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A Unique Birding Experience in Colombia

During this birding tour in Colombia, you will travel from Bogota in the Eastern Andes to the incredible Mid-Magdalena Valley. This journey will give birders the opportunity to spot fascinating species such as the endemic Blue-billed Curassow (Crax alberti), Apolinar's Wren (Cistothorus apolinari), White-mantled Barbet (Capito hypoleucus), Indigo-capped hummingbird (Amazilia cyanifrons) and many more.  Then, you will visit Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the highest coastal mountain range and the best place to see the highest concentration of endemic birds in South America. You will finish this adventure in the amazing city of Cartagena.


EXPERIENCE TYPE Birding, Eco-Tourism & Local Traditions

Colombia Birding Trip

Tour Highlights

Colombia Birding Trip

La Florida Regional Park (IBA)

La Florida is a green heaven of nearly 200 acres inside the urban matrix of Bogotá. At this park, you will have the opportunity to see over 40 species, including endemic and threatened bird species. The lake has an area of open water and some reeds along the borders, great for spotting rails, ducks and other wetland specialities.

Colombia Birding Trip Chingaza Natural Park

Chingaza National Natural Park (IBA)

Chingaza National Natural Park covers 190,000 acres of paramo, Andean forests and East Andean foothill forests. Most of the park is covered by the paramo ecosystem where you will find a variety of birds, including the Colombian national bird: the majestic Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus).

Colombia Birding Trip El Paujil

El Paujil Reserve

The American Bird Conservancy and the Global Conservation Fund created this tranquil reserve in 2003. Their goal was to protect the endemic Blue-billed Curassow (Crax alberti) because it was critically close to extinction. Spanning 8,449 acres, with altitudes between 150 and 1,200 meters above sea level, this reserve is a prime spot to see exotic species.

Colombia Birding Trip Rio Claro

Rio Claro

Located about 3 hours from Medellin, Rio Claro Reserve is a humid tropical forest where you can find different ecosystems that accommodate more than 350 different bird species. The reserve has interesting landscapes and sits along a beautiful river.

Colombia Birding Trip

Historic Centre of Bogota

The capital city of Colombia has grown around La Candelaria, the famous colonial neighbourhood where most of the historic sites, museums and ancient churches are located. Practically every street corner in La Candelaria marks an important event in Colombian history.

Colombia Birding Trip

Honda

Boasting colourful colonial buildings and cobblestone streets, Honda has all the charm of well-known Cartagena, but without all the crowds. The tranquil town, located about 3.5 hours from Bogota, is known for its warm climate, friendly people and various bridges that cross the mighty Magdalena River.

Colombia Birding Trip

Medellin

Known as the “City of Eternal Spring” because of its mild climate, Medellin is Colombia’s second-largest city. It was once infamous for its dangerous past, but now visitors can safely enjoy the city’s many tranquil parks, fascinating museums, vibrant nightlife and historical sites. Medellin has truly reinvented itself as a unique metropolitan destination snuggled between the mountains.

Colombia Birding Tour

El Dorado Bird Reserve

This reserve protects some 1,729 acres of cloud forest between 900 and 2,599 meters above sea level and was created to protect part of this important area of endemism called Cuchilla de San Lorenzo, which is part of the buffer zone of Sierra de Santa Marta National Park.

City Tour in Cartagena

Cartagena de Indias is one of the most fascinating, romantic and beautiful colonial cities in Latin America. Located on the Caribbean coast, this UNESCO World Heritage site is full of history, colourful streets and friendly people, making it a fairy tale city of romance.

City Tour in Santa Marta

Santa Marta, founded by the Spanish conquistador Rodrigo de Bastidas in 1525, is the oldest city in South America. The city is rich in history and well-preserved colonial architecture. Santa Marta is also the home of the Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, where the national hero, Simon Bolivar, died in 1830.

Detailed Itinerary

Arrive in Bogota

Day 1

Upon arrival in Bogota, we will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel.

