- Three week trip
- October 5 – 25, 2013
- Provisional price $6930, double occupancy.
- Comfortable accommodation, superb food and wine.
- Led by Chile’s bird expert Alvaro Jaramillo and one of the top Chilean birders Ricardo Matus. Both fun, personable and easy going in their style.
- Survey trip that will allow to you see an amazing proportion of Chile’s bird life, and scenery.
- We will try for all of Chile’s mainland endemics, and we will look for Chile’s other specialties.
- Price includes domestic flights.
- Half day pelagic that will knock your socks off in terms of numbers and diversity. We are back on the dock by lunch time!
- Friendly people, modern infrastructure, potable water, and very safe nation.
- A longer and more detailed, although still moderate in pace, tour than Chile & Argentina: Birds and Wine.
By many definitions Chile is an unusual country; it looks odd on the map being that long, thin ribbon of a nation. It also is firmly a Latin American nation but often doing things in its own unique way. That amazing story of the 33 miners, well not everyone could have pulled that off and it was a great way to introduce many people to the country. It is a stable, safe, and absolutely gorgeous place to visit. After many, many trips down there it is after each one that at least someone says – “This has to be the most gorgeous place to bird, anywhere!”
I think it is; the mix of mountains, forest, desert, beautiful coast and great birds makes for a fantastic birding trip. I was born in Chile and of course I am greatly biased, but I tell you, I do not ever lose my enthusiasm for birding there. Having written the field guide to the country, and traveled throughout its length many times, I also know the place intimately. Let me show you Chile and its birds, you won’t be disappointed!
This tour is the tip to tip version, from the Peruvian border all the way down to Tierra del Fuego. This is the most complete trip to Chile out there, including various recently split and soon to be described species such as the Chiloe Storm-Petrel; Patagonian Forest Earthcreeper and Ticking Doradito. There are some long travel days, and this is inevitable in a country that is actually 2500 miles long, but we of course will fly between major destinations. It goes without saying that we will make sure to enjoy the scenery, and also to make sure you take in the local color and culture. We will eat well on this trip, and of course Chile is well known for its wines, which is an added bonus. Where possible we will add a touch of local flavor to our dining experiences, and make sure you have a real joyful experience both sampling the birds, the scenery and the culture of Chile!
In the north we will visit the Atacama Desert, as well as the high elevation Altiplano of Lauca National Park; perhaps the finest high elevation wetlands which are easily accessible anywhere in the Altiplano. In the Central part of the country we visit the rugged Andes above Santiago where the Andean Condor rules supreme! In the lowlands there are various wetlands, sometimes chock full of birds and of course there I the striking Chilean coast. From Valparaiso, we shall venture out into the Humboldt Current on one of the richest pelagic trips anywhere on earth! We may see up to 5 species of albatross, Peruvian Diving-Petrel, Cape, Westland, White-chinned, Masatierra petrels, and many others. How can you go wrong when Inca Tern and Humboldt Penguin are among the possibilities?
Farther south we shall visit the northern and drier portions of the temperate forest zone, as well as the more southern and wetter portions of the forest. Here is where Chile is like an island, and one with a series of unusual species, some maybe even living fossils from the days of Gondwanaland. Austral and Slender-billed parakeets may screech by, the gorgeous Chucao Tapaculo or its larger cousins, the Black-throated and Chestnut-throated Huet-huets. The forest flocks are made up of White-throated Treerunners (false nuthatches in a sense), Thorn-tailed Rayaditos (quasi chickadee – creepers), Patagonian Sierra-Finches (a gaudy junco of sorts) and of course we always are on the lookout for a bird that will make chills go down your spine – the fantastic Magellanic Woodpecker. Perhaps no other woodpecker left can truly make you feel as if you are as close to an Ivory-billed as you possibly can be. It is very much a spectacular species and a “must see.” We will look hard for it, and over time we have had superb luck with this species.
Patagonia is a land of amazing beauty, wind too, but what you will remember is the grandeur of the place. Torres del Paine National Park, which we will be visiting, is often touted in travel magazines as perhaps the most beautiful park in the world. Usually the weather cooperates and the mountains show, and then you will know why. This is a place where everywhere you look is another postcard. Patagonia also has a great mix of grassland, shrub-steppe, the coast and its forest. Birding here involves large birds, like the Darwin’s Rhea, and recently we have had luck with King Penguin!! But also many waterfowl, from steamer-ducks to the wonderful sheld-geese such as the Ashy-headed and Ruddy-headed; to superb shorebirds including some wintering species from the north but also the one of a kind Magellanic Plover and the absolutely stunning Rufous-chested and Tawny-throated dotterels. Chocolate-vented Tyrants, Band-tailed Earthcreepers, Spectacled Ducks and Chilean Skuas will keep your eyes and senses busy.
This is a fantastic trip, with two guys who know this part of the world expertly, but not only that but guides who have a true love for this place! We will make sure you have a birdy and fun experience, and that you get to see all that is special about this little ribbon of a nation. If Chila, earthcreepers, albatrosses, miners, ground-tyrants, gorgeous shorebirds, fantastic seabirds, Turca, Chucao, Huet-huets and Rayaditos are things that have always intrigued you. This is the trip for you.