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Peru epitomises what, for many of us,are those unique characteristicswhich make South America sofascinating: a profoundly rich history andculture; wonderfully varied geography andtopography, including some of the mostspectacular scenery and biodiverseecosystems on Earth; and, of course, an immense bird list comprising over 1,700 species!This tour focuses on three of the mostrewarding sites in southern Peru. First, we visit the country's most importantmarine nature reserve along the Pacificcoast, then the south-eastern rainforestand isolated macaw clay-lick on the remote upper Tambopata River. Finally, we visit South America's best known andmost spectacular archaeological site, Machu Picchu. We start from Lima, heading south alongthe Pan-American highway through someof the driest deserts on earth. Calling in atthe small fishing village of Pucusana forlunch and a boat trip, we should arrive atParacas in the late afternoon. The nextmorning, weather permitting, we will offerthe chance to fly over the famous NascaLines in a light aircraft whilst others mayprefer to continue exploring the habitatsaround the peninsula in search of suchspecialities as Coastal Miner, PeruvianThick-knee and Peruvian Shear-tail. TheBallestas Islands and the Península deParacas make up La Reserva National deParacas, the most important wildlifesanctuary on the Peruvian coast. During amorning excursion on a small launch wehope to see Humboldt Penguin, PeruvianPelican, Peruvian Booby, Peruvian Tern andthe beautiful Inca Tern amongst theSouthern Sea Lions and many other birds. Back in the capital, a domestic flight takesus high over the majestic Andes and downinto the Amazon Basin and the jungleboom-town of Puerto Maldonado. A 4-hourmotorised canoe journey takes us up theTambopata River to a comfortable junglelodge, our base for one night. From herewe strike out upstream, away fromcivilisation, and stay beside one of nature'smost spectacular sights; at dawn the nextday, with dry weather, we hope to seehundreds of Scarlet, Red-and-green andBlue-and-yellow Macaws descending ontoan almost vertical bank of red clay to takeadvantage of the high mineral and saltcontent of the soil. It should be a sight tobehold, and one of the highlights of ourholiday. Our days will be spent on the trailsthat take us through superb virginfloodplain rainforest as we search for innerforest birds, such primates as Red Howler,Dusky Titi, Brown Capuchin, SquirrelMonkeys and, with luck, the endangeredBlack Spider Monkey. The lowlandrainforest ecosystem is a fascinating oneand there is so much to learn. For thosewishing to do so there are clear rainforeststreams to bathe in and, on red-letter days,the sighting of a Brazilian Tapir or a GiantRiver Otter is not out of the question. Ahandful of our groups in recent years havealso had magnificent views of Jaguar. After two nights we descend to the junglelodge for one night, before flying to Cuscoin the heart of the Andes for the final leg of the trip.Our first afternoon will wisely be spentacclimatising to the altitude in Cusco with agentle city tour. Next, we will enjoy a dayexploring the area, including a visit to theHuacarpay lakes. We will look out forCinnamon, Speckled and Puna Teal,Andean Negrito, Wren-like Rushbird, Many-coloured Rush-tyrant, BeardedMountaineer and Cinereous Harrier. Moving around to the north of Cusco andthe Pisac ruins, we hope to see Chestnut-breasted Mountain-finch and BeardedMountaineer amongst a fine selection ofAndean birds. We will be free in theevenings to explore some of Cusco'svaried restaurants and perhaps samplesome of the local culinary specialities. We will next undertake one of the world'sclassic hikes. Five easy-paced days on thefamous Inca Trail will allow ample time foracclimatisation, some rewardingbirdwatching and stunning scenery enroute to the World Heritage site of The LostCity of the Incas, Machu Picchu. Far toomany people visit this spectacular