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. Recent upgrades in infrastructure and new lodges have opened up this region as a major birding destination that can be explored in relative comfort. This tour supports local communities as they develop 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 habitats ranging from arid scrub to lush cloud forests laden with verdant mosses and exquisite orchids. We look for the near-mythical Long-whiskered Owlet as well as Marvelous Spatuletail, arguably the most beautiful hummingbird in the world.

We start in the eastern foothills of the Andes in the Mayo Valley, low enough in elevation to host many Amazonian bird species but high enough to have comfortable overnight temperatures. Here, we look for a variety of barbets, fruiteaters, toucanets, and tanagers. En route to our next lodge, we stop a roost cave for enigmatic nocturnal, fruit-eating Oilbirds, then have three nights each at two beloved birding lodges. From here we turn south down the scenic Utcubamba River valley, where we learn about ancient cultures while birding and exploring, and we cap off the experience with a final night in the lovely city of Cajamarca after a stunning drive through the Andes. The colonial city of Cajamarca, where centuries ago Pizarro captured Atahualpa, the last Inca emperor, is a great place to see Inca remains and learn about Peruvian history. We have added a day to the trip this year, to ease our pace and have time for all the amazing species!

Come early to enjoy beautiful coastal birding, including a boat tour, of coastal Lima, and stay on for Machu Picchu, a bucket-list extension if ever there was one!

“An excellent small group trip to search for birds in northern Peru, particularly endemics, staying in a variety of accommodations including birding lodges, hotels, and one private residence. Our guide, Andrea Molina, is outstanding and teamed extremely well with the driver to ensure everyone had a chance to see all the available birds. Highights: The fantastic scenery of Northern Peru and exposure to a different culture; seeing all the different varieties of hummingbirds especially the Marvelous Spatuletail; and seeing the Long-whiskered Owlet, although the hike to see it was extremely challenging!” — Judy Steenhoven, 2023 Traveler

Tour Highlights

  • Observe the stunning Marvelous Spatuletail, arguably the most beautiful hummingbird in the world, along with over 40 other species including Royal Sunangel, Rainbow Starfrontlet, and Emerald-bellied Puffleg
  • Sample Peru’s culinary delights, now famous around the world, such as chicha morada and causa rellena
  • Drive the scenic Utcubamba River Valley; learn about ancient cultures at Leymebamba
  • Spend three nights each at two famous birding lodges; Waqanki and Owlet where we find a host of Peruvian endemic species
  • 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
  • Choose our pre-tour extension to bird coastal Lima, with chances for Humboldt Penguin, among many other sea-loving birds.
  • Stay on to explore Peru's cultural crown, Machu Picchu, Lost City of the Incas, and take a guided tour of Cusco, a Colonial jewel set in a lovely high Andean valley.

Trip Itinerary

Itineraries are guidelines; variations in itinerary may occur to account for weather, road conditions, closures, etc. and to maximize your experience.

Fri., July 5        Arrivals in Lima, Peru

Welcome to Peru! After arriving at the international airport in Lima and passing through immigration and customs, the first night’s hotel is just across the street, so there is no need for a shuttle—just a simple walk across the median and you can check in! Dinner tonight is at the hotel and is a great chance to meet up with your guides and travelling companions. 
Accommodations at Costa del Sol, Lima airport (D)

Sat., July 6       Flight to Tarapoto | Local Birding

After a morning breakfast we will walk across the street to board our domestic flight from Lima to Tarapoto city, which leaves at 9:55am arriving to Tarapoto at 11:20. Arriving at Tarapoto, we will check in the hotel, enjoy lunch, and get ready for the afternoon birding activities. We jump right in with birding at Ricuricocha Lagoon, where possible birds include Black-bellied Whistling Duck; Comb Duck; Speckled Chachalaca; Least Grebe; Great Egret; Limpkin; Striated & Cocoi Heron; Pearl & Snail Kite; Purple Gallinule; Wattled Jacana; Blue Ground-dove; Canary-winged Parakeet; Red-stained Woodpecker; Straight-billed Woodcreeper; Barred Antshrike; Rusty-fronted Tody-flycatcher; crakes & rails.

Dinner is back at our hotel, where over happy hour we typically tally up our sightings.
Accommodations at Tucan Suites Hotel (B,L,D)

Sun., July 7      Full Day Tarapoto Area | Yurimaguas Road - Cordillera La Escalera

Breakfast is at our hotel and then we are off for a full morning birding the tunnel area along the Tarapoto-Yurimaguas Road, a very productive birding site around Tarapoto that climbs (by road) to the summit of La Escalera (or staircase) in the Cordillera Escalera. Its elevation gradient offers a mix of lowland and foothill species, being a particularly good site for the widespread yet scarce Dotted Tanager—most likely found by checking fruiting Cecropia trees. We may also find Purplish Euphonia, Andean Cock-of-the-Rock and Blackish Pewee. After lunch we spend some time at fantastic hummingbird feeders at Aconabikh where the endemic Koepcke's Hermit and stunning Gould's Jewelfront may occur.
Accommodations at Tucan Suites Hotel (B,L,D)

Mon., July 8    Quiscarrumi Bridge | Moyobamba

After an early breakfast, we head to Moyobamba via Quiscarrumi Bridge where we stop to see Oilbirds—an enigmatic bird species that feeds on oily fruits. It is it the only nocturnal fruit eating bird in the world. The huge cave where they roost is right on the edge of the highway!

We have lunch at a local reserve along the way and arrive in time for some great birding right on the grounds of Waqanki, often the favorite lodge of our trip. Tall trees surround the property, and a flowering hedgerow outlines the path from our cabins to the dining area, often frequented by hummingbirds. Enjoy dinner hosted by this gracious family and a chance to tally up our sightings.
Accommodations at Waqanki Lodge (B,L,D)

Tues., July 9     Waqanki Lodge

After breakfast we spend a full morning birding at the very special Waqanki Reserve, a private family-owned site in the foothills of the eastern Andes of northern Peru. The reserve includes a lodge, orchid gardens, hummingbird feeders, an observation tower, and an extensive network of trails through foothill forest. Over 20 species of hummingbirds have been recorded here, including the stunning Rufous-crested Coquette and Wire-crested Thorntail. Other locally important species protected within the borders of this reserve include Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Gilded Barbet, Mishana Tyrannulet, Black-and-white Tody-Flycatcher, and Black-bellied Tanager.

In the afternoon, relax and enjoy the grounds, or venture out to Morro de Calzada, a newly opened National Park with excellent birding and a chance to see Saddle-backed Tamarin. Dinner is at the lodge.
Accommodations at Waqanki Lodge (B,L,D)

Wed., July 10               Hotel Grounds & Nearby Lakes

This morning we venture out to explore local lakes, wetlands and small creeks nearby at the Santa Elena Ecological Reserve, adjacent to the Tingana Reserve. Look for kingfishers, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Russet-crowned Crake, Common Gallinule, Oriole Blackbird, Green-backed Trogon, Blue-crowned Trogon, Violaceous Jay, Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Channel-billed Toucan, Chestnut-eared Aracari, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Lineated Woodpecker and more. We return for lunch to Waqanki Lodge.

