Birds of Chile, 21 days

From desert to ice

Get on board this comprehensive birding expedition that will guide you through diverse and breath-taking landscapes of this long and narrow country, Chile. The itinerary is carefully designed for a full immersion in the birdlife of this country, visiting a wide range of habitats from the Andean High Plateau -surrounded by the driest desert in the world- to the wild and vast areas of Patagonia.

Destination:
High Andes North of Chile: Arica, Putre, National Park Lauca
Central Area: Santiago, Farellones, Valle Nevado, El Yeso & Maipo Valley, National Park La Campana, Pacific Coast
Lake District: National Park Vicente Pérez Rosales, Puerto Varas, Chiloé Island, Maullín
South Patagonia: Punta Arenas, Tierra del Fuego, Puerto Natales, National Park Torres del Paine

Duration: 21 days / 20 nights
Difficulty: Low. In North Chile and Central Chile we will be birding at high altitudes (Over 4.000 meters above sea level)
Guides: Birding guides specialists, certified and with Wilderness First Respond Certificate
Activities:
– Bird watching
– Photography
– Scenic landscapes
– Birding focused trip

DAY 1: WELCOME TO SANTIAGO AND FLIGHT TO ARICA

Arrive to Santiago (or transfer from Hotel in Santiago) to board your connection flight to Arica, the northernmost city of Chile. Once arrive to Arica you will meet your local guide and dedicate the afternoon to explore the shores of the Pacific Coast.

Overnight in Arica

SOME OF THE SPECIES OF THE DAY:

Guanay and Red-legged Cormorant, Inca Tern, Willet, Peruvian Booby, Belcher and Grey Gull, Seaside Cinclodes among others.

DAY 2: ARICA SURROUNDINGS: LLUTA RIVER MOUTH, LLUTA VALLEY AND PUTRE

Early birding at the mouth of the river Lluta. This area is well known for the abundance of species of shorebirds and gulls and it is not unusual to spot some rarities. Later we will explore the valley of this river to look for specialties of the area. In the afternoon we will drive in direction to the Aymara village of Putre (3.400 mts.) taking advantage to do some birding as we approach to the slopes of the Andean range.

Breakfast & box Lunch included Overnight in Putre

SOME OF THE SPECIES OF THE DAY:

Oasis Hummingbird, Chilean Woodstar, Peruvian Meadowlark, Slender-billed Finch, Tamarugo Conebill, Slender-billed Finch, Peruvian Sheartail among others.

DAY 3: LAUCA NATIONAL PARK
Today is the day of the endemics of the eco-region of the Altiplano or High Andean Plateau (Over 4.000 – 4.500 mts). Surrounded by stunning landscapes we will explore this world biosphere reserve from the first light of the morning to the end of the day to have a full comprehensive experience of this unique eco-system.

Breakfast & box lunch included

Overnight in Putre

SOME OF THE SPECIES OF THE DAY:

Chilean, Puna and Andean Flamingo, Puna Ibis, Puna Plover, Andean Lapwing, Grey-breasted Seedsnipe, Diademed Sandpiper-Plover, Andean Flicker, Cordillera Canastero, Andean Negrito, Black Sisking among many other species.

DAY 4: LAUCA NATIONAL PARK & PUTRE SURROUNDINGS / BACK TO ARICA
A dedicated full day exploration of the whole area around Putre very well known for the abundance of specialties that inhabits the pre-puna shrubs habitats. At night we will enjoy a stargazing tour taking advantages of the clearest skies on earth.

Breakfast & box lunch included

Overnight in Arica

SOME OF THE SPECIES OF THE DAY:

Hooded Siskins, Thick-billed Siskins, Golden billed Saltator, Blue and Yellow Tanager, Andean Hillstar, Creamy- breasted Canastero, Sparkling Violetear, Mountain Parakeet, Aplomado Falcon among many others.

DAY 5: CHACA & AZAPA VALLEYS & OASIS
Full day dedicated to look for more endemics birds of the Humboldt Current and to explore the valleys of Chaca and Azapa searching the specialties of the area.

Breakfast & lunch included

Overnight in Arica

SOME OF THE SPECIES OF THE DAY:

Croaking Ground Dove, Chilean Woodstar, Peruvian Meadowlark, Slender-billed Finch, Cinereous Conebill, Bran-coloured Flycatcher, Common Tern, Southamerican Tern, Wedge- rumped & Winged Storm Petrel.

DAY 6: FLY TO SANTIAGO: BATUCO AND LAMPA WETLANDS
Morning flight to Santiago.

Arrive and visiting to the wetlands around the airport area looking for the first specialties of the central Chile area.

