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The Heart of Chile

Introduction

Through this program, we will get to know the vastness of Central Chile from the Andes to the Pacific Ocean. We will travel through diverse ecosystems and habitats such as the Central Andes, Mediterranean shrub, Coastal Range, coastal marshes and seashore, delighting ourselves in Chilean Endemics like Crag Chilia, Moustached Turca, White-throated Tapaculo, Dusky Tapaculo, Chilean Tinamou, Chilean Mockingbird, Dusky-tailed Canastero and Seaside Cinclodes, and Central Chile specialties such as Diademed Sandpiper-Plover, Creamy-rumped Miner, Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant, Thick-billed Siskin, Grey-breasted Seedsnipe, White-browed Ground Tyrant, Greater Yellow Finch, Mourning Sierra Finch and others.

Tour highlights

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


    Meet and depart: Santiago or Valparaíso/Viña del Mar.


    Dates: All year.


From the Andes to the Pacific coast, 4 days / 3 nights

Day 1


Meet at the airport or hotel in Santiago. From here we’ll drive deep into the impressive Andes (the longest and second highest mountain range in the world) in search for birds that only live in this ecosystem. Among them 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. (19700ft.). We may see birds like: Andean Goose, Crested Duck, Torrent Duck, Variable Hawk, Mountain Caracara, Black-winged Ground-Dove, Scale-throated Earthcreeper, Buff-winged Cinclodes, White-browed Ground Tyrant, Dark-faced Ground Tyrant, Rufous-banded Miner, Mourning Sierra-Finch, Gray-hooded Sierra Finch, Yellow rumped Siskin, Greater Yellow-Finch, White-sided Hillstar, the endemic Crag Chilia and the extraordinary Diademed Sandpiper-Plover among others. Drive to the Pacific coast, lodging at Viña del Mar. 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, Bar-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.) where we will look for endemics like: Chilean Tinamou, Moustached Turca, White-throated Tapaculo, Dusky-tailed Canastero and Chilean Mockingbird. We´ll enter this realm through La Campana National Park, UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. This park has a varied native flora composed by the unique and endemic Chilean Mediterranean Forest. The park is home to more than 60 bird species, like 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 a few. 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 Shag, Redlegged Shag, Kelp Gull, Grey Gull, Inca Tern, Blackish Oystercatcher, Grayflanked Cinclodes and the endemic Chilean Seaside Cinclodes, probably the most maritime of all Passerines, to name just a few. We will also see many birds that are related to the coastal environment including: Turkey Vulture, 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 Maitencillo and Ventanas ponds and Mantagua Coastal Marsh 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.


Transfer to Santiago airport or hotel. End of the Tour.


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

From the Andes to the Humboldt Current (Pelagic extension), 5 days / 4 nights

Day 1


Meet at the airport or hotel in Santiago. From here we’ll drive deep into the impressive Andes (the longest and second highest mountain range in the world) in search for birds that only live in this ecosystem. Among them 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. (19700ft.). We may see birds like: Andean Goose, Crested Duck, Torrent Duck, Variable Hawk, Mountain Caracara, Black-winged Ground-Dove, Scale-throated Earthcreeper, Buff-winged Cinclodes, White-browed Ground Tyrant, Dark-faced Ground Tyrant, Rufous-banded Miner, Mourning Sierra-Finch, Gray-hooded Sierra Finch, Yellow rumped Siskin, Greater Yellow-Finch, White-sided Hillstar, the endemic Crag Chilia and the extraordinary Diademed Sandpiper-Plover among others. Drive to the Pacific coast, lodging at Viña del Mar. 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, Bar-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.) where we will look for endemics like: Chilean Tinamou, Moustached Turca, White-throated Tapaculo, Dusky-tailed Canastero and Chilean Mockingbird. We´ll enter this realm through La Campana National Park, UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. This park has a varied native flora composed by the unique and endemic Chilean Mediterranean Forest. The park is home to more than 60 bird species, like 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 a few. 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 Shag, Redlegged Shag, Kelp Gull, Grey Gull, Inca Tern, Blackish Oystercatcher, Grayflanked Cinclodes and the endemic Chilean Seaside Cinclodes, probably the most maritime of all Passerines, to name just a few. We will also see many birds that are related to the coastal environment including: Turkey Vulture, 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 Maitencillo and Ventanas ponds and Mantagua Coastal Marsh 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 Valparaíso (World Heritage City), 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 Shag, Peruvian Pelican, Grey Gull and Peruvian Diving-Petrel. We also are going to see birds like: Royal Albatross, Black-browed Albatross, Salvin´s Albatross, Gray-headed 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 observe: Chatham Albatross, Buller's Albatross, Juan Fernandez Petrel, Masafuera Petrel, Westland Petrel, Red-billed Tropicbird and Chilean Skua, among other birds. B, L.


Transfer to Santiago airport or hotel. End of the Tour.


 


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