Day 1. Lima-Cusco-Huacarpay-Wayqecha.
Early AM flight to Cusco and then birding Huacarpay lake for Bearded Mountaineer and Rusty-fronted Canastero. Drive pretty much straight to Wayqecha arriving at nightfall. Look for Creamy-crested Spinetail and Chestnut-breasted Mountain-Finch on the way. At Acjanaco we will look for Scribble-tailed Canastero. Lower down are Puna Thistletail and Diademed Tapaculo. Sleeping cabins at Wayqecha research station.
Day 2. Wayqecha-Pillahuata-Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge.
Primary target is the endemic Red-and-White Antpitta in the morning. Yungas Pygmy-Owl, Marcapata Spinetail, Rufous-capped Thornbill, Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Dark-faced Brush-Finch, Grey-breasted Mountain Toucan, Blue-banded Toucanet, Hooded, Grass-Green and Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager can be seen near Pillahuata. At Rocotal hopefully we can find the day-roosting Andean Potoo, just next to the road. We shall also look for White-throated Antpitta and Hooded Tinamou, although scarce. In the late afternoon we shall be arriving to the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock lek just next to the Lodge. Sleep in private cabins at Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge.
Day 3. Cock-of-the Rock Lodge.
The private reserve around here holds a number of good birds such as Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Rufescent Screech-Owl, Streak-headed Antbird (recent split from Long-tailed Antbird), Dusky-Green Oropendula, Yungas Manakin, Black-billed Treehunter, Orange-eared Tanager, Versicolored Barbet and Black-and-Chestnut and Solitary Eagles. The permanent mixed species flock around the camp holds species like Yellow-rumped Antwren and Bolivian Tyrannulet. A nearby trail sometimes treats us with Cerulean-capped Manakin, Slaty Gnateater and Rufous-breasted Ant-thrush. Other birds include Lemon-browed Flycatcher, Crested Quetzal, Uniform Antshrike and Golden-collared Tanager. At the lodge clearing there are feeders and porterweed flowers where hummingbirds like Violet-fronted Brilliant, Many-spotted Hummingbird, Booted Raquet-tail and Wire-crested Thorntail. With lots of luck we may also spot the endemic and rare Peruvian Piedtail and Rufous-webbed Brilliant.
Day 4. Cock-of-Rock Lodge-Villa Carmen
Continued birding in the vicinity of Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge in the morning. Specifically, we shall be looking for a new soon to be described tanager that lives in the bamboo. In the afternoon we will continue to Pilcopata at 800m and look for specialties such as Amazonian Umbrellabird, Stripe-chested Antwren, Black-streaked Puffbird, Russet Antshrike, Lanceolated Monklet, Wattled Guan, Orange-breasted Falcon, Orange-fronted Plushcrown, Black-backed Tody-Tyrant and Fine-barred Piculet.
Night at Villa Carmen.
Day 5. Amazonia Lodge
We continue to travel to Amazonia Lodge this day watching out for overflying parrots such as Military and Blue-headed Macaw and Spangled and Plum-throated Cotingas in the tree-tops along the hilly stretch between Pilcopata and Atalaya. Later we visit a nearby Oxbow lake that holds Pale-eyed Blackbird and Black-billed Seed-finch , as well as Horned Screamer, Hoatzin and Black-capped Donacobius. With luck we may be able to lure out a Rufous-sided Crake. Sometimes Sungrebe is seen here.
At Amazonia lodge the specialties include Koepcke’s Hermit, Rufous-vented Ground- Cuckoo, Black-spotted Bare-eye, Long-tailed Potoo, Amazonian and Thrush-like Antpitta, Red-billed Tyrannulet, Fiery-capped Manakin and many more. Special features at Amazonia Lodge include a good canopy tower up the ridge trail and the famous jeep-track, which is very good for crossing Tinamous (including Black-capped Tinamou). The lodge clearing has big stands of Blue Vervain that brings in hoards of Hummingbirds such as Golden-tailed Sapphire, Gray-breasted Sabrewing and Rufous-crested Coquette. Night at Amazonia Lodge.
Day 6. Amazonia Lodge
A full morning at at Amazonia Lodge working the Jeep track and the feeders before transfering back to Villa Carmen. After lunch we’ll arrive at Villa Carmen where there is good bamboo. Species like Bamboo Antshrike, Pavonine Cuckoo, Dot-winged Antwren, Ruddy-tailed Flycatcher, Ornate Antwren, Manu Antbird, Yellow-billed Nunbird, Pheasant Cuckoo, Large-headed Flatbill and White-cheeked Tody-Tyrant can be seen here. Additional species we shall be looking for here include Peruvian Recurvebill, Rufous-headed Woodpecker, Flammulated Bamboo-Tyrant and many more. Night Villa Carmen
Day 7. Villa Carmen.
