Wildlife experts who have a passion for feathered friends that soar overhead will find incredible opportunities for birdwatching in Colombia. This country is incredibly biodiverse, with more bird species than any other country in the world. Truly, this is a birdwatcher’s paradise!
Before you embark on you’re excursion, you’ll want to plan properly so you explore in time with the various species that roam the Colombian skies. Use this expert guide about everything you need to know when it comes to birdwatching in Colombia. From when to visit, to where to travel, and what birds you can see, we’ll help you organize the ultimate wildlife adventure.
Where to go for birdwatching in Colombia
Thanks to the incredibly diverse ecosystems of Colombia, travelers will have plenty of options for where to go for the best birdwatching. There are several standout destinations to explore during your excursion, which we discuss in depth in this blog post. But, here’s a brief overview of a few can’t-miss sights for birding in Colombia.
- Among the top destinations in the world for this peaceful activity is the Santa Marta Mountains. Andean Condors and Blue-Billed Curassows make these coastal peaks their home, so you will have great company during your trip.
- Next is the Amazon Rainforest, which hosts colorful species that flutter through the trees in the early mornings, so be prepared to rise with the sun while you explore the jungle.
- Antioquia’s Rainforest is another excellent spot for birdwatching in Colombia. Sail along the Samana river to explore the natural habitat of a diverse selection of species including toucans, parrots, tanagers, and more.
- Head to the Pacific Chocó Region for an off-the-beaten-path adventure, looking for some of Colombia’s endemic bird species.
- Just outside the city of Manizales, you will find some beautiful birds living in the cloud forests of the Rio Blanco Nature Reserve, which is celebrated as one of the top three locations in the world for birdwatching. You’ll see some of Colombia’s endemic species and endangered varieties as you wander through some of the most breathtaking scenery.
- Along Colombia’s northern Caribbean coast, travelers can discover huge flocks of bright pink flamencos in the Guajira region, which is home to the Los Flamencos Sanctuary. Known for shallow lagoons and lush landscapes, this is the perfect place for the unique bird species to live as they come during the dry season to feast on the shrimp.
What is the best time of year for birdwatching in Colombia?
While Colombia is a beautiful, year-round destination for most travelers, those who wish to spend their days spotting certain types of wildlife will need to plan in time with the season.
Many of the regional species make Colombia their home all year long, which is excellent for travelers who prefer flexible planning! But, if your dream vacation takes you to the rainforest or the Amazon jungle, it is best to plan a trip during the dry season. Colombia has two main dry seasons, the first between January to March, and the second from June to September.
What types of birds will you see in each region?
Colombia’s vast population of birds makes it one of the most sought-after destinations in the world for casual spotters and professional birdwatchers alike. Depending on which species you’re most excited to see, you may want to spend more time in a certain region.
The Amazon is home to over 750 species of birds, including other unique wildlife like pink river dolphins and fascinating insects. An adventure here will be filled with dozens of magical animal sightings. Prepare to see colorful Macaws, Wattled Curassows, Amazonian Umbrellabirds, Ornate Hawk-Eagles, and the strange-looking Hoatzin.
In the Andean mountains, there are completely different winged species that have acclimated to high-altitude habitats. You will have a chance to see Cauca Guan, Gorgeted Wood-Quail, Bogota Rail, and plenty of fast-fluttering hummingbirds darting from one plant to the next.
Throughout Colombia’s coffee region, you’ll be able to pair a delicious cup of warm café con leche with a birdwatching adventure. Get ready to see Torrent Ducks, Wattled Guans, Bronze-Winged Parrots, Red-Ruffled Fruitcrows, and Multicolored Tanagers just to name a few of the 300 varieties here.
The northern Caribbean coastal region has an exceptional number of places to go birdwatching, with eight national parks that serve as the lush home for nearly 400 bird species. Some notable sightings include the Ruby Topaz Hummingbird, the Black-Backed Antshrike, and the White-chinned Sapphire.
There are so many unique ecosystems throughout Colombia, and hundreds upon hundreds of birds soaring through the skies. If you have a specific bird you’re hoping to spot, ask one of our experts to share their advice! We have many passionate birdwatchers who would love to help you plan the perfect adventure.
Tips for beginner birdwatchers
Along your journey, it’s best to have an expert local guide by your side to provide insight into the unique species that live here. A little support along the way never hurt anyone, as you get familiar with the terrain on your birding trip to Colombia. Here are a few extra tips to keep in mind before you begin your wildlife excursion.
Remember to be patient. This is a crucial step to becoming a successful birdwatcher! You may be waiting for just a few minutes, or a good hour before you find the bird you’re looking for. Learn to appreciate the journey just as much as the destination, and take in your surroundings as you wander some of the most magical landscapes in South America.
Be sure to choose the right time of day. Just like you, birds have their own routines and if you want to spot a few, you’ll have to follow their plans. Most birding excursions will need to begin extra early in the morning since sunrise is an optimal time to hunt for these flying creatures. But, not all birds will be hyperactive at dawn, so be sure to research the species you want to see before beginning the trip.
Blending in with your surroundings is an extra helpful step when birding. You don’t need to be in full camouflage, but it’s helpful to try and match the colors of nature during your trip. This will make it harder for birds to be scared off by your presence and create more opportunities for you to enjoy unique sightings.
Book your dream birdwatching journey with Kuoda
If you want to embark on a birdwatching adventure through Colombia, be sure to connect with one of Kuoda’s expert guides so we can help you plan the perfect vacation. As travel enthusiasts and passionate wildlife lovers, there are many unique insights we have to offer that will make your birding trip even better than you can imagine!
Get inspired by our “Colombia, Land of Birds” itinerary which takes travelers on a journey through the major birding regions as well as provides unique cultural experiences along the way. Then, tell us what specific goals you have in mind for your vacation. We’ll customize your trip to match your wishes, and go on the ultimate birdwatching adventure in South America!
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