Machu Picchu Cultural & Birding Tour

Cusco - Piuray and Huaypo Lagoons, Machu Picchu Citadel, Mandor Garden

Duration

3 Days

Max. Altitude

11.505 ft - 3.506 m.

Activities

Bird Watching, Photography, History, Orchids, History, Traditions.

Difficulty

Mild

Transport

Van, Train and Bus

Tour Description

The bird diversity of Peru is among the highest in the world (with approximately 1,817 bird species) including many endemic species.

This program is the best for people which are interested in culture and birding. We also spend sufficent time at the Machu Picchu citadel to feel the magic of the citadel.

The 32,590 hectares of the protected sanctuary of Machu Picchu harbors approximately 406 species of birds. The historical and archaeological attractions of Machu Picchu add to the experience for ornithologists and birdwatchers.

Trip Highlights

  • Birding around two lagoons with outstanding andean landscapes.
  • Visit traditional andean towns and their customs.
  • Guided in the different sectors of Machu Picchu citadel.
  • Photography.
  • Birding in the Cloud Forest and Machu Picchu Citadel.
  • Spotting the endemic species of the Machu Picchu Sanctuary.

Itinerary

Cusco – Piuray & Huaypo Lagoons

11.505 ft – 3.506 m.

Leaving Cusco in the morning and following the Sacred Valley Road passes through some Archaeological Sites, visiting Piuray and Huaypo which are lagoons with crystal clear waters that has an approximate length of 1.5 kilometers. It refuge of a large amount of fish and is habitat for endemic and migratory birds such as Black-necked Stilt, Andean Goose, Puna Teal, Cinnamon Teal, Yellow-billed Pintail, Yellow-billed Teal, Ruddy Duck, White-tufted Grebe, Silvery Grebe, Neotropic Cormorant, Puna Ibis, Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Common Gallinule, Slate-colored Coot, Andean Lapwing, Collared Plover, Baird’s Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Andean Gull, Spot-winged Pigeon, Black-tailed Trainbearer, Mountain Caracara, Chiguanco Thrush, Peruvian Sierra-Finch, Rufous-collared Sparrow, Hooded Siskin.

After a buffet lunch, we’ll go to the tourist train station to Aguas Calientes town and Machu Picchu Citadel.

Machu Picchu

8,038 ft  – 2,450 m.

Earlier morning Arriving at the ruins, birding takes a back seat for once as we are taken on a guided tour of this mystical archeological complex. White-tipped Swifts will be flying overhead. After lunch we will look for Inca Wren, Cuzco Brushfinch, endemic species of Machu Picchu, also Trilling Tapaculo, Tufted Tit-Tyrant, Blue-capped Tanager, Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan, Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Green-and-white Hummingbird, Andean Motmot, Bronzy Inca, Stripe-faced Wood-Quail.

Then descend to the Aguas Calientes Town for late afternoon birding looking crepuscular birds such as the Lyre-tailed Nightjar. Night at our Hotel in Aguas Calientes.

Mandor Garden – Cusco

5,577 ft – 1,700 m.

Earlier morning, we start walking through the primary forest observing the vegetation of the Cloud Forest, such as ferns trees, orchids, bromeliads, begonias and native trees.

Also variety of birds such as; Chestnut-breasted Coronet, Andean Guan, Green Jay, Versicolored Barbet, Pale-legged Warbler, Torrent Duck, Masked Trogon, Blue-banded Toucanet, Ocellated Piculet, Speckle-faced Parrot, Blue-and-white Swallow, Slate-throated Redstart, Saffron-crowned Tanager, on a lucky day the Spectacled Bear (Tremarctos ornatus) and even the Cock of the Rock (our national bird) can be seen during activities.

After this exploratory walk we will return to Aguas Calientes Town to take the train to Cusco.

Included:

  • Tour Guide with good birding skills.Private transport.
  • Hotel in Aguas Calientes Town.
  • Bus ticket to Machupicchu.
  • Train ticket roundtrip.
  • Entrance ticket Sacred Valley.
  • Entrance ticket Machupicchu Citadel.
  • Transfer Train Station-Hotel.
  • Assistance 24 hrs.

Not included:

  • Tips, Extra expenses.
  • Binocular, Alcoholic drinks,
  • Meals, snacks.
  • Original passport.
  • Binoculars.
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • Medium back pack and confortable shoes.
  • Rain jacket or poncho (December – April).
  • Two complete change of clothing.
  • Sport sandals or water shoes.
  • Hat or cap to protect you from the sun.
  • Sun block (sun protection cream).
  • Insect repellent.
  • Snacks, chocolate, dried fruit, etc.
  • Camera, plenty of film and batteries.
  • Sunglasses
  • Extra Money (soles).
  • Swimwear.

Altitude

As soon as people book their trip to Peru, specifically Cusco, they start wondering about altitude sickness. The air at high altitudes contains less oxygen than at sea level and forces your body to work harder to get the oxygen it needs. Over several days at high altitude, your body adjusts to the lower amount of oxygen in the air.

With altitude sickness, you may first feel like you have the flu or a hangover. You may have a headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, dizziness, trouble sleeping, trouble breathing during exercise. If any of these effects become severe, please contact our office and we will help you get to a doctor.

Most of the time, these symptoms will be mild. We always recommend easing into activity slowly, allowing your body to adjust. Drink plenty of fluids such as water or coca tea. Coca tea has been used since ancient times to help prevent altitude sickness. Leaves from the coca plant contain alkaloids which helps bring oxygen into your blood, helping your body avoid the effects of altitude sickness. Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol and coffee. They will cause you to urinate more often and become dehydrated. Avoid smoking. Smoking makes it more difficult for your body to get oxygen. Avoid sleeping pills. They may cause shallow breathing at night, making it more difficult for your body to absorb oxygen while you sleep.

Your healthcare provider may prescribe medicines, such as acetazolamide and dexamethasone, to help prevent altitude sickness. Start the medicine two days before you get to a high altitude. Continue to take it while you are at high altitude.

Weather

Of course weather is unpredictable. Typically the dry season in Cusco is from April through October, but this does not stop rain from falling in June or the sun from coming out in December – just be prepared. No matter what month you are doing the trek, please make sure that you have rain gear that includes a waterproof jacket, pants, poncho and waterproof gloves.

Also prepare for four seasons. Many of the treks through the Andes involve many micro-climates and you will need to be prepared for all seasons. Layers are always key as they are easy to adjust to the different temperatures. And evenings will always be cold, so please be prepared with a warm, winter-weight jacket.

Can I design my own trip?

Absolutely. If you want you can change the program according  your interest, just let us know and the Neotropic Travel Designer is going to give you more options.

Are flights included?

Unfortunately no. Neotropic Peru does not include flights for this trip.

How many people will be part of my tour group?

This trip is totally private.

Can I bring my luggage to Machu Picchu?

All larger luggage should stay in Cusco and can be stored either at your hotel or with us at our deposit. The train to Aguas Calientes only allows small bags aboard.

Which Vaccines Do I Need for Peru?

Vaccines for Peru vary based on your specific itinerary. A Passport Health travel specialist will help you decide which vaccines are best for you. The CDC and WHO have recommended that travelers receive the following vaccines:

  • Yellow Fever
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B

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