Wildlife watching safari in Alto Mayo, Peru

Wildlife expedition in Alto Mayo

The Alto Mayo Valley is located in the provinces of Moyobamba and Rioja, in the transition between the Andes and the Amazon in northern Peru, has a great biodiversity and endemism, and is an ideal place to connect with nature and meet unique forests with wild species, undiscovered.

Biodiversity of Alto Mayo

The Alto Mayo Valley is located in the transition between the Andes and the Amazon, in Peru’s Northeast Corridor of the Tropical Andes biodiversity hotspot, with several areas considered Key Conservation Areas such as Moyobamba, Abra Patricia – Alto Mayo, among others. The Tropical Andes is the most biodiverse hotspot on the planet, containing more than 130 ecosystems that are home to more than 35,000 species, half of which are endemic (CEPF, n.d.).

According to Puhakka, Salo & Saaksjarvi (2011), northeastern Peru is an area with a high number of endemic bird species with a high degree of restriction. In addition, it has been identified that the area of Cusco and Huánuco in Peru have the highest number of endemic species per kmand the areas of Cordillera Colan and Alto Mayo in the departments of Amazonas and San Martín have endemic species with smaller distributions (Young, 2007).

Alto Mayo wildlife safari

El Alto Mayo posee atractivos naturales para la observación de vida silvestre, dentro de los cuales destacan el Bosque de Protección Alto Mayo, La Zona de Conservación y Recuperación de Ecosistemas – ZoCRE Morro de Calzada y la ZoCRE Humedales del Alto Mayo.

En base a los escenarios antes señalados y a la alianza con la Asociación de Conservación de Aguajales y Renacales del Alto Mayo-ADECARAM se presenta un itinerario de expedición en busca de las principales especies de aves, primates y otros de esta zona del Perú.

Day 1: Nocturnal fauna of the Alto Mayo Wetlands

We depart from Tarapoto airport to Moyobamba, and after lunch we leave to port Huascayacu river to leave to Tingana where we arrive in the afternoon and after installing in the cabins we leave to start the expedition in this wetland.

We begin the expedition with a visit to an agro-ecological farm where we will experience the process of growing organic vanilla, among other crops; Then we make a nocturnal wildlife observation expedition where we can observe Common Potoo (Nyctibius griseus), Common Pauraque (Nyctidromus albicollis), Tropical Screech-Owl (Megascops choliba), Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl (Glaucidium brasilianum), Spectacled Owl (Pulsatrix perspicillata), mammals such as Common Opossum  (Didelphis marsupialis), some other mice, some amphibians and reptiles.                                                                                                                                                            

Day 2: Alto Mayo Wetlands Wildlife

On the second day, the activity starts early in the morning where we navigate through the renacales wetlands and observe the flora and fauna of this ecosystem and have a delicious regional breakfast in the middle of the forest.

The species of monkeys that we can observe are the Common squirrel monkey (Saimiri macrodon), Large-headed capuchin (Sapajus macrocephalus), Red howler monkey (Alouatta seniculus); while in birds we can observe the Black-fronted Nunbird (Monasa nigrifrons), Thrush-like Wren (Campylorhynchus turdinus), Chestnut-eared Araçari (Pteroglossus castanotis), Ringed Kingfisher (Megaceryle torquata), Green-backed Trogon (Trogon viridis), among many other species.

During the tour we may also come across a Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni) and  South American Coati  (Nasua nasua). Finally, at 4:00 pm we return to the city of Moyobamba, where we will spend the night in local lodging.


Day 3: Wildlife of Morro de Calzada Amazon Center

On the third day we start our activities very early in the morning, at the Morro de Calzada Amazon Center, 30 minutes from Moyobamba.

In this expedition we will see the endemic primates San Martin Titi Monkey (Plecturocebus enanthe) and the Andean saddle-back Tamarin (Leontocebus leucogenys), hummingbirds such as the Rufous-crested Coquette (Lophornis delattrei), Black-throated Hermit (Phaethornis atrimentalis), Sapphire-spangled Emerald (Chionomesa lactea), Blue-tailed Emerald (Chlorostilbon mellisugus) and other birds of much interest like the Russet-crowned Crake (Anurolimnas viridis), Rufous-sided Crake (Laterallus melanophaius), Fiery-capped Manakin (Machaeropterus pyrocephalus), Plumbeous Kite (Ictinia plumbea), Blue-crowned Trogon (Trogon curucui), Paradise Tanager (Tangara chilensis) and the endemic Black-bellied Tanager (Ramphocelus melanogaster) and Mishana Tyrannulet (Zimmerius villarejoi).

After lunch, we depart to the Tarapoto airport where the expedition ends.

Birdwatching in Morro de Calzada Amazon Center