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The Western & Central Andes of Colombia. Photographic birding tour

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Why Book With Us?

  • No-hassle best price guarantee
  • Personalized attention. Fully flexible tailor-made tours
  • The best birding routes of the country
  • We are locals, we know the country!

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10 days
Availability : All year

This tour offers a truly immersive photographic experience, expertly crafted to capture the essence of birdlife in specially chosen locations. Colombia, boasting the highest number of bird species, ensures an unparalleled opportunity to capture the most exquisite images. Guaranteed to provide you with the best photographic moments.

Tour Details

Welcome to the birdiest country: Colombia!


This tour has been specifically designed for the avid bird photographer. A specific selection of locations with the -best conditions for photography, are part of this trip. With a mix of feeders and easy-to-walk roads and trails, this trip will put in your memory great moments and pictures.

Departure & Return Location

Cali, Alfonso Bonilla International Airport

Medellin – Jose Maria Cordova international airport

Price Includes

  • Expert birding bilingual tour guide
  • Hotel accomodation from day 0 to day 10
  • 1 domestic flight (extra domestic flight depends on departure airport)
  • Terrestrial transportation: Van/mini bus and 4 WD transportation when required
  • Entrance fees to parks, farms and reserves
  • 3 complete meals, water, and snacks

Price Excludes

  • Tips
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Mini bar expenses
  • Laundry and/or room service
  • Other items not mentioned above
What to Expect

This is a photographic trip, this means thousands of shots and incredible pictures. This trip takes you to different locations with a specific design for photographers. The time has been meticulously set, so you can get what you want without rushing, and enjoy every location.

  • Several ecosystems: tropical dry forest, rain forest, cloud forest, páramo (moorlands), all levels of andean forests (sub-andean, hig-andean, elfin/dwarf) and aquatic ecosystems.
  • Calm pace and easy-to-walk trails and/or roads.
  • Comfortable and calm lodges near or within the areas of interest.
  • Flexible trip style: small groups, independent, species seekers, couples, families.
  • Modify this trip based on your needs and desires.
  • Physical demand: low. We know what is to carry a complete load of photographic equipment.
  • Nature and culture interpretation by our expert guides.

Key: (E) = Endemic. (NE) = Near-endemic


Day 1Km 18 - La Florida

Early arrive to Cali’s international airport, drive to the km 18 area.

The Km 18 area is a famous birding hotspot on the ridge of the Western Cordillera. This area is well known for the farms that have moved into the birding business by establishing bird feeders. Is the only place where the endemic Multicolored Tanager and Chestnut Wood-quail, feed on bananas and corn. The area is plenty of birding locations, good lodging, and excellent food.

KM 18 is one of the classic birding hotspots and one of the best places for bird photography in the region. At least five farms have hummingbird and tanager feeders where the endemic and superb Multicolored Tanager can be seen. Feeders here also attract: (E) Colombian Chachalaca, (E) Chestnut Wood-quail, Lined Quail-dove, Beryl-spangled, (NE) Flame-rumped, (NE) Scrub, Golden, Metallic-green, Saffron-crowned, Bay-headed, and Golden-naped tanagers,  Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager also attend the feeder. Other beauties include the Crimson-rumped Toucanet, Black-winged Saltator, and Red-headed Barbet among others.

The hummingbird feeders are visited by hundreds of hummers. Long-tailed Sylph, Bronzy Inca, Booted Racket-tail, Blue-headed Sapphire, Lesser Violetear, Fawn-breasted Brilliant, Speckled Hummingbird, White-necked Jacobin, Brown Violetear, Crowned Woodnymph, (NE) Purple-throated Woodstar, and Greenish Puffleg. Two species of hermits can be found here too, these are the Tawny-bellied and Green Hermit.

Day 2Km 18 - San Felipe Birding

This is another famous spot in the KM 18 area. The species are the same as the previous day but we’ll have more and different opportunities to get these colorful birds in different perches, light conditions, and backgrounds. 

San Felipe has feeders and hides for photographing tanagers, Chestnut Wood-quail (two spots), Little Tinamou, Scaled Antpitta, and hummingbirds. 

Day 3High Anchicayá Canyon.

The Anchicayá Canyon is one of the best Colombian birding hotspots. With an easy access paved road, great views at canopy-level, and also hummingbird and tanager feeders, is a great location for exploring and for getting introduced to the avifauna of the Chocó region, one of the most biodiverse ecoregions of the world.

