Unique Wild Orchids Tour in Colombia
This 14-day Wild Orchids Tour takes you to the Tropical Andes orchids in the Cordillera Oriental of Colombia. We cross parts of Meta, Cundinamarca, Boyacá and Santander Departments (Provinces) through several ecosystems including the Andean cloud forests, páramos and subpáramos (high mountain grasslands).
We will see a great variety of orchid genuses such as Epidendrum, Cyrtochilum, Odontoglossum, Lepanthes, Masdevallia, Stelis, Pleurothallis, Maxillaria and Telipogon. All these genuses embrace an abundant diversity in terms of varieties, sizes, colors and type of growing (terrestrial, epiphytic or rupicola). On this journey, we may see endemic and threatened species as Cyrtochilum weirii, Odontoglossum luteopurpureum, Odontoglossum gloriosum, Odontoglossum crispum, Masdevallia misasii, Masdevallia aenigma, Lepanthes erytrochles, Lepanthes chelonion and Lepanthes matisii among others.
This route operates all-year-round so some orchids may not be in bloom. However, we will see common genuses distributed among departments as well as endemic and rare orchids not found elsewhere in the world.
Arrival at El Dorado International Airport.
Transfer to the hotel. Relax.
Early in the morning we take the main road to Llanos Orientales (Orinoco savannas). We stop half way through for some amazing Colombian coffee. At this point, we leave populated areas behind and enter the well-conserved forests of the Meta region, on the west slope of the Cordillera Oriental. We spend the night in a country house near Chingaza National Park.
In the morning we continue our journey from high Andean forest to the high-altitude subpáramos and páramos. This unique ecosystems are a large water reservoir and plants have evolved to withstand extreme temperatures. We reach heights of more than 3,000 meters above sea level and visit pre-Hispanic sacred lakes of Chingaza territory. We stay at a mountain lodge or camp, depending on availability. Orchid species in this area include Epidendrum oxysepalum, Pleurothallis lilijae, Fernandezia sanguinea, Epidendrum erosum, Masdevallia strumifera.
We stay at Chingaza National Park, visiting the Chuza reservoir and the Laguna Seca sector, reaching the northeast part of the park in the municipality of Guasca, where we spend the night. Species seen on this day might include Epidendrum frutex, Trichosalpinx chamaelepanthes, Pachyphyllum chrystallinum, Cyrtochilum revolutum and Telipogon nervosus.
We visit Encenillo Biological Reserve, focusing on the Andean forest ecosystems. We find a good diversity of orchid genuses associated to encenillo trees (Weimmania tomentosa), one of the representative species in the reserve. We spend the night at the municipality of Guasca. Among others, we find species such as Epidendrum scutella, E. decurviflorum, Pleurothallis talpinaria, Telipogon berthae and Oncidium ornithorhynchum.
Early in the morning, we travel to Guavio territory to visit a conserved forest fragment near Chingaza Park. The area is famous for the spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus) and a great array of bird species. Orchids here include Epidedrum klotzscheanum, Stelis sp., Barbosella cucullata, Elleanthus aurantiacus and Otoglossum sp.
We take the road to Boyacá Department, through the town of Guatavita towards Paipa city where we can take a medicinal thermal bath. On the way, we stop to observe some common species of orchids such as Epidendrum secundum, E. zipaquiranum, Elleanthus sp. and Stelis sp.
Early in the morning we leave Boyacá to enter Santander Department, up to Guantiva – La Rusia Páramo complex, visiting a still intact territory with communities living in remote and difficult to access areas. We reach our lodging near the Sanctuary of Fauna and Flora Guanentá Alto Rio Fonce where we stay for two nights. Species here include Epidendrum chioneum, Stenorrynchos vaginatum, Telipogon nervosus, Maxillaria aurea and Cyrtochilum sp.
We spend the day walking and learning about the region. We have lunch with members of the Virolín community, and hear how they propagate and conserve native orchids. Among others, we see species such as Cyrtidiorchis frontinoensis, Comparettia falcata, Dryadella simula, Maxillaria fractiflexa, Maxillaria lepidota and Odontoglossum ramosissimum.
After breakfast, we return to Boyacá Department, making a few stops on the way to look for some epiphytic and terrestrial orchid species. We arrive at our destination near Arcabuco municipality to spend the night. In the afternoon we visit humid forests with several species of Pleurothallis, Epidendrum, Oncidium and Elleanthus among other genuses.
Descending the altitudinal gradient, we visit Moniquirá town in Santander, continuing to the Puente Nacional municipality, where we take a natural path to our lodging. During the trip we will be able to see species from the Cyrtochilum, Brassia and Maxillaria genuses. We spend the next two nights in a country house with a stunning view and surrounded by forest fragments and several miniature orchids as Neooreophilus, Lepanthes, Platystele and some ornamental and emblematic as Odontoglossum crispum.
After breakfast, we go to the town of Florián, driving through rugged and mountainous terrain with forests and orchids such as Sobralia sp, Epidendrum fimbriatum, Elleanthus sp. and Cyrtochylum sp. We spend the night in Saboyá municipality in Boyacá Department.
