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Birding Colombia

Discovering the Birds of the Atlantic Coast & Santa Marta Mountains

November 2 – 10, 2024

With over 1,900 avian species — more than any other country in the world — Colombia is a birder’s paradise waiting to be discovered. Join the Natural Resources Foundation on this 9-day birding adventure to experience the country’s northern highlights, including the Caribbean region and the Santa Marta Mountains, famed for their many endemic species. Explore high elevation mountains, dry forest, and coastal habitats in search of an array of tropical avifauna, including flycatchers, hummingbirds, tanagers, toucans, and more.

Throughout your journey, meet members of the local community and learn about conservation efforts to use birding as a sustainable development resource. This trip is in partnership with Holbrook Travel.

Yellow-crowned redstart by Rafy Rodriguez.

Trip highlights

  • Explore the Caribbean coast. Bird the coastal wetland and mangrove habitats of Salamanca National Park and Los Flamencos Sanctuary in search of russet-throated puffbird, bicolored conebill, and vermilion cardinal.


  • Visit the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Mountains. The highest coastal mountain range in the world is home to more than a quarter of the country’s endemic species, including Santa Marta antpitta, Santa Marta woodstar, and Santa Marta warbler.


  • Meet the indigenous Wayúu people. Learn about their culture, represented in their weaving, ceramics, vegetation, and gastronomy.


  • Hike the cloud forest. Enjoy several days of birding at El Dorado Lodge, the ProAves Foundation’s flagship lodge. Learn about their role in establishing the Cerulean Warbler Conservation Corridor and ProAves Reserve.


  • Travel with a small group. The maximum number of travelers is 12. We think the small-group atmosphere allows you to get closer to your guide, each other, and, most importantly, nature.


A Connecticut Warbler, the Great Wisconsin Birdathon 2023 #Birdoftheyear, sitting in a tree

Sapphire-bellied hummingbird by Fred Roe.

Activity Level 2: Easy-Moderate

Participants should be able to walk at least 2 to 3 hours over some uneven and potentially slippery surfaces without difficulty and should be able to ascend or descend 50 stairs consecutively. Physical activities typically last for at least 2 to 3 hours at a time.

Health & Safety

There are no vaccinations required for entry into Colombia. A note about altitude sickness: Upon arrival at locations of high elevation (above 5,000 feet), shortness of breath and a pounding heart are normal responses to the lack of oxygen in the air. However, for some visitors, these symptoms can deteriorate into altitude sickness.

Headache, extreme tiredness, dizziness, nausea, and loss of appetite are standard symptoms. Staying hydrated and well rested is important to adjust to the altitude. Additionally, avoiding heavy, fatty foods and alcohol in the days before arriving to altitude can help. Over-the-counter medications are also available to help prevent or alleviate symptoms.

It’s advisable to avoid sleep medications, as they can slow breathing and respiration, which aid in getting the blood oxygenated while sleeping. Participants who take blood pressure medications should discuss this with their doctor as the medication can drop pressure too low at times.

White-tipped Quetzal by Toby Ross.

Pricing and cancellation

The base cost is $4,155 per person. The price includes accommodations, meals, entrance fees, activities noted in itinerary, private vehicle transportation unless otherwise noted in itinerary, non-alcoholic beverages with meals, a full time guide, porters, bottled water on the bus, a carbon offset, and part of your trip cost goes to support the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.

A deposit of $350/person is required by participants to register and reserve a space on the program. Reservations made less than 95 days prior to departure require full payment.

Cancellation Policy: 96 or more days before departure: $100 cancellation fee; remaining balance is refunded. 95-0 days before departure: 100% of program price is forfeited.


Registration deadline is July 30, 2024

Russet-throated puffbird by Fernando Florez.

Kim Kreitinger

Kim Kreitinger

Field Trip Coordinator

(608) 409-3110

Kim Kreitinger (she/her) supports the Foundation's Field Trip program, plans our domestic and international travel, and helps connect members with the Foundation.

Banner photo by Ian Segebarth.