Diversity rules in Peru, with more than 1180 bird species and 118 endemics, and the country owes its exceptional diversity to the Andes Mountains. The mountain range divides the country into three main geographic regions: the Pacific lowlands, the Andes, and the Amazonian lowlands. Main attractions on the coast include the Many-colored Rush-Tyrant and the endemic Surf Cinclodes, and a look over the bluffs is likely to feature Inca Tern and Humboldt Penguin.
A short distance inland, diversity is especially high in the Andes themselves. Key birds include the massive Andean Condor in the High Andes and the striking Andean Cock-of-the-Rock in the humid montane forests of the eastern foothills.
If you are keen for endemics, don’t miss the northern Peruvian Andes; with 63 endemics, this area is the richest endemic bird area in the world, with prizes such as White-winged Guan and Marañon Crescentchest. If you are a hummingbird lover, you can expect to see more than 50 species in the northern Andes, including the Koepke’s Hermit, Gould’s Jewelfront, and the exquisite Marvelous Spatuletail. In the shadow of the eastern Andean slope lies the sheer abundance of the Amazonian lowlands.
Nearly every lodge in the Amazon basin lists over 600 species for its property. At the famous Amazon clay licks, hundreds of Parrots, Parrotlets, and Macaws meet every morning for their daily dose of minerals. When the Amazon humidity overwhelms you, head for the incomparable 15th century Incan ruins at Machu Picchu, at nearly 8,000 feet in the Andes above Cusco. The Great Sapphirewing, Shining Sunbeam, and Giant Hummingbird will keep you company. Contributor: Wilson Diaz/Green Tours Operador de Turismo.