Colombia has more species of birds than any other country - a staggering 1930+ species are to be found within the confines of this incredible nation; of which, at least 89 are endemic. This huge diversity of species results from the equally diverse range of habitats: three Andean Cordilleras (Western, Central and Eastern Andes), two inter-Andean valleys (the Cauca and Magdalena Valleys), the lowland forests of the Amazon and Orinoco regions, the isolated snow-capped Santa Marta Mountains, the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, deserts and lakes, and the rich wet forests of the Chocó all help to make it one of the most exciting countries to bird on earth!
Our series of northern Andes tours focus on the bulk of endemics that Colombia has to offer; working our way through the Central and Eastern Andean ranges and both the Magadalena and Cauca Valleys, as well as the dry Guajira desert and the impressive Santa Marta Mountains.
Our tour of the Central and Western Andes starts off at the antpitta haven of Rio Blanco near Manizales where up to 5 species may be seen, including the endemic Brown-banded and rarely seen Bicolored. Our next morning see us climbing high into the elfin forest and paramo grasslands of Los Nevados in search of Rufous-fronted Parakeet, Buffy Helmetcrest and a range of high altitude near endemics. We spend an afternoon around the gorgeous town of Jardin watching a lek of Andean Cock-of-the-rock. The following morening we shall head high above Jardin to the Loro Orejiamarillo reserve to find Yellow-eared Parrot and Tanager Finch before making our way to the Choco cloud forests of Cerro Montezuma. The forests bristle with activity, and will hopefully give up Gold-ringed Tanager, Munchique Wood Wren, Black-and-gold Tanager and chances for Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer. As we head north east towards Medellin, we shall stop in at Santa Cecilia for Baudo Guan and spend a morning near Apia searching for Tatama Tapaculo, Parker's Antbird and Turquoise Dacnis. Our final afternoon will be spent near Bolombolo looking for some dry forest speices such as the newly described Antioquia Wren, Apical Flycatcher and Greyish Piculet.
Brown-banded Antpitta, East Andean Antbird, Rufous-fronted Parakeet, Buffy Helmetcrest, Gold-ringed, Black-and-gold & Flame-rumped Tanagers, Yellow-eared Parrot, Munchique Wood Wren, Dusky Starfrontlet, Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer, Baudo Oropendola, Tatama Tapaculo, Turquoise Dacnis, Parker’s Antbird, Antioquia Wren, Apical Flycatcher, Greyish Piculet
cloud forest, elfin forest, paramo, alpine grassland, upper choco forest, lowland rainforest, stunted forest
temperate to cold in highlands (very cold on Los Nevados), hot and possibly humid in lowlands
Max Group Size
8 with 1 Rockjumper leader and 1 local leader
Tour Pace & Walking
brisk pace, some demanding walks
basic to some comfortable hotels
Ease of Birding
moderate with some challenging species
Number of Species Expected
700+ (Andean Endemics series combined with Santa Marta Extension)
spectacular scenery in Los Nevados NP
average to good