Machu Picchu Birds Peru Abra Malaga 5 days:
Machu Picchu hardly needs any introduction and, for birders, the Polylepis Forest at the Abra Malaga pass with many endemic species is almost as famous. There are four types of programs available and the number of days can be varied:
- A Program: Arrival from Manu road in the evening of day 1 in the afternoon of the program below
- B Program: Start in Cusco with pick up at the airport in the morning of day 1 on program below
- C program: Combining culture and birds. This has a special program below.
- D program: Super short. For those with very little time this is an extremely short program of only two days, going directly to Abra Malaga from the airport early in the morning and concentrating the effort at the Polylepis at the pass and naturally makes the obligatory visit to Machu Picchu concentraing the effort here to see the Inca Wren.
We can run this tour any day of the year. We recommend spending two nights at Machu Picchu and two full days on the Abra Malaga road (programs A, B and C). This will make the program less hectic.
The grading of the tour is “moderately difficult” because of the walking one does at altitude at Abra Malaga and the many stairs Machu Picchu. The birding itself is quite easy.
These are programs that combine birding at the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu and the temperate wet and dry Polylepis forests at Abra Malaga. Abra Malaga is the prime site you need to visit near Cusco, since there are a lot of endemic and near-endemic birds here, most of which are difficult or non-existent on the Manu road. If you are interested in having a stronger focus on culture and archaeology, check out the C program below.
Bird Tour Day 1: Cusco – Huacarpay Lake – Ollantaytambo .
Early in the morning we will start birding at Huacarpay Lake where we can see good birds such as: Bearded Mountaineer, Streaked fronted Thornbird, Cimnamon teal, Plumbeous Rail, Rusty Fronted Canastero, Puna teal, Giant Hummingbird and many more birds. In the afternoon we will continue travelling through the Sacred Valley and then to Ollantaytambo. Along the way we will stop along the road to view more birds. We will spend the night in Ollantaytambo in a hotel.
Bird Tour Day 2: Ollantaytambo – Abra Malaga – Cloud Forest .
Today again we will leave early and travel by bus from Ollantaytambo to Abra Malaga. In this area we will look for several endemic species and some other interesting bird species such as: Inca wren, Marcapata Spinetail, Cusco Brush Finch, Parodi´s Hemispingus, Unstreaked tit tyrant, Puna Thistle tail, and many more birds traveling in flocks. In the afternoon we will return to Ollantaytambo where we will spend the night.
Bird Tour Day 3: Ollantaytambo – Abra Malaga Machu Picchu .
Today we will start our day birding at 4,316 masl in a Polilepys forest that has unique specialized birds to the area; the birds we can see here are: White browed tit Spinetail, Royal Cinclodes, Puna Tapaculo, Andean Hillstart, Giant conebill, Creamy Crested Spinetail, White tufted Sunbean, chestnut Breasted mountain finch, Stripe Headed Antpitta and many more Birds. After lunch we will return to Ollantaytambo to take the train to Aguas Calientes and spend the night there in a hotel.
Bird Tour Day 4: (Machu Picchu pueblo) Aguas Calientes – all day .
The area of Machu Picchu has very good forest for birding and to see some endemics and other special species, such as the Masked Fruiteater, Ocelated Piculet, Slaty tanager, Sclater´sTyrannulet,Torred Duck, White Capped Diper, Andean cock of the rock, Hightland motmot and many more species of birds.
Bird Tour Day 5: Aguas Calientes – Machu Picchu – Cusco .
Today after breakfast we will visit Machu Picchu. At Machu Picchu you will have a guided tour for about two hours and after that you will be free to explore the ruins and take pictures or, if you desire, climb the Huaynapicchu Mountain. At 2:26 p.m. or 6:03 p.m. (depending on availability), you will take a train to Ollantaytambo and from there a bus will drive you to your hotel in Cusco.
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