North eastern Argentina
From Buenos Aires to Iguazú Falls
Tour Duration – 11 days/10 nights
The vast territory of Argentina spans 4,000 kilometers from north to south in the southernmost tip of the American Continent, encompassing an incredible variety of biomes within its vast territory. This hard-core birding adventure has been specially designed for those who look forward to exploring new habitats and adding bird specialties to their lists. We will visit several birding hotspots and a great diversity of habitats in Northeastern Argentina, driving from the City of Buenos Aires, to the Mighty Iguazú Falls, searching every main birding location along the way.
Our journey begins in Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital city and the main gateway to this country. This is the heart of the Argentine Pampas, a habitat that stands out among Argentina’s most productive birding areas. The Pampas form an extensive humid plain shared by Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. In Argentina, the Pampas Grasslands cover more than 50 million hectares (123.5 million acres), spanning over the central part of the country. The richest birding area in the Argentine Pampas is the one including the north-easternmost corner of Buenos Aires and southern Entre Ríos provinces. This is where we’ll spend time watching birds in habitats like grasslands, riverine forests, marshlands and thorny woodlands. Some highly localized birds possibly found here, include both Straight-billed and Curve-billed Reedhaunters, Chicli Spinetail, Red-rumped Warbling-Finch and Rufous-capped Antshrike among others.
The most productive birding location in the Pampas, is called Ceibas and we will dedicate time to thoroughly explore it, looking for specialties like Scimitar-billed Woodcreeper, White-naped Xenopsaris, Lark-like Brushrunner and Southern Screamer among others. After birding the Pampas, we will drive to northeastern Argentina, where we’ll spend time in the Province of Corrientes exploring Iberá Marshes –the largest wetland in Argentina– and other habitats. This part of the country is the stronghold of several birds with highly restricted distribution ranges in Argentina, including Black-and-white Monjita, Strange-tailed Tyrant, Sharp-tailed Grass Tyrant, Ochre-breasted Pipit, Yellow-breasted Crake, Least Bittern and the rare and habitat restricted Yellow Cardinal to name but a few, but it is also home to several species of seedeaters, and beautiful birds like Bearded Tachuri, Scarlet-headed Blackbird, Giant Woodrail and Black-collared Hawk among many others. Exploring Iberá will be a combination of boat excursions and walks along trails through different habitats.
Leaving behind Corrientes, we will continue our overland journey towards the Province of Misiones, crossing the Campos, a restricted area of savannas in smooth hills with patches of forests. The wide diversity and vast numbers of wetland bird species are overwhelming in this area. This is the habitat where endangered birds like Saffron-cowled Blackbird and the gorgeous Streamer-tailed Tyrant live.
Once in Misiones, we’ll bird the last remaining patches of native Araucaria forest, looking for Araucaria Tit-Spinetail, Vinaceous-breasted Amazon and Canebrake Groundcreeper, to finally conclude our journey exploring Uruguaí Provincial Park and the mighty, rainforest cloaked Iguazú Falls, at Iguazú National Park, where we expect to find birds like Black-fronted Piping-Guan, Toco Toucan, Blue Manakin, Green-headed Tanager, Blue-naped Chlorophonia and several hummingbirds, easily found at some local feeders.
Please contact us for a detailed itinerary and prices.
North western Argentina
With the Yungas, Andes and Chaco
Tour Duration – 15 days/14 nights
North western Argentina is a land full of spectacular landscapes and with a vast cultural heritage. Remnants of buildings and roads from the “Great Inca Empire of the Sun” can still be found everywhere here, and many cultural events and pre-Hispanic rituals, such as that in honour of the “Pacha Mama” (Mother Earth), are still celebrated by the locals. Andean music is heard everywhere, and people still play their traditional instruments. This incredibly varied region has a great diversity of natural habitats, ranging from Yungas Cloud forest to dry Chaco Woodlands and High Andean Lagoons. The three provinces in the northwesternmost part of Argentina, Jujuy, Salta and Tucuman, host some pristine representatives of these habitats, all worth visiting for birders to find both diversity and a good numbers of native species. Our birding adventure begins in the Province of Tucumán, exploring the Yungas Cloud forest. Forming a wedge along the southern Andean chains of Bolivia and north western Argentina, the Yungas Cloud forest supports one of the greatest biological diversities in the Neotropics. It harbours a wide variety of forests and woodlands, each hosting its own and unique community of flora and fauna, and all varying according with their altitudinal ranges. Wildlife is abundant in this humid environment.
