Valle del Cauca Birdwatching Tour

Birdwatching tour Valle del Cauca

A birdwatching tour in Valle del Cauca is a great experience. This is a region with a wide variety of ecosystems thanks to its privileged geographical location that includes two mountain ranges- the western and central Andean mountain ranges- and the Pacific Ocean. The department has easy access to the Pacific and biogeographical region of Chocó, good road infrastructure, and a competitive airport with international connectivity.

There are around 1000 species of birds that remain throughout the year due to the region’s privileged geographical conditions and average constant temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius.

There are 15 days in total to visit the thermal floors of the region, which range from the paramos to the sea. Thus, you will encounter a wide variety of birds, such as the Multicolored Tanager, the Toucan Barbet, the Broad-billed Motmot, and many others.

Check Valle del Cauca Bird Species at eBird here.



  • Tour Dates:
  • Tour Type:
    Birding and photography
  • Tour Size:
    up to maximum 10 (including guides)
  • Tour Leader:
    Jérôme Fischer
  • Local Guide:
    Luis E. Camacho
  • Price:
    Starting at 3520 USD

Species checklist


Day 1


Welcome dinner at Hotel La Huerta. With 7 ha of forest reserves, organic crops, and farm-to-table cuisine, the hotel is located in the middle of 4 birding hotspots where the Andes and the Biogeographic Chocó converge: Yotoco Natural Reserve, Sonso Lagoon, Calima Lake and Rio Bravo Reserve.

  • Habitats Covered:
    Sub Andean tropical forest and wetlands
  • Highlights:
    Ortalis columbiana, Colinus cristatus, Phaethornis guy, Momotus aequatorialis… ~100
La Huerta Hotel

Day 2

Laguna de Sonso, Chiquique and Gota de Leche wetlands.

These wetlands are part of the native lagoon ecosystem in the Valle del Cauca. Here, you will find fauna and flora typical to lagoon ecosystems. There are many bird species, including domestic and migrant species from North America and other regions.

  • Habitats Covered:
  • Highlights:
    Snail Kite, Speckle-faced Parrot , Fulvous Whistling-Duck,  Black-crowned Night-Heron, Jet Antbird,  White-faced Whistling-Duck, Glossy Ibis, Yellow-billed Pintail, Groove-billed Ani…
Snail Kite - Rostrhamus sociabilis, juvenile., Gota de leche wetland, Valle del Cauca

Day 3 – morning

Rio Bravo Canyon 

Rio Bravo is a biodiverse territory in the Western Cordillera of the Serranía de la Cerbatana. This area hosts a wide variety of species distributed from the basin of the Calima river through the Rio Grande canyon and the Calima reservoir (Lake Calima).

  • Habitats Covered:
    Interandean Subtropical forest.
  • Highlights:
    Purplish-mantled Tanager, Brown Inca, Double-toothed, Cerulean Warbler, Uniform Antshrike.
Lyre-tailed Nightjar - Uropsalis lyra, Rio Bravo Reserve, Valle del Cauca

Day 3 – afternoon

Yotoco Forest Reserve

The Yotoco Reserve is one of the last remnants of the Eastern Slope Protected Forests in the Western Andean Mountain Range. This area is thus an important focus for conservation efforts.

  • Habitats Covered:
    Subtropical Humid Forest.
  • Highlights:
    Colombian Chachalaca,  Cauca Guan, Golden-winged Manakin, White-bibbed Manakin, Striolated Manakin…
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird - Amazilia tzacatl, Yototco, Valle del Cauca

Day 4

La Delfina – Puentetierra

This is our first stop in the Biogeographic Chocó region, which is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. The area consists of approximately 75,000 km that run between the Pacific Ocean and the Western Andean Mountain Range.

  • Habitats Covered:
    Very Humid Tropical Forest.
  • Highlights:
    Spot-crowned Barbet, Chestnut-backed Antbird, Blue-crowned Manakin, Golden-collared Manakin, Chestnut-headed Oropendola…
White-necked Jacobin - Florisuga mellivora, male.

Day 5

San Cipriano Reserve

The San Cipriano Foundation is a community-based organization, created in 1997, to administer the Forest Reserve Zone that protects the Escalerete and San Cipriano Rivers. Declared as a natural reserve in 1980, it is a place with friendly people and rich landscapes.

  • Habitats Covered:
    Very Humid Tropical Forest.
  • Highlights:
    Choco Screech-Owl, Crested Owl, Choco Tinamou, Pacific Flatbill, Choco Tyrannulet…
The "brujitas" transport travelers for seven kilometers through humid forests next to the railway to reach the Natural Reserve of San Cipriano in Valle del Cauca.

Day 6

San Cipriano Reserve – Buenaventura

Buenaventura is a Colombian district consisting of a national development center, various important industries, an international port, and biodiverse landscapes in the Valle del Cauca. It is located on the shores of Buenaventura Bay along the Pacific Ocean, and here, you will observe several species of seabirds and mangroves.

