Discover the endemic-rich Atlantic Coast of Colombia with Naturalist Journeys, a spectacularly scenic area where palm-lined beaches fringe the skirts of snow-capped summits, with unmatched avian diversity. Colombia’s 1,900+ bird species include exclusively Neotropical families like guans, woodcreepers, ovenbirds, antbirds, puffbirds, toucans, jacamars, manakins, and motmots. Migrant North American songbirds may be seen at any elevation and extensive coastal wetlands offer plentiful waterbirds. This area has incredibly diverse habitats over very short distances and elevational gradients, all of which we sample during this tour.

The lush slopes of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta jut up abruptly from the coastline. Isolated from the rest of the Andes by a "sea" of dry forest, these snow-capped mountains have the highest number of endemic birds of any area in Colombia. About 28% (23 species) of Colombia’s endemics occur here, as do at least 39 endemic subspecies. Nearby along the coast, the Tayrona and Los Flamencos National Parks surround the Sierra’s northern face; a ring of Tropical Dry Forest surrounds the massif. Tayrona also offers our first direct immersion in Tropical Moist Forest, directly connected to the Caribbean, while Los Flamencos contains vast lagoons and dry coastal scrub.

With little drive time (the sites are in close proximity), we are left with plentiful opportunities to immerse ourselves in nature. This tour also includes fascinating and unique cultural opportunities, with visits to the fully aquatic (built on stilts in the water) communities of Nueva Venecia (New Venice) and Buenavista. Later in the tour, we visit the ancient homeland of the Wayuu people on the arid Guajira Peninsula. In addition to unique birds and wildlife found nowhere else in Colombia, we have the opportunity to have direct contact with this indigenous community, rich in knowledge, rituals and crafts, who always have a smile and a friendly "AntüshiiJia-Shia", which means "Welcome" in Wayunaiki, the Wayuu's own dialect. We learn about their territory, their homes and communities, their dances, gastronomy, handicrafts, and everything about their culture, their history and their cosmology.

Tour Highlights

  • See fabulous birds and wildlife in one of the most beautiful areas of Colombia
  • Bird the important coastal lagoons, mangroves, and beaches of the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta and Tayrona and Los Flamencos National Parks
  • See first-hand the landscapes that so inspired the settings of Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s books such as One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera
  • Search for some of the 23 Santa Marta endemic birds, including the Santa Marta Tapaculo, Screech-Owl, Parakeet, Blossomcrown, Brush-Finch, and Warbler and White-tailed Starfrontlet
  • Absorb breathtaking sunset views of the ocean and the delta of the Magdalena River from our mountain lodge
  • Venture by 4WD atop San Lorenzo Ridge, high above the windswept cloud forest, stronghold for Santa Marta Parakeet and other endemic birds
  • Explore coastal dry forest and scrub in Tayrona and Los Flamencos National Parks, some of the last such habitats in Colombia, for Vermilion Cardinal, Buffy Hummingbird, Black-backed Antshrike, and Tocuyo Sparrow
  • Watch for mammals like Three-toed Sloth, Nine-banded Armadillo, Cotton-top Tamarin, Gray-handed Night Monkey, White-fronted Capuchin Monkey, and two species of brocket deer
  • Visit native and indigenous communities in their villages to see local life, enjoy the cuisine, admire the handicrafts, and support ecotourism

Trip Itinerary

Itineraries are guidelines; variations in itinerary may occur to account for weather, road conditions, closures, etc. and to maximize your experience.

Day 1: Arrivals in Barranquilla


Welcome to Colombia! Arrive today at your leisure at the Barranquilla International Airport (BAQ). A representative from our local operator transfers you from the airport to our hotel in Barranquilla. Dinner tonight is on your own due to varying or late arrival times, but please feel free to get acquainted with others on the tour through an informal dinner.
Accommodations Barranquilla Plaza or similar

Day 2: Palermo / KM 4 Road | Isla Salamanca National Park


After breakfast at our hotel, we begin the day at a local hotspot known as KM 4, located on the outskirts of Barranquilla. It is a rural, flat, and unpaved road that parallels with the Magdalena River, where it was constituted as a zone of water regulation. The area is dominated by secondary growth, shrubs, plantations, and flooded areas that are currently used for local crops and as water reservoirs, making it very a productive location for birds. Many aquatic bird species and others typically found in dry forests inhabit this place. The climate is warm and humid, which is typical of the region that composes the lowlands of the Caribbean. Some of the species we look for include: Russet-throated Puffbird, Pied Puffbird, Stripe-backed Wren, Bicolored Wren, Caribbean Hornero, Yellow-chinned Spinetail, Northern Screamer, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, Limpkin, Cattle Tyrant, Savanna Hawk, Snail Kite, and Large-billed Tern.

We then continue on to the Isla Salamanca National Park, which is primarily composed of mangrove forests, swamps and exceptional beaches that can be viewed over the road connecting Barranquilla with Santa Marta. This island was declared as an IBA (Important Bird Area) and is next to the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta. In 1998, the Ciénega was declared as a Ramsar wetland of global importance, and in November of 2000, as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. The island of Salamanca is in reality part of a group of small islands formed by the accumulation of sediments arriving from the delta of the Magdalena, linked together by small canals to integrate a barrier that separates the Ciénaga Grande from the Caribbean Sea.

We stop at the Cocos visitor center inside the park to walk through mangrove forest in search of one of the rarest birds in Colombia: the enigmatic and endemic Sapphire-bellied Hummingbird (separated with care from the co-occurring Sapphire-throated Hummingbird). Other birds here include Bare-eyed Pigeon, Red-rumped Woodpecker, Brown-throated Parakeet, Northern Scrub-Flycatcher, Black-crested Antshrike, Bicolored Conebill, Bronzed Cowbird, and the rare Chestnut Piculet. As we drive by the marshes, we look for Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture, Snail Kite, and Limpkin, among many other waterbirds that abound here.

As the day warms, we explore the park’s wetlands, where bird communities vary by month and water level. We look for Fulvous and Black-bellied Whistling-ducks, Cinnamon Teal, White-cheeked Pintail, Black-necked Stilt, several sandpipers, gulls, plovers, Black-collared Hawk, Glossy Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, and two delightful flycatchers: Pied Water-Tyrant and White-headed Marsh-Tyrant.
Accommodations at Baranquilla Plaza or similar (B,L,D)

Day 3: Ciénega Grande de Santa Marta | Nuevo Venecia | Buenavista, Minca


Today we bird our way to our comfortable hotel in Minca. Immediately east of Barranquilla, we cross the Rio Magdalena—Colombia’s largest river—that carved the huge valley floor separating the Western and Central Andes. The Magdalena River, Karicali, or Rio Grande de la Magdalena, was the main waterway giving access to mainland Colombia, even before its discovery by Spanish explorers in 1500. In the language of the Karibs, Karicali means River of Caimans.

