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The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta is one of the world's largest coastal mountain ranges, with the highest peak reaching 5700 meters. It is a center of endemism, especially in its highlands, where the endemic Morpho rhodopteron makes its home. In addition to exploring the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, we will visit the Caribbean Lowlands surrounding this compact and isolated coastal range. 
 
The second half of our trip will take us to the immense plains of eastern Colombia, Los Llanos Orientales. Los Llanos is one of the world's most productive tropical grasslands containing a fantastic diversity of wildlife. Among the gallery forests of Los Llanos, we may even have the opportunity to photograph the elusive Morpho rethenor colombianus.
 
Trip Dates: 
March 16-29, 2022, registration cutoff is February 16 at 10:00 pm EST.
  • Explore one of the world's largest coastal mountain ranges, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.
  • Explore the Caribbean Lowlands that surround this compact and isolated coastal range. 
  • Visit one of the world's most productive tropical grasslands containing a fantastic diversity of wildlife.

Itineraries

Day 1

Arrival in Bogotá

Arrive at El Dorado airport in Bogotá. We will spend the evening in a comfortable hotel, Hotel El Campin.

Day 2

Arrival in Santa Marta

In the morning we will take an in country flight to Santa Marta in the department of Magdalena. We will then venture to Minca, a small mountain village at 600 meters surrounded by thick cloud forests and soaring peaks. This will be our home base for the next two days.

Day 3-4

Explore Minca

We will visit the forests surrounding Minca exploring different trails every day. We will search for medium-high elevation butterflies typical of montane forest (up to 2500 meters), such as, Mimardaris aerata, Perisama opelli mairae, Perisama nevada, Lymanopoda nevada, Lymanopoda caeruleata and many more.

Day 5-7

Visit the Caribbean Coast and Palomino

In the morning we will continue our adventure in the forests of the Caribbean coast and will move to an area near the town of Palomino, there we will explore the trails of the humid coastal forests. We will look for species such as the elusive Agrias amydon of the Sierra Nevada, Pterourus zagreus motilones and Philaethria dido winhardii, among many other subspecies of the Caribbean lowland.

Day 8

Return to Bogotá

It is time to leave the lowlands of the Caribbean coast and return back to Bogotá where will will overnight and prepare for journey to the Eastern Plains.

Day 9

Visit Chirajara and Villavicencio

In the morning after breakfast, we will head out of the city to an area called Chirajara, a short transect crossed by a small river where it will be possible to find special species such as Morpho menelaus lecromi, Morpho teseus, some species of Perisama among others. In the afternoon arrive in Villavicencio and spend the night in a 3 star hotel on the outskirts of the city.

Day 10-11

Mururito Nature Reserve

Today we enter the vast plains of the Colombian Orinoquia arriving at the private reserve Mururito in the afternoon. Mururito Nature Reserve is a 2000 hectare reserve located just 4 degrees north of the equator dedicated to the conservation of native species of the region. It is a small "oasis" in the middle of the plains with great accommodations and food where white-tailed deer and foxes can be seen near the house. Our main objective will be to see and hopefully photograph the never before photographed in their habitat Morpho rhetenor colombianus. We may find species of Eunica, Prepona, Siderone, or the endemic Philaethrria pygmalion among others

Day 12

Villavicencio

After a day of butterflying near the main house, we will leave the plains and return to Villavicencio for the night.

Day 13

Back to Bogotá

In the morning on our way back to Bogotá we will make a stop to explore some of the forest at the foot of the mountains surrounding the city. In the afternoon we continue on to Bogotá.

Day 14

Flights home today

Flights home today. For those with an afternoon flight home you may want to join us as we visit one or two of the sites and museums within walking distance of our hotel, such as the Plaza de Bolívar or the Gold Museum. We may also visit one of the most representative places of the Colombian capital, the hill of Monserrate.

The prices include the following:
  • Guiding services
  • Entry fees into reserves and parks
  • All planned meals and tips at restaurants
  • Hotel nights on the itinerary
  • In-country transportation.
The prices do not include the following:
  • International flights.
  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Phone calls, laundry or other items of a personal nature.
  • Tips at hotels or guides.

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  • Pricing Name
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  • Pricing Name Colombia Rate
    Start Thursday May 26, 2022
    End Thursday May 26, 2022
    1 - 8 Pax
     

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Please plan your arrival flight into Bogotá's El Dorado international airport.

Assistance can be provided to arrange a hotel stay in Bogotá for those arriving prior to our start date or those departing after our end date.

The Colombian peso is the country's legal tender. It is generally identified with the abbreviation COP, and you'll find that the official peso symbol ($) is used locally.
A wide selection of banknotes and coins are used. You will find 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1,000 peso coins and 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 and 100,000 peso banknotes. The exchange rate is 1 US Dollar to about 3400 COP.

DeVries, Philip. 1987. The Butterflies of Costa Rica and their Natural History. Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton, New Jersey.

Garwood and Guillermo. Butterfly Catalogs. https://www.butterflycatalogs.com/

Glassberg, Jeffrey. A Swift Guide to the Butterflies of Mexico and Central America.

McMullan, Miles. 2018. Field Guide to the Birds of Colombia. Editorial Delfin S.A.S.

Each client is solely responsible for bringing an ample supply of their personal meds, if taken. On occasion, however, if someone forgets their meds we can often find something nearly identical in local pharmacies.

Close focusing binoculars
Camera
Sunscreen
Insect Repellent