Overview

Colombia has more bird species than any other country; a staggering 1 900 species occur within the confines of this incredible nation, of which 89 are endemic! Our endemics-laden tour of Northern Colombia takes us to the Santa Marta Mountains and the Guajira Peninsula on the northern coast of Colombia, as well as the recently explored Perija range on the Venezuelan border. 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 endemics 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). We spend time at both low and high elevations of the Perija Range, birding near Valledupar before basing ourselves at the Chamicero Reserve. Purchased in 2014 after the discovery of good forest tracts on accessible land for the entire suite of Sierra de Perija endemics, including the yet-to-be-described Perija Tapaculo and another 35 subspecies that need further research. The local forms of Golden-bellied Starfrontlet, Emerald Toucanet, Rufous Spinetail and Rufous Antpitta are all proposed splits that require more conclusive documentation.

Tour Facts Top Birds
Santa Marta Bush Tyrant, Santa Marta Parakeet, Santa Marta Woodstar, Santa Marta Mountain Tanager, White-tailed Starfrontlet, Santa Marta & White-lored Warbler, Yellow-crowned Whitestart, Rusty-headed Spinetail, Santa Marta Blossomcrown, Santa Marta Antpitta, Santa Marta Screech Owl, Santa Marta, Perija & Brown-rumped Tapaculo, Vermilion Cardinal, Glaucous Tanager, Sapphire-bellied, Sapphire-throated, Buffy, Shining-green & Scaly-breasted Hummingbird, Red-billed & Coppery Emerald, Ferruginous Pygmy Owl, Chestnut Piculet, Rufous-vented & Chestnut-winged Chachalaca, White-tipped & Crested Quetzal, Black-fronted Wood Quail, Turquoise-winged Parrotlet, Trinidad Euphonia, Stripe-backed & Bicolored Wren, Russet-throated, Pied & Double-banded Puffbird, Bicolored Conebill, Golden-winged Sparrow, Black-hooded Thrush, Hermit Wood Wren, Tocuyo Sparrow, Rufous Nightjar, Double-striped Thick-Knee, Military Macaw, White-whiskered & Rufous Spinetail, Venezuelan Flycatcher, Venezuelan Tyrannulet, Golden-bellied Starfrontlet, Perija Metaltail, Perija Thistletail, Perija, Chestnut-capped, Slaty, Black-fronted, Santa Marta & Sierra Nevada Brushfinches, Longuemare's Sunangel, Rufous-shafted Woodstar, Klage's Antbird.
Habitats Covered
rainforest, dry forests, estuarine, xerophytic scrub, paramo grasslands
Expected Climate
temperate to cold in highlands (El Dorado and Perija), hot and dry in the lowlands (Guajira Peninsula). Rain is likely on some days.
Max Group Size
6 with 1 Rockjumper leader and 1 local leader
Tour Pace & Walking
brisk pace, some demanding walks
Accommodation
very good with some basic
Ease of Birding
moderate with some challenging species
Number of Species Expected
300+
Other Attractions
Cartagena, spectacular scenery of the Santa Marta massif, stunning Caribbean ocean
Photographic Opportunities
good to very good
Tour Route Map Route Map Client Testimonials

Forrest Rowland is an incredible guide.

Tuomas was an excellent guide and organizer.

From the several members of the office staff to the actual tour itself, I have nothing but high praise for my Rockjumper experience. This was my first tour with Rockjumper, but I hope it won't be my last. Alison and Sarah were tremendously helpful. Rob Williams is as good a leader as I have ever experienced. He not only knows the birds, but he made sure that we all got to see them, showing patience way beyond what I thought necessary. When one of our participants lost his passport, Rob bent over backwards to help this hapless person, never complaining while doing so. Rob always told us what the plan was for the next day. When Plan A didn't pan out, he had Plan B ready. If something went askew, he handled it with aplomb, always keeping his sense of humour. Did I mention he showed us wonderful birds? Oh, we saw some beautiful ones!

Thank you so much for a wonderful experience on my Remote Colombia Tour. Forrest remains among one of the best guides I have ever travelled with. His knowledge of the areas within Colombia is astounding, he clearly knows his birds and their respective calls, he knows the off-track spots to seek out the more difficult species and the local people he interacts with clearly respect and value their relationship with him. Witnessing the interaction of these relationships makes for such a more enjoyable overall experience. Forrest as a guide brings a strong combination of spotting birds, knowing the bird calls and getting people on the bird. Equally important, he interacts with each and everyone of his participants and just displays such a passion for birds, wildlife and the local culture.

Forrest Rowland was superb as usual.  Both his birding skills and people skills are extraordinary.

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
2022 DEPARTURES
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