During the afternoon watch birds in detail and this also gives our photographers to time to capture hummingbird images. The hummers are fantastic at Waqanki where feeders often attract up to 18 species in a day; one of the highlights is Rufous-crested Coquette. Birding is excellent around the lodge and several trails are there to explore.

One of our evenings at Waqanki, we have the chance to go owling. Tarapoto city is good for owls and nightjars; some possible species are Subtropical Pygmy-Owl, Spectacled Owl, Vermiculated Screech-Owl, Band-bellied Owl, Stygian Owl, Spot-tailed Nightjar, Rufous Nightjar and Little Nightjar.
Accommodations at Waqanki Lodge (B,L,D)

Thurs., July 11             Reserva Arena Blanca-Aguas Verdes | Owlet Lodge | Abra Patricia

We leave Waqanki Lodge after an early breakfast, making our on the way to see the marvelous gardens at Reserva Arena Blanca-Aguas Verdes where there are blinds set up to observe wood-quail and a multitude of hummingbird feeders. A local resident has set up a creative feeding station where we hope to see Little Tinamou and perhaps Rufous-breasted Wood-Quail.

From a raised garden platform, we are surrounded by hummingbirds and may see Rufous-crested Coquette, Golden-tailed Sapphire, Wire-crested Thorntail, Booted Racket-tail, and Fork-tailed Woodnymph. Black-bellied Tanager is fairly common as well.

After enjoying lunch at this fantastic birding spot, we continue westwards, making stops along the way as the road climbs steadily into the Andean cloud forest, until we reach a pass at 2,300m (7,546 ft). This is where the Alto Nieva Private Reserve, familiar among birders as a site for some highly prized species, most notably the Long-whiskered Owlet, is located. Our accommodation is at Abra Patricia Private Conservation Area, where our accommodation – Owlet Lodge – is situated. Rooms are spacious and welcoming. Bring your fleece – it’s cool to cold up in the mountains!
Accommodations at Owlet Lodge (B,L,D)

Fri., July 12      Owlet Lodge

Created by the Ecoan Foundation, Owlet Lodge protects the main site for the fascinating Long-whiskered Owlet, a species rediscovered after 35 years of remaining undetected. It is one of the smallest owls in the world, about the size of a clenched fist, and incredibly camouflaged to blend in with the brown wood and lush moss of its habitat. We search for this mythical bird one evening of our stay at this conservation lodge, on an optional and fairly steep hike of several hours.

We have the full day today to explore in and around Abra Patricia, one of Peru’s premier birding sites, with multiple trails and observation points accessible by foot or a short drive away. The vegetation of the cloud forest is fascinating as well. Owlet Lodge also has some amazing hummingbird feeders! Meals are at the lodge in view of these feeders. Highlights include Swordbill Hummingbird and Long-tailed Sylph, a host of colorful tanagers, and more.

Some other possible birds we may see on the property today include: Chestnut, Ochre-fronted, Rusty-tinged & Rusty-breasted Antpittas; Black-throated & Lulu’s Tody-Tyrant; Flame-faced, Saffron-crowned, Metallic Green, Yellow-scarfed, Grass Green, Red-hooded & Silver-backed Tanagers; Green, Black, Scaled & Scarlet-breasted Fruiteaters; Sickle-winged Guan; Ecuadorian Pied-tail; Golden-headed Quetzal; Ornate Flycatcher; Johnson’s Tody-Flycatcher; Speckle-chested Piculet; Grey-tailed Piha; Crimson-bellied & Crimson-mantled Woodpeckers; Variable Antshrike; Yellow-cheeked & Barred Becards; Pale-eyed Thrush; Blue-winged & Lacrimose Mountain-Tanagers; Bluish, Masked & White-sided Flowerpiercers. Wow!
Accommodations at Owlet Lodge (B,L,D)

Sat., July 13        Huembo Lodge | Owlet Lodge

This morning we will visit another Ecoan Foundation project, Huembo Lodge. Huembo is part of a vital conservation project which our visit helps to support. It’s about an hour drive but well worth it to enjoy time at an area full of hummingbird feeders, probably the world’s most reliable site to see the Marvelous Spatuletail. Some of our past travelers say this one bird was worth the whole trip! In addition to this especially attractive species, we should also see several other stunning hummingbirds at the feeders and along the trails of our lodge such as Little Woodstar, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Violet-fronted Brilliant, and Bronzy Inca. Other typical forest species that can be found here include Andean Guan, Silvery Tanager, Blue-capped Tanager, and Mitred Parakeet.

In the afternoon, as we return, we stop in at a neighboring area great for finding the elusive Royal Sunangel and many other species.
Accommodations at Owlet Lodge (B,L,D)

Sun., July 14        Utcubamba River Valley | Leymebamba

After breakfast, we drive further up the scenic Utcubamba River Valley, following the river to the peaceful town of Leymebamba, a small town at 2,300m (7,500 ft) on the route southwards towards the Andean town of Cajamarca, and onwards to the coast. On our drive to Leymebamba Valley we pass the turn off to Kuelap Archaeological Site (mostly closed for renovation and stabilization thus not on our itinerary this year but we’ll share the story of this historic site.

In the afternoon, visit the fabulous Leymebamba Museum where collections from the excavations at Laguna de los Condores are stored, giving us insight into Kuelap and its story. Next door we visit feeders and have coffee to relax and admire multiple species of spectacular Andean hummingbirds such as Sparkling Violetear, Rainbow Starfrontlet, Shining Sunbeam, and Sword-billed Hummingbird.

Our hotel tonight is in a small town, with gracious hosts that welcome us for a home-cooked, authentic local meal. Wander down to the plaza, where there is likely to be a band and a dance, and you have the chance take in a bit of local color.
Accommodations at Casona Leymebamba (B,L,D)

Mon., July 15        Leymebamba | Local Birding

This morning, we head up in elevation to upper montane forest off the road to the Lake of the Condors in order to look for several new species: Andean Flicker, Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan, Andean Goose, Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Andean Condor, and more. Walk a picturesque mountain valley with an eye out for condors overhead. We enjoy our picnic lunch in the middle of the picturesque Andean landscape and search a nearby fast flowing river for White-capped Dipper and Torrent Duck.
Accommodations at Casona Leymebamba (B,L,D)

Tues., July 16         Birding the Scenic Route from Leymebamba to Celendin

Early morning, after breakfast, we bird our way through surrounding areas making our way towards the city of Cajamarca further west and high up into the mountains. We start at Las Balsas on the way to Limon, where we have the chance for four endemics of the region, such as Buff-bellied Tanager, Grey-winged Inca-Finch, Chestnut-backed Thornbird and Marañon Thrush. A bit further we shall look out for flocks of Yellow-faced Parrotlet and scattered Buff-bridled Inca-Finch and Peruvian Pigeon.

