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Birding Bolivia endemics incl Blue-throated Macaw and Pakachulpa Cotinga


Birding Bolivia

Bolivia is remarkably diverse, even without any coastal species. Two endemic macaws and a mixture between savanna, rain forest, cloud forest, dry scrub, and Andean landscapes make your lists grow fast. We will go to places that no other bird-tour company goes. We are aiming to have a go at all Bolivian endemics and restricted-range species within our circuit.

We have long had the skeleton of a full-scale Bolivia tour that aims to see all the Bolivian endemics at a reasonable cost on this page. Now together with our Bolivian contacts, we have finally put together a fuller version of Bolivian Endemics. It is possible to do only part of the trip if you wish.

Some birds that other birding groups rarely encounter will be sought after, such as the newly split Palkachupa Cotinga (previously Swallow-tailed Cotinga), Yungas Tyrannulet, Yungas Antwren, Bolivian Recurvebill, and Horned Curassow. Additionally, both Bolivian endemic Macaws - Blue-throated and Red-fronted Macaw are on the itinerary. All in all, it is the most extensive Bolivian itinerary ever offered.

No Departures for this Tour

If the departure dates don't fit you, please suggest another date.


Complete Bolivia endemics

Day 1. Arrive in Santa Cruz in the morning.  In the afternoon, we shall be birding Okinawa. The area is good for White-banded Mockingbird and many seedeaters, such as Tawny-bellied, Dark-throated, and Gray-and-chestnut Seedeater.
Night in Santa Cruz.

Day 2. Lomas de Arenas full day. For example, Red-winged and Small-billed Tinamous, White-bellied Nothura, Chaco Chachalaca, Rufous-thighed Hawk, Aplomado Falcon, White Woodpecker, and Narrow-billed Woodcreeper. If time permits, also a visit to the Botanical Gardens, which has some  Chaco habitat. Night in Santa Cruz.

Day 3. Drive to Los Volcanes. Birds include Military Macaw, Andean Condor, Rufous-breasted Wood-Quail, Black-banded Owl, Slaty Gnateater, Blue-browed Tanager, Gray-throated Leaftosser and Black-capped Antwren. Yungas Antwren and Bolivian Recurvebill have also been recorded here but at rare. Night at Los Volcanes

Day 4. Continued birding near Los Volcanes in the morning and then drive to Samaipata. Night in Samaipata.

Day 5. Birding near Samaipata for Giant Antshrike, Ochre-cheeked Spinetail, Olive-crowned Crescentchest, Large-tailed Dove, Scaly-headed Parrot and large numbers of Blue-fronted Parrot and Mitred Parakeet.  Continue to Comarapa. Night Hotel Paraiso

Day 6. We shall search for Red-fronted Macaw on the road towards Saipina. Other birds during the day may include Andean Condors, King Vulture, Cliff Parakeet, Green-cheeked Parakeet, Spot-backed Puffbird, Red-tailed Comet, Bicolored Hawk, and Dusky-legged Guan. Night Hotel Paraiso. 

Day 7. Additional birding from Comarapa and surroundings with Bolivian Earthcreeper, Cream-backed Woodpecker, White-bellied Hummingbird, White-tipped Plantcutter, Greater Wagtail-tyrant, Grey-crested Finch, Stripe-crowned Spinetail and Black-and-chestnut, Ringed and Black-capped Warbling-Finches. Night Hotel Paraiso. 

Day 8. Full day visiting the temperate forest at Siberia. Birds include Black-winged Parrot, Black-hooded Sunbeam, Violet-throated Starfrontlet, Rufous-faced Antpitta, Black-throated Thistletail, Gray-bellied Flowerpiercer,  Light-crowned Spinetail (rufous-crowned form) and Pale-footed Swallow. Should it be needed yet, we can visit another site for Rufous-fronted Macaw in the afternoon. Night Hotel Paraiso. 

Day 9. Drive to Cochabamba via Chunal above Siberia for Black-breasted Sunbean, Fulvous-headed Brush-Finch, Rusty-browed Warbling-Finch, Grey-bellied Flower-piercer and Rufous-bellied Saltator.  Continuing further west, we pass Puente Mendoza, where sometimes Citron-headed Yellow-Finch can be seen. Other birds here include Cochabamba Mountain-Finch, Red-tailed Comet, Andean Hillstar, Rock Earthcreeper, D’Orbigny’s Chat-Tyrant, Fulvous-headed Brush-Finch, and Rufous-bellied Saltator.  Night in Cochabamba.

Day 10. Villa Tunari road.  Species in the upper temperate section include  Hooded Tinamou, Hooded Mountain-Toucan, Black-winged Parrot, Yungas Tody-Tyrant, Hazel-fronted Pygmy-Tyrant, Straw-backed Tanager, Stripe-faced Wood-Quail, Violet-throated Starfrontlet, Scaled Metaltail, Rufous-faced Antpitta, Chestnut-crested Cotinga, Band-tailed Fruiteater, Bolivian Tyrannulet and White-eared Solitaire.