Villa Carmen is more than just the bamboo. Recently they have a feeding station for tinamous where Cinereous and Black-capped Tinamou regularly visits. There is also a feeding station for Amazonian Antpitta. They are experimenting also with an insect feeder - that is leaving a light on at night to attract moths and other insects and then attracting insectivore birds in the morning. Full day at Villa Carmen.
Day 8. Villa Carmen-Cock-of-the Rock Lodge.
Additional birding at Villa Carmen in the morning. At Patria we shall look for Point-tailed Palmcreeper in a small palm swamp. Additional birding looking for specialties along the way, picking up species we may have missed on the way down. Night Cock of the Rock Lodge.
Day 9 Full day at Cock of the Rock Lodge.
An additional day at Cock of the Rock Lodge is usually needed as there are a lot of birds in this area.
Day 10 Cock-of-the Rock Lodge-Ollantaytambo
Between 9-10 AM it is good to look for Solitary and Black-and-Chestnut Eagle from the mirador about 40 minutes from Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge. Later will bird the road upwards to Rocotal and Pillahuata situated just at the upper limit of the subtropical zone. Birds here include White-throated Antpitta, Crimson-backed Woodpecker, Blue-banded Toucanet, White-eared and Andean Solitaires, Pearled Treerunner, Streaked Tuftedcheek, Golden-plumed Parakeet, Scaly-naped Parrot, Amethyst-throated Sunangel and many more. Recently, the rare Great-billed Scythebill has been seen here. Arriving in Ollantaytambo around 7.30 PM.
Day 11. Abra Malaga
We will get up very early for the drive up beyond the Abra Malaga pass at 4200m and continue to the north side of the pass and the wet temperate forest at Canchayoc. Here we may see Speckled Hummingbird, Diademed Tapaculo, Unstreaked Tit-Tyrant, Golden-collared Tanager, Violet-throated Starfrontlet, Parodi´s Hemispingus, Marcapata Spinetail, Tit-like Dacnis, Cuzco Brush-Finch and many others. Rusty-breasted (Leimebamba), Red-and-White, Rufous and Undulated Antpitta are often heard and with some luck we may be able to lure some of them into view with play-back of its song. Returning to the pass around midday we will do a short, but quite strenuous walk to the quite disturbed Polylepis woodland on the ridge beside us. This is the most accessible high Polylepis woodland that holds the very rare Royal Cinclodes, Ash-breasted Tit-Tyrant and White-browed Tit-Spinetail. Among other specialties are Giant Conebill, Line-fronted and Junin Canstero, Puna (Andean) Tapaculo, Stripe-headed Antpitta, Thick-billed Siskin, Tawny Tit-Spinetail, Red-rumped Bush-Tyrant and various species of Ground-Tyrants. As we come out of the valley, we stand good chance of encountering Andean Parakeet and Tit-like Dacnis. Back on the main road in roadside scrub we often find Junin Canastero, Chestnut-breasted Mountain-Finch and Golden-billed Saltator.
Day 12. Drive to Apurimac valley
After visiting a nearby feeding station for Sword-billed Hummingbird and others we shall continue to Laguna Huaypo for some marshland birding with Many-colored Rush-Tyrant, Wren-like Rushbird, Yellow-winged Blackbird, Andean Lapwing, Puna Teal, Yellow-billed Teal, Yellow-billed Pintail, Andean Duck, Puna Ibis, Andean Gull and many more. It is a long drive through the dry Apurimac valley, and over to the other side where we shall particularly look for the yet undescribed “Apurimac Tapaculo” and Apurimac Spinetail. Some night birding may award us with the Apurimac forms of Peruvian Pygmy Owl and Koepcke's Screech-Owl, and with lots of luck perhaps Buff-fronted Owl. Hostel in Mollepata.
Day 13: Apurimac Endemics
We'll start looking for Pale-tailed Canastero and Spot-eared Puffbird near Moyopata and then spend the rest of the morning birding on Salcantay road. Apurimac Spinetail, Apurimac Brushfinch, White-tufted Sundbeam, Chestnut-breasted Warbling-Finch, Undulated Antpitta and Vilcabamba Tapaculo are found here. We travel to Cusco and will be able to make late afternoon flights to Lima.