BIRDWATCHING INCA TRAIL HIKE TO Machu Picchu 7D/6N
The late Theodore Parker III, famous American field ornithologist, once said “Peru offers ‘bird-enthusiasts’ more than any other country in the world… Being here is like being a child visiting a huge store filled with new and fascinating toys”. He was right. Peru possesses an extraordinary ornithological diversity. New species are continually being discovered every year in its cloud-forests and Amazon jungles,
Birding Tour To Machu Picchu–Dramatic landscapes with lush forest home for many species of birds, Incan trail, hot springs, and three nights at local family’s home make this 5-day Birding to Machu Picchu one of the most treasured for birders and hikers the world over to reach Machu Picchu.
The Cusco Province may be a small department in Peru, but it is wedged between three ranges (Urubamba, Vilcanota, and Vilcabamba), however, few locations in the world are bigger on nature, adventure and conservation—and no birding itinerary to Machu Picchu that we know of shows you more of its varied wild treasures than this one. Birding outfitters.
1 – 8 Guests
Experience | Difficulty
- Beginner, amateur, enthusiast and semi-pro photographers
- DSLR, mirrorless, compact or iPhone cameras
- Moderate schedule
- Travel by car or minibus
- Moderate elevation changes and lots of walking and hiking (none of our adventures have difficult hikes)
- (non-photographers also welcome)
Weather | Sun
May – Temps 70/40 F 20/2 C Sunrise 5:24 | Sunset 7:23 (19:23)
September – Temps 75/42 F 24/5 C Sunrise 6:10 | Sunset 6:35 (18:35)
- 7 Days
- Travel, landscape, nature, wildlife and people photography
- Professional photographer | guide
- Photo walks & discussions
- Small group size (1-7 guests)
- Camping and hotel
- All Meals
- National Park Permits
- Local transportation
Arrival Airport: Cusco – Transfer time to hotel 30min
Departure Airport: Cusco – Transfer time to hotel 30min
Our adventure begins in the Morning on the first day and ends at end of the last day.
Travel Visa: Not required
ITINERARY BIRDWATCHING INCA TRAIL
This morning we will drive from Cusco to Huacarpay lakes 30km, where we will head out with a picnic lunch to the Huacarpay lakes (3070 m) south of Cusco, Where we will see a variety of high Andean waterfowl and wetland birds, a selection of typical highland passerines like Blue-and-yellow Tanager, Rusty and Black-throated Flowerpiercer. We will likely see the spectacular and endemic Bearded Mountaineer feeding in Tabaco flowering bushes near the lake a spectacular hummingbird restricted to just a few arid valleys. Other birds we may well encounter here are White-tufted Grebe, Yellow-Billed, Puna and Cinnamon Teals, Yellow-billed Pintail, Ruddy Duck, Cinereous Harrier, Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Variable Hawk, Plumbeous Rail, Puna Ibis, Andean Coot, Andean Lapwing, Andean Gull, Andean Flicker, Andean Negrito,the impressive Giant Hummingbird, Sparkling Violetear, Black tailed and Green-tailed Trainbearers, the endemic Rusty-fronted Canastero, Streak-fronted Thornbird, Wren-like Rushbird, Many-colored Rush Tyrant, White-crested Elaenia, Yellow-billed Tit-Tyrant, White-browed Chat-Tyrant, Rufous-naped and Spot-billed Ground-Tyrants, Greenish Yellow-Finch, Peruvian sierra-Finch, Mourning sierra-Finch, Golden-billed Saltator, Yellow-winged Blackbird, Hooded Siskin and many more. We will drive one hour from Huacarpay to San Salvador Lake (4000 m), the main target birds are the Andean Goose, Crested Duck, Silvery Grebe, Black-faced Ibis and Giant Coot. Near by the lake we will search for Andean Hilstar. There are small patch of Polylepis forest for two endemics of peru, the Creamy-crested Spinetail and Chestnut-breasted Mountain-Finch
. In the late afternoon we will drive back to Cusco.
Our vehicle will take us to the trail head at Piscacucho (76 kilometers by paved road and 15 kilometers by dirt road – 3 hours). From the trailhead we will follow the left bank of the Urubamba River, enjoying fine views of snow-capped Mount Veronica (5850 meters / 19,188 feet). After lunch we will visit the ruins of Llactapata before continuing along the Huayllabamba valley to our campsite near the village of the same name (2968 meters / 9737 feet). Today We might see this kind of birds.
Torrent duck Merganetta armata, American kestrel Faclo Sparveius cinnamominus,Green Violet ear Colibri coruscan,Giant hummingbird patagona gigas,Sparkling violet ear Colibri coruscan,Andean hillstar Oreotrochilus estella, Sword Billet Hummingbird ensifera ensifera,Black tailet trainbearer lesbian victoriae,Green tailet trainbearer,bearded mountaineer oreonympha nobilis,creamy crested Spinetail cranioleuca albicapilla, Rusty fronted canastero Asthenes ottonis,Yellow billet tit tyrant Anairetes flavirostris,Blue and yellow tanager thraupis bonariesis,Peruvian sierra finch phrygilus punesis,Black throated flowerpiercer diglossa brunneiventris, Black chested buzzard eagle geranoaetus melanoleucus,
Altitudes: Cusco 3400 meters / 11,159 feet; Piscacucho (Km 82): 2650 meters / 8692 feet; Llactapata: 2610 meters / 8563 feet; Huayllabamba: 2968 meters / 9737 feet
From the village of Huayllabamba the trail climbs steadily through high Andean woodland to the plain known as Llulluchapampa, just before the first pass, from where there are excellent views of the Huayanay mountain chain. After another two hours walking we will reach Warmiwañuska Pass (4205 meters / 13,795 feet), before descending as far as the canyon of the Pacaymayo River (3604 meters / 11,821 feet), where we will make our second camp. We might see this kind of bird.
