Paisa Tours: Guide to Medellin and Colombia

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Birdwatching Tours in Colombia

Colombia is a birdwatchers dream - with over 1800 bird species, the country has the highest count of birds in the world. The huge diversity of birdlife comes from the equally diverse terrain. Sadly, many of Colombia's best birdwatching areas are the remote parts of the country that are not safe to visit. Having said this, there are many excellent birding areas that are safe to visit. Always check current local safety conditions, then relax and go birdwatching in Colombia...

Birdwatching on Colombia's Carribean Coast

  • La Guarija Peninsula - Riohacha, Musiche and Manaure offer birdwatching in the dry Northern desert of Colombia. La Guarija is well known for it's flamingoes.
  • Park Tayrona & Santa Marta - in addition to amazing beaches, Park Tayrona has many migratory birds and endemic rainforest species. Some of the best birdwatching is along the main entrance road to the park. There are also some good private reserves close to nearby Santa Marta, such as Park Diem. Quebrada Valencia is a reserve off the road between Santa Marta and Riohacha. Cuchillo San Lorenzo in the mountains near Santa Marta also has many endemic bird species.
  • Salamanca - near Barranquilla, there's a visitor centre and boat tours are available.
  • Rio Sinu region in Cordoba district - well known for numerous parrot species.

  • Birdwatching in the Eastern Andes: North of Bogota

  • Humedales - marshes near Bogota.
  • Humedal La Florida - a small wetland near Bogota airport, take a bus to Engativa.
  • La Conejera Park - near Compartir.
  • Laguna de Fuquene - a lake near Chiquinquira, consider staying at Refugio el Santuario.
  • Laguna de Pedropalo - a lake just outside for Bogota, well known for endemic bird species.
  • Paramo near Bogota - consider Paramo Santa Ana, Chingaza National Park or La Laja Private Reserve (high Andean forest and Paramo near near Hato Viejo).
  • Cachalu - A forest reserve owned by Fundacion Natura, a few hours from San Gil.
  • Rogitama - a small reserve in Boyaca department, three hours from Bogota.
  • Chicaque National Park - birdwatching in the cloudforest near Bogota.

  • Birdwatching in Central Colombia

  • Ucumari National Park - one of Colombia's best spots for birdwatching tours, the high variations in altitude make thise a very biodiverse region. Dormitories and camping is available. Nearby Los Nevados National Park also has good birdwatching tours available.
  • Rio Blanco -a reserve close to Manizales in Colombia's Coffee Country.
  • Reserva San Sebastian and La Romera - a reserve close to Medellin.
  • Magdalena Valley - the Magdallena Valley, between Medellin and Bogota, has few forests left but is a fertile area rich in birdlife. There's numerous natural Reserves such as those at Rio Claro, El Paujil (visitor centre and camping), Los Achiles (a cattle farm, good for activities in addition to birdwatching tours), Cañon del Rio Alicante and El Garcero (Isla de Mompos).
  • Cauca Valley - Buga is the best base for birdwatching in the Cauca Valley, as the Laguna de Sonso (a wetland reserve, accommodation in hacienda) and Bosque Yotoco (a forest reserve, camping is possible) are both nearby.
  • Western Andes - high biodiversity and many rare bird species are found at Pueblo Rico, with accommodation in Karagabi or Finca Providencia. Check current safety conditions if birdwatching in this part of Colombia.
  • Birdwatching in Colombia's Pacific Coast

    Colombia's Choco region has some of the highest biodiversity in the world, and the birdwatching here is truely excellent. The remote Anchicaya valley is one of the best places in the world for birdwatching. More easily accessible is the rainforest backed beach resort of Nuqui. To the north, Los Katíos National Park, which borders Panama's Darien Gap in Northern Colombia, has 450 species of bird have been recorded. There are numerous other areas in Choco that offer fantastic birdwatching, but many are not safe to visit.

    Birdwatching in the Southern Andes

  • El Pangan - close to the border with Equador in Narino district, four hours from Pasto.
  • San Agustin - worth visiting for it's archaeological ruins in addition to great birdwatching.
  • Purace National Park - the best option for paramo (highland) birdwatching in Colombia.
  • Birdwatching in Colombia's Amazon Rainforest

    Leticia is the gateway to Colombia's Amazon region, and there are many birdwatching sites near the town. Nearby Puerto Narino is an equally good if not better birdwatching base - it's a three hour walk to San Martin, which is on the edge of Amacayacu National Park, where one can find a visitor centre and canopy tower. Over 400 species of bird have been recorded in Amacayacu National Park. In addition, pop over the border to Brazil for birdwatching around the town of Benjamin Constant.

    Birdwatching Tour Operators

    It's all about local knowledge when it comes to birding in Colombia. Try Colombia Wild, Colombia Birding or Ecoturs, all of whom are specialist birding tour operators in Colombia. Alternatively, El Chamicero offer birdwatching tours near Bogota.

    Park Tayrona, Colombia
    Beaches of Colombia at Park Tayrona, also good for birding tours.

    Rio Claro, Nature tours in Colombia
    Rio Claro is a good base for nature tours and birdwatching.

    Leticia, Colombia
    River life near Leticia in Colombia's Amazon.

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    Browse Colombia by travel destinations: Caribbean Coast: - Cartegena - Rosario Islands - Santa Marta - Park Tayrona - Ciudad Perdida - La Guajira - San Andres - Providencia - San Bernardo Islands - Capurgana - Northern Colombia: - Bogota - Villa de Leiva - San Gil - Mompos - Paisa Country (Central Colombia): - Medellin - El Penol - Antioquia's Oriente - Santa Fe Antioquia - Rio Claro - Coffee Country - Los Nevados Park - Southern Colombia: - Cali - San Cipriano - Popayan - San Agustin - Tierradentro - Leticia - Colombia's Pacific Coast: - Choco - Gorgona Island - Nuqui - Bahia Solano