With over 700 species, birds are the undisputed stars of the Llanos. They share these large savannahs with an incredibly rich Amazonian fauna, Tamandua and Jaguar, armadillos and anaconda, howler monkey and capibara. Irrigated by the Orinoco River, these large ecosystems of grasslands, savannahs and wetlands interspersed with forests are a destination of choice for experienced birders and beginners alike, and especially for photographers. During this short stay, we will explore the large seasonally flooded grasslands and gallery forests of the Llanos. Safaris by jeep, tractor and boat. Night excursions will also be possible so as not to miss any of this rich wildlife. This is a very enjoyable addition to many of our tours in Colombia. A wild, safari-like adventure just a few hours from the Colombian capital.

Colombia
10 days
Birding tours Birding tours
Photo and bird watching tours Photo and bird watching tours

Your travel expert

Xavier Amigo

Responsible for naturalist, botanical and ornithological travel. Responsible of fixing and profesional contact.

Xavier Amigo
xavier@ecuador-experience.com
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10 10 days

Day 1: Bogota - Villavicencio

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Early breakfast and departure by private vehicle in the direction of the elfin forests of the eastern cordillera (about 2 hours drive). The climb along the eastern cordillera will allow us to better situate ourselves in this complex topography. During the trip, we will make several stops to start our birding list, before reaching the high areas of the Paramo de Sumapaz, where we will observe its high altitude avifauna. These 154,000 hectares will have much to offer us in terms of nature in general, we will spend the day in the different areas of the National Natural Park to explore its different ecosystems. The large colonies of frailejones (Espeletia sp.) and its multiple high altitude lakes are without doubt its most impressive naturalist attractions. We then head towards the eastern foothills of the mountain range to reach the gateway to the Llanos. Arrival in the town of Villavicencio in the late afternoon. Settle into our hotel before the briefing for the next few days. Dinner and overnight in a comfortable hotel in Villavicencio.

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Transport and private specialist guide

Targeted birds: Green-bearded Helmetcrest, Great Sapphirewing, Chestnut-winged Cinclodes, Many-striped Canastero, White-capped Tanager, Ochre-breasted, Brushfinch, Bronze-tailed Thornbill, Shining Sunbeam, Blue-throated Starfrontlet, Coppery-bellied Puffleg , Bronze-tailed Thronbill, Glowing Puffleg, Longuemare´s Sunangel, Apolinar’s Wren, Tawny Antpitta, Black-chested Mountain Tanager, Matorral Tapaculo, Andean Siskin, Golden faced Redstart, Black-headed Hemispingus, Brown-breasted Parakeet

Day 2: Monteredondo - Villavicencio

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Breakfast at dawn and departure for the Gayabetal areas. We will visit the Refugio del tororoi, to try to observe the Cundinamarca Antpitta, one of the rarest endemic species of Colombia, which comes to feeding areas and thus facilitates its observation. In the same area other species sometimes appear, which will help us to increase our list of rare birds. But some complementary species from higher altitudes should also brighten up our morning. Lunch on the way. During the rest of the day we will explore the site of Monteredondo, located at the lower edge of the Chingaza National Park, which contains a large number of species typical of the eastern foothills of the Cordillera. Return to the Amazonian llanos plains in the late afternoon. Settling in our hotel before the briefing for the next days. Dinner and overnight stay in comfortable hotels in Villavicencio.

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Overnight in comfortable hotels in Villavicencio

Transport and private specialist guide

Targeted birds: Brown-breasted Parakeet, Crested Spinetail, Ochre-breasted Brush Finch, Pale-bellied Tapaculo, Golden- bellied Starfronlet Violet-fronted Brilliant, Green- bellied hummingbird, Orange-eared Tanager, Cliff Flycatcher, Cundinamarca Antpitta, Muisca Antpittas, Ochrebreasted Brushfinch, Brown-breasted Parakeet, Greater Schythebill, White-capped Tanager, Blackcollared Jay, Golden-headed Quetzal et Ocellated Tapaculo

Day 3: Bavaria Forest

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The Bosque Bavaria, a few kilometres away from our accommodation, is the main observation point for piedmont ecosystems, with more than 350 species of birds, in an altitudinal gradient between 200 and 800 metres in altitude. This private conservation project contrasts drastically with the semi-arid savannah plains around Villavicencio. This will be an opportunity to look for different birdlife, barbets, trogons, manakins, tanagers and hornbills. But we will also have the opportunity to observe a large number of mammals: sloth, capuchin monkey, squirrel saimiri, coati, tayra. Return to Villavicencio in the late afternoon. Dinner and overnight stay in comfortable hotels in Villavicencio.

