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Culture & Birds of Colombia

A gentle intro to Colombia's birds and historical sights

    • Price £ 3,295 I
    • Please contact us for flights from your nearest airport
    • Single sup. £ 425 I
    • Duration : 15 days
  • Book now

INTRO

Discover the best of Colombia`s birdlife and culture on this relaxed birding and cultural tour. Visit Otun Quimbaya National Park, Las Tangaras Reserve and the unsurpassable El Dorado. With 1,876 species, Colombia is home to 20% of the world`s bird species so this is an amazing opportunity to see some of these fascinating birds in their natural habitat. In addition you will get the chance to see some of Colombia`s most enchanting tourist sights - learn about the coffee-making process, stay on a coffee farm, visit Santa Marta, Colombia`s oldest city, and finish the trip on the stunning paved streets of Colonial Cartagena.

NOTE: THIS TOUR IS SUITABLE FOR ALL AGES AND FITNESS LEVELS

DATES

This trip can be run as required, please contact us for more information.

HIGHLIGHTS

Colombia’s cultural highlights

Stay at an authentic Coffee Farm

The walled city of Intramuros in Manila

Gentle birding in three of Colombia's top sight-seeing areas

Look out for rare Colombian birds

Cartagena’s colonial architecture

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Birding guide throughout
All airport transfers
All accommodation
Internal flights
Ground transportation
Entrance fees to parks
Most meals (see meal plan in itinerary)

PLACES VISITED

Bogota - La Florida Park - Otun Quimbaya National Park - Rio Blanco - Choco - Nevado del Ruiz National Park - Medellin - Santa Marta - El Dorado - Cartagena
Bogota
La Florida Park
Otun Quimbaya National Park
Rio Blanco
Choco
Nevado del Ruiz National Park
Medellin
Santa Marta
El Dorado
Cartagena

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ACCOMMODATION



Contact us for a full accommodation list.

ITINERARY

Day 1 : Bogota
Arrive in Bogota where you will be met at the airport by a Travel The Unknown representative and brought to your hotel. Overnight in Bogota.

Day 2 : Bogota
The day begins with a trip along the funicular railway or cable-car to the Monastery of Montserrate. Next, visit Quinta de Bolivar Museum, Museo de Oro (Gold museum) and Plaza de Bolivar. Overnight in Bogota.

Day 3 : Otun Quimbaya National Park
You will start with a visit to La Florida Park, before flying to the city of Pereira. Visit Otun Quimbaya National Park. Overnight in a nearby lodge.

Day 4 : Manizales
The morning will be spent at your lodge doing some bird-watching. In the afternoon travel to Manizales to visit a coffee farm. Overnight on coffee farm.

See all days >>

ITINERARY

Short | Detailed | PDF

Day 1 : Bogota

Arrive in Bogota where you will be met at the airport by a Travel The Unknown representative and brought to your hotel. Overnight in Bogota.

Arrive in Bogota where you will be met at the airport by a Travel The Unknown representative and brought to your hotel. Overnight in Bogota.

Meal plan : Dinner


Day 2 : Bogota

The day begins with a trip along the funicular railway or cable-car to the Monastery of Montserrate. Next, visit Quinta de Bolivar Museum, Museo de Oro (Gold museum) and Plaza de Bolivar. Overnight in Bogota.

The day begins with a trip along the funicular railway or cable-car to the Monastery of Montserrate. Next, visit Quinta de Bolivar Museum, Museo de Oro (Gold museum) and Plaza de Bolivar. Overnight in Bogota.

Meal plan : Breakfast, lunch & dinner


Nestled high in the Andes at 2620 m. (8646 ft), Bogota, or Santafé de Bogotá to give it its full title, is a city of contrasts. It's a city of high-rise buildings standing next to colonial churches, museums and artisan cafés. Its influences range from Spanish and English to the Indian. It is a city of wild traffic and calm oases reflecting a bygone era. 

La Candelaria is Bogota's old town, a historic neighbourhood in downtown Bogotá. The architecture of the old houses, churches and buildings has Spanish Colonial and Baroque styles and it houses several universities, libraries and museums. This vibrant district hosts the Botero museum, which showcases not only the works of Colombia's most famous painter but also paintings by Monet and Picasso from Botero's private collection. The district is also home to the largest and most impressive Gold museum in the world with an enormous assortment of pre-Hispanic gold work, the church of Monserrate with its stunning views over the city as well as many government buildings and an array of cafés and restaurants to suit every taste.


Day 3 : Otun Quimbaya National Park

You will start with a visit to La Florida Park, before flying to the city of Pereira. Visit Otun Quimbaya National Park. Overnight in a nearby lodge.

You will start with a visit to La Florida Park, before flying to the city of Pereira. Visit Otun Quimbaya National Park. Overnight in a nearby lodge.

Meal plan : Breakfast, lunch & dinner


La Florida Park is located near the Bogota International Airport. From here, there is an opportunity to view the Spot- Flanked Gallinule, Silvery-Throated Spine tail and the Noble Snipe.

Otún Quimbaya National Park is around 5sq/km of humid vegetation. This consists of wetland and tree farms as well as natural forests. One of the attractions in the park is Otún Lagoon, situated at a height of 4000 metres above sea level. The national park is home to a wide variety of birds including crested eagle, moustached antpitta and mountain parakeet as well as differing species of butterfly.
The lodge nearby where you will stay is home to many species of bird, like Chestnut Wood Quail, Moustached Pittbird, Chestnut-breasted Wren, Rufous-breasted Flycatcher and Flame-Rumped Tanager.


Day 4 : Manizales

The morning will be spent at your lodge doing some bird-watching. In the afternoon travel to Manizales to visit a coffee farm. Overnight on coffee farm.

The morning will be spent at your lodge doing some bird-watching. In the afternoon travel to Manizales to visit a coffee farm. Overnight on coffee farm. The farm is home to many species of bird, like Chestnut Wood Quail, Moustached Pittbird, Chestnut-breasted Wren, Rufous-breasted Flycatcher and Flame-Rumped Tanager.

Meal plan : Breakfast, lunch & dinner


Colombia has a strong coffee industry which you will learn about during the trip to Manizales. Coffee originated in Ethiopia but has been grown in Colombia for 200 years. The country is the third largest coffee producer in the world after Brazil and Vietnam.



Day 5 : Rio Blanco Reserve

The day involves a full day of bird watching at the Rio Blanco reserve. Accommodation will again be provided at the coffee farm near Manizales.

The day involves a full day of bird watching at the Rio Blanco reserve. Accommodation will again be provided at the coffee farm near Manizales.

Meal plan : Breakfast, lunch & dinner


Rio Blanco Reserve holds many species of the Central Andes. On the hummingbird feeders we’ll look for Tourmaline Sunangel and White-bellied Woodstar. In the reserve are Tyrannine Woodcreeper, Dusky Piha, Handsome Flycatcher, Oleaginous Hemispingus, Buff-breasted Mountain-Tanager, Plushcap and Black-eared Hemispingus. There are also Yellow-billed Cacique, Black-billed Peppershrike, Masked Saltator, Black-billed Mountain-Toucan, Powerful Woodpecker, Northern Mountain Cacique, White- capped Tanager and Golden-plumed Parakeet. 



Day 6 : Nevado del Ruiz National Park - Las Tangaras Reserve

Begin the day with a drive to Nevado del Ruiz National Park, stopping at the Elfin Forest and Paramo en route. In the afternoon, drive to Las Tangaras reserve where overnight accommodation will be provided.

Begin the day with a drive to Nevado del Ruiz National Park, stopping at the Elfin Forest and Paramo en route. In the afternoon, drive to Las Tangaras reserve where overnight accommodation will be provided.

Meal plan : Breakfast, lunch & dinner


Elfin Forest and Paramo is home to the Bearded Helmetcrest. Other species that we may encounter are Viridian Metaltail, Tawny Antpitta, Brown-backed Chat-Tyrant, Stout-billed Cinclodes and Glossy Flowerpiercer.



Nevado del Ruiz National Park will allow you to look for Golden-breasted Puffleg, Andean Tit-Spinetail, White-chinned Thistletail, Black-backed Bush-Tanager, Rufous-fronted Parakeet, Andean and Pygmy-Owl. You will also be able to look out for White-browed Spinetail, Crowned Chat-Tyrant, Ocellated Tapaculo, Scarlet-bellied Mountain-Tanager and Pale-naped Brush-Finch.



Day 7 : Chocó Rainforest

Today we visit the Choco Rainforest in Western Colombia for a full day of bird-watching. An overnight stay is provided at Las Tangaras Lodge.

Today we visit the Choco Rainforest in Western Colombia for a full day of bird-watching. An overnight stay is provided at Las Tangaras Lodge.

Meal plan : Breakfast, lunch & dinner


The Chocó rainforest in western Colombia has one of the highest concentrations of range-restricted biodiversity in the world, with many birds, plants and amphibians at risk of extinction. You will be driven along the road to the best trails, where hummingbird feeders at the trailhead hold at least 10 species. Here, you can look for endemics such as Chocó Vireo, Gold-ringed Tanager, Black-and-gold Tanager, Chestnut Wood-Quail, Alto de Pisones Tapaculo. Other specialties here include Beautiful Jay, Black Solitaire, Fulvous-dotted Tree-runner, Black-chinned Mountain-Tanager, Orange- breasted Fruit-eater, Toucan Barbet and White-headed Wren. 



Day 8 : Medellin

In the morning you will have some free time at Las Tangaras before heading to the city of Medellin. After lunch, visit Botero Museum in the city centre. Evening is free for own exploration. Overnight in Medellin.

In the morning you will have some free time at Las Tangaras before heading to the city of Medellin. After lunch, visit Botero Museum in the city centre. Evening is free for own exploration. Overnight in Medellin.

Meal plan : Breakfast, lunch & dinner


As the second largest city in Colombia, the bustling streets of Medellin are awash with features that highlight its historical and cultural significance. Medellin is also noted for its numerous sculptures from local artist Fernando Botero. Botero’s sculptures frequently show people that have been purposely swollen and enlarged, something done to convey his negative attitude towards politics.



Botero Museum is a renovated colonial house that is now home to artwork, much of which was supplied by Fernando. Botero when it was first opened. There is also a display of 20th century sculptures available for viewing. 

Day 9 : La Romera - Santa Marta

Visit La Romera Forest in the morning before flying to Santa Marta for an afternoon tour of the city. Continue to Minca for overnight.

Visit La Romera Forest in the morning before flying to Santa Marta for an afternoon tour of the city. Continue to Minca for overnight.

Meal plan : Breakfast, lunch & dinner


Positioned between the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains and the Caribbean Sea, Santa Marta’s history, colonial architecture and beaches make it one of the most popular tourist towns for Colombians. Santa Marta is the oldest remaining city in Colombia, founded in 1525 by Rodrigo de Bastidas in order to exploit the gold treasures of the Tayronas. By 1600, the Tayrona tribe had been wiped out and the gold had all been taken. La Casa de la Aduana is the museum dedicated to the Tayrona’s history. Simon Bolivar, who played a key role in Latin America’s fight for independence, died in Santa Marta in December 1830. His house Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino is now a museum.



At La Romera Forest, you can expect to see the endemic Red-bellied Grackle, Greenish Puffleg, Rufous-naped Greenlet  and Pale-naped Brush-Finch. The elusive endemic Yellow-headed Manakin is also often found here.

 



Day 10 : El Dorado

Spend the morning at the forest around Minca for bird-watching. After lunch, travel to the El Dorado for more birding. Overnight in a lodge here.

Spend the morning at the forest around Minca for bird-watching. After lunch, travel to the El Dorado for more birding. Overnight in a lodge here.

Meal plan : Breakfast, lunch & dinner


Day 11 : El Dorado

Full day bird-watching in El Dorado. Accommodation in a comfortable lodge.

Full day bird-watching in El Dorado. Accommodation in a comfortable lodge.

Meal plan : Breakfast, lunch & dinner


At El Dorado, you will be able to take things fairly gently and have plenty of time to rack up the endemics at this gorgeous site which features views of both the city of Santa Marta below and the mountain peaks (the tallest in Colombia) above.

Amongst the many endemics you will find the endangered Santa Marta Parakeet, the newly discovered Santa Marta Screech Owl, Blossomcrown, White-tailed Starfrontlet, Santa Marta Toucanet, Rusty-headed Spinetail, Santa Marta Antpitta, Santa Marta Tapaculo and Santa Marta Bush-Tyrant. In addition to this, you will be able to see Santa Marta Mountain Tanager, Santa Marta Warbler, White-lored Warbler, Yellow-crowned Whitestart, Brown-rumped Tapaculo, and Santa Marta Brush-finch. This list doesn't include the many others we will see including Scarlet-fronted Parakeet, White-tipped Quetzal, and Golden-breasted Fruit-eater. 



Day 12 : El Dorado

Full day bird-watching in El Dorado. Accommodation in a comfortable lodge.

Full day bird-watching in El Dorado. Accommodation in a comfortable lodge.

Meal plan : Breakfast, lunch & dinner


Day 13 : El Dorado - Cartagena

There is free time in the morning before driving to Cartagena. Overnight in a comfortable hotel in Cartagena.

There is free time in the morning before driving to Cartagena. Overnight in a comfortable hotel in Cartagena.

Meal plan : Breakfast, lunch & dinner


Day 14 : Cartagena

The full day will be spent on a sightseeing tour of Cartagena. Overnight in Cartagena.

The full day will be spent on a sightseeing tour of Cartagena. Overnight in Cartagena.

Meal plan : Breakfast, lunch & dinner


Meander through Cartagena’s picture-perfect streets, and admire the city that is famous for both its beauty and its history. Founded in 1533, Cartagena became the main port on the Caribbean coast during Spanish rule. Treasure was stored in the city until it could be taken to Spain and for this reason, in the 16th century, Cartagena suffered five sieges including one led by Francis Drake in 1586. This is why the Spaniards then built the forts (Fuertes) and walls (Las Murallas) that still encompass the old town. The Puerta Del Reloj (Clock Gate) signifies the entrance to the inner part of the walled city, also called Calamari. Just behind this is the Plaza de los Coches which used to serve as a slave market. The Plaza de la Aduana and Plaza de Bolivar also have fascinating historical context as well as the numerous churches, museums, convents and monuments. 

 



Day 15 : Cartagena - Bogota - Departure

Flight from Cartagena to Bogota to connect with international departures from Bogota airport.

Flight from Cartagena to Bogota to connect with international departures from Bogota airport.

Meal plan : Breakfast


ENQUIRIES






















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020 7183 6371
POST
Riverbank House
1 Putney Bridge Approach
London SW6 3BQ
EMAIL
info@traveltheunknown.com
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