  • Habitats Covered:
    Very Humid Tropical Forest, Pacific coastal environment.
  • Highlights:
    Black-bellied Plover, Semipalmated Plover, Whimbrel, Ruddy Turnstone, Sanderling, Spotted Sandpiper, Common Tern…
Brown Pelican - Pelecanus occidentalis, Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca

Day 7

Low Anchicayá

Here we will begin our journey through the Anchicayá River Basin. Beginning west of Cali and arriving at the Pacific Ocean, this river is known for its biodiversity. The route is about 28 km, and bird watching is done along the way, roadside until we reach the town of Aguaclara.

  • Habitats Covered:
    Very Humid Tropical Forest.
  • Highlights:
    Cinnamon Becard, Double-toothed Kite, Broad-billed Motmot, Rufous-tailed Jacamar, Lita Woodpecker, Brown-billed Scythebill, Esmeraldas Antbird…
Hook-billed Kite - Chondrohierax uncinatus, Low Anchicayá, Valle del Cauca

Day 8 – 9

High Anchicayá

Anchicayá road, named after the river at the end the road, is surrounded by vast forests. This region is a transition zone between Andean and Pacific fauna, and thus there is a high rate of inter habitat species fluctuation with almost 350 species of birds.

  • Habitats Covered:
    Sub Tropical Forest.
  • Highlights:
    Red-headed Barbet, Purple Honeycreeper, Bay Wren, Choco Toucan, Slate-colored Grosbeak, Bronzy Inca Green Hermit, Parker’s Antbird…
Chestnut-headed Oropendola - Psarocolius wagleri, Anchicayá, Valle del Cauca

Day 10

El Descanso km 55 (Doña Dora)

El Queremal is a small town in the municipality of Dagua- located west of Cali and about 99 kilometers from Buenaventura. Here, you can enjoy a mountainous landscape that offers a wide range of species to observe. “Doña Dora” is the owner of El Descanso, and on her property, you will be able to appreciate and photograph at least 12 species of hummingbirds and 8 species of tanagers.

  • Habitats Covered:
    Sub Tropical Forest.
  • Highlights:
    Red-headed Barbet, Tourmaline Sunangel, Toucan Barbet, Crimson-rumped Toucanet, Rufous-throated Tanager, Golden Tanager, Silver-throated Tanager…
Toucan Barbet - Semnornis ramphastinus, El Descanso km 55, Old road to Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca

Day 11

Km 18

At the 18 km marker of the Anchicayá road -just 60 minutes from El Queremal-, there is a spectacular cloud forest at the top of the Western Mountain Range, with more than 250 species of birds. We will visit La Conchita and Alejandría Farms, which are known as Hummingbird paradises.

  • Habitats Covered:
    Cloud Forest.
  • Highlights:
    Colombian Chachalaca, Sickle-winged Guan, Long-billed Starthroat, Purple-throated Woodstar, Western Emerald, White-naped Brushfinch…
Bronzy Inca - Coeligena coeligena, Finca La Conchita, Valle del Cauca

Day 12

Km 18

From kilometer 18, it is possible to appreciate a variety of landscapes in the city and the mountains. It is the closest place to Cali -just 40 minutes away- for birdwatching. We will visit the Tea Fields and La Minga Ecolodge, where the multicolored tanager appears.

  • Habitats Covered:
    Cloud Forest.
  • Highlights:
    Tricolored Brushfinch, Blue-winged Mountain-Tanager, Multicolored Tanager, Rusty Flowerpiercer, Booted Racket-tail…
Red-headed Barbet - Eubucco bourcierii, La Minga Ecolodge, Valle del Cauca

Day 13


The Pance River Basin is one of the best places to observe birds. Located at 1300 m, in the foothills of the western mountain range, it is rich in biodiversity since it falls between two forests: a cloud forest and a tropical dry forest. You should see around 120 species.

  • Habitats Covered:
    Cloud forest and Tropical dry forest.
  • Highlights: 
  • Crowned Woodnymph, Andean Emerald, Steely-vented Hummingbird, Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, Lineated Woodpecker…
Colombian Chachalaca - Ortalis columbiana, Endemic, Pance, Valle del Cauca

Day 14


The Amaime River Basin opens up on the Central Mountain Range between the páramos of “las Hermosas” and “los Domínguez”. This area has small inter-Andean valleys and secondary rivers, which give the region a a unique mix of species typical of the Central Mountain Range.

  • Habitats Covered:
  • Highlights: 
  • Tawny-breasted Tinamou, Torrent Duck, Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Andean Pygmy-Owl, Southern Emerald-Toucanet,  Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan, Black-billed Mountain-Toucan, Powerful Woodpecker…
Black-billed Mountain-Toucan - Andigena nigrirostris, Tenerife, Valle del Cauca

Day 15