Complete Endemics Colombia Birding Tour
This 21-day Endemic Birds of Colombia Tour is a moderately-paced trip available as a set departure (or on request) where you can expect to see around 450 species of bird, including 30 endemics and near-endemics. This Colombia Endemic Birding Tour will take travellers to a great diversity of ecosystems and natural areas, covering the main specialities of endemics and near endemic birds of Colombia, as well as subspecies of the eastern central and western mountain ranges.
Colombia has a total of 1954 bird species where 82 are endemics, positioning the country as the number one with the greatest diversity of birds in the entire globe. Colombia also has the unique Santa Marta Mountains, which have the highest concentration of endemics and threatened wildlife on Earth, and are the highest coastal elevation on the planet.
"I have to say this was the best experience I've had in my life so far. René is an awesome guide with great knowledge of the area, the flora and fauna, and especialy of the endemic bird species. He became somewhat of a friend on this trip! He organized everthing like we participants wouldn't notice any problems. I can highly recommend his company Jaguarundi Travel and him as a guide. Thank you so much René!" -Jannik Seelbach.
During this Endemics Colombia Birding Tour, travellers will take private transportation vehicles with a driver and an expert guide searching for the best in each area.
Birding from the high elevations at the páramo ecosystem, to sea level at the Caribbean region, passing through Andean forests on central, east and west cordilleras; dry forests in Cauca Valley, humid forests in Magdalena, semi-desert areas in La Guajira, and massive natural areas in the Chocó region. The Montezuma road and the Low Anchicayá are also very special and isolated areas where travellers will enjoy exploring for Colombia Endemic bird species.
Endemic Birds of Colombia Tour Highlights include:
- Exploring the main birding areas in Colombia in search of the representative endemics
- Visiting the páramo ecosystem and get to see interesting hummers like the great Sword-billed Hummingbird as well as the Green-bearded Helmetcrest and the Buffy Helmetcrest, a very interesting couple of Colombian endemic Helmetcrests
- An opportunity to see the Yellow Eared Parrot and Brown-breasted Parakeet, which are additional specialties found during this Endemics Colombia Birding Tour
- Getting to see most of the endemics of Santa Marta Mountains, a paradise for endemic birds
- The chance to see 5 different species of antpittas including the newly described Urrao Antpitta
- Travelling through the Andean mountain ranges of Colombia and getting to see the colourful Goldringed tanager, Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer and Munchique Wood-wren.
- Excellent nature photography opportunities for most of the endemics sighted
Please note: this set-departure tour is also available as a private or custom tour on request. Please submit an enquiry with your preferred dates and group size.
If you would like to focus on a specific location please take a look at the Essential Santa Marta Mountains Birding Tour, Colombia
Arrival to El Dorado International airport in Bogotá, then transport to the hotel to rest.
We will have a briefing at the hotel in Bogotá.
Overnight in Bogotá.
We will head to Chingaza Natural Park area searching for the endemic Brown-breasted Parakeet and other Chingaza specialities such as White-capped Tanager, Spectacled Prickletail, Black-billed Mountain-Toucan, Roufus Antpitta and Ocellated Tapaculo among others.
We will also have the opportunity to observe high elevation hummers of the east mountain range, like the near endemic Blue-throated Starfrontlet, and other highlights like Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Great Sapphirewing, Long-tailed Sylph, Black-tailed Trainbearer, Tyrian Metaltail and Sword-billed Hummingbird.
Overnight in Bogotá.
We will head to Sumapaz Natural Park searching for the endemic and beautiful Green-bearded Helmetcrest, the near endemic Golden-fronted Redstart, the Great Sappherwing and other páramo birds like the Many-striped Canastero.
We will then visit the moorlands of Bogotá in search of the endemics Bogota Rail and Apolinar’s Wren. During the day, we will see many other birds worth mentioning like Spot-flanked Gallinule, Subtropical Doradito, Andean and Masked Ducks, Silvery-throated Spinetail and Striped Owl.