Overnight: Bogota - Hotel Hacienda Royal

Meal Plan: None

AM Birding in La Florida

PM Visit to Gold Museum and La Candelaria

Day 2

Early in the morning (5 am), we will pick you up at the hotel for a birding tour to La Florida Regional Park. La Florida is a wetland in the western area the Bogota, where you will have the opportunity to see some of the special endemic bird species found in this area, such as: the Bogotá Rail (Rallus semiplumbeus), Apolinar's Wren (Cistothorus apolinari apolinari) and Noble Snipe (Gallinago Nobilis).

After visiting La Florida, we will transfer you back to your hotel where you will have some time on your own. At 2 pm, we will pick you up from your hotel and take you to see the most iconic places in Bogota's historic centre. We will visit the Gold Museum, Monserrate, Botero Museum and then walk around the historic neighbourhood of La Candelaria.

Overnight: Bogota - Hotel Hacienda Royal

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Welcome Dinner

AM Birding in Chingaza Natural Park

PM Hummingbird Observatory Visit

Day 3

Early in the morning, we will pick you up from your hotel and head to Chingaza Natural Park, an Important Bird Area about 2 hours outside of Bogota. You will spend about 4 hours at Chingaza with an expert guide where you could see the majestic Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus).

Afterwards, we will transfer you to La Calera to visit a beautiful hummingbird observatory. Watch these colourful creatures flit around the quaint courtyard of this grand old observatory snuggled between the mountains. We will also take you to eat a traditional Colombian lunch, where you will learn a little more about Colombian culture. Afterwards, we will take you back to Bogota and drop you off at your hotel.

Overnight: Bogota - Hotel Hacienda Royal

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch

AM Hummingbird Jardin Encantado

PM Honda

Day 4

After breakfast, we will head to San Francisco, a small town located about 1.5 hours from Bogota. There, we will visit Jardin Encantado, a beautiful house where you will observe various species of hummingbirds. Since the altitude at Jardin Encantado is different than the previous day’s observatory, you will get the chance to see different species.

Later in the day, we will head to Honda, an important river port. The sunny town was critical to Colombia’s development thanks to its proximity to the Magdalena River. We will eat lunch then take a tour of the charming historic centre, where you will see colonial buildings and tranquil town squares.

Overnight: Honda

Meal PlanBreakfast, Lunch, Dinner

AM Cuchilla de Bellavista

PM Laguna de Guarinocito

Day 5

Early in the morning, we will head to Cuchilla de Bellavista, located in the small town of Victoria and about 1 hour from Honda. You will have the chance to spot birds in this humid forest environment. Around noon, we will eat lunch and take a short break.

After the break, we will head to Laguna de Guarinocito, which is located about 30 minutes from Victoria. We will take a boat to visit the lagoon and we’ll have the opportunity to see more than 90 bird species. We will transfer you back to the hotel in Honda at the end of the day.

Overnight: Honda

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

El Paujil Reserve

Day 6

After breakfast, we will begin our trip to El Paujil Reserve, located about 5 hours from Honda. After arriving to this nature reserve, we will eat lunch and take a break to relax.

In the middle of the afternoon, we will take a short hike through the reserve to begin spotting the some 360 registered bird species. Among these species, 7 species are endemic, 8 are near-endemic and 8 are endangered.

Overnight: El Paujil Lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

El Paujil Reserve

Day 7

Early in the morning, we will continue birding in the reserve. We will have some time for lunch, then continue birding in the afternoon.

Overnight: El Paujil Lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

AM El Paujil Reserve

PM Rio Claro Reserve

Day 8

We will take our final birding tour through El Paujil Reserve in the morning. After eating lunch, we will travel by road for about 4 hours to reach Rio Claro Reserve.

After arriving to Rio Claro, we will have some time to rest. The reserve sits between two mountains. Thanks to its unique location and micro-climates that facilitate different habitats, you will have the chance to see a large variety of bird species, including: the Colombian Chachalaca (Ortalis columbiana), White-mantled Barbet (Capito hypoleucus), Beautiful Woodpecker (Melanerpes pulcher) and Sooty Ant-Tanager (Habia gutturalis).

