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Santa Marta Endemic Mountains Birding Tour, Colombia - 7 Days

Santa Marta Endemic Mountains Birding Tour, Colombia
1700

Birdwatching Tour in the Santa Marta Mountains

This 7-day Santa Marta Birding Tour focusing on the rich and unique avifauna of Santa Marta mountains where more than 22 endemic species rule this area plus the regional endemics of La Guajira region found precisely on its semi-desert forest.

Without a doubt, many new birds for your list in just one week!

This region of the country resembles a small and unique country: the Caribbean Sea, beaches, coastal lagoons, mangroves, deserts, crystalline rivers; snowy peaks, dry, humid and cloudy forests; and the highest coastal mountain in the planet, holding one of the highest levels of endemism in the world: La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, an irreplaceable place on earth!

On the Santa Marta Mountains well known as the Northern Colombia Birding Trail, here we will visit three exceptional national natural parks, beginning by Vía Parque Isla de Salamanca National Park, this is an important bird area for conservation (IBA), stated by UNESCO as a Reserve of the Biosphere and a second home for migrant species; the birding is carried out on the coastal ecosystems along the way to Santa Marta city while the brisa “breeze” of the Caribbean rubs your cheeks.

Visiting the Tayrona National Park is a nice opportunity to find its always attractive dry forest bird species; this site is very loved by Colombian and foreign people.

Flora and Fauna Sanctuary Los Flamencos National Park is one the richest natural parks in the country of aquatic species, once here we will focus on the regional endemics of the thorny and semiarid ecosystem of La Guajira region; a territory inhabited by the Wayúu ethnic group.

Minca, this warming village calls itself as the Eco-capital of Colombia, surrounded by premontane forest, clean rivers, many farm-hotels, some coffee plantations; an ample array of birds and a deep sense of respect for nature by its inhabitants.

Tour highlights include

  • The possibility to see more than 22 endemic bird species in the Santa Marta Mountains
  • Visit three exceptional national natural parks: Vía Parque Isla de Salamanca National Park, Tayrona National Park and Los Flamencos National Park
  • Regional endemics found only in the Guajira area of Colombia and Venezuela
  • Opportunity to experience birding with a local guide from the Wayúu ethnic group based in La Guajira region
  • See typical birds species that feed on Coffee plantations
  • Staying at the famous El Dorado birding lodge with breathtaking views of the Santa Marta mountains and also Caribbean ocean
Alternative Tour Name: The North Coast: Santa Marta Endemic Mountains and La Guajira area
Day 1
Day 1 - Arrival

Meeting in Barranquilla city; Night in Barranquilla: Hotel Hampton by Hilton

Day 2
Day 2 - Vía Parque Isla Salamanca N P (Coastal Ecosystems)

The first part of the birding begins in some swamps and mangroves before and along the park, let’s work on: Sapphire-bellied (EN) (CR) and Sapphire-throated Hummingbird, Rufescent-Tiger Heron, Snail Kite, Brown-throated Parakeet, Straight-billed Woodcreeper, Coloured Conebill, Bronze Cowbird, Carib Grackle, Mangrove Warbler and many aquatic species. Salamanca N P to Santa Marta city: 1:50 hrs driving. Night in Santa Marta: La Casa de Viento Hotel Boutique.

Altitude and temperature range: 0 m / 0 Ft – 28 °C /82.4 °F

Day 3
Day 3 - Tayrona National Park (Dry Forest)

This morning we will transfer to work on this loved natural area: Laughing Falcon, Crane Hawk, Lineated Woodpecker, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Orange-chinned Parakeet, Blue-headed Parrot, White-bellied and Jet Antbird, Northern Royal Flycatcher, Lance-tailed and White-bearded Manakin, Scrub Greenlet, Buff-breasted and Bicolored Wrens and many more. After lunch, we can continue to Riohacha city doing a birding stop before the city for: Double-striped Thick-knee, Limpkin and more. Tayrona NP to Riohacha: 2 hr driving.Night: Hotel Barbacoa.

Altitude and temperature range: 0 m / 0 Ft – 27 °C / 80.6 °F

Day 4
Day 4 - Flora and Fauna Sanctuary Los Flamencos NP (Guajira Region: Dry, Thorny Forest)

Our warm-up for the endemic experience in the mountains begins around this Sanctuary, we will work on regional endemics found only in the Guajira area of Colombia and Venezuela: Tocuyo Sparrow, Orinocan Saltator, Vermilion Cardinal, Chestnut Piculet, White-whiskered Spinetail, Buffy Hummingbird, Bare-eyed Pigeon, Slender-billed Tyrannulet, Northern Scrub-Flycatcher, Glaucous Tanager, Pileated Finch and more specialties.

