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.
8 with 1 Rockjumper leader and 1 local leader
brisk pace, some demanding walks
good to very comfortable
moderate with some challenging species
700+ (full Northern Andes series)
spectacular Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta range, Caribbean Sea
Forrest Rowland was superb as usual. Both his birding skills and people skills are extraordinary.
Our local leader Ivan Lau was spectacular. He was very knowledgeable of all the birds and all the songs, calls and chips. He was easy going, very friendly and and real pleasure to travel with. He was also excellent with travel logistics and keeping everything organized. I would certainly travel with him again!
I would just like to praise Dušan for all the constant effort he put in during a trip with external problems. He dealt with the bureaucracy of all our nations in getting our covid tests and the form filling, and it was no easy task. His knowledge of the birds and especially their calls, gave the the whole trip an extra level and I profited handsomely from his skills. I would be most happy to go on a tour with Dusan again.
Rob's combination of bird finding skills and tour management expertise made for a great birding trip which was enjoyed by all.
Tuomas was an excellent guide and organizer.
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