Birdwatching in Colombia
Colombia has many species. Altogether there are more than in Europe and North America together. With a number of about 2000, Colombia has the most bird species in the world. In other words: Colombia alone has 19% of all bird species in the world of which many of them are endemic or rare. For these reasons, more and more birding companies offer tours to some of the most interesting hotspots.
No matter which region, there are interesting birding spots everywhere in Colombia. The Central Andes with heights up to more than 3000 meters are only one example of a fantastic birding area. From the large cities such as Medellin and Bogotá it is very easy to get access to the birds. Many bird species adopted themselves to the colder mountain area so it is even possible to find hummingbirds in climates much colder than 20°C at an elevation of almost 3000 meters. A recommended place for viewing species in high elevation is the Rio Blanco area. This place is also home to Colombia’s National Bird: the Andean Condor.
It is not difficult to find spectacular birds in Colombia. Around and even in Colombia‘s Capital Bogota are many endemic species.
A more hidden and much warmer area for birdwatching are the Pacific Chocó lowlands in the North-West of the Country. Even though it is more difficult to reach this area, it is worth a visit as it is one of Colombia’s best biodiversity hotspots.
A trip to Chocó is a real adventure as there is rarely any infrastructure and probably still many new animal species to be discovered. Some of the most popular birds in Chocó are the Chocó Tucan, Puffbirds and Manakins.
More to the East nearby the border to Venezuela is the Llanos area. This flat wetland area is another birdwatching paradise. The best place to start a birding tour in the Llanos is from Villavicencio. From there you get easy access to the birding hotspots including the Merecure Reserve. In the Llanos area you can spot wood storks, little cuckoos, Black-and-chestnut Eagles and many more species.
The highest coastal mountain on earth, the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, is another interesting place for birdwatching as there are more than 600 bird species including very rare ones. North of the giant mountain is the Tayrona National Park which has lots of quiet beaches and woodland. For birdwatching higher up in the Sierra Nevada, there is a path to the Lost City where some indigenous people live. The path is very challenging, but a great opportunity to spot lots of interesting birds.
40% of Colombia makes the Amazonia Region with untouched jungle and rivers. As most of the Amazon is difficult to access it is recommended to fly to the city of Leticia in the very South of Colombia. The flight takes only one hour from the capital Bogota. From there you have direct access to the jungle and tours including camping can be booked.
The Amazon Region of Colombia is definitely a place you’ll never forget.