East, Central and Southwest Colombia Birding Tour | Uncover Colombia
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Which Species Will You Add to Your List?

Spot some of the bird species you’ve been dreaming about seeing in Colombia’s breathtaking East, Central and Southwest Andes regions. The remarkable differences of the ecosystems and climates in these areas allow you to spot a wide variety of endemic species. In fact, the Río Ñambí Natural Reserve is one of the most bio-diverse regions of the world. Spot species such as Yellow-billed Pintail (Anas georgica), Colorado Duck (Anas cyanoptera), Buffy Helmetcrest (Oxypogon stuebelii), Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan (Andigena laminirostris) and more. This tour also compliments birding with cultural activities and sightseeing for a holistic birding holiday in Colombia.


EXPERIENCE TYPE Birding, Eco-Tourism & Local Traditions

Colombia Birding Holiday

Tour Highlights

Colombia Birding Tour La Florida Wetland

La Florida Regional Park

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 Holiday Chigaza Natural park

Chingaza National Natural Park

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 Holiday Rio Blanco

Rio Blanco Nature Reserve

Rio Blanco is an important IBA and conservation area that is already recognised as one of the best bird watching sites in Colombia. The reserve has an altitudinal range of between 2,239 and 3,699 meters, covers an area of 7,949 acres and protects cloud forests and paramo. More than 335 species have been recorded here, including several endemics and endangered species.

Colombia Birding Holiday Otun Quimbaya

Otun Quimbaya Fauna & Flora Sanctuary

This national protected area was created in 1996 and belongs to the "Bosques del Oriente de Risaralda" IBA. It is located on the west slope of the Central Andes in an area well recognised for its biological richness and of course its birds. The sanctuary covers 1,208 acres between 1,749 and 2,250 meters above sea level, where clouds drench the mountains with misty rains.

Paramo del Ruiz

Paramo del Ruiz is a protected area situated below Ruiz Volcano. Its landscape is a combination of paddock, elfin forest, patches of bamboo and paramo. This area is a great spot to see two near-endemic hummingbirds: the Black-thighed puffleg (Eriocnemis derbyi) and Golden-breasted puffleg (Eriocnemis mosquera).

Laguna de La Cocha

Located in the southwestern region of the Colombian Andes, La Cocha is the country's second-largest natural body of freshwater. It was recognised as a wetland of international importance under the RAMSAR convention. This Andean lake is located 2,800 meters above sea level and sits 20 kilometres from the capital city of Pasto. About 140 bird species have been registered in La Cocha, including threatened species related to high Andean wetlands such as Yellow-billed Pintail (Anas georgica) and Colorado Duck (Anas cyanoptera). This beautiful lake is also houses a large number of migratory boreal and austral birds.

Colombia Birding Holiday

Fauna & Flora Sanctuary Isla de La Corota

This peaceful island is located in Laguna de La Cocha and is the smallest natural protected area in Colombia. It is an integral part of the entire wetland ecosystem of La Cocha and is the perfect place to spot aquatic birds.

Colombia Birding Holiday

La Planada Nature Reserve

Located in the Pacific side of the Andes Mountains, La Planada is part of the Chocó biogeographic region. It is one of the most bio-diverse coastal tropical rainforests in the world. Nearly 283 bird species have been registered here including endemic and endangered species such as the Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan (Andigena laminirostris). La Planada Nature Reserve is also a great place to observe spectacled bears, the last remaining short-faced bear species.

Colombia Birding Holiday

Río Ñambí Nature Reserve

Nestled in the Pacific coastal foothills of Nariño (one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world) this nature reserve is an IBA with 354 registered bird species. At Rio Ñambí, we will find a great community of hummingbirds (31 species), as well as an extensive variety of butterflies and large animals such as the ocelot, the jaguar and the anteater. At night, we can observe nocturnal plants and animals, such as fluorescent fungus.

Colombia Birding Holiday

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 Holiday

Visit to a Coffee Plantation

During the tour, you will have the opportunity to visit an authentic, functioning coffee farm to learn about the planting, picking, drying and roasting processes that culminate in your morning cup of coffee.

Colombia Birding Holiday

Santuario de las Lajas

This sanctuary is one of the most unique churches in the world. It was built atop a bridge spanning a gorge below the village of Las Lajas.

Detailed Itinerary

Arrive in Bogota

Day 1

We will meet you at the airport to take you to your hotel in Bogota. In the evening, we will have a welcome dinner.

Overnight: Bogota - Hotel Hacienda Royal              

Meal Plan: Dinner  

AM Birding at La Florida

PM Flight to Pereira

Day 2

Your first birding experience starts at La Florida Park, a small wetland considered the best spot to see the Bogota Rail (Rallus semiplumbeus) and other endemic species. Then, we will eat lunch and take an afternoon flight to Pereira, where you will spend the night at a coffee farm. You may even see some birds surrounding the house and the green areas of the farm.

Overnight: Coffee region - Hotel Finca del Cafe

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

AM Coffee Plantation

PM Otun Quimbaya

Day 3

Since coffee production is an important part of Colombia’s culture, we will start the day by visiting the coffee plantation of the farm to learn all the details of the coffee-making process, from planting the coffee beans all the way through the picking and roasting process. We will finish this experience with a great cup of coffee before starting the journey towards Otun Quimbaya. You will spend the afternoon and early evening birding at this beautiful flora and fauna sanctuary where clouds drench the mountains with misty rain and where more than 300 bird species can be seen.

