Colombia: Three Andean Mountain Ranges


  • Next tour dates August 8-18, 2024 
  • Duration 12 days
  • Lodging 3 stars
  • Difficulty Moderate
  • Group size Max. 8 people
  • Price USD $TBD per person*


Colombia is considered a mega-diverse country, due, in part, to its awe-inspiring array of different habitats and ecosystems. This country is home to approximately one-fifth of the bird species on Earth. The Andean Mountain Range is one region that stands out for its incredible biodiversity, with richness in birds and high endemism. The Colombian Andes are divided into three mountain ranges, creating different conditions in each range and within the Inter-Andean Valleys. High-elevation paramo, humid montane forest, cloud forest and dry forest are just some of the ecosystems found in this region.

During our Colombia birding tour, we will explore these habitats from Cali to Bogota, as we search for the region’s incredibly beautiful and fascinating birds. This tour offers the possibility to see more than 25 endemic species.  Brown-banded AntpittaCauca GuanWhite-mantled Barbet and the flashy Multicolored Tanager are just a few we will encounter. Moreover, you will love the Colombian landscapes, rich culture and welcoming atmosphere.



Welcome to Colombia! We start off our Colombia birding tour at the El Dorado International Airport in Bogotá. From here, we hop on a local flight to Cali, which is located in the Cauca Valley. Upon our arrival, we will visit the Chicoral region at 1,800 m of elevation. There we will have the chance to see Colombian ChachalacaUniform AntshrikeChestnut-fronted MacawCrested Quetzal and Golden-winged Manakin, among other birds.



At the Pacific slope of the western Andes, the Old Buenaventura Road crosses the forested area of Anchicaya at an elevation of 750 m. This area is influenced by the Choco region with a great chance to see some Choco specialties. While birding the forested roadsides, we will watch and listen for Choco ToucanZeledon’s AntbirdGolden-chested Tanager and Scarlet-browed Tanager.


One hour away from Cali on the eastern slope of the Western Andes, the San Antonio Forest sits at an altitude of 2,100 m. It is a great place to find nice Andean birds such as Scaled FruiteaterCrested Quetzal and Sickle-winged Guan. We can also find other interesting birds in the feeders at Finca Alejandria. Here, it is possible to see the endemic Multicolored Tanager and several hummingbirds. Among them are the regional endemic Blue-headed SapphireTourmaline Sunangel and Buff-tailed Coronet.

In the afternoon, we will drive to the Sonso Lagoon in Buga. A number of aquatic birds can be observed in this wetland. We hope to see Horned Screamer, White-faced Whistling-DuckMasked DuckRed-capped Cardinal and Yellow-hooded Blackbird. The vegetation around the lagoon is the perfect habitat for the endemic Apical FlycatcherLittle CuckooSlate-headed Tody-Flycatcher and the regional endemic Spectacled Parrotlet are also birds we will search for today. 


The Montezuma Mountain has a strong Choco region influence, making it one of the most biologically diverse places on our Colombia birding tour. This combination between the Pacific and the Western Andes offers many national and regional endemics. We will travel approximately 4 hours to get there, birding along the way. Birding stops will give us the chance to find the endemic Turquoise Dacnis. In Montezuma, we will enjoy the hummingbird feeders. Violet-tailed HummingbirdEmpress BrilliantVelvet-purple CoronetWhite-tailed Hillstar and Purple-bibbed Whitetip can be seen here.


This will be a full day of birding in Montezuma. We will start very early, and drive all the way to the top of the mountain. While taking in the beautiful sunrise, we will start our day off with two endemic birds, the Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer and Munchique Wood-Wren. We will continue our way down the road in search of the endemics Gold-ringed Tanager, Black-and-gold Tanager and Golden-breasted Fruiteater.


