8 Days The Cauca Valley, Coffee Region and Caribbean

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, grassland 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. The Caribbean coast offers a variety of special birds and a wide range of habitats, from dry forest in the Guajira peninsula to high elevations of the Sierra Nevada where there is a rich concentration of bird endemics with almost 22. Colombia is also a good place for mammals, frogs, butterflies, dragonflies, insects and flowers.

  1. Day 1 : Arrival to Cali (900 m.a.s.l. warm weather) , Visit to La Minga Lodge

    La Minga (2,100 m.a.s.l.) is just 40 minutes from Cali, it is an easy birding place with a lot of interesting birds to see like Uniform Antshrike, Crimson-rumped Toucanet, Ornate Hawk-Eagle and others, in the afternoon drive to Queremal. Overnight at Campanario Hotel. https://www.facebook.com/HotelElCampanario/

  2. Day 2. Dic 2 Visit to Doña Dora feeders and Alto Anchicayá (750 m.a.s.l. fresh but rainy)

    Anchicayá is on the old way to Buenaventura (The most important pacific port) and is one of the favorite places to see some endemic and rare birds of the Chocó region, it is one hour from Cali and is possible to see Golden-Chested Tanager, Scarlet-and-white Tanager, Emerald Tanager, Gray-and-Gold Tanager, Rufous-throated Tanager, Choco Tucan, Zeledon´s Antbird, Sooty-headed Wren, Scarlet-browed Tanager, Purple-crowned Fairy, Scarlet-thighed Dacnis, White-headed Wren, Long-tailed Tyrant and others. In the afternoon drive two hours to Buga. http://www.hotelelfarobuga.com/

  3. Day 3. Dic 3 Visit to Sonso Lagoon (900 m.a.s.l.) and drive to Pereira

    We spend all the morning visiting a big marsh near to Buga, there is possible to see Horned Screamer, Oriole Blackbird, Apical Flycatcher, Greyish Piculet, Dwarf Cuckoo and others, in the afternoon we drive 4 hours to Manizales, overnight at Rio Blanco Reserve. As requirement, local guide is needed but is provided by the place (No bilingual)

  4. Day 4. Drive to Rio Blanco Reserve (2,200 to 2,650 m.a.s.l. Cloud forest), overnight at Manizales.

    The Rio Blanco reserve is such a bird-rich place that we need a full day of birding to cover the reserve properly. This day we have to leave early because the Antpittas show starts at 7:00 hours. The birdlife here is so diverse and spectacular. We will have a good chance to see the endemic Chestnut Wood-Quail, Rusty-faced Parrot, Golden-plumed Parakeet, Southern Andean Toucanet, Black-billed Mountain-Toucan, Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, endemic Brown-banded Antpitta, NE Bicolored Antpitta, Chesnut-crowned Antpitta, Slate-crowned Antpitta, Blackish Tapaculo, Ash-colored Tapaculo, Spillman’s Tapaculo, Metallic-green, Beryl-spangled Tanagers, Plushcap, the rare Masked Saltator, and hummingbird feeders. Overnight at Recinto del Pensamiento Hotel. (2.000 m.a.s.l. Cold weather). As a requirement, local guide is provided by the place (Bilingual)

  5. Day 5. Drive. Birding to Nevado del Ruiz (4.000 m.a.s.l. very cold weather, 5° to 11°).

    Another day starts will find us on the way to Nevado del Ruiz National Park, where our main objective will be to look for the Buffy Helmetcrest and Rufous-fronted Parakeet rares and endemics, others birds here are: White-chinned Thistletail, Andean Tit-Spinetail, Stout-billed Cinclodes, Tawny Antpitta, Plain coloured Seedeater, Paramo Seedeater -Plumbeus Sierra-Finch and is possible to see Andean Condor. We will visit as well Termales del Ruiz (Hot Springs Spa and Hotel), There we have an opportunity for Shining Sunbeam, Black-thighed and Golden-breasted Pufflegs, Great Sapphirewing, Viridian and Tyrian Metaltail, Rainbow Bearded Thornbill, Buff-wing Starfontlet, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Mountain Velvetbeast, Scarlet-bellied Mountain Tanager, Golden-crowned Tanager Paramo Tapaculo. Other possibilities are rarely Ocellated Tapaculo and the rare Black-backed Bush Tanager. In the afternoon, we drive to Pereira airport and take the flight to Bogotá.

  6. Day 6. Flight to Santa Marta

    Early in the morning, we take our flight to Santa Marta and then we have our transfer to Minca, we have birding all the afternoon looking for special birds of the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta, overnight at Minca Hotel.

  7. Day 7: Early morning drive – birding El Dorado Reserve

    We ascend making some stops for target birds, maybe endemics appears on the way, the Sierra Nevada offers several of sites on the route that leads to the El Dorado Reserve, in this range will continue to see some birds like Rusty-breasted Antpitta, Santa Marta Antbird, Blossomcrown, Golden-breasted fruiteater and others specialties. Overnigth in Dorado Lodge.

  8. Day 8. Birding in San Lorenzo Ridge and El Dorado feeders

    On This day we will search for the highlights of Santa Marta, Besides having the chance to see the snowy mountains at 18.946 ft, it is also possible to see birds like Santa Marta Parakeet, Santa Marta Antpitta, Streak –capped Spinetail, Rusty-headed Spinetail, Santa Marta Bush Tyrant, Yellow-crowned Whitestart, Grey-throated Leaftosser, Santa Marta Woodstar, Crowned Woodnymph, Santa Marta Sabrewing, White-tailed Starfrontlet, Black-backed Thornbill and other very special birds. In the afternoon, drive back to Santa Marta and transfer to the airport.