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Birding In Beautiful Columbia — November 7-15, 2023

Have you wanted to go on an international birding adventure but been too timid to plan it yourself? Here’s your opportunity to go birding with a top guide in Colombia, a birdwatcher’s paradise with nearly 2000 species and many endemics. Join naturalist Chris Cameron and Ferney Salgado of Coraves Birding Tours.  While we won’t be swinging a machete in the jungle, this is adventure travel, not to be confused with leisure travel.  Climate and elevation will change daily.  Jeep travel is common.  We will stay in local eco-lodges. It will be the trip of a lifetime!  NOTE: This adventure is not ADA accessible trip, nor one where unique dietary needs can be met. 
 
About your guides:
Ferney is one of the top birding guides in Colombia.  He knows the scientific names of 2,000+ birds (also in Spanish, French, and English!)  He has chased birds throughout Central and South America, and knows where to take us to get the best looks at the most amazing birds.
 
Chris is a naturalist in California.  He is the executive director of the Morro Bay Bird Festival, regularly leads Road Scholar groups in Yosemite, Sequoia, Kings Canyon; and teaches the UC California Naturalist course.  Chris loves sharing life-changing adventures with people like YOU!
Dates: Tuesday, November 7th through Wednesday November 15th, 2023
Birding trip cost: $2,860 per person. A 10% deposit (non-refundable) reserves your spot!
  • Included: Expert guides. Lodging, meals (excluding alcohol), some snacks, transportation to/from airports, hotels and birding hot spots.
  • Not included:
    • Flights.  You arrange and pay for your own flights.  Fly IN Pereira, Colombia (airport code PEI), and fly OUT from Bogota (airport code BOG).  Flight cost per person should be around $700.

    • Alcohol or gifts.  These items are personal.

    • Tips. It is customary to tip your guide at the end of the trip if they meet or exceed expections! 15% is recommended.

 

Begin/Ending Details:  This trip begins at Pereira, Columbia - Cali Airport and ends at the Bogota, Columbia - Bogota Airport.   You are responsible for your own flights to/from Colombia

 

Attendee pre-trip responsibilities:
  • Passport
    • Make sure your passport has 6 months left before the expiration date! A visa is not required from USA for tourists staying 90 day
  • Health Check the latest suggestions for any health or vaccination requirements
  • Trip or accident insurance
  • If you are sensitive to altitude changes, your physician can prescribe medication to mitigate altitude sickness. Bring the pills with you and begin taking them according to the doctor’s instructions.
Is it SAFE to travel in Colombia?  

 

Colombia is one of many countries that carries a State Department warning about travel:

 

It’s a good idea to register yourself and your trip so the American embassy in Bogotá knows you are traveling.  ​​

 

Prior to 2016 when the cease fire was signed with the FARC guerrillas, Colombia was more dangerous due to this civil war. Travel risk to Columbia is less now, however, popular unrest in any country is constantly changing. It is impossible to guarantee safety, and everyone makes a personal choice in travel. Chris gave a presentation at the South American Bird Festival in Colombia November 2021, and experienced no difficulty - in fact, he the opportunity to go birding with Diego Calderone, a biologist who was captured by the FARC.  Diego has taught the FARC the importance of eco-tourism, and now leads bird watching tours in their territory!  If there is any safety concern, our Colombian bird watching guide will adjust our itinerary.

 

Birdwatchers are not a big target of violence due to the understanding of bringing a sustainable economic benefit to the country. Most crime is directed toward the local population and if conditions require, we reserve the right to adjust the itinerary for participant safety.

Itinerary Overview
  • Day 0 -Nov 07: Arrival to Cali airport and transfer to the hotel (90 minutes)

  • Day 1 – Nov 8: Visit to Cali (3,000’ elevation, warm weather) then a 12 mile drive to the Cloud forest at 5-7,000’ elevation and cold weather)  

  • Day 2- Nov 9: Full day at Queremal (5,000’ above sea level, warm weather) and drive to Buga

  • Day 3 - Nov 10: La Florida Farm and Sonso Lagoon (2-3,000’ elevation)

  • Day 4 – Nov 11: Drive 3 hours to Pereira and visit Otun Quimbaya Reserve (6,500’ elevation and rainy)

  • Day 5 – Nov 12. Drive two hours to Tinamú Bird Lodge (4,500’ elevation and  warm)

  • Day 6 - Nov 13: Drive-  Birding to Nevado del Ruiz (13,000+ and Very Cold). Overnight in Manizales (7,300’ elevation)

  • Day 7 – Nov 14: Full day Rio Blanco (8,300’ elevation with fresh air)

  • Day 8 – Nov 15: Visit Camegudua marsh and drive to Pereira airport, flight to Bogota to go home

Services Include
  • Private Transportation

  • Domestic flight (Pereira – Bogotá)

  • Full Meals, drinkable water and snacks

  • Lodging

  • Birding Guide

  • Entrance

  • Assistance card

NOTE: Itinerary changes due to local conditions should be expected.  Changes made by attendees involving additional costs are paid by the attendee.  Any additional alcohol or other items consumed in hotels or sites are not included.

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