The World's most diverse Road: Tumaco - Puerto Asís
(10 Nights /11 Days) Chocó Bioregion / Andes / Upper Amazon
2019 January 8 – 18 Tour Leader: Miles McMullan December 2 – 12 Tour Leader: Iván A. Lau
2020 February 3 – 13 Tour Leader: Miles McMullan December 4 – 14 Tour Leader: Iván A. Lau
USD $2,300 Length: 11 days Starting city:Tumaco Ending city: Puerto Asís Pace: Moderate-Fast Physical Difficulty: Moderate Focus: Birding Max Group Size: 10 people in double accommodation ( 2 persons per room) Single Supplement: USD $250 Addressed to: Keen Birders – Enthusiastic birders
This is a dynamic Tour that can give you great Diversity, meaning a lot of possible species. We will cross Chocó Bioregion, Andes and Amazonas lowlands. This Mega Diverse Tour will be conducted in the following EBAs (Endemic Bird Areas by Birdlife International): Tumaco and Bocagrande, Chocó, Central Andean Paramo, Ecuador-Perú east Andes, Upper Amazon-Napo Lowlands. This diverse road summarizes South American Birds in a remarkable way. After the very positive transformation in the past decade, and with the recent signing of a historic peace treaty these relatively unexplored areas opened up to birding tours. Ideal for birders who want off the beaten path adventures, unpermeated by mass tourism.
Bear in Mind
Early starts are necessary on most days since the best birding is in the early morning. Start times will usually be from (5:00-5:30 am). We will have several field breakfasts and one lunch, other meals will be in the lodges/hotels or nearby restaurants. Meals consist of a main dish with drink (water/soda/juice/beer). No appetizers, desserts, or wine are included. Birding will be our focus and meals are going to be arranged with the purpose of maximizing our birding time.
The drives are not too long (around 2.5 hours), with the lengthiest being about 4 hours on day 3. We will use a comfortable van for our land transportation.
We will have mild walks, even in the mountains, nearly all the birding will be from a dirt road where we will be mostly walking downhill. On the 6th day will have some hiking on slightly difficult and muddy trails where a walking stick and rubber boots could come in handy. If your shoe size isn’t that big, rubber boots can be purchased in Colombia for very reasonable prices. You can expect to walk around 5 Km per day on average.
Weather will be warm to hot in the lowlands (Tumaco, Barbacoas, Mocoa, El Escondite and Puerto Asís), and cool to pleasant in the highlands (La Planada, La Cocha Lagoon, Paramo de Bordoncillo and Trampolin de Aves). The tour is run in the dry season, but it is not unusual to get some rain in the mountains, though it is usually not much.
This tour sacrifices a little comfort due to the recent opening for Wildlife Tourism and its developing infrastructure in these areas. Accommodations are basic but clean hotels and lodges. All have private bathrooms and electricity. The most basic are: Hotel Torre Eiffel, La Planada Reserve, and Hotel Mirador San Rafael. We will have hot water in Laguna de La Cocha and Hotel Mirador San Rafael where it’s most needed. The other Hotels are nice and the lack of hot water is usually tolerable and staying close to the birding site makes it worthwhile. Wi-fi is usually available in most hotels, except for La Planada, Hotel Torre Eiffel, and Hotel Mirador San Rafael. Wi-fi may only be available in public areas, and is sometimes very slow.
Airport pick up and –We will pick you up in the afternoon at Tumaco´s Airport. From there, we’ll go to Hotel Los Corales, a nice hotel at the beach. We will check in, go birding (till dusk), and relax on our first night. Tumaco is a small city of the Nariño province, located in the southern Colombian pacific coast, that after the peace process is back on the birders’ map. Tumaco is one of the best places to see Coastal birds and fantastic lowland birds from the Chocó Bioregion.
Morro / Mar Agricola / Awá Indigenous Medical Center –San Andrés de Tumaco, Colombia’s second more important Pacific port, is 304 kilometers from Pasto. It is situated on three islands, all connected by bridge: Tumaco, Viciosa and El Morro. We will go birding to El Morro looking for Coastal Birds like Blue Footed Booby, Magnificent Frigatebird, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, Yellow crowned Night Heron, Rufous-necked Wood Rail, Whimbrel, Royal and Sandwich Tern, Pale-vented Pigeon, Croaking Ground-Dove, Ringed Kingfisher, Vermilion Flycatcher, Flame-rumped Tanager, Variable Seedeater and many more.
This day we will go to Mar Agricola Farm (wetland shrimp farm from Nariño University) and the Awá Indigenous Medical Center close to Tumaco, that happens to have an amazing lowland humid forest. This day we may see birds like near endemic Black-breasted Puffbird, White-cheeked Pintail, (vulnerable) Rufous-headed Chachalaca, Hook-billed Kite, Purple Gallinule, Wattle Jacana, the uncommon Blue ground Dove, Ecuadorian ground Dove, Collared Aracari, Black-cheeked Woodpecker, Pacific Parrotlet, (near endemic) Pacific Antwren, Masked Water-Tyrant, Pale-legged Hornero, the vulnerable and local Ochraceous Attila, Gray-capped Flycatcher, Gray breasted Martin, Black-faced Dacnis, (near endemic) Fulvous-vented Euphonia and many more. We will stay at the basic hotel Eiffel (hot water) at Junin.
Barbacoas Road / Ñambí- Barbacoas road lies in the Pacific coastal foothills of Nariño, one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. This natural reserve is an IBA with 354 registered bird species. At Rio Ñambí Natural Reserve, we will find a great community of hummingbirds, as well as an extensive variety of butterflies frogs and large mammals. During this day we will be looking for birds like the uncommon (endemic) Baudo Guan, (vulnerable) Dark-backed Wood Quail, Swallow Tailed Kite, Barred Hawk, (near endemic) White-whiskered Hermit, Tawny-bellied Hermit, Green Fronted Lancebill, Green Thorntail, (near endemic) Violet-tailed Sylph, (near endemic) Hoary Puffleg, (near endemic) Brown Inca, (near endemic) White-tailed Hillstar, Golden-headed Quetzal, Broad-billed Motmot, gorgeous (near endemic) Toucan Barbet, (near endemic) Chocó Toucan, Smoky-brown Woodpecker, (near endemic) Blue-fronted Parrotlet, (near endemic) Bronze-winged Parrot, Maroon Tailed Parakeet, Rufous-rumped Antwren, Uniform Antshrike, Zeledon’s Antbird, (near endemic) Yellow-breasted Antpitta, (near threatened) Ochre-breasted Antpitta, (near endemic) Chocó Tapaculo, Rufous Breasted Antthrush, Wedge Billed Woodcreeper, Spotted Woodcreeper, Brown-billed Scythebill, Spotted Barbtail, Slaty Spinetail, Ornate Flycatcher, Fulvous-breasted Flatbill, Flavescent Flycatcher, Long Tailed Tyrant, (near endemic) Orange-breasted Fruiteater, the uncommon (near endemic) Long-wattled Umbrellabird, Golden-winged and (near endemic) Club-winged Manakin, Bay Wren, (near endemic) Black Solitaire, Golden-bellied Warbler, (near endemic) Moss-backed Tanager, (near endemic) Glistening-green Tanager, (near endemic) Rufous Throated Tanager, Flame-faced Tanager, Silver-throated Tanager, (near endemic) Golden Collared Honeycreeper, (near endemic) Scarlet and white Tanager, (near endemic) Indigo Flower-piercer, Yellow Throated Chlorospingus, (near endemic) Ochre-breasted Tanager, (near endemic) Yellow-collared Chlorophonia, and many more. In the afternoon we will drive to La Planada Natural Reserve.
La Planada- La Planada lies in the rainy Western Andean slopes of Nariño alongside the Montane Humid Forest border with Ecuador, and has a bird list of almost 300 species, including some really range-restricted ones: the jewel in the crown there is the Plate-billed Mountain Toucan, only found in Colombia at this one reserve! The scenery is also remarkable, with it´s breathtaking view over the Forest towards the distant volcanoes and mountains of Ecuador. The birds we will be looking for this day are: Plate billed Mountain Toucan, Plumbeous and ruddy Pigeons, Spot fronted Swift, Hoary Puffleg, Booted Raquettail, Velvet purple coronet, Golden headed Quetzal, Masked Trogon, Toucan Barbet, Streak headed Antbird, Uniform Antshrike, Yellow breasted Antpitta, Nariño Tapaculo, Montane Woodcreeper, Rusty winged Barbtail, Scaly breasted Foliage Gleaner, Montane Foliage gleaner, Lineated Foliage Gleaner, Uniform Treehunter, Streak capped Treehunter, Red faced Spinetail, Azara’s Spinetail, Cinnamon Flycatcher, Flavescent Flycatcher, Smoke Coloured Pewee, Golden Crowned Flycatcher, Olivaceous Piha, Green and Black Fruiteater, Golden winged Manakin, White winged and Barred becard, Brown capped Vireo, Gray breasted Wood Wren, Andean Solitaire, Slate throated Redstart, Blue winged Mountain Tanager, Golden naped Tanager, Black capped Tanager, Beryl spangled Tanager, Metallic green Tanager, Saffron crowned Tanager, Golden Tanager, Dusky Chlorospingus, Chestnut capped Brush Finch, Rufous collared Sparrow, Orange bellied Euphonia and more. We will stay at La planada Natural reserve.