We drive Coastal Route 90. At the time of construction, the road’s foundations between Barranquilla and the Ciénaga Grande changed the mix of salty and sweet water in the area, negatively impacting 56,000 hectares of marshes of the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta. This sad event modified the natural dynamic of the mangroves and the marshes but left a perfect birding drive with views over both the Caribbean and the Ciénaga Grande allowing us to search for marine, estuarine, and dry forest birds.

Reminiscent of the Everglades, Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and Ramsar designated wetland, presenting the most extensive array of estuarine habitats and ecosystems in northern South America. However, in spite its importance, the reserve only covers 268 sq km—six percent of the total marsh area. Its biological features have shaped the life and culture of humans for millennia. In fact, one of the two first records of early ceramics in the Americas was discovered here.

As part of our visit to the Ciénega Grande de Santa Marta, we visit the towns of Nueva Venecia and Buenavista—towns literally built over water. This is one of the few areas in the world where such towns—villages built completely over water using stilts—still exist. These communities rely mainly on fishing, but now they are also working with tourism and when we visit these communities we are able to learn about their way of life as literal “aquatic communities,” their fishing, gastronomy, music and dances, and handicrafts, all surrounded by incredible nature. The entire area looks like an illustrated landscape, a Colombian “magical realism” image, a town straight out of the imagination of Gabriel García Márquez.

As time permits, we stop at several small wetlands, either salt flats or patches of mangroves, scanning for wintering shorebirds and waders. Species like Semipalmated, Spotted, and Western Sandpipers and Willet are familiar; others like Collared Plover may be new. Wilson’s Plover and Short-billed Dowitcher are generally present in good numbers and we should see a number of terns, including Gull-billed, Royal, Sandwich, and the large and showy Caspian. A real treat: Roseate Spoonbill, storks, and Jabiru feeding in saline pools; Brown Pelican abound, and Magnificent Frigatebird are usually present over the beach. Brown-throated Parakeet often come in flocks, sometimes swooping over roosting Black Skimmer, Little Blue and Tricolored Herons, and American Flamingo.

As we travel through drier habitat with cactus and huge shrubs of the introduced Giant Milkweed or Sodom’s Apple, we watch for Crested and Yellow-headed Caracaras, Harris’s Hawk, American Kestrel, Russet-throated Puffbird, and the endemic Chestnut-winged Chachalaca perched on cacti at day’s end.

In the late afternoon we veer from the coastline toward our comfortable foothill accommodations in Minca, half an hour into the mountains from the town Santa Marta, the first town in Colombia established by the Spanish. Minca is situated among extensive shade coffee farms while the town’s mango trees draw numerous parakeets and other fruit-eating birds. Keel-billed Toucan, Masked Tityra, Whooping Motmot, Black-backed Antshrike, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, woodcreepers, and tanagers are all possibilities in Minca. Additionally, our hotel has feeders that attract hummingbirds like White-vented Plumeleteer, White-necked Jacobin, Black-throated Mango, White-chinned Sapphire, Rufous-breasted Hermit, and with some luck and patience, the Santa Marta Woodstar and Long-billed Starthroat.
Accommodations at Colores de la Sierra or similar (B,L,D)

Day 4: Minca Birding | ProAves El Dorado Reserve


This morning’s first hours are devoted to looking for Tropical Dry Forest species around Minca and those from yesterday that we might have missed at the feeders. Local possibilities include Scaled Piculet, Collared Forest-Falcon, Lazuline Sabrewing, Pale-eyed Pygmy-Tyrant, Cinereous Becard, Rufous-breasted Wren, Rufous-and-white Wren, Dull-colored Grassquit, Thick-billed Seed-Finch, Crimson-backed Tanager, and the beautiful Golden-winged Sparrow.

As we climb towards the clouds, we leave Minca (2175 feet) to explore the upper limit of the Tropical Dry Forest. We drive up the slopes of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and into the Subtropical Wet Forest of El Dorado Reserve. Here, birds with the first name “Santa Marta” are more likely to appear. En route, we search for the skulking Santa Marta Foliage-Gleaner, Swallow Tanager (an endemic subspecies), Scaled Pigeon, Coppery Emerald, two endemic hummingbirds—Santa Marta Blossomcrown and Santa Marta Woodstar—Southern Emerald-Toucanet (an endemic subspecies), Groove-billed Toucanet, Golden-olive Woodpecker, Pale-breasted Spinetail, Streaked Xenops, Cocoa Woodcreeper, Santa Marta Tapaculo, Spectacled Tyrannulet, Orange-billed Nightingale-Thrush, and the endemic White-lored Warbler.

By afternoon, we ascend to approximately 6,000 feet, arriving at El Dorado Reserve, administered by the
environmental organization, Fundación ProAves. We should arrive with sufficient daylight remaining so that we can enjoy the fruit and hummingbird feeders outside the restaurant. Here we look for endemic Black-backed Thornbill, White-tailed Starfrontlet, and Santa Marta Brush-Finch, plus calling White-tailed Trogon. The lodge overlooks extensive gardens and active hummingbird feeders. Each cabin has a private bath, hot water, and sufficient outlets for charging your camera or laptop. The setting and its splendid views are quite remarkable!

Birding the lodge grounds is productive; endemic White-tailed Starfrontlet joins the numerous violet-ears, Violet-crowned Woodnymph, and Tyrian Metaltail (an endemic Santa Marta subspecies) at the hummingbird feeders. Black-fronted Wood-Quail are attracted to seed and the lodge’s compost pile, Santa Marta Brush-Finch are common, Stripe-headed Brush-Finch may be seen in the bushes surrounding the lodge, and occasionally Santa Marta Antpitta are seen outside the restaurant. Even the extremely rare Santa Marta Sabrewing has been seen on the lodge grounds and Lined Quail-Dove are frequently heard (but difficult to see). During a recent visit, two Band-tailed Guan were perched outside one of our cabins and a Santa Marta Screech-Owl called outside of another. We have the opportunity to look for the day roost of this owl during our stay.
Accommodations at El Dorado Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 5: Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta: El Dorado Nature Reserve


The dirt road that passes the lodge provides easy walking access through moist Subtropical Wet Forest. This kind of forest is present between 4950 to 8250 feet, and has an annual average rainfall of 79 to 158 inches. Vegetation is increasingly lush and we feel moisture in the air. Morning temperatures can be a cool 62°F.