On the salty lagoon troops of elegant American Flamingos strut very proudly, and many other aquatic species can be enjoyed. After lunch we move to Minca village. Night in Minca: Hotel Sierra Sound.

Altitude and temperature range: 0m/0Ft – 30 °C / 86 °F.

Day 5
Day 5 - Birding from Minca to El Dorado

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains foothills and medium elevations

Minca is the golden gate to the winged treasures on the mountains, the humid forest introduces us to the more enriching experience while we are getting to a higher altitude: let’s celebrate encounters of Golden-winged Sparrow, Black-and-white Owl, Red-bellied Emerald, Keel-billed Toucan, Whooping Motmot, Collared Aracari, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Orange-chinned Parakeet, Gray-headed Tanager, Swallow Tanager, Blue-black Grosbeak, Red-billed Parrot.

After lunch, we will continue birding and ascending through the Santa Marta mountains along the road to the El Dorado Reserve working on some endemics as Santa Marta Antbird, Santa Marta Tapaculo, Blossomcrown, Santa Marta Brusfinch, Santa Marta Foliage-gleaner plus other specialities.

Altitude and temperature range: 600 – 2000 m / 1968 - 6561 Ft – 24 - 18 °C / 75.2 - 64.4 °

Day 6
Day 6 - Dorado Reserve to San Lorenzo Ridge

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains, high part of the reserve

Very early we’ll move to the top of the mountain – Cuchilla de San Lorenzo - for an endemic sunrise; let's work on Santa Marta: Parakeet, Mountain Tanager, Bush-Tyrant, Brushfinch, Warbler, Antpitta plus Yellow-crowned Whitestart, Rusty-headed Spinetail, Brown-rumped Tapaculo and the near endemic Streak-capped Spinetail plus more jewels of this endemic mountains. After lunch we’ll work at the low part of the reserve to look for: Coppery Emerald, Venezuelan Tyrannulet, Black-chested Jay, Souther Emerald and Groove-billed Toucanet.

Altitude and temperature range: 2000 – 2600 m / 6561 - 8530 Ft – 18 - 8 °C / 64.4 – 46.4 °F

Day 7
Day 7 - Look for Black-fronted Wood-Quail, Golden-breasted Fruiteater and many more nice birds

This morning we will work near the lodge for: White-lored Warbler, White-tailed Starfrontlet, White-tipped Quetzal, Sierra Nevada Brushfinch, Band-tailed Guan, Black-fronted Wood-Quail, Golden-breasted Fruiteater and many more nice birds. After lunch we will begin descending toward Minca doing some birding stops on the road to look for species missed days before. Night in Minca: Hotel Sierra Sound.

Day 8
Day 8 - End of the tour

In our last morning here, we will have a short birding when leaving Minca, then we transfer to Santa Marta city for a flight to Bogotá city connection to your country.

Wildlife species expected to see:

Sapphire-bellied, Sapphire-throated Hummingbird, Rufescent-Tiger Heron, Snail Kite, Brown-throated Parakeet, Straight-billed Woodcreeper, Coloured Conebill, Bronze Cowbird, Carib Grackle, Mangrove Warbler, Laughing Falcon, Crane Hawk, Lineated Woodpecker, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Orange-chinned Parakeet, Blue-headed Parrot, White-bellied and Jet Antbird, Northern Royal Flycatcher, Lance-tailed and White-bearded Manakin, Scrub Greenlet, Buff-breasted, Bicolored Wrens, Tocuyo Sparrow, Orinocan Saltator, Vermilion Cardinal, Chestnut Piculet, White-whiskered Spinetail, Buffy Hummingbird, Bare-eyed Pigeon, Slender-billed Tyrannulet, Northern Scrub-Flycatcher, Glaucous Tanager, Pileated Finch, Golden-winged Sparrow, Black-and-white Owl, Red-bellied Emerald, Keel-billed Toucan, Whooping Motmot, Collared Aracari, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Orange-chinned Parakeet, Gray-headed Tanager, Swallow Tanager, Blue-black Grosbeak, Red-billed Parrot, Parakeet, Mountain Tanager, Bush-Tyrant, Brushfinch, Warbler, Antpitta plus Yellow-crowned Whitestart, Rusty-headed Spinetail, Brown-rumped Tapaculo, Streak-capped Spinetail, Coppery Emerald, Venezuelan Tyrannulet, Black-chested Jay, Souther Emerald, Groove-billed Toucanet, White-lored Warbler, White-tailed Starfrontlet, White-tipped Quetzal, Sierra Nevada Brushfinch, Band-tailed Guan, Black-fronted Wood-Quail, Golden-breasted Fruiteater

What is included?

