Colombia - October 2014
From 23 October - 2 November 2014, I went on a 12-day self-organized bird trip to the Santa Marta region in North Colombia. This was clearly one of the most adventurous trips I have ever made. Unlike other birders visiting this region, my aim was not to go to all the hot spots in the region in order to see as much birds as possible, including all of the endemics, but I merely wanted to fully enjoy the El Dorado Lodge area and follow my own pace. That's why I went here off season in order to avoid crowds and spent as much as 7 nights at the wonderfull El Dorado Lodge, which I practically had for my own since there were no other guests for most of the time. Hiking up the mountain from Minca to the lodge (with a heavy backpack) was tough (20 km, 11 hours, including birding on the way up) but so much nicer than the usual extremely uncomfortable 4-wheel car drive up which most people do. Walking back down from the lodge after spending a tremendous week at the lodge made it all a very satisfactory and challenging adventure. I spent the last two days in the comfortable Casa Lina Ecolodge at the coast in Palomino, an hour drive east of Santa Marta. I was very lucky to have met co-birder Sebastian, one of the owners of the beautifull Guest House Faunal in Pozo Azul (near Minca), who was kind enough to show me his yard birds and to bring me to Los Flamencos at the Guajira Peninsula. Check out my many photo's of birds, butterflies etc. under Colombia.