Overview

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. Our endemics-laden extension 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).

Tour Facts Top Birds
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
270+ (700+ when combined with Northern Andes series)
Other Attractions
spectacular Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta range, Caribbean Sea
Photographic Opportunities
good
Tour Route Map Route Map Client Testimonials

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.

First of all, Forrest Rowland's profound knowledge of the full range of bird identification traits, songs and calls, habitat preferences and behavioural detail was indispensable to our ability to view, hear, and understand what we were looking for/at. Even more so, his knowledge and ability to effectively convey such information in a timely and readily comprehensible manner was an essential component of our ability to get on birds effectively. Plus his expertise and experience did not stop with the bird life. Secondly, he was an amazing leader in keeping a diverse group of participants focused on tasks at hand and committed to an inclusive "team" dynamic, not an easy feat! His very personable and easy going style kept everyone engaged and appreciating contributions from the whole group... and no one ever appeared isolated. Lastly, and also crucial to an effective journey of this type, Forrest was always on top of tour logistics and management, which are extremely complex and sometimes change with little notice (e.g. flights being cancelled). ln part this was due to his own experience travelling within Colombia, building upon the wonderful network of supporting "staff/contributors", and he was always able to easily provide next step details, rationales, and alternatives to the group.

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.

Forrest Rowland is an incredible guide.

"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!"

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
2021 DEPARTURES
2022 DEPARTURES
2023 DEPARTURES
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