Northern Colombia 2023: Santa Marta, Caribbean Coast, & Perija Mountains
July 1 – 11, 2023
Tour Length: 11 days
Est. Spaces Left: Full, wait list available!
Colombia is the birdiest country on earth, with more than 1,950 species (almost 20% of the world’s total). There are more species of birds in this country than in any other. It is easy to see why: Colombia is tropical, yet it also has ample elevation changes due to the Andes, furthermore, it has both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. The Andes are complex in Colombia, splitting into three ranges, which increases habitat diversity, as well as rain shadows creating arid valleys between the mountains. Colombia also comprises vast portions of the Amazon and the Orinoco regions. Lots of different habitats ensure an abundance of bird species.
Birds, Mammals, Photography
Double Accommodation: $4900/person
Single Supplement: + $650
Max. Group Size
8 with High Lonesome leader
Easy to Moderate; walks will be on wide trails and moderate grades, with a few longer drives
The tour begins in the city of Barranquilla, on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is the highest coastal mountain in the world and one of the most important endemism centers in the world, with more than 20 species of birds restricted to it. Join us on a search for many of these endemics including Santa Marta Screech-Owl, Santa Marta Antpitta, Black-cheeked Mountain Tanager, Brown-rumped and Santa Marta Tapaculos, Santa Marta Foliage-gleaner, Santa Marta and Sierra Nevada Brushfinch, Santa Marta Parakeet, Santa Marta Blossomcrown, Bush-Tyrant, Santa Marta Warbler, and a plethora more!
This trip will also take us to Isla Salamanca and the Guajira Peninsula, where birding through mangroves, coastal wetlands, and in the dry scrub forest should yield species such as the near-endemic Buffy Hummingbird, the endemic Chestnut-winged Chachalaca, Russet-throated Puffbird, the near-endemic Chestnut Piculet, Bicolored Conebill, stunning Vermillion Cardinal, and an incredible array of other species.
The last stop on the tour is the Sierra de Perijá, the Holy Grail for birders interested in Colombia’s birds. This isolated offshoot of the Eastern Andes forms the border with Venezuela and is one of the least explored areas in Colombia. Here we will search for rare endemics like the Perija Thistletail, Perija Metaltail, Perija Antpitta plus a range of Andean species not found in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
Up to 28 endemics and hundreds of other Colombian species.
Colombian Red Howler Monkey, Variegated Spider Monkey, Santa Marta White-fronted Capuchin, Cotton-top Tamarin, Gray-handed Night Monkey
Spectacular scenery, photography, mammal watching
Planning for the Trip
Ernesto Cortissoz International Airport, Barranquilla (BAQ)
Comfortable with en-suite bathrooms.
10 nights accommodation and all meals from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 11. Transport to and from the airport. Transport to birding locations. Services of High Lonesome and a local guide.
Does not include alcoholic drinks, laundry, or other items of a personal nature.
Coastal wetlands, saline lagoons, mangroves, dry forest, cloud forest, lowland tropical wet forest, arid scrub forest, elfin forest, paramo
Temperatures in northern Colombia range from 60 to 90 degrees F. Sunny with occasional afternoon rains. Can be cold at high elevations in the early mornings.
Suggested Clothing and Gear
Valid, current passport (w/ 4 blank pages)
Visa (if required)
Scope and tripod (optional)
Sunglasses and sunscreen
Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
Small day pack/fanny pack
Mosquito/insect repellant (DEET 25% or greater)
Itch relief cream
Prescription drugs – carry in original packaging to avoid customs problems
OTC medicines (antibiotics, cold/sinus, cough drops, eye drops, analgesic (Motrin, aspirin), anti-diarrheal)
Small alarm clock
Cleaning fluids/cloths/drying cloths
Light-weight long pants
Light-weight long-sleeved shirts
Hat with brim/visor
Warm layer for cool early morning