Birding Tour Colombia: Medellín and Bogotá Endemics

February 2021/2022

Dates and Costs:

 

06 – 17 February 2021

Spaces available: 7

Price: US$4,718 / £3,787 / €4,191 per person sharing including the domestic flight Medellín – Bogotá which we arrange for you

Single Supplement: US$730 / £586 / €648.

 

* Please note that currency conversion is calculated in real-time, therefore is subject to slight change. Please refer back to the base price when making final payments.

 

06 – 17 February 2022

Price: US$4,954/ £3,976 / €4,400 per person sharing including the domestic flight Medellín – Bogotá which we arrange for you

Single Supplement: US$767 / £615 / €681

Tour Details

Duration: 12 days
Group Size: 3 – 8
Tour Start: Medellín
Tour End: Bogotá

Price includes:

All accommodation as described above or similar
All meals (plates a la carte, fixed menus, and field meals)
Private transportation including 4×4 jeep at Chicaque
Admission fees to parks, reserves, and feeding stations
Private birding guide
Local guides
Bottled water in the vehicle

 

Price excludes:

International flights
Domestic flight Medellín-Bogotá
Private expenses such as laundry, telephone, internet, room service and minibar expenses, drinks, alcoholic drinks, water for sale in hotels
Any activity not described in the itinerary
Gratuities (please see our tipping guidelines blog)

Colombia: Medellín and Bogotá Endemics
February 2021/2022

 

On the first part of this tour to Colombia we will arrive at the city of Medellín and immediately explore its surroundings to look for the endemic Red-bellied Grackle and Stiles’s Tapaculo as well as the elusive Yellow-headed Manakin. From Medellín we will drive to the picturesque town of Jardín in the southwest region of Antioquia, which will be our base to explore the ProAves Yellow-eared Parrot Reserve to look for our main target, the Endangered (IUCN) Yellow-eared Parrot. Other species include Tanager Finch, Rufous Antpitta, Purplish-mantled Tanager, Chestnut-breasted Chlorophonia, and with luck Ocellated Tapaculo and Chestnut-crested Cotinga.

Medellin and Bogota birding toursTanager Finch will be searched for in the ProAves Yellow-eared Parrot Reserve.

 

The dry area of Bolombolo in the Cauca Valley is a place where we hope to find the recently described endemic Antioquia Wren.

We will also explore the Rio Claro Nature Reserve, where we will look for species such as the endemics White-mantled Barbet, Sooty Ant Tanager, Antioquia Bristle Tyrant, and with luck Beautiful Woodpecker. Other birds in the area include the most-wanted Northern Screamer, Magdalena Antbird, Bare-crowned Antbird, Moustached Puffbird, Saffron-headed Parrot, Russet-winged Schiffornis, and Citron-throated Toucan.

Medellin and Bogota birding toursWhite-mantled Barbet

 

The second part of the tour will allow participants to explore the eastern Andes near Bogotá in search of an incredible handful of country endemics and specialties such as Bogota Rail, Green-bearded Helmetcrest, Blue-throated Starfrontlet, Silvery-throated Spinetail, Apolinar’s Wren, Black Inca, Noble Snipe, Golden-bellied Starfrontlet, Indigo-capped Hummingbird, Grey-throated Warbler, Moustached Brushfinch, Rufous-browed Conebill, and Spot-flanked Gallinule.

This tour can be combined with our The Very Best of Colombia tour.

 

Itinerary (12 days/11 nights)

 

Day 1. Arrival at Medellín and transfer to the hotel

You will arrive at the José María Córdova International Airport serving Medellín and will be transferred to Sabaneta.

Overnight: Hacienda La Extremadura, Sabaneta

 

Day 2. La Romera Ecological Park and transfer to Jardín

We will have an early start to visit La Romera Ecological Park to look for the elusive Yellow-headed Manakin and the endemic Red-bellied Grackle. We also have a chance for the endemic Stiles’s Tapaculo, which is often seen on our main tour. After our visit to La Romera we will head to the picturesque town of Jardín located at 1750 meters (5741 feet), and if time permits we will visit what is perhaps the greatest Andean Cock-of-the-rock lek in the whole of South America.

