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Upper Magdalena & Putumayo

(10) days(s)

This trip will take you in the Colombian Massif (from the Spanish Macizo Colombiano), the southern Andean foothills and the fringes of the Amazon. Diversity will be impressive as we explore the high temperate forest at 2500 masl to lowland Amazonian varzea forest at 400 masl. The area also have been home of ancient cultures whose legacy survives to this day. Most of this region´s best habitats ad been off-limits for decades, nowadays winds of peace are blowing in remote places like Southern Colombia, the situation in terms of security has improved significantly, and the area is ready to be rediscovered by birdwatchers and nature lovers. We will showcase the area’s art, history, and architecture, which will deepen your understanding of Ancient Colombian history.

Animals you might see on this tour

Scarlet Ibis

Blue-naped Chlorophonia

Scarlet-fronted Parakeet

Southern Emerald-Toucanet

Blue-capped Tanager

Black-capped Tanager

Capped Heron

Flame-faced Tanager

Indigo-capped Hummingbird

Apical Flycatcher

Chestnut-crowned Antpitta

Tolima Dove

Andean Cock-of-the-rock

Crested Bobwhite

Scrub Tanager

Cream-colored Woodpecker

Black-necked Stilt

Andean Emerald

Bronzy Inca

Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager

Common Scale-backed Antbird

Green-backed Trogon

Cocoi Heron

Masked Trogon

Rufous-tailed Hummingbird

Black-throated Trogon

Blue-grey Tanager

Brown Violetear


White-lined Tanager

Scarlet Ibis

Black Vulture

Turkey Vulture


Day 1. Upper Magdalena introduction

Morning flight to the city Pitalito located in the Upper magdalena valley and taking a 45min drive to the great El Encanto Nature Reserve. Right after arrival we enjoy the feeders at the lodge grounds that atracted species such as Golden-eared Tanager, Colombian Chachalaca, Gorgeted Woodstar, Indigo-capped Hummingbird, Apical Flycatcher, Green Honeycreeper, Bay-headed Tanager and more.

Night at El Encanto Nature Reserve

Day 2. El Encanto Nature Reserve and Upper Magdalena endemics

This day is all about Upper Magdalena endemics, searching for the restricted East-Andean Antbird, Huila Parakeet, Tolima Dove, Tolima Bloosomcrown and Dusky-headed Brushfinch. Another specialties from the area includes Black-chested Fruiteater, White-bellied Antpitta, Yellow-throated Spadebill, Violet-crowned Brilliant and many more.

Night at El Encanto Nature Reserve

Day 3. El Encanto Nature Reserve and drive to Mocoa

This morning we look for any missing target in the surroundings of the reserve and, after lunch, we make the 3h drive to the town of Mocoa, in the amazonian foothills.

Night at Mocoa

Day 4. Vereda Campucana (Old Sachamates Trail)

Early in the morning, with the first lights, we started the quest for the rare Black Tinamou, at the Old (and steep) Sachamates trail, where we will spend the whole day. The Black Tinamou can be tricky to see but Coopery-chested Jacamar and Black-striped Puffbird are common in the area. Other good species to look for are Dusky Spinetail, White-streaked Antvireo and Bronze-green Euphonia.

Night at Mocoa

Day 5. El Escondite Reserve and drive to Orito

Early in the morning we drive 1h from Mocoa to El Escondite reserve, located in truly amazonian lowlands with a lot of restricted species such as Orange-eyed Flytcatcher (Flatbill), Golden-collared Toucanet, Rufous-headed Woopecker, Masked Tanager, Yellow-browed Tody-Flycatcher, Bare-necke Fruitcrow and a lot more.

Around 3pm we drive 2h to the town of Orito where we will spend the night.

Day 6. Isla Escondida

After breakfast, we drive  45min to the entrance of the spectactacular Isla Escondida Reserve. To get to the lodge it would take the whole morning while we walk throug pristine foothill forest searching for species like Paradise Tanager, Spot-backed Antbird, Fulvous Shrike-Tanager, Yellow-bellied Tanager,  Carmiol’s Tanager and more.

After lunch, we explore the reserve lodge grounds looking for Blackish Antbird, Fulvous Antshrike, White-throated Barbthroath, Gray-tailed Piha, Golden-green Tanager and many more.

The nights at the reserve offers a nice array of nocturnal species, with Foothill Schreech-Owl and Band-bellied Owl been common. Crested and Tawny-bellied Owl are also possible and with luck, Nocturnal Curassaw could be seen although is very frequent to at least heard it.

Night at Isla Escondida

Day 7. Isla Escondida

On our first full day at the reserve, we spend the morning at the nice canopy tower searching for Spangled Cotinga, White-browed Purpletuff, Golden-collared Toucanet, Pavonine Quetzal, Gray-tailed Piha, Gilded Barbet, Slaty-backed Shrike-Vireo, Wing-barred Piprites, Blue-throated Piping-Guan, Paradise Tanager and many more.

After lunch at the lodge, we spend the afternoon walking the trails searching for the restricted Hairy-crested Antbird, Spectacled Bristle-Tyrant, Dwarf-Tyrant Manakin, Gray-tailed Piha. Also, sometimes in the afternoons Salvin’s Curassaw can be seen walking the trails close to the lodge.

Night at Isla Escondida

Day 8. Isla Escondida

This day we spend it on the trails of the reserve trying for Hairy-crested Antbird, Foothill Schiffornis, Lined Forest-Falcon, Ocellated Woodcreeper, Olive Oropendola, Black-and-white Tody-Flycatcher, Black Antbird and more.

Night at Isla Escondida

Day 9. Isla Escondida and drive to Puerto Asís

Full morning birding close to the lodge searching for missing targets, before walking our way back to the entrance of the reserve, were the car will pick us up and take us to the town of Puerto Asís.

Night at Puerto Asís

Day 10. Puerto Asís

Full day birding the varzea and Heliconia forest of Playa Rica comunity searching for great species such as Black-spotted Bare-eyed, White-lored Antpitta, Ecuadorian Cacique, Slender-billed Kite, Mottled-backed Elaenia, Ladder-tailed Nightjar and more.

Night at Puerto Asís