For an informative overview of all our Peru birding tours, see Peru: Field Guides Tours.
Southeastern Peru is generally acknowledged as the most species-rich birding region on Earth. This tour combines three classic reserves on the Rio Tambopata, Posada Amazonas, Tambopata Research Center, and Refugio Amazonas. These complementary sites include a whole range of lowland rainforest habitats, from meandering rivers and Hoatzin-lined cochas to varzea, transition, and wonderfully wild terra firme forest. Combined, they will produce an astonishing variety of lowland Neotropical birds and mammals.
From Puerto Maldonado we'll travel about two hours by motorized dugout up the Rio Tambopata to Posada Amazonas, the product of a long relationship between TRC and the native community of Infierno. Here we'll bird trails where trumpeters tread, and we?ll climb into the canopy atop a tower from which we've seen both Crested and Harpy eagles. Experienced Ese'eja Indian guides keep track of the raptors that nest in their reserve and have in the past taken us to active nests without disturbing the birds. Here, too, we have access to an old oxbow lake with its resident Horned Screamers, Hoatzins, and Giant Otters, and to wonderful stands of giant bamboo, with virtually all the bamboo specialists, from White-cheeked Tody-Flycatcher to Rufous-headed Woodpecker.
It's another six hours upriver to TRC, well within the 3.7 million-acre Tambopata National Reserve. The wilderness aspect of this remote place is confirmed by the relative abundance of big birds and mammals, including Razor-billed Curassow, eight species of monkeys, White-lipped Peccary, Short-eared Dog, Tapir, Tayra, and even Jaguar (which we've seen on tours here twice). Within the wonderful network of trails we could see a wide range of smaller forest dwellers as well, from the subtly beautiful Banded Antbird and Rufous-fronted Antthrush to striking Scarlet-hooded Barbets and Band-tailed Manakins. But it is the Ccollpa de Guacamayos, the world's largest known clay lick, that has become the marquee draw for birders. Here, almost daily, scores of macaws and hundreds of other colorful parrots gather at a vertical, 130-foot riverbank carved out of the hilly terra firme to ingest a beakful or two of the mineral-rich clay, a vital but mysterious part of their diet. This gathering of brilliant psittacids in the early sunlight, their raucous calls filling the air, is a spectacle to behold.
From TRC we'll head back down the Tambopata to Refugio Amazonas Lodge where we will spend a day birding or relaxing in our comfortable lodge before heading home. Join us for this immersion in Amazon rainforest birding.
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If you would like a longer birding holiday, some departures of this tour may be combined with:
MOUNTAINS OF MANU, PERU
MACHU PICCHU & ABRA MALAGA, PERU