After lunch in a local restaurant, we reach Celendin, where White-tailed Shrike-Tyrant Plain-tailed Warbling-Finch, Rufous-eared Brush-Finch and Black-crested Tit-Tyrant and the Cajamarca subspecies of Rufous Antpitta are possible.
Accommodations at Villa Madrid (B,L,D)

Wed., July 17        Celendin to Cajamarca

We bird our way to Cajamarca today, making stops for scenery and of course, more birds.

Our hotel tonight is in this historic city, and we have the chance to explore a bit as we settle in.
Accommodations at Costa del sol Cajamarca, Cajamarca

Thurs., July 18       Departures

We end our trip with a full morning to explore the beautiful historic city of Cajamarca, the last Inca Capital where Atahuallpa (The last Inca king) was captured and eventually executed by the Spaniard. There are still some remains of his palace and the rooms where all precious metals from all over the Empire were collected by Atahuallpa to pay this ransom to regain his freedom.

We aim to take a late afternoon flight to Lima to connect with outgoing international flights for those on the main tour only. For those on the extension, enjoy a transition night at the handy Costa del Sol airport hotel and a morning flight on to Cusco (included in the Machu Picchu Extension cost). (B,L)

Lima Coastal Birding Pre-Tour Extension

Itineraries are guidelines; variations in itinerary may occur to account for weather, road conditions, closures, etc. and to maximize your experience.

Wed., July 3: Arrivals

Arrive today at your leisure and rest up before an early start tomorrow. Dinner is on your own tonight.
Accommodations at Costa del Sol

Thurs., July 4 : Pucusana Fishing Village & Boat Trip | Villa Marshes & Lagoons

Those arriving early have a chance to join an optional extension to Pucasana, a fishing village where offshore islands are likened to a mini-Galapagos, with seabirds and Humboldt Penguins.

We wake early to be on our way ahead of city traffic. Our first stop is a mirador (a look out) on the coast with views back to the city. Water currents dictate activity, and at times there are clouds of Peruvian Booby, Peruvian Pelican, Inca Tern, and other species. We continue, meeting our boat captain at the dock of a bustling and colorful fishing village. For the next few hours, we are transfixed in a fabulous world as we cruise along the shores of an island. You should get close views of Red-legged and Guanay Cormorants, Blackish Oystercatcher, Humboldt Penguin (yes, penguins!!), a variety of gulls and terns, and possibly Southern Sea Lion. Celebrate this fun outing with a delightful lunch of the best fresh seafood in this small port city.

After lunch, we stop at the lush Villa Marshes Reserves where there is a visitor area, a boardwalk trail, and platform viewing around a small lake. We should find Slate-colored Coot, Andean Duck, Great Grebe, and other species. In the reeds and rushes, two species are prized: Many-colored Rush Tyrant and Wren-like Rush Tyrant. There are also both Yellow-hooded and Scrub Blackbirds and shorebirds to view at a nearby lagoon. Puna Ibis are extending their range and may feed along the shores.
Accommodations at Costa del Sol (B,L,D)

Machu Picchu, Cusco & Beautiful Birds Post-Tour Extension

Itineraries are guidelines; variations in itinerary may occur to account for weather, road conditions, closures, etc. and to maximize your experience.

Spend a full day at Peru’s famed Machu Picchu, Lost City of the Incas on this don’t-miss extension, which also visits the Sacred Valley of The Incas and ruins of Chinchero and Ollantaytambo. We wrap up with a guided tour of the plazas, markets and museums of the beautiful colonial city of Cusco. There is also terrific birding amid all the cultural fireworks of this extension, as we stop to bird lakes and private reserves and bird the lovely gardens of our lodge.

Thurs., July 18: Arrival in Lima

Our tour returns to Lima in the afternoon after enjoying the beautiful city of Cajamarca. Plan on a transition night to rest up for the next part of your adventure.
Accommodations at Costa del Sol, Lima Airport (D)

Fri., July 19: Cusco | Sacred Valley of the Incas- Ollantaytambo

Our flight leaves about 7:30 AM and on arrival, we meet our driver and guide and head out to explore the scenic Sacred Valley of The Incas and ruins of Chinchero & Ollantaytambo. Along the way we stop at small lakes, scenic viewpoints, and some private reserves. Some amazing hummingbirds today Giant Hummingbird, Shinning Sumbean, White bellied Woodstart , also Creamy Crested Spinetail, Golden Billed Saltator; Rusty-Fronted Canastero and many more bird species.

The grounds of our hotel are replete with flowers, beautiful in their own right but also very productive for attracting birds. The ruins of Ollantaytambo are close by.
Accommodations at Pakaritampu Hotel (B,L,D)

Sat., July 20: Local Birding | Train to Machu Picchu | Inkaterra Hotel

Before we catch the tourist train to Machu Picchu, we enjoy some birding at the Pakaritampu hotel grounds which are famous because of Bearded Mountaineer, Bare- faced Ground-Dove, Black Throated Flower piercer, Black & Green tailed Trainbearer. The train ride is an experience, passing through an incredible wilderness river valley. Watch for Torrent Duck in the rushing stream!

We arrive in time for lunch at Machu Picchu in town and have several local birding options including the hotel grounds at our delightful hotel. Beautiful plantings separate our cottages, and we have a stunning view of the river.
Accommodations at Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel INKATERRA (B,L,D)

Sun., July 21: Machu Picchu Full Day Tour | Inkaterra Hotel

We have permits for a full day at the World Heritage Site of Machu Picchu, with a local guide booked to share knowledge of this iconic archeological site. It is still possible to walk in and through the ruins to see how people lived on this mountain-top home. We have lunch while still up top, and in the afternoon, people can wander at their own pace to experience more of the ruins or do some birding to search for Inca Wren and other species. There is a shuttle bus that goes up and down the hill to the top, so its possible to stay just if you like. Our lovely hotel grounds await those that return to relax in the late afternoon.

Dinner features local Inca dishes as well as international cuisine, delightful!
Accommodations at Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel INKATERRA (B,L,D)

Mon., July 22 : Train to Cusco via Ollantaytambo | Sacsayhuaman | Cusco

Today we take the morning train back to Cusco from Machu Picchu via Ollantaytambo where we meet our bus again. On our way to Cusco city, we have time to also visit the archaeological sites such as the National Park of Sacsayhuaman. We also make stops by small lakes, protected forest looking for Tit-like Dacnis, Chesnut-Breasted Mountain Finch, Andean Goose, Andean Flicker & much more.