Overnight in Bogotá.
In the morning, we will descend to the Magdalena Valley where we will focus on hummingbirds. Endemic Indigo-capped Hummingbird is one highlight but we will see many others like Black-throated Mango, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, White-vented Plumeleteer, the three species of Violetear, Green Hermit, Crowned Woodnymph, White-bellied and Gorgeted Woodstars.
Then we will look for some aquatic birds in the Magdalena Valley foudn at Guarinocito Lake .We will see the near endemic Northern Screamer, and others like Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Blue-headed Parrot and Black-capped Donacobius.
Overnight in Victoria (Caldas department).
In the morning, we will visit different spots in search of the endemics Sooty Ant-tanager, White-mantled barbet, Beautiful Woodpecker, Velvet fronted Euphonia and Colombian Chachalaca.
Other interesting birds in the area are Tody Motmot, Bar-crested ant-shrike and several species of Manakins such as White-bibbed, White-bearded, Striped and Golden-headed. Other birds worth to mention are Little tinamou, Citron-throated Toucan, Chestnut-fronted macaw and Squirrel cuckoo.
Transfer to Río Claro Reserve and overnight.
We will start the day birding at Río Claro Natural Reserve. Our main targets will be the endemics White-mantled Barbet, Antioquia Bristle-Tyrant, and Beautiful Woodpecker. We will also see the near endemics Yellow-browed Shrike-Vireo, Scarlet-browed Tanager and Saffron-headed Parrot.
In this reserve we will spot many other species. We will then transfer to the surroundings of Medellín city to spend the night.
In the morning we will visit La Romera, an area near Medellín, looking for endemics like Red-bellied Grackle, Stiles's Tapaculo, Colombian Chachalaca, and the near endemics Yellow-headed Manakin, and Bar-crested Antshrike.
We will also visit the dry forest of the Cauca Valley, searching for the endemics Antioquia Wren, Grayish Piculet, and Apical Flycatcher and the near endemic Bar-crested Antshrike.
We will arrive in Jardín and we will visit the stunning Andean Cock-of-The-Rock LEK.
Overnight in Jardín (Antioquia department).
We will visit the Ventanas area, searching for the Yellow-eared Parrot, endemic from Colombia.
We will look for other interesting species like the near endemic Tanager Finch, the rare Chestnut-crested Cotinga, the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Sacarlet-rumped Cacique, crested Oropendola, Torrent Duck, the beautiful Golden-headed Quetzal and the near endemic Rufous-brested Flycatcher.
Overnight in Jardín.
We will visit the Morro Amarillo area searching for the endemics Yellow-eared Parrot, Colombian Chachalaca, Parker’s Antbird, and the near endemic Scrub Tanager.
We will then travel to Manizales area to spend the night.
We will visit Los Nevados Natural Park searching for the great Andean Condor and the endemic Buffy Helmetcrest. On the road, the endemic Rufous-fronted Parakeet is possible. Near endemics are possible too, like the Black-backed Bush-tanager and Golden-breasted Puffleg.
We will visit hummingbird feeders to spot the near endemic Black-thighed Puffleg and the beautiful Rainbow-bearded Thornbill and Shining Sunbeam among others.
Overnight at Río Blanco Reserve or Manizales surroundings, depending on permits.
Río Blanco reserve is a very interesting area due to the spotting of several birds, but it is also considered a remarkable paradise for Antpittas.
We will search for the endemics Chestnut Wood-Quail, East Andean Antbird, Brown-banded Antpitta. Near endemics like Rusty-faced Parrot, Bicolored Antpitta, Rufous-breasted Flycatcher, Golden-fronted Redstart. Other birds like Ash-coloured and Ocellated Tapaculo are possible.
Transfer to Otún Quimbaya Reserve, and overnight.
We will start the day birding at Otún Quimbaya. This area has lots of nice birds, but our main targets are the endemics Cauca Guan, Chestnut Wood-Quail, Moustached Antpitta, Stiles's Tapaculo, Multicolored Tanager and Crested Ant-Tanager. Near endemics like Rufous-breasted Flycatcher are possible as well.