Laguna de La Cocha- We will go birding early in the morning at la Planada reserve and begin our journey to La Cocha Lagoon, making a few stops on our way. Located near Pasto, La Cocha lagoon is the second biggest body of water in Colombia. At 2.800m, the lagoon includes two islands. The main one and the most interesting is Corota Island, home to an amazing diversity of fauna and flora, many of them endemic to the region. La Corota is the smallest protected area in Colombia with only 2ha. There we may see amazing birds like Yellow billed Pintail, Ruddy Duck, Andean guan, Pied billed Grebe, Virginia Rail, Slate colored Coot, Southern Lapwing, Andean Gull, Band Tailed Pigeon, Eared Dove,Sparkling Violetear, Tyrian Metaltail, Collared Inca, Azara’s Spinetail, Subtropical Doradito, Sierran Elaenia, Brown bellied Swallow, Sedge Wren, Great Trush, Black Flowerpiercer, Grassland Yellow Finch, Rufous collared Sparrow, Slaty Brush Finch, and many more. We will spend the night at El Carrizo Hotel.
Bordoncillo Paramo- This paramo also named Quilinsayaco and located in San Antonio de Bellavista at the boundary of the departments of Nariño and Putumayo, is home to some of the more local species in Colombia. This trail passes through a bit of pasture at first then proceeds through a mixture of elfin forest, scrubby second-growth cloud forest, and taller second-growth subtropical forest. The hike may be strenuous, directly up a hill that can be muddy, but the birds we may get makes it all worthwhile. There we can watch birds such as Andean Guan, Cinereous Harrier, Rainbow bearded Thornbill, Tyrian Metaltail, Glowing Puffleg, Gray breasted Mountain Toucan, Carunculated Caracara, Speckle faced Parrot, Blackish, Spillmann´s and Paramo Tapaculo, White chinned Thistletail, Agile Tit Tyrant, Black capped Tyrannulet, Sierran Elaenia, Brown backed Chat Tyrant, Red Crested Cotinga, the rare Chestnut bellied Cotinga, Mountain wren, Sedge Wren, Great Thrush, Black crested warbler, Spectacled Redstart, Hooded Mountain Tanager, Lacrimose Mountain Tanager, Scarlet bellied Mountain Tanager, Golden Crowned Tanager, Glossy , Black, Bluish, Masked and White sided Flowerpiercer, Pale naped Brush Finch, Andean Siskin and many more. We will stay at Hotel Mirador San Rafael in the small village of Sibundoy. Sibundoy belongs to the Putumayo department. 3630 masl, the town is only 80 kilometers away from Mocoa. This is a part of the world that has not yet been permeated by mass Tourism, with it´s beautiful Andean landscapes Sibundoy valley is a place worth to visit. This valley is located at the foothills of the Colombian massif in the Andean-Amazonic region. The majority of its inhabitants are indigenous communities, like Inga and Kamtza.
Trampolin of Birds-Trampolin of Birds is an altitudinal gradient that goes from 2500 masl.(meters above the sea level) to around 1000-1200 masl. as you approach to Mocoa area. It’s the road that connects Pasto with Mocoa and has amazing subtropical forest that continues untouched in all directions. The views from the road are absolutely stunning, birding may be interrupted with traffic but it has superb birds. We will be looking for Sickle winged Guan, the uncommon Black and Chestnut Eagle, Squirrel Cuckoo, Specle Hummingbird, Long Tailed Sylph, Collared Inca, Violet Fronted Brilliant, Red headed Barbet, Southern Emerald Toucanet, Black billed Mountain Toucan, Crimson Mantled Woodpecker, Maroon Tailed Parakeet, Lined Antshrike,Chestnut crowned Antpitta, White bellied Antpitta, Slate crowned Antpitta, Spillman’s, White crowned and long tailed Tapaculo, Streaked Xenops, Montane Foliage gleaner, Black billed Treehunter, Sulphur bellied Tyrannulet, Streak necked Flycatcher, Golden faced Tyrannulet, Cinnamon and Handsome Flycatcher, Slate backed Chat Tyrant, Lemon browed Flycatcher, Green and Black Fruiteater, Andean Cock of the Rock, Dusky Piha, Barred becard, Black collared Jay, Rufous wren, Gray breasted Wood Wren, Andean Solitaire, Great Thrush, Chestnut bellied Thrush, Three striped Warbler, Slate throated Redstart, White capped Tanager, Grass green Tanager, Yellow throated Tanager, Orange eared Tanager, Blue and black Tanager, Blue browed Tanager, Golden eared Tanager, Deep Blue Flowerpiercer, Bluish Flowerpiercer, Short billed Chlorospingus, White rimmed Brushfinch, Scarlet rumped Cacique, MounTain Cacique, endemic Red bellied Grackle, Bronze green Euphonia among others. We will arrive to Mocoa at dusk and rest at the nice Hotel Suma Wasi.
