The Mangroves Sanctuary of Tumbes

7Days 4,

Program Overview

The Tumbes National Forest Sanctuary is the only protected forest in the area that hosts all the threatened Tumbezian endemics. Most of this habitat has been cleared and destroyed in Ecuador but here the forest stretches for miles and Ocelots, and Mantled Howler Monkeys live unmolested as do the threatened bird species.

This is a real wilderness experience with genuinely endangered species in a beautiful setting. These birds are thought anywhere else and to be found after much searching in heavily disturbed habitat except for within this exceptional reserve.


Day 01:  LIMA/…

Arrive in Lima and transfer to our hotel in Lima.


Morning flight to Tumbes. On arrival in Tumbes (just south of the Ecuadorian border) we’ll transfer to the comfortable Costa del Sol hotel and after an early lunch head out into the mangrove thickets in Tumbes Mangrove Reserved Zone.

From a local boat we’ll enter narrow channels in search of Masked Water Tyrant, Rufous-necked Wood-Rail, Clapper Rail, White Ibis and Mangrove Warbler. We’ll see many shorebirds and inshore seabirds here as well and there is also a chance of two species of Whistling Duck. Herons include: Yellow-crowned and Black-crowned Night-Herons, Little-Blue, White-necked and Tricolored Heron, plus a recently discovered population of Bare-throated Tiger-Heron.

Mangrove Black Hawk is also a possibility. In the late afternoon we’ll bird in the desert scrub along the road. Species we expect here include: Pacific Parrotlet, Scarlet-backed Woodpecker, Necklaced Spinetail, Superciliaried Wren, Collared Antshrike, Baird’s Flycatcher, Tawny-crowned Pygmy-tyrant, Pearl Kite, Tumbezian Tyrannulet Tumbes Sparrow and Cinereous Finch.

Night at Hotel.


We’ll get an early start to-day so as to be in prime habitat at dawn. We drive east down rutted, dusty roads in four wheel drive jeeps to El Mirador for a dawn breakfast as the birds start to sing. We’ll walk a track with no traffic looking for birds of the drier forest amidst some of the most fantastic bombax forest on earth.

Giant green barked, pot bellied trees hanging with spanish moss provide a home for One-colored and Slaty Becards, Tumbes Peewee, White-headed Brush-Finch, Plumbeous-backed Thrush, Ecuadorian Ground Dove, Tumbes Swift, Saffron Siskin, Red-masked Parakeet and many other commoner widely distributed species.

In the pm we’ll leave our vehicle and walk slowly a two kilometer stretch of trail where we have had luck with Black-capped Sparrow, Henna-hooded Foliage-gleaner and Scrub Antpitta. We’ll arrive at Quebrada El Faical at dusk with our safari camp already set up.


Over the next two days we’ll bird the area between Quebrada Faical and Pozo del Pato and the slopes of Cerro San Miguel – the highest, wettest and greenest part of Tumbes. Here in the Tumbes Reserved Zone, mile upon mile of prime dry deciduous forest stretches as far as the eye can see.

The Ecuadorian border is a stones throw away, but unfortunately on that side of the border there is little, or no forest left.

Here on the Peruvian side, Ocellots and Mantled Howler Monkeys survive unmolested, as does the very interesting Tumbesian avifauna. Birds we hope to see over the next two days, and that we have seen here in the past include : Pale-browed Tinamou, Gray-backed Hawk, Black-hawk Eagle, Rufous-headed Chachalaca, Crested Guan, Ochre-bellied Dove and Pallid Doves, Gray-cheeked Parakeet, Bronze-winged Parrot, West Peruvian Screech-owl, Green-breasted Mango, Ecuadorian Piculet, Red-rumped Woodpecker, Guayaquil Woodpecker, Blackish-headed Spinetail, Slaty Spinetail, Henna-hooded and Rufous-necked Foliage-gleaner, Chapman’s Antshrike, Gray-headed Antbird, Scrub Antpitta, Pacific Elaenia, Rufous-winged Tyrranulet, Ochraceous Attila, Pacific Royal Flycatcher, Black-tailed Fycatcher, Ecuadorian Thrush, White-vented Plumleteer, Green-crowned Woodnymph, Violet-bellied Hummingbird, Gray-breasted Flycatcher, Pacific Fire-eye, Lesser Greenlet, Yellow-tailed and White-edged Orioles. Nights in camp.


We’ll bird the morning hours between our camp at Pozo el Pato and Quebrada Faical where we’ll transfer to our jeeps and return to the drier forest for the rest of the afternoon and after lunch bird our way back to Tumbes through drier deciduous forest, looking especially for Saffron Siskin and Becards, planning to arrive in Tumbes at dusk. Night in hotel.


Flight from Tumbes to Lima (or drive to Chiclayo if taking the GREAT North Peru tour).

The price includes

  • Booking for Hotel based on double occupancy.
  • All scheduled land, lake and air transportations.
  • All transfers.
  • All scheduled excursions with local guides and interpreters.
  • All entrance fees. Meals and domestic flight airfares as specified in the itinerary.

The price doesn´t include

International airfares, airport departure taxes or visa fees, excess baggage charges, additional nights during the trip due to flight cancellations, alcoholic beverages or bottled water, snacks, insurance of any kind, laundry, phone calls, radio calls or messages and items of personal nature.



Vaccinations: It is highly recommended to be vaccinated against yellow fever.

What to bring?

  • Binoculars, Camera and film ASA 200 and 400 for the inner forest.
  • Warm clothing (in case of a cold front), long sleeve shirts and long pants (cotton).
  • 100% waterproof rain gear (long poncho or rain wear).
  • Insect repellant (at least 50% Deet), sunscreen lotion.
  • Hiking shoes and sandals.
  • Flashlight, enough batteries (alkaline) and bulbs.
  • Wide brim hat (for sunny days), sun glasses.
  • Towel, swimming suit, personal medicines and/or supplies (liquid forcontact lenses, for example).
  • Day pack, and one back pack or duffel bag of luggage per person.
  • One bottle of water for the first day, plastic bags.

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