NORTHERN, WESTERN AND EASTERN COLOMBIAN BIRDING TOUR 2018
Main Tour: July 21 to Aug 3, 2018
(Price $4,030 Per Person Double Occupancy from Bogota)
(This price includes 4 domestic flights see below*)
(Minimum number of participants 8, the maximum is 12)
Post Extension, Llanos the Plains of Central Colombia : Aug 3 to Aug 7, 2018
($1,150 Per Person Double Occupancy)
(Minimum number of participants 5, the maximum is 12)
The Extension is only available to participants that were on the main tour.
Your professional bird guides will be: Pablo Florez
Photography assistance available from Majestic Feathers founder Kathleen Cameron
RESERVATION DEADLINE MARCH 16, 2018
Full payment for the tour is due on or before April 2, 2018
Confirmed participants will receive a sign up packet and instructions for booking flights. Flights must not be booked before receiving information from Majestic Feathers to do so.
THE BIRD GUIDES ON THIS TOUR WILL BE: Pablo Florez and Edwin Ramirez
*INCLUDED IN THE PRICE $4,030 ( double occupancy) Main Tour (minimum of 8 participants): All logistics, 13 nights of lodging, 3 meals and 3 drinks a day beginning with lunch on July 21 ending with dinner on Aug 2, 2 full-time professional bird guides, on 4 days additional local guides will also be on board, snacks and water daily, all ground transportation and driver (includes transportation to and from the airport), 4 domestic flights, National Park and Reserves entry fees.
NOT INCLUDED: Round Trip international airfare from your departure point to Bogota, Colombia, laundry, phone calls, excess baggage fees, airport tax, Travel insurance (trip cancellation insurance is highly recommended, medical insurance is mandatory) alcoholic beverages and other items of a personal nature.
INCLUDED IN THE PRICE $1,150 (double occupancy) Post Extension (minimum of 5 participants): All logistics, 4 nights of lodging, 3 meals and 3 drinks a day beginning with breakfast on Aug 3, 2 full-time professional bird guides, snacks and water daily, all ground transportation and driver (includes transportation to and from airports), 1 round trip domestic flight between Bogota and Yopal, any fees into birding areas. Please note, the price is based on a minimum of 5 participants. If fewer than 5 participants sign up for the extension the final price could be increased to cover the higher per person cost of a smaller group, or the extension could be canceled.
(E) = Endemic (NE) = Near Endemic
ITINERARY MAIN TOUR
Participants depart from the U.S. on July 20, 2018 on an overnight flight arriving in Bogota the morning of July 21.
Day 1 (July 21) (L,D) Arrive in Bogota in the late morning and transfer from the airport to the hotel. Meet our guide and get settled in at the hotel.
After lunch visit one of the museums in Bogota (TBA). Dinner and tour orientation.
Night at the Grace Hotel or similar.
Day 2. (July 22) (B,L,D) Chingaza National Park 9,186 to 10,827 feet (2,800 to 3,300 m) and feeders in the Calera area.
Early in the morning we will drive to Chingaza N.P. with a stop for breakfast along the way. During today’s birding we will be looking for: Brown-breasted Parakeet (E), Bronze-tailed Thornbill (NE), Mattoral Tapaculo (E) and Rufous-browed Conebill (NE). We also have good chances of finding Golden-crowned Tanager, Andean Pygmy Owl, Ocellated Tapaculo, Black-billed Mountain-Toucan, Black-collared Jay, Rufous Antpittta, White capped Tanager, and Spectacled Prickletail.
In the afternoon we will visit feeders in the Calera area that attract: Sword-billed Hummingbird, Blue-throated Starfrontlet, Coppery-bellied Puffleg, Black-tailed Trainbearer, Great-sapphire wing and many other hummingbird species.
Night Bogota Hotel The Grace or similar.
Day 3 (July 23) (B,L,D) Bogota to the El Dorado Reserve (Santa Marta)
After breakfast we transfer to the airport and take our flight (7:30 a.m.) to Santa Marta. In Santa Marta we drive to the beautiful and comfortable El Dorado lodge 6,398 ft (1950 m.) The total journey takes 3 hours, and we will be birding along the way. Birding will of course increase the drive time a bit.
On the drive and during our lunch stop at the Minca lodge (they have feeders) we will be searching the excellent habitat for species such as Red-billed Parrot, Scarlet-fronted Parakeet, Military Macaw (small chance), Blossomcrown (E),Rusty-headed Spinetail (E), White-tailed Starfrontlet (E), Streak-capped Spinetail (NE), White-lored Warbler (E), Santa Marta Brush-finch (E),White-tipped Quetzal (NE), Yellow-billed Toucanet (NE), Santa Marta Foliage-gleaner, (E), Gray-throated Leaftosser, Coopery Emerald, Golden-breasted Fruiteater (NE), Santa Marta Tapaculo (E), Band-tailed Guan (NE), Black-hooded Thrush, Black-headed Tanager, Rusty-breasted Antpitta and more species of birds.
