Colombia bird watching, nature & culture tour

“A comprehensive, tailor made tour of Colombia – one of the world’s most biodiverse nations. Private guides take you from mountains to coast, seeking many of the 1,900 bird species along the way.”

Highlights

Bogota | Cerro Monserrate | Parque Chicaque Nature Reserve | Colonial town of Honda | Magdalena Valley birding walk | Hummingbirds at Jardin Encantado bird reserve | Coffee tour | Rio Blanco bird reserve | Chance to spot endemic bird species | Jardin, Antioquia | Loro Orejamarillo bird reserve | Minca | El Dorado Nature Reserve, home to 337 bird species and nearly 20 endemics | Cartagena | La Boquilla community | Mangrove canoe tour | Optional: day trip to Islas del Rosario

Description of Colombia bird watching, nature & culture tour

Brazil is the world’s most biodiverse country, yet Colombia, at just a fraction of its size, is the second most biodiverse. This Colombia bird watching, nature and culture tour explores some of the country’s most beautiful and extreme landscapes, from the Andes to the Caribbean coast, packing in coffee plantations, colonial cities and some very pretty villages along the way. The tailor made itinerary can be adjusted as you wish, according to your interests, budget and holiday duration, to ensure you get the most out of one of South America’s most enticing countries.

There are an estimated 1,900 species of birds in Colombia – that’s around 20 percent of the world’s total. This includes 74 endemics. Add this to the 3,500 butterfly species and 3,500 orchids – and you can see why this is an absolute haven for nature lovers. This holiday visits many of the country’s national parks and bird reserves, to ensure you spot as many species as possible and get a real insight into Colombia’s varied geography and ecosystems.

Culturally, this is a wonderful destination, too. Bogota is a vibrant modern city with a great art scene and nightlife – as well as superb museums revealing a rich past. Old Cartagena is a glimpse into a more traditional Colombia, with its gorgeous colonial buildings and horse-drawn carts clattering over the cobbles streets. Further back still, there are archaeological sites and artefacts that tell stories about the many ancient civilisations that flourished in this fertile part of the world.

The security situation kept many travellers away for a long time, but Colombia is now an incredibly safe and rewarding country to travel in – with a fraction of the number of tourists of more popular Latin American destinations such as Peru or Costa Rica. This gives holidays here something of a pioneering feel still, as you explore a gorgeous destination that is still considered by many to be off the beaten track.

Price includes

- Transport in modern, air conditioned vehicles and 4x4 jeeps (where mentioned in itinerary).
- En suite accommodation in comfortable hotels and nature reserves.
- Meals as outlined in itinerary (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner).
- Tours and activities described in itinerary.
- Entrance fees and local guides included at each destination.
- Professional bird watching guides for all birding tours and at bird reserves.
- 24 hour assistance throughout the trip from local agents in Bogota.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Colombia bird watching, nature & culture tour

Environment

Two of the reserves that we will be visiting, Loro Orejamarillo and El Dorado, are administered by the organization ‘Pro-Aves’. This is the leading conservation group in Colombia and by visiting or in the case of El Dorado, actually staying in these nature reserves, we are supporting the conservation of the birds here and at the other 16 Pro-Aves bird reserves, which are all located in strategic areas. This organization uses the income gained from entrance fees to the parks and from providing accommodation, transport and guides, to do many important projects. Pro-Aves Reserves actually protect almost 12% of the world's bird species and in addition, they use this income for their other conservation work in protecting bird, mammal and plant species under threat, to expand their bird reserves by buying land, for reforestation and for the maintenance of the reserves.

For instance, Loro Orejamarillo Reserve is the best place to find the critically endangered and spectacular Colombian endemic, the Yellow-eared Parrot that it is named for. A growing population of 350 of these large parrots inhabit the steep hillsides, dependent on the endangered wax palm for nesting and roosting sites. Intense conservation actions were necessary to protect the remaining parrots and palms; these efforts have been very effective, and are on-going. Our guide in this area, is one of the park’s rangers and will provide a captivating explanation of conservation efforts in the valley, the ecosystem and the fauna and flora found in the area. This is an opportunity to learn about efforts to protect the wax palm and how farmers work the land in the valley.

Community

In addition to their conservation work, Pro-Aves also has on-going environmental education and training programmes, including bird-guide training for the forest guards at their Reserves. These initiatives provide real opportunities for rural Colombians.

On this holiday you will be accompanied by a tour leader provided by our local agents, but besides that wherever we go in Colombia, we use local guides from the region. Sometimes we even use two or more in the bird reserves and all of them are local people from that specific region. Besides our private transport, we use local transportation to visit the bird reserves.

When we are not staying at the Reserve Lodges, we always choose to stay at local, typical and small family run hotels and restaurants. Interaction with the local people is something we believe in and encourage and is reflected in the way that this itinerary has been planned. However your holiday isn't limited by the itinerary described, as there will always be some extra effort to spontaneously show and participate in the 'real and typical' way of life, culture, and people of Colombia.

Through our local agents in Colombia, we support two foundations that work with poor and under-privileged children. If you like, we can supply you with more information about these or it may even be possible to visit the projects as part of your tour.

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