Colombia Birding Tour in Eastern, Central and Western Andes
This 20-day Colombia Birding Endemic Part 1 Tour is a leisurely-paced trip available on request where you can expect to see around 550 species of bird, including 35 endemic and 51 near-endemic species from the Eastern, Central, and Western Andes. And where you can enjoy the magical and majestic mountains of this beautiful and mega-diverse country.
This Colombia birding tour is focused on the observation of endemic species, almost endemic and of restricted ranges in the isolated moorland ecosystems, Andean forests, and the high Andes of the country. Colorful tanagers, iridescent hummingbirds, shy antpittas, incredible toucans, and noisy jays are a central part of each day on this trip. You will be immersed in the cloud forests of the eastern and central Andes, the cold, but fascinating moorlands over 4000 m (12,000 ft), the dry forests of the inter-Andean valleys, and the rain forest that over the western Andes face the pacific.
Colombia is home to at least 1950 bird species – about 20% of the total bird diversity in the world. With 80 endemic species, the country is a top destination for birders, naturalists, and wildlife photographers. The fact that the country has opened recently, along with the growing interest in the conservation and development of nature tourism, has meant that every day provides new and better places for observation and photography of birds and wildlife in general.
Colombia Birding Endemic Tour highlights include:
- You will be able to enjoy the famous Colombian area of the coffee triangle, known worldwide for its incredible crops and its beautiful landscape, as well as being a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- We will observe birds in the largest moor in the world, Sumapaz.
- We will visit the colorful municipality of Jardín, which keeps the typical colonial architecture of the coffee zone and we will be able to have one of the best coffees in the world.
- We will enjoy a morning observing birds in the surroundings of the Nevado del Ruíz volcano over 4000 meters above sea level.
Like the look of this tour but want to see what else is available? The Colombia Mixed Birding Tour might be a to your taste.
Alternative Tour Name: Colombia Endemic Part 1 Tour
Arrival to Bogota International Airport
(2600 m / 8530 Ft - 5-14 ° C / 41 - 57.2 ° F)
We will leave early in the morning for Chingaza National Park high in the eastern Andes, a really nice paramo ecosystem with many interesting species and landscapes. In the afternoon we will visit The calera Hummingbird Garden I where you can see some of the most important species of hummers in eastern andes and after we will come back to Bogota to rest!
Other interesting birds this day include: Coopery-bellied Puffleg, Rufous-browed Conebill, Purple-backed Thronbill, Paramo Seedeater, Plush-capped Finch, Pale-naped Brush-Finch, Smoky Bush-Tyrant, Black-billed Mountain Toucan, Black- headed Hemispingus and many more.
Endemic Birds: (1) Brown-breasted Parakeet; (2) Silvery-throated Spinetail.
Near-Endemic Birds: (1) Blue-throated Starfrontlet; (2) Scrub Tapaculo; (3) Golden-fronted Whitestart; (4) Coopery-bellied Puffleg
We will search birds in Monterredondo location in the cloud forest of eastern Andes. A trip of 3 hours from Bogota to find some of the most important birds on the ridge. In the afternoon we will come back to Bogota to rest in same hotel.
Some birds of interest this day include: Andean Pygmy-Owl, Golden-crowned Tanager, Andean Guan, Green and Black Fruiteater, Glittering-throated Emerald, Green-bellied Hummingbird, Crimson-mantlet Woodpecker, Blackish Tapaculo, Black collared Jay, Buff- breasted Mountain-Tanager and many more.
Endemic Birds: (3) Cundinamarca Antpitta; (4) East Andean Antbird
This day we will search birds in the amazing Sumapaz National Park or Paramo de Sumapaz, in which the landscape and the diversity of birds, and plants, will be the attraction, in the afternoon we will transfer to the colonial city of Tunja To rest in a nice hotel in the downtown.
You will see some very interesting birds as Red-rumped Bush-Tyrant, Red-crested Cotinga, Black-chested Buzzard Eagle, Many-striped Canastero, Chestnut-winged Cinclodes, Plain-capped Ground-Tyrant, Tawny Antpitta, Andean Ruddy Duck , and many more.
Endemic Birds: (5) Green-bearded Helmetcrest; (6) Bogota Rail; (7) Apolinar's Marsh Wren
Near-Endemic Birds: (5) Bronze-tailed Thronbill
We will visit the gardens of Roberto Chavaro in Rogitama Reserve, a clear example of conservation in this area of Colombia in which we will search some important species of hummingbirds; in the afternoon we will transfer to Soata village at north-east to nice community close to the dry forest of Chicamocha Canon; we will see birds also in Paramo de Susacon on the road to Soata.