Night at El Dorado Lodge.
Day 4 (July 24) (B,L,D) San Lorenzo Ridge – El Dorado Reserve
Today we focus on the endemics and other specialties that are found only at the top of the San Lorenzo Ridge road 8,530 ft.(2600 m). Birds we may see today include Santa Marta Parakeet (E), Scaly-napped Parrot, Black-backed Thornbill (E), Santa Marta Bush-Tyrant (E), Brown-rumped Tapaculo (E), Santa Marta Antpitta (E),the newly discovered Santa Marta Screech Owl (E), Santa Marta Rufous Antpitta (E), Santa Marta Mountain-tanager (E), Yellow-crowned Whitestart (E), Santa Marta Warbler (E). Andean Condor and Solitary Eagle will be high on our sightings list as well.
In afternoon our time will be spend enjoying and photographing the species that visit the feeders that are stationed around our cabins! Some of the bird species that are usual at the feeders are: Black-fronted Wood Quail, Santa Marta Antpitta (E), White-tailed Starfrontlet (E), Black-backed Thornbill (E), Santa Marta Woodstar (E), Lazuline Sabrewing and Blue-naped Chlorophonia.
Night at El Dorado Lodge
Day 5 (July 25) (B,L,D) El Dorado to Minca
Early in the morning we will bird a bit more in the area of our lodge before starting the drive from El Dorado to the Minca Lodge 2,297 ft.(700m).
In the late afternoon our focus will be on the feeders at the Minca Lodge.
Night at the Minca Lodge.
Day 6 (July 26) (B,D,L) Tayrona National Park to Guajira Peninsula
After breakfast we leave the Minca Lodge and begin our 1.5 hr. drive to Tayrona which is located at sea-level. The birds that we are seeking include: Blue-billed Curassow (E), White-bellied Antbird, White-necked Puffbird, Lance-tailed Manakin, Black-backed Antshrike, Common Black Hawk, and Military Macaws.
We are also likely to encounter some special tropical mammals today, including Cotton-Top Tamarin or Marmoset, Capuchin Monkey, Red-howler Monkey, Agoutis, and Tamandua (anteater).
If we are able to pull ourselves away from birding, We will try to leave time for a swim at a beautiful beach. Lunch will be at a very nice beach side restaurant.
In the afternoon we will drive to la Guajira Peninsula where we´ll enjoy the dry scrub and beaches to see another set the birds like: Blue-crowned Parakeet, Green-rumped Parrotlet, Bicoloured Wren, Buffy and Shining Green Hummingbird, Double-striped Thick-knee, Bare-eyed Pigeon, Crested Bobwhite, Russet-throated Puffbird, and Pale-legged Hornero.
Overnight at Hotel Barbacoa-Rio Hacha, a comfortable hotel in Ríohacha City.
Day 7 (July 27) (B,L,D) Guajira Peninsula (Flamencos Reserve) to the Cali area.
Today will be devoted to seeking out a set of species unique to the desert habitats of Colombia and Venezuela. We will bird the dry scrub for Chestnut Piculet (NE), Russet-throated Puffbird (NE), White-whiskered Spinetail (NE), Slender-billed Inezia (NE), Northern Scrub Flycatcher (NE), Vermilion Cardinal (NE), Tocuyo Sparrow (NE-rare), Pileated Finch (NE) and Glaucous Tanager (NE). We also stop at salt water lakes, beaches and Mangroves for Flamingos and Scarlet Ibis.
At 12:30 we will take a flight to Bogota to catch our flight to Cali.
Night at Cali. Hotel Hampton or similar.
Day 8 (July 28) (B,L,D) Cali and the Upper Anchicaya Valley.
Early in the morning we drive to the “El 18” the San Antonio and km 18 cloud forest. This is an IBA (Important Bird Area). Located 20 to 40 minutes from the city of Cali it is approximately 6,550 ft (1,996m) in elevation. Here we enjoy great feeders that attract species including: Long-tailed Sylph, Fawn-breasted Brillant, and Blue-headed Sapphire, Purple-throated Woodstar, Green-hermit and other really species species. Additionally the banana feeders here are really birdie offering high chances to see the superb Multicoloured Tanager and other Tanagers like Scrub, Golden, Golden-naped, Beryl-spangled, Metallic-green and Saffron-headed Tanagers, Red-headed Barbet, Black-winged Saltator and Colombian Chachalaca. In the forest around the feeding area we have the chance of seeing: Chestnut Wood Quail, Scaled Antpitta, Scaled Fruiteater, Crested Quetzal, Moustached Puffbird and several other species.
