Tips for choosing a trip for you and your Travel companions
Whether it’s just for a day or two weeks, organized trips are usually in our travel plans at some point. I’ve taken them in the past, and will probably take plenty more in the future. There are many of them and they are often hard to choose. Whether you decide to go solo or accompanied, you will have to sit down once or perhaps many times and ponder on the trip that best suit you travel expectation and those of your traveling companions, if you decide to include them in your plans. Here, I list a few ideas you should consider when choosing a trip you and your traveling companions will remember.
This male Andean-Cock-of-the-Rock was photographed at one of the several displaying arenas in the montane forest of Manu National Park.
Manu National Park: Birds, Wildlife, and Eco Tourism
Manu National Park is located in Southeastern Peru. The park, is one of the largest in South America encompassing parts of the Andean department of Cusco the largely rainforest department of Madre de Dios. Manu National Park protects over 1.5 million hectares of lowland rainforest, extremely wet Andean cloudforest and high elevation Andean grasslands. Manu National Park is officially recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site. In 1977 the park was designated a World Biosphere Reserve because it contains a wide array of representative ecosystems in largely pristine conditions. While the majority of forests in the world have been altered by humans, Manu National Park has remained intact and untouched by modern civilization.
A well-prepared and acclimatized hiking group ready to begin the Inca Trail.
Useful tips for Hiking the Inca Trail and other Treks in Peru
Hiking the Inca Trail or any other trek in the Andes of Peru is challenging. However, I believe, that single most aspect one should be prepared for is the effect of altitude. If properly acclimatized most other challenges become less so when our bodies adapt to the lack of oxygen at the elevations most Andean treks take place.
Even for experienced campers and trekkers, altitude sickness on a trip in the Andes can be a limiting experience. Altitude can greatly influence how you feel and what you are capable of depending on the acclimation period in the city of Cusco or other high-altitude areas before you depart on your trek. At high altitude, just about any physical activity can be physically challenging.
A flock of Green-winged macaws eating clay along the Heath River in Southern Peru. Photo: Daniel Blanco.
Macaw and Parrot Clay Licks in the Rainforest of Peru
The congregation of colorful large Macaws, Amazon Parrots, and parakeets in Southeastern Peru’s Macaw clay licks has been described as one of the most thrilling of avian phenomena. Riverside clay licks, locally known as Ccollpa is the point of concentration for hundreds of macaws, parrots, and parakeets; up to a dozen species which come to ingest the clay, rich in minerals and sodium. Shortly after dawn, parrots gathering by the scores in the trees above the bank begin to peel off to line the vegetation overhanging the cliff. Then, as their confidence rises with the sun, Blue-headed Parrots and other smaller psittacids fly down to the vertical clay face. All the while, large Amazon parrots and dozens of macaws are building their numbers in the trees above.
Jose Huaroto, an associate biologist with CORBIDI (Center for Ornithology and Biodiversity) captured this stunning photo of a Stripe-headed Antpitta (Grallaria andicolus), at Carampoma. Located only within a few hours from Lima, the Polylepis forest at Carampoma is perhaps the largest and most pristine of all Polylepis stands along the west slope of the the Andes south of Lima.
Right light and angle for this unique photo of a Stripe-headed Antpitta. A bird not easy to photograph.
The late Theodore Parker III, famous American field ornithologist once said “Peru offers ‘bird-enthusiasts’ more than any other country in the world… Being here is like being a child visiting a huge store filled with new and fascinating toys”.
Antbirds of Peru by Artist Larry McQueen. Original paintings and copies can be obtained at the author’s website.
The Official List of Birds of Peru
Indeed, Peru possesses an extraordinary ornithological diversity. New species are continually being discovered in its cloud-forests and Amazon jungle, as well as in its rugged mountains and inter-Andean valleys. Furthermore, Peru holds the record for the most species in a single site (650 in the area surrounding the Explorer’s Inn lodge, located in the jungle of Tambopata) and the record for the highest number of species seen in a single day (361 in the area surrounding the Biological Station of Cocha Cashu, in Manu).
A single Killer Whale, por of a group of three individuals photographed off the coast of Organos, Northern Peru. Photo: Sebastian Silva.
Killer Whales or Orcas Sighted in Northern Peru
A rare sighting of Killer Whales or Orcas (Orcinus orca) was reported in Northern Peru, approximately 13 miles off the coast of Organos, department of Piura (Latitude -4.00479, Longitude -81.218072). Killer Whales have a worldwide distribution. In fact next to humans, Killer Whales are the most widely distributed mammal, and while they inhabit all the oceans of the world, Killer Whales are most numerous in Arctic regions of cold water upwelling. Killer whales have also been seen in warm-water regions such as Hawaii, Australia, the Galapagos Islands, the Bahamas, and the Gulf of Mexico.