Oxynetra semihyalina, Bolivia
Janthecla rocena, Guyana
Pterourus zagreus, Peru
Mesosemia metuana, Colombia
Eresia ithomioides, Ecuador
Catasticta discincta, Peru
2018 tours · 2019 tours · Available Itineraries


ARGENTINA - Jan10-30

This will be my first trip to Argentina, and I'm looking forward to the exploration. The photos at left are from Bolivia, the nearest place I've been so far!

| 21 days | 5 lodges | grasslands & forests | 150-2500 m. |

Private trip; no spaces available.

PANAMA - Apr21-May05

Lots of firsts in 2018 - this will be first time spending more than a few hours in Panama! I plan to offer this as an open trip in 2019; stay tuned! The pictures at left are from Western Colombia, not too far from Panama.

| 14 days | 3 lodges | humid forest | 0-2100 m. |

Private trip; no spaces available.

ECUADOR Napo Headwaters - Sept01-12

This is a classic South American butterflying route, and we're expecting a huge list of exciting finds during this 12-day tour. [Itinerary]

| 12 days | 3 lodges | humid forests | 400-3800 m. |

No spaces available.

PERU Northern Andes - Sep14-Oct05

An excellent transect from foothills to cloud forest in Northern Peru.

| 22 days | 3 lodges | humid forests | 350-2300 m. |

Private trip; no spaces available.

PERU Manu Road - Oct08-23

This is becoming an annual classic - the Manu Road keeps drawing people in, and rightfully so!

| 14 days | 2 lodges | puna, humid forest | 500-4000 m. |

Private trip; no spaces available.

ECUADOR Southern Andes - Nov17-Dec05

A sampling of some of Ecuador's best - but also least-visited - butterflying destinations! Itinerary and price coming soon. [Itinerary]

| 19 days | 4 lodges | humid forest | 400-2700 m. |

Open trip; 6 spaces available.

2018 tours · 2019 tours · Available Itineraries


PANAMA - Apr 20-May05

Itinerary and price will be finalized after my 2018 trip to this wonderful Central American country! (Photos at left are from W. Colombia, the nearest I've been at this point.)

| 16 days | 3 lodges | humid forest | 0-2100 m. |

Open trip; 8 spaces available.

GUYANA - Aug 02-16

Guyana is a little-known jewel of a country; away from the densely-populated coast, there is very extensive rainforest, much of which is preserved in the Iwokrama Reserve - which will be our main destination on this wonderful trip! [Itinerary]

| 14 days | 3 lodges | humid forest | 0-200 m. |

Open trip; 8 spaces available.

PERU Andes & Amazon - Oct 02-20

Two of my favourite "single-destination" tours are to Cock-of-the-Rock Lodge and ARCC - so I've combined them into a single tour with a week at each place! The Manu Road (COTR Lodge) and the rainforest of Madre de Dios (ARCC) are among the world best butterflying areas, and this is your chance to visit them both. [Itinerary]

| 18 days | 2 lodges | humid forest & puna | 200-3600 m. |

SMALL GROUP SPECIAL!!! - max. group size 4.
This trip can be combined with the Firetip Frenzy tour below.

PERU Firetip Frenzy - Oct 21-Nov 09

A few years ago, a participant on my Central Peru tour called a creekbed near Pozuzo a "Firetip Frenzy" and I thought that would be a great title for this tour! Central Peru - specifically the E slope of the Andes in Junin and Pasco departments - does seem to be a hotbed for firetips, but we'll look for lots more during this 3-week trip to some of the country's most special sites! A highlight of this itinerary is a visit to the remote rainforest at El Paujil - a place seldom visited by naturalists but home to a tremendous variety of butterflies. [Itinerary]

| 19 days | 5 lodges | humid forest & puna | 300-4800 m. |

SMALL GROUP SPECIAL!!! - max. group size 4.
This trip can be combined with the Andes & Amazon tour above.

2018 tours · 2019 tours · Available Itineraries

Available Itineraries

These are brief descriptions of the tours that we run, and they are all available to be run as private trips - in fact, the majority of our trips are initiated by a request by someone interested in one of these itineraries. They are all customizable in terms of length and difficulty, and to some extent time of year; basic information is presented here, but you should contact us to learn more about whatever itinerary interests you!