We return to Bogotá to take the flight back home or stay one more night if it is desired/necessary. Depending on when we arrive in Cundinamarca Department, it may be possible to visit areas near the city, some high Andean forests, with terrestrial orchids such as Malaxis, Epidendrum, Stenorrhynchos and epiphytic orchids as Lepanthes and other Pleurothallidinae. End of itinerary.
During this orchid tour, we will see a great variety of orchid genuses such as Epidendrum, Cyrtochilum, Odontoglossum, Lepanthes, Masdevallia, Stelis, Pleurothallis, Maxillaria and Telipogon. On this journey, we may see endemic orchid species and threatened orchid species such as Cyrtochilum weirii, Odontoglossum luteopurpureum, Odontoglossum gloriosum, Odontoglossum crispum, Masdevallia misasii, Masdevallia aenigma, Lepanthes erytrochles, Lepanthes chelonion and Lepanthes matisii among others.
During this tour we may be able to see many bird species and probably some mammals and reptiles as well.
What is included?
- Private transportation services from day 1 to day 14
- All meals from dinner on day 1 to lunch on day 14
- Open menu at restaurants, snacks and water during the whole trip
- First drink is included with main meals (local beer, soda, juice or water)
- Double accommodation as described in the program
- Entrance fees and permits to natural reserves
- Expert guide during the entire itinerary
- Private driver during the entire trip
- Magnifying glass and other equipment for Orchid observation and manipulation
- National travel insurance
What is not included?
- International and domestic flights, and taxes
- Personal equipment
- Laundry service
- Medical expenses
- Alcoholic drinks
- Phone calls
- Other activities and services
- International travel insurance
At Jaguarundi Travel we are experts on sustainable, responsible ecotourism. Communities benefit, biodiversity is conserved, and all aspects of culture are respected. We offer creative travel experiences greatly superior to large tour operators. Our travellers stay in small hotels, farms and reserves where they are safe and comfortable. We ensure an unforgettable trip and the best possible service. We have, over time, built strong working relationships with many diverse communities. By working together, a first-class tourist product has been developed. These communities are also involved in education, conservation and the rescue and preservation of biological, historical and cultural elements. PRINCIPLES Our principles are present in all our plans and journeys: Grounding. We are grounded in the culture, the people and the communities of Colombia. We meet, share and learn from the indigenous peoples, peasants and Afro-Colombians. We celebrate their music, rituals, ancient cultures, food and customs. Respect for nature. We learn from biodiversity and are committed to conservation of our rich biological heritage. We marvel at the flora, fauna and landscapes through birdwatching, photography, diving and visiting our national parks and private reserves. Your safety and security is one of our highest priorities. Our drivers and vehicles, as well as our guides and support staff, are highly skilled and know the routes and local dynamics on any itinerary. Our standards of comfort are excellent and food is always delicious and safe, and prepared according to our clients’ dietary requirements.
It is required to pay 100% at least one month prior to the departure date, via wire transfer. The information for payment will be sent to the travellers once they decide to choose our services. If the tour is private, if there is an extra service, if a pre-tour is added, or if the tour is extended, alternative payment options are available. Please contact us for further information.
Early breakfast, transfer to area of interest, nature experience, lunch, nature experience continues, return back to hotel or lodge, species checklist review and briefing for the following day, and dinner.
Jaguarundi Travel nature tours are suitable for children, and travellers are requested to contact the company to discuss further details.
Credit cards are useful in the main Colombian cities, however it is necessary to travel with some cash. ATMs are usually available during the trip.
Jaguarundi Travel nature and wildlife tours is a company that is always willing to help and fulfill the interests of the travellers. We have multiple options to choose from and we are always ready to include other areas and create the itineraries according with our travellers' needs and interests.
We want our customers to enjoy the most that Colombia has to offer – its history, culture, biological richness and breathtaking landscapes. When travelling with us, regardless of the age or experience, all our itineraries are designed with comfort in mind. Everyone can discover and be thrilled by this country’s sheer beauty. Colombia, a country with many rivers and mountain ranges, has extensive highways and roads, some paved, others rugged, rutted and challenging. In some of our Journeys you might take domestic flights, travel on dirt roads and by boat. These modes of transportation allow the traveller to witness the astonishing biodiversity, the rivers, the rainforest, the mountain tops and the many climatic changes. Detailed itineraries delivered to our clients in advance outline the journey, the accommodations, internal travel arrangements and meal plans. While travel in Colombia can be considered an adventure, we provide the most comfortable and easiest route to a destination. We do not advertise as an adventure agency but we can and do accommodate travellers seeking new and remote locales away from cities. Sometimes on tour, you need to wake up early and travel overland to remote areas. Our staff arranges for food delivery and carries all luggage and equipment. Again, with comfort in mind, we book into boutique hotels in major cities and excellent guest houses in remote locations. Also, our staff is always available to answer any questions you might have about an itinerary before you start packing.
Good, healthy, food is of prime importance for travellers and to us as well. So we ensure that all food is of the highest quality, even when our tours take us to remote parts of the country. In urban areas, we work with food services and restaurants that always meet national sanitary standards. Depending on location, we turn to reliable, high quality suppliers. Sometimes we supply our own cooks. We guarantee clean kitchens and the use of potable water for cooking at all times. Dietary restrictions and special needs diets will be accommodated. Vegetarians and vegans are also welcomed.