Holbrook Travel was invited to participate in a 3-day event to kickoff the new government initiative to promote birdwatching in Colombia. The first day was an impressive conference that brought together leaders from government, industry, tourism, and conservation.
One of the outspoken proponents of Colombia speaking was John Myers, Director of National Audubon Society’s Latin American program. “Now more than ever is a great time to visit Colombia” stated Myers, who was a main architect behind the new Northern Colombia Birding Trail. Christopher Calonje, founder of Colombia Birdwatch, was similarly optimistic that new times of peace were giving tourism a second wind: "Thanks to the peace agreement there will be good news and more foreigners will come to the country."
The next 2 days were pure birdwatching, visiting some of the best spots around the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, including Río Blanco, Los Nevados, Otún Quimbaya, and Parque Ucumari. Our group tallied 117 species and 12 endemics, including Chestnut-crowned Antpitta and Buffy Helmetcrest.
Colombia did not disappoint. “Colombia has got to be at the top your list of places you want to visit," said Nate Swick from the American Birding Association. “You can see more species of birds in one week than in your entire life in the United States." Dorian Anderson, a writer and photographer from LA added, “I’ve never been to the Páramo before and it's amazing! Lots of birds, unbelievable scenery. We’ve learned so much about Colombia, its birds, its economy, its culture and friendly people. It’s really been a great trip."
For a full report, watch the video below: