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endemic wildlife, mountains and Caribbean

An introduction to some of Colombia’s wildlife-rich habitats including cloud forest, dry forest, mangroves and alpine ‘páramo’ grassland.

Colombia is home to more bird species than any other country in the world. It also encompasses a variety of habitats stretching from the lowlands of the Pacific coast in the west, the Andes encompassing the Cauca and Magdalena valleys, vast swathes of ‘llanos’ savannah grassland, mangroves and dry tropical forests in the north, and Amazon rainforest. We will pass through several of these areas during our time in Colombia.

Our visit begins in Bogotá with a chance to acclimatise to the altitude, before a trip to Chingaza National Park to explore the interesting alpine ‘paramo’ grassland found here. Striking out westwards towards the Magdalena Valley we will spend several days in this area, visiting cloud forests and wetlands, as well as taking opportunities to learn a little about the colonial history of the area.

After our time amid the Andes, we will take an internal flight to Colombia’s north coast, lapped by the Caribbean Sea. Travelling in four-wheel-drive vehicles we head upwards to 1,900m and the El Dorado Ecolodge in the Santa Marta Mountains. Santa Marta is well known for its biodiversity, including a wealth of endemic species and the El Dorado Bird Reserve is a fantastic place to get a flavour of the wildlife here. We will then have time to explore the dry tropical forest, semi-desert and lagoon habitats of northern Colombia’s lowlands, before a visit to the historic city of Cartagena and our flights back to Bogotá and onwards to the UK.

Please note that holidays change, although sometimes only slightly, from year to year and previous trip reports may not reflect the planned itinerary, or other holiday details, for the current trip. Please ask us if you would like to know of any significant differences.

White-tipped Quetzal sitting on a branch, Colombia
Venezuelan Red Howler sitting on a tree branch, Colombia
White-tailed Starfrontlet perched on a twig, Colombia