Birding Chile


Birding Chile 12 days / 11 nights

We will travel through diverse ecosystems and habitats such as: Atacama Desert, Altiplano, the Andes, Precordillera, Central Valley and Matorral (Chilean Savannah), Coastal Range, Sclerophyllous Forest, Swamps, Lagoons, Coast line and Marine Coast, including a Pelagic trip into the cold waters of the Humboldt Current (one of the most productive marine ecosystems on Earth). We´ll try to find as many species as possible, especially the endemics of the country.

Tour highlights

  • Tour highlights

    • Contrasting environments ranging from the Atacama Desert to the Temperate Rainforest and from the Humboldt Current to the Andes.

    • La Campana National Park, UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

    • Chilean endemics, including: Chilean Tinamou, Slender-billed Parakeet, Chilean Woodstar, Chilean Seaside Cinclodes, Crag Chilia, Dusky-tailed Canastero, Moustached Turca, Chestnut-throated Huet-Huet, White-throated Tapaculo, Ochre-flanked Tapaculo, Dusky Tapaculo and Chilean Mockingbird.

    • Bird specialties: Humboldt Penguin, Pink-footed Shearwater, Red-legged Cormorant, Torrent Duck, Andean Condor, Diademed Sandpiper-Plover, Grey Gull, Inca Tern, Grey-breasted Seedsnipe, Giant Hummingbird, Wren-like Rushbird, Thorn-tailed Rayadito, White-throated Treerunner, Des Mur´s Wiretail, Black-thoated Huet-Huet, Great Shrike-Tyrant, Many-coloured Rush Tyrant, Spectacled Tyrant, Rufous-tailed Plantcutter, Greater Yellow Finch and Thick-billed Siskin, among others.

    Price: US$ per person. Including: English-speaking Ornithologist and Birding Guide, all meals, national flights, private transportation and entrance fees to national parks.

    Meet and depart: Santiago.

    Dates: From October to March.

Birding Chile (12 days / 11 nights)

Day 1

Meet at the airport or hotel in Santiago. From here we’ll drive deep into the impressive Andes (the largest mountain range in the world) in search for birds that only live in this ecosystem. Among them we´ll try to see the majestic Andean Condor, the “Spirit of the Andes”. We are going to be at heights above 2000m. (6500 ft.), and enjoy a scenery with peaks reaching more than 6000m. (19700 ft.). We may see birds like: Andean Goose, Crested Duck, Torrent Duck, Black-chested Buzzard Eagle, Variable Hawk, Mountain Caracara, White-browed Ground-Tyrant, Dark-faced Ground-Tyrant, Rufous-banded Miner, Gray-hooded Sierra-Finch, Greater Yellow Finch, Thick-billed Siskin, Yellow-rumped Siskin, White-sided Hillstar, the endemic Crag Chilia and the extraordinary Diademed Sandpiper-Plover among others. Lodging at Maipo Valley. L, D.

Day 2

We continue birding the mountain range for more Andean birds like Picui Ground Dove, Black-winged Ground Dove, Scale-throated Earthcreeper, Buff-winged Cinclodes, Ochre-naped Ground-Tyrant, Chilean Swallow, Mourning Sierra Finch, Greater Yellow Finch and Thick-billed Siskin. Then drive to the extense Batuco wetlands north of Santiago, where we´ll look for Rosy-billed Pochard, Bahaman Pintail, Coscoroba Swan, Black-necked Swan, Andean Goose, Cocoi Heron, South American Snipe and Long-winged Harrier among others. Drive to the Pacific coast, lodging at Viña del Mar. B, L, D.

Day 3

We will start early and drive west into the heart of the Coastal Mountain Range, with peaks above 2000m. (6500 ft.) and we will try to search and see endemics like: Chilean Tinamou, Chilean Mockingbird, Moustached Turca, White-throated Tapaculo and Dusky-tailed Canastero. We are also going to visit La Campana National Park (Ocoa area), which was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. This park has a varied native flora composed by the Mediterranean Forest. It has a great number of birds that interact there, some of which are: Variable Hawk, Black-chested Buzzard Eagle, American Kestrel, Harris’s Hawk, Chimango Caracara, California Quail, Chilean Flicker, Striped Woodpecker, Green-backed Firecrown, Giant Hummingbird, Patagonian Sierra-Finch, Grassland Yellow-Finch, Rufous-collared Sparrow, Long-tailed Meadowlark, Southern House Wren, Rufous-tailed Plantcutter, Plain-mantled Tit-Spinetail, Tufted Tit-Tyrant, Fire-eyed Diucon, Thorn-tailed Rayadito, Austral Blackbird and Common Diuca-Finch to name just a few. Drive to the Pacific coast, lodging at Viña del Mar. B, L, D.

