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 Santa Marta tour takes us to the Santa Marta Mountains and the Guajira Peninsula on the northern coast of Colombia. The Santa Marta massif is an isolated mountain range and its snow-capped peaks are the highest coastal mountains in the world. It is also one of the most endemic-rich regions of South America, hosting nearly 50 endemic and regional specialities plus numerous endemic subspecies several of which, upon further taxonomic review, are likely to be elevated to full species status in the future.
Santa Marta & Sierra Nevada Brushfinches; Santa Marta Bush Tyrant; Santa Marta Parakeet; Santa Marta Woodstar; Santa Marta Mountain Tanager; White-tailed Starfrontlet; Hermit Wood Wren; Santa Marta & White-lored Warblers; Yellow-crowned Whitestart; Black-backed Thornbill; Rusty-headed Spinetail; Santa Marta Blossomcrown; Santa Marta Antpitta; Santa Marta Screech Owl; Santa Marta & Brown-rumped Tapaculos; Vermilion Cardinal; Glaucous Tanager; Sapphire-bellied, Buffy & Sapphire-throated Hummingbirds; Red-billed & Coppery Emeralds; Ferruginous Pygmy Owl; Chestnut Piculet; Rufous-vented & Chestnut-winged Chachalacas; White-tipped Quetzal; Black-fronted Wood Quail; Bronze-brown Cowbird; Turquoise-winged Parrotlet. Habitats Covered
Rainforest, dry forests, estuary, xerophytic scrub Expected Climate
temperate to cold in highlands (El Dorado), hot and dry in the lowlands (Guajira Peninsula). Rain is likely on some days. Max Group Size
8 with 1 Rockjumper leader and 1 local leader Tour Pace & Walking
brisk pace, some demanding walks Accommodation
good to very comfortable Ease of Birding
moderate with some challenging species Number of Species Expected
700+ (full Northern Andes series) Other Attractions
spectacular Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta range, Caribbean Sea Photographic Opportunities
I have travelled with Forrest before, and still he manages to beat my expectations with his wonderful visual and auditory skills, hard work and preparation, and he is just fun to travel with. Special kudos on this trip for how he continued on despite being very unwell with fever and chills.
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.
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!!"
Forrest Rowland: We think you did a great job organising and leading this trip. It all seemed to go very smoothly so, if you had any problems, they weren't obvious to us. We thought your fieldcraft was also first class. Clearly, all your previous experience has meant that you know the birds, their calls and the sites exceptionally well. We think we did very well with the avifauna, in no small part thanks to you.