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Central Chile and Juan Fernandez Archipelago


Chile is extremely long. We will be covering enormous distances with the Van. The roads are however quite good in Chile, nevertheless you shall expect some night driving on day 6.

You will be awarded with seabirds and tapaculos. We choose to stay as close to the parks as possible and will be camping on some occasions.

The Juan Fernandez Archipelago will be visited for 6 days. 

We may play around with the dates a bit to accomodate a visit to Masafuera (Alejandro Selkirk Island), which is the only site for the endemic Masafuera rayadito. Two additional endemic landbirds occur on the main island Masatierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) and the waters around the islands are great for seabirds, notably the local breeders such as Defillipi´s, Stejneger´s, Juan Fernandez and Kermadec Petrel, Pink-footed Shearwater and White-bellied Storm-Petrel. 

December is the best time of year to try to visit Selkirk, because lobster season starts, why it should be possible to convince a boat to go there.  Be prepared that the visit to Silkirk by no guaranteed. There are few boats available, and the sea can be very rough, although during December it is usually calmer, and the birds should be preparing for nesting. 

No Departures for this Tour

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

Day 1. Rendevouz en Puerto Montt. Travel to Chiloe Island

Some people will have arrived from Punta Arenas after by ferry or overland via Route 40 after our Patagonia trip, others will arrive with flight LA 075 arriving at 9:35 AM .  We will head for Maulin where Slender-billed Parakeet are quite common. When ticked off we shall head for the short ferry ride to Chiloe Island, where we hope to spot several of the newly discovered and still to be described "Puerto  Montt Storm-Petrel". Arriving at the other side there is a short drive to Caullin Bay.This is a wonderful and peaceful place! Lot 's of birds in the bay  with Flightless Steamer-duck, Black-necked Skimmer, Black-necked Swan, wintering ground for Hudsonian Godwit, etc.
We will stay at Ostras Caulin cabins which has a good restaurants with white wine and Oysters....).
Close to the accommodation Des Mur's Wiretail, Magellanic Tapaculo and Chucao Tapaculo are usually easy to find. We shall also look for Ochre-flanked Tapaculo and at night Rufous-legged Owl.

Day 2. In the  early morning birding around the cabañas and in the Caullin bay. After breakfast, we shall leave for Ancud Peninsula for Blue Whale (seen from the shore) and Slender-billed Parakeet (another chance).
We shall visit, if time permits, Punyhuil, which is more or less on the way and a very good place to see See Otters, as well as a colony for Magellanic and Humboldt penguins, and some nice birds (Kelp Goose, Flightless Steamer-duck). 
Then driving to Puerto Montt and parque Alerce Andino , where we shall camp. 
Day 3. Birding in the morning in the Alerce Andino NP. Black-throated Huet-huet, Magelanic Tapaculo , Ochre-flanked Tapaculo, Des Mur's Wiretail, Chucao Tapaculo, Austral Pygmy-owl. Rufous-legged Owl is also possible.

Then driving north to Valdivia. The idea is to look for the Black Rail. There are various reports from this area. Not surprisingly, the Black Rail here may be a different species from that of North America. 

Day 4. Drive to Laguna de Laja. Chesnut-throated Huet-huet is the key bird which we shall try  for in the afternoon. Other species include: Spectacled duck, Ochre-flanked Tapaculo, Chilean Tinamou, White-sided Hillstar and Great Shrike-tyrant.

Day 5.  Birding around Laja in AM if still needed and the long day driving to Santiago . En route there is a Burrowing Parakeet colony.

Day 6.  El Yeso. Full day in the mountains with Crag Chilia, Moustached Turca, Dusky Tapaculo, DSP, Greater Yellow-finch, White-sided Hillstar, Rufous-banded Miner, Grey-flanked Cinclodes. Night in Santiago.

Day 7.  Fly to Juan Fernandez.  Near the airport is the dock where you will look for Defilippe´s Petrel that just finished breeding on nearby Santa Clara island and White-bellied Storm-Petrel that is a night-breeder on the same island. On the 40 minute boatride to the north side of the island you will look for more seabirds, which may include Kermedec Petrel. The North coast also hold large numbers of Juan Fernandez Fur Seal. In the village we will stay at a guesthouse where Juan Fernandez Firecrown regularily comes to the garden.

Day 8.  We will make a walk to the Alejandro Selkirk look out where one usually sees Juan Fernandez Tit-Tyrant and the endemic race of American Kestrel. In the late afternoon we will set off by boat to Alejandro Selkirk Island.

Day 9-10. Boat visit to Alejandro Selkirk Island. First day hike to the habitat of Masafuera Rayadito (c.600m) and overnight in camp here, second day continued hiking to the crater top where Stejneger´s and Juan Fernandez Petrel breed. This will be a tough hike. Those that prefer seawatching may pick additional goodies from shore such as Pink-footed Sheerwater. Alejandro Selkirk is also home for the recently to species elevated Juan Fernandez Hawk and the endemic subspecies of Gray-flanked Cinclodes (which may also well be a split in the near future).

Day 11. Contingency day.

Day 12.  Arrival to Robinson Crusoe Island where we will board our small plane back to Santiago.

Day 13.  Early morning in the pre-cordillera : White-throated Tapaculo, Moustached Turca, Dusky-tailed Canastero, Crag Chilia, Chilean Tinamou (we have to be lucky !) etc.
Then driving to the Batuco area with lot's of ducks and coots species and particularly the Black-headed Duck. It is also a good place for the Stripe-backed Bittern and Chilean Warbling Doradito – soon to be split.




Option: Chile alt 2 Days: 13
Price: US$ 5810 (Minimum 5 people).
Less than 5 people: (see pricing)
Single supplement: 235 US$
Price includes: Flight from Juan Fernandez Island back to mainland,Transport, guiding, 3 meals/day (breakfast and lunch usually in the field and a cooked meal at night), hotels, hostels and refugios (the latter basic lodging with matresses on the floor - bring sleepingbag), entrance-fees, ferry.

Does not include: Drinks, tips to local guides and drivers, airport taxes and transport to and from start and end.

Additional costs to consider:

-To get back to Santiago from Vegas Blancas if you decide not to continue with our Patagonia program: Your travel agent - or we could arrange it for you if you want fly from Temuco. Bus will cost around 25 dollars for simpe service and around 65 for 1st class (bedlike seats). The bus will take 11 hours.

-Join us to Patagonia. It will take two days to reach Puerto Madryn and you will do some birding on the way. Cost for the transfer 135 dollars.


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Telephone: +51-1- 652 76 89. From the US: 011-51-1- 652 76 89. Cell: 988 555 938 (Gunnar) or 999 007 886 (Elia Gallo) - Email: kolibriexp@gmail.com