Inca Ruins of Machu Picchu & Abra Malaga & Abancay Endemics
7 Days / 6 Nights

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 1: Arriving from Lima (or Puerto Maldonado if coming off the Manu tours), we will drive for about 3 and a half hours through the Andes to the town of Abancay. We’ll stop with a picnic lunch and some birding and take time to visit the little known Inca ruins of Tarahuasi . If time permits we’ll take our look for the endemic and still un-described “Ampay” Tapaculo. We’ll continue to our lodging, the Hotel de Turistas in Abancay. (B,L,D)
 
Day 2: Pre–dawn start to a locality in the dry Apurimac Canyon. Here we’ll search for the as yet un-described species of Screech Owl, tentatively known as Apurimac Screech Owl until now placed in the endemic Koepcke’s Screech Owl. Here too is the slow voiced race of Peruvian Pygmy Owl, which will surely turn out to be a separate species too. As the light comes up and with a field breakfast, we’ll take a look at Pale-tailed Canastero and maybe White-eared Puffbird before heading off to our next locality near the high pass above Abancay where we recently discovered the endemic Apurimac Spinetail, which is common here. Here also is the endemic Apurimac Brush Finch, “Ampay Tapaculo”, Streak-backed and Rusty-fronted Canastero. Other cloud forest birds are present in the remnant forest scrub. After lunch we’ll head for the Sacred Valley of the Incas via a back road. Night in Ollantaytambo. (B,L,D)
 
Day 3: 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), 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 Ollantaytambo in 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. Possibilities include Line-fronted Canastero, Ash-breasted Tit-tyrant, 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, Junin Canastero ( endemic) and more. Our major target bird here will be the Royal Cinclodes, which we discovered 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 Canastero, (endemic) White-tufted Sunbeam (endemic) and Chestnut-breasted Mountain-finch (endemic). Once again we’ll spend the night in the same hotel in the Ollantytambo. (B,L,D)
 
Day 5: We leave in the morning for the 2.5 hour train journey to Machu-Picchu. 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 as we are taken on a guided tour of this mystical archeological complex. White-tipped Swifts will be flying overhead. After a sumptuous buffet lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge Hotel, 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 Aguas Calientes. (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, Plumbeous-crowned 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, we return on the tourist train to the historic town of Cusco for the night. (B,L,D)
 
Day 7: Morning to explore Cusco and afternoon flights to Lima for connecting international departures. Day use of a hotel in Lima close to the airport can be arranged. (B)
 
Departures 2012: April 20-26, August 10-16, Nov 30-Dec 6
2012 Rates per person in US$: $2400. Single Supplement: $475
Does not include air Lima-Cusco -Lima
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CODE: MANEXP