Celebrate our fabulous journey at a farewell dinner at one of the great restaurants of this thriving city.
Accommodations at Novotel or Costa del Sol Hotel at Cusco city (B,L,D)

Tues., July 23 : Cusco City Tour | PM Flight to Lima | Departures

The heritage of Cusco is memorable, and this morning your local guide shares in-depth background to the history as we explore plazas, markets, and some museums. The Cathedral, Sun Temple of Qoricancha and the San Pedro Market are high on our list. After lunch, pack up and we head to the airport to time with most outbound international flights that leave around mid-night. If you wish to extend your stay in Cusco, you may do so and catch a flight in a few days—we’ll work with you on timing. (B,L)
PM transfer to the Cusco’s airport to catch a flight back to Lima between 4 to 5pm

  • Peru, Northern Peru, Peru Birding Tour, Peru Nature Tour, Naturalist Journeys

    Group near Baen by Peg Abbott

  • Gilded Barbet, Peru, Northern Peru, Peru Birding Tour, Peru Nature Tour, Naturalist Journeys

    Gilded Barbet by Alan Gertler

  • Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Peru, Northern Peru, Peru Birding Tour, Peru Nature Tour, Naturalist Journeys

    Yellow-tufted Woodpecker by Alan Gertler

  • Huembo Lodge, Peru, Northern Peru, Peru Birding Tour, Peru Nature Tour, Naturalist Journeys

    View from Huembo by Alan Gertler

  • Masked Tityra, Peru, Northern Peru, Peru Birding Tour, Peru Nature Tour, Naturalist Journeys

    Masked Tityra by Alan Gertler

  • Peru, Northern Peru, Peru Birding Tour, Peru Nature Tour, Naturalist Journeys

    Group Dinner by Alan Gertler

  • Chestnut Antpitta, Peru, Northern Peru, Peru Birding Tour, Peru Nature Tour, Naturalist Journeys

    Chestnut Antpitta by Alan Gertler

  • Peru, Northern Peru, Peru Birding Tour, Peru Nature Tour, Naturalist Journeys

    Group in Cable Car by Alan Gertler

  • Peru, Northern Peru, Peru Birding Tour, Peru Nature Tour, Naturalist Journeys

    Scenic by Alan Gertler

  • Rufous-crested Coquette, Peru, Northern Peru, Peru Birding Tour, Peru Nature Tour, Naturalist Journeys

    Rufous-crested Coquette by Peg Abbott

Cost of the Journey

Cost of the tour is $5390 DBL / $5990 SGL, from Lima, Peru. This cost includes all accommodations, meals as specified in the itinerary, professional guide services, other park and program entrance fees, in-country flights, and miscellaneous program expenses. Cost of the Coastal Lima Pre-tour Extension is $675 DBL / $775 SGL. Cost of the Machu Picchu extension is $2690 DBL/ $3190 SGL and includes domestic flights.

Tour cost does not include: round-trip transportation from your home city to Lima, optional activities, or items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone charges, maid gratuities, or beverages from the bar.

Travel Details

Please plan to make air travel plans only after the minimum group size has been met. We will send you a confirmation email as soon as the trip has been confirmed.

Pre-tour Extension Arrival Airport: Jorge Chávez International (LIM)

Pre-tour Extension Arrival Details: Please plan flights to arrive no later than 6:00 AM July 4, 2024.

Main Tour Arrival Airport: Jorge Chávez International (LIM)

Main Tour Arrival Details: Please plan flights to arrive July 5, 2024 at your leisure.

Main Tour Departure Airport: Jorge Chávez International (LIM)

Main Tour Departure Details: Please plan flights to depart July 18, after 8:00 PM.

Post-tour Extension Departure Airport: Jorge Chávez International (LIM)

Post-tour Extension Departure Details: Please plan flights to depart July 23, after 8:00 PM.

Travel Tips: If you arrive early to rest up from your travels, we can book you an early night at our first night tour hotel, the Wyndham Costa del Sol Lima Airport at a cost of around $195/night for a double. If you want to get out and explore Lima, we highly recommend signing up for the pre-tour extension for a day trip to the coast to explore the Pucusana Fishing Village, take a boat tour, and stop at the Villa Marshes Reserve. It’s a great chance to explore and get some birding in around Lima prior to departing on our exciting main tour.  

 Visa Requirements: US residents do not need a visa for tourist visits of this length.


Browse below for trip reports and species lists from past versions of this and other tours from this destination.


Cusco to Manu

Northern Peru

Map for Northern Peru Endemics

Essential Information +

This information is important for being prepared for your journey; we want you to have Read more

This information is important for being prepared for your journey; we want you to have the best experience possible. If you only read one section, this one is key!

Ahead of Your Tour

  • Make sure your passport will be valid at least six months after the date of your scheduled return to the U.S. Travelers with a U.S. passport do not need to apply for a visa. It is free and issued at the port of entry. If you are from another country, please contact the Peru embassy website for guidelines.
  • Please check current CDC recommendations for travel to Peru and consult with your doctor about general travel vaccinations you should have as precaution for travel. See the “Health and Inoculations” section below.
  • Travel insurance in case of serious medical emergency is strongly recommended. Full health coverage and repatriation is available through Allianz Travel Insurance.
  • Plan your flight reservations arriving into and departing from Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM) in Lima. Send a copy of your itinerary to the Naturalist Journeys office, please.
  • Soft sided luggage/duffel bags are easiest for packing the vans. Pack essential medications in your carry-on luggage, as well as one day of clothing and optics in case of luggage delay. Unlike typical international travel with a 50 lb. weight limit, domestic airlines within Peru are slightly less. They typically allow one checked bag, 20 KG (44 lbs.), one personal item and one carry on (carry-on weight 17 lbs. but they rarely weigh them).

Arrival in Lima, Peru (LIM)

Please arrive in Lima at your leisure; we recommend arriving at an hour that allows you to rest before the start of the trip, which begins promptly the next morning. After arriving at the Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM) in Lima and passing through immigration and customs, the first night’s hotel is just across the street, so there is no need for a shuttle—just a simple walk across the median and you can check in!

Dinner this night is at the hotel and is a great chance to meet up with your guides and travelling companions.

Please exchange money into Peruvian Soles at the airport. This is very important! ATM’s are not widely available once out of Lima.

Please check the Travel Details section of this tour for additional information and updates.

Departures from Lima, Peru (LIM)

Please plan departures in the evening of the last day of both the main tour and the extension from Machu Picchu. Many flights to the United States leave at or around midnight, so be sure to check (and double check!) your dates/times carefully.

The departure tax (your expense) from Peru is a part of your international airline ticket, however if you continue regionally to another Latin American country, a tax may apply.

Please check the Travel Details section of this tour for additional information and updates.

Passports, Visas & Documents

Guidelines and regulations can change. It is always advisable to double-check the country’s documentation requirements 60-90 days ahead of traveling. Information for U.S. citizens can be found at: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Peru.html. If you are from another country, please contact the Peru embassy website for guidelines. 