Day 4

From Viña del Mar we´ll drive north along the Pacific coast to visit a Humboldt Penguin breeding colony and see a great number of other coastal seabirds like: Peruvian Pelican, Peruvian Booby, Neotropic Cormorant, Guanay Cormorant, Red-legged Cormorant, Kelp Gull, Grey Gull, Inca Tern, Blackish Oystercatcher, Gray-flanked Cinclodes and the endemic Chilean Seaside Cinclodes, probably the most maritime of Passerines, to name a few. We will also see many birds that are related to the coastal environment including: Turkey and Black Vulture, Chimango Caracara, Great Shrike-Tyrant, Austral Negrito, Chilean Swallow, Rufous-collared Sparrow, Long-tailed Meadowlark and many more. From here we move south to some ponds and Coastal marshes searching for the beautiful Many-colored Rush-Tyrant as well as many other species like: Great Grebe, White-tufted Grebe, Speckled Teal, Yellow-billed Pintail, Chiloe Wigeon, Lake Duck, Red Shoveler, Snowy Egret, Cinereous Harrier, Red-gartered Coot, Red-fronted Coot, White-winged Coot, Spot-flanked Gallinule, Plumbeous Rail, White-backed Stilt, American Oystercatcher, Burrowing Owl, Wren-like Rushbird, Spectacled Tyrant, Yellow-winged Blackbird and the endemic Dusky Tapaculo among others. Lodging at Viña del Mar. B, L, D.

Day 5

This day, we will commit ourselves to the pelagic birds. Departing from Quintero, we head offshore to meet the cold waters of the Humboldt Current, considered to be one of the world's finest pelagic birding locations. We will look for species which are endemic to this system such as Humboldt Penguin, Inca Tern, Peruvian Booby, Guanay cormorant, Peruvian Pelican, Grey Gull and Peruvian Diving-Petrel. We also are going to see birds like: Northern Royal Albatross, Black-browed Albatross, Salvin´s Albatross, Antarctic Giant Petrel, Hall's Giant Petrel, Southern Fulmar, Cape Petrel, Pink-footed Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, White-chinned Petrel and Wilson’s Storm-Petrel among others. With a little bit of luck we might find Chatham Albatross, Buller's Albatross, Juan Fernandez Petrel, Masafuera Petrel, Westland Petrel, Red-billed Tropicbird and Chilean Skua. Drive to Santiago and Flight to Puerto Montt. Lodging at Puerto Varas. B, L, D.

Day 6

Puerto Montt area: Today we´ll look for the Valdivian Rainforest specialties like: Black-faced Ibis, Southern Caracara, Chilean Pigeon, Austral Parakeet, Slender-billed Parakeet, Austral Pygmy-Owl, Green-backed Firecrown, Magellanic Woodpecker, Des Murs's Wiretail, Thorn-tailed Rayadito, White-throated Treerunner, Black-throated Huet-huet, Chucao Tapaculo, Ochre-flanked Tapaculo, Magellanic Tapaculo, White-crested Elaenia, Patagonian Tyrant, Patagonian Sierra-Finch and Black-chinned Siskin, among others. Lodging at Puerto Varas. B, L, D.

