The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is an isolated mountain range, with snow-capped peaks within sight of the sea, and is among the most endemic-rich areas in the world. Our comfortable lodge at ProAves Reserva Natural de las Aves ("RNA") El Dorado is situated on a private reserve at 1950 m on an outlying ridge of the San Lorenzo Ridge with marvelous views of the valleys and the Caribbean beyond. The area supports a range of habitats from 900m to 2600m, including evergreen forests, bamboo thickets and upper-level stunted forests, with scattered clearings and disturbed areas, and many endemics (about 15) and specialties occur here including Santa Marta Antpitta, Band-tailed and Sickle-winged Guans, White-tipped Quetzal, Santa Marta Sabrewing (very rare), Santa Marta Wren, Bearded Helmetcrest, White-tailed Starfrontlet, Santa Marta Warbler, Santa Marta Parakeet , Santa Marta Mountain-Tanager, Yellow-crowned Whitestart, Santa Marta Bush-Tyrant and Santa Marta Antpitta. Other goodies include Brown-rumped Tapaculo, Rusty-headed Spinetail, Santa Marta Brush-Finch, Blossomcrown, Santa Marta Foliage-gleaner, Band-tailed Guan, Golden-breasted Fruiteater, Yellow-legged and Black-hooded Thrushes, Black-headed Tanager – the list seems endless!!
Furthermore an undescribed species of screech-owl has been found near the lodge. The more mesic areas near Minca have a different avifauna, including Chestnut-winged Chachalaca, Zone-tailed Hawk, Red-billed and Coppery Emeralds, Black-backed Antshrike, Rusty-breasted Antpitta, Santa Marta Tapaculo, Venezuelan and Brown-capped Tyrannulets, Golden-fronted Greenlet, Rosy Thrush-Tanager, Swallow Tanager, and Golden-winged Sparrow. We will find another different avifauna at Los Flamencos, where the xerophytic scrub supports Green-rumped Parrotlet, Buffy Hummingbird, Black-crested Antshrike, White-whiskered Spinetail, Slender-billed Inezia, Vermilion Cardinal, Orinocan Saltator, Pileated Finch, and Tocuyo Sparrow, as well as several lagoons used seasonally by large concentrations of Greater Flamingos.
Our Santa Marta birding tour is an extension to our longer Colombia birding tour.