FLIGHT OF THE CONDOR & BIRDING 2D/1N
The Apurimac Canyon and the Condor viewpoint
Archaeological sites of Killarumiyoq
Salkantay and Humantay Mountains
Glacial Lake Humantay
The Flight of the Condor & Birding program is a must for all nature and bird lovers. This tour provides great opportunities of spotting the enormous Andean Condor soaring over the Apurimac Canyon, exploring native forests abundant with Polylepis trees, as well as magnificent views of the sacred Salkantay and Humantay Mountains. You will also experience traditional culture and get to meet locals of the high planes.
You will be able to encounter many endemic species on this trip including the Apurimac and Vilcabamba Tapaculos, Koepcke’s Screech Owls, and Forest Divers. At our Ecocamps, you will experience luxurious accommodation and deliciously prepared food made with fresh Andean ingredients.
Start and finish:
2 days/1 night
See FAQ (seasons)
2-8 (per guide)
WHAT IS INCLUDED
✔ 1 night in the ecocamp
✔ Entrance to attractions
✔ All meals during tour
✔ All in-tour ground transportation
✔ Walks around ecocamps
✔ Specialized guides
✔ Drinking water
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED
✘ Flights to Peru and Cusco
✘ Optional activities
✘ Laundry services
✘ Alcoholic beverages
✘ Accommodation in Cusco (see FAQ)
DAY TO DAY PROGRAM
DAY 1: CUSCO - CHONTA -PINCOPATA ECOCAMP
The Flight of the Condor & Birding adventure begins with an 8:30 am hotel pick-up and a drive north of Cusco passing through colourful Andean villages. We will enjoy magnificent views of sacred Mount Salkantay (6,270 m / 20,105 ft.), as well as the valleys of Limatambo and Rio Blanco before arriving at the small village of Chonta. From here, we will begin our easy hike along a path surrounded by local flora and flora. The time of this walk will be dependent on the number of species we observe along the way.
During this hike we will search for many species including the Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Mountain Caracara, Golden-billed Saltator, Sierra Finch, Giant Hummingbird and the Hooded Siskin without losing sight of one of the deepest canyons in the Americas (4,691m / 15,386ft). It is possible to catch sight of the infamous Andean condor swooping across the canyon even before arriving at the viewing points. There are three viewing points, each about 100 meters apart, along the canyons edge. Each viewpoint offers different angles and proximities to these giant birds. At the furthest viewpoint it is possible to see juvenile condors practicing their flights.
We will have the chance to observe the predators while enjoying our specially prepared nutritious lunch box before heading back to Chonta. Following our first birding expedition, we'll continue on our journey through the Limatambo valley to our Pincopata Ecocamp.
After settling into your geodesic dome, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the stunning natural surroundings at our camp. There is even the chance to spot nocturnal birds such as the Buff-fronted Owl, Koepcke’s Screech Owl, and the Peruvian Pygmy-Owl. We will end our day with an exquisite three-course meal served in the dining dome.
Driving distance: 132.5 km/82.8 mi
Driving time: 3 hrs
Hiking distance: 6.4 km/4 mi
Hiking time: 3 hrs. (round trip)
Hiking level: moderate
Altitude at Chonta: 3,400 m /11,152 ft.
Altitude at Pincopata: 2,850 m/ 9,348 ft.
DAY 2: PINCOPATA ECOCAMP - SORAY ECOCAMP - CUSCO
After an early morning birding excursion, we will have a hearty breakfast at the Ecocamp before continuing with our days birding activities. A trip through the Rio Blanco Valley to Soraypampa will bring us to the foothills of the Humantay and Salkantay Mountains. The route towards our Soray Ecocamp offers excellent opportunities for spotting both valley and highland species. Depending on the morning's bird sightings, we will be served lunch at either Soray or Pincopata Ecocamp.
Some of the birds possible to observe are: the Red-Crested Cotinga, Cinereous Conebill, Apurimac Spinetail (E), Tit-like dacnis, Giant Hummingbird, Shining Sunbeam hummingbird, White-tufted Sunbeam (E)Andean Lapwing, Andean Goose, Mountain Caracara, Vilcabamba Tapaculo, Apurimac Brush Finch (E), Sierra Finch, Creamy-crested Spinetail (E), Chestnut-breasted Mountain-Finch (E), and Tyrian Metaltail.
As this birding adventure comes to an end, we'll return to Cusco in our private transport.
Hiking & Birding time: 5-6 hrs
Soray Altitude: 3,850 m/12,628 ft.
Hiking level: easy
Driving time to Cusco: 2 hrs