As we drive uphill from the lodge this morning, we explore between 5280 and 6270 feet at our leisure. Here tree ferns are seen frequently, as well as epiphytes, lianas, and veins. We look for some of the previous days’ birds that we might have missed. Mixed flocks are likely perched on palms (Arecaceae) like Dictyocaryum lamarckianum and Socratea at lower altitudes. Strolls may yield a variety of species including Santa Marta Antpitta, Groove-billed Toucanet, Rusty-breasted Antpitta, Golden-breasted Fruiteater, Santa Marta Tapaculo, White-lored Warbler, Masked Trogon, the rather local White-tipped Quetzal, Black-throated Tody-Flycatcher, Cinnamon Flycatcher, the endemic Streak-capped Spinetail, Montane and Strong-billed Woodcreepers, Slate-throated Redstart, Blue-capped Tanager, Blue-naped Chlorophonia, and Black-hooded Thrush. As we explore the mountain, we also hope to hear (and see!) Venezuelan Red Howler Monkey and Gray-handed Night Monkey, in addition to the easier to spot Black Agouti and Red-tailed Squirrel.

Depending on yesterday’s findings we could go a bit higher, up to 7600 feet, surrounded by temperate forest vegetation. We might try again for any of the Santa Marta endemics that we have previously missed. Vegetation includes taller trees (above 70 feet in height) with buttresses and a habitat with denser undergrowth. This is the Subtropical Wet Forest. After the Tropical Dry Forest, the Subtropical Wet Forest is the next most endangered vegetation formation in Colombia. Within this altitudinal range, there are 19 endemic flowering plants with restricted distribution in these mountains. An additional group of 21 species endemic to this mountain is present in higher and lower elevations as well. This Subtropical Wet Forest also harbors a third of the 126 endemic flowering plant species reported in the Santa Marta Mountains.

As we return to our lodge, we have a chance to catch the breathtaking view of the sunset over the ocean and along the Magdalena Delta. A past client stood silently as the sun set, then said “I don’t think the video camera will be able to record this.”
Accommodations at El Dorado Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 6: Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta: San Lorenzo Ridge


We have a very early start today to catch the sunrise at the top of the ridge. Our goal is to be there and ready by the time all the specialties wake up, particularly small flocks of Santa Marta Parakeet, one of Colombia’s most endangered parrots. Space is not ample and the road is narrow; birding groups have one shot during their stay at El Dorado to explore the top of the mountain unless there are no others trying for the summit.

The ride uphill in four-wheel drive vehicles (on what some have referred to as a “road”) takes us to the San Lorenzo Ridge, one of the only vehicle-accessible areas in the upper part of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta National Park. Recognizing the area’s unique character, the Colombian government designated much of the Sierra Nevada as Colombia’s second National Park in 1964. If the morning is clear, we are able to see the highest snow-covered peaks of the Sierra Nevada (in fact, the highest in the entire country!) towering far to the south above the windswept Cloud Forest. A stretch of mostly flat road, lined with ferns, bamboo, sprawling club mosses, and melastome shrubs harbors a number of very local specialties, as well as some more widespread birds including Santa Marta Antpitta, Sierra Nevada Antpitta, Brown-rumped Tapaculo, Rusty-headed Spinetail, Flammulated Treehunter, Yellow-bellied Chat-Tyrant, Santa Marta Bush-Tyrant, Santa Marta Warbler, some easier endemics such as Yellow-crowned Redstart, Black-cheeked Mountain-Tanager, and curious Santa Marta Brush-Finch that are more confiding than the ones at the lodge.

The low, open woodland is home to Southern Emerald-Toucanet, Santa Marta Mountain-Tanager, Yellow-crowned Redstart, Santa Marta Warbler, White-throated Tyrannulet, Hermit Wood-Wren, Strong-billed Woodcreeper, and a number of other species. We might be lucky and find Santa Marta Sabrewing.

Butterflies here include several interesting species of small, dark satyrs and a few skippers that have adapted to these higher, cooler habitats. Today’s altitudinal range is between 7900 and 8900 feet along the last 1.5-mile stretch of road to the Antenas-Cerro Kenedy area. Above 8200 feet the vegetation changes; the rains are diminished here but the presence of clouds and fog increases. These different environmental conditions support a different set of plant species, defined as Montane Wet Forest. Our guide shows us some of the representative plant species, including Chusquea bamboo thickets and dense shrubbery.
Accommodations at El Dorado Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 7: El Dorado Nature Reserve | Transfer to Riohacha


After breakfast and a bit of feeder watching for specialties like Black-fronted Wood-Quail, we bird our way down to the coast. As we descend, we revisit the vegetation types from the prior days, in order to find some of the specialties that we might have missed: Santa Marta Blossomcrown, Santa Marta Woodstar, Venezuelan Flycatcher, and others. We have chances for Venezuelan Red Howlers as we stop to check for hummingbirds. After a morning of birding and lunch, we continue on to the coastal town of Riohacha for the night.
Accommodations at Hotel Taroa or simliar (B,L,D)

Day 8: Los Flamencos National Park | Wayuu Communities


Located about 25 minutes away from Riohacha, the Los Flamencos National Park was primarily created to protect the American Flamingo population that inhabits the beaches. Surrounded by dry forests and coastal wetlands, this protected location is an IBA (Important Bird Area) due to having more than 400 recorded bird species; most of them are of coastal origin migrating from the north side of the continent. This sanctuary is an easy place for bird observation, where it is possible to spot species that are only found here and cannot be found anywhere else in Colombia. Although the temperatures tend to be very high, the strong winds help to make it more refreshing. Not only is it a pleasant spot for the observation of birds, but it also provides incredible local seafood for our meals.

In addition to the lagoons and coastal wetlands, we spend some time exploring the surrounding coastal dry scrub, which harbors many unique birds. Some of the highlight species we look for during the day are Chestnut Piculet, White-whiskered Spinetail, Slender-billed Tyrannulet, Tocuyo Sparrow, Vermilion Cardinal, Pearl Kite, Aplomado Falcon, Bare-eyed Pigeon, Brown-throated and Blue-crowned parakeet, Green-rumped Parrotlet, Burrowing Owl, Red-billed Emerald, Buffy Hummingbird, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Russet-throated Puffbird, Red-crowned Woodpecker, Straight-billed Woodcreeper, Caribbean Hornero, Pale-breasted Spinetail, Black-crested and Black-backed Antshrike, White-fringed Antwren, Northern Scrub-Flycatcher, Pale-eyed Pygmy-Tyrant, Pearly-vented Tody-Tyrant, Brown-crested and Venezuelan Flycatcher, Streaked Flycatcher, Bicolored Wren, Black-chested Jay, Tropical Gnatcatcher, Scrub Greenlet, Glaucous Tanager, Black-faced Grassquit, Pileated Finch, Grayish, Buff-throated and Orinocan Saltators, and Yellow Oriole.

