Polylepis Forest Birding Trip at Yanacocha Lake and Machupicchu 3d/2n

  • Description
  • Tour Itinerary
  • Includes/Not Includes
  • Location


  • Polylepis Forest Birds
  • Yanacocha Lagoon
  • Nature
  • Cave Paintings
  • Archeology

Yanacocha Lagoon is located in the upper part of the Yanacocha stream, in the high section of Huayoccari village, Province of Urubamba. The walk takes place from between 2,800 to 3,900 m.a.s.l. In Yanacocha, there are evidence of human settlements that developed over time. The pictographic record corresponding to the pre-ceramic period with evidence of cave painting that contains scenes of hunting of South American camelids. The most recommended times to visit the area are the months of April to November during the so-called "dry season", but nevertheless for bird watching , it must be done in the rainy season and dry season due to the presence of a great variety of birds is different accord to the season of the year.

It is a pedestrian access (trekking) that begins at the Huayoccari farmhouse, walking about 05 hours. This natural attraction, has unique characteristics, because the bottom of the lagoon is black, due to the presence of black ticna and that makes to reflected in its waters. The lagoon is surrounded by the spectacular forest of Polylepis and a pleasant area for camping.

This place is one of the most wildness places to look for endemic species of birds for Polylepis forest like: hummingbirds, finchs, seedeaters, tanagers, grosbeaks, thrushes, pigeons, doves, tyrans, flycatchers, cotingas; ovenbirds, like canasteros, spinetails, some Wood pecker among others.

Day 1: Cusco - Yanacocha Lagoon

We pick up you at your hotel in our private transportation at 5:00 am to drive for about 1.30 hours until Huayoccari, located in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. Here we meet with the horsemen and our horses. We start walking uphill towards Yanacocha, which will take us about 4 or 5 hours. During the hike we may see birds such as:

Endemic Birds:

  • White-tufted Sunbeam (Peruvian Endemic)
  • Bearded Mountaineer (Peruvian Endemic)
  • White-browed Tit-spinetail (Peruvian Endemic)
  • Creamy-crested Spinetail (Peruvian Endemic)
  • Rusty-fronted Canatero (Peruvian Endemic)

Others like:

  • Sword-billed Hummingbird
  • Puna Thistletail
  • Tawny Tit-spinetail
  • Andean Tit-spinetail
  • Red-rumped Bush-Tyrant
  • Bar-bellied Woodpecker
  • Peruvian Sierra Finch.

We will walk through typical Polylepis forest and can enjoy the view towards the valley. We reach the Yanacocha lagoon and spend the night in a camp site, situated over 3,900 m.a.s.l.

Day 2: Yanacocha Lagoon – Aguas Calientes

Before breakfast we explore one more time surround the lagoon in order to find some specific birds, it will be also a perfect moment to take a nice photos of the lake. Then we back to the camp site for our breakfast and take our belongings to start the hike downhill for 45 minutes up towards a lookout point. Here we enjoy the great view of the Sacred Valley. After a short break we continue descending to the village of Huayocari. On the way we can also see more birds as possible and we will have a picnic lunch. Our van will be waiting for us to take us to Ollantaytambo, where we lodge at a comfortable hotel.

Day 3: Ollantaytambo – Machupicchu - Cusco

After an early wake up and breakfast, you will have a time to explore in the garden of the hotel, in order to see some birds to photograph them, because the hotel where we will be accommodate is considered a hot spot for birdwatchers. After that, we are going to pick up the train that take us to Machupicchu.

Once we arrive to Aguas Calientes town, we will have a lunch. Then we take the bus ride up to Machu Picchu, where we will tour the amazing architecture and mysterious temples left by the andean masters and specialized stone masons. A professional guide will help us to understand the sophisticated technology of this highly-advanced culture. Finalized the guided tour we return to Aguas Calientes to get the train to Cusco in the afternoon.

Tour Program includes

  • All transportations (pick up airport – hotel and viceverse included)
  • Snacks
  • Ozonized water (you must carry your own canteen)
  • Round-trip train tickets Ollantaytambo-Aguas Calientes-Ollantaytambo
  • Professional guide specialized in birds
  • All entrance fees
  • Bus tickets to and from Machu Picchu
  • Hotel in Ollantaytambo
  • Camping equipment
  • Lunch and dinner on first day
  • Breakfast and lunch on second day
  • Lunch on third day in Aguas Calientes

Not includes

  • Other requirements
  • Dinner on second night
  • Sleeping bag
  • Birdwatching equipment
  • Gratuities recommended for a staff

List of Trip:

  • Passport or ISIC card (obligatory)
  • Binoculars
  • Sun block SPF 45 - 90
  • Canteen is obligatory
  • Photograph camera
  • Extra clothes
  • Camouflaged clothes (obligatory)
  • Extra battery
  • Sunglasses
  • Additional Snacks
  • Daypack
  • Hat or cap
  • Repellent
  • Slippers or tennis shoes
  • Raincoats or rain ponchos (November to April)

If you don’t have some of the required equipment, we can rent one

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