Colombia has more species of birds than any other country - a staggering 1900 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, Magdalena and Cauca Valleys, as well as the dry Guajira desert and the impressive Santa Marta Mountains.
Our tour of the Central Andes takes in Otun-Quimbaya, Finca Cortaderal, Rio Blanco, Hacienda el Bosque and PNN Los Nevados for Cauca Guan, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Chestnut Wood Quail, Crescent-faced, Brown-banded, Slaty-crowned, Moustached & Bicolored Antpittas, Fuertes’s & Rusty-faced Parrots, Golden-plumed & Rufous-fronted Parakeets, Cocoa Thrush, Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Masked Saltator, Black-thighed Puffleg, Golden-crowned Tanager, Buffy Helmetcrest and Viridian Metaltail.
Cauca Guan; Red-ruffed Fruitcrow; Chestnut Wood Quail; Crescent-faced, Brown-banded, Slaty-crowned, Moustached & Bicolored Antpittas; Fuertes’s & Rusty-faced Parrots; Golden-plumed & Rufous-fronted Parakeets; Cocoa Thrush; Crimson-mantled Woodpecker; Masked Saltator; Black-thighed Puffleg; Golden-crowned Tanager; Buffy Helmetcrest; Viridian Metaltail.
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 humid in lowlands
8 with 1 Rockjumper leader and 1 local leader
brisk pace, some demanding walks
basic to comfortable hotels & lodges
moderate with some challenging species
700+ (full Northern Andes series)
spectacular scenery in Los Nevados NP
average to good
Forrest Rowland is an incredible guide.
The Santa Marta Mountains were truly a great place to bird with several endemics to be seen and spectacular mountains views. The lodge was a fantastic place to stay for three nights. Highly recommend this extension tour!!!!
First of all, Forrest Rowland's profound knowledge of the full range of bird identification traits, songs and calls, habitat preferences and behavioural detail was indispensable to our ability to view, hear, and understand what we were looking for/at. Even more so, his knowledge and ability to effectively convey such information in a timely and readily comprehensible manner was an essential component of our ability to get on birds effectively. Plus his expertise and experience did not stop with the bird life. Secondly, he was an amazing leader in keeping a diverse group of participants focused on tasks at hand and committed to an inclusive "team" dynamic, not an easy feat! His very personable and easy going style kept everyone engaged and appreciating contributions from the whole group... and no one ever appeared isolated. Lastly, and also crucial to an effective journey of this type, Forrest was always on top of tour logistics and management, which are extremely complex and sometimes change with little notice (e.g. flights being cancelled). ln part this was due to his own experience travelling within Colombia, building upon the wonderful network of supporting "staff/contributors", and he was always able to easily provide next step details, rationales, and alternatives to the group.
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.
Forrest Rowland was superb as usual. Both his birding skills and people skills are extraordinary.
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