Some interesting birds this day include: Lazuline Sabrewing, Yellow-breasted Brush-Finch, Azare's Spinetail, Noble Snipe, Grassland Yellow-Finch, Sedge Wren, Black-tailed Trainbearer and many more.
Endemic Birds: (8) Black Inca
Near-Endemic Birds: (6) Short-tailed Emerald; (7) Moustached Brush-Finch
All the morning we will explore the beautiful Oak Forest of Soata in where we will search some very important species; in the afternoon we will come back to the same forest searching more new birds.
Some interest birds this day include: Black-capped Tyrannulet, Red-hooded Tanager, Mountain Woodcreeper, Bicoloured Hawk, Blue-black Tanager, Bluish Flowerpiercer, Pale-adge Flycatcher, Brown-capped Vireo, Scale-crested Pygmy Tyrant, Smoky-browned Woodpecker, Tyrian Metaltail and many more.
Endemic Birds: (9) Mountain Grackle
Near-Endemic Birds: (8) Golden-bellied Starfrontlet
We will search more birds in the dry forest of Chicamocha Canon, a very nice place with an amazing landscape of pale mountains and spiny vegetation. In the afternoon we will transfer to Bogota city again to rest.
Some interesting birds this day include: Bicoloured Wren, White-tailed Kite, Golden-crowned Warbler, Buff-breasted Wood-Wren, Pearly vented Cuckoo, Bare-faced Ibis, Streak-headed Woodcreeper, Pale-eyed Pygmy-Tyrant, Pale- breasted Spinetail, Crimson-backed Tanager, Yellow-bellied Seedeater, Yellow-throated Vireo and many more.
Endemic Birds: (10) Niceforo's Wren, (11) Chestnut-bellied Hummingbird, (12) Apical Flycatcher
We will fight early in the morning to Pereira city to move to Otun-Quimbaya National Park, a beautiful cloud forest on the heart of central Andes. We will search some birds on the road that include Red-faced Spinetail, Mustached Puffbird, Bronze winged Parrot, Long-bill Starthroat, Yellow-faced Grassquit, Golden-bellied Woodpecker, Black Phoebe, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird and many more.
Endemic Birds: (13) Greyish Piculet
We will look for wonderful birds all day in the Otun-Quimbaya Sanctuary of Fauna and Flora; this is a lovely place in the central Andes with some very important and rare birds; we'll search for birds on a little-used road or on the paths inside the forest. Otun is very good for owling, so we do night explorations in this reserve / Night in Otun-Quimbaya National Park.
Some interesting birds in Otun for this day: Golden-plumed Parakeet Red-ruffed Fruitcrow Chestnut-breasted Wren Wattled Guan, Marble-faced Bristle-Tyrant, Andean Solitaire, Oleagineous Hemispingus, Golden-headed Quetzal, White-winged Becard, Western Emerald , Crimson-rumped Toucanet, Emerald Toucanet, Spotted Barbtail, Speckle faced Parrot and many more.
Endemic Birds: (14) Cauca Guan; (15) Chestnut Wood-Quail; (16) Multicolored Tanager; Stile's Tapaculo (17)
Near-Endemic Birds: (9) Hooded Antpitta; (10) Moustached Antpitta; (11) Colombian Screech-Owl; (12) Rufous-breasted Flycatcher; (13) Flame-rumped Tanager; (14) Scrub Tanager
We will search incredible birds in this new location for birding in Central Andes in where recently was rediscover a new population of the critical endangered Fuerte's Parrot; a fantastic cloud forest in The Finca El Cortaderal in Santa Rosa de cabal municipality; in the afternoon we will transfer to Montezuma Reserve in the Choco Bio-Region.
Some important birds that are possible to see in this location also include, Gray-breasted Mountain Toucan, Black-billed Mountain-Toucan, Ocellated Tapaculo, Chestnut-naped Antpitta, Dusky Piha, Hooded Mountain Tanager and many more.
Endemic Birds: (18) Fuerte's Parrot
Montezuma is one of the best places to bird in Colombia, with an elevation gradient on the track from 1100 to 2800 meters, making this places one of the most diverse areas in all Colombia with more than 600 species recorded. We can see many endemics and near-endemics of the Choco Region; we will explore in two complete days 4 different spots on the birding track: Los Chorros (highest spot), Cajones (medium spot) and Clarita and Rio Claro (lower spots). The diversity in this four spots is special.
