'Birds and Culture in North East Peru'

What makes this trip special?

Castle in the air

Castle in the air


Older than Machu Picchu, very impressive yet relatively onknown, Kuelap perches on mountain side surrounded by cloud forest. The site's 400 round houses and 20 metre-high walls are some of the best pre-Columbian ruins in South America.

Leymebamba Museum

Leymebamba Museum

Leymebamba Museum

holds 219 of the 800 year old mummies from the Laguna de los Condores archaeological site, and a large collection of Incan and pre-Incan artefacts from the region

World's tallest waterfall - nearly

World's tallest waterfall - nearly

Gocta Falls

at 771m one of the world’s tallest waterfalls, ‘discovered’ in 2002. Locals had been reluctant to defy the curse of the falls’ resident mermaid on whomsoever should expose her secret home

Marvellous Spatuletail

Marvellous Spatuletail

One of the most beautiful hummingbirds in the world

Visit Huembo where these unique, endangered birds can be seen. The male sports two magnificent long outer tail feathers which crossover and end in large violet-blue discs. These are waved while he hovers to attract a mate

Itinerary map for Peru 'Birds and Culture in North East Peru' holiday


  • Day      Overnight
  • For the detail of each day click the ‘Day-by-day’ tab above.

Day-by-day itinerary for 'Birds and Culture in North East Peru'


Fly to Jaen - transfer to Gocta

This morning you are driven to Lima airport for a flight to Jaen in the Andes, you are met by a Spanish speaking driver and transferred to your lodge with a distant view to Gocta Falls where you stay for 2 nights.


Gocta Waterfall

Today you are collected by your private English speaking general guide and transferred to the town of San Pablo de Valera. From here you start your journey towards Gocta Waterfall (90 mins on horseback then 60 mins walking). If you don’t want to ride you could walk the whole way. Along the walk you have good views to the falls which at 771m high are one of the tallest waterfalls in the world, it comprises about twenty falls and is surrounded by cloudforest. Look out for toucan, monkey, and Andean cock-of-the-rock along the way. You can walk almost right up to the base of the falls, be prepared for a soaking from the spray as you get near. Return journey by the same way (5km).


Birdwatching at Huembo - Marvellous Spatuletail

Very early in the morning, you are collected by a specailist birdwatching guide who will accompany you for the next three days. You set off together to Huembo where the Marvellous Spatuletail, one of the most beautiful hummingbirds in the world can be seen. Spend a couple of hours of birdwatching at the feeders and the surrounding area where there are opportunities to also see Green-fronted Lancebill, Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Long-tailed Sylph, Greenish Puffleg, Emerald-bellied Puffleg, Booted Racket-tail, Little Woodstar, Violet-fronted Brilliant and Speckle-chested Piculet. Then continue to Owlet Lodge arriving in time for lunch. Spend the afternoon birding the trails by the lodge where more than 500 species of bird can be seen including many Amazonas state endemics. Night walk for the heard to see, highly sought, Long-whiskered Owlet.


Birdwatching at Abra Patricia-Alto Nieva - Long-whiskered Owlet trail

Full day for birding at Owlet Lodge. You have a second chance to visit the Long-whiskered Owlet trail either in the very early morning or late at night. Other species you can look for today include Ochre-fronted Antpitta, Rusty-tinged Antpitta, Rusty-breasted Antpitta, Black-throated Tody-Tyrant, Blue-and-black Tanager, Inca Flycatcher, White-faced Nunbird. Other nocturnal birds include White-throated Screech-Owl, Rufous-banded Owl, Rufescent Screech-Owl and Stygian Owl.


Birdwatching at Llanteria en route to Chachapoyas

After a final dawn birding at Owlet Lodge, you travel to Chachapoyas birding a Llaneria en route. Here one can find Ecuadorian Piedtail, Rusty-tinged Antpitta, Ochre-fronted Antpitta, Rufous-vented Tapaculo, Inca Flycatcher, Scaled Fruiteater, White-breasted Wood-wren, Bar-winged Wood-Wren. [if you were unlucky with the Marvellous Spatuletail on Day 3 you could try again if you prefer]. You will arrive at your new base in Chachapoyas in time for lunch. Afternoon birding the trails around your hacienda for some further special birds including Peruvian Pigeon, Spot-throated Hummingbird, Black-necked Woodpecker, Marañon Crescentchest, Speckle-breasted Wren, Marañon Thrush. Bid farewell to your birdwatching guide today.


