Colombia Birdwatching Tours Based from Cali
Colombia Birdwatch offers more than just a birding or nature tour, we offer an immersion into Colombian lifestyle, not only showcasing the wealth of bird species but also highlighting the culinary specialities and way of life of each region we visit. Based in Cali, one of Colombia’s most strategically situated cities for access to the most fascinating and diverse birding locales on the planet, Colombia Birdwatch seeks to provide an unsurpassed birdwatching experience for birders and naturalists from around the world.
Colombia Birdwatch stands out as a specialist birdwatching tour operator because, as locals, we provide exceptional value, we know Colombia, its birds, birding areas, customs, culture and gastronomy, while our privileged local access will make your experience exclusive and unforgettable.
Colombia Birdwatch tours are accompanied by one or more professional tour leaders to ensure a successful trip and we only employ local guides at every destination we visit. As a specialist local birding operator, we offer set-departure dates throughout the year, concentrating on the most productive and unique birding destinations in this mega-diverse country. The group size is the lowest in the industry, with a maximum of 8 birders per group. This gives you a more personal experience and allows Colombia Birdwatch to fulfil its goal of getting every person on every bird!
Christopher Calonje: Christopher was born and raised in Colombia, and after studies and a career in environmental science in Oregon and California (15 years), returned to his native country to launch his eco-tourism company Colombia Birdwatch. He has been leading tour groups in all regions of Colombia since 2009 and devotes time to various non-profit conservation groups and local communities that promote nature tourism as a conservation tool in Colombia’s post-conflict era. Sustainability is one of the core principles at Colombia Birdwatch, and this is evidenced by his work to promote conservation in Colombia. Chris sits on the board of local NGO Ecotonos, which is embarking on several efforts to purchase land for biological corridors near his family’s Araucana Lodge and just recently purchased 50 acres of the cloud forest.
Alvaro Calonje: Alvaro received a degree in ornamental horticulture at California Polytechnic University and a masters in horticulture at the University of Puerto Rico before returning to his native Colombia to begin a prosperous career in tropical garden design. He is passionate about teaching and taught the Landscaping in Architecture course at the Cauca Valley University after finishing his specialization there. As he prepares to retire, he oversees the organic vegetable garden at Araucana Lodge and is a wonderful host whose main joy in life is mingling and showing off the property to guests from around the world.
Vivian Carrascal: Vivian has been welcoming visitors to Colombia since 2014, specializing in gastronomic and historical tours in the Cauca Valley and the coffee region of the country. She is a recent graduate from Audubon Society’s one-year birding guide course focusing on the western Andes of Colombia and is in charge of our cultural, history and culinary outings. She also runs our welcoming committee and oversees our ground operations to ensure all trips run smoothly. Vivian has been part of our team since 2015.
Jose Eduardo Luna: Jose was born and raised in the western Andes of Colombia, at the edge of the Farallones National Park, an area that saw much conflict during Colombia’s civil war. While many of his classmates were drawn into the conflict, Jose became interested in the natural history and wildlife surrounding his home and now proudly states that this most likely saved his life. Jose has shined amongst his colleagues for his proficiency in English and his ability to find wildlife and birds and connect with nature and is considered one of Colombia’s best naturalist guides. He recently graduated from a two-year guiding course taught by Colombia’s National Learning Center. Jose has been guiding for us since the beginning of his career in 2010.
Gian Carlo Ventolini: Gian Carlo began working as a birding and nature tour guide in 2012 after many years of working on tree-planting projects in the Cauca Valley, where his time in the field got him interested in birding. Since he became hooked on birds, he has been preparing incessantly as a bilingual tour guide. Gian Carlo recently completed a two-year guiding course with the Colombia National Learning Center, achieving his goal of becoming a professional tour guide. His skills and personality have made him shine as one of the most brilliant guides to hit the Colombian travel scene. Gian Carlo has been guiding for us since 2016.
Juan Manuel CardonaJuan: Juan is a Colombian birding guide who currently lives in the rural area of Pereira city. He started to study birds at the age of 12 through a local birding group called “Aguilas” and trained as a birding and nature guide at Otún Quimbaya National Park. As his university education progressed, he became more serious about birds biology, focusing on bird communication and migration. He is also a co-founder of an NGO called the Yarumo Blanco Community Association, whose objectives support and promote responsible tourism development, conservation, and nature education. Nowadays Juan is part of the Audubon society Project “developing participatory actions for Canada, Golden-winged and cerulean warblers conservation in central Andes of Colombia”.
Oswaldo Cortes: Oswaldo has been birding in Colombia for most of his adult life and thus has a vast knowledge of the avifauna of Colombia. He is Colombia’s #1 ebirder, and enjoys meeting and traveling with people from around the world.
Gilberto Collazos: Gilberto has been birding the Anchicaya Valley for longer than anybody else.Working in the area for more than a decade as an orthodontist, his love of birds and the people in the region led him to make a career change to bird guiding.
Angel Ortiz: Angel has been guiding since 2007 and is a recent graduate of Audubon’s bird guide training program. Since taking the course Angel has become one of the region’s “go-to” birding guides and now oversees our operations in the Caribbean.
Birdwatch Colombia also offers custom tours to ANY destination in Colombia and we will design and quote your dream birding holiday free of charge, with no commitment necessary!
At Colombia Birdwatch we realise that conservation and stewardship of Colombia’s biodiversity depends largely on the participation of local communities, so community involvement is emphasised throughout our tours.
We work closely with non-profit organisations throughout Colombia whose mission is to promote conservation, environmental education, and responsible ecotourism to benefit the local communities visited.
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