In the afternoon, we visit the local Wayuu communities. The Wayuu inhabit the arid Guajira Peninsula of Colombia and adjacent Venezuela. We have the opportunity to have direct contact with this indigenous community, rich in knowledge, rituals, and crafts. We learn about their territory, their homes and communities, their dances, gastronomy, handicrafts and everything about their culture, their history and their cosmology.
Accommodations at Hotel Taroa or similar (B,L,D)

Day 9: Los Flamencos National Park | Transfer to Barranquilla


Today is a bit flexible, depending on what we have seen on the prior days. We may make a return visit to a different part of Los Flamencos in search of things we missed or better looks at some species. As we travel west along the coast, admiring the spectacular views of the Sierra Nevada on one side and the Caribbean on the other, we stop at Tayrona National Park, named after the indigenous people who formerly inhabited the region. The various trails, beaches, and main road of Tayrona offer many opportunities to look for forest species, perfectly complementing our time in the Sierra Nevada. Tayrona protects coral reefs, beaches, bays, and important samples of unique coastal vegetation directly related to the ecosystems and geological formations on the northern slopes of the Sierra Nevada. Because of its biogeographical importance, UNESCO declared the Park to be part of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Biosphere Reserve in 1982. The western section of the reserve is Tropical Moist Forest, an isolated coastal extension of this vegetation formation that wedges itself between sections of the Tropical Dry Forest of the Colombian Caribbean.

This rich diversity of flora shelters unique bird species, including the ultra-rare endemic Blue-billed Curassow, Crested Guan, Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Keel-billed Toucan, Yellow-billed Cuckoo (only during migration), Rufous-breasted Hermit, Western Long-tailed Hermit, Sooty-capped Hermit, White-chinned Sapphire, White-necked Puffbird, Cocoa Woodcreeper, Red-billed Scythebill, Western-Slaty Antshrike, Jet Antbird, Northern White-fringed Antwren, White-bellied Antbird, Lance-tailed Manakin, Southern Bentbill, Yellow-breasted Flycatcher, Golden-fronted Greenlet, Gray-headed Tanager, Carib Grackle, and Yellow and Orange-crowned Orioles. We also hope to find White-fronted Capuchin and the critically endangered Cotton-top Tamarin, which inhabit these forests.

Our drive back to Barranquilla includes a lunch stop near the historic town of Santa Marta. Santa Marta is not only the capital of Magdalena Department, but also the first Spanish settlement in Colombia and the second oldest city in South America, founded in 1525 by Rodrigo de Bastidas. Santa Marta is where Simon Bolívar passed away on his way to exile in Europe on December 17, 1830, and where he wanted to have his heart buried at the Cathedral as an expression of his love for this land. Bolívar is known today as the Great Liberator since he led the fight for independence from Spain for Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Panama.

We make an early return to our hotel in Barranquilla today, to allow time to rest and clean up and begin packing. We then conclude the tour with a farewell dinner in Barranquilla to celebrate our great sightings, companionship, and memories of our time on the Atlantic Coast of Colombia.
Accommodations at Barranquilla Plaza or similar (B,L,D)

Day 10: Departures


Depart at your leisure for home or your final destination from Barranquilla (BAQ). Transportation to the airport is provided in time for your flight.

  • Blossomcrown, Colombia Nature Tour, Colombia Birding Tour, Santa Marta, Naturalist Journeys
  • Cinnamon Flycatcher, Colombia Nature Tour, Colombia Birding Tour, Santa Marta, Naturalist Journeys
  • El Dorado Sign, Colombia Nature Tour, Colombia Birding Tour, Santa Marta, Naturalist Journeys
  • El Dorado view, Colombia Nature Tour, Colombia Birding Tour, Santa Marta, Naturalist Journeys
  • Slate-throated Redstart, Colombia Nature Tour, Colombia Birding Tour, Santa Marta, Naturalist Journeys
  • Sparkling Violetear, Colombia Nature Tour, Colombia Birding Tour, Santa Marta, Naturalist Journeys
  • Squirrel Cuckoo, Colombia Nature Tour, Colombia Birding Tour, Santa Marta, Naturalist Journeys

Cost of the Journey

The cost of the journeys is $TBD from Barranquilla, Colombia. Cost is based on double occupancy and includes all accommodations; all meals as specified in the itinerary, group airport transfers, professional guide services, local park and other area entrance fees, and miscellaneous program expenses. The cost does not include transportation to or from your home to Colombia, or items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone charges, porterage, maid gratuities, or beverages from the bar.

Travel Details

Please plan to make air travel plans only after the minimum group size has been met. We will send you a confirmation email as soon as the trip has been confirmed.

Arrival and Departure Airport: Ernesto Cortissoz International Airport (BAQ) in Barranquilla

Travel Tips: If you arrive early to rest up from your travels, we can book an early night for you at our first night tour hotel, the Hotel Barranquilla Plaza. You can relax at this comfortable hotel, which has a pool, restaurant, bar, and is in a nice part of the city near shopping and popular dining spots.

Visa Requirements:  US visitors do not need a visa for tourist stays of this length in Colombia.

Browse below for trip reports and species lists from past versions of this and other tours from this destination.

Colombia

Map for Colombia: Santa Marta & the Atlantic Coast

Essential Information +

This information is important for being prepared for your journey; we want you to have Read more

This information is important for being prepared for your journey; we want you to have the best experience possible. If you only read one section, this one is key!

Ahead of Your Tour

  • Make sure your passport will be valid at the time of entry through the date of your scheduled return to the U.S.  We suggest a minimum 3 months validity beyond the end of tour to allow for unexpected delays in return travel. A visa is NOT required for U.S. citizens for stays of this length. If you are traveling with a passport from another country, please contact the Embassy of Colombia website for guidelines.
  • You must fill out your Colombia immigration form before arrival. Visit Migración Colombia’s online Check-Mig form within 72 hours of boarding an inbound or outbound flight from Colombia at Check-mig - Migración Colombia (migracioncolombia.gov.co)
  • Please check current CDC recommendations for travel to Colombia and consult with your doctor about general travel vaccinations you should have as precaution for travel. See the “Health and Inoculations” section below.
  • Travel insurance in case of serious medical emergency is strongly recommended. Full health coverage and repatriation is available through Allianz Travel Insurance.
  • Plan your flight reservations to arrive and depart from Barranquilla Ernesto Cortissoz International Airport (BAQ). Once confirmed, please send a copy of your itinerary to the Naturalist Journeys office: clientservices@naturalistjourneys.com.
  • Soft sided luggage/duffel bags are preferred as luggage, for ease in loading vans. Please pack essential medications in your carry-on luggage, as well as one day of clothing and optics in case of luggage delay.

Arrival into Barranquilla Ernesto Cortez International Airport (BAQ)

A representative from our Colombian Operator, Manakin Nature Tours, will meet all flights at Barranquilla Ernesto Cortez International Airport (BAQ). Upon arrival, you will pass through immigration and customs and meet the assigned driver, who will wait with a sign with your name on it or Naturalist Journeys once you exit to the main terminal area.  Your emergency contact sheet will be helpful at Immigration when they ask where you are going.