After five days in the Western Andes, we continue our Colombia birding tour into the central range. Otun Quimbaya is located at the foothill of the volcanic complex Ruiz-Tolima (Los Nevados National Park) at 1,900 m. This protected area is the best place to look for the Cauca Guan. This rare cracid is an endemic and endangered species, once believed to be extinct until this healthy population was recently rediscovered. Also, the largest Neotropical passerine, the Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, is found here with some ease. We will also look for the endemic Chestnut Wood-Quail and Stiles’s Tapaculo. Regional endemics such as Greenish PufflegStreak-capped TreehunterMarble-faced Bristle-Tyrant, and Chestnut-breasted Wren, also will be highlights of our day.


The charm of this reserve lies in the possibility it offers to see several different species of antpittas up close. Here, Chestnut-crowned,BicoloredSlate-crowned and the endemic Brown-banded antpittas are featured here. They are habituated to receive food from the local guide, luring them outside of the thick understory. At the productive feeders, it is possible to see White-bellied WoodstarWedge-billed HummingbirdFawn-breasted BrilliantBuff-breasted Mountain-Tanager, and Slaty Brushfinch, among others. On the reserve’s trails, we will focus on searching for Black-billed Mountain-ToucanDusky PihaBlack-collared (Quindio) JayGolden-headed Quetzal and Masked Saltator, to name a few. 


With another early start this morning we will catch the first rays of the sun in the cloud and elfin forests along the way to Los Nevados National Park. Here we will look for the endemic Rufous-fronted Parakeet, as well as Andean LapwingAndean TealGolden-crowned Tanager, and Black-backed Bush Tanager. At the entrance of the national park at 4,100 m, we will look for the highlight of this region – the impressive Buffy Helmetcrest. This large, Andean hummer is endemic with a very restricted range. We can also find White-chinned ThistletailAndean Tit-Spinetail, Stout-billed CinclodesTawny AntpittaPlain-capped Ground-Tyrant and Plumbeous Sierra-Finch. If we are very lucky, we may an Andean Condor soaring overhead.

In the afternoon, we will spend time at the Termales del Ruiz Hotel and its beautiful surroundings. At the hummingbird feeders, we hope to see Rainbow-bearded ThornbillSword-billed HummingbirdMountain AvocetbillBlack-thighed PufflegShining Sunbeam and Great Sapphirewing


It is time to head down the eastern Andean slope towards the middle Magdalena Valley. We will drive along the old road to Libano, making some stops to look for some special birds. This is a good place to search for Yellow-eared ParrotYellow-headed Brushfinch and Crested Ant-Tanager. As we arrive in Libano, we have a chance for the endemic Tolima Dove and Tolima Blossomcrown.


Today we will visit Guarinocito Lake, where we will have another opportunity to spot some aquatic birds that we have not yet seen. Here we scan the lake and its scrubby edge for Pied Water-TyrantWhite-headed Marsh-Tyrant, Yellow-chinned Spinetail and Black-capped Donacobius. However, the jewel of this lake is the Northern Screamer.


The Bellavista Reserve is situated in a lowland wet forest. It is a great place to see other Colombian endemics such as White-mantled BarbetAntioquia Bristle-TyrantSooty Ant-TanagerBeautiful Woodpecker and Velvet-fronted Euphonia. We can also find Yellow-backed TanagerBlack-faced Dacnis and White-bibbed Manakin, among others. 


On the way to Bogota, we will visit a farm with hummingbird feeders. Among its most prominent visitors is the endemic Indigo-capped Hummingbird. Other visitors we hope to see are the Shining-green HummingbirdGorgeted WoodstarRed-billed and Short-tailed emeraldsLazuline Sabrewing and another fifteen hummingbird species. Around the farm we also have the chance to find the Ash-browed SpinetailBlack-backed Grosbeak and Gray-throated Warbler. In the afternoon we will drive to Bogotá and transfer to the airport. 

Our Colombia birding tour concludes in Bogota.



