COLOMBIA 21-Days Birding with Tom Stephenson
BIRDS & WILDLIFE
From: $8,850 (See details)
Cost is per person, double occupancy from Barranquilla, Colombia (BAQ)
6 - 10 Participants
7 spaces available
PRIVATE TOUR OPTION
This tour is available as a private trip for any size group. The tour cost will vary with the number of people and any custom requests.
Highlights of COLOMBIA 21-Days Birding with Tom Stephenson
Description of COLOMBIA 21-Days Birding with Tom Stephenson
After many years, Colombia is back on the birding radar! Simply put, more species of birds have been recorded in Colombia than in any other country in the world—to date nearly 2000 species.
The Santa Marta region is one of the most endemic-rich sites in Colombia and also one of the most accessible. These high, pyramid-shaped mountains rise up from the shores of the Caribbean to nearly twenty thousand feet! Over twenty endemic species reside among this stunning scenery here! The Pacific coast will offer even more endemics and many familiar species, too, plus the rich history of Cartagena. The mountains around Bogota will include many new hummingbirds, tanagers and more!
Length of Tour
Day 1: Arrive in Barranquilla and transfer to local hotel.
Day 2: Drive to Rio Hacha
We will have an early start to go to seek our first endemic, the Chestnut-winged Chachalaca, finding many other great birds along the way.Afterward, a short drive will take us to Salamaca Wetlandas where we will seek Russet-throated Puffbird, White-headed Marsh-tyrant, Pearl Kite, Northern Screamer, Bicolored and Stripe-backed Wrens. After a great first morning of birding, we will drive to Rio Hacha on the way we will have a delicious lunch.
We will plan to have some stops on the way to our hotel, we will look for White-bellied Antbird, Lance-tailed Manakin and maybe see the rare Gray-capped Cuckoo.
Night in Rio Hacha.
Day 3: Rio Hacha / Along the Caribbean
Today we will visit the Los Flamencos National Park, a dry forest where we will seek White-whiskered Spinetail, Chestnut Piculet, Bare-eyed Pigeon, Northern Scrub Flycathcer, Buffy Hummingbird, Oricnoco Saltator, Pale-tipped and Slender Billed Inexias. We will stop at the lagoon to check for Scarlet Ibis, terns, flamingos and more. We will enjoy our lunch overlooking the Caribbean sea.
After lunch we will We will explore Cari-cari Road enjoying many new birds as we look for the localized Tocuyo Sparrow.
Night In Rio Hacha.
Day 4: Drive to La Minca
This morning we will seek any species that we may have missed. After lunch we will drive to Minca town.
Arriving at our hotel, we will enjoy the busy hummingbird feeders around the hotel. Expect White-vented Plumeleteer, Steely-vented Hummingbird, White-necked Jacabin and many Others.
Night in la Minca.
Day 5: Drive higher to El Dorado Lodge
More endemics will be added to our list today as we climb in elevation, El Dorado lodge is located at 8200 ft. Some of our trip today will require 4X4 vehicles, driving up the mountain in an dry riverbed. We will stop along the way to seek the Golden-winged Sparrow, Scaled Piculet and Black-chested Jay, possibly finding a roosting Black-and-White Owl.
Closer to the lodge we may find Santa Marta Foliagle Gleaner, Blossomcrown, Santa Marta Woodstar and more. We will enjoy our lunch at the lodge and a relaxing afternoon around the Lodge where there are many endemics before a wonderful sunset over the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
Night in El Dorado Lodge.
Day 6-7-8: El Dorado Lodge
We will enjoy a beautiful sunrise over the mountains each morning to begin our day. We will be moving up and down hill along the mountain roads seeking the nineteen endemic bird species that are currently recognized as well as more than seventy subspecies, some of which will likely be raised to species level in the near future.
We’ll make the most of our time here, covering all the elevations accessible by road and having picnic lunches in the field. The higher elevations hold flocks of screeching Santa Marta Parakeets, Yellow-crowned Redstarts, Santa Marta Warblers, Santa Marta Bush-Tyrant, Brown-rumped Tapaculo, Rusty-headed Spinetail and the “soon to be split” local race of Rufous Antpitta.