Note: if there is a consensus it is possible to visit a Cock of the Rock lek nearby at El 18.
After enjoying a great lunch we head west to the upper Anchicaya valley to see another set of birds. There are more feeders to watch for great birds like: Green thorntail, Tooth-billed Hummingbird, Black-head Brush-Finch, Tricoloured Brush Finch, Red-headed Barbet, Black-chinned and Blue-winged Mountain Tanagers and White-lined Tanager. In the surrounding forest we will search for: Toucan Barbet, Black Solitaire, Scaled Fruiteater, Choco Tapaculo, Crested Ant-Tanager and Barred Hawk.
Night at Hotel El Campanario. Near the hotel it is possible to find Lire-tailed Nighjar.
Days 9 and 10 (July 29 and 30) (B,L,D) Anchicaya Vally 656 ft to 4,921 ft. (200-1500 m)
During our two days in this area there will be short drives to the lowlands and elsewhere to search for many of the Choco specialties that inhabit this region. Some of our target birds are: Sapayoa, Solitaire Eagle, Lita Woodpecker, Golden-chested Tanager and Moss-Backed Tanager, Tooth-billed Hummingbird, Green Manakin, Blue-whiskered, Red-winged, Emerald, Grey and Gold and Rufous-naped Tanagers, Stub-tailed Antbird, Esmeraldas Antbird, Dull Mantled Antbird, Spot-crowned and Five-coloured Barbets, Pacific Flatbill, Slaty-capped Shrike Vireo, Lanceolated Monklet, Black-breasted Puffbird, Lemon-spectacled Tanager, Spot-crowned Antvireo, Scarlet and White Tanager, Yellow-green Bush-Tanager, Choco Trogon, Baudo Guan, Semi-plumbeous Hawk, Dusky Pigeon, Indigo-crowned Quail-Dove, Banded Ground Cuckoo, Hoary Puffleg, Plumbeous Forest-falcon, Orange-crested Flycatcher, Long-wattled Umbrellabird, Slate-coloured Seedeater, Crested Ant-tanager, Choco and Pisones Tapaculos. There is a small chance of seeing Thicket and Plain-backed Antpitta as well as the very rare Banded-ground Cuckoo.
Night at Hotel Campanario.
Day 11 (July 31) (B,L,D) Cali to Manizales
In the morning we will take one more look in the habitat at El 18 to add a few more species to your bird list before departing for the city of Manizales. Along the way we will stop at the Sonso wetlands where we will see another set of birds: Dwarf and Striped Cuckoos, Spectacled Parrotlet, Grayish Piculet, Apical Flycatcher, Comb Duck, Crested Bobwhite, Glossy Ibis, Greyish Seedeater and more.
After lunch the drive to Manizales continues.
Night at Hotel Recinto Pensamiento.
Day 12 (Aug 1) Rio Blanco Reserve
The Rio Blanco Reserve is a short drive from Manizales. Rio Blanco is an undeveloped cloud forest nature reserve. It is located on the western slope of the Central Andes, it includes cloud forest between 7,218 and 8,858 ft (2200-2700 m).
Within this reserve we will likely see: Masked Saltator, Rusty-faced Parrot, Golden-plumed Parakeet, Black-billed Mountain-Toucan, Dusky Piha, Ash-colored and Ocellated Tapaculos, Tyrannine Woodcreeper, Sharpe’s Wren, Smoky Bush-Tyrant, and Scaly-naped Parrots. The reserve also features some exceptional antpitta feeders. Brown-banded (E), Bicoloured, Chestnut-crowned, Chestnut-naped, and Slate-crowned Antpittas are attracted to the feeding sights! In 2016 on the Majestic Feathers tour a Sygian Owl was seen! Seeing this species was extraordinary!
We will have lunch within the reserve and late in the afternoon we head back to Manizales after a throughout search of the trails within the reserve.
Night at Manizales Hotel Recinto Pensamiento.
Day 13 (Aug 2) (B,L,D) Los Nevados National Park – Paramo del Ruiz (10,200 to 12,800 feet) and flight to Bogota
At dawn we begin the 1 hour drive to Los Nevados National Park. The views of snow-covered volcanic peaks and some of the most stunning verandas of stretches of the Colombian Andes can be seen while on the drive and from many places in Los Nevados.
