COLOMBIA: 21 Days Birding and Photography - Amazon, Carribean & Santa Marta
With 1958 bird species (89 endemics) Colombia hosts more species than any other country on the planet. With the vast and unique Chocó forests, three Andean Cordilleras, two inter-Andean valleys, the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, the lowland forests of the Amazon and the Orinoco regions, the isolated Santa Marta Mountains as well as deserts and lakes this is literally one of the most exciting countries to go birding in anywhere!
Our exciting photo tour will set you up for incredible photo opportunities including fantastic hummingbird multi-flash workshops. You will be photographing iconic species surrounded by the most exhilarating natural beauty imaginable.
Amazon rain forest covers more than 30% of Colombia’s national territory and is home to some of its most bio-diverse and bird-rich regions. The Santa Marta range is home to over 600 bird species, including 19 endemics while the Caribbean is a meeting point of dry scrub and ocean creating a unique habitat hosting unique species.
Itinerary and rates below next to gallery
DAY 1 - ARRIVAL
Arriving on your international flight in Bogota El Dorado International Airport where you will be met by your guide in the arrivals hall and transferred to your nearby accommodation.
DAY 2 - PARQUE LA FLORIDA & INIRIDA, AMAZON
Early in the morning, we will visit Parque La Florida, an urban regional park of great ecological importance in the Bogotá savanna. It is part of a complex of high Andean wetlands that provide habitat for many species, including the endemic Bogota Rail, Aporlinar Wren, Silvery-throated Spinetail. Other species of interest can be observed there such as Subtropical Doradito, Spot-flanked Gallinule, American Coot, Lesser Scaup, Ruddy Duck, Masked Duck, Short-eared Owl, Rufous-browed Conebill, Yellow-backed Oriole.
In the afternoon, we will return to the city to catch our flight to Cesar Gaviria airport at Inírida City in the Colombian Amazon on the banks of the Inirida river.
DAY 3 - CAñO CULEBRA TRAIL & SABANITAS
This morning we will visit and bird along a sand path, the Caño Culebra Trail, that leads to one of the indigenous communities, Sabanitas, that inhabit Inirida. Our targets will be Spix's Guan, Pompadour Cotinga, Least Nightawk, Lafresnaye's Piculet, Chestnut woodpecker, Black Caracara, Common Scale backed Antbird, Red-throated Caracara, Cherrie's Antwren, Yellow-crowned Tyrannulet, Black manakin, Rufous-crowned Elaenia, Red-shouldered Tanager, Pale Bellied Mourner and plenty more. We will return to our accommodation to relax in the late afternoon.
DAY 4 - MATRACA TRAIL, LA ROMPIDA
Today we will visit a seasonal flooded Varzea forest 10 minutes from the town. During the trip we will have the opportunity to observe Rose-breasted Chat, Little Cuckoo, Blue-crowned Trogon, Collared Puffbird, Black-fronted Nunbird, Green-tailed Jacamar, Orinoco Softtail, Fasciated Antshrike, Black-spotted Bare-eye, Dot-winged Antshrike, Varzea Schiffornis, Long-billed Woodcreeper, Bare-necked Fruitcrow, Slate-colored Grosbeak, Lafresnaye's Piculet, Olive Oropendola. Toninas (Amazon River Dolphin) can also be observed.
DAY 5 - CAñO CARBON, SABANITAS
It is one of the best places in Inirida to see birds. Located within the Indigenous territory of the Curripacos people, Caño Carbón is a flooded area, an ideal habitat to observe antbirds and other small bird species. In the same way, it is the best place to observe one of the rarest and little-known birds, the Capuchinbird. During the walk we will be able to observe Swallow winged Puffbird, Paradise Jacamar, Amazonian momot, Gilded Barbet, Golden-spangled Piculet, Scale-breasted Woodpecker, Black Caracara, Black-headed Parrot, Chestnut-fronted Macaw, Amazonian Pearly Antshrike, Spot-backed Antwren, Cherrie´s Antwren, Imeri-warbling Antbird, Short-crested Flycatcher, Olivaceus woodcreeper, Brown-banded Puffbird.
DAY 6 - CERROS DE MAVECURE & EL REMANSO
The Cerros de Mavecure is undoubtedly one of the most emblematic places that Colombia has. Three rock formations emerge from a thick Amazon jungle, adorned by the passage of the Orinoco, Atabapo, and Guaviare rivers. These formations are part of the great Guyanese shield. According to indigenous communities, the hills are considered sacred places where there is a close encounter between humans and their gods.
We will take a boat for about two hours, when we get there, we will start a slow uphill walk while observing species such as Capped Heron, Golden-green woodpecker, Greater Yellow-headed Vulture, Sand-colored Nighthawk, Amazonian Umbrellabird, Cliff Flycatcher, Red-necked Woodpecker, Riverside Tyrant, Plain-crested Elaenia, Spangled Cotinga.
