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Birding in Cusco and Sacred Valley Gardens – 1Day Tour
Looking for some birdwatching fun with a view? Then consider Birding in Cusco, Peru. Explore Huacarpay Lake and Sacred Valley on a Full Day Basis.
This full-day excursion will have you birding in two of the most beautiful places in the region. Visit Huacarpay Lake and its wetlands, home to various exotic species of birds, like; the Endemic Bearded Mountaineer. Rusty Fronted Canastero, Owls, and many Andean Aquatic Birds.
Stop by the nearby valley and experience an outstanding landscape, including Pre-Incan ruins. Stop over at the Sacred Garden in the vicinity of Pisac to observe; the bellied Hummingbird, and the Giant hummingbird. Later your birding adventure continues at the Ensifera Camp in the heart of Sacred Garden to observe the Sword Billed Hummingbird with great Sapphire wings.
Then end of the day will spot the interesting Torrent Ducks and keep moving and exploring the Sacred Valley You can marvel at the site and take in the panoramic views of the Sacred Valley. Birding in Cusco is the perfect way to take in the beauty of the Peruvian Andes and explore the home of many amazing avian species.
Huacarpay Lake & Sacred Valley
“Must-see locations for Birds”
Undoubtedly one of the best-located sites for birding near Cusco city. With spectacular views, and most importantly, a range of birds only seen in certain regions of the world. It is the perfect spot to spend a few hours or the entire day, to see species of high-elevation aquatic birds. Up to 60 residents are situated here or use the lake as a vital resting ground
Birding at the Archeological Sites
Part of the Pikillaqta Archeological Park, this High-Andean wetland is situated at an altitude of 9908 Feet. This wetland area there comprises, four permanent and one temporary lagoon, two swamps, and two rivers. As a result, this provides considerable food and refuge to various threatened species such as; Peregrine and Aplomado Falcon and the 2 endemics; Bearded Mountaineer, and Rusty fronted Canastero.
Tucked in between the Mountain ranges, is an especially great spot for birds to come together. This area in which the environment and nature work as one is humbling. The lake is the perfect location to explore.
Which bird Species can be seen?
The Huacarpay Lagoon is part of a protected natural area. These beautiful wetlands are also home to many plants which allow nature to thrive. And in turn, come the birds. The wild Tobacco and eucalyptus shrubs growing around the lake are the most effective in attracting hummingbirds in this area. Such as; the Giant Hummingbird, Sparkling Violetear, and Green-tailed Trainbearer. In addition, this vegetation and eucalyptus forest have created a habitable environment for owls and also birds such as; the Streaked Fronted Thornbird, and Yellow-Billed Tit-Tyrant.
High reeds surround the Lake’s edges which makes it an easy spot to see the birds that dwell here; Yellow Winged Black-bird, Wren-like Rushbird, and the colorful Many colored Rushtyrant.
Furthermore, there is a collection of interesting species here, including most of the aquatic birds; Slate-colored Coots, Common Gallinule, Puna Teals, Yellow Billed Pintail, Cinnamon Teal, Puna Teal, and seasonally Chilean flamingos, and more.
Which are the Endemic Species?
Cusco is a paradise for birdwatchers, in effect the endemic species that are regularly seen at Huacarpay Lake are; Bearded Mountaineer, and Rusty Fronted Canastero.
The ride along the Sacred Valley and birding at Ensifera Camp provides chances to observe; Chestnut–breasted Mountain–Finch, White Tufted sunbeam, and the majestic Sword Billed Hummingbird. Cusco has a diverse selection of birds to explore.
Which Gardens are visited?
This beautiful Hummingbird sanctuary is located in the foothills of the Sacred Valley, at Yanahuara Town ( between Urubamba and Ollantaytambo), and is home to some of the most exotic and rare species of hummingbirds in the neotropics, the Sword-Billed Hummingbird. Here, you can observe these amazing creatures in their natural habitat and learn more about their behavior and habits.
The grounds of Ensifera Camp Garden are full of lush vegetation and wildflowers, and feeders provide a perfect location for hummingbird spotting and photography. You can take a leisurely stroll through the gardens, or even take part in guided bird–watching tours along its trails. The camp also offers meals for visitors so you still get to see many hummingbirds even while having lunch since feeders are set right in front of the lunch area.
