America /


Northern Peru was a real joy with a great variety of wildlife amidst some fabulous landscapes. Along with the amazing Marvellous Spatuletail and Andean Cock-of-the-rock were a dazzling mixture of poison frogs and butterflies. The flora was wonderful too with some amazing cacti among the dry forests, immense Puya raimondii, passion flowers, orchids and enchanting bromeliad-laden Polylepis forests. The cloud forests of Abra Patricio had a bewildering assortment of tanagers, the very rare Long-whiskered Owlet, Sword-billed Hummingbird and a very tame Tayra who came for his daily banana. Mammals were tame and approachable at Chaparri where Sechuran Fox would wander in and curl up on the floor alongside White-winged Guans and then perhaps a Collared Peccary might amble though the dining room. The big draw here is the chance to see Spectacled Bear and I was lucky this time around with a decent sighting. Along the dry Pacific coast are some dense seabird colonies and inland the easiest viewing of Oilbirds you could hope for. And I didn’t neglect the rich cultural legacy of Peru, the hilltop fortress of Kuelap was superb and we will visit additional sites during the tour. Add to that a delicious cuisine and strong pisco sours and you have a diverse and enjoyable destination. Chris Gardner