PERU: Birding Machu Picchu



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2025 :: March 16 - March 22



From: $4,500 (See details)
Cost is per person, double occupancy from Lima, Peru (LIM)


4 - 10 Participants


2024 – 10 spaces available


This tour is available as a private trip for any size group. The tour cost will vary with the number of people and any custom requests.

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Highlights of PERU: Birding Machu Picchu

  • Explore the magical ruins of Machu Picchu
  • Endemic highland species like Inca Wren and Green-and-White Hummingbird
  • Other specialties like Andean Cock-of-the-rock, Highland Motmot, Lyre-tailed Nightjar and White-eared Solitaire


Description of PERU: Birding Machu Picchu

Perched impossibly atop a high ridge surrounded by rugged, forested mountains, the ruins at Machu Picchu tower above the rushing waters of the Rio Urubamba snaking its way fifteen-hundred feet below. By staying two nights (at 6500 feet, on the outskirts of Aguas Calientes), we will be able to experience the site both culturally and for its great birding. And though the ruins alone are worth the visit, the subtropical slopes and the narrow gorge below are surprisingly good for birds. We regularly see such knockouts as Andean Cock-of-the-rock, Highland Motmot, Lyre-tailed Nightjar, White-eared Solitaire, Inga trees full of hummingbirds (including the endemic Green-and-white), numerous vivid tanagers (including the scarce Silver-backed), and the endemic Masked Fruiteater.

The eastern slope of southern Peru’s Andes offers some of the best temperate birding. Several endemics and beautiful scenery are key features to this wonderful trip.

Balanced high atop a ridge surrounded by towering, forested hillsides, the ruins of Machu Picchu are a man-made marvel. Overlooking the scenic Urubamba River valley, the ruins are reason enough to visit this stunning location. However, along with the cultural opportunities, the birding is also fantastic!

Don’t miss this incredible experience that includes a scenic train ride along the river to Aguas Calientes, the entry city for Machu Picchu.

This trip can be combined with our AMAZON RIVERBOAT ADVENTURE!

Length of Tour


Brief Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival / Lima

Day 2- Ollantaytambo

Day 3 – Aguas Calientes

Day 4 – Machu Picchu

Day 5 – Cusco

Day 6 – Return to Lima

Day 7 – Lomos de Lachay – Return Home


Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival / Lima

Arrive in Lima and transfer to hotel

Day 2 – Ollantaytambo

Early morning flight to Cusco, then drive through the Scared Valley of the Incas to the historic town of Ollantaytambo. We’ll visit the Inca fortress. Probably built by the great Inca ruler Pachacutec in the 1460s, it was the site of Hernando Pizzaro’s defeat by Manco Inca in 1536. Constructed of finely cut polygonal stones and royalties blocks, the fortress and nearby town represent the best of Inca architecture and construction. Large worked blocks, some weighing as much as 100 tons were quarried from a site more than a thousand vertical feet above the valley floor using a technique of pecking with hammer stones, then skidded down and across the Urubamba river several kilometers to the temple site. Inclined ramps were built to raise the blocks several hundred feet up hill to the construction area. We have ample time to examine the complex and ponder its many mysteries. Night in Ollaataytambo.

Day 3 – Aguas Calientes

We will visit Abra Malaga Pass in the morning for some fantastic roadise birding looking for White-tufted Sunbeam, Creamy-crested Spinetail, Rusty fronted Canastero, Chestnut-breasted Mountain Finch and so much more. We will enjoy lunch  back in Ollamtaytambo.

Early afternoon we will take the train for the 2.5 hour journey to Aguas Calientes, the gateway to Machu Picchu. From the train we will certainly see Torrent Ducks and White-capped Dipper on the Urubamba River and get closer looks as we leave the train. Night in Aguas Calientes.

Day 4 – Machu Picchu

Today we will take the bus up the mountain to Machu Picchu, spending the whole day exploring these magical ruins. (Don’t worry, there are facilities and a restaurant at the entrance to the site.)

Arriving at the ruins, birding takes a back seat as we are taken on a guided tour of this mystical archeological complex. White-tipped Swifts will be flying overhead along with Kestrels and other raptors. After lunch we will look for Inca Wren, which is quite common in the bamboo around the ruins, and Green-and-white Hummingbird… a Peruvian endemic best found around the ruins.