At the feeders we will see the beautiful White-tailed Starfrontlet, Streak-capped Spinetail, Santa Marta Mountain-Tanager, and Santa Marta Antpitta. Around the lodge clearing is the best spot for Santa Marta Brush-Finch and lots of endemic subspecies including Cinnamon Flycatcher, Black-hooded Thrush, Blue-capped Tanager and Emerald Toucanet. We will also hope to see Santa Marta Tapaculo. Other feathered gems include White-tipped Quetzal, Golden-breasted Fruiteater, and Rusty-breasted Antpitta.
Nights in El Dorado Lodge.
Day 9: Return to Barranquilla
Today we will seek any species that we had missed before we drive from EL Dorado Lodge to Barranquilla. We will visit Salamanca in the afternoon to seek Bicolored Conebill, Sulphur-bellied Hummingbird and others.
Night in Barranquilla.
Day 10: Drive to Cartagena
Today we will drive to Cartagena City. Upon arrival you will have a free afternoon to relax or explore on your own. Night in Cartagena.
Day 11: Cartagena
Today we will enjoy a relaxing opportunity to explore the historic city of Cartagena.
Night in Cartagena.
DAY 12: Flights to Bogota (or home for some)
Today, We will fly to Bogota and then drive to Observatorio de los Colibris. Here we will seek Blue-throated Starfrontlet, White-bellied Woodstar, Black-tailed and Green-tailed Trainbearer, Glowing and Coppery-bellied Pufflegs among others.
Nigh in Bogota.
Day 13: Bogota City Tour
Today we will enjoy a relaxing opportunity to explore the historic city of Bogota.
Night in Bogota.
Day 14: Drive to Libano
Today we will start early to visit the Florida Park In Bogota. The marshes here are fine habitat for Silver-throated Spinetail, Bogota Rail and Apolinaris Wren, all Colombian endemics. We will also enjoy other birds in the area like Yellow-hooded Blackbird, Southern Lapwing, Wattled Jacana and more.
Mid-morning we will start driving down hill to San Francisco to Jardin Encando. There we will enjoy the hummingbird feeders seeking the endemic Indigo-capped Hummingbird, as well as Lazunile Sabrewing, White-bellied Woodstar and maybe even Ruby-topaz Hummingbird.
We will enjoy our lunch in a local restaurant before driving to El Libano. On the way we will stop at Laguna de Hato to seek Yellow-chinned Spinetail, Vetvet-fronted Euphonia, Apical Flycatcher and Russet-throated Puffbird.
Night in Libano.
Day 15: Manizales
Early morning we will visit a nice forest patch close to the town, we will look for the endemic Yellow-headed Brush Finch plus other specialties like Black-headed Brush Finch, Highland Motmot, Violet-crowed Woodnymph, White-naped Brush Finch and possibly Tolima Dove.
After lunch we will drive to Manizales.
Night in Manizales
Day 16: Manizales
This morning we will visit the Rio Blanco reserve, where the rangers are feeding antpittas. We hope to enjoy good views Brown-banded, Chestnut-crowned, Slate crowned and Bicolored Antpittas. We will spend the rest of the day exploring the trails seeking mixed feeding flocks. Other birds found may included White-capped Tanager, Sickle-winged Guan, Black-collared Jay, Black-billed Mountain Toucan and Dusky Piha and Ocellated Tapaculos. In the afternoon we will relax and enjoy the hummingbird feeders. Maybe with luck Rusty-faced Parrots will join us.
Night Recinto el Pensamiento Manizales
Day 17: Today we will visit Nevado del Ruiz, an area between 9500 ft. to over 12000 ft. We will look for the endemic Buffy Helmetcrest plus Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, Stout-billed Cinclodes, Golden-crowned Tanager and Black-backed Bush-Tanager.
We’ll stop at Laguna Negra to see Andean Duck and Andean Teal. In the surrounding elfin forest we look for Crowned Chat-Tyrant, Paramo Tapaculo, Golden-breasted Puffleg, Sedge Wren, Plain-colored Seedeater, Andean Tit-Spinetai, Crowned Chat-Tyrant, White-chinned Thistletail and Black-backed Bush-Tanager. We’ll also look for the endemic Rufous-fronted Parakeet, which is quite rare.