Some very important birds in Montezuma for this two days include: Sickle-winged Guan, Western Emerald, White-tailed Hillstar, Greenish Puffleg, Crested and Golden-headed Quetzal, White-faced Nunbird, Lineated Foliage-gleaner, Streak-capped Treehunter, Barred and Scaled Fruiteater, Bronze-olive Pygmy-Tyrant, Olivaceous Piha, Flame-faced Tanager, Tricolored Brush-Finch, Chestnut-breasted Chlorophonia, Black-winged Saltator, Red-headed Barbet, Rufous-breasted Antthrush, Striped Manakin, Zeledon s Antbird, Ocher-breasted Antpitta, Barred Hawk, Chestnut-headed Oropendola, Lanceolated Monklet, Brown-billed Scytebill, Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant, Ruddy Foliage-Gleaner, Golden Tanager, White-headed Wren and many more.
Endemic Birds: (19) Black-and-gold Tanager; (20) Gold-ringed Tanager; (21) Munchique Wood-Wren; (22) Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer; (23) Parker's Antbird; (24) Alto-Pisones Tapaculo, (25) Crested Ant-Tanager
Near-Endemics Birds: (15) Violet tailed Sylph; (16) Brown Inca; (17) Velvet-purple Coronet; (18) Empress Brilliant; (19) Purple-throated Woodstart; (20) Toucan Barbet; (21) Fulvous-dotted Treerunner; (22) Uniform Treehunter; (23) Bar-crested Antshirke; (24) Bicolored Antivireo; (25) Yellow-breasted Antpitta; (26) Choco Tapaculo; (27) Nariño Tapaculo; (28) Orange-breasted Fruiteater; (29) Club-winged Manakin; (30) Choco Vireo; (31) Beautiful Jay; (32) Sooty headed Wren; (33) Black Solitaire; (34) Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager; (35) Purplish mantlet Tanager; (36) Glistering Green Tanager; (37) Rufous-throated Tanager; (38) Scarlet and White Tanager; (39) Indigo Flowerpiercer; (40) Dusky Bush-Tanager; (41) Tanager Finch; (42) Yellow-green Brush-Finch; (43) Ocher-breasted Tanager; (44) Yellow-collated Chlorophonia
We will search more birds in the lower elevations of Montezuma, after lunch, we will transfer to Manizales city in central Andes in where we will rest.
All day birding in Rio Blanco Natural Reserve, one of the most famous places in Colombia to see birds by the Antpitta feeders; in this location the mixed flocks and the amazing number of birds are fantastic and very easy to see. We will search at night for some owl and nightjar species.
Some interesting birds to see in Rio Blanco include: Rusty-faced Parrot Chestnut-crowned Antpitta Slate-crowned Antpitta, Undulated Antpitta, Chestnut-naped Antpitta Dusky Piha, Yellow-vented Woodpecker, Bar-bellied Woodpecker, Powerful Woodpecker, Masked Saltator, Ocellated Tapaculo, Ash-colored Tapaculo, Green-and-black Fruiteater, Barred Fruiteater, Black-collared Jay, Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanager, Golden-plumed Parakeet, Red-hooded Tanager, Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Swallow-tailed Nightjar, White -throated Hawk, Black-capped Hemispingus, Yellow-billed Cacique, Chestnut-crested Cotinga, White-throated Screech-Owl, Rufous-banded Owl, Wedge-billed Hummingbird, Bronzy Inca and many more.
Endemic Birds: (26) Brown-banded Antpitta
Near Endemic Birds: (45) Bicoloured Antpitta; (46) Agile Tit-Tyrant
Birding in the high elevations (4,000 meters) in Los Nevados National Park (Nevado del Ruiz), an incredible paramo in the central Andes with many special birds and amazing landscapes; we will visit the fantastic hummingbird feeders of "thermal" in which you will see some amazing hummers; in the afternoon we will transfer to Jardin Village in Antioquia department, one of the most beautiful little village in Colombia.
Some important birds possible to see in the Ruiz include: Andean Condor, Andean Duck, Paramo Tapaculo, Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Noble Snipe, Andean Pygmy Owl, Sword-bellied Hummingbird, Shining Sunbean, Golden-breasted Puffleg, Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, Viridian Metaltail, Many-striped Canastero, White-chinned Thistletail, Andean Tit-Spinetail, White-capped Tanager, Paramo Seedeater, Slate-colored Seedeater, Golden-crowned Tanager and many more.
