The Heart of Chile

Introduction

From the Andes to the Humboldt Current.

5 Days / 4 Nights  &  4 Days / 3 Nights

We will travel through diverse ecosystems and habitats such as the Andes and Precordillera, Central Valley and Matorral (Chilean Savana), Coastal Range, Mediterranean Forest, Coastal Marsh and seashore, including a Pelagic Trip into the cold waters of the Humboldt Current (one of the most productive marine ecosystems on Earth). We will try to find as many birds as possible, especially the endemics of this ecoregion. This is a comprehensive program designed to fully explore and get to know the main Central Chilean environments and their birds.

Highlights

•Contrasting environments ranging from the Andes to the Humboldt Current.

• La Campana National Park, UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

•Chilean endemics, including: Chilean Tinamou, Crag Chilia, Seaside Cinclodes, Dusky-tailed Canastero, Moustached Turca, White-throated Tapaculo, Dusky Tapaculo and Chilean Mockingbird.

•Bird specialties: Humboldt Penguin, Northern Royal Albatross, Pink-footed Shearwater, Red-legged Cormorant, Torrent Duck, Black-headed Duck, Andean Condor, Diademed Sandpiper-Plover, Grey Gull, Inca Tern, Grey-breasted Seedsnipe, Giant Hummingbird, Green-backed Firecrown, Chilean Flicker, Striped Woodpecker, Wren-like Rushbird, Thorn-tailed Rayadito, White-throated Treerunner, Great Shrike-Tyrant, Many-coloured Rush Tyrant, Spectacled Tyrant, Rufous-tailed Plantcutter, Greater Yellow Finch and Thick-billed Siskin, among others.

Departures

From October to March.

*Throughout the year: excluding the Andes.

Price

850 to 2.200 US Dollars, per person. Varies according to the number of people/days. Includes private ground transportation, lodging, all meals, Pelagic Trip off Quintero (including: 5 hour pelagic trip to the Humboldt Current, chum for the birds, water and snack for each birder), entrance fees to parks and Birding Guide.

Meet and depart

Santiago, Valparaiso or Viña del Mar

Dates:

From Mon Feb 08,2021 To Fri Feb 12,2021

DAY 1: Meet and into the Andes

Meet at Santiago airport or hotel. From here we drive deep into the Andes, the largest mountain range in the world, we are going to be at heights above 2.500 m (8.200 ft), and enjoy scenery with peaks reaching more than 6.000 m (19.700 ft). Today we´ll focus on Andean Condor, the “Spirit of the Andes”, as well as the endemic Crag Chilia and the extraordinary Diademed Sandpiper-Plover. Then we´ll arrive at our delightful lodging in the Maipo Valley, where we settle into our accommodations and spend the rest of the day becoming familiar with species at this altitude. Night in Maipo Valley.

DAY 2: Birding the Central Chilean Andes

We spend the entire day birding the mountain range for Andean birds, concentrating on those species that only live in this ecosystem. Among them we look for Andean Goose, Crested & Torrent Ducks, Black-chested Buzzard Eagle, Variable Hawk, Mountain Caracara, Grey-breasted Seedsnipe, White-sided Hillstar, Black-winged Ground-Dove, White-browed, Black-fronted & Ochre-naped Ground-Tyrants, Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant, Rufous-banded & Creamy-rumped Miners, Grey-flanked & Creamy-winged Cinclodes, Cordilleran Canastero, Scale-throated Earthcreeper, Gray-hooded & Plumbeous Sierra-Finches, Greater Yellow Finch, Thick-billed & Yellow-rumped Siskins, among others. Drive to the coast. Lodging at Viña del Mar.

DAY 3: Coastal Mountain Range

We start early and drive east into the heart of the Coastal Mountain Range, with peaks above 2-000 m (6500 ft) and we search for endemics such as Chilean Tinamou, Chilean Mockingbird, Moustached Turca, White-throated Tapaculo and Dusky-tailed Canastero. We intend to visit La Campana National Park (Ocoa area), which was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. This park has a varied native flora composed of Mediterranean Forest. It is particularly rich in birds, including Variable Hawk, Black-chested Buzzard Eagle, American Kestrel, Harris’s Hawk, Chimango Caracara, California Quail, Chilean Flicker, Striped Woodpecker, Green-backed Firecrown, Giant Hummingbird, Patagonian Sierra-Finch, Grassland Yellow-Finch, Rufous-collared Sparrow, Long-tailed Meadowlark, Southern House Wren, Rufous-tailed Plantcutter, Plain-mantled Tit-Spinetail, Tufted Tit-Tyrant, Fire-eyed Diucon, Thorn-tailed Rayadito, Austral Blackbird and Common Diuca-Finch, among others. Lodging at Viña del Mar.

DAY 4: Birding along the Pacific Coast

Visit to a Humboldt Penguin Breeding Colony. Chance for Marine Otter. Then we head south to ponds and coastal marshes searching for the beautiful Many-colored Rush-Tyrant as well as many other species such as Great & White-tufted Grebes, Speckled Teal, Yellow-billed Pintail, Chiloe Wigeon, Lake Duck, Red Shoveler, Snowy Egret, Cinereous Harrier, Red-gartered, Red-fronted & White-winged Coots, Spot-flanked Gallinule, Plumbeous Rail, White-backed Stilt, Blackish Oystercatcher, Burrowing Owl, Wren-like Rushbird, Spectacled Tyrant, Yellow-winged Blackbird and the endemic Dusky Tapaculo, among others. Lodging at Viña del Mar.

DAY 5: Pelagic Trip off Quintero

Pelagic trip into the cold waters of the Humboldt Current, one of the world's finest pelagic birding locations. Departing from Quintero, we head offshore to meet the current to look for species which are endemic to this system such as Humboldt Penguin, Peruvian Diving-Petrel, Peruvian Booby, Guanay Cormorant, Peruvian Pelican, Grey Gull and Inca Tern. We also could encounter Northern Royal Albatross, Black-browed Albatross, Salvin´s Albatross, Southern & Northern Giant Petrels, Southern Fulmar, Cape Petrel, Pink-footed & Sooty Shearwaters, White-chinned & Westland Petrels, Wilson’s Storm-Petrel and Chilean Skua. With a little bit of luck we might find Magellanic Penguin, Chatham Albatross, Buller's, Antipodean & Southern Royal Albatross, Juan Fernandez & Masafuera Petrels and Subantarctic Shearwater. Search for other seabirds and species not yet located. Back to Santiago Airport or Hotel. End of the trip.

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