Transfer to Pueblo Rico (Risaralda department) to access Tatamá National Park to spend the following 2 nights (12 and 13).
Birding at Montezuma Road is a unique birding opportunity on the Chocó slope of the Western Andes. It is a very big extension of nature and gathers lots of different species of birds.
We will see endemics such as Chestnut Wood-Quail, Grayish Piculet, Parker's Antbird, Alto Pisones Tapaculo, Munchique Wood-Wren, Black-and-gold Tanager, Gold-ringed Tanager, Multicolored Tanager, Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer, Crested Ant-Tanager
Some near endemics: Violet-tailed Sylph, Brown Inca, Velvet-purple Coronet, Empress Brilliant, Purple-throated Woodstar, Toucan Barbet, Bar-crested Antshrike, Bicolored Antvireo, Yellow-breasted Antpitta, Choco Tapaculo, Nariño Tapaculo, Uniform Treehunter, Fulvous-dotted Treerunner, Rufous-breasted Flycatcher, Club-winged Manakin, Choco Vireo, Beautiful Jay, Black Solitaire, Golden-fronted Redstart, Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager, Purplish-mantled Tanager, Glistening-green Tanager, Yellow-collared Chlorophonia.
After birding the morning of day 14 at Tatamá National Park, we will travel to Kilometre 18 near Cali.
Overnight at Kilometre 18.
Birding at low Anchicayá will give us the opportunity to search for rare species. Some near endemics are Berlepsch's Tinamou, Baudo Guan, Choco Poorwill, White-whiskered Hermit, Tooth-billed Hummingbird, Violet-tailed Sylph, Empress Brilliant, Purple-throated Woodstar, Blue-tailed Trogon, Five-colored Barbet, Choco Toucan, Rose-faced Parrot, Bar-crested Antshrike, Rufous-crowned Antpitta, Choco Tapaculo, Uniform Treehunter, Long-wattled Umbrellabird, Black-tipped Cotinga, Club-winged Manakin, Sooty-headed Wren, Glistening-green Tanager, Gray-and-gold Tanager and Scrub Tanager among others.
The main targets are the endemics Chestnut Wood-Quail, Choco Woodpecker and Multicolored Tanager.
On day 15 we will sleep again at Kilometre 18.
After birding in the morning during day 16, we will head to Cali and will fly to Barranquilla to spend the night.
From Barranquilla we will visit the Km 4 and Salamanca National Park searching for the endemic Sapphire-bellied Hummingbird, and the near endemic Bar-crested Antshrike, as well as other amazing birds in the area which include the Central-American Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Golden-green Woodpecker, American Pygmy Kngfisher, Bicoloured Conebill, Pied and Russet throated Puffbird, Yellow-chinned Spinetail, Stripe-backed Wren, and Caribbean Hornero among others.
From here, we will transfer to La Guajira Peninsula with the possibility to stop at some areas. Overnight at hotel in Riohacha.
In the morning, we will visit Los Flamencos Natural Park and other spots of La Guajira Peninsula. The specialties are Bare-eyed Pigeon, Buffy Hummingbird, Northern Scrub-Flycatcher, Orinocan Saltator, Glaucous Tanager and Pileated Finch and the near endemics Chestnut Piculet, White-whiskered Spinetail, Slender-billed Tyrannulet, Vermilion Cardinal, Tocuyo Sparrow.
Other amazing birds are Rufous-vented Chachalaca, Dwarf Cuckoo, Blue-crowned Parakeet, Green-rumped Parrotlet and Two-banded Puffbird.
Transfer to Minca and overnight.
In Minca and surroundings we will see specialties like Golden-winged Sparrow, Coppery Emerald, Northern Royal Flycatcher, Black-crowned Antshrike, Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush, Scarlet-fronted Parakeet, Keel-billed Toucan, Scarlet Piculet, Rufous-and-white Wren, Black-headed Tanager, Thick-billed Seed-Finch, Little Tinamou, Rufous-capped Warbler, Swallow Tanager, Bicoloured wren, Rufous nightjar and Sooty-capped Hermit.
