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.
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.
rainforest, dry forests, estuarine, xerophytic scrub, paramo grasslands
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
very good with some basic
Ease of Birding
moderate with some challenging species
Number of Species Expected
Cartagena, spectacular scenery of the Santa Marta massif, stunning Caribbean ocean
good to very good