Breakfast & box lunch included

Overnight in Santiago

SOME OF THE SPECIES OF THE DAY

: Southamerican-painted Snipe, Cocoi Heron, Rosy-billed Pochard, Black-headed Duck, Coscoroba Swan, Borrowing Owl, Chilean Tinamou among others

DAY 7: FULL DAY CENTRAL CHILE EL YESO VALLEY AND MAIPO RIVER
A full day birding at the Andes Mountain Range (south-east from Santiago). Exploring El Yeso and Maipo Valley looking for some specialties of the area. Breakfast & box lunch included

Overnight Santiago

SOME OF THE SPECIES OF THE DAY

: Black-billed Shrike Tyrant, Diademed Sandpiper-Plover, Yellow-rumped Siskin, Craig Chilia, Moustached Turca among others.

DAY 8: FULL DAY OF THE CENTRAL ANDEAN RANGE
You will spend the morning in Farellones area, looking for more birds of the Central Andean Range including a the highest elevation of Valle Nevado area.

Breakfast & box lunch included

Overnight in Santiago

SOME OF THE SPECIES OF THE DAY

: Andean Condor, Mountain Caracara, White-sided Hillstar, Rufous-banded Miner, Creamy-rumped Miner, Chilean Mockingbird, Greater Yellow-Finch, Magellanic-Horned Owl among others

DAY 9: BIRDING THE PACIFIC COAST
A complete birding day along the Pacific Coast of central Chile, visiting different areas of wetlands and patches of coastal mountain range.

Overnight in Quintero

Breakfast & box lunch included

SOME OF THE SPECIES OF THE DAY

: Seaside Cinclodes, Guanay Cormorant Humboldt Penguin, Red-legged Cormorant, Warbling Doradito, Many- coloured Rush-Tyrant, Black-headed Duck,

DAY 10: PELAGIC OF THE HUMBOLDT CURRENT & NATIONAL PARK LA CAMPANA
We keep looking for the endemics birds of the area in the coastal mountain range and at National Park La Campana, one of the last spots of the Chilean palm trees pure forest.

Overnight in Rancagua

Breakfast & box lunch included

SOME OF THE SPECIES OF THE DAY

White-throated Tapaculo, Striped Woodpecker, Dusky Tapaculo, Giant Hummingbird, Dusky-tailed Canastero among others.

Overnight in Santiago

DAY 11 FULL DAY AT ALTOS DEL LIRCAY NATURAL RESERVE
We will drive a 1 hour to reach the protected area of Altos del Lircay. The best place in Chile to spot the endangered Burrowing Parrot among other species as the quasi endemic Chesnut-throated Huet Huet. At night we will have an owling quest for the Rufous-legged Owl & the Austral Pigmy Owl

Breakfast, box lunch & dinner included

Overnight in Vilches

SOME OF THE SPECIES OF THE DAY

:Rufous-legged Owl, Magellanic Tapaculo, Chestnut-throated Huet Huet, White-thorated Treerunner, Magellanic Woodpecker among others

DAY 12 ALTOS DEL LIRCAY – SANTIAGO AIRPORT
Some early morning birding at Altos del Lircay and Colbún Lake before we move back north to Santiago. Evening flight to Puerto Montt

Breakfast and box lunch included

Overnight in Puerto Varas

SOME OF THE SPECIES OF THE DAY

: Burrowing Parakeet, Spectackled Duck, Bar-winged Cinclodes, Chiloe Wigeon White-winged and Red Garthered Coot among others

DAY 13: ENDEMICS OF THE RAINFOREST
First quest for the endemics of the temperate rainforest visiting three different parks and protected areas in the Lake District region around the charming town of Puerto Varas

Breakfast & lunch included

Overnight in Puerto Varas

SOME OF THE SPECIES OF THE DAY

: Magellanic Wodpecker, Chilean Flicker, Striped Woodpecker, Chucao Tapaculo, Magellanic Tapaculo, Black-throated Tapaculo, Des Mur´s Wiretail, White-thorated Treerunner, Thron-tailed Rayadito, Slender-billed Parakeet, Chilean Pigeon among others.