Transfer to El Dorado Reserve at San Lorenzo Ridge and accommodation for the next two nights.
San Lorenzo is a small mountain ridge separated from the main Santa Marta Mountains by a deep valley. This ecological complex area is ideal for an Endemics Birding trip.
The endemics are listed in order depending how easy they are to see. From very common to rare: Santa Marta Brush-finch, White-lored Warbler, Yellow-crowned Whitestart, Santa Marta Mountain-tanager, Rusty-headed Spinetail, Sierra Nevada Brush-finch, Brown-rumped Tapaculo, Santa Marta Antbird, Santa Marta Tapaculo, Blossomcrown, Santa Marta Woodstar, White-tailed Starfrontlet, Santa Marta Antpitta, Santa Marta Warbler, Santa Marta Brush Tyrant, Santa Marta Parakeet, Black-backed Thornbill, Santa Marta Sabrewing, Blue-billed Curassow.
Overnight at El Dorado Reserve.
Transfer from San Lorenzo Ridge to Santa Marta airport to take the flight back home, and end of tour.
Brown-breasted Parakeet, White-capped Tanager, Spectacled Prickletail, Black-billed Mountain-Toucan, Roufus Antpitta, Ocellated Tapaculo, Blue-throated Starfrontlet, Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Great Sapphirewing, Long-tailed Sylph, Black-tailed Trainbearer, Tyrian Metaltail, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Green-bearded Helmetcrest, Golden-fronted Redstart, Many-striped Canastero, Bogota Rail, Apolinar’s Wren, Spot-flanked Gallinule, Subtropical Doradito, Andean Duck, Masked Duck, Silvery-throated Spinetail, Striped Owl, Indigo-capped Hummingbird, Black-throated Mango, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, White-vented Plumeleteer, Lesser Violetear, Sparkling Violetear, Brown Violetear, Green Hermit, Crowned Woodnymph, White-bellied Woodstar, Gorgeted Woodstar, Northern Screamer, Rufescent Tiger-Heron, Blue-headed Parrot, Black-capped Donacobius, Sooty Ant-tanager, White-mantled barbet, Beautiful Woodpecker, Velvet fronted Euphonia, Colombian Chachalaca, Tody Motmot, Bar-crested ant-shrike White-bibbed Manakin, White-bearded Manakin, Striped Manakin, Golden-headed Manakin, Little tinamou, Citron-throated Toucan, Chestnut-fronted macaw, Squirrel cuckoo, White-mantled Barbet, Antioquia Bristle-Tyrant, Yellow-browed Shrike-Vireo, Scarlet-browed Tanager, Saffron-headed Parrot, Red-bellied Grackle, Stiles’s Tapaculo, Colombian Chachalaca, Yellow-headed Manakin, Bar-crested Antshrike, Antioquia Wren, Grayish Piculet, Apical Flycatcher, Bar-crested Antshrike, Andean Cock-of-The-Rock, Yellow-eared Parrot, Tanager Finch, Chestnut-crested Cotinga, Sacarlet-rumped Cacique, crested Oropendola, Torrent Duck, Golden-headed Quetzal, Rufous-brested Flycatcher, Colombian Chachalaca, Parker’s Antbird, Scrub Tanager, Andean Condor, Buffy Helmetcrest, Rufous-fronted Parakeet, Black-backed Bush-tanager, Golden-breasted Puffleg, Black-thighed Puffleg, Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, Shining Sunbeam, Chestnut Wood-Quail, East Andean Antbird, Brown-banded Antpitta, Rusty-faced Parrot, Bicolored Antpitta, Rufous-breasted Flycatcher, Golden-fronted Redstart, Ash-coloured Tapaculo, Ocellated Tapaculo, Cauca Guan, Chestnut Wood-Quail, Moustached Antpitta, Stiles’s Tapaculo, Multicolored Tanager, Crested Ant-Tanager, Rufous-breasted Flycatcher, Chestnut Wood-Quail, Grayish Piculet, Parker’s Antbird, Alto Pisones Tapaculo, Munchique Wood-Wren, Black-and-gold Tanager, Gold-ringed