Birding in Lima: Lachay National Reserve

Birding in Lima: Lachay National Reserve

Lomas de Lachay Reserve has a truly unique ecosystem whose principal source of moisture is fog from the ocean.

We depart early in the morning towards Lomas de Lachay located 100 km (65 miles) north of Lima. On the way to the reserve we will scan the agricultural fields looking for PeruvianThick-knees. After scoring this bird we enter the reserve, the landscape in this area looks pretty desertic, but this is the habitat of the endemic Coastal Miner and Least Seedsnipe. Further on we will notice how the vegetation starts to appear on both sides along the road. Birds like the uncommon austral migrant Tawny-throated DotterelYellowish PipitsBurrowing Owls and Peruvian Meadowlarks prefer this open hábitat with low vegetation. We will pay attention to the raptors here, as theVariable Hawks and Black-chested Buzzard-Eagles constantly soars above these plains.

Least Seedsnipe @Jean Paul Perret

Once we enter to the main part of the reserve the landscape changes dramatically, mountains covered with dense vegetation and trees growing along the creeks, it’s hard to imagine that the desert is only a couple of miles away. The trees in this valley are the place to look for the auricularis subspecies of Masked Yellowthroat, sometimes considered a separate species called Black-lored Yellowthroat.

Peruvian Thick-knee @Jean Paul Perret

Walk along a trail to a water hole where flocks of birds gather together to drink as this is the only permanent water source in the reserve. It’s not uncommon to see AndeanTinamous crossing the trail in this area early in the morning. Along the trail to the water hole we can observe species like Mountain ParakeetsPeruvian SheartailOasis HummingbirdBand-tailed Sierra-finchCollared Warbling-finch and the endemic Raimondi’sYellow-finch.

After walking these trails we’ll drive to Quebrada Guayabito located on the dry side of the reserve. This area is home to the endemic Cactus Canastero and also Short-tailed Field Tyrant and Grayish Miner.

Burrowing Owl @Jean Paul Perret

Optional visit to the Ventanilla Marshes

On theway back to Lima is possible to visit a local conservation area called Ventanilla Marshes. We recommend to make this optional visit to the birders that haven’t visit similar hábitats like the Villa Marshes in Lima or to people that have missed some of the species thatl ives in that area. Here we can see species like Many-colored Rush-tyrantWren-like RushbirdGreat GrebeWhite-tufted Grebe (hard to see at Villa Marshes but common here), Plumbeous RailGray-hooded GullPuna Ibis. Some migrant shorebirds favor this reserve during migration season like StiltPectoralWesternLeast and Semipalmated Sandpipers. There is an additional fee to visit this area.


The Peruvian coast is located in the middle of one of the driest deserts in the world, the Atacama desert. Despite that, during the winter months (June to November) the atmosphere is saturated with high levels of humidity due to the condensation caused by the cold Humboldt current. Rains are very uncommon here (except during “El Niño” events), but drizzle is present almost every day during the winter months. Temperatures ranges from 30°C (86°F) during the austral summer (December to March) to 13°C (55°F) from June to November.


  • During the Winter months (June to November) dress in layers, a windproof jacket, fleece jacket and a T-shirt or a longsleeve shirt is a good combination.
  • Between November and May sunny days are very common. Bring something to cover your head as the UV factor along the Peruvian coast is very high. Also a sunblock with good UV protection is important.
  • If you suffer from any medical condition that requires special attention please let us know before hand.
  • If you are vegetarian or have any food allergies please let us know so we can include other items in the box lunch.


1 PAX $575 per person
2 PAX $360 per person
3 PAX $290 per person
4 PAX $255 per person
5 PAX $235 per person
6, 7 or 8 PAX $220 per person

*There is an additional fee of US$ 20 per person for the optional visit to the Ventanilla Marshes.

Prices include

  • Transportation from your hotel or the airport to the localities mentioned in the tour description.
  • Professional birding guide.
  • Entrance tickets to the Lomas de Lachay National Reserve.
  • Bottle of water
  • Box lunch at Lomas de Lachay.

Prices does not include

  • Tips for the guide and driver.
  • Optional visit to Ventanilla Marshes.
Download program (PDF) Back to Birdwatching in Lima and Surroundings

I had an amazing day and I am delighted with the photographs I obtained of a wide variety of species.

Nick Plumb

Wildlife Photographer, Suffolk- UK

We hired Ecologistica Peru for two days of birding in the Lima area following a memorable trek on the Inca Trail.

Rene Laubach & Christyna Laubach

Rene Laubach , Audubon Society Wildlife Sanctuary Director – Retired, USA & Christyna Laubach, High School Science Teacher and Department head – Retired, USA.

We met Guillermo Knell when he was working on a Natural Habitat Peruvian jungle cruise, and enjoyed his presence.

Jerry Johnson and Dominique Bello

Retired Economist and Artist, Washington DC

Ecologistica Peru did a fantastic job providing three memorable days of birding in the Lima area. We visited Pantanos de Villa, Pucusana, Lachay National Reserve, and the Santa Eulalia valley.

Andrew Fix

Retired Scientist, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

See more