Birdwatching in Colombia

About

With Colombia’s huge variety of landscapes, climates and ecosystems comes the world’s broadest bird diversity. With at least 1876 species, Colombia is recognised in birdwatching circles as a veritable paradise for bird enthusiasts.

Uniquely, Colombia offers dedicated birding destinations very close to major tourism centres. These are the areas in which we concentrate our birdwatching trips. So called soft birding in destinations that are easily combined with a full range of tourism services. Enjoy birdwatching within the context of a fully featured trip to Colombia.

We work closely with Pro Aves, the undisputed experts in the field of birding in Colombia. This commerical partnership provides our guests the very best of both worlds. The expert travel planning and itinerary design of The Colombian Way alongside the very best and most knowledgeable birding guides available in Colombia.

Our guides

The birdwatching guides that we offer for your trip will be experts in their particular region. Either provided by our partners at Pro Aves or expert local independent guides in your chosen destination.

In certain destinations, English speaking guides are available. The Colombian Way is also able to supply the excellent Pro Aves Field Guide to the Birds of Colombia and the Checklist of the Birds of Colombia. Highly regarded publications available in either English or Spanish.

Where?

We offer specialist birding trips and stays in most areas of Colombia including Amazonas, The Magdalena Valley, The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the high Andes, and tropical forest destinations. Please click the destinations tab to see a full list.

Some destinations are reserves in their own right situated close to and with easy access to popular tourism destinations. For other destinations, we will organise hotel accommodation, from where the guide will take you to a nearby birdwatching location.

El Dorado Bird Reserve

The El Dorado Bird Reserve was created on March 31, 2006, based on the urgency of conserving one of the most fragile and important zones in Colombia, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, home to a large number of unique plant and animal species.

Location: Cuchilla de San Lorenzo in The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta close to Minca

Elevation: 950 to 2600 metres above sea level

Birds: Santa Marta Parakeet (Pyrrhura viridicata) Santa Marta Sabrewing (Campylopterus phainopeplus) Santa Marta Bush-tyrant (Myiotheretes pernix)

Las Tángaras Bird Reserve

Las Tángaras Bird Reserve was created in October 2009 to protect the habitat of two endemic bird species: The Golden-ringed tanager (Bangsia aureocinta) and the Black-and-gold tanager (Bangsia melanochlamys).

Location: In the department of Chocó to the west of Medellín

Elevation: 1250 to 3400 metres above sea level

Birds: 250 species of birds including the Golden-ringed tanager (Bangsia aureocinta) and the Black-and-gold tanager (Bangsia melanochlamys)

El Paujil Bird Reserve

The El Paujil Bird Reserve was created in November 2003 with the support of American Bird Conservancy and The Global Conservation Fund in order to preserve the Blue-billed Curassow (Crax alberti) which is endemic to Colombia

Location: In the Sierra de las Quinchas between the towns of Puerto Boyacá, Bolívar and Scimitar in the departments of Boyacá and Santander. Roughly half way between Medellín and Villa de Leyva

Elevation: 150 to 1200 metres above sea level

Birds: There are 360 species of birds registered, 7 of which are endemic species. Including Cotorra cabeciamarilla (Gypopsitta pyrilia), Carpintero bonito (Melanerpes pulcher), White-Mantled Barbet (Capito hypoleucus)

Jardín, Antioquia

The small, lively and joyful town of Jardín in Antioquia is a firm favourite of The Colombian Way. Arguably the most spectacular representation of small-town Colombian life. Jardín also appears popular with birdlife and as many people flock to this small town for its birdwatching opportunities as they do for the beery nightlife and happy ambience.

Location: Jardín is located in the lower reaches of the department of Antioquia. Approximately 4 hours from Medellín or Manizales. The perfect stop off for trips including Medellín and the Coffee Zone in their itinerary.

Elevation: 2400 to 3000 metres above sea level

Birds: Yellow-eared Parrot (Ognorhynchus icterotis) Dusky Starfrontlet (Coeligena orina) Andean Cock-of-the-Rock (Rupicola peruvianus sanguinolentus)

Amazonas

The Palmarí Nature Reserve and Research Centre although a renowned centre for nature, tranquility and outdoor pursuits, was originally established by birdwatchers for birdwatchers.

Location: Located on the banks of the Rio Javarí, the nature reserve is located in Brazil but almost uniquely accessed from Leticia in Colombia’s Amazonas region. See our Amazonas page for more information.

Elevation: 66 metres above sea level

Birds: Over 500 species recorded in the area including the Happy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) Fiery Topaz (Topaza pyra) and the Amazonian Umbrellabird (Cephalopterus ornatus)

La Conejera Wetlands, Bogotá

La Conejera is Bogotá’s best conserved wetland area. A 160 acre secondary forest oasis located in the Bogotá urban area. Easily Bogotá’s best managed wetland reserve, La Conejera boasts well defined trails, accessibility and tourist facilities.

Location: In Bogotá’s Suba district to the north of the city, readily accessible for guests staying in Bogotá‘s principal hotel areas.

Elevation: 2650 metres above sea level

Birds: Over 100 species recorded in the area including the Bogotá Rail (Railus semiplumbeus) Spot-flanked Gallinule (Gallinula melanops bogotensis) & Apolinar’s Marsh Wren (Cistothorus apolinari apolinari)

Other destinations

Ask us about guided birdwatching in Parque Chicaque, Río Blanco, The Coffee Zone, Puracé, Bahía Solano & Utría, Tayrona & El Matuy

All birdwatching activities are priced on request depending upon guests’ specific requirements. Below are worked examples of pricing.

El Dorado Bird Reserve

Price based on 2 nights at the Pro Aves El Dorado Bird Reserve, 4 adults in double accommodation. Includes return 4×4 transport from Minca, 3 meals per day and an English speaking guide for both days.

235€ per person

Jardín, Antioquia

Priced as an add-on for guests already staying in Jardín. One full day of guided birdwatching departing from your hotel in Jardín, includes 4×4 return transport from Jardín and an English speaking guide. Price based on a group of 4 people.

55€ per person

Amazonas

Price based on our headline rate for our Amazonas packages, programme 2 independent travel option. Includes expert local Spanish and Portuguese speaking guides, 3 meals per day. Accommodation in the reserve’s Moloka or Enramada. Visitors also have access to the reserve’s extensive range of activities. A bilingual companion will normally be available, please confirm prior to booking.

125€ per person per night.

La Conejera Wetlands, Bogotá

Priced as an add-on for guests already staying in Bogotá. One full day of guided birdwatching departing from your hotel in Bogotá, includes return transport from Bogotá and an English speaking guide. Price based on a group of 4 people.

55€ per person

Below is an example of how guests might combine tourism destinations with birdwatching opportunities in Colombia. Actual itineraries are custom designed for birdwatchers based on guests’ requirements.

Day 1

Arrive in Bogotá and check into one of our preferred hotels in the City

Day 2

Full day Bogotá City Tour

Day 3

Full day guided birdwatching trip to La Conejera Wetlands Reserve

Day 4

Overland transfer to Honda in the Magdalena Valley. Overnight stay in our preferred hotel in the town.

Day 5

Overland Transfer to the Pro Aves managed El Paujil Bird Reserve

Day 6

Full day at El Paujil with expert guides

Day 7

Morning at El Paujil with afternoon overland transfer to Medellín. Overnight in one of our preferred hotels in the El Poblado district of the city.

Day 8

Day trip to Guatapé and El Peñón, second night in Medellín

Day 9

Overland transfer to Jardín

Day 10

Full day guided birdwatching trip.

Day 11

Transfer to Salento and check in to our preferred hotel in the town

Day 12

Full day outing to the Cocora Valley with a half day trek to the Acaime Nature Reserve. A haven for birdwatchers with its 14 species of hummingbirds. Pick up and return to Salento afterwards.

Day 13

Transfer to a coffee finca for the final night of the tour

Day 14

Transfer to Pereira or Armenia airport for return flight to Bogotá