Tanager, Multicolored Tanager, Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer, Crested Ant-Tanager, Violet-tailed Sylph, Brown Inca, Velvet-purple Coronet, Empress Brilliant, Purple-throated Woodstar, Toucan Barbet, Bar-crested Antshrike, Bicolored Antvireo, Yellow-breasted Antpitta, Choco Tapaculo, Nariño Tapaculo, Uniform Treehunter, Fulvous-dotted Treerunner, Rufous-breasted Flycatcher, Club-winged Manakin, Choco Vireo, Beautiful Jay, Black Solitaire, Golden-fronted Redstart, Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager, Purplish-mantled Tanager, Glistening-green Tanager, Yellow-collared Chlorophonia, Berlepsch’s Tinamou, Baudo Guan, Choco Poorwill, White-whiskered Hermit, Tooth-billed Hummingbird, Violet-tailed Sylph, Empress Brilliant, Purple-throated Woodstar, Blue-tailed Trogon, Five-colored Barbet, Choco Toucan, Rose-faced Parrot, Bar-crested Antshrike, Rufous-crowned Antpitta, Choco Tapaculo, Uniform Treehunter, Long-wattled Umbrellabird, Black-tipped Cotinga, Club-winged Manakin, Sooty-headed Wren, Glistening-green Tanager, Gray-and-gold Tanager, Scrub Tanager, Chestnut Wood-Quail, Choco Woodpecker, Multicolored Tanager, Sapphire-bellied Hummingbird, Bar-crested Antshrike, Central-American Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Golden-green Woodpecker, American Pygmy Kingfisher, Bicoloured Conebill, Pied Puffbird, Russet-throated Puffbird, Yellow-chinned Spinetail, Stripe-backed Wren, Caribbean Hornero, Bare-eyed Pigeon, Buffy Hummingbird, Northern Scrub-Flycatcher, Orinocan Saltator, Glaucous Tanager, Pileated Finch, Chestnut Piculet, White-whiskered Spinetail, Slender-billed Tyrannulet, Vermilion Cardinal, Tocuyo Sparrow, Rufous-vented Chachalaca, Dwarf Cuckoo, Blue-crowned Parakeet, Green-rumped Parrotlet, Two-banded Puffbird, Golden-winged Sparrow, Coppery Emerald, Northern Royal Flycatcher, Black-crowned Antshrike, Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush, Scarlet-fronted Parakeet, Keel-billed Toucan, Scarlet Piculet, Rufous-and-white Wren, Black-headed Tanager, Thick-billed Seed-Finch, Little Tinamou, Rufous-capped Warbler, Swallow Tanager, Bicoloured wren, Rufous nightjar, Sooty-capped Hermit, Santa Marta Brush-finch, White-lored Warbler, Yellow-crowned Whitestart, Santa Marta Mountain-tanager, Rusty-headed Spinetail, Sierra Nevada Brush-finch, Brown-rumped Tapaculo, Santa Marta Antbird, Santa Marta Tapaculo, Blossomcrown, Santa Marta Woodstar, White-tailed Starfrontlet, Santa Marta Antpitta, Santa Marta Warbler, Santa Marta Brush Tyrant, Santa Marta Parakeet, Black-backed Thornbill, Santa Marta Sabrewing, Blue-billed Curassow.
What is included?
- Private transportation services from day 1 to day 21
- All domestic flights: Cali – Barranquilla and Santa Marta – Bogotá
- All meals from breakfast on day 1 to breakfast on day 21
- 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
- Scope, pointing light
- Checklist of the potential species of the trip
- National travel insurance
What is not included?
- International 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 traditions. 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, healthy 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 accommodation, 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 areas 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 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.