Endemic Birds: (27) Buffy Helmetcrest; (28) Rufous-fronted Parakeet
Near Endemic Birds: (47) Black-thighed Puffleg; (48) Golden-breasted Puffleg; (49) Crescent-faced Antpitta; (50) Black-backed Bush-Tanager
We'll watch birds all day in the Yellow-eared Parrot Reserve, the best place in Colombia to see this very important species of parrot; we'll search for birds in Alto de Ventanas locations on the road from Jardin to Rio Sucio village; We'll have breakfast and lunch in the field, and early in the morning we'll search for some owls on the road; We'll come back to Jardin in the afternoon to rest.
Some birds possible in Jardin are: Black-billed Mountain-Toucan, Yellow-vented Woodpecker, Spillmann's Tapaculo, Blackish Tapaculo, Ocellated Tapaculo, Rufous-crowned Tody-Flycatcher, Green-and-black Fruiteater, Barred Fruiteater, Golden-collared Honeycreeper, Chestnut-crested Cotinga, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Rufous Antpitta, Chestnut-naped Antpitta, Black-collared Jay, Streak-throated Bush-Tanager, Lachrymose Mountain-Tanager, Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant, Sharp's Wren, White-browed Spinetail and many more.
Endemic Birds: (29) Yellow-eared Parrot
Early in the morning we'll visit the amazing lek of Andean Cock-of-the-Rock (one of the best in the tropics), where the birds eat 2-3 meters close to us. Sometimes it's possible to see 20-25 evils calling. After breakfast in Jardin we will transfer to Bolombolo, near the Cauca River, to nice dry forest that has some very interesting and important birds. In the afternoon we will transfer to Urrao Vilage close to Las Orquideas National Park.
Some important birds in Jardin and Bolombolo include: Black-chested Jay, Andean Cock of the Rock, Speckle-breasted Wren, Black-striped Sparrow, Cocoa Woodcreeper, Spectacled Parrotlet, Rufous-naped Greenlet, Moustached Puffbird, Golden-Crowned Warbler, Greenish Elaenia, Chestnut-capped Brush-Finch and many more.
Early in the morning we will leave from Urrao village in direction to Starfrontlet Reserve in Las Orquideas National Park; a nice walk of 2 hours on a beautiful valley with amazing cloud forest, in which is possible to see so beautiful birds. We will visit antpitta and hummingbird feeders on the reserve in where we will have some important targets. In the afternoon we will come back to Urrao and Medellin at night.
Some important birds that are possible to see in Starfrontlet include: Tawny-breasted Tinamou, Black-throated Flowerpiercer, Slaty-backed Chat-Tyrant, Mask Trogon and many more.
Endemic Birds: (31) Urrao Antpitta; (32) Tapaculo Paramillo; (33) Dusky Starfrontlet
In the morning we'll visit La Romera Natural Reserve in Sabaneta village, a nice secondary forest in Medellin Mountains; We'll have lunch in a typical "paisa" restaurant, and in the afternoon we will move to Medellin city to finish this amazing birding tour.
Some birds in La Romera Reserve include: Pale-eyed Thrush, Green Jay, Slate-throated Whitestar, Black-billed Peppershirke, Golden-naped Tanager, Black-capped Tanager, Andean Motmot and many more.
Endemic Birds: (34) Red-bellied Grackle; (35) Colombian Chachalaca
Near Endemic Birds: (51) Yellow-headed Manakin
International Flight to home from Bogota
Wildlife species expected to see:
Coopery-bellied Puffleg, Rufous-browed Conebill, Purple-backed Thronbill, Paramo Seedeater, Plush-capped Finch, Pale-naped Brush-Finch, Smoky Bush-Tyrant, Black-billed Mountain-Toucan, Black-headed Hemispingus, Andean Pygmy-Owl, Golden-crowned Tanager, Andean Guan, Green and Black Fruiteater, Glittering-throated Emerald, Green-bellied Hummingbird, Crimson-mantlet Woodpecker, Blackish Tapaculo, Black-collared Jay, Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanager, Red-rumped Bush-Tyrant, Red-crested Cotinga, Black-chested Buzzard Eagle, Many-striped Canastero, Chestnut-winged Cinclodes, Plain-capped Ground-Tyrant, Tawny Antpitta, Andean Ruddy Duck, Lazuline Sabrewing, Yellow-breasted Brush-Finch, Azare’s Spinetail, Noble Snipe, Grassland Yellow-Finch, Sedge Wren, Black-tailed Trainbearer, Black-capped Tyrannulet, Red-hooded Tanager, Mountain Woodcreeper, Bicoloured Hawk, Blue-black Tanager, Bluish Flowerpiercer, Pale-adge Flycatcher, Brown-capped Vireo, Scale-crested Pygmy Tyrant, Smoky-browned Woodpecker, Tyrian Metaltail, Bicoloured Wren, White-tailed Kite, Golden-crowned Warbler, Buff-breasted Wood-Wren, Pearly vented Cuckoo, Bare-faced Ibis, Streak-headed Woodcreeper, Pale-eyed Pygmy-Tyrant, Pale- breasted Spinetail, Crimson-backed Tanager, Yellow-bellied Seedeater, Yellow-throated Vireo, Red-faced Spinetail, Mustached Puffbird, Bronze winged Parrot, Long-bill Starthroat, Yellow-faced Grassquit, Golden-bellied Woodpecker, Black Phoebe, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Golden-plumed Parakeet Red-ruffed Fruitcrow Chestnut-breasted Wren Wattled Guan, Marble-faced Bristle-Tyrant, Andean Solitaire, Oleagineous Hemispingus, Golden-headed Quetzal, White-winged Becard, Western Emerald , Crimson-rumped Toucanet, Emerald Toucanet, Spotted Barbtail, Speckle faced Parrot
What is included?