Overnight: Hotel Hacienda Balandú, Jardín

Medellin and Bogota birding toursThe town of Jardín has an impressive Andean Cock-of-the-rock lek site

 

Day 3. ProAves Yellow-eared Parrot Reserve

We will have a predawn start to explore the ProAves Yellow-eared Parrot Reserve in search of the extremely localized and rare Yellow-eared Parrot. We will arrive at dawn, and with the spotting scope we will scan all wax palms and all known nest cavities to provide the best views possible. Other birds in these cloudforest mountains include Rufous Antpitta, Tanager Finch, Purplish-mantled Tanager, Chestnut-breasted Chlorophonia, Plushcap, Ocellated Tapaculo, Barred Fruiteater, Black-capped Tyrannulet, Chestnut-naped Antpitta, Tourmaline Sunangel, Tyrian Metaltail, Black-collared Jay, Golden-headed Quetzal, Chestnut-breasted Wren, and Flammulated Treehunter. If we are very lucky we could find the elusive and seldom-seen Tawny-breasted Tinamou or even Highland Tinamou; both occur in the area, but the chances for sightings are low. In the lower-lying area we will check for Chestnut-crested Cotinga.

Overnight: Hotel Hacienda Balandú, Jardín

Medellin and Bogota birding toursChestnut-naped Antpitta can be seen in Colombian cloudforests.

 

Day 4. Bolombolo and transfer to Rio Claro

Today we’ll have another early start to leave Jardín toward Rio Claro. En route we will look for the recently described, endemic Antioquia Wren in the dry area of Bolombolo in the Cauca Valley. Other birds here include the endemics Apical Flycatcher and Greyish Piculet. We will drive east of Medellín to spend the afternoon looking for Chestnut-headed Oropendola, Pacific Antwren, Plain-colored Tanager, Scrub Tanager, Black-headed Tody-Flycatcher, Black-headed Brushfinch, Bar-crested Antshrike, Spectacled Parrotlet, Band-backed Wren, and with luck the endemic Beautiful Woodpecker.

Overnight: Los Colores Ecoparque Hotel, Rio Claro

 

Day 5. Rio Claro Nature Reserve

We’ll have a full day to explore the Rio Claro Nature Reserve, where we hope to get the seldom-seen Saffron-headed Parrot. Other birds include the endemic White-mantled Barbet, Moustached Puffbird, the endemic Magdalena Antbird, Bay Wren, Buff-rumped Warbler, the endemic Antioquia Bristle Tyrant, Black-bellied Wren, Dusky-faced Tanager, Blue-chested Hummingbird, Black-capped Pygmy Tyrant, Plain Xenops, Russet-winged Schiffornis, Striolated Manakin, and White-bearded Manakin. In the afternoon we will check some wetlands, looking for Northern Screamer and other aquatic species.

Overnight: Los Colores Ecoparque Hotel, Rio Claro

 

Day 6. Birding the Magdalena valley and return to Medellín

Today we will focus our efforts on those target species we might have missed the previous day. We’ll also look for the endemic Sooty Ant Tanager. Later we will transfer to Medellín for one night.

Overnight: Medellín

Medellin and Bogota birding toursThe magnificent Sword-billed Hummingbird should be seen on the Bogotá leg of this trip.

 

Day 7. Flight to Bogotá and birding La Florida Park and the Hummingbird Observatory

Today we will fly to Bogotá and will explore La Florida Park, where we might have our first chance for the endemics Bogota Rail, Rufous-browed Conebill, and Silvery-throated Spinetail. Later we will drive to La Calera, where we will spend the afternoon enjoying hummingbirds in the amazing Observatorio de Colibríes. Here we should have chances for the amazing Blue-throated Starfrontlet, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Green-tailed Trainbearer, Black-tailed Trainbearer, Glowing Puffleg, Coppery-bellied Puffleg, Mountain Velvetbreast, Longuemare’s Sunangel, and White-bellied Woodstar. The surroundings might provide Pale-bellied Tapaculo. In the late afternoon we will return to Bogotá to check into our hotel and a dinner and checklist session.

