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Colombia: Cauca Valley and Amazonian Piedmont

Discover the allure of enchanting Andean cloud forests and lush lowland rainforests. Colombia is a must-visit for any bird lover, containing almost 20% of the world’s species in just 1% of the landmass with more bird species (1,950) than any other country in the world. Bird highlights include the stunningly beautiful Multicolored Tanager and Toucan Barbet, and the strange, prehistoric-appearing Hoatzin.

This tropical country has a diversity of habitats from the Andean mountains that are split into three ranges, to both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. Between these mountains are the unique Cauca and Magdalena river valleys where another set of species are encountered in the drier region influenced by the rain shadow effect. Colombia is also comprised of two lowland rainforest regions, including a vast portion of the Amazonian River Basin and the Orinoquia Basin that flows north toward the Caribbean. Such a diversity of habitats ensure an abundance of bird species.

From Bogota to Villavicencio, we’ll make several birding stops. Target birds include Black-faced Antbird, White-chinned PuffbirdGolden-tailed SapphireGreat PotooYellow-billed NunbirdWhite-chinned JacamarNorthern Slaty Antshrike, and Orange-chinned Parakeet. From Villavicencio to San Jose del Guaviare, we’ll be birding along wetlands of the Llanos ecosystem. Our targets here are mostly aquatic species like Jabiru, Hoatzin, and the Horned Screamer

Other highlights include spending the day birding the famous Km 18, where ornithologist Frank Chapman of the New York Natural History Museum inventoried the bird life of this cloud forest more than 100 years ago. He recorded more than 250 species in the forest, spending about 3 months doing field work in the area before exploring other regions of Colombia. The most sought-after species in the area are the endemic Multicolored Tanager, the endemic Chestnut Wood-quail, Golden-headed and Crested Quetzal, and Scaled Fruiteater. This area is also a tanager paradise!

We’ll visit Colombia’s most famous birding location. The Anchicaya watershed is located along the edge of the Farallones National Park, one of the most diverse parks on the planet. One of the main targets is Toucan Barbet, elegently sporting five different colors. We’ll also explore the Sonso Lagoon, travel to Montezuma, the Rio Blanco Reserve, and Los Nevados National Park! 

There will be no shortage of birds and excitement on this trip!

You have the option to join us for a pre-trip extension to explore and bird the Amazon basin! Our first stop is the Urania Bridge, where we’ll see White-browned Purpletuft, Red-fan Parrot, Green-backed Trogon, and more! From Urania, we’ll travel to Pueblo Nuevo, a mosaic of habitats, where we’ll work with local guides and the community to ensure access to the best birding areas. Our target bird here is the Fiery Topaz, a rare hummingbird that allures with its long tail and igneous color. From there, we’ll plan to visit villages like Ceima Cachivera to find the Guianan Cock-of-the-rock lek, Mitu Cachivera in hopes of finding the rare Point-tailed Palmcreeper, and Bocatoma to find target species like Black-capped Donacobious, Dwarf-tyrant Manakin, and the Screaming Piha


Register today to travel with us to Colombia!

By choosing to travel with Portland Audubon, you are supporting our conservation work here in the Pacific Northwest.


Trip Details

  • Dates: November 2-19, 2020
  • Trip leaders: Dan van den Broek and local guides
  • Fee: $5,795 members / $6,095 non-members
  • Deposit: $2,900
  • Single supplement: TBD
  • Group size: Limited to 14 participants

Amazonia Pre-trip Extension Details (optional)

  • Dates: October 26 – November 2, 2020
  • Trip leaders: Dan van den Broek and local guides
  • Fee: $2,695 members / $2,995 non-members
  • Deposit: $1,350
  • Single supplement: TBD
  • Group size: Limited to 10 participants

Trip fees cover all ground transportation, double-occupancy lodging, all meals except dinners, local guides, entrance fees, excursions, and the services of your skilled leaders. Fees do not include dinners, alcoholic beverages, and airfares.

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November 2
November 19
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Erin Law