Print this trip dossier

Journey Latin America asks you to accept cookies for performance and social media purposes. We use cookies on our website to personalise content, evaluate website traffic and enhance performance. You can delete or restrict cookies via your web browser. To get more information about these cookies and the processing of your personal data see our Cookie Policy. Do you accept these cookies and the processing of personal data involved? Find out more


Peru Birdlife: Machu Picchu to Pristine Amazon

Send an Enquiry
*
*
*
*
*
Enquiry
*
Print-Friendly dossier

Discover Peru’s incredible birdlife on a journey from the Andes to Amazon. With a breathtaking diversity of altitudes, landscapes and ecosystems, from chilly mountain ranges to humid lowland jungle, Peru is home to over 1,800 species of birds (120 endemic to Peru), 500 species of mammals and over 300 species of reptiles.

On this unique bird-focussed holiday in Peru, see the spectacular Andean setting of the Sacred Valley of the Incas, home to magnificent birds of prey, white-capped Dipper and torrent ducks, then wander through hummingbird-filled cloud forest below the lost city of Machu Picchu, the cultural highlight of any visit to Peru.

With time to discover the enchanting town of Cusco, travel down towards the remote Amazonian Manú National Park, which boasts one of highest levels of biodiversity of any reserve in the world. Here, explore Manú Biosphere Reserve on the edge of the Park, where highlights include razor-billed curassow, cock-of-the-rock, and intimate views of macaws, parrots, and parakeets at a nearby clay-lick.

Here, you also have the opportunity to get hands-on with the centre’s inspirational tree-top canopy research and studies into the endangered blue headed macaw, alongside the conservation-focused scientists and researchers who are based here.

Holiday itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Cusco, transfer to the Sacred Valley

Day 2

Explore Ollantaytambo and the shores of the Urubamba River

Day 3

Expedition train to Machu Picchu, guided tour of the ruins, overnight in Aguas Calientes

Day 4

Cloud forest walk (optional); train to Cusco

Day 5

Explore Cusco with guided visits to markets and highlights

Day 6

Travel to Manú Biosphere Reserve in Amazonia

Day 7

Visit coq-of-the-rock habitat; continue deeper into the forest.

Days 8 & 9

Visit parrot clay lick; research projects

Day 10

Community projects at the Manú Learning Centre

Day 11

Return to Cusco

Day 12

Depart Cusco for international flight; or extend your holiday

VIEW FULL ITINERARY DETAILS
ReadMore
Close

Visit Us

What our experts say

This holiday has been devised specifically for birdwatchers and is unique in its scope: Peru’s diversity makes it a perfect bird-watching destination and the added extra of spending time with conservational scientists and researchers makes this trip even more exciting.

Ben Line

Ben Line

Travel Consultants

Places visited on this holiday

Peru Birdlife: Machu Picchu to Pristine Amazon

Back to list of places visited
Sacred Valley of the Incas
Sacred valley
The Sacred Valley of the Incas was both the Inca civilisation’s breadbasket and its spiritual home. Nowadays, its appeal is not just the fast-flowing, broom-lined River Urubamba, rushing relentlessly towards the Amazon basin. Nor the parade of spiky snow-stifled peaks alongside; nor the adobe colonial villages, nor the monumental ruined Inca cities and temples. Nor the earthy quilt of sunlit fields bursting with maize, fruit, flowers and vegetables.  It’s the combination of all these which makes the Sacred Valley such a unique and gorgeous place for visitors. Now peppered with hotels from family hostels to first class boutique hotels, it’s increasingly a place to linger for a few days; lower in altitude than Cusco, 3,399m,  and conveniently en route to Machu Picchu, 2,430m.
When to go
The Sacred Valley can be visited throughout the year. The dry season, when sunny days can be expected, runs May-Oct. Travel in Apr-Jun and you’ll find the l fields full of ripening produce.
Language

Spanish and Quechua.

Getting local currency
Peruvian Nuevo Sol. US dollars can be exchanged for local currency in a couple of small shops in Ollantaytambo and Pisac but you are better off using an ATM in Cusco or at the airport before heading into the valley.
Time difference

GMT -5 hours.

Combines with

Cusco, 53 km by road; Machu Picchu, 23km by rail; Tambopata and the lodges of the southern Amazon, 1 hour by air from Cusco; Lake Titicaca, 6-9 hours by road or 10 hours by train from Cusco; Colca Canyon, 280km by road.

Getting there

Flights to Cusco from Lima take one hour.

Key events
Semana Santa, Easter. Processions and other celebrations in towns and villages.

Carnival: Feb/Mar. Celebrations start in Pisac 7 weeks before Easter Sunday with competing dance groups and continue in local villages.

Reyes Magos: 6 Jan in Ollantaytambo. Commemorates the Three Wise Men, with statues of poncho-clad Jesus brought down from the mountains. A fair, bull-fighting and dancing.

Señor de Choquekillca:  Variable, 50 days after Easter Sunday; but spreading over 4 days. Ollantaytambo celebrates its patron saint’s day with dances, processions, masses, a cockfight and bullfight.

