Apurimac Endemics, Abra Malaga and the Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu

Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu, Abra Malaga and Apurimac Endemics

Photographer: Fabrice Schmitt

This trip is a perfect week length trip, that may be taken after a Manu trip or it can be taken on its own. We not only take the Belmond Vistadome 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. We also visit a road that takes under the stunning glaciers of the Salkantay Massif to look for rare endemics of the Apurimac Canyon. On this trip, we stay at comfortable country inns throughout.

THIS SHORT TRIP GIVES YOU ACCESS TO A POSSIBLE 25 PERUVIAN ENDEMIC BIRD SPECIES

Day 1:Arriving from Lima (or Manu tours), we will drive for about one and a half hours through the Andes to the Inca town of Limatambo with a lunch stop on the way – a picturesque journey indeed. We should arrive at our country guesthouse, passing the impressive Inca site of Tarawasi and to our lodgings in time to relax and some garden birding from outside the rooms. The leader will offer some night birding for those who wish for the endemic Apurimac Screech Owl, Peruvian Pygmy-Owl and we have encountered the rare Buff-fronted Owl here. Dinner and a good night's rest to prepare ourselves for tomorrow’s early start. B: L: D

Day 2: An early start this morning after breakfast we’ll head for Mollepata and onto Soray Pampa situated under the towering glaciers of the Salkantay massif. Here we can search for the very localized and endemic VilcabambaTapaculo. Working our way along the track back to Cusco giving priority to Apurimac endemic birds - we’ll see a variety of species – some possibilities include: d’Orbigny’s Chat-Tyrant, Apurimac Brush Finch (endemic), Apurimac Spinetail (endemic) Chestnut-breasted Mountain-Finch (endemic), Peruvian Sierra-Finch, Cinereous Conebill, Band-tailed Seedeater, Black-backed Grosbeak, Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Sparkling Violetear, Giant Hummingbird, Andean Lapwing, Plain-colored Seedeater, Red-crested Cotinga, Tit-like Dacnis, Plumbeous Sierra-Finch, White-tufted Sunbeam (endemic), Creamy-crested Spinetail (endemic), Cream-winged Cinclodes, TyrianMetaltail, Pale-tailed Canastero and White-eared Puffbird and lots more. After lunch, we’ll head for the historic Inca town of Ollantaytambo. B: L: D
Day 3: 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'sHemispingus (endemic) and PunaThistletail (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, SierranElaenia, MarcapataSpinetail (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 4: 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, PunaTapaculo, 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 late 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 back to our hotel in Ollantaytambo in the afternoon for the night B:L:D

NOT INTERESTED IN RUINS? YOU HAVE THE OPTION OF RETURNING TO CUSCO THIS EVENING

Day 5: 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 in AguasCalientes (Upgrades to The Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel by request). B: L: D

Day 6 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 Cusco for the night. B: L: D
Day 7 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

CAN BE COMBINED WITH THE TRIPSManu Biosphere Reserve:South-East Peru
Manu Macaw Lick and Amazonian Rainforest

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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