For those members of our group who need to arrive early, we recommend the Barranquilla Plaza Hotel, and we will pick you up there (or another hotel if near the airport or the Plaza Hotel). It is in a good area of the city to explore a bit. Some will need a night after the tour, and we suggest using this hotel, again for location and value.

There is an ATM to change money at the airport.

Please check the Travel Details section of this tour for additional information and updates.

Departures from Barranquilla Ernesto Cortez International Airport (BAQ)

Our guide and the hotel can assist with a group transfer and for those at other times, taxis for the return transfer to the airport.

Our agent and the airlines recommend being at the airport 3 hours ahead of your flight, so please take that into account when planning your return to the airport.

Please check the Travel Details section of this tour for additional information and updates.

Passports, Visas & Documents

It is recommended to check 60-90 days before your tour departs for changes in documentation requirements. If you are from another country, please contact the Colombian embassy website for guidelines. Information for U.S. citizens can be found at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Colombia.html

Passports: To enter Colombia, you must have a passport that is valid at the time of entry through the date of your scheduled return to the U.S. We suggest a minimum 3 months validity beyond the end of tour to allow for unexpected delays in return travel. Please check your expiration date carefully! We advise having at least one blank passport page per entry stamp. The blank pages need to say “Visas” at the top. Pages marked “Amendments and Endorsements” will not be accepted.

Travelers with a U.S. passport do not need a visa for stays of this duration. 

As a precaution for lost or misplaced documents you carry on your person during travel, we highly recommend you keep hard and digital backup copies on your phone (either photo or PDF scan), as well as a hard copy left with your emergency contact at home. The recommended important documents to copy include, but are not limited to; your passport ID page, travel visa, the front and back of your credit card(s), the airline barcode on your luggage. This will greatly expedite getting new ones if necessary – we hope everyone will always keep travel documents close so that losing them will not be an issue.

General Health and Inoculations Information - Be Prepared!

We will share your health information with your guide. This information will be kept confidential but is very important as your journey takes you to a remote part of the world and we want to be best prepared in case of a medical emergency. 

Vaccinations: Bring copies of your current vaccination records with you. At the time of writing there were no required vaccinations to enter Colombia (Exception: For travelers coming from or traveling through Brazil, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda - the Yellow fever vaccine, documented on the WHO International Certificate of Vaccination, is required and must have been administered at least 10 days before arrival in Colombia). However, the CDC recommends that all travelers be up to date with routine vaccinations and basic travel vaccines (such as Hepatitis A and Typhoid) before traveling to any destination. Please check with your doctor for recommendations at least 4-6 weeks before departing on your trip. Check the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) webpage for helpful information or reach them by phone at (800) CDC-INFO (800-232-4636).

You are at lower elevations in Barranquilla, Ciénega Grande de Santa Marta, Riohacha, Los Flamencos, and Tayrona. Please do your best to protect yourself from mosquito-spread disease. Dengue Fever is a concern and occurs widely, as does Chikungunya, a relative newcomer in the field of what to watch for. As there are no vaccines for these two, a prevention approach is key – LONG SLEEVED clothing, and serious attention to keeping yourself protected with insect repellent – especially at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. Many travelers return from the field and shower, then go to an outside dining area unprotected. We think the insect repellent wipes are terrific for this, several brands are available, and they are easy to apply. Better yet, plan to shower before bed and in the lowlands where provided, use the bed netting. It is very important to keep yourself from getting bitten, as then your risk is managed. And during your time in the mountains it is not of concern.

Also, talk to your doctor about how to prevent malaria while traveling. Prophylaxis is recommended for all areas below 5577 feet elevation. You may need to take medication before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria. Malaria risk for the areas this tour will visit is relatively low.  Find out more about malaria at: Malaria | CDC Yellow Book 2024.

Prescriptions: It is a good idea to pack any meds you take regularly in your carry-on luggage.  Bring an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses. Bring an adequate supply of any prescription medications you use, a copy of the prescription and a list of generic names of your medicines as “back-up” in case it is necessary to purchase drugs while abroad. You’ll want to keep medications in their original, labeled containers. 

Allergies: To be prepared for environmental triggers to allergies or breathing difficulties, please bring your allergy and/or asthma medication(s).  If you have severe allergies talk to your doctor about carrying an EPI pen and notify your guides. It is also recommended to carry with you an up-to-date record of known allergies, chronic medical problems and Medic Alerts so that, if necessary, emergency treatment can be carried out without endangering your health.

Common Ailments: We recommend that you bring a travel-sized first aid kit and a supply of standard over-the-counter medications for prevention or treatment of common ailments (such as diarrhea, constipation, stomach upset, cough, congestion, head or body aches, insect bites and sunburn); as well as ointments, moisturizer, sunscreen, oral rehydration salts, band-aids, moleskin for blisters, cotton swabs, nail clippers, and tweezers, etc.

Weather, Climate & Roads

In general, weather in Colombia is variable where we will travel. In the lowlands along the coast the high could be 80-90°F and in the mountains a comfortable 70°F with the low 60°F.  In the higher elevations of the Sierra Santa Marta, the high may be only 50°F with mist and fog – a good quality windbreaker, light fleece and even a pair of light gloves, scarf or hat may seem crazy but for the moments you are at higher elevation, divine.  Please bring layers and do have good rain gear, shoes with good tread and support are essential. It’s a good idea to check the weather forecast a week before your departure to see what you might encounter.

The road up to higher elevations is an extremely bumpy 4 wheel drive road. if you have lower back issues bring a support brace for these 4WD excursions.

Packing, Clothing & Laundry

All lodges and hotels are fine with casual clothing at meals. Sandals are fine for the vehicles on travel days but otherwise you need secure footing. It is cool to COLD at night in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, so be prepared for that with a good fleece and perhaps a light hat and scarf.

And, as covered in the health guideline, you need to protect yourself from mosquitoes. Loose fitting overshirts that allow air to pass through work great. You may wish to pretreat clothes, shoes, and socks with an anti-bug spray such as a Permethrin spray.

There are chiggers too, so if you can find Sulphur powder, that is of help, and it also works to tuck pants into your boots and spray your boots and other areas with DEET. Some people use gaiters to keep them at bay.

El Dorado and our hotels will do your laundry for you at a nominal charge. Hand laundry may also be an easy solution for you. As you want to keep sprayed, your outerwear might best used time and time again, change the under layer often.

Please, pack light. We are serious about this – we’ll be moving around a lot, and you just do not need much to cope with tropical life! Please do not bring anything more than you must. Lay out the items you hope to take and then do a serious paring down with the goal of bringing one soft-sided duffel bag and one carry-on bag. 

TRAVEL TIP: Imagine NOT getting your suitcase. Wear your most important shoes for the field and have one day’s clothing change (including a change of underwear!). And please do not pack any essential medications, or your vital optics, in your checked luggage!

