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Colombia: Magdalena & Central Andes

This short tour is focused on finding some truly localised endemics between Bogotá and Medellín, on Andean slopes adjoining the Magdalena Valley. These include both the threatened Fuertes's Parrot and Yellow-eared Parrot, plus the Critically Endangered duo of Blue-billed Curassow and Chestnut-capped Piha. Some of the additional endemics not readily found elsewhere include Tolima Dove, Tolima Blossomcrown, Beautiful Woodpecker, White-mantled Barbet, Sooty Ant-Tanager, and the smart White-bibbed Manakin. Many other standout species can be enjoyed too, like the monotypic Oilbird (we will visit a roost for this special species), the ever-impressive Sword-billed Hummingbird, and a whole bunch of antpittas!

Next Dates

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Price: $

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Leaders:

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Single Room Supplement: $

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Group Size Limit:

6

Deposit: $

TBD

Add a Title

Price: $

TBD

Leaders:

Add a Title

Single Room Supplement: $

TBD

Group Size Limit:

Deposit: $

TBD

Accommodation:

Mostly good-standard, comfortable hotels and lodges.

Walking difficulty:

Mostly easy, with a couple of moderate effort walks throughout the tour. A mixture of trails and roadside birding.

Tour cost includes:

All accommodation, main meals, drinking water, internal flights (as stated in itinerary), overland transport, tips to local drivers and guides, travel permits, entrance fees, and guide fees.

Tour cost excludes:

Flights before and after the tour start/end, visa, travel insurance, tips to tour leaders, laundry, drinks, and other items of a personal nature.

Day 1: The tour starts this evening with arrivals into Bogotá International Airport (BOG). Night in Bogotá.


Day 2: In the early morning, we will drive southwest for three hours towards a dry forest reserve where we will search for endemic Velvet-fronted Euphonia and Apical Flycatcher, as well as White-bellied and Jet Antbirds, Lance-tailed Manakin, Pileated Finch, Barred Puffbird, and White-eared Conebill. In the afternoon, we will drive to Anaime, where we will visit some feeders for such exciting endemics as Tolima Dove, Tolima Blossomcrown, Indigo-capped Hummingbird, and Yellow-headed Brushfinch. A lek of White-tipped Sicklebill is often active at this time as well. Night in Anaime.


Day 3: We will wake up early to arrive by dawn at the ProAves Fuertes’s Parrot reserve, where we will be searching for this Endangered endemic. The reserve holds several flocks of this beautiful Psittacid, so we stand a very good chance of finding it. It is also a great place to connect with numerous antpittas such as Equatorial, Chestnut-naped, Tawny, Slaty-crowned or even the mythical Crescent-faced. Feeders attract Sword-billed Hummingbird, Buff-winged Starfrontlet, and the near-endemic Black-thighed Puffleg. In the afternoon, we will bird lower down, spending time in a different type of cloud-forest where the tricky Masked Saltator is regularly sighted. Although not guaranteed, it might be one of the best sites on the planet to connect with this Andean mega! Grey-breasted and Black-billed Mountain Toucans are also around, as well as Bicoloured Antpitta and an array of more widespread Andean birds. Night in Anaime.


Day 4: In the early morning, we will visit the most reliable place in Colombia to get good views of the stunning endemic Yellow-eared Parrot. Other birds to look for include Golden-plumed Parakeet, Black-billed Mountain Toucan, and Yellow-headed Brushfinch. After lunch, we will continue towards Victoria Caldas, making a stop to search for Northern Screamer. Night at Victoria Caldas.


Day 5: The morning will be spent at Bellavista Reserve, searching for numerous endemics such as White-mantled Barbet, Beautiful Woodpecker, Sooty Ant-Tanager, the smart White-bibbed Manakin, and Magdalena Antbird, as well as chances for the rare Saffron-headed Parrot. In the afternoon, we will drive to Rio Claro for an overnight stay.


Day 6: All morning birding at Rio Claro, where our main target will be the localised endemic Antioquía Bristle-Tyrant, with further chances for all Bellavista birds. We might come across Black Oropendola, but it always comes down to luck with this tricky species. Our visit to an Oilbird colony here will surely be a highlight too! After lunch, we drive to El Paujil Reserve for a two-night stay.


Day 7: Today, we will spend all day birding at the ProAves reserve, where the once mythical and Critically Endangered Blue-billed Curassow has become habituated to people. We will also search for Black-breasted Puffbird, Black-billed Flycatcher, Black Antshrike, Bare-crowned Antbird, and Southern Bentbill. Nightbirding here can produce Spectacled and Crested Owls, plus Chocó Screech Owl, among others. Night at El Paujil.


Day 8: After some early morning birding, we will embark on the long journey to Chestnut-capped Piha Reserve for a two-night stay. On the way, we will make a couple of stops to search for Yellow-browed Shrikevireo and Tody Motmot. At night, we will search for Lyre-tailed Nightjar and Stygian and Cinnamon Screech Owls on the reserve. Night at Chestnut-capped Piha Reserve.


Day 9: We will spend all day at this reserve, searching for the rare and Critically Endangered Chestnut-capped Piha. Other specialities and endemics of the area include Chestnut Wood Quail, Wattled Guan (numerous!), Blue-fronted Parrotlet, Stiles’s and White-crowned Tapaculos, Parker's Antbird, Rufous-naped Greenlet, Golden-breasted Fruiteater, stunning Black-and-gold and Multicoloured Tanagers, and Red-bellied Grackle, among others. Some roadside birding might well produce the near-endemic Black-headed Brushfinch, and we’ll have other chances for White-mantled Barbet and Magdalena Antbird. Night at Chestnut-capped Piha Reserve.


Day 10: After some final morning birding in the reserve, we will travel towards Medellín (MDE), where the tour will end in the evening. 


Our complementing Colombia: Chocó & Western Andes tour will start in Medellín on the same evening that this tour ends. Click here to check it out!


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