bird watching in Peru

With a territory as extensive as Peru, it is to be expected that there are a few places where you can enjoy bird watching. Thanks to its great biological and geographical diversity, Peru is home to 20% of all bird species in the world. Which makes it one of the best countries to experience bird watching. With more than 2,000 species of birds to photograph and observe, it is quite difficult to know where to start. That is why together with the travel experts of Machu Travel Peru we have prepared a small article about the best places to enjoy bird watching.

The best destinations in Peru where to enjoy bird watching


cock of the rock in the manu national park

Manu National Park is known for having the greatest biodiversity of any protected site in the world. Located in Paucartambo, Cusco, and Madre de Dios, this national park is a key conservation unit for birds in Peru and has been voted one of the top ten places for bird watching in the world. In total, more than 1000 species of birds have been recorded in the area. Before being labeled as a protected area by the Peruvian government, the Manu National Park remained conserved as a result of its inaccessibility. When you visit Manu, you can explore a variety of habitats, from orchid-laden cloud forests to the rich Amazon rainforest. The birds you will see here include various species of hummingbirds, herons, parrots, and the most striking of all: the cock of the rocks, the national bird of Peru. The cock-of-the-rock is a medium-sized bird that is native to the Andean cloud forests of South America. As is often the case with other species of birds, the male has stronger color hues. While the female boasts dark and earthy colors. The male is characterized by having a crest on his head that differentiates him from all other species. Inside Manu, you will have the opportunity to appreciate this as well as other incredible species of birds. If you plan to visit this wonderful park, it would be a good idea to include it in the different amazon tours from Cusco.


macaws in tambopata national reserve

Another important destination where you can enjoy bird watching is the Tambopata National Reserve. This extensive and diversified reserve is located within the Peruvian Amazon basin, just south of the Madre de Dios River. If you plan to travel to Tambopata, you can get to the reserve by boat from the city of Puerto Maldonado. The reserve is home to some of the wildest and most pristine environments on planet earth, allowing numerous species of birds to flourish. Visitors looking to explore the reserve are granted minimal access to ensure the protection of the reserve. It’s great purity and natural preservation is the reason for its popularity and attractiveness. Not in vain Tambopata is considered one of the best destinations for bird watching. To have a dimension of the biodiversity that the reserve boasts, you can find approximately 670 different species of birds. Some of the most popular species in the area are the harpy eagle, the hoatzin, thirteen different species of tinamú, and the popular macaw. There are many reasons to visit Tambopata, and the known macaw is one of the best.


andean condor in the colca canyon

After immersing yourself in an Amazon tour in Peru, it may be time to get to know Arequipa and its great attractions. Another of the best destinations in Peru to experience bird watching is the Colca Canyon. The Colca Canyon is located in southern Peru, about 160 kilometers northwest of Arequipa. The Canyon is a great tourist spot, since it has an approximate depth of 4,160 meters, doubling the depth of the well-known Grand Canyon. And right next to the Canyon is the Colca Valley, another natural paradise full of wonderful scenarios. These environments are home to numerous species of birds, of which you can find the giant hummingbird, the Chilean flamingo, the Andean goose, and the popular Andean condor. Usually, bird enthusiasts come to the Canyon to appreciate the majestic Condor. Condors are a sight to behold and can be admired up close as they fly. The condor is one of the longest-lived bird species, having a useful life of more than one hundred years.


peruvian pelicans in the paracas reserve

Following the list is the Paracas National Reserve, an incredible Peruvian destination where birds are not the only attraction. This incredible reserve is located about four hours south of Lima, very close to the city of Ica. In general, those who choose to vacation in the surroundings of the Reserve do so with plans to visit the Ballestas Islands. These rock formations are one of the most important marine sanctuaries in Peru. In them, you can see seals, dolphins, and a great variety of birds. To reach them it is necessary to undertake a boat excursion. But the payoff this tour brings is unparalleled. You will be able to observe the Humboldt penguin, the Guano Guanay bird, and pelicans among other species. The tour to the Islands is one of the best introductions to Peruvian bird watching.


amazonian umbrellabird in the pacaya samiria national reserve

After enjoying Machu Picchu and the jungle, you can choose to tour the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. This reserve claims to be one of the most virgin places in the Amazon and an excellent destination for bird watching. This reserve is located within the department of Loreto, deep in the Amazon Rainforest. This beautiful pristine jungle destination is perfect for bird watching. Inside you can see numerous varieties of parrots, as well as the Wattled Curassow, the Amazonian Umbrellabird, and the Great Potoo among others.


Wonderful destinations for bird watching abound in Peru. In some of these places, you can observe some of the most impressive and interesting birds. We hope together with our colleagues from Machu Travel Peru to have been helpful. If you want to know more about our sighting tours, you can consult with our advisors.

Peru has so much to offer, it can be hard to know where to start. With many years of experience in the tourism sector, Machu Travel Peru is happy to help with anything regarding your trip to Machu Picchu and any tours around it. Make your Machu Picchu experience an unforgettable one!