Spending Money

The Colombian Peso is the official currency of Colombia. We advise you carry a mix of different types of payments, such as local currency, an ATM card, and a credit card.  For the current exchange rate, please refer to an online converter tool like www.xe.com or your bank. Please note that the U.S. Dollar is not widely accepted and generally the local currency is preferred.

You can exchange your money in Colombia. The easiest way is to withdraw funds from a local ATM although it is good to know that ATM limits in Colombia are very low and average around $125. Because of this, it may make sense to exchange larger sums of money at the airport. You will have access to an ATM in Barranquilla at the airport. There are also ATM machines readily available in large cities and become less available in rural areas. The ATM will give you Colombian Pesos and your bank will convert that into U.S. Dollars. Many banks charge a fee of $1-$5 each time you use a foreign ATM. Others may charge you a percentage of the amount you withdraw. Check with your bank before departure. You must become familiar with how to use your ATM card and PIN number ahead of the journey. If you plan to exchange cash in country, bring large U.S. bill ($50 or $100) in good condition that will give you the better rate when exchanging to local currency.

In general, credit cards are accepted in Colombia, but mostly in larger cities. For handicrafts and smaller purchases, such as drinks with dinner, it is easiest to have cash available. We suggest you have more than one card available. You may want to bring more than one brand of card (one Visa, and one MasterCard; American Express is less accepted), if possible. Not every shop will accept every card. Some machines are set up for both, while some will only service one or the other. Also, we recommend that you advise your bank or credit card company that you will be traveling to abroad to avoid questions, card freezes, or charges.

Many people ask how much money to plan to bring for spending money.  Part of that depends on how much you want to shop.  Typical items people purchase include: local souvenirs and T-shirts, carvings, beads, textiles, artworks, drinks before or with dinner, maps and natural history books.

Traveler’s checks are not widely accepted. They can be difficult to exchange. We do not advise you use them.

Gratuities

In Colombia there are a good number of gratuities to plan for, at the lodges (shared by all staff) and at the end for your guide. In general, if you have both currencies, local lodge tips are most useful in Colombia Pesos, as they are in rural locations. This is easy if you plan to get money by ATM.  If you do not, both the lodges and guides will accept tips in either currency.

At lodges, it is customary to leave a gratuity for the lodge staff to share. This way you don’t have to worry about tipping a little at a time for porterage, tips for a beer, laundry, etc. – these will be shared by all. The recommended amount for this is $6-$10 a day per person. We do appreciate you leaving gratuities at lodge locations if you are pleased with your service. Lodges normally have a box for tips that the staff share, and hotels you would just tip the maids as you do at home.

We are often asked how much to tip the guide, and this is at your discretion. A guideline is $10-$15 per guest, per day, and half that for the driver.  Know that they appreciate anything you care to give and of course, you can do more if you wish!

Cell Phones & Internet Service

You can make international calls from most of our lodges.

The country code for the USA is 1.  For Colombia it is 57.

From Colombia:

  • International calls: Dial 00 + (9) or (7) + country code + area code + number.
  • National calls: Dial 0 + (9) (5) or (7) + city code + number.

 

If you plan on using your cell phone on this trip, please check with your wireless provider to see if your phone and service will work in Colombia. Ask for “international roaming” to be turned on on your phone. Or you can buy a local SIM card at the airport and insert this in your mobile phone (just make certain your phone can accept one). Renting an international phone may also be an option.

If your phone can connect to Wi-Fi, you may be able to make voice and video calls free of charge. Please contact your cell phone provider for further details. Another option, if you have access to Wi-Fi, is to use smartphone apps like WhatsApp, Skype, or Viber to send text messages, and make voice calls, or video calls. Many smartphones, tablets, or laptops come with one of these apps pre-installed or you can download for free. If bringing a laptop or tablet, get a good dustcover to protect it at all times.

Make sure if you do NOT want to use your cell phone that you turn off your cellular data. You could incur huge charges if you are not on Wi-Fi. Putting your phone in airplane mode if you mainly use it for photos will save the battery as well.

Most hotels and restaurants provide Wi-Fi at least in their common areas. Although it is generally a reliable service, it can be affected by adverse weather conditions due to the remote location.

Electricity

The standard in Colombia is the same as in the United States and Canada: 110 volts AC (60 cycles). Plugs are set up in the same style. However, three-pronged outlets can be scarce and existing three-prong outlets may feature even-sized flat blade plugs, so it's helpful to bring along adapters for both two- and three-prong outlets. For more information: www.power-plugs-sockets.com/colombia

Time

Colombia is the same time as EST.  A great website if you want to tell someone to check ahead of calling you is www.timeanddate.com.

Questions?

Please contact Naturalist Journeys by email at clientservices@naturalistjourneys.com or telephone at our office: (520) 558-1146 or toll free: (866) 900-1146 if you have any questions. Many thanks for traveling with us and we hope you enjoy your journey!

 

Pace & Protocols +

Pace of the Tour & What to Expect You will receive a Schedule-at-a-Glance and list of Read more

Pace of the Tour & What to Expect

You will receive a Schedule-at-a-Glance and list of hotels (our eContact List) a few weeks before your departure. This will serve as an outline for each day and alert you to any recent changes made in the schedule or to our hotels, if needed.

Our journeys are set up to follow the rhythm of nature. Our focus is on birding and nature; we offer full, well-planned field days and often get up early for that magical time around dawn. We generally follow the published itinerary, but we stay flexible to the weather, wildlife opportunities and the interests of the group. Your guide will keep you apprised of the next day’s schedule at each evening meal, noting what to bring and what to prepare for. Questions and/or concerns are welcome.

The pace of our Naturalist Journeys tours is moderate; to fully participate you should be able to get in and out of vehicles several times a day, and walk 1-3 miles over uneven terrain. It is important to participate with a flexible attitude as adjustments may be made in our schedule to make the most of our time in the field or for other purposes at your guide's discretion. We are not a “listing” bird company that drills down on target species, but at times we do wait for those special species unique to the places we visit. During the day, we take time to stop for photos and for educational opportunities to learn about conservation projects, landscapes, and geology. We appreciate other taxa as well as birds, with mammals often the biggest draw but plants and butterflies are also very popular. Our clients often lend their own expertise to the mix.

We like to make meals a fun and memorable part of the experience, too. Breakfasts are often at hotels, and we carry snacks, fruit, and water in the vans each day. Lunches are a mix of picnics in the field (weather dependent) and a chance to dine with locals at small cafes and restaurants. For dinner, we pride ourselves in our homework to keep up with the best choices for dining, choosing restaurants with atmosphere that specialize in local foods. On occasion we keep dinner simple to go back out in the field for sunset wildlife viewing or night walks. In some remote locations, our choices are limited. If you are tired, room service for dinner may be an option you can choose.