Ferns, bromeliads and other epiphytic plants are particularly stunning here, and they cover every single corner of the forest. This biological treasure is well protected within the boundaries of several national parks and nature reserves, and we plan to explore it thoroughly in different areas. The Yungas surrounding Tafí del Valle offer great chances for such stunning birds as Rufous-throated Dipper and Torrent Duck to name but a few. Tucumán is also a wonderful area for exploring two other habitats: The Monte at the Calchaqui Valleys, and the mountains of the Aconquija. The latter is home to several specialties including White-browed Tapaculo, White-winged Cinclodes, Black-billed Shrike Tyrant, Paramo Pipit, Buff-breasted Earthcreeper, Cordilleran and Puna canasteros, Gray-hooded Parakeet, Slender-billed Miner, and even three endemics: Tucuman Mountain Finch, Yellow-striped Brushfinch and Moreno’s Ground Dove. After crossing the Aconquija, we will enter dense Monte habitat as we cross into the Province of Salta. This is a wonderful habitat for other Argentine endemics including Sandy Gallito, White-throated Cacholote and Cinnamon Warbling Finch.
No birding tour to north western Argentina would be complete without visiting the Andean habitats of the famous Cachi Road, an area well reputed among birders the world over for its remarkable diversity of birds. We will follow this road on our way to los Cardones National Park, looking for birds like Andean Condor, Aplomado Falcon, Andean Flicker, Rock Earthcreeper, White-tipped Plantcutter, Brown-capped Tit-Spinetail, Yellow-billed Tit-Tyrant, White-winged Black Tyrant, Black Siskin, Rufous-sided Warbling Finch and the highly localized Rufous-bellied Saltator. After birding Cachi Road, we will continue west, into the dry Chaco forest, where we’ll spend time looking for specialties including Stripe-backed Antbird, Quebracho Crested Tinamou, Spot-winged Falconet and many others. We will then move on to the Yungas forests in the Province of Jujuy to go exploring Calilegua Nationa Park, one of the most important reserves in Argentina, specially created to protect an extensive patch of pristine Yungas cloudforest, where birds like King Vulture, Black-and-chestnut Eagle, Amazonian Motmot, Blue-crowned Trogon, White-throated Antpitta, Yungas Manakin, Crested Oropendola and Black-backed Grosbeak are all possible.
We will finally head up to the northwesternmost part of Argentina, where we’ll spend the next few days birding and exploring Humahuaca Valley and the high Andes, with their amazing lagoons, home to spectacular birds like Giant Coot, and three species of flamingos. Exploring the southernmost end of the Humahuaca Valley is a must for birders, since it is here where chances are high to find such unique species as Red-faced Guan and Lyre-tailed Nightjar. We will bird the road that connects the small village of Yala with a local reserve, looking for these and other forest specialties, including Mitred Parakeet, Fulvous-headed Brushfinch, Rusty-browed Warbling Finch and Spot-breasted Thornbird to name but a few.
