Northern Colombia: a Birding Paradise!

Heads up for February 2022, exact dates TBC

Please email us on for more details of this exciting Birdwatching Trip.

Vermilion Cardinal, one of the special birds we will be looking for

This is a 15-day birding tour in Colombia.

Colombia is a birdwatcher’s paradise waiting to be discovered. Thanks to its wide variety of landscapes and climates, Colombia is a megadiverse country with some of the highest biodiversity on the planet. Colombia holds almost 20% of all the planet's birds (1,930 species, with new species still being discovered).

Our exciting tour takes you to Northern Colombia, one of the most interesting regions of Colombia for bird lovers, famed for its high level of endemic species. We will explore a huge variety of different habitats including high elevation mountains, dry forest, wetlands, mangroves and coastal habitats.

White-tailed Starfrontlet, an endemic that's high on everybody's wishlist

We start with the dry scrub forest in-between the cities of Cartagena and Barranquilla, where we hope to find an array of lowland specialities, such as the recently split endemic Turquoise-winged Parrotlet and the endemic Chestnut-winged Chachalaca. Then, we will ascend in elevation towards the spectacular Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the tallest coastal mountain range on earth which has been identified as the planet’s single most important and irreplaceable site for threatened and endemic biodiversity. Here it is possible to see up to 24 species that can´t be found elsewhere. Subsequently, we will explore the dry forest of La Guajira, an area full of highly endangered regional specialities, before we start ascending again, this time to the northernmost spur of the Andes, the Serrania de Perijá.

This exciting tour includes upwards of 400 species, including more than 35 Colombian endemics, as well as interesting mammal species and exquisite landscapes.

Santa Marta Brushfinch, another endemic

Proposed Itinerary:

Day 1 Arrival in Cartagena, overnight in Cartagena 2 nights

Day 2 Cartagena birding, overnight in Cartagena

Day 3 Cartagena birding and transfer to Barranquilla, overnight in Barranquilla 1 night

Day 4 Isla Salamanca National Park and transfer to Minca, overnight in Minca 1 night

Day 5 Birding road to El Dorado Reserve, overnight in the El Dorado Reserve 3 nights

Days 6 & 7 Birding El Dorado Reserve, overnight in the El Dorado Reserve

Day 8 Morning birding El Dorado, transfer to Rioacha birding on route, overnight in Rioacha 2 nights

Day 9 Full day Los Flamencos Flora & Fauna Sanctuary, overnight in Rioacha

Day 10 Morning birding around Los Flamencos, transfer to Valledupar birding en route, overnight in Valledupar 1 night

Day 11 Morning birding at Los Besotes Reserve and Transfer to Perija Thistletail Reserve, overnight in Perija Thistletail reserve 3 nights

Days 12 & 13 Full days birding at Perija Thistletail Reserve, overnight in Perija Thistletail reserve

Day 14 Morning birding at Perija Thistletail Reserve, transfer to Valledupar for an internal flight to Bogota, overnight Bogota 1 night

Day 15 Bogota birding, flights home

Day 16 UK flights arrive home

Buffy Hummingbird

Some of the birds we will be looking for include:

Turquoise-winged Parrotlet, Scaly-breasted Hummingbird, Norther Screamer, Great-tailed Grackle, Thick-billed Euphonia, Magnificent Frigatebird, Brown Pelican, Lance-tailed Manakin, Chestnut-winged Chachalaca, Mouse-coloured Tyrannulet, Northern Scrub Flycatcher, Trinidad Euphonia, Sapphire-bellied Hummingbird, Bicolored Conebill, Black-crested Antshrike, Golden-green Woodpecker, Red-rumped Woodpecker, Dwarf Cuckoo, Yellow-chinned Spinetail, Bronzed Cowbird, Striped-backed Wren, White-cheeked Pintail, , Boat-billed Heron, American Pygmy Kingfisher, Golden-winged Sparrow, Scaled Piculet, Red-billed Emerald, Keel-billed Toucan, Pale-eyed Pygmy-tyrant, Rufous-and-white Wren, Black-headed Tanager, White-vented Plumeleteer, Rufous-breasted Hermit, Steely-vented Hummingbird, White-necked Jacobin, Black-throated Mango, Whooping Motmot, Santa Marta Tapaculo, Santa Marta Woodstar, White-lored Warbler, Santa Marta Blossomcrown, Santa Marta Foliage-gleaner, Santa Marta Antbird, White-tipped Quetzal, Santa Marta Toucanet, Groove-billed Toucanet, Golden-breasted Fruiteater, Rusty-breasted Antpitta, Santa Marta Parakeet, Yellow-crowned Whitestart, Santa Marta Warbler, Santa Marta Bush-Tyrant, Santa-marta (Black-cheeked) Mountain-tanager, Brown-rumped Tapaculo, Rusty-headed Spinetail, Santa Marta Antpitta, Rufous Antpitta, White-tailed Starfrontlet, Streak-capped Spinetail, Colombian Brushfinch, Santa Marta Brush-Finch, Cinnamon Flycatcher, Black-hooded Thrush, Blue-capped Tanager, Black-throated Tody-Tyrant, Black-fronted Wood-Quail, Lined Quail-dove, Sickle-winged Guan, Band-tailed Guan, Blue-naped Chlorophonia, American Flamingo, Scarlet Ibis, Vermillion Cardinal, Orinoco Saltator, Buffy Hummingbird, Russet-throated Puffbird, Bare-eyed Pigeon, Chestnut Piculet, Slender-billed Inezia, White-whiskered Spinetail, Pileated Finch, Tocuyo Sparrow, Rufous-vented Chachalaca, Black-crested Antshrike, Crested Bobwhite, White-fringed Antwren, Northern Scrub-Flycatcher, Blue-crowned Parakeet, Brown-throated Parakeet, Green-rumped Parrotlet, Venezuelan Flycatcher, Red-legged Tinamou, Yellow-olive Flycatcher, Yellow-breasted Flycatcher, Rufous-browed Peppershrike, Scrub Greenlet, Lance-tailed Manakin, Rufous-capped Warbler, Pale-eyed Pygmy Tyrant, Perija Tapaculo, Black-fronted Brush Finch, Perija Thistletail, Perija Metaltail, Perija Rufous Antpitta, Perija Starfrontlet, Loungamere’s Sunangel, Rufous-shafted Woodstar, Perija Brushfinch, Moustached Puffbird, Grey-throated Warbler, Yellow-throated Toucan, Glowing Puffleg, Blue-throated Starfrontlet, Great Sapphirewing and Black-tailed Trainbearer. We expect to see 400 species on this trip.

What could be more relaxing than a birdwatching boat ride?

What’s included:

Fourteen nights’ ensuite accommodation in hotels and lodges, all ground transport in Colombia in a comfortable air-conditioned minibus, plus 4x4 transport for our time in the mountains, all meals (breakfast, lunch and evening meal) from evening meal on Day 1 through to breakfast on Day 15, drinking water throughout the trip, guiding by Alan, Ruth and an experienced English-speaking local guide, plus additional drivers and local guides as required, excursions as itemised in the itinerary, entrance to all reserves.

What’s not included:

International flights to and from Colombia, domestic flight from Valledupar to Bogota and any additional overnight accommodation, additional soft drinks, any alcoholic drinks, travel insurance, optional visits and excursions, items of a personal nature.


The price per person sharing a double/twin ensuite room is £TBC (Guide price for 2021 was £4375). Sorry but we do have to pass on a single room supplement of £TBC (£300 in 2021) for anyone wanting an individual room on the trip.

Bay-headed Tanager, a Santa Marta subspecies and potential split for the future

Please email us on for more information about this exciting trip. We look forward to hearing from you and sharing the exciting birds of Northern Colombia with you.

General Tour Information:


This tour to Colombia includes some hikes over uneven and sometimes steep terrain. At times we will be birding at an altitude of 9186 feet/2800m, though birding excursions are optional. Please contact us if you have any concerns over your participation.


Payment can be made by cheque or electronic bank transfer. Payment is due in GB pounds sterling net of all bank and currency fees We ask for a 20% deposit upon booking with the balance latest due by 70 days before travel. Full details are provided on our Booking Form. Please ensure you also see our Terms and Conditions and Booking Confirmation Statement. We are compliant with the Packaged Travel Regulations 2018 and have Financial Failure Insurance in place to give you and your money the fullest possible protection.


This tour will run with a minimum of four and maximum of six guests. The tour will go ahead provided four guests have booked by 70 days before the start of the tour.


At time of writing visas are not required for holders of British or US passports


Please see our Booking Form and Terms and Conditions on our website. Please ask us if you would like us to send you a copy.

Travel and Medical Insurance:

Please make sure you have the correct insurance cover in place for this tour before the start of the trip. We will require you to supply your insurance policy name and number as well as the emergency claim number before you join the tour.

Contact us

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