Colombia for birdwatchers in 13 - 15 days, 2 variants | Latinamerica Journeys | Travel Design

Itinerary subtitle: 

Tailormade birdwatching tours at top locations

Itinerary description: 

For birdwatching a 'must see' is probably 'El Dorado' near Santa Marta and very beautiful to add would be the reserve Hato Aurora for both birdwatching & wildlife safaris.

These 2 programs were developed especially for groups of birdwatchers and can be tailor made in all ways.

Proposal birding, fauna, and culture trip with wildlife safaris at Hato Aurora included.

 – 13 days –

This trip of 13 days (in Colombia), has a focus on birding and fauna, but is also suitable for nature lovers in general, and will have some extra dimension because of the cultural aspects. We visit almost all ecosystems including paramo (above de 3300m), cloud forest, sub-tropical, and tropical areas. The highlight for animal and nature lovers will be at the end, with our stay in an ecolodge deep into the department of Casanare, where we have a great variety of animals (including mammals), as well as birds.

Day by day description:
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

Day 1 – Arrival at Bogota airport and welcome by our host and driver. Transfer to hotel in the colonial area of Bogota, called ‘la Candelaria’ for the first night.

Day 2 – City tour in Bogota. We do a hike in the colonial area of ‘la Candelaria’ visiting the most beautiful and important monuments. Also visit to Gold Museum, and the Botero Museum. IN the afternoon we take the cable car up to Cerro Monserrate for stunning views over the capital. Back to the hotel in the (late) afternoon and second night in Bogota.

B

Day 3 – Early morning private transport from Bogota to Honda. Normally this is a 5 hour drive, but we will have some stops on our way. One of these stops will be at ‘Jardin Encantado’ for birding (mostly honeybirds). We go all the way from the Eastern Andes Range into the Magdalena Valley. As going from Bogota at 2600m to Honda (400m), we will have various ecosystems, and we will have a special birding guide in the bus this day to be able to advise some stops for the clients, and have some extra information. In Honda we saty in the colonial center of the village for the night.

B

Day 4 – Early morning transport from Honda to Manizales. Normally also about 4 to 5 hours, but again we will have some stops. One of them will be the Los Nevados Park where we will visit the ‘Laguna Negra’ for some birding. The ecosystems are going to change as we go up from the Magdalena Valley, all the way to the paramo (over 3500m), and back to the cloud forest of Timanu. This day we will still have a special birding guide in the bus for recommendations and extra information. In Manizales we will stay at the bird reserve of Tinamu for the night.

B, L, D

Day 5 – Full day in Tinamu for birding. For the real die hard birders, we can do a short birding tour in the morning and in the afternoon have a transport to the bird reserve of Rio Blanco for some extra birding in the bird reserve of ‘Aguas de Manizales’. This activity will be offered as optional. Second night in Tinamu.

B, L, D

Day 6 – Transport from Tinamu (Manizales) to the authentic village of Jardin Antioquía, This trip is about 5 to 6 hours, so after arrival we have time to explore the village of Jardin. At 16:00 we will do a short birding tour to a private birding reserve just outside the village with possibility to spot the ‘Cock of the Rock’. Night in the village of Jardin.

B

Day 7 – Full day tour in special jeeps to the bird reserve of ‘Orejamarillo’. This reserve is administrated by the foundation of ‘Pro-Aves’ and together with an experienced bird guide, we will spend the day looking for birds. In the afternoon we return to Jardin for the second night in the village.

B & L

Day 8 – Transport to the airport of Medellin (Rio Negro) and flight to Yopal. This flight will have a short stopover in Bogota. In Yopal we will have a transfer to hotel in the city center. In the afternoon we will have a short tour just outside Yopal to spot some birds.

B

Day 9 – In 4x4 jeeps (3 to 4 persons per jeep) we continue our trip over a dirth road into the Los Llanos. We will go all the way to a small village called ‘Montañas de Totumo’, which is a 5 hours drive, where we will stay in an ecolodge. After arrival we will do a short hike around the ecolodge for both spotting fauna and birds. Night in ecolodge.

