Allpahuayo-Mishana National Reserve, Yanamono Community Reserve, Amazon River and Islands
This 7 Days 6 nights program is a Birdwatcher’s quintessential itinerary in the Amazon where you will visit one of the world’s remarkable ecosystems, the Allpahuayo-Mishana National Reserve. This world-renowned Reserve is recognized for having the most biodiversity, and site of the rare white sand forest locally called “varillales”. Contains more than 490 bird species; some twenty native, while others are so endemic they cannot live elsewhere in the planet. The Allpahuayo Mishana National Reserve is a bird watcher’s paradise where new bird species are being discovered every year. Then, you will set off to some of the islands on the Amazon River, around Yanamono Reserve, such as the Hondococha (island in front of Heliconia Amazon River Lodge), Caño Cáceres, Quebrada Manco, and the varied forest areas around of Heliconia Amazon River Lodge where 450 species of birds have been recorded.
Welcome to Iquitos, the gateway to the World’s Natural Wonder, Amazon River and Jungle. Upon your arrival at Iquitos International Airport, you will be greeted by our staff and taken to Victoria Regia Hotel. After check-in lunch will be served at your leisure. In the afternoon, you may walk along the town’s main boulevard to the Malecon, the river banks of the Itaya River, where you can start to observe shore birds of the Northern Amazon River.
DAY 2 – ALLPAHUAYO – MISHANA NATIONAL RESERVE (RNAM) / QUISTOCOCHA LAKE
Your wake-up time is 4:30 am. Then take your packed brunch and depart via the Iquitos-Nauta Highway to Kilometer 25. At 5:30 am, you will start your expedition with a Birding expert from Allpahuayo-Mishana; listen and learn from his talk about the varied vegetation, ecosystem and soil like the rare white sand (“varillal”) made up of almost pure quartz and nutrient rich lacustrine clay. You will easily observe some 15 – 20 species of birds, as well as animals such as amphibians and monkeys. Hike down a jungle path to an observation post and see more bird species such as the Ancient Antwren, Gray-legged Tinamou (between December and March), Mishana Tyrannulet, Zimmer’s Antbird, Pompadour Cotinga, Allpahuayo Antbird, the recently recorded Iquitos gnatcatcher, Brown-banded Puffbird, Citron-belied Attila, Safron-crested Tyran-Manakin, Yellow-throated Flycatcher, and many more. Afterwards, you will trek to Quistococha Lake to observe other species around its flooded forests for about 2 hours. The range of the Amazonian Parrotlet, formerly seen only in the southeast, has greatly extended north with its sightings here. You will also see the Swallow-tailed Swift, Point–tailed Palm creeper, Sulphury Flycatcher, Olivaceus Woodcreeper, Lettered Aracari, Chestnut-eared Aracari, White-lored Euphonia, Red-eyed Vireo, and Spotted Tody-Flycatcher along the Palm Swamps and surrounding area. On the palm trees, you can see Short-tailed swifts roosting or mating. On your way back to Iquitos, look out for Zone–tailed Hawk and Pearl Kites flying over.
Your wake-up time will be approximately 4:30 am. With a packed brunch, you will once again observe more bird species with the guidance of our Birding Expert at the Allpahuayo –Mishana Reserve. Then continue to observe even more new species including the Iquitos Gnatcather and other white sand forest endemics such as the Pearly Antshrike, White plumed Antbird, Zimmer´s Tody-Tyrant, Orange-Crowned Manakin, Ancient Antwren and Paradise Jacamar, White-browed Purpletuft, among others.
Early morning you will transfer from Iquitos to Bellavista Nanay Port. On this boat ride along the Amazon River towards the Heliconia Amazon River Lodge, you will observe some Large- and Yellow-billed Terns and maybe even a Light Yellow-headed Vulture. Arrive at the Heliconia Amazon River Lodge and take a jungle hike into the Yanamono swamps nearby looking for endemic species of the Várzea forest (seasonal floodplain forest inundated by white water rivers) like the Pale-legged Hornero, Warbling antbird, Violaceus trogon, White- eared Jacamar, Buff- throated Woodcreeper. On the upland (terra firme) forest, you will find some Manakin species, including Golden-headed Manakin (which is replaced in the south Amazon by Red- and Blue-headed Manakins), Reddish Hermit, Golden-collared Toucanet, Fasciated Antshrike and Short-billed Antwren. Return to the lodge to relax and rest.