Passport: At the time of writing, you must have a passport valid for six months beyond your scheduled return date. Check your expiration date! Your passport should have at least one blank page per entry stamp. The blank pages need to say “Visas” at the top. Pages marked “Amendments and Endorsements” will not be accepted. 

Visa: On the airplane or upon arrival in Peru, you will receive paperwork to fill out for an automatic VISA, good for 90 days; Keep this document in a safe place as it is required for exit.

Please carry a copy of our Emergency Contact List with your travel documents. This is very handy when passing through immigration where they will ask you where you are going and what the phone number is. If you experience any flight delays or problems contact us at the first night hotel, or call our Peru tour operator, Neblina Forest, listed on the contact information sheet.

As a precaution for lost or misplaced documents you carry on your person during travel, we highly recommend you keep hard and digital backup copies on your phone (either photo or PDF scan), as well as a hard copy left with your emergency contact at home. The recommended important documents to copy include, but are not limited to; your passport ID page, travel visa, the front and back of your credit card(s), the airline barcode on your luggage. This will greatly expedite getting new ones if necessary – we hope everyone will always keep travel documents close so that losing them will not be an issue.

General Health & Inoculations Information – Be Prepared!

We will share your health information with your guide. This information will be kept confidential but is very important as we want to be best prepared in case of medical emergency. 

Vaccinations: Bring your up-to-date vaccination records with you. At the time of writing, there are no required vaccinations to enter Peru but things change; it is always a good idea to check with your doctor and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) webpage for Peru 4-6 weeks before departure.

At the time of writing, the yellow fever vaccination is recommended to enter Peru. Many international travelers will either already have one or get one for this trip and it will be good for other destinations in the future. The CDC also recommends that most travelers to Peru, and most South American countries in general, be vaccinated for Hepatitis A and Typhoid. Please speak with your general physician before any trip abroad. He or she may recommend other preventative immunizations like DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis), which is recommended every 10 years. Public health clinics can administer these if you do not currently work with a doctor or your doctor is not able to provide this service.

Travel Tip: If you cannot get a vaccine due to age and caution on that by your physician, then bring a physician letter saying you are in good health, but they do not recommend due to age that you get the vaccine. Yellow fever vaccine recommendations in Peru map: www.cdc.gov/travel-static/yellowbook/2020/map_2-23.pdf

Prescriptions: It is a good idea to pack any meds you take regularly in your carry-on luggage.  Bring an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses. Bring an adequate supply of any prescription medications you use, a copy of the prescription and a list of generic names of your medicines as “back-up” in case it is necessary to purchase drugs while abroad. You’ll want to keep medications in their original, labeled containers. 

Allergies: To be prepared for environmental triggers to allergies or breathing difficulties, please bring your allergy and/or asthma medication(s).  If you have severe allergies talk to your doctor about carrying an EPI pen and notify your guides. It is also recommended to carry with you an up-to-date record of known allergies, chronic medical problems and Medic Alerts so that, if necessary, emergency treatment can be carried out without endangering your health.

Common Ailments: We recommend that you bring a travel-sized first aid kit and a supply of standard over-the-counter medications for prevention or treatment of common ailments (such as diarrhea, constipation, stomach upset, cough, congestion, head or body aches, insect bites and sunburn); as well as ointments, moisturizer, sunscreen, oral rehydration salts, band-aids, moleskin for blisters, cotton swabs, nail clippers, and tweezers, etc.

Altitude sickness: High altitude will be encountered on this trip - it can affect some people and, if there is a concern, be prepared. The most general symptoms are headache and occasionally fatigue and dizziness. You’ll want to take it easy, particularly at first. The likelihood or severity of these symptoms can be reduced by resting, drinking plenty of water, avoiding alcohol and taking aspirin. If you have worries about the altitude, ask your physician about medications (such as Diamox) that may be right for you. 

  • Cusco is 11, 152 ft above sea level
  • Manu National Park is 13,123 ft
  • Machu Picchu is 7,972 ft

For additional helpful information from CDC, see https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2024/environmental-hazards-risks/high-elevation-travel-and-altitude-illness.

Weather & Climate

July is a wonderful time to visit Peru. Temperatures and humidity will range widely as we move through the various locations. Especially with elevation changes, we could have anything from freezing temperatures at night to highs in the 90s during the day. Layers to protect from both sun and cold will keep you comfortable wherever you go are recommended. Check your favorite weather website closer to your departure to better predict what the weather will be on your adventure.

Annoyances & Hazards

While mosquitoes and other biting insects are not as common in this cooler, drier season, they can occur. It is best to come prepared by wearing long sleeves and neutral colored clothing and to bring insect repellent.

Peru is close to the Equator and we are at high elevation – it is very important to protect yourself from the sun, even during the winter!

Food & Drinks

At the tourist hotels you are using, it is generally  safe to sample the local cuisine, and it is always smart to ask about getting bottled water and being able to use ice. The hotels should have treated water in the restaurant areas, and you can fill your bottles there for daily use.

In general, in Peru you do NOT want to drink any tap water, nor should you eat fresh, uncooked vegetables from street vendors (hotels that we frequent should be fine), shellfish or ceviche outside of higher-end restaurants or well-established tourist facilities. Tap water may be potable at some of our hotels (the Front Desk will advise) but it still can contain minerals that upset your stomach – best to proceed with caution. Bottled water is available in the bar at most hotels, and we recommend you take advantage of that. Neblina Forest will provide water when out in the field. We also recommend buying a Steri Pen so you can treat water in a few seconds or consider bringing a water bottle that includes a filter, like LifeStraw. We want to reduce use of plastics where possible!

Packing, Clothing & Laundry

Please, pack light. You move around a lot and take an internal flight. Soft-sided luggage or duffel bags are easier to manage in the minivans than hard sided suitcases. While international limits are normally 50 lb. per bag, domestic airlines within Peru are slightly less. They typically allow one checked bag, 20 KG (44 lbs.), one personal item and one carry on (carry-on weight 17 lbs. but they rarely weigh them).

To pare down, we recommend laying out the items you hope to take and then do a serious paring down! Refer to the Suggested Packing section. 

TRAVEL TIP: Imagine NOT getting your suitcase. Bring a change of clothes and a pair of shoes you can use for the tour in your carry-on, just in case. And please DO NOT pack any essential medications, or your vital optics, in your checked luggage!

Dress is very informal. You may wish to change for dinners, but casual dress is suitable at all locations. We strongly recommend neutral or dark-colored clothing for every area that we will visit on the tour. Clothing should be unobtrusive, i.e. no bright yellows, reds or white, as this can disturb wildlife and makes us very conspicuous. 