Naturalist Journeys International Trips: Guide Role

Naturalist Journeys supports ecotourism and the development of excellent local guides. Once we know our international partners and guides well, we can send out small groups working directly with these trusted partners, adding a Naturalist Journeys guide to assist the local expert when we have a group of 6-7 or more. This helps us keep your costs down while retaining tour quality. The local guide is your main guide. You can expect your Naturalist Journeys guide to be well-researched and often they are experienced in the destination, but their role is not to be primary, it is to help to organize logistics, help you find birds, mammals, and interesting other species in the field, keep reports, help facilitate group interactions, and to keep the trip within Naturalist Journeys' style. Local guides live in the countries we travel to, know the destinations intimately, and are often the strongest force for conservation in their countries. They open many doors for us to have a rich experience.

Smoking

Smoking is not permitted in any vehicle or in any situation where the group is participating in an activity together, such as a vehicle excursion or a guided walk. Please respect all designated smoking areas at hotels and restaurants.

Transportation

As a courtesy to each other, we ask that all travelers please rotate seating. On international trips we may all be in one small bus, on some trips we are in vans, particularly the roomy Sprinter Vans when available. Some areas require us to be in smaller 4-wheel drive or safari vehicles. Rotation allows you to sit with different drivers and alternate front and back seating.

Photo Release & Sharing

We take many group photos and will share photos with the group. And after your tour, we will organize a chance to share photos via Dropbox or Google Photos. Please note that this is our policy and if you prefer to be excluded, we need to know ahead of your tour.

By registering for this tour, you agree to grant to Naturalist Journeys and its authorized representatives’ permission to record on photography film and/or video, pictures of my participation in the tour. You further agree that any or all of the material photographed may be used, in any form, as part of any future publications, brochure, or other printed materials used to promote Naturalist Journeys, and further that such use shall be without payment of fees, royalties, special credit or other compensation.

Travel Insurance

You are traveling in remote areas. Naturalist Journeys strongly recommends you have full medical and evacuation insurance from a company such as Allianz, for all international travel. If you do not have medical coverage or evacuation coverage on your existing travel insurance policy or for some reason elected not to take that out, we advise getting an evacuation plan with Global RescueWorld Nomads, Medjet, Allianz (they can do evacuation only) or a similar company. These plans are typically $300-$400 for a year for multiple destinations. This coverage may be a part of a larger Travel Insurance policy but can also be purchased on its own.

Questions?

Please contact Naturalist Journeys by email at clientservices@naturalistjourneys.com or telephone our office: (520) 558-1146 or toll free: (866) 900-1146 if you have any questions. Many thanks for traveling with us and we hope you enjoy your journey.

 

Packing List +

Please Pack Light! We know that packing for our varied itinerary, from tropical rainforest to the Read more

Please Pack Light!

We know that packing for our varied itinerary, from tropical rainforest to the high Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is challenging, but we hope you will pare down a bit. Layering is key. Be sure to have your name and address on the inside of all bags, as well as on a luggage tag on the handle. Be sure to pack your personal medication, airline tickets, passport, binoculars, camera, and other essential items in your carry-on bag. We recommend that you double check with your airline a week or so before departure to verify their luggage size and weight restrictions.

Plan on quite a variation in weather, with it being HOT in the lowlands, and cooler in the mountains. The best system for potential hot days and cool days is to bring layers, with a good wind-breaking layer that can-do double duty as raingear. Our weather will be determined by altitude, so dressing in layers works perfectly for these conditions. In general, the average highs are in the upper-80s°F and average lows in the mid-70s°F. When at higher elevations in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, it can be misty and windy, cool temps that approach cold (50°F or so). While it is a short moment of the trip, not being prepared may make it seem eternal.

Lightweight long sleeve shirts and long pants make ideal field clothing, as they are more protective from sun and vegetation. We are concerned about mosquitoes, so lightweight pants let you protect yourself while staying comfortable. Choose clothing you don’t mind getting dirty – and things that are comfortable and easy. Loose clothing discourages insects and is very cool. El Dorado Lodge offers laundry service.

Note on clothing colors and insect repellent: We recommend muted colors of tan, brown, khaki, grey or green, as they are spotted less easily than white or bright colors, though camouflage clothing is not recommended, and in some countries, not legal to wear. It is possible to purchase field clothing permeated with insect repellent such as the Craghoppers Insect Shield collection. Another approach is to purchase Permethrin spray (online or from REI) to treat your field clothing and socks before your departure.

Clothing and Gear

  • Lightweight long pants, 2-3 pair
  • Shorts (optional, not generally recommended)
  • Lightweight long sleeve shirts, 2-3 (Loose fitting keeps you cool. Quick-dry fabrics are ideal, and you may wish to spray these with repellent or try those made of bug repellant fabric)
  • T-shirts, short-sleeved shirts or equivalent (2-3)
  • Casual clothing for travel days and evenings, skirts for women may come in handy in the city
  • Personal underclothing and pajamas
  • Socks – lightweight and easy to wash and dry (Long enough to tuck your pants into, to help protect from chiggers)
  • Comfortable walking/hiking shoes such as tennis shoes, and lightweight hiking boots – 2 pairs. Please note that forest trails will be on uneven terrain and may be muddy – good tread and support are essential!
  • Comfortable sandals or light shoes for evenings, travel days
  • Lightweight raincoat or poncho
  • Lightweight fleece jacket or sweater for highlands
  • Light gloves, scarf, and hat for higher elevations
  • Hat with broad brim
  • Bandana (optional, great for cooling off when you are hot and sweaty)
  • Bathing suit (optional)
  • Field vest (optional), a great source is Big Pockets

Equipment and Miscellaneous

  • Airline tickets or e-ticket verification
  • Passport, visa (if required), travel insurance info, money & credit cards.
  • A secure pouch to carry the items above on your person at all times (such as a secure, under-clothing document pouch)
  • As a backup: copies of all the above (phone and/or paper) packed in a separate location than on your person, plus a set given to your emergency contact at home as a backup. For passport, copy of the  ID and entry stamp pages.
  • Small daypack to carry your field gear while hiking
  • Walking stick or trekking poles – (optional, but some trails may be slick and muddy)
  • Umbrella – compact and not brightly colored
  • Small flashlight or headlamp with fresh batteries (important as cabins may be up the hill from our dining areas). Make sure this is in good working order.
  • Alarm clock (if you use your phone, be sure to turn off data roaming)
  • Sunscreen/lip balm with SPF
  • Sunglasses with neck strap
  • Insect repellent (something containing DEET, and sulphur powder or other for chiggers)
  • Toiletry articles
  • Binoculars (a shower cap is great to cover these when raining)
  • Spotting scope and tripod (optional, your guide will have one)
  • Camera and extra batteries, memory cards, lens cleaning supplies and your instruction manual
  • Water bottle (or plan to refill one bought on location)
  • Notebook or journal and pen (optional)
  • Field guides (optional)
  • Laundry soap if you plan to do hand washing
  • Earplugs – in urban and even rural areas barking dogs and traffic noise can be annoying
  • Gallon-size zip-lock bags to keep things dry
  • Rechargeable power bank (optional)
  • Steri-Pen or other UV water treatment device to help cut down on the use of plastic bottles (optional)

 

WE DO NOT RECOMMEND TRAVELING WITH PRECIOUS OR VALUABLE JEWELRY – don’t tempt anyone and don’t bring things you’d regret losing, and your mind will be at ease!