Wake up very early to take the boat and start the bird watching expedition to Quebrada Cáceres (a gorge or ravine), during high tide. You will be looking out for birds such as the Wattled Jacana, White-eared Jacamar, Black-capped Donacobius, Red-capped Cardinald, Amazon Kingfisher, Green Kingfisher, Ringed Kingfisher, Black-Collared Hawk, Amazonian Antshrike, Amazonian-streaked Antwrent, Black Caracara, Plumbeous Antbird, Great Egret, Greater Ani, Squirrel Cuckoo and Oriole Blackbird. After breakfast, take a walk along the Yanamono swamps on terra firme (non-flooded) forest where hopefully you will observe Black Fronted Nunbird, Blue and Gray Tanager, Roadside Hawk, Yellow-headed Caracara, Chachalaca, White-throated Toucan, Yellow-rumped Cacique and others. In the afternoon, a speed boat will take you to the Napo River, a smaller tributary of the Amazon River where you can view river shore species like Black–necked Red Cotinga, Orange–eyed Flycatcher, Swallow Wing and Chestnut – crowned Becard. Then proceed to one of the oxbow lakes to see Hoatzins, Plum- throated Cotinga, Black-collared Hawk, Great Black Hawk, Capped Heron and three species of Kingfishers (American Pygmy, Green and Rufous, Green and Amazon), White-eared Jacamar, Black-capped Donacobius, Red-capped Cardinal, Gilded and Scarlet-crowned Barbets, Crimson-crested and Cream-colored Woodpecker and Striped Woodcreeper, Band-tailed Manakin among other species.
In the morning, we get up early to take a delicious breakfast then we leave to observe birds in the islands surrounding the Amazon River. These have different habitats associated to “aguas blancas”. it means the waters come from the Andes and not from the Amazonic basin, that is the reason of the great variety of birds species. Some of these habitats are sandbars, sandbar scrub, woodland undergrowth, overgrown clearings, low and middle growth or woodland and river edge forest, open woodland and open scrub, grassy and marsh areas and tall stands of Cecropia, Ficus and other succession trees. Some 230 species of birds live in the islands of the Amazon River and 19 seem to be restricted to island habitats, these are Blue-winged Parrotlet, Olive-spotted Hummingbird, Lesser Hornero, Pale-legged Hornero, White-bellied Spinetail, Parker’s Spinetail, Red-and-white Spinetail, Leaden Antwren Castelnau’s Antshrike, Black-and-white Antbird, Ash-breasted Antbird, River Tyrannulet, Brownish Elaenia, Fuscous Flycatcher, Lesser Wagtail-Tyrant, Riverside Tyrant, Bicolored Conebill, Pearly-breasted Conebill. In the afternoon, after lunch we will be walking along the Promenade of the Amazon River, here the area is grassy and marsh areas, we will find interesting species Purple Gallinule, Lesser Hornero, Pale-legged Hornero, Red-and-white Spinetail, White-headed Marsh-Tyrant, Short-crested Flycatcher, Orange-headed Tanager, Purple-throated Euphonia, Lined Seedeater, Black-throated Mango, Brown-chested Martin, Gray-breasted Martin and some vultures like Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture y Greater Yellow-headed Vulture.
In the morning, we will get up early to take a delicious breakfast in the lodge. Then we have another opportunity to hike into the jungle once more, to take in its magnificence one final time. After lunch at the Lodge, we then go back to the Iquitos city by boat. Our van will take you to the airport to catch your flight.
What to wear
It is important that you bring only necessary clothing and travel gear to the lodge. Due to weight and space limitations on the domestic flight and on the boat to the Lodge, passenger luggage is limited to 10 kg. (22 lbs.) per person. You may store some of your luggage in our office in Iquitos City and take only the most essential during your stay.
What to bring: