Coffee Region Birding Tour
Join us for an unforgettable 6-day birding tour as we explore the enchanting landscapes of the Colombian coffee region. Our expert guides will lead you through lush forests and picturesque mountains, immersing you in a birding paradise.
The coffee region offers an exquisite blend of birding attractions. Not only does it have remarkable bird diversity – including endemic and rare species – it is also a migratory pathway and is home to several protected areas. Moreover, the iconic scenery of the region enhances the overall birding experience.
We’ll visit Otún Quimbaya, Salento and Filandia focusing on birding hotspots with opportunities to see target species such as the stunning Red-ruffed Fruitcrow, the agile Torrent Duck, the striking Multicoloured Tanager, and the iconic Andean Cock-of-the-Rock.
Alongside the remarkable birdlife, you’ll be immersed in the captivating cultural heritage of the coffee region. You’ll have the chance to experience the warmth of Colombian hospitality as we explore charming local towns and of course, try the best fresh coffee from local farms.
This combination of fantastic scenery and standout bird species makes this tour an unforgettable experience whether you’re a seasoned birder or a nature enthusiast. Don’t miss the chance to explore the magical coffee region and encounter extraordinary bird species. Book your 6-day birdwatching tour with us now!
- Expert guide (English and Spanish speaking)
- Hotel accommodation from day 1
- Private transport (4×4 when required)
- Entrance fees to parks, nature reserves and the botanical garden
- 3 meals a day, water and snacks
- Basic local insurance
What’s not included:
- International flights/connecting flights to the start point and from the endpoint
- Alcoholic drinks
- Laundry, room service and/or minibar expenses
What to Expect:
The coffee region is generally warm and humid but the weather can be changeable and rain is likely in some areas. Most of the tour will take place at the mid- to high-mountain range, when we visit the higher areas we will experience some cold weather.
This is a private tour and can be tailored to your tastes. If you prefer a little more downtime your guide can show you more of the traditional towns and scenery. Or, if you prefer to focus only on birding we can add extra activities and hotspots to make the most of every minute.
Accommodation will be comfortable and close to or within the areas of interest. There is no single room fee, the accommodation is included in the price.
Airport or hotel pick up and transfer to Hotel Kumanday, Risaralda (close to Otún Quimbaya). You’ll meet your guide who will give you an introduction to the tour. Depending on the arrival time we can also spend the afternoon birding in the natural area around the Hotel.
Approx 1-hour drive
We’ll get an early start and a 4×4 vehicle will pick us up from the hotel and take us about 40 minutes through the countryside to Otún Quimbaya Sanctuary, one of the most important points for birding around Los Nevados natural park. We’ll stop at hotspots along the road to observe species such as Red-ruffed Fruitcrow (Pyroderus scutatus), Multicoloured Tanager (Chlorochrysa nitidissima), Crested Ant-Tanager (Habia cristata), and Cauca Guan (Penelope perspicax). If we’re lucky, we might also get to spot some rare species such as the Hooded Antpitta (Grallaricula cucullata).
We’ll spend the whole morning birding and return to the hotel for lunch and to pick up our things before setting out for Filandia to stay at the Kiraikai Natural Reserve. It will be about an hour and a half drive between the rural hotel in Risaralda and the classic coffee region town in Quindío.
The afternoon can either be spent birding in the nature reserve or exploring the colourful streets of the town. For those also interested in Herping (or getting to see some other wildlife) we can also go out at night to look for some of the striking frog species which live inside the reserve.
We’ll start the day with a walk to explore the reserve while looking out for bird species like Wattled Guan (Aburria aburri), Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant (Lophotriccus pileatus), and Andean Solitaire (Myadestes ralloides) among others. After the walk, we can visit the feeders to get the best views of some magical hummingbird species like the Andean Emerald (Uranomitra francaie), Rufous-tailed Hummingbird (Amazilia tzacatl), Fawn-breasted Brilliant (Heliodoxa rubinoides) and White-vented Plumeleteer (Chalybura buffonii).
After the morning in Filandia, we’ll set out for Salento, the most famous town in the coffee region. For the afternoon you can also choose if you’d like to start birding straight away or if you’d like to relax and enjoy the town. If you choose birding we’ll set out along the country roads just outside of town where we might catch sight of colourful bird species such as Andean Motmot (Momotus aequatorialis), Scrub Tanager (Stilpnia vitriolina), Blue-necked Tanager (Stilpnia cyanicollis), Green Jay (Cyanocorax yncas) and Scarlet-fronted Parakeet (Psittacara wagleri).
We’ll spend the day in the mountains taking in the breathtaking scenery and looking for high Andean species such as Golden-plumed Parakeet (Leptosittaca branickii) and Pale-naped Brushfinch (Atlapetes pallidinucha).
The Carbonera is home to an incredible forest full of the tallest palm trees in the world. Thanks to the nature reserves protecting these plant species, it’s the perfect habitat for the Yellow-Eared Parrot (Ognorhynchus icterotis). We’ll also make the most of the opportunity to explore these forests to look for some of Colombia’s rarest bird species like the Black-and-Chestnut Eagle (Spizaetus Isidori), Grey-breasted Mountain-Toucan (Andigena hypoglauca) and Buff-winged Starfrontlet (Coeligena Lutetiae).
For those who want to have the best chance of seeing the Yellow-eared Parrots (Ognorhynchus icterotis), we can leave at 4 am to arrive before sunrise and see the parrots waking up and socialising in the wax palms. Otherwise, we can set out at 5 and still spend a full day birding in the mountains.
No trip through the coffee region would be complete without a tour of a traditional coffee farm. We’ll walk down the country roads through the Vereda Palestina where most of Salento’s coffee is grown to take in the scenery and the colourful birds who live at a slightly lower altitude.
At the coffee farm, you’ll be able to experience the whole process from growing the plants, collecting the fruit and processing the beans to roasting, grinding and tasting the coffee. At the same time, we’ll observe hummingbirds, tanagers and warblers among other species.
On this day we’ll be looking out for target species like Bay-headed Tanager (Tangara gyrola), Black-capped Tanager (Stilpnia heinei), Golden-olive Woodpecker (Colaptes rubiginosus), Lineated Woodpecker (Dryocopus lineatus) and White-necked Jacobin (Florisuga mellivora).
After the morning birding, we’ll return to Salento for lunch and then go down to the Quindío River. Flowing from the glaciers of Los Nevados Park and fed by the cloud forests around town the riverside is an unmissable hotspot for a variety of species from hummingbirds to cormorants. We can enjoy the beautiful scenery along the riverbank while aquatic bird species such as the Torrent Duck (Merganetta armata) and Amazon Kingfisher (Chloroceryle amazona) enjoy the fast-flowing waters.
At the end of the day, we’ll return to town for the last evening in Salento.
On the last day of the trip, we’ll leave Salento to visit the Quindío Botanical Garden. It’s not only a hotspot for birdwatching but it also has a stunning collection of native flora including Colombia’s biggest collection of palm trees and a butterfly house with forty endemic butterfly species.
The diverse collection of native plants and trees attracts a great variety of bird species including Bar-crested Antshrike (Thamnophilus multistriatus), Green Honeycreeper (Chlorophanes spiza), Squirrel Cuckoo (Piaya cayana), Blue-headed Parrot (Pionus menstruus), Turquoise Dacnis (Dacnis hartlaubi) and Greyish Piculet (Picummus granadensis). We can make the most of the final day birdwatching, learning about local plants and animals, or just enjoying the tranquillity of the nature reserve.
Finally, we’ll say goodbye and travel to the airport in Armenia (30-minute drive) or Pereira (1-hour 30-minute drive).
|Price per person
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