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Indigenous Birding in the Amazonian Lowlands

June 5 - June 13

| $2,925

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There are a lot of fancy birding trips out there. This isn’t one of them.

On this trip you will travel to one of the wildest places on earth for an authentic week of conservation birding. The Las Piedras River is the longest watershed in the Madre de Dios region of Peru. The lowland rainforest there is home to superlative numbers of flora and fauna and over 600 species of birds. Out in the jungle are Paradise Tanagers, Hoatzin (everyone wants to see one), Sunbitterns, Harpy Eagles and Scarlet Macaws to name but a few. From the jungle you’ll hear multitudes of others including the song of the Screaming Piha and the Russet-Backed Oropendola. In the lowlands of the Amazon, there is so much bird life it’s almost too much to take. Even from the hammocks at our research station you’ll see Black Nunbirds, Bluish-fronted Jacamar, Black-tailed Trogon and a constant stream of macaws and parrots flying over head.

The lead guide on this trip is Juan Julio Durand, a native conservationist who has been working to protect the Las Piedras for over twenty years. Having worked as a birding guide and researcher for much of that time, JJ knows the calls of virtually every bird in the forest. He also knows how to catch anacondas and track jaguars. Along with Juan Julio will be Gowri Varanashi, a Tamandua senior guide, who has the sharpest eyes in the jungle. Working together you will come to see and identify a wondrous range of Neotropical birds. You will also have the opportunity to bird on your own—to walk through the jungle experiencing the abundance of birds.

What truly sets this trip apart is the passion of the guides, the wildness of the landscape, and the fact that your very presence here is contributing to a biological index and larger conservation effort to protect this river. The Las Piedras River has thousands of acres of untouched pristine forest (filled with birds!) that are in danger from illegal ironwood logging, development, and mining. By joining this trip you are joining the fight to keep this place wild.

You will be staying at the Las Piedras Biodiversity Station which is fully equipped with running water, toilets, and showers. We have comfortable beds with mosquito nets and hammocks to relax in. On the main deck you can find a library of field guides and biodiversity surveys. We have a fully staffed kitchen and employ local chefs who cook authentic local cuisine that will help power your mind and body. We can confidently say that your presence at the station will not only place you in one of the most bio-diverse regions on the planet but it will also make you an important part of it’s security for generations to come.


June 5

Grab your bags and head to the airport. Time to set off for an inspiring journey to Peru! Your trip will be a once in a lifetime adventure in the Amazon Rainforest.

June 6

Arrive in Puerto Maldonado, Peru (airport code PEM). Land at the airport and take a short cab ride to the hotel. Our guide will meet the group to discuss the plans for the expedition. You can enjoy the local scenery, and perhaps even spot some birds on the banks of the Tambopata/Madre de Dios Rivers.

June 7

Boat Ride up the Las Piedras River. At the crack of dawn we will depart Puerto Maldonado and head up the Trans-Amazon highway for an hour, then along a dirtp-logging road for two hours. Eventually we will reach the remote and very beautiful Las Piedras. We’ll load all our bags and gear onto the boat and head up river accompanied by Pied Lapwings (another thirty minutes). By lunch time we’ll reach the station. After a brief orientation and some food, we’ll head right out into the jungle for an afternoon session of birding!

June 8

Just before it’s light out, you’ll be up for the incredible Amazonian dawn chorus. Monkeys and birds bring in the day with a variety of songs. After breakfast some river travel is a great way to spot macaws and lapwings, screamers, herons, and more. At night, we’ll walk to try and find potoos and owls.

June 9

Early Morning Macaws. At 4:30 am we’ll head up river in the dark. Once we are in position we will inflate packrafts and begin one of the most incredible experiences of the trip: paddling down an Amazonian tributary as the morning comes. This is your best way to see not only a variety of birds, but also jaguars, tapir, capybara, turtles, caiman and more.

June 10

Often, after you try it once, you are going to want to do it again. So on this day we’ll split into two groups for the morning: people that want another session of packrafting will be able to. And for those that want to stick to land and trails, you got it! After breakfast we go to Loretillo stream, a secluded tributary of the Las Piedras where you’ll see hidden parts of the jungle and a sanctuary for wildlife. Evening, we’ll head to a lookout where you can see out over the entire river.

June 11

As a finale to our incredible trip, on this day we are going to head even deeper into the rainforest. On this day we are going to visit Lago Solidad where we will explore the stunningly beautiful oxbow lake and also climb a century-old ironwood tree that provides a canopy level view of birds. At dusk we’ll watch the sunset from the riverside.

June 12

Return To Puerto Maldonado. Pack your bags and say goodbye to the Amazon. The group will head back to Puerto Maldonado to enjoy a night out in town before turning in for the night in a hotel.

June 13

Fly out. Tamandua guides will see you off to the airport. Until next time!

Monday – Thursday

The mornings begin with a chorus of avian songs along with morning hikes, quietly walking through the forest to get a chance to see more wildlife. You will have the chance to walk the forest, and the many diverse environments it has to offer. With the use of trails you will have access to many rare species of flora and fauna. A unique feature located close to the station is the macaw clay lick where you will have a chance to see hundreds of macaw, parakeets, and other beautifully ornamented birds.


$2,925. This includes transportation to the lodge once in Peru, food and accommodations at the lodge (double occupancy), personal guiding throughout the vast surrounding jungle, and hotels in Puerto Maldonado (double occupancy). Not included in this fee is airfare to Puerto Maldonado, Peru, meals in Puerto Maldonado, and travel insurance.

Discount: We are offering a $300 discount to the first five people that sign up for this expedition. Enter discount code FIRSTFIVE when paying your deposit on our booking page to get the discount. Expeditions fill up quickly so book your trip first to secure the discount!


For more information or to reserve a spot on this trip, contact us at


June 5
June 13


Peru Retreat
Puerto Maldonado, Peru


Tamandua Jungle