B, L, D

Day 10 and 11 – Two full days of activities at the ecolodge. We will do hikes, horse rides, safaris in jeeps, and a boat trip of the Ariporro River. This is really THE highlight of the trip. The area of Casanare, and especially around the ecolodge where we stay, is famous for the variety of animals (including mammals) and birds. If we go in the summer time (between December and March) we can also include a special activity where we go looking for Anacondas. In the evening we will also include some aspects of the traditional culture of Los llanos. Not only the food, but we will also do live music, poems, and dancing (Joropo) with the local people.

B, L, D

Day 12 – Morning free time at the lodge and after the lunch we return in 4x4 jeeps to Yopal. From here we have direct flight back to Bogota. Last night in Bogota we will do in other area of the city. We stay the last night in the northern part of the city, where you find more restaurants and bars.

B & L

Day 13 – According flight schedule a transfer to the airport of Bogota and international flight back home. End of the trip organized.

B

(Soft) Birding tour – 15 days & 14 nights

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

Day 1 - Arrival at Bogota airport and welcome by our tour leader and driver for transfer to Hotel Casa Deco. After check in we have time to relax, no program today. First night in Bogota in Hotel Casa Deco.

Day 2 - 09:00 start of city tour Bogota. We start with a walking tour in la Candelaria, visiting the most important monuments and squares, Gold Museum and Botero Museum. After a typical lunch in local restaurant, we continue in transport to Cerro Monserrate where we go up to the mountain hill in cable car for views over the city. Return to the hotel in the afternoon and 2nd night in Hotel Casa Deco.

B & L

Day 3 - 07:00 Day tour to the Nature reserve of ‘Parque Chicaque’ at just one hour south of Bogota. We leave early to be able to see as much birds possible. Besides the Tour leader we will also count on the skills of a professional bird guide in the park. The park has an ecosystem of Cloud Forrest and we will decent from +/- 2700m to 2200m to a valley. Depending on the physical shape of the group we can return hiking over other path or get back in 4 wheel drive. During the trip we will have a lunch box included. In the afternoon we return to Bogota for the 3rd night in Hotel Casa Deco.

B & L

Day 4 -  08:00 private transport from Bogota to Jardin Encantado, a bird reserve at 1,5 hours from Bogota. Here we have a guided visit to the bird reserve and possibility to do some Honeybird spotting at a breeder. We continue in private transport for another 3 to 4 hours to the Colonial town of Honda, where we will stay at the hotel Belle Epoque. If we don’t arrive too late, we can make a short walk in the colonial town of Honda with our tour leader. Night in Hotel Bouitique Belle Epoque.

B

Day 5 - 07:00 morning walk alomg the Magdalena river to spot some birds of the Magdalena Valley. WE continue in private transport for 4 to 5 hours going up from the Magdalena valley all the way to the Paramo, and donw to the city of Manizales. On our way we can make several stops for bird watching along the road. In Manizales we stay at an authentic Coffee Hacienda, called Hacienda Venecia. Here we have dinner included. Night at Hacienda Venecia.

B & D

Day 6 - 05:00 Today a tour for the real bird watchers to the bird reserva of ‘Rio Blanco’. We leave very early to arrive on time to see the morning birds. We make a walk in the reserve with a professional bird guide and lunch is included during the tour. In the afternoon we return to Hacienda Venecia for dinner and the second night at the Hacienda. If there are some people in the group that want to relax, we can also change the tour to Río Blanco for a half day coffee tour on the Hacienda. It’s also possible to split the group, so some people stay at the hacienda, while others do the Rio Blanco tour. When staying at the hacienda, the lunch is not included.

B&L&D

Day 7 - 08:00 Long bus ride (+/- 6 hours) from Manizales to the most beautiful town of the Antioquia department, ‘Jardin’. Although a long bus ride we will enjoy this day as we have private transport, stunning views over coffee fields and mountains, and we can stop wherever we want to take pictures of a short break for a drink and/or lunch. In Jardin we will stay at the Hotel Valdivia Plaza on the center square of the town. In the afternoon time to wander around in the streets of Jardin, pick one of the many terraces. We will also go to a local nature reserve close to the town where we can spot the ‘Cock of the Rock’. Night at Hotel Valdivia Plaza.