Dressing in layers works perfectly for the conditions. Rain is likely so have a good wind-breaking layer that can double as raingear; shoes with good tread and support are essential. Lightweight long-sleeved shirts and long pants make ideal field clothing, as they are more protective from sun and vegetation. Shorts are worn most commonly by tourists, they are not practical in the field and we do not recommend them. Lightweight pants also let you blend in more while exploring. Choose clothing you don’t mind getting dirty, and that is comfortable and easy to launder. Loose clothing discourages insects and is very cool.

Most of your hotels offer laundry service; just make sure that you will be there long enough to get it back in time! You may wish to pack clothing that is easy to hand wash and fast drying for washing in your room.

Spending Money

The Sol is the official currency of Peru. For the current exchange rate, please refer to online converter tools like www.xe.com or your bank. The U.S. Dollar is also an accepted currency in Peru (especially in hotels or businesses that cater to visitors). We advise you carry a mix of different types of payments, such as the U.S. dollars and local currency, an ATM card, and a credit card.

Bring crisp, unsoiled U.S. dollars in good condition in SMALL denominations ($1, $5, $10, $20) for purchases and tipping. Bring large U.S. bills ($50 or $100) that will give you the better rate when exchanging to local currency. However, not every business (smaller shops and restaurants) will accept U.S. dollars. For that reason, we still recommend converting some money into Sols.

You can exchange money in Peru. The easiest way is to withdraw funds from a local ATM. The airport is a convenient place. ATM machines are readily available in large cities, like Lima, and become less available in rural areas. The ATMs provide local money and your bank will convert that into U.S. Dollars. Many banks charge a fee of $1 - $5 each time you use a foreign ATM. Others may charge you a percentage of the amount you withdraw. Check with your bank before departure. You must become familiar with how to use your ATM card and PIN number ahead of the journey.

Credit cards are accepted, but not as widely as in the USA. We suggest you have more than one card available. You may want to bring more than one brand of card (one Visa, and one MasterCard; American Express is less accepted), if possible. Not every shop will accept every card. Some machines are set up for both, while some will only service one or the other. Also, we recommend that you advise your bank or credit card company that you will be traveling to Peru to avoid questions, card freezes, or charges. For handicrafts and smaller purchases, such as drinks with dinner, it is easiest to have cash available, preferably in Peruvian Soles.

Traveler’s checks can be difficult to use in Peru, especially in villages and small towns. We do not recommend that you use them.

Many people ask how much money to plan to bring for spending money. Part of that depends on how much you want to shop. Typical items people purchase include: local souvenirs and T-shirts, carvings, beads, textiles, artworks, drinks before or with dinner, maps and natural history books. Cash is also handy for your drinks from the bar.


Tipping throughout the tour is at your discretion. Some guidelines follow. At larger (mostly city) hotels, tip maids and bar service as you would at home. At eco-lodges, there is typically a staff tip box in a public area; the going rate per person is $6-$10 a day, which is shared among staff for maid service, and general staff service at the lodges. Gratuities for group meals are already included. Your Naturalist Journeys host will take care of smaller tips such field trip services by boat drivers, night drive outings, single activities. Your additional tip is encouraged for birding tour guides and drivers who are with you for several days or the full trip; $10-$15 per day per guest is standard for guide service, and half that for a driver. If you have more than one local guide at a location, they will share the daily amount. We encourage tipping for the local teams hosting you; anything extra for your Naturalist Journeys host is at your discretion.

You may wish to bring small gifts for local people that you meet and enjoy (this is totally optional!). T-shirts, school supplies like pens and small notebooks, inexpensive watches and baseball caps are always popular. Your guides can pass along school supplies to a local school if you bring them. They also love any nature books/coloring books.

Cell Phones & Internet Service

If you plan on using your cell phone on this trip, please check with your wireless provider to see if your phone and service will work in Peru. Options include activating international roaming, purchasing a local SIM card at the airport (newer phones may not accept SIM cards), or simply turning off cellular service and relying on Wi-Fi to make calls and access the internet. Make sure if you do NOT want to use your cell phone that you turn off your cellular data. You could incur huge charges if you are not on Wi-Fi. Putting your phone in airplane mode if you mainly use it for photos will save the battery as well.

When dialing from the US, the country code for PERU is 51. Dialing to the USA starts with 001, then area code.

Phone cards are readily available and likely cheaper than using your cell phone. Hotel calls can be made and charged to the hotel, but ask for rates before using. For those calling you in Peru, advise they use the USA exit code, 011 and then the full number including country code.

If bringing a laptop or tablet, get a good dustcover to protect it at all times. Internet cafes are readily available in Lima for both email and internet-based calls. Most but not all of our lodgings have Wi-Fi service.

Please refrain from taking or making cell phone calls in the vehicles when traveling with other passengers, unless it appears to be an emergency. This disrupts other guests, plan on cell phone call use on your own time


The official language of Peru is Spanish. Quechua is the native language and is spoken by many indigenous people. English is NOT readily spoken, with the exception of large city hotels and shops. A pocket dictionary is a great idea, and you can gift it to someone if you don’t want to haul it back! There are also dictionary apps for your phone, and quick learning programs such as Duo Lingo if you want to practice a bit.


PERU uses 220 AC voltages at 60 Hz so you will need an adapter for many of your appliances. Do check your appliances, as these days many will work on this voltage automatically – they have a built-in converter in the little box on the cord. If not, you will need a converter as well. In Peru, power sockets are type A or C. Type A sockets take flats of equal width, so a simple adapter from unequal width flat plugs is very helpful where you find USA style plug ins. Also there are fewer grounded plugs, so a 3-prong to 2 prong (available in hardware stores) is helpful. More information can be found at www.power-plugs-sockets.com.


Peru is UTC/GMT -5hrs and observes the PET (Peru Time) time zone. You can check time differences conveniently on www.timeanddate.com.


Please contact Naturalist Journeys by email at clientservices@naturalistjourneys.com or telephone at our office: (520) 558-1146 or toll free: (866) 900-1146 if you have any questions. Many thanks for traveling with us and we hope you enjoy your journey!


Pace & Protocols +

Pace of the Tour & What to Expect You will receive a Schedule-at-a-Glance and list of Read more

Pace of the Tour & What to Expect

You will receive a Schedule-at-a-Glance and list of hotels (our eContact List) a few weeks before your departure. This will serve as an outline for each day and alert you to any recent changes made in the schedule or to our hotels, if needed.

Our journeys are set up to follow the rhythm of nature. Our focus is on birding and nature; we offer full, well-planned field days and often get up early for that magical time around dawn. We generally follow the published itinerary, but we stay flexible to the weather, wildlife opportunities and the interests of the group. Your guide will keep you apprised of the next day’s schedule at each evening meal, noting what to bring and what to prepare for. Questions and/or concerns are welcome.

