Southeastern Peru is generally acknowledged as the most species-rich birding region on Earth. This tour combines three classic lodges 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.

We begin the tour north of Puerto Maldonado in the thick Guadua bamboo in hopes of finding the little-known, recently described Rufous Twistwing. We will have one full day dedicated to searching for this bamboo specialist, only described in 2007 by Field Guides's own Dan Lane. From Puerto Maldonado we'll travel about one hour by motorized dugout up the Rio Tambopata to Posada Amazonas, the product of a long relationship between TRC administrators 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 a couple of times). 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, which has become the marquee draw for birders. Here, almost daily, scores of macaws and hundreds of other colorful parrots gather at a vertical riverbank carved out of the hilly terra firme to ingest small amounts 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 two days birding or relaxing before heading home. Join us for this immersion in Amazon rainforest birding.

Select the KEY INFO tab or click here for our itinerary plus space requests, status, fees, limits, and guides for any departure.

Client comment
"This was an exciting tour...the birding was spectacular and in a spectacular setting. Jesse Fagan is a first-rate guide, combining a great ear and eyes with a congenial personality. He manages the group well while being fun to be with. His organization skills matched his birding skills. We are already signed up for another tour with Jesse in 2021. The tour manager and staff were great. Field Guides is always the best." C.B., PERUVIAN RAINFORESTS OF THE TAMBOPATA 2019

Combo Tours
If you would like a longer birding holiday, some departures of this tour may be combined with:
MOUNTAINS OF MANU, PERU