Continuing north, and up to higher elevations, we will leave behind the Yungas and the Alder forest and to enter the pre-Puna. The Andes in this part of Argentina are very dry, but they are crossed by a series of humid valleys, with Humahuaca standing out for its unique setting. Nestled amidst spectacular rock formations of the most incredible and diverse colors, this is the heart of one of the richest cacti flora on Earth, and home to a wide array of birds, mammals and other wildlife. The Lake Pozuelos Natural Monument: This mountain ringed basin with shallow brackish water harbours thousands of Andean, Chilean and Puna Flamingos so we hope to witness the spectacle of large concentrations of these creatures amidst the solitude and grandeur of High Andean landscape. We will finally reach the Bolivian border at the small village of La Quiaca. From here we will explore the highest reaches of the Puna, getting above 4,000 meters (13,000 ft.) above sea level, searching for specialties including Puna Tinamou, Golden-spotted Ground Dove, Wedge-tailed Hillstar, Red-backed Sierra Finch and Puna Yellow Finch among others. After exploring Humahuaca Valley and the High Andean Puna, we will drive south, all the way down the Andes and depending on your selected departure flight on to the airport of Jujuy or Salta, where our birding adventure in north western Argentina ends.
Please contact us for a detailed itinerary and prices.
Birding Eastern Patagonia
Argentine Endemics and Seabirds by the Thousands!
Tour duration – 10 days/9 nights
Patagonia is certainly a land of extremes. This southernmost tip of the American
continent is a geographical region that covers the south of Argentina and Chile and
has such diverse habitats as arid steppes, Southern Beech forests and of course the
seashores of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Divided into a wet southern and western
slope and a dry eastern slope by the Andean range, Patagonia is one part of South
America that offers an outstanding diversity of birds, with some 60 species almost
restricted, or endemic to this unique region.
Eastern Patagonia is a land of vast solitudes. It is here where the arid steppes of the
Patagonian Plateau reach the Atlantic Ocean. Tall sedimentary cliffs frame endless
gravel beaches in this area, providing shelter to innumerable seabirds and marine
mammals that make their home in these remote, barren shores. Eastern Patagonia’s
unique wilderness allures naturalists the world over, imprinting strong memories in
the minds of many remarkable ones like Charles Darwin, Gerald Durrell, William
Henry Hudson and Sir David Attenborough. Books like The Voyage of the Beagle, The Whispering Land and Idle Days in Patagonia, and documentaries like the chapter of
BBC’s The Trials of Life featuring Orcas hunting sea lions on the shores of the Valdés
Peninsula, reflect their personal experiences in this magical land.
Our tour starts in the northernmost edge of Patagonia, most precisely in Bahía
Blanca, where the Pampas grasslands yield to thorny woodland and semi-arid
Patagonian steppe. This area is particularly rich in bird species, with lots of Pampas
species, but also localized specialties, including Pampas Meadowlark and Olrog’s Gull
to name but a few. We will then continue south to Las Grutas and Puerto Madryn –
some of the best birding spots in Patagonia– where endemics and near endemics like
White-throated Cacholote, Rusty-backed Monjita, Hudson’s Black Tyrant, Sandy
Gallito, and Cinnamon Warbling Finch are all possible.
Our journey continues south towards Comodoro Rivadavia, exploring the Atlantic
coast. There are more than one million penguins nesting, raising their young and
moulting their feathers in north eastern Chubut every year between September and
April, so we will pay a visit to one of the main nesting colonies of Magellanic Penguins
on Earth: Cabo Dos Bahías. There are many birds in this part of Patagonia that, given
their highly restricted distribution range, are really unique. Among these, it is worth
mentioning endemics like White-headed Steamer-Duck, Band-tailed Earthcreeper,
Patagonian Canastero and Carbonated Sierra-Finch.
We will finally visit the area of Puerto Deseado, in north eastern Santa Cruz Province.
From the city of Puerto Deseado, we will have the opportunity to take a boat trip to
go and visit Penguin Island. This solitary island is home to the only nesting colony of
Southern Rockhopper Penguins on the Atlantic coast of South America. We will also
explore the estuary of the Deseado River by boat. This is home to the most incredible
array of seabirds, including such unique highlights as the only nesting colony of Red-legged Cormorant in Atlantic Patagonia.
Please contact us for a detailed itinerary and prices.