At 1100 meters is located “[El Descanso](https://goo.gl/maps/sVyC1SLBs54obwS29)”, a family restaurant which has a place dedicated to tanagers and hummingbirds. This place is very well known for being the only place in Colombia where the near-endemic Toucan Barbet come to feed on bananas and recently they started to nest continuously in the feeding garden. Black-chinned Mountain-tanager, Glistening-green, and Rufous-throated Tanagers come to feed on the fruit feeders too. Some other specialties also attend the feeders like Black-headed and Tricolored (Chocó) Brush-finch, Tick-billed and Orange-bellied Euphonias. Hummingbirds of interest here are Green Thorntail, White-whiskered Hermit, (NE) Empress Brilliant, and (NE) Brown Inca, among others.

Day 4Tinamú Birding Reserve

[Tinamú Birding Reserve](https://tinamubirding.com/en/) is a true sanctuary for birds that live among agriculture and cattle farms. The reserve protects a significant area of subtropical forest and serves as a haven for many species. The reserve has evolved from a 100% agricultural farm to a destination that provides excellent lodging and a well-designed birding experience, with comfortable trails and strategic lookout points.

A complex of sub-Andean and dry forest species is found here: Little Tinamou and Grey-headed Dove which attend to corn feeders, (NE) Bar-crested Antshrike, Great and Black-crowned Antshrikes, Scaled Antpitta, Blue-lored Antbird, Lineated Woodpecker, **(E) Parker´s Antbird**, Whiskered, Speckled-breasted and Scaly-breasted Wrens, Grey-headed Dove, Dwarf Cuckoo, Moustached Puffbird, (NE) Flame-rumped and Scrub Tanagers attend the feeders, Brown-throated and Scarlet-fronted Parakeet, Spectacled Parrotlet and Blue-headed Parrots are common in the reserve. The Golden-collared Manakin is constantly active in a couple of leks nearby the lodge.

Hummingbirds of interest include Long-billed Starthroat, Rufous-breasted Hermit, Ruby-topaz Hummingbird (ocassional), Sparkling Violetear, Green hermit, Steely-vented Hummingbird, White-necked Jacobin, and White-vented Plumeleteer.

Day 5Río Blanco reserve

Río Blanco enjoys a prestigious reputation as one of Colombia’s oldest and most celebrated birding destinations. It has earned its place in history by pioneering the establishment of antpitta feeders, which provide unique opportunities to observe at least four distinct species: the Brown-banded, Chestnut-crowned, Slate-crowned, and the near-endemic Bicolored antpittas. These feeders are strategically placed in close proximity to the lodge and the main road, making them conveniently accessible for capturing memorable photographs.

Equally captivating are the hummingbird feeders, which attract a vibrant array of species native to the Colombian Andes. Among these delightful visitors are the Collared Inca, Tourmaline Sunangel, Bronzy Inca, Lesser and Sparkling Violetears, Speckled Hummingbird, Long-tailed Sylph, Buff-tailed Coronet, White-bellied Woodstar, and Fawn-breasted Brilliant.

The tanager feeders are not to be overlooked, drawing in Buff-breasted and Blue-winged Mountain-tanagers, Slaty Brush-finch, Masked Flowerpiercer, and various other avian wonders.

Furthermore, Río Blanco has recently specialized in providing exceptional photographic opportunities. They have assembled a team of well-trained local guides who are equipped to cater to the unique needs of photographers, ensuring an outstanding experience for those looking to capture the beauty of this remarkable birding locale.

Day 6Hacienda El Bosque

On this particular day, we will continue our ascent into the lofty heights of the mountains, reaching an elevation of 10,000 feet. Our destination, Hacienda El Bosque, serves not only as a cattle farm but also as a guardian of significant portions of the high-Andean forests and páramo for many years. What sets this farm apart is its reputation as the sole location where the nearly-endemic and exceedingly rare Crescent-faced Antpitta can be observed visiting a dedicated feeder station. Additionally, for avid photographers, there are other strategically positioned feeder stations providing opportunities to capture images of the elusive Equatorial Antpitta.

However, the true highlight of this locale is the family of Gray-breasted Mountain-toucans, frequently gracing the dedicated feeder with their presence throughout the day, allowing ample opportunities for observation. This same feeder also attracts a variety of other species, including the Hooded Mountain-tanagers, Andean Guans, and White-throated Quail-dove, further enhancing the overall experience. Rest assured, a guaranteed sense of delight and amusement awaits you.