Overnight: Otun Quimbaya Lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

AM Otun Quimbaya

PM Rio Blanco

Day 4

We will spend the morning exploring the natural reserve where Cauca Guan (Penelope perspicax) and Chesnut Wood-Quail (Odontophorus hyperythrus) amongst many others bird species can be spotted. Then, we will go to Rio Blanco, one of Colombia’s best birding sites and a very interesting place for lovers of skulking species.

Overnight: Rio Blanco Lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Rio Blanco Nature Reserve

Day 5

We will spend the day exploring this reserve and have the chance to see no less than seven species of Antpitta, including the endemic Brown-banded (Grallaria milleri) and the near-endemic Bicoloured Antpitta (Grallaria rufocinerea), plus 5 species of Tapaculo, including Ash-coloured (Myornis senilis) and Ocellated (Acropternis orthonyx)

Overnight: Rio Blanco Lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

AM Paramo del Ruiz

PM Flight to Bogota - Guasca

Day 6

Paramo del Ruiz is a protected area situated below Ruiz Volcano. Its landscape is a combination of paddock, elfin forest, patches of bamboo and paramo. This area is a great spot to see two near-endemic hummingbirds: the Black-thighed puffleg (Eriocnemis derbyi) and Golden-breasted puffleg (Eriocnemis mosquera). We will go to a hummingbird observatory to see nearly 25 bird species. In the afternoon, we will fly to Bogota and then transfer to Guasca.

Overnight: Guasca - Hotel Cafe de la Huerta

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Bosque Guajira

Day 7

We will spend the day birding in Bosque Guajira (Guajira Forest). In this forest, you can see some of the following bird species: the Spinetail Silvery-throated (Synallaxis subpudica), Rufous- browed Conebill (Conirostrum rufum), Sword Billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera). Also, when walking in the forest, we may be able to admire the Chestnut-crowned antpitta (Grallaria blakei), some mountain tanagers and several hummingbirds at feeders strategically placed along the way.

Overnight: Guasca - Hotel Cafe de la Huerta

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

AM Chingaza Natural Park

PM Hummingbird Observatory

Day 8

We will continue our birding experience around Chingaza Natural Park. This area is famous because of its spectacular scenery of montane elfin forest and paramo. Plus, this is where you can find most of the Eastern Andean highland (near) endemic bird species. We will also visit a quaint hummingbird observatory to spend a few hours enjoying nearly 25 species of hummingbirds feeding in the gardens surrounding the Spanish-style house.

Overnight: Bogota - Hotel Hacienda Royal

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

AM City Tour in Bogota

PM Travel to Pasto – Transfer to La Cocha

Day 9

We will spend the day visiting the historic area of Bogota, La Candelaria. This neighbourhood is adorned with interesting architectural styles and museums. We will admire the world's largest collection of pre-Hispanic gold at the Gold Museum and get panoramic views of the city from the top of Cerro de Monserrate. In the afternoon, we will fly to Pasto and then go to La Cocha, Colombia’s biggest natural lake.

Overnight: La Cocha - Hotel Chalet Guamez

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

La Cocha

Day 10

There are more than 50 natural reserves around La Cocha. One of the best reserves is El Encanto, which covers nearly 2.5 ha of paramo. The Grey-breated Mountain Tucan is surprisingly common here. The Mountain Cacique (cacicus chrysonotus), Speckle-faced (pionus tumultuosus) and Bronze-winnged parrots (Pionus chalcopterus) amongst other species can also be spotted. We will also spend some time at La Corota Island to see even more bird species.

Overnight: La Cocha - Hotel Chalet Guamez

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

AM La Cocha

PM Las Lajas – Ipiales

Day 11

We will spend the morning exploring another natural reserve around La Cocha before travelling to the magnificent Sanctuary of Las Lajas, one of the most unique churches in the world. It was built atop a bridge spanning a gorge below the village of Las Lajas. We will spend the night in Ipiales.

Overnight: Ipiales

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Birding at Rio Ñambí

Day 12

Today we will go to Río Ñambí Natural Reserve, located in one of the most biodiverse regions of the world. This reserve protects nearly 1,000 ha of pristine rain forest with a high degree of endemism. It is a paradise for observing specialties of the Western Andes and Pacific Rainforest that are difficult to see elsewhere. We will have the opportunity to see more than 30 hummingbird species. The evening is to explore the reserve and see the unique fluorescent fungus and other plants and nocturnal animals.

Overnight: Rio Ñambí Lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

AM Rio Ñambí

PM La Planada

Day 13

We will continue exploring Rio Ñambí in the morning and have the chance to see the near endemic Violet-tailed Sylph (Aglaiocercus coelestis) and Rufous-breasted Antthrush (Formicarious rufipectus) amongst other birds. Then, we will go to La Planada, a natural reserve located in the Pacific slope of the Eastern Andes. This reserve covers 3,200 ha of primary and secondary wet forest with more than 283 species registered here, including the Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan (Andigena laminirostris) and Club-winged Manakin (Machaeropterus deliciosus).

Overnight: La Planada Lodge

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

AM La Planada

PM Flight to Bogota

Day 14

We will continue exploring other sectors in La Planada Nature Reserve to see more birds, possibly including near-threatened species such as the Orange-fronted Barbet (Capito squamatus) and the Toucan Barbet (Semnornis ramphastinus). Then, we will go to the airporrt for a flight back to Bogota.

Overnight: Bogota - Hotel Hacienda Royal

Meal Plan: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

End of the tour - Flight back Home

Day 15

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

Meal Plan: Breakfast

What's Included

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

What's Not Included

  • International flights
  • Meals not listed in the itinerary
  • Tips and other discretionary expenses

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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