area ona day-trip from Cusco and miss out on thetime needed to fully appreciate this uniquelocation. Ours will be an experience neverto be forgotten. Finally, we must take the train along theUrubamba Valley back to Cusco, where we stay overnight before our return to Lima and, after a city tour, our onwardflight to London. *Although our early October tour is ourdedicated 'non-trek' departure, non-trekkers are also welcome on the otherdepartures, where alternatives can bearranged.Peru - Macaws & Machu PicchuAn 18-day holiday combining Peru's most important marine nature reserve, the ancient Inca capital of Cusco, the classic trek through the Andes to Machu Picchu, and one of the world's finest wildlife spectacles: an isolated macaw clay-lick on the upper Tambopata River in the south-eastern rainforest.Wednesday 12th June - Saturday 29th June Cost: £3,995Thursday 12th September - Sunday 29th September Cost: £3,995Wednesday 2nd October - Saturday 19th October Cost: £4,095*(*This tour is a non-trekking departure, visiting Manu cloudforest instead of the Inca Trail)Book direct on 01962 733051or see page 284 for Booking InformationPISCOCUSCOMANUTAMBOPATAMACHUNATIONAL PARKPARACASPICCHU& BALLESTASISLANDSPACIFICOCEANPERULIMABOLIVIACHILE ECUADORCOLOMBIABRAZILPUERTOMALDONADOOutline itineraryDay 1Fly Lima.Day 2Coastal Peru; Paracas.Day 3Nasca Lines.Day 4Ballestas Islands.Day 5/8Tambopata rainforest.Day 9/10Cusco.Day 11/15Inca Trail to MachuPicchu.Day 16Machu Picchu and trainto Cusco.Day 17Lima.Day 18 Arrive London.AccommodationA mixture of comfortable lodges andhotels, most with private facilities,and fully serviced camping.FoodAll included in the price exceptevening meals in Cusco. Allow £50.GradingEasy day walks only, though IncaTrail is fairly strenuous (Grade B+).FocusBirds, mammals and culture.LeaderPepe Moscoso, Percy Avendaño,Andy Smith or Byron Palacios, pluslocal guides.Single room supplement£495.ExtensionsMany optional extensions areavailable. Some suggestionsinclude Lake Titicaca, theGalápagos and Arequipa and theColca Canyon. Please call for ourhelp and suggestions.Web quick search: PER04(non-trek PER06)207Red-and-green MacawsMachuPicchuBlue-and-yellow Macaws

Peru is a vast, spectacular andimmensely varied country thatsupports an enormous wealth ofwildlife including a number of the world'siconic species. On this tour two of thesespecies, Spectacled Bear and AndeanCondor, act as a tantalising focus that willlead us to some contrastingly different andvery special regions of the country and anexciting range of wildlife, scenery andculture.We begin our tour in the southern city ofArequipa, famous for the beautiful whitebuildings of its old colonial centre and itsdramatic setting beneath the toweringvolcanic peaks of El Misti and Chachani.We will have ample time to explore the oldcity, including the famous and verybeautiful Santa Catalina convent. FromArequipa we will then travel across thebreathtaking volcano-studded landscapesof the high, dry altiplano towards the smallmarket town of Chivay. Near Chivay is theColca Canyon, one of the deepest canyonsin the world and noted both for itsspectacular scenery and its very visiblepopulation of Andean Condors. We willspend two mornings here in this dramaticsetting watching as the Condors leave theirroosts on the cliff ledges and circle aroundthe canyon rim before gaining altitude withthe first of the morning's thermals andsoaring off to forage over the surroundingmountains and valleys. This is an almostunique opportunity to see these enormousand majestic birds at such close quartersand will surely be one of the highlights ofthe tour. As the Condors leave for the dayso we can look further afield and enjoy theViscachas clambering among the rocks,the Giant Hummingbirds flitting around thecactus flowers and a range of other wildlifethat adds to the appeal of this fantasticplace.We next undertake a spectacular returnjourney back to Arequipa. Climbing out ofChivay over a high pass, we will stop at