DAY 7 - RINCON DE VITINA, RETURN TO BOGOTA
Located 25 minute drive from Cesar Gaviria airport, is the Rincón de Vitina, an indigenous reserve made up of large savannas and catingas (a type of deciduous vegetation). The target species in this destination are White-naped Seedeater, Green-tailed Goldenthroat, Savanna Hawk, Aplomado Falcon, Wedge-tailed Grass-Finch, Scale Pigeon, White-chinned Sapphire, Brown Jacamar, Rufous-tailed Flatbill, Cinereous Tinamou, White-eyed Tody-Tyrant, Pompadour Cotinga, Tropical Gnatcatcher.
In the afternoon we will take a flight back to the city of Bogotá.
DAY 8 - RIOHACHA CITY, CAMARONES
Early in the morning we will take the flight towards Riohacha city. After checking in at the hotel, we will drive 40 minutes to the community Camarones, located in the area of influence of the Los Flamencos Fauna and Flora Sanctuary. The species that we can observe there are: American Oystercatcher, Black-bellied Plover, Sanderling, Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, Belcher's Gull, Caspian Tern, Common Tern, Royal Tern, Sandwich Tern, Black Skimmer, Magnificent Frigatebird, Reddish Egret, Scarlet Ibis. After lunch, we will take a canoe to go in search of American Flamingo.
DAY 9 - LOS FLAMENCOS FUANA AND FLORA SANCTUARY
This day we will visit one of the most threatened ecosystems in the neotropics: tropical dry forest in Los Flamencos Fauna and Flora Sanctuary, there we will have the opportunity to observe several special species: Trinidad Euphonia, Russet-throated Puffbird, Pale-legged Hornero, White-whiskered Spinetail, Green-rumped Parrotlet, Black-crested Antshrike, Black-backed Antshrike, White-flanked Antwren, White-fringed Antwren, White-bellied Antbird, Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant, Slender-billed Tyrannulet, Pale-tipped Tyrannulet, Bicolored Wren, Glaucous Tanager, Pileated Finch, we will also visit a private reserve with bird feeders where you can see Vermilion Cardinal, Orinocan Saltator and Buffy Hummingbird.
DAY 10 - TOLL SECTOR & GAVIOTAS SECORT, SANATA MARTA
During the morning we will walk the Toll sector path where we will look for Tocuyo Sparrow, Chestnut Piculet, and Rufous-vented Chachalaca. Other species that we can observe are Double-tooth Thick-knee, Pearl Kite, Harris’s Hawk, American Kestrel, Rufous-tailed Jacamar.
We will have lunch and then we will drive for 3 hours to the city of Santa Marta, we will make a stop in the “Gaviotas” sector: a secondary road with a natural forest ideal for manakins among them: Lance-tailed Manakin and White-bearded Manakin.
DAY 11 - MINCA
During the morning we will observe birds in the surroundings of Minca. King Vulture, Black Hawk-Eagle, Plumbeous Kite, Whooping Motmot, Keel-billed Toucan, Orange-chinned Parakeet, Ocher-bellied Flycatcher, Bright-rumped Attila, Boat-billed Flycatcher, Rufous-and-white Wren, Crested Oropendola, Orange-crowned Oriole, Swallow Tanager, Blue Dacnis. We will have lunch at the hotel.
In the afternoon we will visit another sector of Minca, where we will look for our first endemics of the Sierra, among them: Santa Marta Antbird, Santa Marta Foliage-gleaner, Hermit Wood-wren.
DAY 12 - EL DORADO RESERVE
We will go up towards El Dorado, a great natural reserve in the San Lorenzo blade, during the tour there are possibilities to observe a great variety of species: Scale Piculet, Groove-billed Toucanet, Emerald Toucanet, Rosy-thrush Tanager, Black-and-white Owl, Rufous-capped Warbler, Golden-winged Sparrow, Black-chested Jay, White-tipped Quetzal, Golden-breasted Fruiteater, Blue-naped Chlorophonia, Streak-capped Spinetail, Montane Foliage-gleaner the endemic White-lored Warbler, Santa Marta Tapaculo, Santa Marta Blossomcrown, Golden Grosbeak, Black-capped Tanager, Bay-headed Tanager, Rusty-breasted Antpitta, Red-billed Parrot, Crowned Woodnymph, Coopery Emerald, Santa Marta Woodsart.
DAY 13 - SAN LORENZO BLADE
Our day begins at 4:00, this time we will drive 2 hours to the upper part of the San Lorenzo blade through a gravel road. Our greatest interest is to see the sunrise of the Santa Marta Loritos: Santa Marta Parakeet, then we will have breakfast while we wait to find some mystical flocks in the same sector. Santa Marta Warbler, Yellow-crowned Redstart, Santa Marta Brush-Finch, Black-cheeked Mountain-Tanager, Santa Marta Bush-Tyrant, Rusty-headed Spinetail occur here. We will stop at La Grallaria feeder to look for the Santa Marta Antpitta.
