Birdwatching Machu Picchu

Lost City Bird Guides • Urubamba • Peru

Tanager seen near Mandor Gardens
Peruvian Could Forect Tree Trunk
Andean Cock-of-the-rock

Andean Cock-of-the-rock

hummingbird seen on Machu Pichu Birding tour

Collared Inca

Guided Cloud Forest birding with binoculars included

We envision this outing as a compliment to your visit to the ruins of Machu Picchu. It takes place in the deep gorge of the Vilcanota River within view of the Machu Picchu ruins perched on the cliffs high above. It's a fascinating paradise of intact and very bio-diverse cloud forest, festooned with bromeliads and epiphytic orchids. We use a path alongside the train tracks, which continue down the valley from Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo) following the river. This valley is protected because it lies within the Machu Picchu Sanctuary and has long been popular with birdwatchers because it is of relatively easy access and is the home of many spectacular, rare, and endemic species. It's also an excellent place for novice birders to experience some of the most colorful birds of the tropics, including the Andean Cock-of-the-rock, which is plentiful around Machu Picchu Pueblo. We also commonly see Blue-banded Toucanets, Highland Motmots, Golden-headed Quetzals, Veriscolored Barbets, parrots, various colorful tropical tanagers, jewel-like hummingbirds, and many others. With hundreds of registered bird species in the region you never know what may turn up (see gallery).

The Complete Machu Picchu

We can also organize Machu Picchu visits in which we buy your train and bus tickets, reserve your hotel, arrange a guide for the ruins, and then a morning of birding the next day before you return to Cusco. We can bird the ruins too if you like. Contact us

Machu Picchu for more experienced birders

The Machu Picchu Sanctuary has plenty of species for the avid birder, enough that a guide specifically to the region has been published (The Birds of Machu Picchu by Barry Walker). We enjoy identifying the little tyrannulets as much as the colorful birds. Here is a list of the birds we have seen: Machu Picchu bird list

Coming Attractions

We are presently working on all sorts of ideas for birding in the Cusco region and beyond, including the Laguna Huacarpay, Abra Malaga, and Laguna Yanacocha. We are also hoping to combine birding and trekking for birders who are looking for something a little more remote and adventurous. Drop us an email and tell us what you think. We're always excited about new ideas.

Forgot your binoculars?

We have high quality 8x40 binoculars available for those who need them and we are very novice friendly.

orchid seens on machu picchu bird tour