DAY 14: BIRDING CHILOÉ ISLAND
Ferry crossing to Chiloé Island

Caulín Bird´s Sanctuary and Chacao. Birding along coast and wetlands of the north part of Chiloé. Visit to the Penguin Colony of Puñihuil

Breakfast & lunch included

Overnight in Ancud

SOME OF THE SPECIES OF THE DAY

: Hudsonian Godwit, Franklin´s Gull, Pincoya Storm-Petrel (New species), Ringed Kingfisher, Dark-bellied Cinclodes, Black-necked Swan, Speckled Teal, Chiloé Wigeon, Black Skimmer, Humboldt Penguin, Magellanic Penguin, Rock/Imperial & Red- legged Cormorants, Black-browed Albatross, Pink footed Shearwater, Salvin´s Albatross, Wilson´s Storm Petrel among others

DAY 15: WILDLIFE AT CHEPU RIVER
Chepu River: navigation through the river and the sunken forest

to reach the Coluco Lagoon. Flight from Puerto Montt to Punta Arenas.

Breakfast & lunch included

Overnight in Punta Arenas

SOME OF THE SPECIES OF THE DAY

: Snowy-crowned Tern, Southamerican Tern, Red-backed Hawk, Cocoi Heron, Spectacled Tyrant, Wren-like Rushbird, Sedge Wren, Coscoroba Swan, White-faced Ibis, Ochre-flanked Tapaculo, among others.

DAY 16: TIERRA DEL FUEGO
Ferry to Tierra del Fuego to explore the last corner of the American continent.

Breakfast & box lunch included

Overnight in Porvenir – Hosteria Yendegaia

SOME OF THE SPECIES OF THE DAY

: Southern-Giant Petrels, Southern Fulmar, Magellanic Diving- Petrel, Black-throated Finch, Austral Canastero, Rufous-chested Dotterel, , Fuegian Snipe, Short- billed Miner among others.

DAY 17: FULL DAY TIERRA DEL FUEGO

Full day visiting the area of Baquedano Hills, Laguna de Los Cisnes, steppe areas and the King Penguin Colony.

Breakfast & lox lunch included

Overnight in Porvenir – Hosteria Yendegaia

SOME OF THE SPECIES OF THE DAY

: King Penguin, Magellanic Plover, Two-Banded Plover, Dolphin’s Gull , Southamerican Tern, White-rumped Sandpiper, Two-banded Plover, Chocolate-vented Tyrant

DAY 18: TIERRA DEL FUEGO – PUERTO NATALES
Ferry back to the mainland and drive to Puerto Natales, birding stops on the road to look for specialties of the Patagonian steppe.

Breakfast , Box lunch & Dinner included

Overnight in Cerro Castillo

SOME OF THE SPECIES OF THE DAY

: Flying Steamer Duck, Crested Duck, Lesser Rhea, Chilean Flamingos, Coscoroba Swans, Common Miner, Black- chested Buzzard Eagle, Southern Crested Caracara, Patagonian Tinamou & Tawny-throated Dotterel among others

DAY 19: TORRES DEL PAINE NATIONAL PARK
Birding at different stunning areas of Torres del Paine Park looking for the specialties of this recently declared as one of the new eight natural wonders of the world.

Breakfast, box lunch & dinner included

Overnight in Cerro Castillo

SOME OF THE SPECIES OF THE DAY

: Spectacled Duck, White-tufted Grebe, Silvery Grebe, Austral Parakeet, Torrent Duck, Patagonian Sierra Finch, Southamerican Snipe, Austral Pygmy Owl, among others.

DAY 20: PUERTO NATALES AREA & SIERRA BAGUALES
Full day exploring Sierra Baguales area

Breakfast, box lunch & dinner included

Overnight in Cerro Castillo

SOME OF THE SPECIES OF THE DAY:

Patagonian Mockingbird, Grey-bellied Shrike Tyrant, Grey-breasted Seedsnipe, Cinnamon-bellied Ground Tyrant, Yellow-bridled Finc, Band-tailed Earthcreeper among others.

DAY 21 TRANSFER FROM CERRO CASTILLO TO PUNTA ARENAS
Breakfast & lunch included

Equipment required: Wear layers. Be ready to pass from the dry and hot climate of the north to the humid, rainy, windy and cool climate of the South. Waterproof clothes and shoes sunscreen, comfortable shoes and water protection for your personal equipment (cameras, lens, binoculars, etc.)
Equipment included: Literature, field guide, birds check list, spotting scope. Window seat guaranteed during land transportation.
Meals included: Hotel’s breakfast, lunch or box lunch (check daily itinerary). Dinners included on days 1, 11, 19, 20.
Accommodations, transportation and others included: Bed & Breakfast, Boutique Hotels or similar accommodations, private ground transportation, ferry, boat rides, National Parks entrance fees. Fares based in double accommodations.
Not included: International and Domestic flights (we can help you to arrange your flights!), Tips, Insurances and any other item not specified.
Minimum of passengers: This trip is guaranteed to depart with a minimum of 2 participants. Maximum 8 participants.