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.
rainforest, dry forests, estuarine, xerophytic scrub
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
good to very comfortable
Ease of Birding
moderate with some challenging species
Number of Species Expected
700+ (full Northern Andes series)
spectacular Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta range, Caribbean Sea
"Tuomas was very knowledgeable, personable, and savvy. He did an excellent job of balancing hard core birding with the needs of the group. The accommodations and food were good throughout and the transportation was excellent! This was an adventurous, fun, and challenging trip and I very much enjoyed it. Roger, the local guide, was also very good. Thank you!"
Rob's combination of bird finding skills and tour management expertise made for a great birding trip which was enjoyed by all.
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.
Rob Williams and the Rockjumper folks were absolutely fantastic in helping me after I lost my passport. They made sure I got back to Bogota for the embassy appointments, changing plans on the fly. Very impressive dedication to help customers.
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.