Back to list of places visited
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
So remote that it was discovered by Hiram Bingham only 100-odd years ago, Machu Picchu is now disarmingly accessible.  The journey there by road and rail through an ever-tightening river gorge is all part of an amazing experience of multiple sensations. Everyone is familiar with the dramatic shot of the citadel, astride a series of man-hewn terraces carved into a rainforest-clad mountain saddle at 2,430m in the Andean foothills. A visit never disappoints: the steep stone staircases, bridges, temples, houses and palaces are easy to explore, and beg to be photographed.
When to go

Machu Picchu can be visited throughout the year. With its humid climate, the city can be shrouded in mist at any time, but you’d be unlucky if the sun didn’t shine at some time during your visit. Most rain falls Dec-Mar.

Language

Spanish.

Getting local currency
Peruvian Nuevo Sol. There are no banks in the village and exchange rates for cash are poor. Obtain notes in advance in local currency or US dollars from the many ATMs in Cusco or at airports, using a UK credit or debit card.
Time difference

GMT -5 hours.

Combines with

The Sacred Valley of the Incas, 23 km by rail; Cusco, 75 km by road and rail; Tambopata and the lodges of the southern Amazon, 1 hour by air from Cusco; Lake Titicaca, 6-9 hours by road or 10 hours by train from Cusco.

Getting there

Flights to Cusco from Lima take one hour; from there it’s a 4 hour land journey to the site.

Key events
Cruz Velacuy: variable dates in May or Jun in Machu Picchu village. The community decorates the cross of its church and prepares it for its procession to churches in neighbouring villages. This celebration held in gratitude to pre-Columbian gods for bountiful harvests, also serves as a setting for folklore shows.
Back to list of places visited
Cusco
High in a fertile mountain valley at 3,399m and surrounded by the lofty ice peaks of the Andes, the former capital of the Inca Empire and Spanish colonial masterpiece, Cusco, was cut off from the rest of the world until about 100 years ago. Now it is recognised as one of the most enticing, unspoilt cities on the continent. The history running through its veins is exposed in the meticulous masonry of the Inca temples, the baroque intricacy of its golden churches and palaces and the lively markets, fiestas, art galleries, boutique hotels and gourmet restaurants of the present day city. Here you can immerse yourself totally in Peru’s rich cultural mix.
When to go
Cusco can be visited throughout the year. Most visitors will use climate as a criterion but others may be attracted by any one of numerous fiestas: Inti Raymi, Easter, Corpus Christi, Christmas. The dry season when sunny days can be expected runs May-Oct but in Jun-Jul it can be below freezing at night.  Rain falls Jan-Mar.
Language

Spanish.

Getting local currency
Peruvian Nuevo Sol. Notes in local currency or US dollars can be withdrawn from the many ATMs using a UK credit or debit card. Numerous money exchanges (casas de cambio) change US dollars cash (few accept euros or sterling and the rate may be poor).
Time difference

GMT -5 hours.

Combines with

The Sacred Valley of the Incas, 53 km by road; Machu Picchu, 75km by road and rail; Tambopata and the lodges of the southern Amazon, 1 hour by air; Lake Titicaca, 6-9 hours by road or 10 hours by train; Colca Canyon, 236km by road.

Getting there

Flights to Cusco from Lima take 1 hour.

Key events

Inti Raymi:  24 Jun. Inca festival of the winter solstice celebrated at the temple of Sacsayhuamán.

El Señor de los Temblores:  Variable. Vast Easter Monday religious procession.

Corpus Christi: Jun. Statues of the Virgin Mary and saints have a day out from their churches and are paraded to the Cathedral.
Back to list of places visited
The Peruvian Amazon (south)
Peruvian Amazon

The Amazonian rainforest occupies 60% of Peru. The northern region, accessible from Iquitos, has flood plains and wide tributaries, a great environment for Amazonian river cruises. In the more closely forested south, with its faster flowing streams and ox-bow lakes, you are more likely to be based at a friendly jungle lodge, from where you can discover the forest magic, its abundance of exotic birds, monkeys, alligators and flowering tropical plants, with the opportunity to visit indigenous communities. 

The southern region of the Peruvian Amazon has as its gateway the busy, rapidly expanding river port Puerto Maldonado, situated on the banks of the river Tambopata where it has confluence with the river Madre de Dios, tributaries of what will, downstream, become the Amazon. A century-old market town, which has seen rubber, logging and gold prospecting booms, it is where visitors arrive on a flight from Cusco of just one hour, making the Peruvian Amazon very accessible for those visiting the Inca capital and Machu Picchu in the Andes.

There, eco-friendly jungle lodges of all standards, discreetly positioned amid the exuberant jungle foliage are accessible by motor boat in 2-5 hours. A little further afield is Manu, a biosphere reserve and national park reached by air or a spectacular, sinuous road descending from Cusco, where the jungle canopy is untouched: it takes longer to get there but you are rewarded with a real wilderness experience.  

