Birding in Atacama Desert and Altiplano

Atacama Desert is the most arid place in the world, however it is possible to find exuberant wildlife, and many species have adapted to survive in this harsh and dry environment. In this trip we will travel in the surrounding areas of San Pedro de Atacama, through vast landscapes, volcanoes with snowy peaks, colourful lagoons and interesting species of birds and wildlife.

 

If you have some particular species you absolutely want to see, just let us know and we will organise a special trip.

 

We will take an early flight from Santiago to the northern city of Calama. Then we will travel to the Andean town of San Pedro de Atacama, which we will use as base for this Andean birding adventure. We will head to south of San Pedro to visit the Tamarugo forest, which is one of the few tree species that grows in this arid landscape. In this place we will look for a specialist of these woods Tamarugo Conebill, and also for Cinereous Conebill, Gray-bellied Shrike-Tyrant, Chiguanco Thrush and Scale-throated Earthcreeper. Then we will continue travelling south to visit two colourful high elevation lagoons Miscanti and Miñiques. These Andean lagoons are the most important nesting sites in Chile of Horned Coot, a species found only in some sectors of the Altiplano. We will also look for Puna Tinamou, Puna (Lesser) Rhea, Andean Goose, Golden-spotted Ground-Dove, Andean Gull, Puna Miner, Cordilleran Canastero, Black-hooded Plumbeous and Ash-breasted Sierra-Finch, Bright-rumped Yellow-Finch and Black Siskin.

After our productive morning we will visit Chaxa lagoon situated inside the Salar de Atacama. Here we will enjoy the amazing and dazzling salt landscape and look for several bird species that feed on salty waters. We will look for Chilean Flamingo, Andean and James's Flamingo, along with Andean Avocet and Puna Plover.

 

We will spend the night in San Pedro de Atacama.

 

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Birding in Atacama Desert and Altiplano

Day 1. Miscanti - Miñiques Laggons and Salar de Atacama

Very early in the morning we will head towards the north of San Pedro. We will cross several high elevation wetlands, and the landscape will be amazing - with snow capped volcanoes and vast landscapes of puna habitat. We will search for interesting species such as Diademed Sandpiper-Plover and Red-backed Sierra-Finch, two endemic species of the high Andes. We will also look for other species such as Crested Duck, Yellow-billed Teal, Puna Teal, Andean (Slate-colored) Coot, Giant Coot, Puna Ibis, Gray-breasted Seedsnipe, Mountain Caracara, Straight-billed Earthcreeper, Andean Negrito, Spot-billed Ground-Tyrant, Black-billed Shrike-Tyrant, Black-hooded Sierra-Finch, Mourning Sierra-Finch, Greenish Yellow-Finch. After spending the day in the mountains, we will return to the city of Calama to take our flight back to Santiago.

 

Private trips can be organized any day, all year around..

 

Includes: transport (up to 3 in SUV, up to 6 in Minivan), fligh tickts, hotel in San Pedro de Atacama, guide with birding equipment, snack (water, fruit, cereal bar), breakfast, lunch and dinner (entrance, main dish, 1 cup of wine, desert) and park entrance fees.

Day 2. Andean Wetlands

Includes: transport from/to Santiago (up to 3 in SUV, up to 6 in Minivan), pick up/drop off at your hotel, guide with birding equipment, snack (water, fruit, cereal bar), breakfast, lunch and dinner (entrance, main dish, 1 cup of wine, desert) and park entrance fees.

 

Price per person:                              

 

1 Guest   - US$1980                                  

2 Guests - US$1160                            

3 Guests - US$875                            

4 Guests - US$895                            

5 Guests - US$815                            

6 Guests - US$730