According to many people the most beautiful place in Peru! Add to that easy access and a host of Peruvian endemics and other good birds. Birding here at the foot of mt Huascaran (6768 m), the highest mountain in Peru, is awesome. The launching point is Yungay which has hotels. Note that this is a high-altitude site and should not be visited first thing in Peru. This whole area has extensive polylepis forests and the mountains are traversed by a good road and there are also trails to be explored.
By the first lake is a visitor centre and there are good trails around here that should be birded. Baron´s Spinetail, Rusty-crowned Tit-spinetail, Giant Conebill, Giant Conebill, Rufous-eared Brush-finch, Stripe-headed Antpitta, Tit-like Dacnis and Plain-tailed Warbling-finch can be seen around here. The two lakes have the usual selection of wetland birds like Puna Teal, Andean Duck and Goose. On the wet grassy area at the far end of the second lake there are often Ground-tyrants. A short bit beyond the second lake is a valley to the left and White-cheeked Cotinga is sometimes seen here as well as Striated Earthcreeper, Ancash Tapaculo, Blue-mantled Thornbill and Green-headed Hillstar. Higher up is the Abra Portachuelo pass at 4700 m and on the far side there is even more polylepis forest and the White-cheeked Cotinga is seen more frequently here.
Only some 5 km north of Yungay is Pueblo Libre 2 km east of the road. Around here in the cactus habitat lives an undescribed form of Pale-tailed Canastero that may represent a separate species. Other birds in this desert-like landscape includes Raimondi´s and Greenish Yellow-finches, Short-tailed Field-tyrant, Giant Hummingbird.
If you drive back to Lima on the main highway to Paramonga you at the pass you will find Conococha lake. This lake has been very good for Giant Coot in the past. Good patches of ichu grass shall also be searched for Canasteros. Both Cordilleran and Streak-backed Canasteros can frequently be found as well as the more common and less demanding of good bunch-grass Streak-throated Canasteros.