B

Day 8 - 05:00 early morning tour to the bird reserve of ‘Loro Orejamarillo’ which is administrated by the organization of ‘Pro-aves’. This organization uses the income of entrance, transport and guides in the bird reserve to maintain and expand their bird reserves by buying land, reforestation, and maintenance of the reserves. The reserve is about 1,5 hour away from Jardin and we will make a trip in 4x4 and by walking together with the tour leader and professional bird guide of the park to spot the ‘Yellow eared Parrot’. But there are over 195 other species of which the Taganger Finch, Red-bellied Grackle and the Chesnut Wood-quail, are protected species in the reserve. During our tour we will have a lunch included in the reserve. At the end of the day back to Jardin for the second night in Hotel Valdivia Plaza.

B & L

Day 9 - Early morning (depending on flight time) private transport to the airport of Medellin, which is about 3,5 hours driving. From here we take a direct flight (only possible with Avianca) to Santa Marta. Welcome at the airport of Santa Marta and transport for another 1,5 hours to the small town of Minca, located in the outskirts of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. If we don’t arrive too late, we still have some time for birding nearby the hotel. Night at Hotel Minca.

B

Day 10 - 09:00 Transport in jeeps 4x4 to the nature reserve of ‘El Dorado’. Also this nature and bird reserve is administrated by ‘Pro-aves’, and by staying in this nature reserve we are supporting the protection of the birds in El Dorado bird reserve and other bird reserves of Pro-aves. After arrival we will have a walk in the surroundings of the cabins together with the tour leader. Both lunch and dinner are included at the El Dorado bird reserve. Night in cabins (sharing 2, 3 beds at each room, unless requested for a single room).

B & L & D

Day 11 - 05:00 Tour in private 4x4 jeep into the park and getting to the best places for birding. There are registries of 337 different species of birds of which at least 19 are endemic. Just to name some of them; Santa Marta Parakeet, Santa Marta Bush-tyrant, Blossom-crown, Santa Marta Antpitta, Black Froted Wood-quail, White-tipped Quetzal en de Golden-breasted Fruiteater. We will be with the tour leader and professional bird guide of the reserve to try to spot as much as possible. After a full day we return to the cabins for the second night including lunch and dinner.

B & L & D

Day 12 - Morning free to wander around yourself close to the cabins and later (around 10:00) in private 4x4 jeeps to Santa Marta (2,5 hours) and continue in private transport to Cartagena (4 to 5 hours). Here we stay at the hotel India Catalina in the colonial center of Cartagena. Depending on arrival time, we can still make a short walk together with our tour leader in the colonial town of Cartagena. Night ion Hotel Casa India Catalina

B

Day 13 - 08:00 Tour to the small fishing village of ‘la Boquilla’ which is one of the poorest areas of Cartagena. We will visit a school project that supports poor children by facilitation free education and lunch to the children. By visiting this project we give our support. Then we continue with a local fisherman on a canoe through the mangroves with a lot of possibilities for birding. We get to a local beach where we have a typical lunch (fried fish) included and in the afternoon we return to Cartagena by canoe and private transport. Second night in Hotel casa India Catalina.

B & L

Day 14 - Free day in Cartagena. You can relax, visit the town on your own, or go to the nearby beaches. But this day we can also offer optional tours. If we haven’t seen enough from the colonial town, we can offer a city tour in Cartagena. This is a half a day walking tour visiting the areas of Calamarí, San Diego, and Getsemaní. Other option is a full day trip to Islas del Rosario. There are different optios, some of them including aslo a visit to Playa Blanca on Isla Baru. We can organize group tours, but if group wants, we can also do tours in private speedboat/sailing boats. City tour is with our toure leader and has no extra costs, the other option depends on the tour booked. 3rd night in Hotel casa India Catalina.

B

Day 15 - In the morning tour to Castillo San Felipe de Barajas and after continue to the airport of Cartagena. If the flight leaves in the (late) afternoon, we will ask the hotel to keep one room with late check out to be able to store luggage and to take a shower and change before going to the airport. End of a wonderful trip by taking the plane back to Europe, leaving from Cartagena.

B