As we descend back to the lodge, we will make a few stops to look for Santa Marta Wood-wren, Brown-rumped Tapaculo, White-throated Tyrannulet, Masked Trogon, Black-throated Tody-Tyrant, Grey-throated Leaftosser, Collared Forest-Falcon, Mountain Velvetbreast, White-tailed Starfrontlet, Black-backed Thornbill, Band-tailed Guan, Cinnamon Flycatcher.
We will have lunch at the lodge and enjoy the feeders in the surroundings. There are opportunities to observe White-tailed Starfrontlet, Santa Marta Woodsart, Brown Violetear, Lined-Quail Dove, Black-fronted Wood-Quail, among others. At night we will have a night out in search of Santa Marta Screech-Owl.
DAY 14 - BARRANQUILLA
This morning we will descend towards Minca, we will make some stops to observe those species that we did not find on previous days, we will have lunch at the La Casona de Minca restaurant and later we will drive 2 hours to the city of Barranquilla. We will visit the Universidad del Norte to look for the endemic: Chestnut-winged Chachalaca and other specialties such as Red-billed Emerald, Sapphire-throated Hummingbird, Sapphire-bellied Hummingbird, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Barred Antshrike, Straight-billed Woodcreeper.
DAY 15 - ISLA SALANCA NATURAL PARK
The Isla Salamanca Natural Park is a boggy ecosystem of great value in the Caribbean area. A large ecosystem that encompasses swamps, beaches, and mangrove forests provides a refuge for multiple species of birds. Our targets there will be Bicolored Conebill, Northern Screamer, Sungrebe, Limpkin, Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Green-and-rufous, Pale-legged Hornero, Yellow-chinned Spinetail, Golden-green Woodpecker. We will have lunch on the track and later we will travel approximately 7 hours towards the city of Ocaña, we will make some stops to observe birds in some lakes and savannas on the road.
DAY 16 - PROVES HORMIGUERO DE TORCOROMA
After having breakfast we will drive 40 minutes towards the natural reserve of the Proves Hormiguero de Torcoroma foundation, there our objectives will be Recurve-billed Bushbird, Gray-throated Warbler and Moustached Brush-finch. We will have lunch at the hotel and before travelling 4 and a half hours to San Vicente de Chucurí.
DAY 17 - SERRANIA DE LOS YARIGUIES RESERVE
We will visit a special reserve created to conserve a tropical humid forest in the buffer area of the Serranía de Los Yariguies, a highly vulnerable area due to deforestation resulting from agricultural development. During the morning we will take the vehicle towards the upper part of the reserve, our greatest interest there are the hummingbirds, among them: Black Inca, Chestnut-bellied Hummingbird, Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Bronze-tailed Thornbill, Blue-throated Starfrontlet, Violet-fronted Brilliant, Red-billed Emerald, Lazuline Sabrewing, Chestnut-bellied Hummingbird, Indigo-capped Hummingbird, Shining-green Hummingbird, Violet-bellied Hummingbird.
We will have lunch in the reserve and later we will enjoy the birds that arrive at the feeders and the surroundings, other species that we can observe in this place will be: Colombian Mountain Grackle, Yellow-throated Toucan, Olivaceous Piculet, Uniform Antshrike, Pacific Antwren, Magdalena Tapaculo, Striolated Manakin, Double-banded Graytail, Rufous Piha, Northern Screamer.
DAY 18 - EL PAUJIL RESERVE
During the morning we will be enjoying the feeders and at mid-morning we will move approximately 5 hours to El Paujil, a natural reserve located in the buffer area of the Serranía de las Quinchas. It is the last wooded remnant that is still preserved in the Magdalena Valley and seeks to protect a tropical humid forest, habitat of the Blue-billed Curassow, an endemic and critically endangered species. Its protection provides refuge for other endemic bird species such as Sooty Ant-Tanager, White-mantled Barbet, Beautiful Woodpecker. We will make some stops on the road that leads to the reserve.
DAY 19 - EL PAUJIL RESERVE
We will enjoy the trails and feeders around the lodge, some of the species that we can observe during the tours are: Barred Puffbird, White-tailed Trogon, Gartered Trogon, Bare-crowned Antbird, Bicolored Antbird, King Vulture, Saffron-headed Parrot, White-fringed Antwren, Magdalena Antbird, Blue-lored Antbird.
DAY 20 - PAUJIL TO BOGOTA
DAY 21 - DEPARTURE
We have come to the end of tour. Today you will be transferred to the airport for your international flight.
Best time of the year for this trip is November and April
Inquire for your custom dates
Pricing 2022, per person sharing
2 pax: 8,690.00 USD
4 Pax 7,300.00 USD
6 Pax 6,400.00 USD
8 Pax 5,800.00 USD
• All nights of accommodation
• Private transport in a 4x4 SUV
• All meals from dinner on day 1 and breakfast on day 21
• Entrances to the Natural Reserves
• Internal flights: Bogotá-Inirida-Bogotá and Bogotá-Riohacha
• Alcoholic drinks
• Phone calls
• Travel and Medical Insurance
• International Flights
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