Spectacular North Valleys of Peru

10Days 3,

Program Overview

Rejoice in the view of the valleys of the North of Peru. From spectacular landscapes such as the lush tropical rainforest of Tarapoto and its surroundings to the impressive Marañón Canyon, one of the continent’s most impressive landscapes.

The route is home to many species endemic to the region that are very exciting for birdwatchers. This route was little known until a few years ago but is now beginning to be established. However, there is still much to discover about the species in the region, which adds to the excitement of the trip.




Arrive in Lima and afternoon flight to Tarapoto. On arrival we will transfer you to the comfortable Lodge and we will have some nocturnal birding.


This increasingly popular site near Tarapoto is an easily accessible patch of foothill forest. Some of the interesting species recorded here so far are Black-and-chestnut Eagle, Maroon-tailed Parakeet, Koepcke’s Hermit, Carmiol’s Tanager, Rufous-winged Antwren, Short-billed Honeycreeper and Dotted Tanager; the possibilities are nearly endless at this diverse site. Lodge in Tarapoto.


A pre-dawn start will give us an excellent opportunity to look for the powerful Band-bellied Owl, a rarely seen relative of the more widespread Spectacled Owl, and seemingly more common here than in most parts of its range.

As dawn breaks the almost synthesizer-like calls of Fiery-capped Manakins start buzzing through the air, while a monotonous series of grunting calls may draw our attention to the smart Chestnut-tipped Toucanet. Blackish Pewee and the endemic Koepckes Hermit are not uncommon in this area, and if we are very fortunate we will also find a fairly widespread but infrequently encountered foothill speciality, the splendid Scaled Fruiteater.

Among a multitude of other possibilities are American Swallow-tailed Kite, Painted Parakeet, Grey-breasted Sabrewing, White-necked Jacobin, Fork-tailed Woodnymph, Goulds Jewelfront, Amazonian White-tailed and Collared Trogons, Striolated Puffbird, Gilded Barbet (split from Black-spotted), Golden-collared Toucanet, White-throated, Scale-breasted and Redstained Woodpeckers, Ocellated Woodcreeper, Eastern Woodhaunter, Tawny-throated Leaftosser, Rufous-winged Antwren, Black and Scale-backed Antbirds, White-lored Tyrannulet, Yellow-olive and Streaked Flycatchers, Dusky-capped Greenlet, Short-billed, Purple and Green Honeycreepers, Blue, Black-faced and Yellow-bellied Dacnises, Thick-billed and Plumbeous Euphonias, Yellow-bellied, Silver-beaked and Olive Tanagers, and Buff-throated Saltator.

After lunch well head for Rioja Night Hotel in Rioja.


Morning at Morro de Calzadas where we can see an undescribed race of the endemic Misahana Tyrannulet, Lesser Elaenia, Stripe-necked Tody-tyrant, Pale-breasted and hauxwells Thrush, Rufosu-fronted Thornbird, Cinereous-breasted Spinetail and more. In the afternoon we will move onto Abra Patricia and concentrate on species we are missing. If any! We will spend the night at the Hotel Puerto Pumas.


We’ll make an early start to begin the day’s birding A last chance at Marvellous Spatulatail before to depart to Leymebamba with stops along the way especially for the endemic Buff-bellied Tanager. We plan to be in the pretty Andean town of Leymeybamba before dusk. We have our first chance at Maranon Thrush. Others include Lafraneyes Piculet, Torrent Duck and White-capped Dipper. Hotel in Leimebamba.


Early depart toward Barro Negro pass, we’ll bird some remnant (& fast-shrinking) patches of humid forest. Russet-mantled Softtail is now difficult here, but we may be lucky; other birds include the obscure race of Rufous Antpitta and many hummingbirds, including Sapphire-vented Puffleg, Coppery Metaltail, Rainbow Starfrontlet, Purple-throated Sunangel and Sword-billed Hummingbird.

In the afternoon we’ll drive down the Utcubamba Valley to El Chillo, a rustic country hotel where we’ll stay for the night. Chestnut-crowned Antpitta, Buff-bellied Tanager, Golden-rumped Euphonia and Mitred Parakeet are all likely, while the difficult Koepcke’s Screech-Owl is also regular in the area. We may want to visit the Hummingbird feeders at the Leymeybamba Museum.

Hotel in Leimebamba.


The semi-humid shrubbery along the road to Celendin is home to a number of interesting birds. We’ll make various stops along the way, looking for species like Rufous-eared Brush-Finch, Jelski’s Chat-Tyrant, Baron’s Spinetail and the distinctive cajamarcae race of Rufous Antpitta.

With luck, we may find the endangered endemic Plain-tailed Warbling-Finch. More widespread birds such as Rufous-webbed Tyrant, Paramo Pipit and Tawny-rumped Tyrannulet are also possible. Hotel in Celendin.


Early morning birding in remnant humid forest and Polylepis scrub. On this road we’ll make planned stops for some Andean species we may not have seen – Peruvian Sierra-finch, Shining Sunbeam and also stop on the high puna grasslands for Cinclodes, Canasteros, Pipits, Ground-tyrants and Sierra-finches, Rainbow Startfronlet, Black-crested Warbler, Maranon Tit-tyrant, Many-striped Canastero.

Well make a special effort for the Cajamarca race of the Rufous Antpitta (a for sure split). In the Polylepis well search for Black Metaltail, Jelskis Chat-tyrant, Barons Spinetail, Striated Eartcreeper and Rusty-crowned Tit-Spinetail. This stretch of road is also one of the best places to see the very rare White-tailed Shrike-tyrant. In the afternoon well go to our stakeout for the endemic Gray-bellied Comet.

We will spend the afternoon looking for this rare endemic and others. Night at our hotel in Cajamarca.


Early morning excursion for the endemic range restricted endemic Great Spinetail. Easier to see species are Buff-bridled Inca-Finch (endemic) White-winged Black Tyrant, Lesser Goldfinch and Fasciated Wren. Other birds we may see include the endemic Plain-tailed Warbling Finch Rufous-chested Tanager and Streak-thraoted Bush-Tyrant. After seeing the birds we`ll return to Cajamarca and onto Abra Gavilan where we will make a stop for the endemic Unicolored Tapaculo and we have seen Rufous-backed Inca Finch and Piura Hemispingus here.

Flight back to Lima.

Day 10: LIMA /…

Transfer to the airport for your flight back home.

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