avast marshy plain called Pampa de Troca,targeting a range of high Andean birds thatare likely to include Chilean Flamingoes,Puna Ibis, Grey-breasted and Rufous-belliedSeedsnipes, various ground-tyrants andhandsome little Andean Negritos. NoisyAndean Flickers are common on the rockyslopes nearby and small birds of thegrassland and scrub include various sierrafinches and the striking little Black Siskin.Our journey then progresses out onto thehigh golden grasslands of the Pampa laAguada where we are likely to see herds ofwild Vicuna, a common and characteristicanimal in the region.After a night in Arequipa, we fly north backto Lima and on to Chiclayo in north-westPeru, a region well known for its tropical dryforests which are home to an extraordinaryvariety of endemic birds and other wildlife.We will spend four days in the ChaparriEcological Reserve, based at a rustic,peaceful and charming lodge from wherewe can explore our rugged and dramaticallybeautiful surroundings. This is one of thebest places to see Spectacled Bears asthey are quite common in the area andrelatively confiding because of thelongstanding protection and lack ofdisturbance which the reserve has affordedthem. Largely vegetarian, and the only bearin South America, they will be our principaltarget here and with patience and luck wehave a good chance of encountering oneduring our stay. Chaparri and itssurroundings offer much more than justbears, however, and during our stay wehope to encounter mammals such asSechuran Fox, White-tailed Deer andGuayaquil Squirrel plus a wide range ofcolourful and localised birds includingPacific Parrotlet, Scarlet-backedWoodpecker, Elegant Crescent-chest,White-edged Oriole, Tumbes Tyrant and thecritically endangered White-winged Guan.While at Chaparri we will also visit thehumid, higher altitude forests towardsTocmoche where we have further chancesof finding a Spectacled Bear and thenearby Tinajones Reservoir where we willlook for the rare and distinctive coastalform of Black-faced Ibis.Leaving Chaparri we will spend a dayexploring various sites on the coastal plainaround the city of Chiclayo, including theatmospheric Bosque del Pomac with itsancient adobe pyramids and areas ofMesquite forest, home to the TumbesSwallow and the engaging PeruvianPlantcutter, a rare and enigmatic speciesnow restricted to just a few sites in this partof Peru. After a flight back to Lima we conclude ourtime in Peru with a boat trip out to thePalominos Islands. This little archipelago,while not as dramatic as the celebratedBallestas further south, neverthelesssupports good numbers of Humboldtcurrent seabirds and a very healthypopulation of impressive Southern SeaLions. It will provide a perfect finale to anexciting and action-packed trip that willhave introduced us to two very contrastingand very special areas of this fabulouscountry.Peru - Spectacled Bears & Andean CondorsA 13-day wildlife adventure exploring the dry forests of northern Peru in search of Spectacled Bears and endemic birds, plus the south's spectacular Colca Canyon, one of the world's deepest.Sunday 29th September - Friday 11th October Cost: £3,095Outline itineraryDay 1Fly Lima.Day 2Fly Arequipa.Day 3Arequipa; drive Chivay.Day 4/5Chivay and the ColcaCanyon.Day 6Arequipa.Day 7Fly Chiclayo; transferChaparri Lodge.Day 8/10Wildlife excursions fromChaparri Lodge.Day 11Transfer Chiclayo; flyLima.Day 12Palominos Islands.Depart Lima.Day 13Arrive London.AccommodationA delightful, community-owned eco-lodge in the north. Comfortablehotels in the south.Food All included in the price.Grading Grade A.Focus Birds, mammals and other wildlife.Leader Andy Smith.Single room supplement£295.Extensions An extension to Cusco and MachuPicchu is highly recommended.Web quick search: PER07208Call now or visit www.naturetrek.co.ukfor your free Trip ItineraryCHICLAYO PACIFIC OCEAN PERULIMA CHIVAYAREQUIPACHAPARRIBOLIVIA CHILE ECUADOR COLOMBIA BRAZIL COLCARIVER AND CANYONSpectacled Bear Vicunas on altiplanoAndean Condor