COLOMBIA: Santa Marta Birding Getaway
BIRDS & WILDLIFE
From: $5,250 (See details)
Cost is per person, double occupancy from Barranquilla, Colombia (BAQ)
6 - 10 Participants
2022: 10 spaces available
2023: 10 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: Santa Marta Birding Getaway
Description of COLOMBIA: Santa Marta Birding Getaway
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 1900 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!
Length of Tour
Day 1 – Barranquilla
Day 2 – Riohacha
Day 3 – La Minca /
Day 4 – Drive to El Dorado Lodge
Days 5 through 7 – Santa Marta Mountains
Day 8 – Back to Barranquilla
Day 9 – Fly home OR continue to Bogota Endemics optional extension
Day 1 – Barranquilla
Flights arrive in the evening… night in Barranquilla.
Day 2 – Birding Riohacha
We will visit Isla Salamaca looking for Chestnut Piculet and, we search the mangroves for Sapphire-throated Hummingbird, Brown-throated Parakeet, Bicolored Conebill, Northern Scrub-Flycatcher, Panama Flycatcher and Red-rumped Woodpecker. We will have lunch on the road at one of many great Colombian restaurants. In the afternoon we will drive to Rio Hacha La Guajira.
Day 3 – La Minca / Guajira Peninsula
This arid corner of Colombia holds a number of birds shared only with Venezuela. We will leave early to take advantage of the cool morning hours, driving about an hour to Los Flamencos reserve, named for the large flocks of glowing Caribbean Flamingos that live there among the Roseate Spoonbills and thousands of wintering shorebirds.
The specialty birds occur in the nearby dry scrub, and we’ll look for White-whiskered Spinetail, Slender-billed Inezia, Orinoco Saltator, Glaucous Tanager, Tocuyo Sparrow scare, Red-billed Emerald, Vermilion Cardinal, Green-rumped Parrotlet, Black-crested Antshrike, White-fringed Antwren and others. Afternoon drive to Minca where a nice lodge in the Minca town now has hummingbird feeders where we may see Black-throated Mango, Rufous-breasted Hermit, Red-billed Emerald and more.
Day 4 – Drive to El Dorado Birding Lodge
We’ll start birding uphill from La Minca to El Dorado. It is good birding looking for Rufous-breasted and Rufous-and-White Wren, Scaled Piculet, Keel-billed Toucan, Golden-winged sparrow, Gray-hooded Tanager and more. On the way to the Dorado we will stop for a drink in at la tined where they have hummingbird feeders for Long-billed Hermit and Santha Martha Woodstar plus we’ll search for White-lored Warbler and Santha Martha Foliage Gleaner.
Days 5 through 7 – Santa Marta Mountains
The next few days in the Santa Marta Mountains we will be moving up and down hill, birding the roads. This mountain range has the tallest peaks in Colombia and 19 endemic bird species 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, the stolid 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 nice White-tailed Starfrontlet, Streak-capped Spinetail, Santa Martha 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. Other feathered gems that put gleams of lust into the eyes of visiting birders include Blossomcrown, White-tipped Quetzal, Emerald Toucanet, Golden-breasted Fruiteater, and Rusty-breasted Antpitta.
Day 8 – Back to Barranquilla, Colombia
Today is a cleaning day… we’ll look for the species that we may have missed before driving to Barranquilla.
Day 9 – Fly home OR continue to Colombia: Bogota Endemics tour
Cost is $5,250 per person, based upon double occupancy, from Barranquilla, Colombia (Airport code BAQ).
This trip ends in Barranquilla, Colombia (Airport code BAQ).
If a single room is preferred, or we are unable to find a suitable roommate for you, a single supplement fee of $500 will be assessed.
A $500 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.
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.
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)
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 recommend purchasing Travel Insurance to help cover your investment, for covered reasons. 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.