Since price is based group size and on various details we will decide on, they're not included here but I give a "score" of $ (relatively inexpensive, around USD$200 all inclusive per person per day in a group of 4) to $$$ (relatively expensive, around USD$600 all inclusive per person per day in a group of 4). Prices decrease with increasing group size; our maximum group size is 8. I've noted "Single Destination Tours" - these are growing in popularity, and are trips on which you can spend 1-2 weeks enjoying a great variety of butterflies while based at one of our favourite lodges.

Bolivia · Colombia · Ecuador · Guyana · Peru

BOLIVIA - Los Volcanes

Single-destination tour!

Los Volcanes is a very pleasant lodge about 2 hours from Santa Cruz in Central Bolivia. It is set in seasonal mid-elevation forest and is best visited during the rainy season (December-February). The butterflies are a mix of Andean and lowlands species; particularly common is the clear-winged metalmark Chorinea sylphina. Perhaps the best single site on the extensive trail network is a hilltop near the lodge that is frequented by dozens of species of hairstreaks and a variety of other butterflies. The charming hosts and lovely setting make this an excellent place to visit for up to 10 days. It can be combined with Chapare (see below) by a full day's drive. $$

| 5-10 days | 1 lodge | seasonal forest | 1200-1800 m. |

BOLIVIA - Chapare

The Chapare area of Central Bolivia is the meeting of the Andes and the lowlands; most of the easily available butterflying is at lower elevations. There are a few interesting sites, but the more interest one is about an hour's drive from Villa Tunari where we base ourselves for this area. This is the Old Chapare Road, and it passes through parts of Carrasco National Park. It is an excellent area for Memphis, and various species of firetips. We stay in a pleasant country hotel, but there are few interesting butterflies in the immediate area; we'll be driving out to habitat each day. Chapare is one of the wettest areas in Bolivia, and gets rain in every month; butterflying should be best between July and November. This can be made into a nice 2-week tour by combining it with Los Volcanes, a full day's drive away and with the international airport at Santa Cruz in betweeen. $$

| 5-10 days | 1 lodge | humid forest | 500-1200 m. |

BOLIVIA - La Paz Yungas

One of the best butterflying area in the Andes - especially for a spectacular variety of firetips - is the Chulumani/Coroico area, a half-day's drive from La Paz city. The problem is that the accommodations in this area are not particularly attractive; we'll stay in basic hotels in the two towns and drive out to patches of habitat each day. Around Chulumani, there is excellent forest to be found on the San Isidro Road where we can expect some interesting endemic satyrs and Perisama species, while lower elevations around town can be especially good for firetrips including the spectacular Oxynetra semihyalina. Around Coroico we'll focus more on lower elevations and might find some nice metalmarks including glittering green Caria and fancy jewelmarks of various kinds. Those considering this trip should be prepared for excellent butterflies but sub-par accommodations! Generally the best time to visit this area is September-November. $

| 7-12 days | 2 hotels | humid forest | 1000-3300 m. |

Bolivia · Colombia · Ecuador · Guyana · Peru


For personal reasons, we are not offering regular Colombia tours at the moment; we are hopeful that this will change in the future - check back regularly! If you are particularly keen on Colombia, we may be able to organize something for you, so please get in touch with any questions. $ - $$

| 5-30 days | 1-6 lodges | various habitats | 0-4000 m. |

Bolivia · Colombia · Ecuador · Guyana · Peru

ECUADOR - Napo Headwaters

This is a classic butterflying route covering the E slope of the Andes out of Quito. There are numerous lodges that can be combined in various ways depending on your budget and interests. There is virtually no limit on what Andean or Amazonain butterflies you can expect on this route; most of the driving is on good paved roads and high-quality accommdations are available. This is a rainy area at any time of year, but is especially wet from March through July, when a trip is NOT recommended. Given the flexibility, this is an excellent area to consider for your first South American butterfly trip - and if you're an experienced traveller and haven't been here, you definitely need to do it! $-$$$

| 10-21 days | 1-7 lodge | humid forest | 300-3500 m. |

[Sample Itinerary]

