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9 Days - Central And Western ANDES Birding Trip

About this trip

The Central Andes and coffee region (Eje Cafetero) has an important cultural, historical and economic role in Colombia. Tourists already consider this a must-see region in Colombia, and tourism and infrastructure are improving every day as more areas are becoming accessible. Birders are the vanguard, going where others have yet to discover. Some of these areas were, up until recently, not accessible due to political and social conflict. This conflict has receded, and gorgeous areas are now open and primed for discovery.  The Andes in Colombia split into three ranges, which increase habitat diversity, as well as rain shadow valleys between the mountains. The country also has coasts on both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea. With all of these different habitats, it is not a surprise that Colombia is the ‘birdiest’ country in the world.  

Day 1: Arrival to Pereira and transfer to Otun Quimbaya

We meet to Pereira airport, and then we arrive to the SFF Otún Quimbaya; It is Located western flank of the Cordillera Central, in the department of Risaralda, 15 kilometers from the city of Pereira. About 90% of the protected area corresponds to natural forests, in different stages of succession, and mature forests. In smaller proportion, small wetlands and forest plantations are found. Otun Quimbaya is well-known as the best site for the endemic, The birding is along fairly flat trails and a road. Mixed flocks are not super common but do hold nice birds

Day 2: All day birding in Otum Quimbaya

Birds of interest: The endangered and now very local Cauca Guan, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, Chestnut Wood-Quail, Moustached and Scaled Antpittas, Torrent Duck, and Multicolored Tanager.  also  – Ashy-headed and Plumbeous-crowned Tyrannulets, Crested Ant-Tanager, Multicolored and Metallic-green Tanager, Red-headed Barbet, Rufous-breasted Flycatcher, and many more..

Night in the lodge of Otun Quimbaya 

Day 3: Birding in Otun Quimbaya (6158 ft) and transfer to Montezuma (4432 ft)

All day birding in Otun Quimbaya, leave to tatama at 4;00 pm

Colombia’s Tatamá National Natural Park is located on the borders of the departments of Risaralda, Chocó and Valle del Cauca, within the Chocó bioregion, one of the world’s most biodiverse regions. The park encompasses 51,900 hectares of primary west-Andean tropical and subtropical rainforest, temperate cloud forest and páramo habitat, and is a source of water to rivers in all directions. It is home to over 500 species of birds, 450 species of orchids and 700 species of butterflies. The biodiversity across other taxa is equally impressive. Many Colombian endemic and near-endemic species are found here.

Night in the lodge of Montezuma rainforest

Day 4: All day birding in Montezuma (7545 ft to 4432 ft)

Birds of interest: Black Solitaire, Gold-ringed Tanager, Chesnut-bellied Flowerpiercer, Black-and-gold Tanager, Lanceolated Monklet, Orange-breasted  Falcon, Yellow-green bush-tanager, Greater Scytebill and many more

Night in Montezuma lodge

Day 5: All day Montezuma rainforest

Birds of interest: Black Solitaire, Gold-ringed Tanager, Chesnut-bellied Flowerpiercer, Black-and-gold Tanager, Lanceolated Monklet, Orange-breasted  Falcon, Yellow-green bush-tanager, Greater Scytebill and many more

Night in Montezuma lodge

Day 6: Transfer to Rio Blanco Eco Reserve (8530 ft)

We leaving Montezuma rainforest and going to Río Blanco Ecological Reserve; this one of the areas with the greatest biodiversity in the world and the conservation of natural resources. It is located on the Central Cordillera of the Andes in the department of Caldas, three (3) km from the north-east side of the municipality of Manizales. It also counts with a really comfortable lodge where is possible to stay. While birding we can enjoy the anpitta show, calling by playback to coax out many shy antpittas

Day 7: ANTPITTA SHOW! All day birding in the reserve

 Starting the day seeing the antpitta’s feeders where we gonna see more than 4 antpitta species!


Night: Rio Blanco Reserve

Day 8: Birding in "Los Nevados National Park" (13451 ft)

Before birding at Rio Blanco reserve 2500-2600 meters departure to Los Termales de Ruiz at Los Nevados NP 3600- 4300 meters where we gonna look for interesting birds like Buffy Helmetcrest, Red-Crested Cotinga, Rainbow-bearded Thronbill, and many more. Black-backed Bush-Tanager, White-tailed Hawk, Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Andean Tit-Spinetail, Grass Wren, Capped Conebill, Golden-crowned Tanager, Paramo Tapaculo the endemic and very hard to find Rufous-fronted Parakeet.

Night: Hotel Termales del Ruiz

Day 9: Birding in Termalez del Ruiz (11482 ft) and flight home from pereira

This day we gonna leave the hotel to go up to the mountain (4300 meters above sea level) to try getting the birds of interest only found there. 

Then we return to the airport.

  • Bird guideProfessional guide in Birdwatching with high knowledge of the Ecology and Biology of Bird species
  • Travel insurance: 24 hours of medical assitance
  • Tickets: entrance to the national park and private reserve
  • Ground Transportation: From your hotel to the hotspot and once finished the tour back to the hotel
  • life-changing experience: You can shared with local comunities who work for conservation of birds
  • Lodging accommodations: doble accommodation, private bathrooms, hot water, clean and comfortable with a delicious meals.
  • Daily meals: Dinner, breakfast and  lunch, water, coffee, tea, fresh juices.
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