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Overnight in comfortable hotels in Villavicencio

Transport and private specialist guide

Targeted birds: Speckled Chachalaca, Amazonian Umbrellabird, Dwarf Cuckoo, Cobalt-winged Parakeet, Blue-headed Parrot, Green-rumped Parrotlet, Spectacled Parrotlet, Red-bellied Macaw, Scarlet-fronted Parakeet, Lettered Aracari, Crimson-rumped Toucanet, Collared Forest-Falcon, Orange-breasted Falcon, White-necked Jacobin, White-bearded Hermit, Green Hermit, Sooty-capped Hermit, Black-throated Hermit, Gray-chinned Hermit, Black-throated Mango, Long-billed Starthroat, Blue-tailed Emerald, White-vented Plumeleteer, Fork-tailed Woodnymph, Violaceous Jay, Gilded Barbet, Golden-headed Manakin, White-bearded Manakin, , Green Manakin, Striolated Manakin, White-winged Becard, Black-crowned Tityra, Amazonian Motmot, White-chested Puffbird, Moustached Antwren, Olivaceous Woodcreeper, Plain-brown Woodcreeper, Wedge-billed Woodcreeper, Burnished-buff Tanager, Silver-beaked Tanager, Solitary Black Cacique

Day 4: Rancho Camaná

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Early departure to the north. After a 30 minute drive we arrive at the Camaná family reserve. Carlos, Martha and Nathalia, since 1993, have transformed an old agricultural area into a nature reserve and a place of excellence for bird watching. The numerous paths and visiting areas are especially suitable for birdwatching. Along the different environments, rivers, lake, belvedere, dense foothill forests, we will have many opportunities to observe a large majority of the 190 species recorded on the reserve. During the dinner we will have the opportunity to discuss with the owners of this reserve to know a little more about their history. We will spend the night in the reserve to continue our progressive ascent towards the llanos the next day.

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Transport and private specialist guide

Targeted birds: Spectacled Parrotlet, Cobalt-winged Parakeet Barred Antshrike, Little Cuckoo, Chestnut-eared Aracari, Burnished-buff Tanager, Blue-necked Tanager, Turquoise Tanager, Swallow Tanager, Blue Dacnis, Purple Honeycreeper, Turquoise Tanager, Straight-billed Woodcreeper, Plain-brown Woodcreeper, Gray Seedeater, Pectoral Sparrow, Rufous-and white Wren, Rufous-fronted Thornbird, Black-banded Owl, Tropical Screech-Owl, Stygian Owl.

Day 5: Villavicencio - Monterrey - Yopal

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Before breakfast we will complete our observations around the lodge and then continue our expedition northwards towards Yopal. The atmosphere, landscape and climate will change completely from today. The pleasant road from Villavicencio to the Llanos will allow us to complete our observations and landscape shots and to admire many rural scenes. We will make a first stop in the Monterrey area. We will probably have the opportunity to observe and photograph along the road some typical species of these Amazonian savannah ecosystems, including many birds such as the surprising Kamichi, Tantals, Herons, Heddocks, and a variety of ibises, including the superb Scarlet Ibis. We will focus on the paludicolous species such as the strange crested Hoazin. Dinner and overnight in comfortable hotels in Yopal.

