Amazonian Peru: Jul 21—31, 2006

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Departs: Lima, Peru
Tour Limit: 8
Download Itinerary: PDF (204.9 KB)

Tour Leaders

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Steve Hilty

Steve Hilty is the senior author of A Guide to the Birds of Colombia, and author of Birds of...


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Canopy Walkway

Canopy Walkway — Photo: Steve Hilty

World-renowned walkway allows unparalleled, eye level access to birds and mammals of the rainforest canopy; one of the most diverse avifaunas in the world; challenging birding.

The word Amazon brings to mind images of unbroken rainforest teeming with birds, great, sluggish rivers, and unimaginable biological diversity. The images are true, but many visitors come away disappointed because much of the Amazon's wildlife requires patience and knowledge to find. This trip provides an opportunity to experience the Amazon under expert leadership, a necessity in this exciting but sometimes overwhelming region.

We visit two lodges downstream from Iquitos and adjacent to the Amazon River: the Explornapo Lodge, and ACTS (Amazon Conservatory for Tropical Studies) lodge.

Trails provide access to seasonally flooded varzea forest, oxbow lakes, and upland terra firme forest, and the lodges afford a wilderness experience that is usually available only to persons willing to camp. Here you may awaken to the distant rumble of a Spectacled Owl, or the staccato tooting of a tiny Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, eat breakfast on an open verandah while the forest wakes up around you, and walk trails through virgin rainforest. There also is a good chance we will find the rare Black-necked Red-Cotinga, a spectacular, but very locally occurring species.

The most exciting aspect of this trip may well be the canopy walkway. This breathtaking aerial bridge linking a dozen giant trees, and extending for a quarter of a mile, offers visitors the chance to view the rainforest from an eagle's perspective. Visitors have described the canopy walkway experience as magical, dreamlike, and beyond comprehension, for here—suspended over giddy spaces—one steps beyond the realm of human experience and into that of birds. Here, too, birds are remarkably unafraid, and visitors may find themselves in the midst of mixed species flocks of colorful barbets, trogons, and tanagers—sometimes at little more than arm's-length!

Watching gossamer clouds rise magically from the roof of the rainforest at dawn, or following distant parrots across the green horizon, it is almost possible to imagine one has stepped into another era here—in a world of long ago, perhaps. Join us for this birding journey—like no other—through the Amazonian rainforest.

Basic lodge accommodations; excellent food; transportation by bus and boat; reasonably good forest trails on undulating terrain; exploration of river islands; moderately brisk pace but midday breaks most days; hot, humid, and often rainy.