Macaws are one the first birds than come to mind when we dream about a trip to beautiful, tropical locales. However, despite images of these big, beautiful birds gracing the pages and ads of island getaways and tropical resorts, those aren't the places where they naturally occur. Although they are popular pets, in nature, these big parrots are birds of wild tropical forest habitats, and the heart of their range is situated in the Amazon rainforest.
However, you won't see macaws with any old visit to the Amazon. These spectacular birds require large, unbroken areas of forest with little human disturbance, and is why Tambopata, Peru is one of the easiest places to experience their beauty. As a bonus, several clay licks (locally known as "collpas") are found in Tambopata that attract these and other parrots. In Tambopata, these clay lick sites stand out as some of the best places to watch macaws doing their jungle thing:
Collpa Colorado: One of the largest and best known clay licks in the Amazon, this collpa is located next to the Tambopata Research Center (TRC). Scarlet Macaws and other birds are present most mornings, especially during the dry season when dozens of this species, Red-and-Green, and Blue-and -Yellow Macaws can appear along with smaller Chestnut-fronted, Red-bellied, and Blue-headed Macaws.
Collpa Chuncho: Accessible from both TRC and Refugio Amazonas, this is another site that provides close looks at macaws and other parrots. Sometimes, Red Howler Monkeys and other animals can also pay a visit.
Colpa Gato: Guests of Refugio Amazonas have access to this magnet for large, colorful parrots.
Colpa de Loros: One of two clay licks located at Posada Amazonas, this one can be an excellent place for close looks at big Red-and-Greens along with many other parrots.
Visit Tambopata, Peru and you should see these and many other spectacular birds. However, the best views of macaws will be had at places associated with research into these birds and located near clay licks frequented by them. We look forward to sharing the macaw experience with you!