Moreover, the hummingbird feeders in this area provide an excellent vantage point for capturing images of various high-Andean species, ensuring a rewarding experience for bird enthusiasts and photographers alike.

Day 7Páramo del Ruiz (Los Nevados NP) and Termales del Ruiz.

The Paramo ecosystem undoubtedly ranks among Colombia’s top birding habitats. While it may host a comparatively lower number of species than other environments, the Paramo offers unparalleled vantage points, providing sweeping views of the dwarf and shrubby vegetation. Moreover, the light conditions here are often superior to those found in forested areas.

During our one-day exploration along the fringes of Los Nevados National Park, ranging from 4100 to 3300 meters, we will target specific highland species. At the higher elevations (4100 meters), our focus will be on spotting endemics such as the Buffy Helmetcrest and Rufous-fronted Parakeet.

At the lower elevation just below the treeline (3600 meters), we will have the opportunity to observe another set of distinct species, such as the Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanager, Golden-crowned Tanager,  Andean Pygmy-owl, and Black-backed Bush-Tanager.

Our stay at the Termales del Ruiz hotel will provide us with access to one of Colombia’s finest hummingbird feeders. While the numbers might not be as substantial, the species diversity is impressive, featuring highland specialties like the (NE) Black-thighed Puffleg, (NE) Golden-breasted Puffleg, Sword-billed Hummingbird, Buff-winged Starfrontlet, Tourmaline Sunangel, Viridian and Tyriant Metaltails, Shining Sunbeam, Great Sapphirewing, Rainbow-bearded Thornbill, and Purple-backed Thornbill.

We’ll have ample time to explore the surrounding gardens of the hotel, where we might spot the Pale-naped Brush-finch, Glossy Flowerpiercer, Scarlet-bellied and Lacrimose Mountain-tanager, as well as the (NE) Golden-fronted Whitestart. Our overnight stay at the splendid Termales del Ruiz hotel will allow us to dedicate more time to observing the hummingbirds and exploring the enchanting dwarf forest in the hotel’s vicinity.

Recently the hotel has established feeders for two species of antpittas: Equatorial and Tawny Antpittas..

Day 8El Color de mi Reves

El Color de mi Reves feeders, located near Manizales, is yet another renowned photography spot boasting thoughtfully designed feeders tailored for optimal photographic opportunities. It holds the unique distinction of being the sole location in Colombia where the elusive and secretive Ocellated Tapaculo is known to visit a feeder, offering a rare chance to capture incredible shots. Additionally, the feeders here are frequented by the highly sought-after Black-billed Mountain-toucan and the vibrantly hued Black-collared Jay. Various tanager species are also regular visitors to these feeders, providing ample opportunities to capture their beauty. Moreover, the site offers excellent prospects for capturing striking images of hummingbirds.

Day 9Mirador El Roble and the Yellow-eared Parrot reserve

Departing from the town of Riosucio, we will ascend into the mountains, making our way to the Mirador El Roble feeders. Upon arrival, we will have the delightful opportunity to relish a delicious breakfast while enjoying the sight of various local hummingbird species flitting around. Subsequently, we will visit the feeders, where a local family has successfully trained the endemic Chami Antpitta and the elusive Chestnut-naped Antpitta to make regular appearances in search of delectable worms. In the surrounding areas, we might also be fortunate enough to spot the endemic Yellow-eared Parrot, the White-capped Tanager, the Black-billed Mountain-toucan, and various other wonders.

Day 10Jardin, Andean Cock-of-the-rock Lek

The Andean Cock-of-the-rock lek in Jardin stands as the ultimate location for witnessing and capturing photographs of this vibrant and captivating bird. With no fewer than 6 males frequently displaying their vibrant plumage at the lek each day, it offers an unparalleled opportunity to observe and photograph their remarkable behavior.

Moreover, the feeders at this site offer views of other stunning species, including the endemic Red-bellied Grackle and Crested Ant-tanager. Venturing into the surrounding areas, one may also be fortunate enough to encounter the Andean Motmot, as well as the Green (Inca) and Black-chested Jays, all of which are frequently spotted in the vicinity. The gardens attract a diverse array of birdlife, ensuring a day filled with excitement and countless opportunities for capturing exceptional shots.


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