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Huacarpay LakeHuacarpay Lake | Birds , Nature and Archeological Ruins

Travel less than an hour from Cusco to get close to high elevation aquatic birds. A RAMSAR site that offer great opportunities for bird observation and photography. Enjoy those beautiful wetlands view of pre-Inca ruins, variety of birds and even migrants can be seen during activities.

Huacarpay Lake

The Huacarpay Lake its situated at an altitude of 9908 Feet, this High-Andean wetland comprises four permanent and one temporary lagoons, two swamps and two rivers, and is part of the Pikillaqta Arqueological Park.

This wetland provides considerable food and refuge to various threatened species such as: Peregrine and Aplomado Falcon and the endemics; Bearded Mountaineer, Rusty fronted Canastero.

There is a collection of interesting species found in the area including most of the aquatic birds; Andean Coots, Common Gallinule, Puna Teals, Yellow Billed Pintail, Cinnamon Teal, Puna Teal and seasonally Chilean flamingos among others.

This lake is surrounded by reeds where some birds appear easy to see such as; Yellow Winged Black-bird, Wren-like Rushbird and the colorful Many colored Rushtyrant.

What to see there?

Landscape and Birds

The Huacarpay Lagoon is part of a protected natural area, formed by singular and beautiful wetlands, full of The wild Tobacco, eucalyptus  shrubs growing around the lake are very effective to attract the hummingbirds in the area as Giant Hummingbird, Sparkling Violetear, Green-tailed Trainbearer and the vegetation and eucalyptus forest for owls, Great Horned Owls and others like Streaked Fronted Thornbird, Yellow Billed Tit-Tyrant. Making it possible to check around 50 species by day, for more information see  our Blog Here 

Updated Bird List of Huacarpay Lake

Find the Bird List of Huacarpay lagoon via Ebird HERE

How to get the Huacarpay lake from Cusco ?

The lake is near Cusco city and easily accessible by public transport, taxis and more effective  booking a tour:

By Local Bus or Collectivos

There are few bus public transport that takes to the nearby towns, local, birders usually catch the public bus that goes to Lucre village, (the bus station is located in front of the Regional Hospital along the La Cultura Avenue) or any other bus company that goes to Urcos and Andahuaylillas. the cost is around 3 soles by public transport, its could be an alternative for travellers that can intermediate speak spanish.

By Taxi

The Taxi driving  takes around  40 minutes from Cusco city center so the rates are from 35 soles to 50 soles, the given rates are  estimated,  the service its basically transport from your hotel and drop off somewhere around the lake. (the rate only includes the transportion from city to the lake )

Recommedations on Birding Purpose

Please bear in mind that you will need a pay an extra rate if you request for the transportation service to be waiting for you untill you explore the lake , in fact while doing birding you should know few spots where the target species can be seen much often so it  will demand to explore the area for at least 3 hours minimun and walking miles from one site to another so a better choice will be to hire a expert local guide and availability of transportation, for better arrangements please check our full  day trip to Huacarpay Lake.

Surrounded by Archeological Sites

The ruins of Urpicancha were built by the Wari culture, its name could be translated as the “House of the doves”, is structures reveals the Wari’s techniques.

Located on a small plateau with a huge mountain behind to the east of the lagoon Huacarpay in Cusco. There also few others archeological sites in the vicinity of the lake such as; Qaranqayniyuj, Choquepucjio, Kunturqaqa, Piquillacta.

Age of the ruins:
600 -1000 A.D.
Elevation:
3,020 meters
Location :
Cusco Deparment
Distance from Cusco :
30 KM
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Huacarpay Lake

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