Blue mantled thornbill Chalcostigma stanleyi,White tufted sunbean Aglaeactis castelnaudii,Shining sunbean Aglaeactis cupripennis,Slender billed miner Geositta tenuirostris,Cordilleran canastero Asthenes modesta,Stripe headed Antpitta Grallaria Andicolus,Red crested cotinga Ampelion rubrocristata,Tawny rumped tyrannulet Phyllomyas uropygialis,Brown backed chat tyrant Ochthoeca fumicolor,whute winget black tyrantknipolegus aterimus,Scarlet bellied mountain tanager Anisognathus igniventris, Bluish flowerpiercer Dioglossa caerulescens,Golden billioed saltator saltator aurantiirostris,Andfea corndor vulture gryphus,puna variable hawk buteo polyosoma poecilochrous,
Altitudes: Huayllabamba: 2968 meters / 9737 feet; Llulluchapampa: 3767 meters / 12,359 feet; Warmiwañuska: 4205 meters / 13,795 feet; Pacaymayo: 3604 meters / 11,821 feet
The trail climbs to the second pass at Runkuracay (3950 meters / 12,956 feet), from where there are views of both the Vilcabamba and Urubamba mountain ranges. After a short rest we will descend along a paved Inca road to the ruins of Runkuracay and Sayacmarca, which have been recently restored. Here we enter the cloud forest and in the afternoon the trail continues via a series of stone steps past the ruins of Phuyupatamarca (3640 meters / 11,942 feet) where we will camp for the night. We might see this kind of bird.
Scalet metaltail metallura aeneocauda,puna thistletail Schizoeaca helleri,Pearled treerunner Margaronis Squamiger,Undulated antpitta grallaria Squamigera,Vilcabamba tapaculo Scytalopus urubambae,orchraceus brested flycatcher,Rofopus breasted chat ttyrant ochthoeca rufipectoralis,Golden collared tanager iridonorsis taeniata,Chesnut bellied Mountain tanager delothraupis castaneoventris,Tit like dacnis dacnis cayana, Bluish flowerpiercer Dioglossa caerulescens,Moustached flowerpiercer diglossa mysticalis,White throated hawk buteo albigula,
Altitudes: Pacaymayo: 3604 meters / 11,821 feet; Runkuracay Pass: 3950 meters / 12,956 feet; Phuyupatamarca: 3640 meters / 11,942 feet
From Phuypatamarca, the trail descends a vertiginous slope along a remarkable set of stone Inca steps, a descent of approximately three hours to the picturesque ruins of Wiñay Wayna (2665 meters / 8743 feet), an Inca site set in dense forest. The Wiñay Wayna complex was once inhabited by Inca farmers who used terracing to reclaim these steep slopes for agriculture. It is composed of around structures (which have all been restored), as well as an irrigation system and a splendid Inca temple. You will have at least an hour to explore the ruins of Winay Wayna on foot.In the afternoon we will walk for another two hours, enjoying the spectacular scenery along the way, with the Urubamba River far below, until we reach Intipunku (Sun Gate), from where we will get our first glimpse of Machu Picchu. From here it is a forty minute walk to the Inca city. We might see this kind of bird.Montane Woodcreper Lipidocolaptis lacrymiger,Trilling tapaculo Scytalopus parvirostris,black throated tody tyrant hermitriccus granadfensis,white banded tyranulet Mecocerculus stictopterus,white colared jay Cyanolyca viridicayanus,Sedge wren Cistothorus platensis,Blue and black tanager tangara varsorii,Plush cap catamblyrhynchus diadema, Bluish flowerpiercer Dioglossa caerulescens,
Altitudes: Phuyupatamarca: 3640 meters / 11,942 feet; Wiñay Wayna: 2665 meters / 8743 feet; Intipunku: 2693 meters / 8833 feet; Machu Picchu: 2460 meters / 8071 feet; Aguas Calientes: 2070 meters / 6791 feet.
Early morning for birding and visit to the Citadel of Machupicchu (2400m) lost city of the Incas is so well known from the numerous photographs and articles that feature this extraordinary place that it seems almost unnecessary to describe its dramatic setting amongst the Andes. The city is perched on a narrow ridge high above the Urubamba River and on seeing the precipitous slopes on all sides one can easily appreciate why it remained undiscovered for so many years. The area around Machupicchu has been cleared of forest and so scrub and bamboo thickets are now the predominant habitat, inhabited by the noisy endemic Inca Wren, although some forest patches can be found along the river valley. Other species we may find in the area include Mitred Parakeet, White-tipped Swift, Green-and-white Hummingbird, Collared Inca, Ocellated Piculet, Streaked Xenops, Variable Antshrike, Mottle-cheeked Tyrannulet, Rusty Flowerpiercer, Oleaginous Hemispingus, Yellow-bellied Seedeater, Hooded Siskin. Along the Urubamba River, where Torrent Duck and White-capped Dippers can regularly be seen along the fast flowing river.This afternoon we spent birding at the botanic garden. We may see: Green Hermit, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Speckle-faced Parrot, Sclaterâ€™s Tyrannulet,Glossy-black Thrush and the endemic Masked Fruiteater, Torrent Tyrannulet, Fawn-breasted Tanager, Saffron-crowned Tanager, Slaty Tanager, Silver-backed Tanager, Capped Conebill, Chestnut-capped Brush-Finch and Orange-bellied Euphonia. In the late afternoon we will return to Cusco
Transfer to the airport end of our Birdwatching Inca Trail Trek | Services