In the subtropical zone, we have recorded Semicollared Hawk, Black-and-chestnut Eagle, White-throated Antpitta, Blue-banded Toucanet, Strong-billed Woodcreeper, Ochre-faced Tody-Flycatcher and Crested Quetzal. Night in Villa Tunari

Day 11-13. Carrasco National Park.  Our guide has a good place for Yungas Antwren, This is home of the Horned Curassow, which is best searched for in October-November when they call, but we may be lucky in other times of years. The rare Bolivian Recurvebill also occurs here.  This is our best chance for these rare species why 2 full days are needed.
Other birds include an undescribed Flowerpiercer, Andean Cock-of-the-rock, Amazonian Umbrellabird, Upland Antshrike, Cuvier’s Toucan, Rough-legged Tyrannulet, and Olive Tanager.

On day 13, we head back to Cochabamba, birding the other direction for species we may have missed, and at nightfall above the temperate forest, we shall try for Swallow-tailed Nightjar.

Day 14. Quillacolla road in the morning.  Many special birds here. Wedge-tailed Hillstar, Red-tailed Comet, Maquis Canastero, Bolivian Warbling-Finch, Cochabamba Mountain-Finch, Gray-bellied Flowerpiercer, and Bolivian Blackbird.  In the Polylepis at the top, Giant Conebill, Tawny Tit-Spinetail and Rufous-bellied Saltator, and Short-tailed Finch in the bolder areas.

When done on the Quillacolla road, we shall drive to Oruro and bird Lago Uru Uru in the afternoon for three Flamingos-species, Giant Coot, Least Seedsnipe, Andean Avocet, Puna Plover and Bright-rumped and Puna Yellow-Finches.

Day 15. Lago Uru-Uru in the morning (if necessary) and then drive to Inquisivi for Bolivian Spinetail and Huayco Tinamou. We continue to drive to Chulumani for an overnight stay, most likely arriving late.

Day 16. Apa Apa forest. Main target is Scimitar-winged Piha.  Most groups don’t see this bird, why we should not hold our hopes too high.  Other more likely encounters include Hooded Tinamou, Rufous-faced Antpitta, Short-tailed Antthrush, Scarlet-breasted Fruiteater, Chestnut-crested Cotinga, Straw-backed Tanager, Versicolored Barbet, Yungas Manakin, and Slaty Finch.

Day 17. Today we bird the famous Coroico road.  There will be lots of overlap on the Apolo road later in the program and the birding we have already done in Cochabamba. While we here, we shall look for a few special birds such as Orange-browed Hemispingus, Golden-collared Tanager, Solitary Eagle, Blue-banded Toucanet, Buff-banded Tyrannulet, and Lesser Elaenia. Higher up is good for Hooded Mountain-Toucan, Diademed Tapaculo, Black-throated Thistletail, Plushcap, Ochraceous-breasted Flycatcher, Light-crowned Spinetail (light-crowned race) and Andean (Yungas) Pygmy-Owl. Near El Cumbre, we find birds such as Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe, Short-tailed Finch, Olivaceous Thornbill, Giant Hummingbird, and Andean Hillstar. Night in La Paz

Day 18. Lake Titicaca, Sorata, and then drive on towards Apolo, staying somewhere en route. In the morning, we shall scan the shores of Lake Titicaca for Titicaca Flightless Grebe. We continue to Sorata and should have seen the endemic Berlepsch’s Canastero before noon. Basic lodging along road to Apolo. 

Day 19. Drive to Apolo.  An epic journey towards Apolo on a dirt road that cuts over the Andes. With the endemic Palkachupa Cotinga – newly split from Swallow-tailed Cotinga, as a prize at the end of the road. The birds are similar to those of Manu road in Peru or the Coroico road.

Day 20. Searching for Palkachupa (Swallow-tailed) Cotinga near Aten Night in Apolo.

Day 21. Explorations around Apolo. Additional species that may here are the undescribed ssp of Black-capped Antwren, Yungas Tyrannulet, Yungas Antwren, Bolivian Recurvebill, perhaps even Scimitar-winged Piha en route, and the formerly Peruvian endemic Green-capped Tanager. This area is also known as the breeding grounds for the yet-to-be-described "Kill Bill¨ Tanager, also known as San Pedro Tanager, which was first known from the San Pedro area on the Manu road in Peru. 

Day 22. Another day's birding at Apolo. 

Day 23. Drive 15h to La Paz, arriving at night. 

Day 24. Fly to Riberalta.

Day 25-26. Birding around Riberalta for species like Masked Antpitta as the main target, but also the very rare Rufous-sided Pygmy-Tyrant and good species like Johannis' and Spotted Tody-Tyrants, Ashy-headed Greenlet, Chestnut (Purus) Jacamar, White-browed Hawk, Leaden and Streaked Antwrens, Rufous-tailed Flatbill, Sulphur-bellied Tyrant-Manakin, Amazonian Royal Flycatcher, White-rumped Tanager, White-bellied Parrot, Horned Sungem and Cock-tailed Tyrant.
In 2007 we saw Crowned Eagle here.

Day 27. After some additional birding in the morning, we shall be flying to Trinidad and transfer to the Hacienda that will put us up.

Day 28. Full day to search for Blue-throated Macaw and other Savanna birds.

Day 29. Additional morning at the hacienda before returning to Trinidad and on to Santa Cruz.

Photo credits: Steve Huggins


Price: US$ 7515

Full month birding in Bolivia. Price from 5 people. Flights, transport, lodging and food is included. Single supplement $630


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