The great biodiversity, the large number of natural parks, the interesting mix of cultures and historic places to be visited are just some of the reasons a birding tour in Colombia is an excellent choice.
1. Colombia is the country with the highest number of bird species
Colombia’s rich biodiversity is due to its unique combination of geographic and topographic features unshared by any other country in the region. The variety of ecosystems makes Colombia a paradise for birders.Thanks to this wide variety of landscapes and weathers, Colombia is one of the countries with the highest biodiversity in the planet. Moreover, according to the experts, Colombia is the country with the highest number of bird species in the world, with more than 1,800 native and migratory species.
2. A wide range of natural areas to visit
The high diversity of birds has driven important conservation initiatives in Colombia by creating a National System of Protected Areas (Sistema Nacional de Áreas Protegidas – SINAP) since 1960 and developing the IBA program in 1996.
Today, the country has around 116 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) to protect and conserve inhabiting bird species as well as, 58 nationally protected areas including 42 National Natural Parks (Parques Nacionales Naturales – PNN). These areas combined cover more than 12 million hectares of Colombia’s territory and can be visited by anyone interesting in exploring the huge diversity of fauna and flora found in Colombia.
In addition to the protected areas mentioned above, there are also several areas of International importance such as: Five RAMSAR sites, five biosphere reserves and one conservation area for shortbirds as part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network-WHRSN.
3. Birding helps the local communities in Colombia
Small communities inhabiting the towns and farms close to the natural parks and protected areas have been benefited from the initiatives developed by the government to protect these areas and promote the wildlife and birding tours. Most of the accommodation and services available on each natural park are managed directly by the local community, generating jobs and sustainable development for local populations. These programs also incentivize locals to monitor the wildlife available in the area, protect the environment and, the new generations to study and become the future experts in birds and wildlife.
4. An interesting diversity of cultures and history
Colombia is a country full of history that goes even before the Spanish Conquest when the territory was inhabited by Indian communities like the “Muiscas” and “Tayronas”. You will be amazed by the beautiful and mystic places where the Legend of El Dorado started or if you have a chance to visit the ruins of pre-Columbian settlements built by the Tayrona people.
This aboriginal heritage in conjunction with the culture brought by the Spaniards has created a rich mix of cultural expressions that can be found in different art galleries, museums and colonial towns in the country. Many of these towns and places of interest can be visited in conjunction with the natural areas covered in your birding itinerary.
5. Friendly and welcoming people
We invite you to speak with people that have visited Colombia. You will find that the most recurring piece of feedback visitors agree on is how genuinely kind and friendly the Colombians are. Seeing as it is bad to gloat and modesty is a virtue, this is something you will need to discover by yourself when visiting Colombia and let us know if you agree.
If the above are good reasons for you to visit Colombia, why not check our birding tours.
Enjoy your birding experience in Colombia!
The Uncover Colombia Team