ECUADOR - Mindo Area

Mindo is a famous cloud forest town on the W slope of the Andes just a couple of hours from Quito. The accessibility and variety of lodges make it a popular desination for nature-lovers of all kinds, including butterfly photographers. This can be a very good area for clearwings (Ithomiini) and is also home to an interesting variety of Adelpha species and metalmarks at lower elevations. January through April should be avoided due to particularly heavy rains, but it is possible to visit Mindo at any time of year. $-$$$

| 5-14 days | 1-4 lodges | humid forest | 400-2500 m. |

ECUADOR - Cotococha

Single-destination tour!

Cotococha is a very comfortable rainforest lodge on the Napo River near Tena (about 5 hours by car from Quito), and it makes an excellent base from which to explore the area. As well as butterflying on trails right outside the lodge, we'll make day trips to nearby sites such as the famous Apuya Track (think amazing metalmarks, Batesia and many others), Jatun Sacha Biological Station (beautiful lowland forest full of clearwings, owl-butterflies, and who knows what else!), and other sites. This trip is best done bewteen October and January. $$

| 5-14 days | 1 lodge | humid forest | 500-900 m. |

Bolivia · Colombia · Ecuador · Guyana · Peru


This small country has some of the best-preserved lowland rainforest on the continent, and it can be sampled brilliantly in the Iwokrama and Surama areas. This is a new destination for us, but our exploration trip found an incredible variety of metalmarks (particularly Mesosemia and Nymphidium) and also plenty of glimmering blue satyrs and lots of wonderful spreadwing skippers including three beautiful Entheus. $$

| 10-18 days | 1-4 lodges | forest & savanna | 0-300 m. |

[Sample Itinerary]

Bolivia · Colombia · Ecuador · Guyana · Peru

PERU Northern Andes

The transect up the Mayo Valley from from Tarapoto to Abra Patricia is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the great Andean butterflying routes. Staying at three different lodges, we're able to sample lowland, foothill, and Andean cloud forest species with limited overlap between the sites. There are several great forest roads and trails to work, and the appropriately named "Playa Mariposa" (=Butterfly Beach) is a world-class site we'll visit at least twice - one day in October 2016 we encountered over 200 species during a few hours there! This tour is best done between September and December. $$

| 10-21 days | 2-3 lodges | humid forest | 350-2300 m. |

[Sample Itinerary]

PERU Central Peru (Selva Central)

If you're a firetip addict (and why wouldn't you be?) this is the tour for you! For whatever reason, the E slope of the Andes directly east of Lima is full of these big gaudy skippers, and lots of other butterflies too, of course. There are several ways to organize a trip in this diverse area, depending on your budget, time, and interests. The best time of year, especially if you're after those firetips, is November. $$

| 10-21 days | 3-4 lodges | various habitats | 350-4800 m. |

PERU Manu Road

Single-destination tour!

This is the original single-destination tour. The Manu Road is probably the best butterflying road in the world - where else can you reasonably expect 800 species in two weeks?! The reason for this diversity is the excellent habitat accessible all along the road, from the treeline at 3600 m. down to the Amazonian lowlands at 500 m.. Like most wide transects, everything is possible - from scores of satyrs and crowds of dartwhites in the Andes to magical metalmarks and magnificent morphos in the lowlands. If I were to recommend just one Neotropical butterflying trip, this would certainly be it. This can be combined with a true lowlands site (see Madre de Dios, below) for the ultimate butterflying holiday. Aim for October-November, though July-September can be okay too. $$-$$$

| 5-21 days | 1-3 lodges | various habitats | 350-4800 m. |

PERU Madre de Dios

Single-destination tour!

The rainforest lowlands of Madre de Dios in SE Peru are one of the most biodiverse habitats in the world. As long as it's lowland stuff you're after - Heliconius longwings, Euselasia and many other metalmarks, endless skippers of all types, or even clouds of puddling sulphurs and swallowtails - you're likely to find it here. For an ideal butterfly trip, combine a lowland lodge or two with the Manu Road (see above) for a three-week trip. $-$$$

| 5-20 days | 1-4 lodges | humid forest | 150-500 m. |