Day 7

From Puerto Montt we´ll take the Ferry to Chiloe Island, a good chance to see coastal and pelagic seabirds like Black-browed Albatross, Sooty Shearwater, Pink-footed Shearwater, Wilson´s Storm-Petrel, Magellanic Diving-Petrel, Black-necked Swan, Chiloe Wigeon, Speckled Teal, Yellow-billed Pintail, Peruvian Pelican, Brown-hooded Gull, South American Tern, and the recently discovered new species Puerto Montt Storm-Petrel. After the ferry we´ll visit a Magellanic Penguin Breeding Colony: Rock Cormorant, Imperial Cormorant, Red-legged Cormorant, Kelp Goose, Flying Steamer-Duck and Austral Negrito, among many others. Later on we´ll drive to some coastal wetlands where we may find Flightless Steamer-Duck, Magellanic Oystercatcher, Hudsonian Godwit, Sanderling, South American Snipe, Kelp Gull, Franklin´s Gull, Black Skimmer, Ringed Kingfisher, Dark-bellied Cinclodes, Ochre-flanked Tapaculo, Fire-eyed Diucon, Grassland Yellow-Finch and Common Diuca-Finch, just to name a few. Lodging at Puerto Varas. B, L, D.

Day 8

Flight from Puerto Montt to Arica. Today we´ll visit the surroundings of Arica and the Lluta River Mouth, looking for Little Blue Heron, Puna Ibis, Cinnamon Teal, Semipalmated Plover, Killdeer, Black-bellied Plover, Least Sandpiper, Band-tailed Gull, Pacific Dove, Croaking Ground-Dove, Vermilion Flycatcher, Cinereous Conebill, Chestnut-throated Seedeater, Peruvian Meadowlark and Slender-billed Finch, among others. Lodging at Arica. B, L, D.

Day 9

Today we start early and will do a Pelagic trip off Arica in search for Black-browed Albatross, Buller´s Albatross, Antarctic Giant Petrel, Hall's Giant Petrel, Cape Petrel, Pink-footed Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Buller´s Shearwater, Elliot´s Storm-Petrel, Wilson’s Storm-Petrel, Markham´s Storm-Petrel, Hornby´s Storm-Petrel, Peruvian Diving-Petrel, Humboldt Penguin, Peruvian Booby, Guanay Cormorant, Peruvian Pelican, Grey Gull, Peruvian Tern, Inca Tern and Pomarine Jaeger, among others. After the pelagic we´ll drive east and we´ll investigate the rich valleys of Lluta and Chaca for our main target, the Chilean Woodstar, but also other birds, like: Peruvian Thick-knee, Croaking Ground-Dove, Peruvian Pygmy Owl, Peruvian Sheartail, Oasis Hummingbird, Tamarugo Conebills, Vermilion Flycatcher, Bran-colored Flycatcher, Peruvian Meadowlark, Groove-billed Ani, Blue-black Grassquit, Chestnut-throated Seedeater and the Slender-billed Finch, among other. Drive to the Pre-puna zone. Lodging at Putre (3500m. 11400ft.). B, L, D.

Day 10

Putre area: Ornate Tinamou, Spot-winged Pigeon, Bare-faced Ground-Dove, Andean Hillstar, Sparkling Violetear, White-throated Earthcreeper, Straight-billed Earthcreeper, Cream-winged Cinclodes, Black-throated Flower-piercer, Golden-billed Saltator, Blue-and-Yellow Tanager, Canyon Canastero, White-browed and D'Orbigny's Chat-Tyrant, Chiguanco Thrush, Ash-breasted Sierra-Finch and Band-tailed Seedeater, among others. Lodging at Putre. B, L, D.

Day 11

Today we move for the Altiplano in our search for high altitude and main target birds like: Giant Coot, Andean Lapwing, Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe and White-tailed Shrike-Tyrant. We´ll enjoy another day of birding around Parinacota and Chungara Lake and keep searching for more Andean specialities like: Puna Tinamou, Puna Rhea, Silvery Grebe, Puna Ibis, Andean Goose, Puna Teal, Puna Plover, Andean Avocet, Andean Coot, Chilean Flamingo, Andean Flamingo, Puna Flamingo, Andean Condor, Mountain Caracara, Andean Gull, Andean Flicker, Puna Miner, Puna Ground-Tyrant, White-fronted Ground-Tyrant, Andean Negrito, Giant Conebill, White-winged Diuca-Finch, Black-hooded Sierra-Finch and Black Siskin, among many others. Drive back to Arica. Lodging at Arica. B, L, D.

Day 12

Flight from Arica to Santiago. Transfer to Santiago airport or hotel. End of the Tour.

B, L. B: Breakfast. L: Lunch. D: Dinner.