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SANTA MARTA ENDEMICS

Discover the amazing and unique bird diviersity of the highest coast mountain and its surrounding lowlands

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The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta or Santa Marta mountains, is the biggest coast mountain in the planet and the highest point of the country with 5775masl in the snow-capped top. It is the habitat of more than 26 endemic species and counting, since certain time new species are discovered.

 

Birding is made through different elevations 

 

BIRDING IN MINCA

 

A small fresh paradise in the heart of the mountains, with wonderful waterfalls, exuberant vegetation and coffee plantations. A tropical shelter for great diversity of birds such as Keel-billed toucan, Whooping motmot and White-bearded manaki; wonderful butterflies, night monkeys, reptiles and much more.

 

 

BIRDING IN EL DORADO RESERVE AND SAN LORENZO RIDGE

 

Great reserve that protects more than 1000 hectares of cloud forest. Among the silence and sweet melody of the forest, the best place to observe most of the 26 species of endemic birds and amphibians of the Sierra. Journey through a humid and exuberant forest that contains one of the highest densities of endemic plants in the world. And at the top a very nice view of the snowy peaks.

 

 

TAYRONA NATIONAL PARK

 

Transition from wet forest to dry forest, magnificent and legendary turquoise beaches with a wide variety of protected species. In these trails, there is the opportunity to observe Cotton-top Tamarins, Red howler monkeys. Also a great variety of birds such as Lance-tailed Manakin, Rufous-tailed Jacamar and Blue-billed curassow, reptiles and surprising insects.

 

 

LOS FLAMENCOS SANCTUARY

 

Located in the department of La Guajira, 168 km from Santa Marta, close to one of the indigenous communities of Colombia, Wayuus. It is a perfect place to discover the desert and marine ecosystem that is home to the very famous American Flamingo and different shorebirds. Also i  the trails is possible to have great views as some other birds like the Vermillion Cardinal, Orinoco Saltator and Buffy hummingbird.

 

 

ITINERARY

 

Day 1

Pick up in Barranquilla or Santa Marta and visit Isla Salamanca Park and mangrove areas on the way to Minca destination in the foothill of the Santa Marta mountains, accommodation near town.

Highlight birds: Chestnut-winged Chachalaca, Sapphire-bellied hummingbird, Bicolor conebill, Common Tody-flycatcher, Red-rumped woodpecker.

 

DAY 2

Birding for the morning and part of the afternoon around Minca and visit to Faunal Nature Reserves bird feeder stations and trails. (walking and make use of vehicle). Possible night walk in search for nocturnal wildlife in Faunal reserve.

 

Highlight birds: Golgen-winged sparrow, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Whooping motmot, Keel-billed toucan, Collared aracari, Scaled piculet, Swallow tanager, Steely-vented hummingbird, White-bearded manakin, Black-chested jay, Cocoa woodcreeper, Rosy thrush-tanager, Rufous-capped warbler, Crimson-back tanager, Gartered trogon, Masked tityra, Rufous-and-white wren, Pale-eyed pigmy-tyrant.

 

DAY 3

Birding trip in the morning form Minca to EL Dorado Reserve for the next 2 nights. Birding for the whole day in trails and bird feeders around the lodge

 

Highlight birds: Bay-headed tanager, Santa Marta (SM) foliage-gleaner, SM antbird, Orange-billed Nightingale-thrush, Coppery emerald, SM brush-finch, Golden-crowned flycatcher, Band-tailed guan, Groove-billed toucanet, SM Blossomcrown, SM woodstar, White-lored warbler, Montane foliage-gleaner, SM tapaculo, Rusty-breasted antpitta, Bang’s wood-wren, Blue-naped chlorophonia.

 

DAY 4

Early journey in 4x4 to the top of the mountain (San lorenzo ridge) where some endemic bird species can be found plus other very local ones, birding for the whole morning and come back in the afternoon for more birding around the lodge.

 

Highlight birds: Santa Marta warbler, Santa Marta wood-wren, SM mountain tanager, SM bush-tyrant, SM antpitta, SM Rufous antpitta, SM parakeet, Brown-rumped tapaculo, SM Emerald toucanet, White-tailed starfrontlet, White-tipped quetzal, Masked trogon, Sickle-winged guan, Golden-bellied grosbeak, Golden-breasted fruit-eater, Black-fronted woodquail, White-rumped hawk.

 

DAY 5

Early birding around the lodge and then start driving down to Minca and to the lowlands where stay 1 night close by a nice river, in Taironaka EcoHotel. Birding in the afternoon.

 

Highlight birds: Black-back antshrike, Panama flycatcher, Blue-headed parrot, Buff-breasted wren, White-chinned sapphire, Black-throated mango, Orange-chinned parakeet, Bicolored wren, Scaled dove, Brown-throated parakeet

 

DAY 6

Birding in the morning along trails in the river side and gardens 

and then leave to Flamencos Park area, where stay one night in El Remanso del Santuario Logde. Birding in the afternoon.

 

Highlight birds: Black-crowned antshrike, Lance-tailed manakin, Olivaceus flatbill, Southern bentbill, Bright-rumped Attila, Orange-crowned oriole, Red-legged honeycreeper, White-bellied antbird, Sepia-capped flycatcher, Yellow-breasted flycatcher, Little blue-heron, Osprey, Great Black-hawk, Green Kingfisher, Ringed kingfisher, Pied water-tyrant.

 

DAY 7

Birding in the morning with the company of a local indigenous guide along trails. There is also the possibility to arrange a boat trip to take a closer view to the American Flamencos and other aquatic species if desired. In the afternoon transfer to Santa Marta.

 

Highlight birds: Vermillion cardinal, Orinoco saltator, Black-crested antshrike, White-fringed antwren, Slender-billed inezia, White-whiskered spinetail, Chestnut piculet, Straight-billed woodcreeper, Pale-legged hornero, Tocuyo sparrow, Crested bobwhite, Glaucous tanager, Russet-throated puffbird, Venezuelan flycatcher, Green-rumped parrotlet, American flamingo, Reddish egret.

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PERIJA MOUNTAINS EXTENSION

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The mountains of the Serrania de Perija, located at the north of the Eastern Andes limting with Venezuela, is a birding hotspot with at least 4 endemic bird species (and counting), and other very local species and subspecies.This birdig trip is usually made as part of the Santa Marta Mountains Birding Trip, but can be also made indepedently.

ITINERARY

DAY 1

This trip starts in the city of Valledupar, from here we will start driving up to the mountains doing birding stops on the way until we reach the Chamicero Reserve where we stay overnight.

DAY 2

We will start very early in the morning and drive up to the paramo in order to look for the endemic species. In the afternoon we will explore feeders and the surroundings ofthe lodge.

DAY3

We will explore again the higher area in search fr the missing species and nature views. I the afternoon we well explore some  spots on the road.

DAY4

After breakfast we will star to descend to Valledupar city doing stops on the way.

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TOUR INFORMATION

Dates 2022: 13 - 19 December

Dates 2023: 21 - 27 March

                      18 - 24 April

                      23 - 29 November

Also on request throught the year

Duration: 7 days - 7 nights

Group Size: From 1 up to 6 persons

Starts in: Barranquilla/Santa Marta

Finishes in: Santa Marta

Price: 1p USD $2850

2-4p USD $1980 per person

5-8p USD $1750 per person

It includes 7 nights of lodging, all meals, all ground  transportation in private 4x4, entrance fees to nature reseves, feeders and national parks, local expert guide specialized in birds and wildlife (english/french speaking), water supply and snacks

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