Highlands above Santiago – The Endemics Quest


In a single day out of Santiago it’s possible to see all the endemics of central Chile. Highlands above Santiago aims to see all 6 of the central Chile endemics: Chilean Tinamou, Crag Chilia, Dusky-tailed Canastero, Moustached Turca, White-throated Tapaculo, and Dusky Tapaculo; as well as the near-endemic Chilean Mockingbird. We’ll explore the Mediterranean scrub of the foothills and alpine areas of the Andes Mountains near Santiago, making stops at different altitudes.

Of course, our birding will not be limited to these endemics, and we’ll encounter many more interesting species. Just to name a few we are likely to encounter: Striped Woodpecker, Chilean Flicker, Austral Pygmy-Owl, Giant Hummingbird, White-sided Hillstar, Creamy-rumped Miner, Black-fronted Ground-Tyrant, Greater Yellow-finch, Magellanic Tapaculo, Scale-throated Earthcreeper, Andean Condor, Mountain Caracara, among others.

At our picnic spot, we often have magnificent Andean Condors soaring above. Rufous-banded Miners, Gray-hooded Sierra-Finches and Greater Yellow-Finches looking for some leftover crumbs from our lunch are always entertaining.

This trip is a great introduction to Chile’s birds, from scrubland endemics and widespread species to high elevation specialists. To make things even better, climbing to these high elevation locations that are easily accessible from Santiago also offers stunning mountain landscapes.


Highlands above Santiago can be combined with other day tours out of Santiago.


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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
  • Activity Level Birding

Private trips can be organized any day from September to May.



  • Most of Chile’s endemics in one day
  • Condors soaring at a short distance
  • Incredible mountain landscapes



  • 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

Next Departure


    Highlands above Santiago – The Endemic Quest!

    Starting time: pick-up at your hotel in Santiago around 6:30 a.m. Note that starting may vary slightly 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.