- Transport: Private vans (comfortable transport) with Air conditioning 4x4 transport
- Meals: All food: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner in all locations with open menu in restaurants, 2 snacks daily that include bottle water, fruit, etc, (Water available all the time on the bus – big bottle to recharge the potable bottles), Just one national beer, soda, bottle water or juice included with meals, (The second drinks beers, juice, bottle water or juices need to be paid per client)
- Accommodation: All Hotels described in the itinerary, Eco-lodges inside the Natural Reserves, Towel and linen provided in all places, Entrance fees at National Parks and Reserves
- Guides, drivers and cooks: The group will be accompanied by a professional guide all time of MANAKIN NATURE TOURS, Experienced car and boat drivers, Experienced cooks in all reserves, lodges and hotels
- Insurance: Event Insurance (Transportation and accidents)
What is not included?
- International Flights and taxes
- Travel Insurance
- Laundry Service
- Room service
- Tips or gratuity
- Medical Expenses
- Beer except one beer at lunch or dinner
- International or local Phone Calls
- Activities not included in the itinerary
- Extensions of a trip due to circumstances beyond our control
- Anything that is not included in "What is included"
We are one of the companies with the most experience and trajectory in birdwatching tourism in Colombia, we were pioneers as a Colombian agency operating professional bird tours and our learning was done with large operating companies worldwide, with which we are very committed to the quality of service and the satisfaction of our clients. We have currently expanded our portfolio to other Latin American countries, which strengthens our operational and service capacity. We are not only a company that does bird and wildlife observation tourism, we are also committed to the conservation of nature, environmental education, scientific research and the social and economic development of the communities with which we work, we think that tourism It must be a nature-friendly development alternative for everyone and we support this idea with many programs that we have other than tourism.
The maximum size of a group is 10 people and the ideal is 8 people, however, for groups of friends or special groups we can make exceptions of up to 14 people using 2 professional guides in our operation.
We always try to hire services from the communities in all the places we visit when they are available; We want the entire value chain to benefit and for everyone to benefit from tourism and see in it, an economic alternative that leads to the conservation of nature. In this way, we also hire our professional guides, local guides, community restaurants, rural accommodation, rural transport, logistics services from community organizations or local NGOs, etc. We also have some programs such as Manakin Birding Club, where we support with equipment such as binoculars, laptops, books, etc., ecological groups of children and young people to continue with their education and conservation activities in their regions, an initiative that has been very successful in recent years and with which dozens of binoculars have been delivered to children in many parts of the country.
Yes, we have an event insurance that we include in all our packages with the company Colombia Colasistencia, this insurance covers considerable amounts in terms of accidents, illnesses, injuries, death, repatriation, among others; We also have an agreement with the Global Rescue company with which you can purchase much more complete travel insurance at a lower price than normally offered if you decide to travel with us.
We try to be very flexible with our cancellation policies and even more so with the current situation of COVID, changes in trips and conditions will be associated with the time with which the cancellation or change is made, if you decide to cancel your travel a few days before the tour, we will refund your money with the exception of expenses that cannot be reimbursed such as air tickets or hotels with strict cancellation policies, or we can simply postpone the trip to a new date during the following year, this may be subject to changes in accommodation prices or penalties in change of dates on national air tickets.
Yes, John Kricher's Neotropical Companion book that you can download in Spanish here http://www.aba.org/aneotropicalcompanion.pdf and Birds of Tropical America: A Watcher's Introduction to Behavior, Breeding, and Diversity by Steven Hilty . Also acquire some of the new Colombian bird guides from Steve Hilty, Miles McMullan or Fernando Ayerbe.