Mocoa- Nestled into the foothills where the Andes meet the Amazon bio-region, the capital of Putumayo department is a place unlike any other in Colombia. Mocoa surrounding area is a natural wonderland of biodiversity,waterfalls, crystal-clear rivers and amazing Tropical Forest from the Amazon foothills. We will visit different trails around Mocoa Looking for Little and Undulated Tinamou, Speckled Chachalaca, Short Tailed Swift, Greater Yellow headed Vulture, Plumbeous Kite, Plain breasted Ground Dove, Black Throated Mango, Glittering Throated Emerald, Black fronted Nunbird, Gilded Barbet, Lettered Aracari, Chestnut Eared Aracari, Yellow Tufted Woodpecker, Cream Colored Woodpecker, Black Caracara,Cobalt winged Parakeet, Blue headed Parrot, White eyed Parakeet, Lined Antshrike, Orange Fronted Plushcrown, Yellow crowned Tyrannulet, Yellow browed Tody Flycatcher, Black Phoebe, Boat billed Flycatcher, Social Flycatcher,Black Crowned Tityra, Violaceous Jay, Thrush like wren, Black billed Thrush, Magpie Tanager, Red Capped Cardinal, Silver beaked Tanager, Yellow Bellied Tanager, Blue necked Tanager , Masked Tanager, Turquoise Tanager, Paradise Tanager, Swallow Tanager, Yellow Bellied Dacnis, Purple Honeycreeper, Chestnut bellied Seedeater, Chestnut bellied Seed Finch, Yellow browed Sparrow, Russet backed Oropendola, Crested Oropendola, Yellow rumped Cacique, Golden bellied Euphonia, and many more. Accommodation will be at Hotel Suma Wasi.
Finca El Escondite- We will drive early in the morning to Finca El escondite, a private natural reserve in the lowlands with fantastic variety of Birds. Birds like Horned Screamer, Rufescent Tiger heron, Bare faced Ibis, Hook billed Kite, Greater Ani, Great Potoo, Gray rumped Swift, Amazonian Trogon, Amazonian Motmot, Swallow winged Puffbird, White chinned Jacamar, Great Jacamar, Lafresnaye’s Piculet, Little Woodpecker, Chestnut Woodpecker, Black banded and Straight billed Woodpecker, Drab Water Tyrant, Cinnamon Attila, Lesser Kiskadee, streaked Flycatcher,Piratic Flycatcher, Purple Throated Fruitcrow, Bare necked Fruitcrow, Plum throated Cotinga, Chestnut crowned Becard, Opal crowned Tanager, White vented Euphonia, among others, may be found at this private reserve. We will drive to Puerto Asís and rest at hotel Pakarii.
Puerto Asís Trails- Lying at the bank of the Putumayo river, Puerto Asís is a small, warm, Amazon’s lowland Town that has very interesting trails of wetlands, grassland and Humid Forests
Where we may find birds like: Cinereous Tinamou, Scarlet Ibis, Green Ibis, Snail Kite,Rufous sided Crake, Gray breasted Crake, Gray cowled Wood Rail, Purple Gallinule, Limpkin, Gray Fronted Dove, Hoatzin, Greater Ani, Short Tailed Swift, Fork Tailed Palm Swift, Green Backed Trogon, Ringed Kingfisher, White eared Jacamar, White throated Toucan, Spot breasted Woodpecker, Chestnut Woodpecker, Lineated woodpecker, Yellow Crowned Parrot, Orange winged Parrot, Blue winged Parrotlet, Dusky headed Parakeet, Red bellied Macaw, Great Antshrike, White shouldered Antbird, Silvered Antbird, Long billed Woodcreeper, Straight billed Woodcreeper, Orange fronted Plushcrown, Dark breasted Spinetail, White lored Tyrannulet, Mouse colored Tyrannulet, Short crested Flycatcher, Fork tailed Flycatcher, Plum throated cotinga, White winged becard, White winged Swallow, Black capped Donacobius, Caqueta Seedeater, Grayish saltator, Red breasted Meadowlark, Solitary black Cacique, Yellow rumped Cacique, Thick billed Euphonia, Golden bellied Euphonia and Many More. Accommodation at Hotel Pakarii.
We will go birding a couple of hours before departure around noon. We will say goodbye
with the desire of having you back for another Birding adventure in our beautiful colorful country.