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Pampas del Heath


Jaguar and birds on the Heath River and Pampas del Heath

To get to Pampas del Heath one needs to travel on the Heath River which makes the boarder between Bolivia and Peru. This is a unique experience as there are no communities up river, and thus the forest and the wildlife is pristine. There is a very good chance to spot a Jaguar.  There is also good Amazon rain forest along the way, why this trip does not solely will give you Savanna birds, but also many of the special birds of SE Peru. Additionally, there is a good macaw lick, one of the best for photography, just next to Heath River Lodge, which will be used as base on the way up to Pampas del Heath as well as on the way down.

Valqui lists the following species for Pampas del Heath: Red-winged Tinamou, Ash-throated and Ocellated Crake, Nacunda Nighthawk, Little, Spot-tailed andScissor-tailed Nightjars, Striped Owl, Red-shouldered and Red-bellied Macaws, White-tailed Golden-throat, Swallow-tailed Hummingbird, Toco Toucan, White Woodpecker, Collared and White-eared Puffbird, Cinereous-breasted Spinetail, Rusty-backed Antwren, Small-billed and Plain-crested Elaenia, Stripe-necked and Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant, Gray Monjita, Hudson's Black-Tyrant, White-naped Xenopsaris, Grassland Sparrow, Black-masked Finch, Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch, Plumbeous and Tawny-bellied Seedeater and Chopi Blackbird. Many of these only occur here and not other place in Peru, so anyone that wants to get a good Peru list would want to visit Pampas del Heath.

Having said that, the trip is not only for the Peru lister, as there is great opportunities to see wildlife on the Heath River. It is one of the best places in Peru to spot Jaguars, May-August being the best months. 

No Departures for this Tour

If the departure dates don't fit you, please suggest another date.

Day 1. Birdwatching Puerto Maldonado - Heath River Lodge

Depending on when we leave Puerto Maldonado, we should have time to do some birding at Heath RIver Lodge in the afternoon.  Habitat is floodplain Amazon rain forest with high diversity of rain forest birds.

Day 2. Birding Heath River Lodge-Puerto Juliaca.

First we shall visit the Macawlick close to the Lodge. Yellow-crowned Parrot, Blue-headed Parrot and Chestnut-fronted Macaws are the first to gather at the mud wall. Then come Mealy Parrots Dusky-headed Parakeets and Peach-fronted Parakeets. Finally large numbers of Red-and-Green Macaw start arriving together with individuals of Blue-and-Yellow Macaws.  There are often other parrots around such as Orange-eared Parrot, Cobalt-winged and White-eyed Parakeet

The show is over around 9 to 9.30 and we shall continue up river for four-five hours or so to our campsite. On the way we will see typical birds such as Yellow-billed and Large-billed Tern, Black Skimmer, American Wood-Stork, Roseate Spoonbill, Great Black Hawk, Ringed, Green and Amazon Kingfisher, Drab Water-Tyrant, White-winged, White-banded and Southern Rough-winged Swallows, Capped Heron, Rufescent Tiger Heron, Pied Lapwing, Collared Plover, Muscovy Duck, Sunbittern and overhead Greater Yellow-headed Vulture, King Vulture, Gray-headed Kite, and various species of Macaws, Parrots and Parakeets.

On the river stretch beyond Heath Wildlife Center is our best chance to spot a Jaguar. We had excellent views of a female resting on a log next to the river in May 2014. 

Day 3-4. Birds and mammals on Pampa Juliaca.

Pampa Julica is the main section of two plots of total only 6,549 ha savanna on the Peruvian side of Heath River. On the Bolivian side the grassland habitat is much larger. The grassland is maintained by regular fires mostly started by the native Ese’eja communities. To get to the pampa we have to hike 3 km through good Amazonian rain forest with species such as Curl-crested Aracari, White-bellied Parrot, Amazonian Pygmy-Owl, Paradise Jacamar, Elegant Woodcreper, Black-faced Antbird, Pygmy Antwren, Chestnut-crested, Ruddy and Olive-backed Foliage-gleaners, Golden-crowned Spadebill, White-bellied Tody-Tyrant and Thrush-like Schiffornis are regularly recorded along the trail.  

The grassland is what will attract most of our interest. We shall have two full days to explore it.  Ocellated Crake, White-headed Woodpecker, Cinereous-breasted Spinetail Rufous-backed Antwren, Black-masked Finch and White-browed Blackbirds are quite common. Peach-fronted Parakeet and Red-shouldered Macaws fly over regularly. On our May 2014 expedition Alex Durand spotted a Maned Wolf.  Pampas del Heath is one of the few places in Peru where one can see White-tailed Hawk.

The highest diversity will occur after recent fire, but the area always rewards with several species which are difficult in the remainder of Peru. 

Day 5. Pampa Juliaca-Heath River Lodge.

We shall have yet another morning at Pampa Juliaca, before we continue down-river to Heath River Lodge.

Day 6. Birdwatching Heath River Lodge-Puerto Maldonado.

Either we do a pre-dawn hike through the forest to reach the Bolivian part of the savanna, or we bird on the trail nearby the lodge. In mid-morning we continue to Puerto Maldonado.  End of tour. Either stay in Puerto Maldonado or take a comfortable sleeper nightbus to Cusco. 



Option: Birding Pampas del Heath Days: 6
Price: US$ 1510 (Minimum 5 people).
Less than 5 people: (see pricing)
Single supplement: 80 US$

2 nights at comfortable Heath River Wildlife Center and 3 nights camping. Kolibri Expeditions provide all camping equipment, including rubber boots (welllies). Park entrance fee not inlcluded in the price. Hotel and dinner in Puerto Maldonado on day 6 is not included (many options). It is possible to add days at Heath Wildlife Center in the end. 



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Telephone: +51-1- 652 76 89. From the US: 011-51-1- 652 76 89. Cell: 988 555 938 (Gunnar) or 999 007 886 (Elia Gallo) - Email: kolibriexp@gmail.com