Birdwatching in Colombia
With Colombia’s huge variety of landscapes, climates and ecosystems comes the world’s broadest bird diversity. With at least 1876 species, Colombia is recognised in birdwatching circles as a veritable paradise for bird enthusiasts.
Uniquely, Colombia offers dedicated birding destinations very close to major tourism centres. These are the areas in which we concentrate our birdwatching trips. So called soft birding in destinations that are easily combined with a full range of tourism services. Enjoy birdwatching within the context of a fully featured trip to Colombia.
We work closely with Pro Aves, the undisputed experts in the field of birding in Colombia. This commercial partnership provides our guests the very best of both worlds. The expert travel planning and itinerary design of The Colombian Way alongside the very best and most knowledgeable birding guides available in Colombia.
The birdwatching guides that we offer for your trip will be experts in their particular region. Either provided by our partners at Pro Aves or expert local independent guides in your chosen destination.
In certain destinations, English speaking guides are available. The Colombian Way is also able to supply the excellent Pro Aves Field Guide to the Birds of Colombia and the Checklist of the Birds of Colombia. Highly regarded publications available in either English or Spanish.
We offer specialist birding trips and stays in most areas of Colombia including Amazonas, The Magdalena Valley, The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, the high Andes, and tropical forest destinations. Please click the destinations tab to see a full list.
Some destinations are reserves in their own right situated close to and with easy access to popular tourism destinations. For other destinations, we will organise hotel accommodation, from where the guide will take you to a nearby birdwatching location.
El Dorado Bird Reserve
The El Dorado Bird Reserve was created on March 31, 2006, based on the urgency of conserving one of the most fragile and important zones in Colombia, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, home to a large number of unique plant and animal species.
Location: Cuchilla de San Lorenzo in The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta close to Minca
Elevation: 950 to 2600 metres above sea level
Birds: Santa Marta Parakeet (Pyrrhura viridicata) Santa Marta Sabrewing (Campylopterus phainopeplus) Santa Marta Bush-tyrant (Myiotheretes pernix)
Las Tángaras Bird Reserve
Las Tángaras Bird Reserve was created in October 2009 to protect the habitat of two endemic bird species: The Golden-ringed tanager (Bangsia aureocinta) and the Black-and-gold tanager (Bangsia melanochlamys).
Location: In the department of Chocó to the west of Medellín
Elevation: 1250 to 3400 metres above sea level
Birds: 250 species of birds including the Golden-ringed tanager (Bangsia aureocinta) and the Black-and-gold tanager (Bangsia melanochlamys)
El Paujil Bird Reserve
The El Paujil Bird Reserve was created in November 2003 with the support of American Bird Conservancy and The Global Conservation Fund in order to preserve the Blue-billed Curassow (Crax alberti) which is endemic to Colombia
Elevation: 150 to 1200 metres above sea level
Birds: There are 360 species of birds registered, 7 of which are endemic species. Including Cotorra cabeciamarilla (Gypopsitta pyrilia), Carpintero bonito (Melanerpes pulcher), White-Mantled Barbet (Capito hypoleucus)
The small, lively and joyful town of Jardín in Antioquia is a firm favourite of The Colombian Way. Arguably the most spectacular representation of small-town Colombian life. Jardín also appears popular with birdlife and as many people flock to this small town for its birdwatching opportunities as they do for the beery nightlife and happy ambience.
Location: Jardín is located in the lower reaches of the department of Antioquia. Approximately 4 hours from Medellín or Manizales. The perfect stop off for trips including Medellín and the Coffee Zone in their itinerary.
Elevation: 2400 to 3000 metres above sea level
Birds: Yellow-eared Parrot (Ognorhynchus icterotis) Dusky Starfrontlet (Coeligena orina) Andean Cock-of-the-Rock (Rupicola peruvianus sanguinolentus)
The Palmarí Nature Reserve and Research Centre although a renowned centre for nature, tranquility and outdoor pursuits, was originally established by birdwatchers for birdwatchers.
Location: Located on the banks of the Río Javarí, the nature reserve is located in Brazil but almost uniquely accessed from Leticia in Colombia’s Amazonas region. See our Amazonas page for more information.
Elevation: 66 metres above sea level
Birds: Over 500 species recorded in the area including the Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) Fiery Topaz (Topaza pyra) and the Amazonian Umbrellabird (Cephalopterus ornatus)
La Conejera Wetlands, Bogotá
La Conejera is Bogotá’s best conserved wetland area. A 160 acre secondary forest oasis located in the Bogotá urban area. Easily Bogotá’s best managed wetland reserve, La Conejera boasts well-defined trails, accessibility and tourist facilities.
Location: In Bogotá’s Suba district to the north of the city, readily accessible for guests staying in Bogotá‘s principal hotel areas.
Elevation: 2650 metres above sea level
Birds: Over 100 species recorded in the area including the Bogotá Rail (Railus semiplumbeus) Spot-flanked Gallinule (Gallinula melanops bogotensis) & Apolinar’s Marsh Wren (Cistothorus apolinari apolinari)
Below is an example of how guests might combine tourism destinations with birdwatching opportunities in Colombia. Actual itineraries are custom designed for birdwatchers based on guests’ requirements.
Arrive in Bogotá and check into one of our preferred hotels in the City
Full day Bogotá city tour
Full day guided birdwatching trip to La Conejera Wetlands Reserve
Overland transfer to Honda in the Magdalena Valley. Overnight stay in our preferred hotel in the town.
Overland Transfer to the Pro Aves managed El Paujil Bird Reserve
Full day at El Paujil with expert guides
Morning at El Paujil with afternoon overland transfer to Medellín. Overnight in one of our preferred hotels in the El Poblado district of the city.
Day trip to Guatapé and El Peñón, second night in Medellín.
Overland transfer to Jardín
Full day guided birdwatching trip.
Transfer to Salento and check in to our preferred hotel in the town.
Full day outing to the Cocora Valley with a half day trek to the Acaime Nature Reserve. A haven for birdwatchers with its 14 species of hummingbirds. Pick up and return to Salento afterwards.
Transfer to a coffee finca for the final night of the tour.
Transfer to Pereira or Armenia airport for return flight to Bogotá.