Join Naturalist Journeys for an adventurous and fun Northern Peru birding tour. This is a NEW! South American birding tour for us and we are excited to explore all that Peru has to offer.

Explore Northern Peru on this Naturalist Journeys tour, a jigsaw of Andean mountains and deeply sliced canyons, for a treasure trove of landscapes and birds. Due to recent upgrades in infrastructure and new lodges, this area has really opened up as a major birding destination that can be done in relative comfort. In addition, by participating on this route, tour participants support local communities and their attempts at developing viable ecotourism in the area.

The isolating effects of the jagged Andes are nowhere more apparent than in northern Peru, where the dramatic topography creates extreme habitat contrasts from tropical rainforests and arid valleys to high paramo and lowland swamps. On this tour, we visit the dry Marañon Valley – an awesome canyon carved by a major tributary of the Amazon and a formidable barrier to the distribution of Andean birds. Heading east, the forests become considerably wetter and the arid scrub gives way to verdant cloud forests laden with verdant mosses and exquisite orchids. It is here where we look for the near mythical Long-whiskered Owlet as well as Marvelous Spatuletail, arguably the most beautiful hummingbird in the world. Finally, we reach the eastern foothills of the Andes in the Mayo Valley – low enough in elevation to have many Amazonian bird species but high enough to have comfortable overnight temperatures. Here, we look for a variety of barbets, fruiteaters, toucanets and tanagers.

Tour Highlights

  • Observe the stunning Marvelous Spatuletail, arguably the most beautiful hummingbird in the world, along with over 40 other species such as Royal Sunangel, Rainbow Starfrontlet and Emerald-bellied Puffleg
  • Sample Peruvian gastronomy, now famous around the world, such as chicha morada and causa rellena
  • Wonder at the Kuelap Archaeological Site, an outstanding pre-Incan ruin constructed by the Chachapoyas culture
  • Seek the Long-whiskered Owlet, a mythical denizen of stunted high elevation forest, first mist-netted on the night of August 23, 1976
  • Immerse yourself in dramatic Andean landscapes from arid valleys to lush cloud forests

Photo credits: Banner: Rufous-crested Coquette by Miguel Lezama; Orange-billed Sparrow by Greg Smith; White-necked Jacobin by Sandy Sorkin; Andean Flicker by Xavier Muñoz; Marvelous Spatuletail by Xavier Muñoz; Andean Goose by Xavier Muñoz; Marañon Crescentchest by Xavier Muñoz; Collared Inca by Peg Abbott; Sparkling Violetear by Peg Abbott; Torrent Duck by Jonathan Shagrin; Silver-backed Tanager by Peg Abbott.