Colombia Birding Tours
Colombia is the country with the largest number of birds on the planet with the remarkable number of 1987 species including 84 endemic species. The reason for this amazing number of species is the country’s complex geography, which almost has no equal in the rest of South America. Near the Ecuadorian border the mighty Andes divide into three distinct, roughly parallel chains, called cordilleras, that extend north-eastward almost to the Caribbean Sea. These cordilleras are separated by two large river valleys, the Magdalena and the Cauca, and each of the six different mountain slopes incorporates a large number of different ecosystems and habitats with an amazing rate of endemism of birds.
A journey through the most representative natural habitats of Colombia will take you to explore the Pacific and Amazon rainforests, lush Andean cloudforest mountains, vast páramos and grasslands lying at the base of snow-capped volcanoes, the Colombian Eastern Llanos, the deciduous scrub woodlands on the Guajira Peninsula, pristine Caribbean beaches and mangroves, and the unique Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, an isolated mountain range in northern Colombia that juts from sea level to 5,700 meters (18,700 feet) just 42 kilometers (26 miles) from the Caribbean coast and is home to not less than 22 endemic species.
A birding trip to Santa Marta will provide you with chances to see Santa Marta Parakeet, Santa Marta Mountain Tanager, Santa Marta Woodstar, White-tailed Starfrontlet, Santa Marta Blossomcrown, Santa Marta Foliage-gleaner, Santa Marta Tapaculo, Brown-flanked Tapaculo, Santa Marta Bush Tyrant, Santa Marta Warbler, Yellow-crowned Whitestart, White-lored Warbler, Sierra Nevada Brushfinch, Santa Marta Antpitta, Streak-capped Spinetail, Rusty-headed Spinetail, and the recently described Santa Marta Screech Owl, some of the avian treasures of this mountain. Santa Marta also has its place in history as the cradle of the pre-Columbian Tayrona civilization that occupied the mountains and built the mysterious archaeological site known as the Lost City. Today diverse ethnic and indigenous groups such as Arawak and Kogui still live in the area, keeping ancient traditions.