12 Days The Cauca Valley, Coffee region and Andean Mountains

The Cauca Valley, one of the important eco-regions in Colombia, The Cauca Valley is home to a handful of endemic species not occurring anywhere else in the country. The Western and Central Cordilleras on both flanks of the valley, harbor many species with ranges restricted to the cloud forests, grasslands and paramos of the mountains. Some of these species are shared with bordering Ecuador but most of them are more easily seen in Colombia where the populations of such species are either better represented or found in areas of easier access.

  1. Day 0: Arrival in the afternoon to Bogotá (2.600 m.a.s.l. cold) and transfer to the Hotel AZ.
  2. Day 1: 5:00 am, drive to the airport and flight to Cali (950 m.a.s.l. warm)

    Visit to Pance (1,200 m.a.s.l. fresh weather) ”Balcón de Colibríes” (Hummingbird feeders) the main targets are Long-billed Starthroat, Purple-throated Woodstar, Crowned Woodnymph, Steeley-vented Hummingbird, Colombian Chachalaca and others. Overnight in Cali, El Peñón Hotel.

  3. Day 2: 5:00 am, drive to Anchicayá and birding at Doña Dora feeders (1.300 m.a.s.l.)

    After breakfast, we drive down on the old way to Buenaventura looking for the Chocó endemics, birds are Golden-chested Tanager, Gray and Gold Tanager, Black Solitaire, Toucan Barbet, Chocó tapaculo, Blue-whiskered Tanager, Rufous-winged Tanager, Glistening-green Tanager, Club-winged Manakin and others, in the afternoon we drive 30 minutes to Araucaria Lodge

  4. Day 3: Full birding day at Anchicayá.

    We will explore the area driving to bajo anchicayá looking for special birds, this area made part of the low Chocó region near to the pacific coast, this is maybe the most important place in biodiversity on the world, the main targets are: Chocó Toucan, Scarlet and White Tanager, Ocellated Antbird, Esmeraldas Antbird, Thoot-billed Hummingbird, Golden-collared Manakin, Purple-throated Fruitcrow and others. In the afternoon back to the hotel.

  5. Day 4: Drive up to Finca Alejandría (2.000 m.a.s.l. cold weather)

    In the morning we drive up stopping sometimes looking for special birds and then, we spend the rest of the day watching Hummingbirds and Tanagers coming to the feeders, the main target there is the endemic Multicolored Tanager; likewise, you can see more than 10 hummingbird’s species and several Tanager’s species. In the afternoon we drive two hours to Buga. Overnight in Guadalajara Hotel (900 m.a.s.l. warm).

  6. Day 5: Drive to Montezuma (1.350 m.a.s.l.)

    After breakfast, we drive 4 hours to our next destination, the high Chocó region in the western Andes, we have lunch at the lodge and then we drive up to La Clarita (1,500 m.a.s.l.) looking for special birds of Chocó, Toucan Barbet, Black Solitaire, Golden-winged Manakin, Empress Brilliant, Violet.tailed Sylph, Velvet-purple Coronet, Purple- bibbed Whitetip, Rufous-gaped Hillstar, Western Emerald, Lanceolated Monklet and many others.

  7. Day 6: Drive up to the Heliport in Montezuma (2.600 m.a.s.l. cold)

    We leave the lodge too early (5:00) to drive up one hour, there we will have amazing views of the Tatamá National Park and the opportunity to see the beautiful Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer coming to the hummingbird ́s feeders, another endemic is Munchique Wood-wren very active in the morning, then we go down making stops and walking looking for the other specialties of this place, overnight in Montezuma.

  8. Day 7: Morning in Montezuma and transfer to Otún Quimbaya (2.000 m.a.s.l. cold and rainy)

    We spend the morning looking for missing birds, after lunch we leave the hotel and drive three our to our next destination, we will make some stops on the way looking for interesting birds like Turquoise Dacnis and Torrent Duck, overnight in La Suiza Lodge.

  9. Day 8: Morning in Otún Quimbaya and transfer to Cameguadua

    We spend the morning looking for Torrent Duck, White-capped Dipper, Torrent Tyrannulet, Red-ruffed Fruitcrow and Cauca Guan. Then we drive one hour to Cameguadua marsh (1,500 m.a.s.l. warm) looking for Shorebirds and other specialties like Grayish Saltator, Grayish Piculet, Slaty Spinetail, Olive-crowned yellowthroat and others, in the afternoon we move to San Vicente Hot Springs Hotel at 2,400 m.a.s.l.

  10. Day 9: Full birding day in Cortaderal and Termales San Vicente

    This area is restricted for Indigo-winged Parrot, endemic of Colombia and in critical danger, other interesting birds are possible to see there. In the afternoon we explore the hotel reservation and then we need to move to Tinamú Hotel in Manizales at 1,200 m.a.s.l. warm weather./pane]

  11. Day 10: Full day in Tinamú and nearby places
  12. This is a perfect place for some birds of the Magdalena valley and Cauca canyon, this farm was a coffee plantation but the owner decided to plant trees for the birds and now is an important reserve with almost 250 bird ́s species; in the afternoon we leave the hotel and move 40 minutes to Paraíso Verde Hotel at 1,800 m.a.s.l.

  • Day 11: Feb 24: Visit to Nevados National Park (4.000 m.a.s.l.) and Termales del Ruiz (3.500 m.a.s.l.)

    We need to drive 50 minutes to Paramo region in the Nevados National Park, this day will be the highest elevation during the entire tour, the target there is the endemic and charismatic Buffy Helmetcrest who inhabits over 3.500 m.a.s.l., in the afternoon we will visit Termales del Ruiz to see other birds of Paramo, there are Hummingbird and Tanager ́s feeders, then drive down one hour to Manizales.

  • Day 12: Visit to Rio Blanco Reserve and flight to Bogotá

    Rio Blanco is located 40 minutes to the hotel, it is 2,600 m.a.s.l. and is the perfect place to enjoy Antpittas, 4 of them are feeding in easy places to access, Other birds like Black-billed Mountain-Toucan, Masked Saltator, Buff-breasted mountain Tanager and others are possible to see, in the afternoon, drive to Pereira Airport and flight to Bogotá for finally back home.