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Wildlife Holidays in Colombia

Colombia is situated in the north-west of South America and is bordered by Panama, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru. Colonised by the Spanish in 1499, it achieved independence in 1819 but then suffered many decades of strife, both politically and socially. It has now emerged as a stable democracy and has been given the seal of approval by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office as a safe tourist destination.

Colombia boasts the longest bird list of any country, containing over 1,900 species! This extraordinary number is due to many factors, including its wide variety of habitats, latitude and geography, which allows for many migrant species. Dominated by the Andes, much of Colombia is mountainous; it also has Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, Amazon rainforest and Llanos (plains). Though it lies in the tropics, Colombia’s wide altitudinal range creates complex climatic variation.

Our Colombia Specialist recommends..

"In short, Colombia is a birder's dream destination! With 18% of the world's bird species, in a relatively small area, our two tours to Colombia are designed to run seamlessly back-to-back and will take you to very different habitats within the country. Our Multicoloured Tanager tour focuses on the south-west and Cauca Valley. The Santa Marta Endemics tour focuses on the endemic-rich Santa Marta Mountains and is partly based at the wonderful El Dorado Lodge. Colombia is beautiful and safe, with outstanding birding and hospitality. Do join us for the birding experience of a lifetime!"

Andy Tucker
General Manager

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Featured Tours


American Flamingo by Ferney SalgadoReddish Egret by Ferney SalgadoScarlet Ibis by Ferney SalgadoBirding on the beachWayuu boys by Ferney SalgadoBuffy Helmetcrest (Christian Cederroth) - CopyBuffy HelmetcrestGolden TanagerOlinguitoGold-ringed TanagerAndean Condor.Andean Condor.Antioquia, Colombia.Chestnut-breasted Chlorophonia pyrrhophrys.Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
What's special about the wildlife?

Colombia is quite simply a birding mecca, with more species recorded here (over 1,900) than any other country on earth, including just under 90 endemics. Colombia sits as a 'bio-bridge' between Central and South America, featuring long Pacific and Caribbean coastlines and complex and varied Andean topography, from the high, ice-bound summits to extensive Andean moorland (paramo) and unspoilt cloudforests and lowland tropical forests.

Naturetrek tours to Colombia

We offer a range of birding holidays and natural history tours in Colombia.

Our selection of tours includes:

  • Multicoloured Tanager tour exploring the Cauca Valley and Western Andes
  • ...and going on up to the high Andes (Nevado del Ruiz)
  • Our Santa Marta Endemics tour, featuring three nights at the incomparable El Dorado Lodge
  • The same tour features the special birds of the arid Guajira Peninsula
  • A combined wildlife and natural history tour
  • Wonderful birding and photographic opportunities
  • Warm hospitality, security and excellent food and especially coffee!


The guide was excellent and his conscientiousness and knowledge were exemplary. Certainly we saw a wide variety of birds which were a delight to behold in their display of stunning colours. Once again, the guide was excellent here in trying to ensure that each member of the party was able to enjoy as many of the birds which we saw, as possible. It was he who made the holiday for me, the success which it was.
Gabriel (guide) grew up on Santa Marta mountain, his skills at identifying bird calls were second to none. Both El Dorado and Minca were fabulous places to stay with magnificent views and walks from the door.
I was very pleased with our two Colombian leaders who almost universally kept tight control of the timing of our quite complicated itinerary. They looked after us well, provided excellent leadership on our birding stops and helped those (like me) who struggled to find birds in challenging conditions on jungle stops. They were also interesting to talk to about their country I was also very impressed by the quality of the local guides we used at some locations. The first morning and the trip to the Cali Country Club was a wonderful start to the trip after the overnight flight and brought home to me just what a very civilised South American country this was despite their awful troubles with the 50+ year Civil War. It was a very diverse itinerary and the birding environment was very impressive. I particularly liked the hummingbird gardens at Finca Alejandria, Cali, and Hotel Termales Del Ruiz, Manizales. The time in Manizlaes was the highlight of the tour and especially the day spent at the stunning Rio Blanco Reserve.