Birding in Northern Peru

Birding in Northern Peru

The trip take a small transect of the Peru’s Northern Tourist Corridor from the Pacific coast to the jungle lowlands in Tarapoto city.

Northern Peru Itinerary (2 to 7 paxs)

Destinations: Chiclayo, Chaparri, Jaen, Abra Patricia, Moyobamba, Tarapoto.

Duration: 13 days.

The trip takes a small transect of the Peru’s Northern Tourist Corridor from the Pacific coast to the jungle lowlands in Tarapoto city. In Lima city we include one important birding destination. The beauty of this trip is the combination of incredible landscapes, different habitats and the opportunity to see and enjoy a great diversity of wildlife and endemic species.

Day 1

Early flight Lima to Chiclayo. Chiclayo is Peru’s fourth largest city, located at Km. 765 on the Pan-American Highway north of Lima. We start our birding adventure visiting a very interesting tropical deciduous forest: Locally known as a Rafan Forest located in the district of Lagunas, only half an hour from the airport. Here we will be searching for Peruvian Plantcutter, Rufous Flycatcher, Scarlet-backed Woodpecker, and Streak-headed Woodcreeper among other Tumbesian endemics. Depending of our arrival time in Chiclayo we might have lunch on a local restaurant on the way to Chaparri Eco- lodge, or in the lodge itself. Chaparrí Eco-lodge (2 hours away from Chiclayo) is a charming ecolodge constructed in traditional style using local’s materials as adobe and stone.

Overnight at Chaparri Eco-Lodge. BL

Day 2

Early breakfast to begin our search walking around the trail system in search of several bird species that inhabits this part of dry forests. This area is also very good for other Tumbesian birds as Sooty-crowned Flycatcher, White-tailed Jay, Tumbes Hummingbird, Baird´s Flycatcher, White-headed Brush-Finch and Elegant Crescentchest, Collared Antshrike among others.

In the afternoon, another walk around the lodge’s trails to search for species we might have missed.

Peruvian Plantcutter @Jean Paul Perret

Day 3

We leave Chaparri Eco-lodge and start our birding adventure visiting a very interesting bromeliad forest in the Cashupe creek above Chaparri area. Here we will search for the endemic and endangered White-winged Guan. Guayaquil Woodpecker, Black-capped Sparrow, Henna-hooded Foliage- Gleaner, Ecuadorian Piculet, Ecuadorian Trogon among others. Before we head back to Chiclayo city we will make a short stop outside the reserve, at the Tinajones Reservoir to search for Comb Ducks and Black-faced Ibis. Once in Chiclayo we will drive towards Pomac Forest Historical Sanctuary, located at 31.5Km from Chiclayo city, another interesting patch of dry forest where we will be searching Tumbes Swallow and other specialties of this interesting ecosystem.

Overnight at Olmos – Maracuya Hotel. B, D.

Day 4

Early departure to Abra Porculla passes. This is the lowest pass of the Andes Mountains in northern Peru, and throughout the entire length of the mountain chain from Colombia to Chile. Abra Porculla is located at 2,145 meters above sea level and surrounded with more humid montane forest as we drive along. A set of interesting species can be found such as Piura Chat Tyrant, Chapman’s Antshrike, Gray Chinned Hermit (porculla race) and Black-cowled Saltator. After here we will drive to the town of Jaen, located at the edge of the Marañon Canyon. Late afternoon birding in Yanahuanca Reserve searching for Little Inca Finch, Chinchipe Spinetail and Northern Slaty Antshrike.

Overnight at Hotel Urkos. Jaen. B.

Tumbes Tyrant @Jean Paul Perret

Day 5

Morning to explore the “Las Pirias Road” to search for Marañon Crescentchest, Chinchipe Spinetail and Marañon Spinetail. Around 8:00am we continue on route to Pedro Ruiz to look for Fasciated Tiger Heron along the Utcubamba River Lunch at Pedro Ruiz. In the afternoon we continue our journey to Huembo to look for the Marvelous Spatuletail and Little Woodstar. Huembo is a land owned by the community and is managed for conservation in partnership with the Peruvian conservation organization “Asociacion Ecosistemas Andinos” (ECOAN), located at 2,060 meters above sea level.