Medical and First Aid Items

  • Heath insurance and vaccination records (kept in personal pouch with other travel documents)
  • Personal medication (and copy of vital prescriptions, including glasses – or have at easy reference to call or fax from home)
  • Motion sickness preventatives if likely to be needed on bus, van, drives, etc.
  • Personal first aid kit and medications for general ailments and stomach ailments (Imodium or Lomotil, antihistamine cream or tablets, eye drops, etc.)
  • Foot powder, lotions, general “comfort” items
  • Band-Aids, moleskin to protect against blisters
  • Antibacterial hand soap/hand sanitizer, small vial
  • Extra pair of eyeglasses or contacts
  • Altitude sickness medication (optional)

 

Suggested Reading List +

There are many titles of interest for Colombia; the following are a few that we Read more

There are many titles of interest for Colombia; the following are a few that we have enjoyed as an introduction to the natural and cultural history of the country.

Top Picks

Birds of Colombia

Colombia: A paradise for birders: Stunning birds of the Andes: Hummingbirds, hawks, owls, tanagers, ducks, guans, woodpeckers, manakins, euphonias, quetzals and more

Birds of Colombia (Helm Wildlife Guides)

Merlin App – Colombia Pack. A phone-based birding app from Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology. Before departing the U.S., download the app for free, then from the app, download the “pack” for Colombia.

The New Neotropical Companion

Field Guides

Field Guide to the Birds of Colombia

A Guide to the Birds of Colombia

Birds of Northern South America: An Identification Guide, Volume 2: Plates and Maps

Birdwatching in Colombia

Checklist of the Birds of Colombia

Wildlife & Nature

Birds of Tropical America. A Watcher’s Introduction to Behavior, Breeding, and Diversity

Tropical Nature

Colombia Natural Parks

History & Culture

The Making of Modern Colombia: A Nation in Spite of Itself

Colombia: A Concise Contemporary History

More Terrible Than Death: Drugs, Violence, and America's War in Colombia

Colombia - Culture Smart! The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture

Moon Colombia

The Rough Guide to Colombia

Michelin Green Guide Colombia

National Geographic Traveler: Colombia

Colombian Spanish: Phrases, Expressions and Tips to Help You Speak Like a Local

Quick Guide to Colombian Spanish

Memoir/Non-Fiction

Colombia: A Rosen-Cooney Travel Story-No Passports Required: Bogota, the Coffee Zone, Cartagena, and Tayrona National Park

There is a good selection of books available for sale at visitors’ centers, and your guide will also have a selection of reference books and materials for participants to share. As an Amazon Associate, Naturalist Journeys earns from qualifying purchases, and may get commissions for purchases made through links on this page at no added cost to you.

 

Useful Links +

Learn more about your destination at these external websites, carefully researched for you. Read more

General

Santa Marta

Barranquilla, Capital District of the Department of Atlántico, Colombia

Buenavista, Quindío, Colombia

Minca, Quindío, Colombia

Nature, Wildlife & Biology

Birding Colombia - Locations and Checklists

Birds of Colombia Checklist

Checklist – Isla Salamanca Park

Quick links to several recent science articles about Colombia, rare species, etc.

One Earth – Explore Bioregions – Colombia is within 3 different bioregions!

Discovery of the Olinguito, the world’s newest mammalian carnivore

Tropical Andean Butterfly Project Colombia

Brown-throated Three-toed Sloth

White-fronted Capuchin

Nine-banded Armadillo

Conservation, Parks & Reserves

Endangered Santa Marta Parakeet

Isla Salamanca Island Road National Park

Tayrona National Park

El Dorado Reserve

Ciénega Grande de Santa Marta

Los Flamencos National Reserve

ProAves Foundation

Amazon Conservation Team’s work in Colombia

Global Conservation Priorities

Wildlife Conservation Society – Colombia

Geology & Geography

Geological Overview

Geographical Overview

Plate Tectonics and Colombia

Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta – Santa Marta Mountains

Santa Marta Montane Forests

Tropical and Subtropical Dry Broadleaf Forests

History & Culture

History of Colombia

Culture of Colombia

Wayuu People

Tairona Civilization

Pre-Colombian Civilizations

Food of Colombia

Sancocho

Helpful Travel Websites

Ernesto Cortissoz International Airport (BAQ)

National Passport Information Center

Homeland Security Real ID Act

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

Foreign Exchange Rates

ATM Locator

U.S. Department of State International Travel Information - Colombia

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - Colombia

Canada Travel Advice and Advisories - Colombia

Travel Health Pro (UK) - Colombia

Electricity and Plugs - Colombia

Date, Time, and Holidays – Barranquilla, Colombia


Photo credits: Banner: Hummingbirds by Linda Paine; Santa Marta Scenic, Naturalist Journeys Stock; Naturalist Journeys Group by Linda Paine; Sunset by Linda Paine; Birding Colombia, Naturalist Journeys Stock; Red Howler Monkey, Naturalist Journeys Stock; Gustavo Guiding by Peg Abbott; White-tailed Hillstar by Peg Abbott; Adventure Birding, Naturalist Journeys Stock; White-tipped Quetzal, courtesy Neblina Forest; White-tailed Hillstar by Peg Abbott; White-headed Marsh Tyrant, by Sandy Sorkin; Blue-naped Chlorophonia, Linda Paine; Russet-throated Puffbird, Peg Abbott; Adventure Birding, Peg Abbott; Santa Marta Warbler, Peg Abbott; View from El Dorado Lodge, courtesy of the Lodge; El Dorado Lodge, Linda Paine, Hummingbirds at Feeders, Linda Paine; El Dorado Lodge, Linda Paine; Plumbeous Kite, Linda Paine; Birding Colombia, Alan Epstein; Villa Maria, Linda Paine; Birding Colombia, Alan Epstein; Birding Colombia, Peg Abbott; White-headed Marsh Tyrant, Sandy Sorkin; Masked Trogon, Greg Smith; Groove-billed Toucanet, Peg Abbott; Santa Marta Brush Finch, Peg Abbott; Roseate Spoonbill, Betty Andres; Blossomcrown, Peg Abbott; Cinnamon Flycatcher, Peg Abbott; El Dorado Sign, Peg Abbott; El Dorado view, Peg Abbott; Slate-throated Redstart, Peg Abbott; Sparkling Violetear, Peg Abbott; Squirrel Cuckoo, Sandy Sorkin.

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