At the present time EcoQuest Travel does not have a trip to Peru scheduled. The following itinerary is an example of trips we have conducted in the past and is similar to trips we intend to offer in the future. Please keep in mind that Peru is an incredibly diverse country and EcoQuest Travel offers many different itineraries to Peru – the trip listed below is just one example. If you are interested in Peru as a destination please contact us for further information.
Peruvian Amazon Expedition
18 Days from June 19 to July 6
Dappled light slowly begins to filter through the canopy as the stillness of the pre-dawn is broken by the guttural chorus of red howler monkeys. The sound reverberates through the forest awaking its denizens, stirring the imagination and letting us know that we indeed have arrived in the Amazon.
Day 1 – Thursday, June 19: Home Cities to Miami and on to Lima, Peru
Our trip will begin at your home airports with your flight to Miami. Please plan to arrive at your home airports at least two hours prior to your scheduled departure time. Once you arrive in Miami please go directly to our departure gate for Lima and your EcoQuest Travel guide will meet you there. We will have dinner on the plane. Upon arrival in Lima, and after clearing immigration and customs, we will transfer to the Hotel Antigua Miraflores for overnight.
Day 2 – Friday, June 20: Fly from Lima to Cuzco; Lake Huacarpay
We will depart early this morning for our flight to Cuzco. After checking into the Los Andes de America Hotel we will depart with a packed lunch for Lake Huacarpay. Lake Huacarpay is a high Andean lake surrounded by extensive reed beds and is home to some special birds. The most exciting is the Peruvian endemic bearded mountaineer hummingbird, but the lake is also home to white-tufted grebe, Andean duck, cinnamon and Puna teal, Andean gull, Puna ibis, southern lapwing, giant hummingbird, green-tailed trainbearer, Andean negrito and rufous-naped ground-tyrant. Despite the presence of many exciting birds most of us will need to take it easy as we adjust to the high altitude – Cuzco and Lake Huacarpay sit between 11,000 and 12,000 feet. The air is thin and some of us may feel the effects of mild altitude sickness. After a full afternoon of birding we will return to Cuzco for dinner and overnight. Dinner will be on our own tonight and there are many fantastic restaurants to choose from. (B,L)
Day 3 – Saturday, June 21: Train to Aguas Calientes and Machu Picchu
In the early morning we will board the train to Aguas Calientes, a small city located at the base of Machu Picchu. The train ride itself is spectacular as we wind through the sacred valley and below towering peaks. After checking into our hotel we will take a bus up the mountain to the “Lost City of the Incas”. We will spend the majority of the day exploring these fantastic ruins including the opportunity to climb Huayna Picchu – the steep mountain that overlooks the ruins. We will have a boxed lunch with us so we can enjoy a picnic lunch at the ruins. In the late afternoon we will take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes and have the evening free to relax. Dinner tonight will be at the Totos House restaurant and we will overnight at the Hatuchay Towers Hotel. (B,L,D)
Day 4 – Sunday, June 22: Aguas Calientes and the Train back to Cuzco
The morning will be free to explore Aguas Calientes, go back to Machu Picchu for sunrise, go birding, go shopping or just relax before our afternoon train departure back to Cuzco. We will arrive back in Cuzco around 7:30 pm and will transfer to the Manu Café for dinner before returning to the Los Andes de America for overnight. Lunch is on our own today. (B,D)
Day 5 – Monday, June 23: Travel from Cuzco across the Andes to the Cloud Forest
After an early breakfast we will be picked up at our hotel for the several hour drive to the Cloud Forest Lodge. Our bus journey will take us across the wind-swept and arid high Andean plateaus. It is a vast and beautiful landscape punctuated by soaring snow-capped peaks. Eventually, and almost imperceptibly, we will begin to drop down the eastern escarpment of the Andes into the lush, wet cloud forests. The brown of the puna gives way to trees draped in mosses and festooned with bromeliads, orchids and other epiphytes. We will stop for wildlife along the way and may see golden-headed quetzal, gray-breasted mountain-toucan, Andean guan, black-and-chestnut eagle and a variety of mountain-tanagers and flowerpiercers. Our destination is the Manu Cloud Forest Lodge and after checking in we will have the rest of the day to begin exploring the cloud forest and its incredible biodiversity. The Manu Cloud Forest Lodge is nestled in the forest along the banks of a rushing stream and is known for its hospitality and great food. (B,L,D)
Day 6 – Tuesday, June 24: Cloud Forests of Manu National Park
Today we will begin to explore the cloud forests that blanket the lower eastern slopes of the Andes. These forests have a unique animal community, which we will not see again once we are in the Amazon itself. The bird community is varied and colorful, especially the tanagers which reach the height of their diversity in the cloud forest. In the early morning hours as the sun begins to rise, we will wait in a blind to observe the gaudy male Andean cocks-of-the-rock perform their displays on their lekking grounds. Along the road, if we are lucky, we may see wooly monkeys in addition to the incredible bird community which may include highland motmots, dusky-green oropendolas and white-capped dippers. We will overnight at the Manu Cloud Forest Lodge. (B,L,D)
Day 7 – Wednesday, June 25: Cloud Forests of Manu National Park
We will have another day to look for birds and other wildlife in this spectacular ecosystem. We will move up and down the road in order to observe the different species found at different elevations. We could also hike one of the trails which winds its way through the lush forest and down to a rushing stream. We have spotted torrent ducks in that stream on past trips. If we haven’t done so already we will work our way down slope from the Lodge to an area that has produced abundant mixed flocks of tanagers in the past. In fact last year we saw silver-backed, flame-faced, beryl-spangled, saffron-crowned, golden-eared, blue-necked, spotted, paradise and orange-eared tanagers all foraging together. We will overnight once again at the Manu Cloud Forest Lodge (B,L,D)
