Overview

Colombia is undoubtedly the most diverse and exciting country 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 that it holds. Our Mega tour spends a month traversing all three Andean Chains and exploinge the depths of the Magdalena and Cauca Valleys. From the white sand and terra firme forests of Inírida, to the humid Choco, we will sample the richest rainforests in the country. Finally, from the dry Caribbean coast, up lush slopes to the San Lorenzo Ridge, we will enjoy the best of the legendary, endemic-rich, Santa Marta Mountains. This tour is hands down the single most comprehensive offer to experience the most biodiverse nation in the world, and we welcome you to join us on this amazing challenge!

Flights to Inírida 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.


*2024 Prices are estimated and dates may change*

Tour Facts Top Birds
Bogota Rail; Cauca Guan; Chestnut-winged & Colombian Chachalacas; Chestnut Wood Quail; Red-fan, Yellow-eared & Rusty-faced Parrots; Golden-plumed, Rufous-fronted, Barred, Cobalt-winged & Santa Marta Parakeets; Santa Marta Screech Owl; White-tipped Quetzal; Pompadour & Purple-breasted Cotingas; Capuchinbird; Red-ruffed Fruitcrow; Red-bellied Grackle; Black-collared Jay; Beautiful Woodpecker; Orinoco & Chestnut Piculets; White-mantled Barbet; Crescent-faced, Cundinimarca, Brown-banded, Slaty-crowned, Muisca & Bicolored Antpittas; Grey-cheeked Nunlet; Brown-banded Puffbird; Antioquia Bristle Tyrant; Pale-bellied, Narino, Magdalena, Stiles’s & Tatama Tapaculos; Golden-breasted & Orange-breasted Fruiteaters; Silvery-throated & White-whiskered Spinetails; Recurve-billed & Black Bushbirds; Bar-crested & Klage's Antshrikes; Turquoise Dacnis; Bronze-tailed & Rainbow-bearded Thornbills; Sapphire-bellied, Indigo-capped, Chestnut-bellied & 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, Golden-collared, Black, Lance-tailed & Yellow-headed Manakins; Rose-breasted Chat, Yapacana, Chestnut-crested & Magdalena Antbirds; Choco Vireo; Bicolored Antvireo; Ruddy Foliage-gleaner; Amazonian Umbrellabird; Orinoco Softtail; Chestnut-capped & Olivaceous Pihas; Apolinar’s, White-headed, Chestnut-breasted, Niveforo's & Sooty-headed Wrens; Munchique Wood Wren; Rufous-rumped Antwren; Indigo & Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercers; 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, Multicolored & White-capped Tanagers; Black-chinned Mountain Tanager; Antioquia, Choco, Santa Marta, Ochre-breasted, Sierra Nevada, Pale-naped, Moustached & Black-headed Brushfinches; Colombian Mountain Grackle.
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 (Los Nevados, Santa Marta), hot and humid in the lowlands (Rio Claro, Inírida). 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
900+
Other Attractions
Spectacular scenery in Los Nevados and Santa Marta Mountains, rarely seen mammals.
Photographic Opportunities
limited due to time constraints
Tour Route Map Route Map Client Testimonials

Dusan is an outstanding guide. He consistently made sure that all of us saw each bird and knew its name. I have hearing and mild short-term memory problems and Dusan took specialefforts to be sure that these did not interfere with my birding success on the trip. Not only does Dusan know all of the Colombian birds by sight, but he knows all of their calls and is able to talk at length about their biology and behavior - that is, he is an excellent teacher, too. This is something that I appreciate greatly, as I am a retired college professor of biology and I recognize an excellent teacher when I see one in action. In addition to his skills as a guide, Dusan was tireless in making sure that the constantly-changing tour arrangements went smoothly from day to day. I am certain that we got every minute that was possible out in the field looking for new birds; this was the goal of the tour (1000 species seen in 30 days of birding). He has a very pleasant, enthusiastically-encouraging personality and is outstanding at promoting group coherence and morale in difficult and sometimes mildly-dangerous situations.

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.

Two great tours led by Tuomas, who is an outstanding birder and great tour leader. Local guides were also very good, so we all saw virtually all of our hit list birds. Thanks to all.

Tuomas was excellent. He was an excellent birder and group leader, ensuring the everyone saw each bird. He was persistent in pursuing our target birds but knew when enough was enough for the day. Tuomas has an easy going manner, but he (and the local leader) were efficient and effective in dealing with problems in the field or with the accomodation.

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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