Overview

Colombia birding is undoubtedly the most diverse, exciting birding destination on Earth. With two coastlines, four cordilleras and a vast expanse of Amazonian rainforest habitats, one could spend years searching out all the natural wonders it holds. So, how many birds could one see in a month – 600 species? 800? On this intrepid tour, we expect 1 000 species of birds in less than a month – and we have already achieved this on four occasions!! In our quest to accomplish this incredible feat, we will traverse all three Andean Cordilleras and explore the depths of the Magdalena and Cauca Valleys. From the white sand and terra firme forests of Mitu, to the humid Choco, we will sample the richest rainforests in the country. Finally, from the dry Caribbean coast, up lush slopes to San Lorenzo Ridge, we will enjoy the best of the legendary, endemic-rich Santa Marta Mountains. This Colombia birding tour is the most comprehensive offer to experience the most biodiverse nation in the world!

Flights to Mitu are operated by a single airline, with a variable schedule. It is highly likely that the tour logistics will require adjustments closer to departure once the flight schedules are confirmed.

Tour Facts Top Birds
Bogota Rail, Cauca Guan, Chestnut-winged & Colombian Chachalacas, Chestnut Wood Quail, Noble Snipe, Red-fan, Yellow-eared & Rusty-faced Parrots, Golden-plumed, Rufous-fronted, Barred, Santa Marta & Flame-winged Parakeets, Santa Marta Screech Owl, White-tipped Quetzal, Pompadour & Purple-breasted Cotingas, Guianan Cock-of-the-rock, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Red-bellied Grackle, Black-collared Jay, Beautiful Woodpecker, Orinoco Piculet, White-mantled Barbet, Brown-banded, Slaty-crowned & Bicolored Antpittas, Grey-cheeked Nunlet, Brown-banded Puffbird, Antioquia Bristle Tyrant, Pale-bellied, Narino, Stiles’s & Alto Pisones Tapaculos, Orange-breasted Fruiteater, Silvery-throated Spinetail, Bar-crested Antshrike, Turquoise Dacnis, Bronze-tailed Thornbill, Sapphire-bellied, Indigo-capped & Shining-green Hummingbirds, Santa Marta Blossomcrown, Black Inca, Empress Brilliant, Blue-throated Starfrontlet, Buffy Helmetcrest, Black-thighed & Coppery-bellied Pufflegs, Pacific Tuftedcheek, White-tailed Hillstar, Fiery Topaz, White-bibbed Manakin, Chestnut-crested & Magdalena Antbirds, Choco Vireo, Bicolored Antvireo, Ruddy Foliage-gleaner, Chestnut-capped & Olivaceous Pihas, Apolinar’s, White-headed, Chestnut-breasted & Sooty-headed Wrens, Munchique Wood Wren, Rufous-rumped Antwren, Indigo Flowerpiercer, Masked Saltator, Uniform Treehunter, Star-chested Treerunner, Fulvous-breasted Flatbill, Black Solitaire, Yellow-collared & Chestnut-breasted Chlorophonias, Crested & Sooty Ant Tanagers, Purplish-mantled, Glistening-green, Black-and-gold, Gold-ringed, Scarlet-and-white, Multicolored & White-capped Tanagers, Black-chinned Mountain Tanager, Choco, Santa Marta, Sierra Nevada, Pale-naped, Moustached and Black-headed Brushfinches.
Top Mammals
South American & Mountain Coatis, Crab-eating Fox, Pale-throated Three-toed, Brown-throated & Hoffmann's Two-toed Sloths, Black-eared Opossum, Colombian Red Howler Monkey, Variegated Spider Monkey, Silvery-brown & Mottle-cheeked Tamarins, Grey-handed Night Monkey, White-throated, Guianan Brown & White-fronted Capuchins, Tapeti, Central American Agouti, Santander Dwarf, Western Dwarf, Red-tailed, Northern Amazon Red & Andean Squirrels, Tayra, Ocelot, Jaguarundi, Long-tailed Weasel, Red Brocket and White-tailed Deer.
Habitats Covered
Amazonian terra firme and white sand forest, Paramo and Elfin Forest, montane lakes and xerophytic scrub, coastal lagoons, mangroves, grasslands & wetlands
Expected Climate
Temperate to cold in highlands (Chingaza, Los Nevados, Santa Marta), hot and humid in the lowlands (Rio Claro, Mitu). Rain is likely on some days.
Max Group Size
8 with 1 Rockjumper leader
Tour Pace & Walking
Our Mega tours are very fast-paced birding adventures designed for the dedicated lister and serious birder. The focus of the tour is to see as many of the endemics and area specials as possible in our given time. In order to cover the necessary route to maximise the species list we tend to spend a single night at most sites and travel large distances. There is very little down time aside from that spent driving from one site to the next. These tours are not suitable for dedicated or avid photographers; inexperienced or new birders; as well as anyone with serious mobility or health challenges.
Accommodation
Basic to comfortable.
Ease of Birding
Moderate with some challenging species
Number of Species Expected
1000+
Other Attractions
Spectacular scenery in Los Nevados and Santa Marta Mountains, rarely seen mammals.
Photographic Opportunities
Good, but limited due to time constraints.
Tour Route Map Route Map Client Testimonials

We had a great time with Forrest Rowland in Colombia. A wonderful country. Forrest is a fantastic birder and a great guide.

"Tuomas was excellent. He made extreme efforts to make sure everyone saw the birds. Great itinerary. Covid testing was easy and smooth. Local guides were wonderful. Special dietary needs were met. Thanks again!!"

I was thrilled when Forrest Rowland agreed to run another Colombia Mega, as I really wanted to join a tour led by him – he has such extensive experience of this country and its birds. Even with that expectation, the trip exceeded my wildest dreams. Forrest’s grasp of Colombia’s birds, herps, plants, geography and history sets the scene for a magnificent experience. His humour and personality ensure one enjoys every minute.

Our local leader Ivan Lau was spectacular. He was very knowledgeable of all the birds and all the songs, calls and chips. He was easy going, very friendly and and real pleasure to travel with. He was also excellent with travel logistics and keeping everything organized. I would certainly travel with him again!

Dušan was an amazing guide. His acute hearing and anticipation of where the birds would be was extraordinary. He had a well balanced sensibility in regards to our limits and possibilities and was always exercising his desire that everyone in the group was able to see each bird we encountered as best as the circumstances permitted. His passion for birding was very apparent and sincere. Dušan's communication and updates as things changed benefited the whole group.

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
2022 DEPARTURES
2023 DEPARTURES
2024 DEPARTURES
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