  • Complete logistics
  • Full-time professional birding guidance, one day a local guide
  • Lodging in all hotels and reserves (double occupancy in all of them), food (3 meals, drinks/day and water, fruit, snacks)
  • All ground transportation during the tour
  • Pick at the airport and drop off at the airport and best vibes

What is not included?

  • Domestic flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Medical cost or hospitalization
  • Alcoholic beverages, laundry, calls, tips
  • Anything of personal nature
  • Anything else not mentioned in “What is included”
Wildlife Reviews
4.5 stars
- based on 1  reviews
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    This was an amazing week of birding! Just remember to pack some mosquito spray and your sense of adventure. I, my wife, and our son were guided by Edwin Acevedo on this trip to northern Colombia. Edwin was an outstanding guide. Knowledgeable, intrepid, amiable, and very attentive to our needs. Edwin's passion for his country and its wildlife is infectious. We learned so much, not just about its avifauna, but about its geography, culture, politics, everything. Our son has by far the most potential to be a "hardcore birder" (better eyes, ears, memory), and Edwin went to great lengths to make sure that he got to see the birds he was most keen to see. We all ended up seeing more than a hundred new species of birds on the trip, thanks to Edwin's taking us to some unique (and difficult to access!) places, and his great patience. We hope we'll have the opportunity to link up with Edwin again for another fabulous birding tour!

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Why book with Native Birding Colombia?

Native birding colombia proudly presents its schedule tours, each one is carefully thought and planned in detail, in order to leave an unforgettable birding experience in your life; thinking about you comfort, your expectations and desires, every tour is designed to visiting the best birdwatching/birding places in colombia, giving you big chances to meet and delight with our native birds: the endemic, near endemic, very restricted, beauty and rare in the land of the birds.

Pace of Tour

This is a very comfortable and accessible tour, most of the trails and roads we walk are flat, only on the mountains there are a few slopes but very smooth; no special physical requirements are needed to be part of it. In this region the sun is shining all day light. Birding days begin around 5:00 am; but a couple of mornings we’ll have to be up earlier. Coffee or a hot beverage will be taken before leaving lodgings, some breakfasts and lunch are taken in field and others at hotels, road restaurants or lodges; bottled water is provided. The group will typically return to the hotel or lodges between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. with dinner generally starting between 7:00 and 7:30 pm. We will check the bird list before or after dinner. *There are few mosquitoes in that period in places we visit Bring a good insect repellent for mosquitoes, ¡ just in case flies ! or other ones

Food

Most of the Colombian food is based on grains (beans, lentils, rice, etc) potatoes, yucca along with flesh (Beef, pork, chicken and fish), steak and salads. By other hand, in the caribbean region: Fish along with rice, salad, yucca and fish soup is the typical one, plus the ones mentioned above; in El Dorado lodge, the cuisine is very gourmet, mixing typical recipes along with modern dishes. For those vegetarians, we make arrangements to provide them with tasty dishes of that kind.

Drinks

Natural juice or soft drink is provided at dinner, and coffee or tea as well. Bottled water is provided in the field.

Transportation

Depending of the number of the group we will be moving on one comfortable Van or 4x4 vehicle on lowlands; in Santa Marta mountains 4x4 is required.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.


7 Days

Price & Availability

From
USD1,700 / per person
Based on twin/double room
Group Discount Available
Group Discount Guide
Refer to Group Discount Terms
This tour is operated by: Native Birding Colombia
4.5 based on 1 reviews

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4.5 Based on 1 reviews
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Tour Facts

  • Santa Marta Endemic Mountains & La Guajira Area
  • On Request
  • Multi-Day Tour
  • Birds
  • 2 to 8 pax
  • 7 Days
  • + 15 years
  • Leisurely
  • English & Spanish
  • El Dorado International Airport
  • El Dorado International Airport