The Sacred Garden near Pisac and San Salvador Town. This lush garden and its surroundings are home to over 60 species of birds, including the Endemic Bearded Mountaineer, Giant hummingbirds, and Creamy Crested Spinetail. The garden also offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Visitors to the Sacred Garden can explore its trails to see the local plantations of Quinua, Corn, and Quiwicha.
During your visit, you may spot some of the more common species such as Sparking Violetears, Mitred Parakeets, and Black-Blacked Grossbeaks. But you may also be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Peruvian Pygmy Owls.
Recommended Birding Apps
Are you a birdwatching enthusiast looking for the perfect tools to enhance your experience? Look no further! With the right apps, you can easily access the latest bird lists. Find the best birdwatching spots, and get important tips and tricks. Here are some of the most useful apps for birdwatchers. EBird, which offers a comprehensive list of the different species of birds in Cusco; this includes a list at the Hotspots; Laguna de Huacarpay, Puente Huambutio, Sacred Garden, and Ensifera Camp
- Merlin App is a free download app that is a handy field guide for identifying different birds; and provides detailed information on bird habitats and behaviors. So, download these essential apps and get ready to explore the wonders of birdwatching!
- Ebird, with so much to see and explore, it’s important to stay up to date on the latest bird lists in the area. That’s why we recommend using the Ebird App to get the most accurate and up–to–date information. With eBird, you’ll be able to easily access a comprehensive list of the different species of birds in Cusco and any other locations on the globe.
More About “Birding in Cusco”
Whether you’re a novice or skilled in birding, Cusco and its surrounding areas offer something for everyone. Birding in Cusco at Huacarpay Lake and Sacred Valley on a full-day tour is the perfect way to experience the stunning nature and abundant wildlife of this beautiful area of Peru. So don’t miss out! Book your trip today and join the adventure of a lifetime.
Explore our Longer Birding Tours along the Manu Road
- Full Day
Huacarpay Lake - Sacred Valley - Ensifera Camp
We will visit the lake early morning, located some twenty-five kilometers south of Cusco, which is situated above 10,500 feet. One of the lakes resembles an extensive saltpan interrupted here and there by beds of reeds, another a shallow crater.
Both are lined with marsh vegetation, which is highly rich in nutrients, attracting birds for miles around. The lakes are surrounded by xeric ravines (quebradas in Peruvian Spanish) and rocky hills covered with shrubs, various cacti, tree tobacco, and small trees. The area deserves at least several hours of attentive birding and is definitely a popular place to start our tour since the viewing conditions are easy.
You'll want your scopes for this area, though your guide will have a scope along too. The marshy shores and waters of the lakes support Andean water birds and waders, including; White-tufted Grebe, Puna Ibis, Puna Teal, Yellow-billed Pintail, and Andean Duck, Plumbeous Rail, and Andean Lapwing. In addition, there are usually a few boreal shorebird non-breeders or migrants (quite a few later in the season).
The extensive rush beds shelter Cinereous Harriers, Yellow-winged Blackbirds, Wren-like Rushbirds, and the beautiful Many-colored Rush- Tyrant. The scrubby slopes are home to a number of land birds, including; Bare-faced Ground-Dove, Giant Hummingbird (at nine inches, the largest-bodied of the hummers). Streak-fronted Thornbird, large flocks of Greenish Yellow-Finches (usually). Ash-breasted Sierra-Finches, Band-tailed Seedeaters, and the endemic Rusty-fronted Canastero. Another Peruvian endemic, the spectacular Bearded Mountaineer, feeds on the tubular yellow flowers of the wild Tree Tobacco that grows in the outwash plains near the lakes.
Hanging above the slopes on occasion are Black Chested Buzzard-Eagles, and below them hurtle Aplomado Falcons in pursuit of some unsuspecting dove.
After birding around the lake we will drive along the Sacred Valley road passing by interesting Andean landscapes and Incan Ruins. Following the Urubamba River and passing by the Pisac, Calca, and Urubamba towns in the heart of the Sacred Valley provides exceptional views of the Inca Terraces. later we drive off the road and uphills for 10 minutes to reach Ensifera Camp garden to have lunch and observe the Sword Billed hummingbird, White Tufted Sunbeam, Chestnut-breasted mountain finch, and other interesting birds and return to Cusco before 5:00 Pm and transfer to your hotel.
"Discover the most amazing and endemic bird species in Cusco"