Overnight: Hotel Habitel, Bogotá

 

Day 8. Chingaza Natural National Park, Guasca gravel pits, and Bioandina Reserve

We’ll have full day to explore the paramo ecosystem of Chingaza Natural National Park, the famous Guasca gravel pits, and the Bioandina Reserve. Our targets are Bronze-tailed Thornbill, Pale-bellied Tapaculo, Golden-crowned Tanager, Rufous-browed Conebill, Tawny Antpitta, Agile Tit-Tyrant, Buff-breasted Mountain Tanager, Black-chested Mountain Tanager, Black-headed Hemispingus, Ochre-breasted Brushfinch, and Yellow-bellied Chat-Tyrant. There is a very low possibility for Tawny-breasted Tinamou. We will also check the area adjacent to the Bioandina Reserve to look for the endemic Flame-winged Parakeet.

Overnight: Hotel Habitel, Bogotá

Medellin and Bogota birding toursGolden-crowned Tanager — another spectacular tanager species we’ll be targeting!

 

Day 9. Laguna Chisacá at Páramo Sumapaz and Chicaque Natural Park

We shall visit the Laguna Chisacá in the Páramo Sumapaz to look for the endemic Green-bearded Helmetcrest and the endemic Apolinar’s Wren. This place also offers good chances for Noble Snipe, and on the way out we’ll look for the endemic Silvery-throated Spinetail. We might have to deal with some city traffic jam to get into the Chicaque Natural Park, where we will look for the endemic Golden-bellied Starfrontlet. We’ll switch our vehicle for a 4×4 jeep to drive into the heart of Chicaque Natural Park, where we expect to see the endemic Black Inca and Moustached Brushfinch. We will return late to Bogotá.

Overnight: Hotel Habitel, Bogotá

Medellin and Bogota birding toursMountain Velvetbreast — one of the many hummingbird species we should encounter on this tour.

 

Day 10. Laguna el Tabacal and El Jardín Encantado

We’ll have another early start leaving Bogotá to visit the Laguna el Tabacal. Here we will look for the endemic Grey-throated Warbler as well as other species such as Rosy Thrush-tanager, Rusty-breasted Antpitta, the endemic Velvet-fronted Euphonia, White-bellied Antbird, Rufous-naped Greenlet, Slaty Spinetail, Sooty-headed Wren, Striolated Manakin, and the elusive Ruddy Quail-Dove among many others. Later we will move to El Jardín Encantado, a private house, where we will be overwhelmed with the number of hummingbird species including the endemic Indigo-capped Hummingbird and Ruby-topaz Hummingbird. After another exciting birding day we will return to Bogotá.

Overnight: Hotel Habitel, Bogotá

 

Day 11. Monterredondo

Today we will focus on the Monterredondo sector of the huge Chingaza National Natural Park, where we will do our best to give you views of the endemic and elusive Cundinamarca Antpitta. Even though we will focus all our efforts on this elusive and most-wanted species, the area also offers many other good birds including Flavescent Flycatcher, Black-crested Warbler, Slaty Brushfinch, Sulphur-bellied Tyrannulet, Grey-hooded Bush Tanager, Rusty-winged Barbtail, Andean Siskin, Moustached Brushfinch, and Andean Pygmy Owl, to name just a few. We will return to Bogotá for our last dinner and checklist session and celebrate a great adventure together.

Overnight: Hotel Habitel, Bogotá

 

Day 12. Departure

Today your international flights will leave for home or you can connect to our The very best of Colombia tour.

 

Please note that the itinerary cannot be guaranteed as it is only a rough guide and can be changed (usually slightly) due to factors such as availability of accommodation, updated information on the state of accommodation, roads, or birding sites, the discretion of the guides and other factors. In addition, we sometimes have to use a different international guide from the one advertised due to tour scheduling.

Download Itinerary
Medellin and Bogota birding tour

Hello Eduardo:
I feel that our trip to Colombia was one of the most enjoyable and rewarding bird tours I have ever been on. You did an excellent job of planning, guiding and looking after the logistics on the tour.
Colombia is a pleasure to travel in with very friendly people, excellent roads and pleasant, clean accommodation. Even the more basic places were comfortable, clean and quiet.
Santa Marta is a wonderful place with plentiful birds and fantastic scenery. Rio Blanco was my favorite part of the tour with the antpittas and Ocellated Tapaculo at my feet. Otun Quimbaya with Red-ruffed Fruitcrows as yard birds was also very enjoyable.
In all parts of the country I never felt at risk. Colombia is now a safe, rewarding country to travel in. I can hardly wait to return.
Thank you,
Jim Martin

Jim Martin — Toronto, Canada