Lat:00o00´S/00o00´W ha topography msl 
Protected/registered status 
Best Time for visit (16th June, 2006)


Birding Site Guide

This is a very out of the way site and a bit of a pain to get to on public transport but it is the only known site for the recently upgraded critically endangered endemic Purple-backed Sunbeam. I went here after looking for Great Spinetail near San Marcos. From the plaza in San Marcos, buses pass from Cajamarca heading to Cajabamba. Several buses come through at different times. The first Rojas bus came at 12:30pm but was full and wouldn't let on any passengers. We got on the Peru Bus which arrived about 4:30pm. It takes about 3 hours to get to Cajabamba from San Marcos (5s), only the first 30 minutes of which were paved. This seems to have been done recently and it may take less time in future. We stayed the night in Cajabamba which is a nice little town with pretty plaza and friendly people. I recommend the 'La Casona' hotel on the plaza with a double room with hot water and cable TV for just 25s. There are plenty of places to eat and do internet in town too. A 'Los Andes' bus leaves Cajabamba for Huamachuco at 9am. The office is next to the market a few blocks along Grau from the plaza. Another bus leaves at 4am (10s). 

It takes 3 hours to Huamachuco but just 2 and a half hours to Lake Sausacocha where there is a turn-off to Tayabamba. There is public transport from Huamachuco towards Tayabamba which passes El Molino but you can just wait at the turn-off in Sausacocha instead of going all the way to Huamachuco. We managed to get a ride with a big logging truck which was painfully slow and uncomfortable. It took 7 hours to go 70km. We took a minibus on the way back which got from El Molino, leaving at 1pm, to Sausacocha in just 3 and a half hours. The bus service varies from day to day. Ask locally. A bus from Huamachuco passed by Sausacocha to Cajabamba at about 6pm. If you get stuck in Sausacocha there is accomdation and restaurants. 

Two of the restaurants in El Molino also have beds. We stayed at the first as you enter town. They charged 5s per person in seperate beds and 8s for 2 people sharing a single bed. There was no electricity and just an earth floor. Bring a warm sleeping bag and flashlight. The second restaurant looked a little cleaner when we saw it the next morning. Alternatively, a nice woman called Iris Rebaza Chavez

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. has a large, white house accross from these 2 resaturants and she can also provide accommodation. 

The trail 500m down from town was good for the sunbeams, but they are very common along the road too. I observed them feeding on 5 types of flowers including Eucalyptus. They seem very common around town. I also saw Rainbow Starfrontlet feeding from flowers near the start of the trail. I saw 15 species including 3 lifers.

Species seen

  • Sparkling Violet-ear Colibri coruscans
  • Purple-backed Sunbeam Aglaeactis aliciae Endemic Vulnerable
  • Rainbow Starfrontlet Coeligena iris
  • Tyrian Metaltail Metallura tyrianthina
  • Red-crested Cotinga Ampelion rubrocristata
  • White-banded Tyrannulet Mecocerculus stictopterus
  • Black-crested Tit-Tyrant Anairetes nigrocristatus
  • Cinnamon Flycatcher Pyrrhomyias cinnamomea
  • Chiguanco Thrush Turdus chiguanco
  • Black-crested Warbler Basileuterus nigrocristatus
  • Buff-bellied Tanager Thlypopsis inornata Endemic
  • Peruvian Sierra-Finch Phrygilus punensis
  • Black-throated Flowerpiercer Diglossa brunneiventris
  • Rufous-collared Sparrow Zonotrichia capensis
  • Hooded Siskin Carduelis magellanica

Other Fauna 
A total of -- species of mammals. 

There are -- recorded species of amphibians and reptiles. 


Author: Charles Hesse