountain-finch (endemic). We'll drive to Cusco in the afternoon for the night. B: L: D
Day 6 Morning to wander around and explore the old Inca Capital before early afternoon flights to lima and connections home. 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, www.StarPeru.com and www.AVIANCA.com

Customer Testimonials

Gloria and Jeb Baldi - USA

First, I wish to thank you for the reliable airport pick-up you sent us on October 3rd. It was so reassuring to arrive late at night and have Victor and his father, Manuel, at the gate to retrieve us.

Secondly, my husband and I want to let you know that the quality of the Manu guides, Silverio and Percy, was just outstanding. We are sure you are well aware of Silverio's abilities as a bird guide and naturalist, and we were so impressed with his unique background, as well as, his guiding and managing abilities.

Terry Moore – USA

First, I wish to thank you for the reliable airport pick-up you sent us on October 3rd. It was so reassuring to arrive late at night and have Victor and his father, Manuel, at the gate to retrieve us.

Secondly, my husband and I want to let you know that the quality of the Manu guides, Silverio and Percy, was just outstanding. We are sure you are well aware of Silverio's abilities as a bird guide and naturalist, and we were so impressed with his unique background, as well as, his guiding and managing abilities.

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Comments

First, I wish to thank you for the reliable airport pick-up you sent us on October 3rd. It was so reassuring to arrive late at night and have Victor and his father, Manuel, at the gate to retrieve us.

Secondly, my husband and I want to let you know that the quality of the Manu guides, Silverio and Percy, was just outstanding. We are sure you are well aware of Silverio's abilities as a bird guide and naturalist, and we were so impressed with his unique background, as well as, his guiding and managing abilities.

First, I wish to thank you for the reliable airport pick-up you sent us on October 3rd. It was so reassuring to arrive late at night and have Victor and his father, Manuel, at the gate to retrieve us.

Secondly, my husband and I want to let you know that the quality of the Manu guides, Silverio and Percy, was just outstanding. We are sure you are well aware of Silverio's abilities as a bird guide and naturalist, and we were so impressed with his unique background, as well as, his guiding and managing abilities.

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