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Transport and private specialist guide

Targeted birds: Spot-winged Antbird, double-striped Thick-knee, Green Ibis, Bare-faced Ibis, Scarlet Ibis, Hoatzin, Red-bellied Macaw, Paradise Tanager, turquoise Tanager, Magpie Tanager, Pectoral Sparrow. Whistling Heron, Little Blue Heron, Black-billed Thrush, Wood Stork, Masked Trogon, Moustached Puffbird, White-chested Puffbird, Yellow-ridged Toucan, Chestnut-eared Araçari

Day 6: Yopal

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This new day will give us the opportunity to explore the surroundings of the eastern plains of the Colombian llanos. In this little visited area we will look for several species with a limited range. We also hope to see a plethora of waterfowl, including the majestic Jabiru, the prized Sunbittern and the curious Horned Screamer. Stretching from the eastern Andean foothills towards the Venezuelan border, along the great drainage basin of the Orinoco River, the llanos ecosystems, similar to the Brazilian Pantanal, abound with wildlife that is particularly easy to observe. Dinner and overnight in Yopal.

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Transport and private specialist guide

Targeted birds: Scaled Piculet, Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Northern Little Woodpecker, Great Potoo, Yellow-throated Flycatcher, Yellow-billed Nunbird

Day 7: Yopal - La Aurora

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Today it will be time to reach the deep Llanos. From Yopal we have a fairly long drive east to our new accommodation and viewing site far from the base of the Andes. Several regular stops will be made along the ochre dirt road to observe birds. As we enter the heart of this savannah ecosystem, our observations will intensify. Large waders, waders, birds of prey and many typical neotropical species will be in view through binoculars and lenses; kamichi, tantalus, heron, eddy-flycatcher, and a variety of ibis, including the superb scarlet ibis. Arrive at Hato La Aurora to settle in and reconnoitre the area. At the end of the afternoon, the landscape offers magnificent light and contrasts to take some photos and enjoy a pleasant moment of relaxation. Dinner and night in a traditional llanera farmhouse.

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Transport and private specialist guide

Targeted birds: Burrowing Owl, Double-striped Thick-knee, Oriole Blackbird, Whistling Heron, Horned Screamer, Purple Gallinule, Pale-headed Jacamar, Sharp-tailed Ibis, Scarlet Ibis, Cocoi Herons, Roseate Spoonbill, Wood stork, Greater Ani, Anhinga, Blue-tailed and Glittering-throated Emeralds, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Little, Spot-breasted, Crimson-crested Woodpeckers, Lineated Woodpeckers, Yellow-crowned Parrot, Orange-winged Parrot, Brown-throated and Blue-crowned Parakeets

Day 8: Hato - La Aurora

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From today we will explore the different ecosystems near our accommodation by jeep safari, but also on foot, to try to observe the most emblematic and rare species of the area. In total, almost 470 species of birds have been recorded in this area of the Colombian Llanos. The exploration of these places will make us discover grassy savannahs, swamps and gallery forests, allowing us to vary our observations between typical birds; Hoatzin, Agami Herons, Purple Gallinule, Limpkin and local fauna; primates, reptiles and mammals like the puma. Before dinner we will try to observe some nocturnal and crepuscular species around the lodge, such as Nightjar, Ibijaux, but also ocelots, crab eater fox and oncile. Dinner accompanied by the traditional "Arpa llanera", a discovery of folklore through music with traditional poems and legends. Night in a traditional llanera farmhouse.

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Transport and private specialist guide

Targeted birds: White-bearded Flycatcher, Great Horned Owl, Limpkin, Many-banded Aracari, Black-capped Donacobius, Orinoco Goose, Razor-billed Curassow, Rusty-backed Spinetail Boat-billed Heron,
Jabiru, Yellowish Pipit, Orinoco Goose, Green Ibis, Buff-necked Ibises, Sunbittern, Brazilian Teal, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Azure Gallinule, Rufescent Tiger, Capped Heron, Lesser-Yellow-headed Vulture, King Vultures, White-tailed Kite Plumbeous Kites, Black-necked Stilt, Aplomado Falcon, Yellow-browed Tyrant Hoatzin, Band-tailed Nighthawks, Nacunda Nighthawks

Day 9: Hato - La Aurora

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Breakfast at dawn followed by an exploration around our lodge where many species of open areas and forest edges can be observed. Between large herds of cattle and horses, we will also have the opportunity to observe several large mammals such as Tapirs, Capybaras, Peruvian Deer, Nine-banded Armadillo, Giant Tamandua, Otters, and hopefully Jaguar. Our immersion in these magical places will not only be natural. The "LLanera" culture, that of the Colombian cowboy, is rich in gastronomy, legends, music and tradition. The owners of the place will take advantage of the meals to tell us a little about where these traditions come from, accompanied by a good drink and a good grilled meat, a speciality of the region. Dinner in the same accommodation.

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Transport and private specialist guide

Targeted birds: Rufous-vented Chachalaca, Cinereous Becard, Rufous-fronted Thornbird, Masked Cardinal, Pale-eyed Pygmy Tyrant, Yellow-rumped Cacique, Double-banded Puffbird, Scaled Piculet, Little Cuckoo, Striped Cuckoo, Crane Hawks, White-tailed Hawks, Great-black Hawks, Pale-vented Pigeon, Scaled Dove, White-bearded Hermit, Black-crested and Barred Antshrikes, White-fringed Antwren, Straightbilled Woodcreeper, Pale-breasted Spinetail, Mouse-colored Tyrannulet, Yellow Tyrannulet, Paletipped Inezia, Ochre-lored Flatbill, Bicolored, Buff-breasted and Rufous-breasted Wrens, Spectacled Thrush, Black-faced, Hooded Tanagers, Burnished-buff Tanagers, Orange-fronted
Yellow Finch, Yellow-browed Sparrow, Purplethroated Euphonia

Day 10: Yopal - Bogota

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This last morning will be an opportunity to complete our observations of the local birdlife around the Lodge and along the road back to the town of Yopal. On the way we will finalize our observations as we meet new people. We will leave Orinoquia, and its vast extensions of savannah, after a very productive "safari" in terms of species but also in terms of souvenirs. Arrival at the national airport in the middle of the afternoon to take our flight to Bogota or Medellin, depending on your extension.

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Transport and private specialist guide

Targeted birds: Cobalt-winged Parakeet, Double-toothed Kite, Chestnut-eared Aracari, Grey-chinned Hermit, Rough-legged Tyrannulet, Yellow-browned Tody-Flycatcher, White-bearded Manakin, Black-faced antbird, Black-tailed Leaftosser, Spectacled Thrush.

Dates of the next departures

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Prices per person

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Included

  • Private transport (petrol, road taxes, parking, insurance for vehicle and passengers).
  • Entrance fees to the sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • All transfers as mentioned
  • Specialised bilingual naturalist guide
  • 24-hour assistance
  • Accommodation in double rooms with private bathroom - (Hotels, haciendas and charming lodges)
  • Meals as mentioned, picnics for some hikes.

Not included

  • International flights (you can consult our list of tour operators offering dry flights).
  • Excursions and activities indicated as optional in the programme.
  • Luggage weight surcharges for flights (23kg allowed on domestic flights)
  • Some dinners (expect to pay between US$8 and US$15/meal)
  • Single room supplement
  • Soft and alcoholic drinks for all meals.
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips
  • Personal insurance
  • Bank charges for bank transfers

Important note

Itineraries may be subject to last-minute changes due to natural events or changes in domestic legislation. The visitor must take into account and accept the possibility of last-minute changes in the organisation of the trip. The operator therefore reserves the right to make the necessary changes to ensure the safety and integrity of the travellers and to respect the laws in force. The hotels are given as an indication only and are subject to availability at the time of booking the tour. In case of unavailability, a hotel of the same category will be proposed.

* In US dollars based on double room accommodation. These rates are valid for the dates selected but may be subject to increase at the time of booking and depending on the tourist season and local holidays. Our quotations are calculated in US Dollars and we are committed to this amount. The equivalent value in Euros or in any other currency is therefore indicative and calculated on the basis of the exchange rate on the day of the offer.

** Airfares may vary depending on the airline and availability at the time of booking.

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