Overnight: Rio Claro Reserve Lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Rio Claro Reserve

Day 9

Early in the morning, we will continue birding in the reserve. We will have some time for lunch, then continue birding in the afternoon.

Overnight: Rio Claro Lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

AM Rio Claro Reserve

PM Medellin

Day 10

We will take our final birding tour through Rio Claro Reserve in the morning. After eating lunch, we will head to Medellin, located about 3 hours from Rio Claro. We will drop you off at the hotel in Medellin and you will have the rest of the night to relax or explore the “City of Eternal Spring” on your own.

Overnight: Medellin - Hotel Poblado Plaza

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch

Medellin City Tour

Day 11

We will pick you from your hotel and take you on a city tour of Medellin. You will visit the most interesting parts of the city, including Plaza Botero and the Botero Museum. You will also get a chance to ride the Medellin metro and visit Comuna 13, a previously dangerous neighbourhood that is now adorned with graffiti art

Overnight: Medellin - Hotel Poblado Plaza

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch

Flight to Santa Marta. City tour in Santa Marta and Transfer to El Dorado

Day 12

In the morning, we will fly to Santa Marta, the oldest surviving city in South America. In Santa Marta, we will spend some time learning about Colombia’s history during a visit to Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino, where Simon Bolivar, the commander-in-chief of the patriot army who liberated Colombia from Spanish rule, died in 1830. Then, we will go to El Dorado, a bird reserve located in the foothills of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and known as the reserve with the highest concentration of endemic birds in South America

Overnight: El Dorado Lodge
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Birding at El Dorado Bird Reserve

Day 13

We will start the day birding at La Cuchilla de San Lorenzo, a small mountain ridge separated from the main Santa Marta mountain by a deep valley. Its highest point is 2,700 metres, which is high enough to find most of the endemic bird species in the area.

Overnight: El Dorado Lodge
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Birding at El Dorado Bird Reserve

Day 14

Today, we will carry on birding at El Dorado

Overnight: El Dorado Lodge
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

Transfer to Cartagena and City tour

Day 15

After breakfast, we will start our journey towards Cartagena. It will take approximately 4.5 hrs. Cartagena is one of the most beautiful cities in South America and is worth to spending a day walking around the cobbled streets of the old town and visiting the main historic sites. You will be amazed by the walls surrounding the city and Castillo de San Felipe, the greatest and strongest fortress ever built by the Spaniards in any of their colonies. It defended the city from many attacks, including a British siege in 1741.  

Overnight: Cartagena - Hotel Casa de la Fe
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch

 

Mangrove Forest in La Boquilla

Day 16

In the morning, we will go to La Boquilla, a small fishing village located 7 km north of Cartagena. At La Boquilla, we will take a trip in a wooden canoe across the mangroves in La Cienga de Tesca. During this trip, we will be able to see native and migratory birds and learn about the flora and other fauna found in this ecosystem. We will also learn how to traditionally fish. We will visit the key places in the town like the cemetery, the main street and the cultural house. We will also have a traditional lunch in the village. In the afternoon, we will take a flight back to Bogota.

Overnight: Bogota - Hotel Hacienda Royal              
Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Farewell Dinner

End of the tour - Flight back home

Day 17

At the time requested, we will transfer you to the airport for your international flight back home.

Note: Check out before 12pm

Meal Plan: Breakfast

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • Airport pick up and drop off
  • 16 nights' accommodation (double occupancy)
  • Private ground transport
  • Domestic flights
  • Meals as defined in the itinerary
  • Birding and local tour guides fluent in English
  • Entry tickets to natural parks and reserves included in the itinerary
  • Entry tickets to museums and tourist locations included in the itinerary

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • International or domestic flights
  • Meals not listed in the itinerary
  • Tips and other discretionary expenses
  • Early check in or late check out

Accommodations

We have carefully chosen the right accommodations with different styles and standards depending on the cities, small towns or natural reserves visited. We personally ensure that each property has the right combination of features such as cleanliness, location, friendly staff and good service.

THANK YOU

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