Kuelap citadel

This morning your private English-speaking regular guide will take you to explore the great mountain-top citadel of Kuelap. Pause to enjoy the panoramic view from the Macro Archaelogical site overlooking the Utcubamba river before continuing to Nuevo Tingo town. From here you ascend in the new cable car up to the impossing 'fortress' site situated at 3,000masl with colossal walls on three of its four sites making it seem inaccessible. You explore its very impressive ruins, including some circular buildings decorated with rhomboidal and zigzag friezes, and learn what is beginning to be revealed about the pre-Incan Chachapoya people who built it, and their empire. It is a dramatic and beautiful site with panoramic views of Andean peaks and canyons in every direction.


Revash and Leymebamba mummies

After breakfast you are driven to the town of San Bartolo and from here travel either on horseback or by foot to the Mausoleums of Revash. These are small tombs set at the foot of a huge rock cliff they are painted red and cream and resemble small houses. In the afternoon continuing to Leymebamba where the small town's museum holds an important collection of 240 mummies found at the Lagoon of the Condors. There is also an orchid garden to enjoy with over 100 local varieties.


Return to Lima

Leisurely start this morning, transfer back to Jaen (approx 3h drive) for your return flight to Lima where you are met on arrival.

Guide prices for 'Birds and Culture in North East Peru'

This tour starts and ends in Lima. It does not include accommodation in Lima. We can arrange this if you required.

options based on all year low season mid season high season peak season other season
7 nights, based on two participants 2 people sharing double or twin rooms £3,100
7 nights, based on three participants 3 people sharing triple rooms £2,085
7 nights, based on four participants 4 people sharing 2 double or twin rooms £1,845
6 nights, based on two participants 2 people sharing double or twin £2,425
6 nights, based on three participants 3 people sharing triple rooms £1,995
6 nights, based on four participants 4 people sharing 2 double or twin £1,720
Prices are per person and include:
  • all travel from Lima
  • meals as indicated (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
  • domestic flights: Lima - Jaen return
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • airport transfers from/to Jaen on Days 1 and 8 are with a Spanish speaking driver only
  • private services of a specialist English speaking local bird guide on three days (Days 3,4,5)
  • private services of an English speaking general guide on three days (Days 2,6,7)
  • all excursions and entry fees.
Prices do not include:
  • international flights
  • items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, laundry, etc
  • any optional excursions you may buy locally
  • travel insurance
  • airport and departure taxes if these are not included in the flight ticket
  • accommodation in Lima

Customer reviews for 'Birds and Culture in North East Peru'

Recent reviews are shown here from holidays based on this initial design. In each case the itinerary may have been modified (a little or a lot) to suit the individual traveller.


Seasonal information for 'Birds and Culture in North East Peru'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall

Typical weather for January


Max °C figures are the average daily maximum temperatures for the month. Rainfall is the average precipitation for the month.

Hotels for 'Birds and Culture in North East Peru'

Days 1 - 2

Gocta Lodge

Chachapoyas vicinity

An attractive, good quality, country lodge set in the Cocachimba Valley about 40km from Chachapoyas at the start of the trail leading to the Gocta Falls. The lodge has 8 rooms and 2 suites, all with a view of the Gocta waterfall from their balcony or terrace. The lodge has a restaurant, an attractive terrace and a swimming pool with loungers which also has views of Gocta waterfall. Local excursions are available from the hotel.

Gocta Lodge
Hotel exterior
Day 3

Owlet Lodge (EBLB Estacion Biologica Lechucita Bigotona)

Abra Patricia

Owlet Lodge (EBLB Estacion Biologica Lechucita Bigotona)
Days 5 - 7

Casa Hacienda Achamaqui


The hotel is located in a colonial style hacienda set in beautiful countryside, only 20 minutes from Chachapoyas town centre. The hotel has 21 rooms ranging from Traditional rooms to Junior suites set around a central patio garden. The restaurant serves a good breakfast buffet and a varied menu for lunch and dinner while on Sundays the hotel organises barbecues. Hotel facilities include a large outdoor swimming pool and an internet centre. It is 2.6km from San Antonio Private reserve and has an on-site birding trail, mountain views.


Casa Hacienda Achamaqui