Day 8 – Thursday, June 26: Travel to Atalaya and Boat to Manu Lodge
We will depart by bus very early this morning and continue our descent into the Amazon basin. We will drive to the town of Atalaya on the Madre de Dios River where we will eat breakfast before boarding our boats for an all-day trip down the Madre de Dios River and up the Manu River. We will drift past several Indian villages to the river outpost of Boca Manu where we then travel up the Manu River into Manu National Park. The boat ride, particularly on the Manu River, will produce some spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities. Jaguar, tapir, red brocket deer, capybara, black caiman, sloth, monkeys and numerous birds have been spotted during this trip in the past. After our boat journey we have a hike from the banks of the Manu, through the forest, to Manu Lodge, our accommodation while in Manu National Park. (B,L.D)
Days 9 – 12 – Friday, June 27 – Monday, June 30: Manu National Park
These next four days will be spent in one of the most remote and beautiful sections of rainforest left on earth. Manu National Park covers 1.8 million hectares of primary forest and is one of the best places in South America to see wildlife, including tapir, peccaries, several species of monkeys and giant river otters. Macaws, toucans and many other birds are abundant. If we are lucky maybe we’ll glimpse some of the less common species like the huge harpy eagle. Black caiman, turtles and many other reptiles and amphibians are also common. We will stay at Manu Lodge, the only research and ecotourism facility within the Park’s boundaries. Manu Lodge is located on Cocha Juarez, a two-kilometer long oxbow lake, and provides comfortable screened accommodations and great food. Each day will bring unique opportunities to observe wildlife. We will visit other oxbow lakes to search for giant river otters; visit a macaw roosting site; hike numerous trails through the forest, and for a real sense of adventure we will climb into the canopy to a platform for a totally different view of the rainforest. We will utilize local guides who will be indispensable in helping us find wildlife. All meals are provided while at Manu Lodge. (B,L,D)
Day 13 – Tuesday, July 1: Travel from Manu Lodge to Blanquillo Lodge
The journey out of Manu is long and will break it up over the next several days and hopefully see more birds and other wildlife in the process. Our journey begins today after lunch as we depart Manu Lodge by boat and head back down river to Boca Manu and continue down the Madre de Dios River to Blanquillo Lodge. Blanquillo Lodge is famous for its macaw and parrot clay lick. We will have dinner and overnight at Blanquillo. (B,L,D)
Day 14 – Wednesday, July 2: Blanquillo Lodge to Manu Wildlife Center
We will be up very early this morning to visit the macaw and parrot clay lick. We will enter the static blind on an island adjacent to the exposed river bank before dawn. This blind is a comfortable spot to await the arrival of the parrots. Once the parrots have arrived and settled on the clay lick we will enter the floating blind that will silently guide us to within 30 meters of the action. This should produce some fantastic photographic opportunities as well as good views of perhaps as many as a dozen species. After our visit to the clay lick we will board our boats and head to the Manu Wildlife Center. This lodge is a great place to look for birds and mammals. We will spend the rest of the day exploring the Lodge’s many trails and its two canopy platforms. The Lodge is famous for its tapir lick and we will spend some time tonight trying to see this large elusive mammal. Tapirs are notoriously difficult to see, but the mineral lick at MWC is visited frequently so with luck we could see one or more tonight. (B,L,D)
Day 15 – Thursday, July 3: Manu Wildlife Center to Puerto Maldonado
Today will be a long day of travel as we board our boats and head down the Madre de Dios River for the several hour journey to the remote Amazonian outpost of Boca Colorado. Once in Boca Colorado we will be picked up for the long drive to the city of Puerto Maldonado. We will stay overnight in Puerto Maldonado at the Wasai Lodge. It will be a long tiring day of travel so dinner will be at our hotel tonight. (B,L,D)
Day 16 – Friday, July 4: Depart Puerto Maldonado for Lima
After breakfast we will transfer to the airport for our flight from Puerto Maldonado to Lima. Once we arrive in Lima we will transfer to the Hotel Antigua Miraflores and have the rest of the day to relax or go sightseeing. Lunch and dinner will be on our own today. (B)
Day 17 – Saturday, July 5: Birding the Pacific Coast of Pucusana and Puerto Viejo
This morning after breakfast at the hotel we will be picked up to travel south of Lima along the Pacific Coast to the seaside community of Pucusana. Along the way there is a good spot to stop and bird which may produce amazilia, oasis and Peruvian sheartail hummingbirds, croaking ground-dove and short-tailed field tyrant. In Pucusana we will be on the look out for Humboldt penguin, Peruvian pelican, Peruvian booby, red-legged and Guanay cormorants, Inca terns and Peruvian seaside, or surf, cinclodes. Puerto Viejo is another birding stop that should produce quite a few species. We also will stop on the way back to Lima to try and find Peruvian thick-knee. After a full day of birding we will travel back to Lima and the Hotel Antigua Miraflores. Tonight we will have a chance to pack up and have dinner before we transfer to the airport for our overnight flight to the US. (B,L)
Day 18 – Sunday, July 6: Depart Lima for the US
We will arrive in our gateway city early this morning and after clearing immigration and customs we will transfer to our flights home. We will be in transit today, so all meals will be on our own.
* Please note that EcoQuest Travel, Inc. will make every effort to adhere to this itinerary, but dates, times, activities and prices are subject to change depending on scheduling and availability.