Overnight at Huembo Lodge. B, L, D.

Day 6

After breakfast we departure towards San Lorenzo located at 20 minutes from Huembo. It’s a very interesting trail that will allow us to search for: Pale-billed Antpitta, Peruvian Wren, Speckle-chested Piculet, Scarlet-fronted Parakeet, Buff-bellied Tanager among other. After lunch we will drive to the lake of Pomacochas to search for Puna Snipe and Plumbeous Rail, following we will drive to our final destination for the day, the Owlet Lodge located on the east slope of the Andes, very near to the Abra Patricia pass at 2,300 meters above sea level, where comprise steep slopes characterized by mid-montane cloud forest and a unique stunted ridge-top elfin forest as a part of the landscape is one of our highlights. We will spend the rest of the day working the station grounds searching for more Tanager mixed flocks and several Hummingbird species that come to the feeders. At night first attempt for the rare Long Whiskered Owlet that has been recorded in the grounds.

Overnight at Owlet Lodge. B, L, D.

Chapman´s Antshrike @Jean Paul Perret

Day 7

Early in the morning we will concentrate our search along the highway between Km. 364.5 and 373 looking for Lulu’s Tody-tyrant, Bar-winged Wood-wren, White-capped tanager and several others mountain tanagers.

Overnight at Owlet Lodge. B, L, D.

Day 8

We have the whole morning to explore the trail system in search of species such as White-capped Tanager, Rusty-tinged Antpitta, Rufous vented Tapaculo, Inca Flycatcher and Lulu’s Tody Tyrant. In the afternoon we will drive into lower elevations in search of Royal Sunangel. After dinner another chance for the Owlet, Andean Potoo and White-throated Screech Owl.

Overnight at Owlet Lodge. B, L, D.

Booted Racket-Tail @Jean Paul Perret

Day 9

After breakfast we drive into lower elevations in search of other set of birds on route to Arenas Blancas Reserve (located at 1,146 meters in elevation). Some of the stops we will have includes Fundo Alto Nieva (1,900 meters), a small private reserve located near “The Bosque de Protección Alto Mayo”, surround by cloud forest and elfin forest. Another spot considered a must is the one called “Llanteria” with presence of feeders that will gives the opportunity to increase our bird list. Some of the species we might see during our day will includes: several species of hummingbirds like the Royal Sunangel, Rufous-booted Racket-tail, Emerald-bellied Puffleg among others, Ochre-fronted Antpitta, Black-bellied Tanager, Speckle-chested Piculet, Lanceolated Monklet and Russet Antshrike and with some luck we will be able to locate the endemic Ash-throated Antwren. At the end of the afternoon, we will arrive to our final destination to relax and spend the night.

Overnight in Reserva de Arenas Blancas B, BL.

Day 10

We will spend the whole morning enjoying what this Reserve can offers to us. Several hummingbird and fruit feeders depending on the season will attract species like: Rufous-crested coquette, Wire-crested Thorntail, Rufous-throated Sapphire, Black-throated, Brilliant, Blue-fronted Lancebill, Green Hermit, Reddish Hermit, Long-billed Starthroat and many more, also some tanagers like the endemic Huallaga Tanager, others like Magpie Tanager, Burnished-buff Tanager can be seeing as well. From a hide there’s an opportunity to observe Rufous-breasted Wood-Quail and Little Tinamou.

After documenting all the species offered here, we will drive towards the town of Moyobamba. We are planning to make a few stops on the way for lunch and also to look for other interesting species that we can find along this route like: Pale-eyed Blackbird, Spotted Rail, Oriole Blackbird, Orange-backed Troupial among others.

Overnight in Wakanqui in Moyobamba. B, BL.

