|When: Oct 04, 2013 12:00 AM to Oct 18, 2013 12:00 AM|
Dan van den Broek
Oct. 4-18, 2013 | With Dan van den Broek. Join us in experiencing the rich natural history and cultural heritage Peru offers.
Join us in experiencing the rich natural history and cultural heritage Peru offers. Dan van den Broek leads this trip to one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world, home to nearly 2,000 species of birds. Many other species of wildlife occur and we should encounter monkeys, sloths, caiman and colorful butterflies, to name a few. Plus, we’ll visit the famous Inca ruins of Machu Picchu and Sacsaywaman, where ancient empires once thrived.
Destinations and Birds
Our journey begins in Cusco, once capital of the Inca Empire, where cobble-stoned streets and churches take you back to Spanish colonial days. Our time in Cusco will bring us to local birding hotspots in search of Andean Duck, Puna Teal, Giant Hummingbird, the brilliant Many-colored Rush-Tyrant and the endemic Bearded Mountaineer. A visit to the dry, Andean scrub and Paramo on the way to Abra Malaga should reveal more avian gems, such as White-tufted Sunbeam, Chestnut-breasted Mountain-Finch and Cream-crested Spinetail. While enjoying the breathtaking scenery, we’ll keep our eyes to the sky, for this is our best chance at spotting the majestic Andean Condor.
While in Cusco we’ll visit the Inca ruins of Sacsaywaman and have time to explore the local markets before visiting the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, the mystical ‘Lost City of the Incas’. High above the Urubamba River are the ruins of a citadel once filled with temples, where Incan high priests worshiped the Sun and Moon and animal deities such as the Jaguar and Condor. While we learn about these ruins, we may find a few birds such as White-winged Black-Tyrant, Golden-billed Saltator and the endemic Inca Wren as well as the rabbit-like Northern Mountain Viscacha hopping around the crevices.
Our journey continues down the east slope of the Andes to enter the biodiversity hotspot of the Manu Biosphere Reserve. On our way, we pass through many life zones where we’ll make stops to search for mixed-species flocks that may include species of mountain-toucans, tanagers, and euphonias. Set in the cloud forest is the Cock-of-the Rock Lodge, where we’ll find the stunning bird that is its namesake. We’ll also keep watch for dazzling birds such as Golden-headed Quetzal, Highland Motmot, Dusky-green Oropendola, Wire-crested Thorntail and the Versicolored Barbet.
Where Andean foothills give way to Amazonian lowlands, we reach the world-famous Amazonia Lodge. Formerly a tea and citrus plantation, the grounds now support regenerating native vegetation offering refuge to an abundance of birds. We’ll search for Red-bellied Macaws, Rufous-crested Coquette, Gould’s Jewelfront, Masked Crimson Tanager, and Red-capped Cardinal while exploring the extensive trail system.
Next, we continue by boat down the Rio Madre de Dios, traveling deeper into the Amazon Basin to reach the Manu Wildlife Center. The location of this elegant lodge takes full birding-advantage of the rich forest that surrounds it. From here we visit the world famous Macaw Clay Lick where Red-and-Green Macaw, Orange-cheeked, Blue-headed and Mealy Parrots come to eat clay in order to absorb tannins and alkaloids ingested in their diet of unripe fruits. While on a catamaran on an oxbow lake we’ll look for Least Grebe, Wattled Jacana and Amazon Kingfisher. A canopy tower, in an emergent Ceiba tree, will give us a bird’s eye view of mixed species flocks flitting through the tree tops. Manu is home to 13 species of primates and we are sure to see some, such as the Tufted Capuchin and the Peruvian Spider Monkey.
This amazing trip features some of the best wildlife viewing in the world and exploration of world-famous Inca ruins.
Register: If you would like more information or want to reserve a spot, please contact Portland Audubon Adult Education Manager Steve Engel at 971-222-6119 or email@example.com.
What is included: All ground transportation within Peru, 13 nights lodging based on double occupancy, breakfasts, lunches, some dinners, local guide fees and tips, fees for all planned excursions, and the services of your skilled leaders. Airfare to Cusco is not included.
Fee: $4,195 members /$4,495 non-members
Deposit: $2,100 required to secure your place on the trip
Group size: 14