The pace of our Naturalist Journeys tours is moderate; to fully participate you should be able to get in and out of vehicles several times a day, and walk 1-3 miles over uneven terrain. It is important to participate with a flexible attitude as adjustments may be made in our schedule to make the most of our time in the field or for other purposes at your guide's discretion. We are not a “listing” bird company that drills down on target species, but at times we do wait for those special species unique to the places we visit. During the day, we take time to stop for photos and for educational opportunities to learn about conservation projects, landscapes, and geology. We appreciate other taxa as well as birds, with mammals often the biggest draw but plants and butterflies are also very popular. Our clients often lend their own expertise to the mix.

We like to make meals a fun and memorable part of the experience, too. Breakfasts are often at hotels, and we carry snacks, fruit, and water in the vans each day. Lunches are a mix of picnics in the field (weather dependent) and a chance to dine with locals at small cafes and restaurants. For dinner, we pride ourselves in our homework to keep up with the best choices for dining, choosing restaurants with atmosphere that specialize in local foods. On occasion we keep dinner simple to go back out in the field for sunset wildlife viewing or night walks. In some remote locations, our choices are limited. If you are tired, room service for dinner may be an option you can choose.

Naturalist Journeys International Trips: Guide Role

Naturalist Journeys supports ecotourism and the development of excellent local guides. Once we know our international partners and guides well, we can send out small groups working directly with these trusted partners, adding a Naturalist Journeys guide to assist the local expert when we have a group of 6-7 or more. This helps us keep your costs down while retaining tour quality. The local guide is your main guide. You can expect your Naturalist Journeys guide to be well-researched and often they are experienced in the destination, but their role is not to be primary, it is to help to organize logistics, help you find birds, mammals, and interesting other species in the field, keep reports, help facilitate group interactions, and to keep the trip within Naturalist Journeys' style. Local guides live in the countries we travel to, know the destinations intimately, and are often the strongest force for conservation in their countries. They open many doors for us to have a rich experience.


Smoking is not permitted in any vehicle or in any situation where the group is participating in an activity together, such as a vehicle excursion or a guided walk. Please respect all designated smoking areas at hotels and restaurants.


As a courtesy to each other, we ask that all travelers please rotate seating. On international trips we may all be in one small bus, on some trips we are in vans, particularly the roomy Sprinter Vans when available. Some areas require us to be in smaller 4-wheel drive or safari vehicles. Rotation allows you to sit with different drivers and alternate front and back seating.

Photo Release & Sharing

We take many group photos and will share photos with the group. And after your tour, we will organize a chance to share photos via Dropbox or Google Photos. Please note that this is our policy and if you prefer to be excluded, we need to know ahead of your tour.

By registering for this tour, you agree to grant to Naturalist Journeys and its authorized representatives’ permission to record on photography film and/or video, pictures of my participation in the tour. You further agree that any or all of the material photographed may be used, in any form, as part of any future publications, brochure, or other printed materials used to promote Naturalist Journeys, and further that such use shall be without payment of fees, royalties, special credit or other compensation.

Travel Insurance

You are traveling in remote areas. Naturalist Journeys strongly recommends you have full medical and evacuation insurance from a company such as Allianz, for all international travel. If you do not have medical coverage or evacuation coverage on your existing travel insurance policy or for some reason elected not to take that out, we advise getting an evacuation plan with Global RescueWorld Nomads, Medjet, Allianz (they can do evacuation only) or a similar company. These plans are typically $300-$400 for a year for multiple destinations. This coverage may be a part of a larger Travel Insurance policy but can also be purchased on its own.


Please contact Naturalist Journeys by email at clientservices@naturalistjourneys.com or telephone our office: (520) 558-1146 or toll free: (866) 900-1146 if you have any questions. Many thanks for traveling with us and we hope you enjoy your journey.


Packing List +

Please Pack Light! Soft luggage is much easier for us to pack than a more rigid Read more

Please Pack Light!

Soft luggage is much easier for us to pack than a more rigid hard sided piece, so if you have the choice, please use your soft luggage. Be sure to have your name and address on the inside of the bag, as well as on the luggage tag on the handle. It is our hope that you can pack in one checked suitcase that does not exceed 45 pounds. Be sure to pack your personal medication, airline tickets, passport, binoculars, camera, and other essential items in your carry-on bag. You will want a day pack for field trips, so this is an ideal carry-on. Please reconfirm your airline’s baggage weight and size restrictions about a week or so before departure.

July is a wonderful time to visit Peru. Temperatures and humidity will range widely as we move through the various locations. Especially with elevation changes, we could have anything from freezing temperatures at night to highs in the 90s during the day. Layers to protect from both sun and cold will keep you comfortable wherever you go are recommended. Check your favorite weather website closer to your departure to better predict what the weather will be on your adventure.

Dress is very informal. Layering is your best strategy for comfort. Rain is likely so do have a good wind-breaking layer that can double as raingear; shoes with good tread and support are essential. Lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and long pants make ideal field clothing; they protect you from sun, insects, and vegetation. Shorts are worn most commonly by tourists; they are not practical in the field and we do not recommend them. Lightweight pants also let you blend in more while exploring. Choose clothes you can get dirty and things that are comfortable and easy. Loose clothing discourages insects and is very cool. Several lodges offer laundry service.

We recommend muted colors of tan, brown, khaki, grey or green, as they are spotted less easily than white or bright colors; camouflage clothing is not recommended. It is possible to purchase field clothing permeated with insect repellent such as the Craghoppers Insect Shield collection. Another approach is to purchase Permethrin spray (online or from REI) to treat your field clothing and socks before your departure.

Clothing and Gear

  • Lightweight long pants, 2-3 pair
  • Shorts (optional, not generally recommended)
  • Lightweight long-sleeved shirts, 2-3
  • T-shirts, short-sleeved or equivalent, 2-3
  • Casual clothing for travel days, skirts for women may come in handy in the city
  • Personal underclothing (consider what dries quickly if you plan to wash) and nightclothes
  • Socks – lightweight and easy to wash and dry, and long enough to tuck your pants to help protect from chiggers
  • Comfortable walking shoes (such as tennis shoes)
  • Lightweight hiking boots. Please note that forest trails will be on uneven terrain and may be muddy – bring shoes with good support and firm grip tread.
  • Comfortable sandals or light shoes for evenings and travel days
  • Shower thongs
  • Lightweight raincoat or poncho, that can double as a windbreaker
  • Lightweight fleece jacket or sweater for highlands
  • Scarf, light gloves, light hat for colder mornings and evenings
  • Hat with broad brim
  • Bandana (optional, great for cooling off when hot and sweaty)
  • Bathing suit (optional, if you enjoy swimming)
  • Field vest (optional) a great source is Big Pockets