Late afternoon we will descend to the valley and bird along the river where past Wildside tours have even seen Spectacled Bear! Night in Aguas Calientes.

Day 5 – Cusco

Morning birding along the Urubamba River. In the remnant cloud forest we will be looking specifically for Sclaters and Bolivian Tyrranulets, Silver-backed Tanager, Pale-eyed Thrush, Masked Fruiteater (endemic), Black-streaked Puffbird, Oleaginous Hemispingus and Capped Conebill. Mixed flocks contain many species of Tanager and the endemic Green and White Hummingbird is common here. We have even seen Spectacled Bear in this area!After a late lunch, we return on the tourist train to the historic town of Cusco for the night.

Day 6 – Return to Lima

After some morning exploration around Cusco we will return to Lime mid-day. Afternoon in Lima to explore to do some beach birding to seek Belcher’s Gull, Peruvian Pelican and the beautiful Inca Tern before dinner.

Day 7 – Lomos de Lachay – Return Home

A couple hours north of Lima lies the foothills full of endemics. A green oasis in the dry western slope, we will explore the misty region in search of Cactus Canastero, Thick-billed Miner, Raimondi’s Yellow-finch. Some of the endemics we’ll seek are Oasis Hummingbird, Least Seedsnipe, Coastal Miner, Collared Warbling-finch and more!

*After dinner we will finish our trip at the airport, around 8:00pm, for our late-night flights home.


Cost is $4,500 per person, based upon double occupancy, from Lima, Peru (Airport code LIM).
This trip ends in Lima, Peru (Airport code LIM).

Single Supplement

If a single room is preferred, or we are unable to find a suitable roommate for you, a single supplement fee of $600 will be assessed.

Deposit Requirements

A $1,000 deposit per person is required to hold each space on this tour. Deposit may be made online by clicking the "Book Your Trip Now" button and using any credit card. If you prefer, you may call us at 888-875-9453 to pay by phone. You may also mail us a check, however, remember that all space is held on a first come-first served basis as deposits are received.

Minimum Number

If fewer than the minimum number of required participants are registered, we may still be able to run the trip by adding a small-group supplement fee, per person, determined by the number of participants registered.

How to Book

In order to hold your space, click the "Book Your Trip Now" button above and complete the deposit process, including payment of the deposit through our Paypal portal using ANY CREDIT CARD. Upon completion of deposit, please visit our secure, online CLIENT INFORMATION FORM to complete your registration.

Final Payment

For all land-based tours: full payment by check is due 120 days prior to the departure date.

For all boat-based adventure cruises of 7-days or longer: full payment by check is required 180 days prior to departure.

NOTE: If you prefer to use credit card for final payment, a 3% fee may be added to cover the credit card merchant fees we incur.

In Lima, Cusco, Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu we will use good quality hotels.

Activity Level Rating: (Note: 1 is easy and 5 is difficult)

Logistically, this trip can be a bit difficult… several planes, trains and automobiles!

The trails are well groomed, however, Machu Picchu lies at about 8400 feet elevation while Cusco is over 10,000 feet!

Purchasing Flights

Do not purchase your flights until the trip has been confirmed to go.

Detailed Trip Information

Upon notification that final payment is due (120 days prior to departure for land based tours / 180 days for boat based tours), you will receive a trip package of detailed information for your tour.

Any additional information about the trip, including lodgings, contacts, participants, meeting locations, etc., will sent about 2 weeks prior to the trip departure, or after final payment is received for late registrants.

Travel Insurance

As with all tours, we recommend purchasing Travel Insurance to help cover your investment, for covered reasons. Please see our section on Travel Insurance.

Passport & Visa

US Citizens may require a visa to enter certain foreign countries. See above for any required visa information.

Participants arriving to the USA from a foreign country may need to get a travel visa to enter the United States. Be sure to check the requirements for your country of origin.

Itinerary Changes

The trip itinerary is developed many months ahead of time. Occasionally, despite our best planning, changes may occur during the trip, or we may be forced to alter our plans. Changes may occur because of weather, road conditions, safety concerns or other circumstances. In these situations, it is the leader(s) responsibility to carefully consider and implement appropriate alternatives. Any additional costs incurred because of changes will be the responsibility of each individual participant. Refunds will not be issued as a result of itinerary changes.

Location Map