When to go
The Peruvian selva enjoys a hot (30°C), humid tropical climate all year round, though there may be cold snaps. The high water, rainy season is Dec-May, a few degrees cooler than the rest of the year. At this time all waterways are navigable including small creeks, so opportunities to spot mammals are more frequent than during the sunnier dry season. From Jun-Nov the low water reveals many jungle trails, where you can get close to the vegetation, and this is a good time to spot migratory birds in flight.
Language

Spanish.

Getting local currency
Peruvian Nuevo Sol. There are banks and ATMs in Puerto Maldonado where notes in local currency or US dollars can be withdrawn using a UK credit or debit card. Several money exchange offices exchange US dollars cash but the rate may be poor).
Time difference

GMT -5 hours.

Combines with

Cusco (1 hour by air) and Machu Picchu (1 hour by air and 4 hours by land); Lake Titicaca (1 hour by air to Cusco and 6-9 hours by road or 12 hours by train).

Getting there

The southern Amazon: flights to Puerto Maldonado from Cusco take 1 hour. From Cusco to Manú by air is about 1 hour and 6-9 hours by road and boat. Longer by bike!

Speak to an expert Travel Consultant or send us your enquiry today.

Tailor-made holiday

Our specialists have been expertly crafting award-winning tailor-made holidays to Latin America for over 37 years.
We would be delighted to create a truly personalised trip which perfectly matches your wishes and requirements.

97% of our clients rated their experience with us as Excellent or Good.

Articles you may like

Browse our inspiration area of the site. It's packed with insider travel tips, Top5s, competitions, events, recipes and holiday ideas for Central and South America sure to whet your travel appetite.

More inspiration

Other holidays you may be interested in

View all holidays
Lares Adventure

Peru: Beyond the Sacred Valley with the Lares Adventure

Private journey

11 days from £3,091pp

shrimps

A Taste of Peru

Private journey

12 days from £3,342pp

hiram bingham train

Peru by Rail

Private journey

10 days from £5,913pp

Machu Picchu Peru

Signature Peru and Brazil: Machu Picchu, Rio and Iguazu Falls

Private journey

13 days from £3,895pp

 
Please note
Explore the dates and prices of this unique holiday to Latin America.

Due to flexible pricing and minimum room night requirements during peak times (such as New Year, Carnival and Easter) we may not always present all the dates we have available.

If your ideal travel date is not shown, call us on 020 8747 8315, or click on the 'Make an Online Enquiry' button to the right.

Prices exclude international flights at the beginning and end of the trip.

Do you have a question?

Ask about this trip

Or speak to an expert on 03098589426

Close

Please select a Start Date

Please select who's going

Please select the number of rooms

Not enough rooms have been chosen

Peru Birdlife: Machu Picchu to Pristine Amazon

Check available dates and pricing for this trip in four easy steps.

When Would You Like to Travel?

Step 1 of 4

If your preferred travel date is not shown there are a number of reasons why this might be. Please just let us know and we'll be happy to take a closer look for you.

Who's going?

Step 2 of 4

Our online booking system allows for up to four travellers per booking. If your group is larger than this please get in touch and we'll be happy to help process this for you.

Number of rooms required

Step 3 of 4

Our online booking system allows for up to four travellers per booking. If your group is larger than this please get in touch and we'll be happy to help process this for you.

Holiday price total

Step 4 of 4

Tour :

Peru Birdlife: Machu Picchu to Pristine Amazon

Departure date :

Travellers :

Room type :

Total :

The total price above excludes international flights at beginning and end of your trip. To add flights speak to one of our experts on 020 8747 8315.

Peru Birdlife: Machu Picchu to Pristine Amazon

12 days from £2,066pp

Price excludes international flights at the beginning and end of the trip

 

Private Journey

 

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to our twice monthly newsletter and be the first to know about our latest news, offer and competitions.

Sign up with...

Your email

Or...

Using a social account is fast and means you don't need to remember a password.

We never share your data either - see our terms & conditions

Facebook Connect

Remember, you can unsubscribe at any time.

To see how we take care of your data please review our Privacy Policy

Thanks for subscribing – we’ll be in touch!

You are not subscribed. Some error happened.

Share this Page

Social share page will open in new window

Send a friend

reCaptcha_try_again

Page Full Path: /sitecore/content/JLA/Home/destinations/peru/holidays/peru-birdlife-machu-picchu-to-pristine-amazon

Page ID: {CF9CFEEE-BDED-4E82-A25B-86680635554D}

Page Name: peru-birdlife-machu-picchu-to-pristine-amazon

Page Display Name: Peru Birdlife: Machu Picchu to Pristine Amazon

Page Template Name: T013-Private-Tour-JJ

Page Template ID: {1987AD35-218E-4B05-8DCF-B80B79F469E7}

Parent ID: {F663710C-935C-4478-AEBB-AD78EFB68D4F}

Parent Name: holidays

Parent Display Name: Holidays

Parent Template Name: T007-Tours

Parent Template ID: {C007F36D-3091-4A02-8D0A-2302CE1DCA8E}