In February of 2016 my husband and I traveled to Colombia with two fellow birders for a trip set up by Tanager Tours, out of Peru. We had birded in Peru with Tanager, and felt they gave us an excellent and reasonably priced trip which took us to many different areas and habitats and gave us great looks at hundreds of birds.
Our Colombian trip started in Bogota, where we met up with our Tanager guide, Miguel Lezama. We spent 1 ½ profitable days birding in the area, and discovered that Miguel was indeed very familiar with Colombian birds and an excellent birder who works very hard to prepare himself for tours. From Bogata, we flew to Barranquilla on the coast, and met up with our Colombian guide, Ricardo Martinez. From then on the four of us had two guides throughout. From Barranquilla our driver took us up to Minca, where we stopped for one night before heading up to Santa Marta. For the trip to the Santa Marta Mountains, Miguel arranged for us to travel in two 4-wheel drive SUVs, and we used them throughout our time in the mountains. The Santa Marta area was a great place for endemics, and we saw most of our target birds there. After 4 nights at El Dorado Lodge (which was a lovely Pro Aves facility), we returned to Minca with some very profitable stops on the way. From Minca we returned back to Riohacha, where we had some very different and unique birding experiences in a lowland area populated by indigenous peoples. On those days, Miguel hired an additional indigenous guide to help us and to also help support efforts to create birding opportunities and economic support for the community.
We were very pleased with our 14 night tour to Colombia and felt Miguel should be commended for his attention to detail, the care he took in assuring our comfort and safety, and for his birding expertise. The country itself was beautiful, and boasts more birds (approximately over 1900 species) than any country in the world.
Kathy and Donn Mattsson