The tour met all of my expectations. Rob Williams is an excellent tour guide – knowledgeable, manages logistics well, interacts with participants in a fun and caring way, and strives to find the birds that are on participants’ “wish lists”.
The 2018 tour price is provisional
Our short pre-tour extension sees our intrepid band of birders searching for of one of the worlds ‘newest’ and most rarely seen species, the Scarlet-banded Barbet. While no longer a dedicated expedition, this challenging tour offers the chance at a spectacularly rare and attractive species alongside a host of other species seldom seen on any tour, anywhere.
Scarlet-banded Barbet, Amazonian Umbrellabird, Golden-headed Quetzal, Rusty-tinged & Scaled Antpittas, Jet, Yungas, Band-tailed, Golden-headed & Blue-rumped Manakins, Fiery-throated, Scarlet-breasted & Scaled Fruiteaters, Andean Laniisoma, Grey-tailed Piha, Roraiman Flycatcher, Foothill Schiffornis, Red-necked Woodpecker, Subtropical Pygmy Owl, Curl-crested Aracari, Blackish Antbird, Slaty, Dot-winged, Rufous-rumped & Foothill Antwrens, Buff-tailed Sicklebill, Metallic-green, Blue-browed, Paradise & Saffron-crowned Tanagers, Chestnut-crowned Gnateater and Yellow-throated Spadebill, Stripe-chested & Ornate Antwrens, Rufous Casiornis.
cloud and foothill forest
Humid, possible showers
difficult, long drives, often muddy terrain
amazing pristine forests, unique, seldom-explored location
Day 1: Arrival in Tarapoto
Today is set aside for arrivals in Tarapoto. This evening, out intrepid group will meet up for a welcome dinner to discuss the forthcoming days searching for one of the world’s most isolated, and new species.
Day 2: Tarapoto to Plataforma
Since being discovered in 1996, the usual expedition to find the Scarlet-banded Barbet involved much hiking and remote camping, simply to reach the general location. Fortunately, a far easier site was found called Plataforma. Visiting Plataforma may be easier, at least in theory, it still poses considerable difficulties when there is rain, so specialised 4×4 vehicles are all that will do. Even during sublime conditions (no rain), the 60km drive normally takes 8-9 hours! Should we have time available en route, a spot of roadside birding may produce Blue-rumped Manakin, Scarlet-breasted Fruiteater or Rose-fronted Parakeet. Depending on weather conditions, we may have time this evening for an owling session.
Days 3 & 4: Scarlet-banded Barbet site
We have two full days of our Peru birding tour to target not only the Scarlet-banded Barbet, but many other specialties of the area. We don’t have to go far to reach the preferred habitat of the barbets. On this isolated ridge in the Cordillera Azul, one of the last ranges before the expanse of Amazonia begins, we will be quite literally surrounded by birds seldom seen on any tour, anywhere. While the barbet is the clear prize, numbering less than 1000 individuals, there will be plenty of great birds, low and high, to keep us busy and make this remote camping experience downright extraordinary!
Recently observed species at this site include both Jet, Golden-headed and Yungas Manakins (an amazingly disjunct, northern population), Fiery-throated, Scarlet-breasted & Scaled Fruiteaters, Andean Laniisoma (observed several times at this location!), Grey-tailed Piha, Roraiman Flycatcher, Amazonian Umbrellabird, Rusty-tinged & Scaled Antpittas, Golden-headed Quetzal, Foothill Schiffornis, Red-necked Woodpecker, Subtropical Pygmy Owl, Curl-crested Aracari, Blackish Antbird, Slaty, Dot-winged, Rufous-rumped & Foothill Antwrens, Buff-tailed Sicklebill, Metallic-green, Blue-browed, Paradise and Saffron-crowned Tanagers, Chestnut-crowned Gnateater and Yellow-throated Spadebill, amongst many, many others.
Day 5: Plataforma to Tarapoto
We depart Plataforma early this morning to tackle the long drive back to Tarapoto. Depending on our travel status, we will take advantage of the diverse habitats en route that represent new microhabitats and species. Stripe-chested and Ornate Antwrens, Rufous Casiornis, the gorgeous Band-tailed Manakin, as well as a few white sand forest specialities like Sulphur-bellied Tyrant-Manakin. Many of the more widespread lowland Amazonian species and those typical to both savannas and secondary scrub throughout the upper Amazon Basin can be found on the lower part of the road. We expect to arrive back in Tarapoto late this afternoon, just in time for a quick freshen up before dinner. Any new participants will have arrived earlier today, so we shall all enjoy a welcome dinner to discuss our next few weeks together.
What our clients say about tours to Peru
- RH, Peru
Rob Williams is the best guide I have ever birded with – wonderful birding and people skills.PM, Peru
Rob Williams is right up there among the very best tour leaders. His vast experience from lots of research and conservation projects and intimate knowledge of the country add lots of value compared to a tour leader who is “just” a good organiser, birder and guide. He is also great company, with a sublime sense of humour.UA, Peru
Rob Williams was a brilliant guide in all respects. Throughout the three weeks, he gave the group his all. He is outstanding, and we would love to travel with him again.TE, Northern Peru 2015
Our guide, Rob Williams, was exceptionally well qualified, good humoured in all circumstances and remarkably diligent in accommodating all levels of birding skills within our group. He went out of his way to make sure that each member of the group realised their expectations for the trip. We would welcome the opportunity to join him on additional trips; he is a quality individual with sound values and a superb representative of Rockjumper Birding Tours.JH & CH, Southern Peru