PACIFIC COAST, CENTRAL AND WESTERN CORDILLERAS: BIRDS & WHALES

NOTE: This tour can be run in conjunction with the Los Llanos (Eastern Plains) tour.

Day 1: Arrive Bogotá.

Day 2: Morning flight to Medellin. In the afternoon we shall visit a small reserve overlooking the city where we shall hope to see Red-bellied Grackle, Stiles Tapaculo and Yellow-headed Manakin.

Day 3 - 6 This morning we shall take a flight to Bahia Solano before transfering to our comfortable lodge at the other end of the only 18 miles of road that exist in this part of the pacific coast. We shall spend our few days here exploring the reserve behind our lodge along with walks through Utria National Park and along the road where excellent forest patches still remain. One of our main targets will be the very local and endemic Baudo Oropendola, but we should also hope to see a great variety of species including Grey-headed Chachalaca, Blue-footed Booby, Brown Booby, King Vulture, Grey-headed Kite, Double-toothed Kite, Plumbeous Kite, Tiny Hawk, Semiplumbeous Hawk, Common Black Hawk, White-throated Crake, Brown Wood-rail, Dusky Pigeon, Blue Ground Dove, Grey-chested Dove, Rose-faced Parrot, Grey-capped Cuckoo, Green Thorntail, Blue-chested Hummingbird, Purple-chested Hummingbird, Purple-crowned Fairy, Black-breasted Puffbird, Pied Puffbird, Spot-crowned Barbet, Stripe-billed Aracari, Choco Toucan, Black-mandibled Toucan, Black-cheeked Woodpecker, Black-striped Woodcreeper, Great Antshrike, Black-headed Antthrush, Thicket Antpitta, Western Sirystes, Bright-rumped Attila, Black-tipped Cotinga, Purple-throated Fruitcrow, Golden-collared Manakin, Green Manakin, Red-capped Manakin, Black-crowned Tityra, Masked Tityra, Lesser Greenlet, Black-chested Jay, Song Wren, Fulvous-vented Euphonia, Scarlet-rumped Cacique, Dusky-faced Tanager, White-shouldered Tanager, Tawny-crested Tanager, Plain-colored Tanager, Blue-whiskered Tanager, Rufous-winged Tanager, Golden-hooded Tanager, Scarlet-thighed Dacnis, Blue Dacnis, Scarlet-browed Tanager and Scarlet-and-white Tanager.

In addition to the great variety of birds, this is time of year is also the best for seeing migrating Humpback Whales and there will be a boat trip out to get close-up views of these magnificent animals.

On the final morning we shall fly back to Medellin before heading to Jardin for a two night stay. En route to Jardin we shall stop and look for the newly described Antioquia Wren as well as the endemic Apical Flycatcher.

Day 7: Today we spend the day above the village of Jardin where we shall look for very local Yellow-eared Parrot and maybe Munchique Wood-wren. Additional time in the area could reward us with Tanager-finch, Hooded Tanager, Barred Fruiteater, White-browed Spintail, White-capped Tanager, Chestnut-crested Cotinga, Black-billed Mountain-toucan and lekking Andean Cock-of-the-rocks.

Day 8 - 10: For the next three nights we shall base ourselves in the city of Manizales. The first day will be spent at the Rio Blanco reserve where we shall look for several Antpittas including Brown-banded, Chestnut-naped, Undulated, Slate-crowned and Bicoloured, but also Dusky Piha, Black-billed Mountain-toucan, Occelated, Spillman's, Ash-coloured and Blackish Tapaculos, Masked Saltator, Rusty-faced Parrot and Golden-plumed Parakeet. The following day we shall travel to the foot of the Nevado del Ruiz Volcano where we shall spend the morning where our primary focus will be to look for the highly local and endemic Rufous-fronted Parakeet. However, we shall also be keeping our eye out for Tawny Antpitta, Golden-crowned Tanager, Black-backed Bush-tanager, Mountain Avocetbill, Black-thighed Puffleg and Bearded Helmetcrest.

Day 11 -12: Today we shall travel to the SFF Otun-Quimabaya. This is almost the only place you can see the very rare Cauca Guan and we should expect to see them feeding high in the canopy prior to going to roost on our first afternoon. We may also be lucky enough to encounter Chestnut Wood-quail, Multicoloured Tanager or maybe even the diminutive Greyish Piculet. After lunch on our second day we shall drive to Montezuma Lodge for a two nights stay.

Day 13: Today we shall spend our time birding the slopes of Cerro Montezuma. Here our main targets will be the endemic Gold-ringed and Black-and-gold Tanagers, Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer and an as yet undescribed species of Tapaculo - Alto Pisones! We shall also hopefully see Crested Ant-tanager, Beautiful Jay, Black Solitaire, Fulvous-dotted Treerunner, Glistening-green Tanager, Black-chinned Mountain-tanager, Club-winged Manakin and many other Chocó endemics.

Day 14: We shall drive to Pereira to catch a lunchtime flight to Bogotá.


Price: GB£3875/US$6200

Max Group Size: 7 plus guide

Tours Include: All accommodation in hotels and lodges, ground transport, internal flights, meals, boat trip, services of tour leader, drivers and cooks.

Not included: International flights, departure tax, alcoholic drinks, tips, laundry and other items of a personal nature.