Best time to travel to Machu Picchu and Cusco

Macaw Clay Lick in Machu Picchu and Cusco

A colorful army comes to eat the minerals

Macaw Clay Lick
Macaw Clay Lick
Blue-and-yellow Macaws, Scarlet Macaws and Parrots at the clay lick
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The period from August till March is the time when hundreds and hundreds of different kinds of parrots, including colorful cute Macaws, gather on a clay bank to eat the mineral that helps their digestion. It is a truly spectacular scene, that any traveler regardless the age or origin will enjoy!

Practical info

When is the best opportunity to observe macaws in Machu Picchu and Cusco?

Between August and March is the best opportunity to observe macaws in Machu Picchu and Cusco. This is the time when the birds gather at a clay lick to feed on minerals that aid their digestion. Show more

Where can the Macaw Clay Lick in Machu Picchu and Cusco be found?

The Macaw Clay Lick can be found near the Tambopata Research Center, on the Tambopata River near the Bolivian border. To access the site, a boat ride from Puerto Maldonado is required, which is a 45-minute flight from Cusco. Show more

What type of minerals do macaws consume at the clay lick?

Minerals present in the clay bank, such as neutralizing toxins and poisons, are essential for the birds' metabolism and digestion. Macaws consume this clay to obtain minerals, which they usually lack when grazing on unripe fruits and seeds. Show more

Are other bird species sighted in Machu Picchu and Cusco during this era?

In addition to macaws, various parrot species, such as the blue-headed parrot, dusky-headed parakeet, and mealy parrot, can also be seen at the clay lick. Moreover, the neighboring forest is home to cuckoos, trogons, and woodpeckers, among other bird species. Show more

When does the Macaw Clay Lick event typically occur during the day?

Typically, the Macaw Clay Lick event lasts a few hours. It occurs during the early morning hours, when the birds are most active, and again in the late afternoon. Visitors are advised to arrive early in the morning, as this is the prime time to witness the birds' arrival and activity. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin