NORTHERN ROUTE BIRDING TOUR
|Duration:||15 days, 13 nights|
|* This tour is available for any dates of your choosing provided guide services and accommodations are available.|
The below information is provided to inform people of what to expect if they participate in this tour and to advise participants on how to prepare for the tour. We try to provide accurate information but conditions and travel requirements can change over time.
Persons entering Peru require a valid passport with an expiration date more than 6 months after their planned departure from the country. Immigration officials may deny a person entry if their passport is not in good condition. Citizens of the US, UK, and Canada do not require a visa to enter Peru if staying less than 90 days. They must fill out a tourist card provided by the airline en route to the the country. Non-US citizens should check with the Peru embassy to find out about entry requirements. In response to the Covid pandemic, Peru requires proof of being fully vaccinated against Covid at least 14 days prior to arrival. For persons over the age of 40, the third dose of vaccine is required. If not fully vaccinated, a molecular test with negative results taken within 72 hours of boarding is required. For persons who have had Covid, documentation is required to prove discharge from the treatment at least 3 months prior to entry. A mandatory 14-day quarantine is required for any arrivals who have visited South Africa within 14 days of arrival in Peru.
A departure tax of $30.25 is assessed when leaving Peru. The tax is included with the international airline ticket if flying on American Airlines. For other airlines check with your carrier. If required, PCR and antigen Covid tests are readily available within one calendar day.
Peru is on Eastern Standard Time.
Immunizations & Health
Please contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding health issues and immunization requirements when traveling in Peru. See your travel doctor for specific recommendations at least 4-6 weeks prior to departure. Malaria risk exists in some parts of Peru but is generally absent or very infrequent around the Manu Biosphere Reserve and in the Tambopata region. The Peru government recommends yellow fever innoculation prior to traveling to the lowlands. The CDC also recommends vaccinations/boosters for hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG, typhoid, yellow fever, tetanus-diptheria, and measles. Some birding sites in the Andes are at high altitude so altitude sickness pills are advisable for some tours. Cusco is at 10,000ft, Abra Malaga is about 14,000ft, and Santa Eulalia/Marcopomacocha area reaches 16,000ft. Check with your doctor.
Good medical care is available in Lima and Cusco but not in remote areas.
We recommend purchasing trip cancellation insurance, which will reimburse you for any non-refundable payments you would otherwise lose if you must cancel your participation in the tour for some unforeseen reason. Trip cancellation insurance must normally be purchased within a short time after you register for the tour. Travel medical insurance is advisable, especially for those with chronic or known medical conditions.
Tours to central Peru may visit the Marocpomacocha area at an altitude of about 14,500 ft. They may also visit the ruins at Machu Picchu at an altitude of about 77700 ft. Tours to central Peru and Manu include stops in Cusco where the altitude is about 10,000 ft. Tours along the Manu Road begin with a stop at Wayqecha where the altitude is also about 10,000 ft. Thereafter, transects along the Manu Road proceed downhill to the lowlands before flying back to Lima near the coast. Persons prone to altitude sickness may wish to bring over-the-counter pain relievers or consult with their physician regarding medications such as acetazolamide, dexamethasone, and nifedipine to relieve symptoms. Tours to northern Peru typically reach an altitude of about 7000-7500 ft at Fundo Alto Nieva and Abra Patricia, though longer itineraries that include Leimebamba may reach an altitude as high as 12,000 FT.
Tours conducted during Austral winter (June-August) and/or reach high altitudes may encounter very cold weather and, rarely, even some snow in the passes. Even tours conducted during Austral spring and summer (October-February) can encounter cold weather at higher altitudes. Rooms at Wayqecha Biological Station are unheated on tours along Manu Road. Boat trips at Pucusana can also encounter cold weather, especially in winter. In contrast, the lowlands can be quite warm or even hot, especially in the Manu Biosphere buffer zone and Tambopata region. Therefore, participants should bring warm clothes suitable for temperatures near freezing as well as light clothes for the hot lowlands.
Birding tours are conducted at an easy to moderate pace. Birding along Manu road involves mainly walking downhill in front of the vehicle, though we'll bird several trails that are on fairly level ground. Manu Road itself has a fairly good gravel surface but can be very narrow in places. There are no guard rails and the side of the road drops off into steep valleys below, and sometimes the vehicle is not far from the road edge. Our driver is very expert and safe but those suffering from vertigo may have some concerns. Trails in the lowlands are fairly level and easy walking. Birding along the northern route involves substantial roadside birding but also includes some trails through forests. Trails tend to be fairly easy, though tours rated as moderate difficulty may include substantial uphill walking to higher elevation sites.
Birding is best in early morning and late afternoon, so days begin shortly after first light around 6:00-6:30 am. Breakfasts are typically early, around 5:00-6:00 am or even earlier, though at some lodges we have breakfast after some early birding. We may stay out after dark looking for nightjars and owls on some nights before dinner. Because we awake early, participants typically retire to their rooms immediately after we complete dinner and checklists for the day.
The hotel in Lima is in the Miraflores District and requires about a 20-min transfer. We typically at the best available lodges during the tour. However, some lodges in the lowlands have heated rooms, some do not have private bathrooms, and some do not have heated showers. At some locales, only basic accommodations are available.
Meals vary from basic to quite good. All lodges and restaurants can accommodate dietary restrictions with advance notice. Bottled water is available throughout all tours, but due to the varied preferences of participants, bottled water is not provided except during meals unless provided by the lodges for no charge.
Land transport is by comfortable mini-van or suitable vehicle depending on group size. Travel down the Madre de Dios River is by motorized launch. Domestic flights are required on many tours. Fares are not included in tour prices. We will advise on suitable connections for your tour.
Registration & Payment
Please refer to the REGISTRATION menu for registration procedure. Trip cancellation insurance is highly recommended as payments may be partially or wholly non-refundable. See the GENERAL -> Policies menu for our refund policy.
General information about the tour, including where to meet the group and contact information, will be sent by email or US mail prior to departure. Checklists will be provided at the beginning of the tour. Additional information about our policies can be found on the REGISTRATION menu above. Please feel free to call us at 206-650-3425 or email us with any questions you may have.
Information last updated February, 2022.