Birding will take palce at several stops along the road. The paramo within the park offers the opportunity to see some of the scarcer hummingbirds of Colombia including the famous Buffy Helmetcrest (E)! Some of the other hummingbird species we will be watching for are: Black-thighed and Golden-breasted Pufflegs, Mountain Avocetbill, Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, Purple-back Thornbill, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Shining Sunbeam, and Buff-winged Starfrontlet.
Other birds of note at Los Nevados include: Rufous-fronted Parakeet (E), Paramo Tapaculo, White-browed Spinetail, Black-backed Bush-Tanager, Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Andean Condor, Grey-breasted Mountain-Toucan, Stout-billed Cinclodes, Tawny Antpitta, Crowned Chat-tyrant, Black-collared Jay, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager, Paramo Seedeater, Andean Tit-Spinetail, White-chinned Thistletail, Plumbeous Sierra-Finch, Black-eared Hemispingus, and Plushcap Finch.
The lower region of the park has some of the same habitat as Rio Blanco. However, few people bird here. We may very well have the place to ourselves. Along with the birds, this is a good area to see some interesting mammals including: Tapeti, Crab-eating Fox. Andean squirrel.
At approx 1:30 p.m. we drive to the Manizales airport for our flight to Bogota.
Night at Hotel Habitel or similar in Bogota.
August 3 is the end of the Main tour and the beginning of the Extension
Participants not taking the Extension will board an early morning flight from Bogota to the United States. (TBA) (meals on your own)
Post Extension: The Magnificent Llanos PLAINS Aug 3,4,5 and 6
Day 14 (Aug 3) (B,L,D) Participants taking the Llanos Eastern Colombia tour board a flight at 6:30 a.m. for the city of Yopal.
In Yopal we begin our journey by 4 x 4 to La Aurora lodge. La Aurora Lodge is located within the 70,000 acres that is owned by the Barragan Family. For more than 70 years the Barragan’s have forbidden hunting within these acres. Therefore, the wildlife in this area has flourished.
The first thing we will do at the lodge is enjoy lunch after which, we will start birding in this very interesting habitat. Bird species here include: Pale-headed Jacamar, Masked Cardinal, Striped Cuckoo, White-bearded Flycatcher, Green Ibis, King Vulture, Hook-billed Kite, Long-winged Harrier, Black-collared Hawk, Great-black Hawk, Scale Dove, Violaceus Jay, Bicoloured Wren, Rufus and White Wren, Spectacled Thrush.
Night at La Aurora Lodge we are here the nights of Aug 3, 4, 5.
Day 15 and 16 (Aug 4 and 5) travel to Hato La Aurora Reserve
Hato La Aurora is a fantastic 74,131 acres private reserve where hunting has been prohibited for the last 50 years. Wildlife thrives here and it is quite possible to see some “star” bird species here: Orinoco Goose, Black Skimmer, Hoatzin, Pale-head Jacamar, Aplomado falcon, Ash-throated Crake, Sharp-tailed Ibis, Pied Lapwing, Pinnate Bittern, Sunbittern, White-tailed Goldenthroat, Black-throated Trogon, Amazonian Motmot, Channel-billed Toucan, Black-crested Antshrike, Blackish-grey Antshrike, Rufus-fronted Thornbird, Rusty-backed Spinetail, Black-faced Tanager, White-bearded Flycatcher, Crestless Curassow, Wire-tailed and Black Manakin, Great Potoo, Horned Screamer, Jabiru, Scarlet Ibis, Pale-legged Ornero, Red-bellied Macaw, Yellow-crowned Parrot, Blue-crowned Parakeet, Band-tailed Nighthawk, Scaled Piculet, Spectacled Parrotlet and many others.
Crab-eating Fox, Tamandua are quite abundant. And it is a possible to see the Giant Anteater, Tayra, Collared Peccari, Three-toed Sloth, Nine-banded Armadillo, Common Opossum, Black Agouti and Jaguarondi. It is also quite possible to see to see a huge Anaconda and Giant Otter and even Ocellelot, Jaguar and Puma.
Day 17 (Aug 6) (B,L,D) La Aurora to Bogota
After breakfast and some early morning birding at the La Aurora lodge we head back to Yapal to take our flight to Bogota. The flight departs at 5 p.m.
Night at Bogota Hotel The Habitel or similar.
Day 18. International Flights
Participants will be transferred to the airport for the flight home. Details to be announced.
WE LOOK FOREWORD TO HEARING FROM YOU! BIRDING IN COLOMBIA IS EPOCH!
Please note: we reserve the right to change the places we lodge in the event of unforeseen circumstances. Every effort will be made to acquire lodging of equal value.