Equipment and Miscellaneous

  • Airline tickets or e-ticket verification
  • Passport, visa (if required), travel insurance info, money & credit cards.
  • A secure pouch to carry the items above on your person at all times (such as a secure, under-clothing document pouch)
  • As a backup: copies of all the above (phone and/or paper) packed in a separate location than on your person, plus a set given to your emergency contact at home as a backup. For passport, copy of the  ID and entry stamp pages.
  • Small daypack to carry gear while hiking and in vehicles
  • Walking stick (optional, but recommended if you usually use one)
  • Umbrella (compact, not brightly colored!)
  • Flashlight or headlamp with fresh batteries (important – cabins may be separate from dining areas. Extra batteries.
  • Alarm clock (or use your phone)
  • Sunscreen/lip balm with SPF
  • Sunglasses with neck strap
  • Insect repellent (containing DEET) and sulphur powder or equivalent for chiggers
  • Toiletry articles: shampoo and conditioner, dental supplies, razor, emery boards, hairbrush/comb, tweezers, hand lotion, feminine hygiene, birth control supplies, deodorant, pain reliever
  • Binoculars (a shower cap is great to cover these when it is raining)
  • Spotting scope and tripod (optional – guide will have them)
  • Camera and extra batteries, digital chips etc., lens cleaning supplies and your instruction manual. Do a good check for all this before leaving, battery chargers may be hard to find (optional)
  • Adapters for three prong electronic equipment and converter
  • Rechargeable power bank (optional)
  • Water bottle (can easily be bought in the airport and refilled daily)
  • Notebook and pen or journal (optional)
  • Field guides (optional)
  • Small bottle of antibacterial hand soap
  • Laundry soap (laundry sheets are lightweight and easy to pack)
  • Washcloth (optional)
  • Earplugs (optional)
  • Steri-Pen or other UV water treatment device to help cut down on the use of plastic bottles (optional)


WE DO NOT RECOMMEND TRAVELING WITH PRECIOUS OR VALUABLE JEWELRY – don’t tempt anyone and don’t bring things you’d regret losing - your mind will be at ease!

Medical and First Aid Items

  • Heath insurance and vaccination records (kept in personal pouch with other travel documents)
  • Personal medication (and copy of vital prescriptions, including glasses)
  • Motion sickness and altitude sickness preventatives if likely to be needed on bus, van, drives, etc.
  • Personal first aid kit including medications for colds, general and stomach ailments, antiobiotic gel or creme
  • Foot powder, lotions, general “comfort” items
  • Hydrocortisone cream to ease itching from insect bites
  • Band-Aids, moleskin to protect against blisters
  • Epi-pen if needed for allergic reactions
  • Copy of eyeglass prescription, medical prescriptions and any medical alerts
  • Extra pair of eyeglasses or contacts


Suggested Reading List +

There are many titles of interest for Peru; the following are a few that we Read more

There are many titles of interest for Peru; the following are a few that we have enjoyed that can get you started.

Top Picks

Merlin App – Peru Pack. A phone-based birding app from Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology. Before departing the U.S., download the app for free, then from within the app, download the “pack” for Peru.

Birds of Peru Revised and Updated Edition 

Culture Smart! Peru

General Reading

Travellers' Wildlife Guides Peru 

New Neotropical Companion

Birds of Tropical America. A Watcher’s Introduction to Behavior, Breeding, and Diversity

A Naturalist’s Guide to the Tropics

Antpittas and Gnateaters

Field Guides

A Field Guide to the Birds of Peru

Pocket Photo Guide to the Birds of Peru

Mammals of the Neotropics (Volume 3 ): The Central Neotropics: Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil

Wildlife & Nature

A Field Guide to the Families and Genera of Woody Plants of Northwest South America: Colombia, Ecuador Peru

Natural History

Cloud Forest: A Chronicle of the South American Wilderness

History & Culture

Chilies to Chocolate: Foods the Americas Gave the World

Peru – Culture Smart! The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

The Peru Reader: History, Culture, Politics

The Food and Cooking of Peru: Traditions, Ingredients, Tastes and Techniques

Shamanic Mysteries of Peru: The Heart Wisdom of the High Andes


A Parrot Without a Name: The Search for the Last Unknown Birds on Earth

Cradle of Gold: The Story of Hiram Bingham, a Real-Life Indiana Jones and the Search for Machu Picchu

Your guide will also have a selection of reference books and materials for participants to share. As an Amazon Associate, Naturalist Journeys earns from qualifying purchases, and may get commissions for purchases made through links on this page at no added cost to you.


Useful Links +

Learn more about your destination at these external websites, carefully researched for you. Read more


Encyclopedic Overviews:

Lima, Peru (Capital)



Aguas Verdes


Nature, Wildlife & Biology

Birds of Peru - eBird

Species of Peru - iNaturalist

Alto Nieva Private Reserve

Reserva Arena Blanca Hotspot – eBird.org

Waqanki - Birding Hotspot – eBird

Peruvian Cloud Forest

Birds, Culture, and Scenic Beauty Along the Northern Peru Birding Route

Conservation, Parks & Reserves

Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve

Scientific American article, “Rising Temperatures Push Andean Species Skyward”

ECOAN – Association of Andean Ecosystems

Abra Patricia - “Peru’s Abra Patricia Reserve Expanded” - ABC Press Release

Geology & Geography

Basic Geology of Peru

Rocks and Minerals of Peru

Geography of Peru

History & Culture

Leymebamba Museum



Chachapoya Culture

Laguna de los Cóndores

Pre-Tour Day Trip – Lima Coastal Birding

Fishing Village in Pucusana District

Pantanos de Villa Wildlife Refuge

Post-Tour Extension to Cusco/Machu Picchu


Machu Picchu

“Discover 10 Secrets of Machu Picchu” – Article, National Geographic

National Geographic YouTube Video about Machu Picchu

History of Machu Picchu – History.com

"Machu Picchu As Seen Through the Eyes of Fernando Astete"

Inca Empire

Sacred Valley



Helpful Travel Websites

Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM)

National Passport Information Center

U.S. Department of State, Costa Rica International Travel Information - Peru

Homeland Security Real ID Act

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - Peru

Canada Travel Advice and Advisories – Peru

Travel Health Pro (UK) - Peru

Foreign Exchange Rates

ATM Locator

Electricity and Plugs - Peru

Date, Time, and Holidays - Peru

Photo credits: Banners: Andean Condor (NJ Stock), Rufous-crested Coquette (NJ Stock), Kuelap Archaeological Site (NJ Stock), Marvelous Spatuletail (NJ Stock), Scarlet-bellied Mountain Tanager (NJ Stock) Thumbnails: Curl-crested Aracari (NJ Stock), Rufous-crested Coquette (NJ Stock), Torrent Ducks (NJ Stock), Rufous-booted Racket-tail (NJ Stock), Wire-crested Thorntail (NJ Stock), Black-faced Dacnis (NJ Stock), Andean Flicker (NJ Stock), Hoatzin (NJ Stock)


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