  • Horned Screamer
  • Northern Screamer
  • White-faced Whistling-Duck
  • Torrent Duck
  • Andean Teal
  • Colombian Chachalaca (E)
  • Cauca Guan (E)
  • Chestnut Wood-Quail (E)
  • Striated Heron
  • Andean Condor
  • Snail Kite 
  • White-rumped Hawk
  • Blackish Rail
  • Tolima Dove (E)
  • Cloud-forest Pygmy-Owl (re)
  • Tourmaline Sunangel
  • Tolima Blossomcrown (E)
  • Violet-tailed Sylph
  • Buffy Helmetcrest (E)
  • Black-thighed Puffleg
  • Buff-tailed Coronet (RE)
  • Velvet-purple Coronet (RE)
  • White-tailed Hillstar 
  • Purple-bibbed Whitetip
  • Empress Brilliant
  • Purple-throated Woodstar
  • Gorgeted Woodstar
  • Lazuline Sabrewing
  • Red-billed Emerald (RE)
  • Short-tailed Emerald (RE)
  • Indigo-capped Hummingbird (E)
  • Shining-green Hummingbird
  • Blue-headed Sapphire
  • Crested Quetzal
  • Masked Trogon
  • Moustached Puffbird
  • White-mantled Barbet (E)
  • Toucan Barbet
  • Southern Emerald-Toucanet
  • Black-billed Mountain-Toucan
  • Choco Toucan
  • Grayish Piculet (E)
  • Beautiful Woodpecker (E)
  • Crimson-mantled Woodpecker
  • Yellow-eared Parrot (E)
  • Rufous-fronted Parakeet (E)
  • Bar-crested Antshrike (RE)
  • Streak-headed Antbird
  • Parker’s Antbird (E)
  • Zeledon’s Antbird
  • Chestnut-crowned Antpitta
  • Bicolored Antpitta (RE)
  • Chestnut-naped Antpitta
  • Brown-banded Antpitta (E)
  • Slate-crowned Antpitta
  • Ocellated Tapaculo
  • Stiles’s Tapaculo (E)
  • Tatama Tapaculo (E)
  • Ash-browed Spinetail (RE)
  • Antioquia Bristle-Tyrant (E)
  • Plain-capped Ground-Tyrant (RE)
  • Apical Flycatcher (E)
  • Orange-breasted Fruiteater
  • Scaled Fruiteater
  • Red-ruffed Fruitcrow
  • Dusky Piha
  • Golden-winged Manakin
  • Club-winged Manakin
  • Slaty-capped Shrike-Vireo
  • Black-collared (Quindio) Jay
  • Munchique Wood-Wren (E)
  • Chestnut-breasted Wren
  • Gray-throated Warbler 
  • Red-capped Cardinal
  • Black-and-gold Tanager (E)
  • Golden-chested Tanager
  • Gold-ringed Tanager (E)
  • Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager (RE)
  • Purplish-mantled Tanager (RE)
  • Multicolored Tanager (E)
  • Scarlet-browed Tanager 
  • Turquoise Danis (E)
  • Yellow-backed Tanager
  • Chestnut-bellied Flowerpiercer (E)
  • Yellow-headed Brushfinch 
  • Sooty Ant-Tanager (E)
  • Crested Ant-Tanager (E)
  • Red-bellied Grackle (E)
  • Yellow-hooded Blackbird
  • Velvet-fronted Euphonia (E)


Guide: Edwin Campbell
Single Supplement: US$330
Lodging: Nice, clean and comfortable with private bath. 
Food: Fresh, traditional cuisine.
Weather: Warm and humid in the valleys (lowlands) and temperate to cold in the highlands. Rain can be expected.
Difficulty: Moderate. Medium to long walks at a gentle pace, though some days will require longer walks on steep and/or muddy terrain. Some long drives and local air travel required.

*For more information on what is included/not included, as well as our booking and cancellation policies, please review our Terms & Conditions.

* With smaller groups, an additional fee will be charged.


Upcoming tour dates: 
August 8-18, 2024 – TOUR FULL
July 11-22, 2025
July 10-21, 2026

Past trip reports:
2019 Trip Report

From our blog:
Birds in Colombia: One-fifth of the world’s birds
The City of Antpittas
Colombia: New Tour, New Country, New Continent