Andean foothills and Batuco wetlands


Our tour Andean Foothills and Batuco Wetlands begins with birding the Mediterranean matorral shrublands on the outskirts of Santiago. Here we’ll be searching for some Chilean endemics: White-throated Tapaculo, Moustached Turca, Dusky Tapaculo, and Dusky-tailed Canastero. But also for more widespread species like: Striped Woodpecker, Austral Pygmy-owl,Plain-mantled Tit-Spinetail, Tufted Tit-Tyrant, White-crested Elaenia, Rufous-tailed Plantcutter, Common Diuca-Finch, among other common central Chilean species.

From here will drive to the Batuco wetland complex just north Santiago. Here we’ll have our picnic lunch and spend the rest of the day.

This wetland complex is the largest and one of the last remaining inland wetlands in central Chile. The Batuco Lake has a nice boardwalk where we can scan for many waterfowl species; including some specialties like Black-headed Duck and Rosy-billed Pochard. More than 150 species have been recorded in these wetlands, making it one of the most species-rich hotspots of central Chile. In the extensive reedbeds we can find Many-colored Rush-Tyrants, Wren-like Rushbirds and Yellow-winged Blackbirds. In winter months, this area congregated a large winter population of Andean Geese and it’s possible to find Patagonian Forest Earthcreepers.

We will also look for some more difficult and rare species. Among them: South-American Painted-Snipe, Ticking Doradito (a recent split from Warbling Doradito), Black Rail, and Stripe-backed Bittern.

Andean Foothills and Batuco Wetlands can easily be combined with a Pelagic into the Humboldt Current, Birding the Pacific Coast or searching for the Diademed Sandpiper-Plover in the Yeso Valley.

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
  • Activity Level Birding

Private trips can be organized on any day throughout the year.



  • Chilean endemics in the foothill matorral
  • Large species-rich flocks of waterfowl
  • Many reedbed specialists



  • Relaxed pace; short easy walks


Ease of Birding

  • Most species show easily, with some trickier skulking species


  • Transport: SUV for 1-3 people, minivan for 4-6 people
  • Pick-up/drop-off at your hotel in Santiago
  • English speaking guide with birding equipment
  • Snacks (fruit, nuts, cereal bars, water)
  • Picnic lunch
  • Park entrance fees
  • eBird checklists for the day’s stops

    Starting time: pick-up at your hotel in Santiago around 6:30 a.m. Not this time may vary depending on time of sunrise.

    See map insert for an overview of the route and main hotspots visited during the tour.

    Ending time: drop-off at your hotel in Santiago around 5:30 p.m.