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DIY Trip Planning with Pepe Rojas


DIY Birding tours are an independent, flexible way to see birds based on the unique birding goals, budget, and trip preferences of the organizer. It is essentially designing and executing a tour This travel style is ideal for a birder that likes to travel alone (or in private groups), genuinely enjoys the trip planning process, and is content to book and mange all reservations directly with suppliers on the ground. You also must be confident in your ability to solve unforeseen challenges


Over the last two decades, I’ve been contacted countless times by indy birders like you wanting to plan, book, and manage their own private birding tours to Peru. At this point, you’ve probably already spent hours (days?) combing through information online: birding forums, blog posts, trip reports, and itineraries listed on tour company websites.  And while you might have pretty good idea of where you could go, there are so many route possibilities and supplier options that it’s impossible to know where you should go.  Answers you might be searching for:
Does the itinerary I’ve created maximize my time and my list? What changes would you suggest? (or)
Here is my list. Can you design me a 15-day itinerary to match?
Can you recommend skilled local guides / best-value lodging options / reliable driver contacts for each destination on my trip?
Have there been any recent rare/unusual bird sightings, such as harpy eagle nests, that I can incorporate into my itinerary?
What happens if I get into a jam while traveling independently – can you offer me travel support while in Peru?
If you’re asking these questions on birding forums, be warned: logistics contacts, travel conditions, and bird habitats are constantly changing, and recently-posted information may already be outdated. Also, consider that responses and information posted by tour operators, lodges, and other suppliers are likely to be biased towards their own businesses. Combine this with the fact that Peru is a massive and complex destination that requires some combination of planes, boats, and cars to get around. This means careful timing and management of logistics providers is crucial, are you up for that? And then there’s the local effect. A lot things in Peru happen through word-of-mouth and personal contacts alone. Peruvians are much more likely to help someone they know or even a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend, versus a complete stranger. This is why you may have trouble getting local providers to respond to your emails. Or you may receive mixed responses on pricing, availability, and booking terms. It can be frustrating as an outsider, and while persistence is sometimes the key, that’s not always the case and you may hit some dead-ends in your communication. The good news? Planning a DIY birding tour to Peru doesn’t have to be frustrating, complicated, or risky. You don’t need to worry whether or not you’re booking the best providers for your checklist, budget, and timeframe. And you can even tap into those local relationships that can mean the difference between a “lost” reservation and room upgrade.

For a DIY birding trip to Peru to be successful, you need the right kind planning. 



I’ll help you plan and execute your dream birding trip to Peru, while still maintaining the freedom and independence of DIY travel. Our 1:1 collaboration begins with a call to define your specific birding goals and travel preferences. From there, I’ll either review and enhance your proposed itinerary, or I’ll create a new custom itinerary for you from scratch. In addition to identifying the best route for your checklist based on time constraints, time of year, and budget, I’ll help you fill in the logistical gaps for transport, lodging, local guides, and any other missing pieces. My vast network of local contacts will become yours, as well as any current on-the-ground intel I have about local bird activity. You will receive a personalized Trip Planner that in addition to your custom itinerary, will include a directory of recommended suppliers (hotels/lodges, car drivers, local guides). You will still be in charge of booking and managing all reservations directly with these suppliers, but you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’ve got the best possible itinerary and best local recommendations to maximize your trip. CONSULT WITH A LOCAL PRO My expertise isn’t simply knowing where to find the birds of Peru – that alone isn’t enough to offer this service. I also know the in’s and out’s of Peruvian tourism, having worked 25+ years in this industry performing a variety of roles from guiding to operations management to consulting. In Peru it’s all about who you know, and my network of local contacts throughout the country is extensive. This puts me on the pulse of what is happening in the local birding scene, and I am always receiving tips on new and emerging routes, lodges, and activities that I can share with my clients. I spend more than 50% of my time in the field guiding, leading workshops, and scouting destinations.         More About Me.  



Custom Birding Itinerary

designed around your checklist, budget, and travel priorities.

Personalized Trip Planner

(pdf) containing everything you need to book and manage your tour. This includes:
  • Suggested lodging and transport options that correspond to your itinerary and budget
  • Contact info and booking instructions for each provider
  • Personal recommendations and contact info for local guides you can hire in each destination
  • Birding-specific advice based on destination, time of year, and other factors
  • General Peru travel advice
  • Emergency contact and services information for when you are traveling

Unlimited Consulting

define target birds, destination options, and any other questions or concerns you may have about a DIY trip to Peru.

24/7 Travel Support

You will receive local phone numbers for emergency services.

This is for you if:

  • You’re a lister or highly enthusiastic birder who travels with specific birding goals you want to achieve.
  • You want to make the most of your trip and minimize the travel hiccups that can take time away from birding.
  • You prefer independent/DIY travel that lets you plan, book, and manage your own trip.
  • You’ve been dreaming about this trip for ages but are overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of information online.
  • You’re comfortable communicating directly with hotels/lodges, drivers, and local guides.
  • You can manage making payments to providers on your own (typically via international wire or cash on arrival)
  • You have a checklist of birds that you want to see but aren’t sure how to design an itinerary around it.

This isn’t for you if:

  • You want to go birding in Peru but don’t have time and/or interest in planning and booking the trip on your own.
  • You prefer to have someone else design and book the tour for you.
  • You are not comfortable communicating or making payments directly to local providers.
  • You like the convenience and full-service aspect of traditional group tours.
  • You’re casually interested in birds but don’t want to plan a whole trip around them.


$499 USD

Pepe did a phenomenal job planning this trip.

Pepe did a phenomenal job planning this trip.

Pepe did a phenomenal job planning this trip.


Why should I pay someone to help me plan?
Because you are dumb.
How does this service save me money?
Because it does, dummy.
Pepe did a phenomenal job planning this trip.

Still sounds like a lot of work? Consider a custom tour.

All the flexibility of DIY Tours PLUS full-service tour booking & management.
Learn More About Custom Tours
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