Birding Tour Colombia: The Very Best of Colombia 2018

Duration: 24 days

Welcome to our Birding Tour Colombia collection of tours. Andean Ranges and Inter-Andean Valleys, the Chocó Bioregion, the Santa Marta Mountains, and the Caribbean – Colombia is Magical Reality

Colombia, with its diverse scenery, is home to more bird species than any other country in the world. With almost two thousand species to be found in the country, be prepared to be in awe of its spectacular avifauna as we explore Colombia’s lush cloud forests and the páramo ecosystem of the Andean Cordillera, the humid rainforests of the Chocó Bioregion, the wetlands and dry tropical forests of the lowland valleys, the dry scrub forests of the Caribbean coast in the La Guajira Department, and the high-altitude mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta on this 24-day adventure. Join us for this dynamic birding destination as we enjoy the culture, gastronomy, and fine people Colombia has to offer.

We will spend our first day of birding in Finca Alejandria near Cali, where you will have a nice and easy introduction to Colombian birds, such as several species of hummingbirds on feeders and tanagers, including close-up views of the sought-after endemic Multicolored Tanager. We will spend two full days exploring the Pacific Chocó rainforest along the Anchicayá Road, looking for an incredible set of birds such as Rose-faced Parrot, Choco Trogon, Choco Toucan, Lita Woodpecker, and Tooth-billed Hummingbird, among many others.

In the Tatamá National Park, one of the wettest and most biodiverse hotspots in the world, we will look for the endemics Gold-ringed Tanager, Black-and-gold Tanager, Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer, and Munchique Wood Wren and the near-endemic Tanager Finch, White-faced Nunbird, Rufous-throated, Glistening-green, and Scarlet-and-white Tanagers, Tatama, Spillmann’s, and Choco Tapaculos, Black Solitaire, and Orange-breasted Fruiteater near the Montezuma Eco-Lodge.

Near the Cauca Valley we will explore the Laguna de Sonso Nature Reserve, one of Colombia’s largest wetland reserves and home to Bare-faced Ibis, Cocoi Heron, White-throated Crake, Blackish Rail, and Wattled Jacana. With luck we may encounter rare species such as Pinnated Bittern, but also Great Antshrike, Bar-crested Antshrike, Jet Antbird, and Little Cuckoo, which are relatively easy, and the endemic Apical Flycatcher. We will also try for the elusive Dwarf Cuckoo.

The famous Otún Quimbaya Reserve in the past was visited only to look for the endemic Cauca Guan and Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, but the ultra-rare Hooded Antpitta has become an obligatory target for this reserve in the last couple of years.

During the trip we will visit the famous Rio Blanco Nature Reserve above Manizales, where we will look for the antpittas that are fed here with worms, including the endemic Brown-banded Antpitta as well as the more widespread Chestnut-crowned Antpitta, the shy Slaty-crowned Antpitta, and Bicolored Antpitta. Masked Saltator, Dusky Piha, Ocellated Tapaculo, and Golden-plumed Parakeet are among the targets in this reserve.

The Yellow-eared Parrot Bird Reserve should provide good views of Yellow-eared Parrot, this most-wanted and Endangered (IUCN) endemic, which is still nesting on the few Quindio wax palms of this part of the Andes.

The Rio Claro Nature Reserve and the El Paujil Bird Reserve will provide great tropical lowlands in the Middle Magdalena Valley and species such as the most-wanted Northern Screamer, the Critically Endangered (IUCN) and endemic Blue-billed Curassow, Blue-and-yellow and Chestnut-fronted Macaws, Crested Owl, Choco Screech Owl, Sooty Ant Tanager, Citron-throated Toucan, and Magdalena Antbird.

Finally we will fly to Barranquilla in the Caribbean region. This part of our tour will take us to Salamanca Island Road Park and Los Flamencos Sanctuary, where birding through mangroves, humid forests, dry scrub forests, and coastal wetlands should yield desirable species such as Buffy Hummingbird, Lance-tailed Manakin, Chestnut-winged Chachalaca, Russet-throated Puffbird, Chestnut Piculet, Bicolored Conebill, and Tocuyo Sparrow.

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is the highest coastal mountain range on the planet and one of the most important endemism centers in the world, with 36 species of birds restricted to it. We will search for many of these endemics, including “Santa Marta Screech Owl” (an as yet undescribed species), Santa Marta Antpitta, Santa Marta Mountain Tanager, Santa Marta Tapaculo, Santa Marta Foliage-gleaner, Santa Marta Brushfinch, Santa Marta Parakeet, Santa Marta Bush Tyrant, Paramo (Santa Marta) Seedeater, and a plethora more! 132 migratory species have also been recorded in the area, and it is one of the best places in Colombia for migratory songbirds, including rare North American warblers.

After some amazing time in Colombia we will fly to Bogotá for an overnight and connect to our international flights the next day.

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