Long-tailed Sylph @Jean Paul Perret

Day 11

Early morning we will visit Mishquiyacu are located right behind the lodge grounds accessible by a trail that will takes us to the patch of forest that harbors very interesting species like: Fiery-throated Fruiteater, Gilded Barbet, Lettered Aracari, Yellow-tufted woodpecker, Painted Manakin, Broad-billed Motmot, Western Striolated-Puffbird among others. After lunch in the afternoon, we will explore the hummingbird gardens in this incredible site. About 18 species of hummingbirds can be seen in this great spot in a couple of hours. Some hummers include Rufous-crested Coquette and Black-throated Hermit.
After dinner we will try for some owl’s species, like Tropical –Screech Owl, Stygian Owl, Black-banded Owl and Band-bellied Owl.

Overnight in Wakanqui in Moyobamba. B, BL.

Day 12

Early Morning we will drive to Morro de Calzada to visit the Amazon Center. This place was also design to enjoy the observation of several interesting species, they have trails, feeders and some hides. Among the species we might see are: Russet-crowned Crake, Painted Manakin, Zimmers Antbird, Cream-colored Woodpecker, Uniform Crake, Mishana Tyrannulet, Red-shouldered Tanager and more. For lunch we will stop at Moyobamba town (800 meters above sea level) and from there we will continue towards Tarapoto city (2 hours by road and located at elevation of 330 sea level.) On route we will visit a few spots to look for Oilbirds and some other species along the road. Before going to the hotel, we are visiting the lake Ricuricocha to add some other species to our list.
Overnight at Hotel in Tarapoto.

Painted Manakin @Miguel Lezama

Day 13

We have all the morning to explore Cerro “La Escalera” Reserve located at 30 minutes from the city. Here we will concentrate our search in some specialties like: Plumbeous Euphonia, Dotted Tanager y Koepcke’s Hermit. After lunch on a local restaurant, we will drive to a semi deciduous forest at Upaquihua Creek where species such as Northern Slaty Antshrike, Coraya Wren, Stripe chested Antwren, Lafresnaye´s Piculet and Mishana Tyrannulet, Planalto Hermit, Chestnut-throated Spinetail, Ashy-headed Greenlet can be seeing. After lunch transfer to the airport in Tarapoto to take domestic flight back to Lima.

Prices Includes

  • Lodging in double rooms
  • Meals as indicated
  • Local Bird Guide
  • All transportation in private air-conditioned van
  • Entrance to reserves and observation points

Prices does not include

  • Airport taxes, national Taxes
  • Personal issues
  • Drinks and tips to guide
  • Tips to driver
  • Waitress and staff.


3 PAX $6,555 per person, in double room
4 PAX $5,698 per person, in double room
5 PAX $5,180 per person, in double room
6 PAX $4,832 per person, in double room
7 PAX $4,590 per person, in double room

Important notes

Total costs don’t include domestic air tickets: Lima- Chiclayo and Tarapoto – Lima.
Domestic flights are subject to change and can only be guaranteed upon ticketing

End of services

Download program (PDF) Back to Birdwatching in Northern Peru

Here's no way we could have accomplished what we did in Peru without the help and support of Guillermo and his team at Ecologistica Peru.

Private Photo Tours

Private Photo Tours

Ecologística Perú was instrumental in organizing my access to portrait subjects in small villages and communities in both the Sacred Valley and Lake Titicaca.

Ron Cooper

Travel & Portrait Photographer - Denver, Colorado USA

We'd see an incredible number of species (92 in 2 days), great photos and a wonderful time.

Oscar Dang

Amateur Wildlife Photographer -- California, USA / Melbourne, Australia

Our drivers were excellent as well the VANS. Our lunches were great too, one made by Guillermo´s wife!

Robin L. C. Leong (Life list close to 6,600 bird species)

Board member of the American Birding Association 2009 - 2018, Board member of Western Field Ornithologist 2021-present, Environmental Engineer – Vallejo, CA – USA

One of the highlights was the day we spent with Ecologistica Peru looking for birds around Lima.

Brian J Miller

Board Member of Orange Audubon Society, Co-Chair of the Audubon Chertok Nature Photo Contest, Retired Biology Teacher and Photographer - Orlando, FL

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