Later we’ll visit the hummingbirds feeders at Las Termales hoping to see Black-thighed Puffleg, Shining Sunbeam, Buff-winged Starfronlet, Great Saphirewing and more. Afterward we will drive to Otun Quimbaya Reserve, with hopes of seeing the Cuaca Guan and Red-ruffed Fruitcrow and more.
Night at Otun-Quimbaya Reserve.
Day 18: Drive to Medellin
We’ll spend the morning birding around the grounds before we begin our drive to Medellin.
Night in Medellin
Day 19: El Jardin
We’ll visit La Romera Park looking for Red-bellied Grackle, Yellow-headed Manakin, Colombian Chachalaca, Stile’s Tapaculo, Black-billed Peppershrike, Rufous-naped Greenlet, Pale-naped Brush-finch and more. Then we will drive to El Jardin planning to arriving on time to enjoy the Cock-of-the-Rock lek.
Night in El Jardin.
Day 20: Return to Bogota
Today, we will visit the Yellow-eared Parrot reserve, it is the best area to look for the nearly endemic Yellow-eared Parrot, but we will also look for the Dusky Starfrontlet, White-capped Tanager, Ocellated Tapaculo, Barred Fruiteater and many more. After some great birding we will leave for Medellin to catch our flight to Bogota.
Night in Bogota.
Day 21: RETURN HOME
Cost is $8,850 per person, based upon double occupancy, from Barranquilla, Colombia (Airport code BAQ).
This trip ends in Bogota, Colombia (Airport code BOG).
If a single room is preferred, or we are unable to find a suitable roommate for you, a single supplement fee of $925 will be assessed.
A $1,000 deposit per person is required to hold each space on this tour. Deposit may be made online by clicking the "Book Your Trip Now" button and using any credit card. If you prefer, you may call us at 888-875-9453 to pay by phone. You may also mail us a check, however, remember that all space is held on a first come-first served basis as deposits are received.
If fewer than the minimum number of required participants are registered, we may still be able to run the trip by adding a small-group supplement fee, per person, determined by the number of participants registered.
How to Book
In order to hold your space, click the "Book Your Trip Now" button above and complete the deposit process, including payment of the deposit through our Paypal portal using ANY CREDIT CARD. Upon completion of deposit, please visit our secure, online CLIENT INFORMATION FORM to complete your registration.
For all land-based tours: full payment by check is due 120 days prior to the departure date.
For all boat-based adventure cruises of 7-days or longer: full payment by check is required 180 days prior to departure.
NOTE: If you prefer to use credit card for final payment, a 3% fee may be added to cover the credit card merchant fees we incur.
The El Dorado Lodge, main house.
Activity Level Rating: 3 (Note: 1 is easy and 5 is difficult)
Some of the roads are extremely rough. Some trails are difficult and at higher elevations.
Recommended Field Guide:
Birds of Colombia
by Steven L. Hilty and William L. Brown
(Princeton University Press, 1986)
If you can not get a hold of a copy of the Hilty/Brown book, then I suggest
A Field Guide to the Birds of Colombia
by Miles McMullan, Thomas M. Donegan and Alonso Quevedo
(Fundacion ProAves, 2010)
Smoking is not permitted at any time during our tour.
Do not purchase your flights until the trip has been confirmed to go.
Detailed Trip Information
Upon notification that final payment is due (120 days prior to departure for land based tours / 180 days for boat based tours), you will receive a trip package of detailed information for your tour.
Any additional information about the trip, including lodgings, contacts, participants, meeting locations, etc., will sent about 2 weeks prior to the trip departure, or after final payment is received for late registrants.
As with all tours, we highly recommend purchasing Travel Insurance to cover your investment. Please see our section on Travel Insurance.
Passport & Visa
US Citizens may require a visa to enter certain foreign countries. See above for any required visa information.
Participants arriving to the USA from a foreign country may need to get a travel visa to enter the United States. Be sure to check the requirements for your country of origin.
The trip itinerary is developed many months ahead of time. Occasionally, despite our best planning, changes may occur during the trip, or we may be forced to alter our plans. Changes may occur because of weather, road conditions, safety concerns or other circumstances. In these situations, it is the leader(s) responsibility to carefully consider and implement appropriate alternatives. Any additional costs incurred because of changes will be the responsibility of each individual participant. Refunds will not be issued as a result of itinerary changes.