Custom Search
  HOA LogoDestinationsTravel MallTravel Links  


Story by Chris Calonje; photos Chris Calonje and Carlos Mario Wagner   June 1, 2010

  Despite its relatively small size, occupying 1% of the world's landmass, Colombia boasts 19% of the world's species of birds (more than North America and Europe combined). Colombia is the second most biologically diverse country on Earth, home to about 1,875 of bird species and, for example, over 3,000 species of orchids. Much of this diversity is due to Colombia’s topography, which includes three Andean ranges and the valleys between them, a large portion of the Amazon Basin, and coastal habitat. Colombia is the only South American country with borders on both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The result is incredibly varied ecosystems—from rich tropical rain forests, to the cloud forests of the Andean cordilleras, to the high-altitude paramos, to the open savannas of the east and the coastal deserts of the Caribbean.   Blue-tailed emerald  
Blue-tailed Emerald Wagner
  Andean cock of the walk   Come enjoy Colombia and its avian diversity with me. My name is Christopher Calonje, I am a Klamath Falls, Oregon resident and founder of Colombia Birdwatch ( Born and raised in Colombia, I know the ins and outs of the country, it's people, food and culture. I also have a deep-rooted love for Colombia, evidenced by my work with environmental and social non-profit organizations. I find extreme joy in showing off my stunning country to birders from around the globe. Our tours are designed to give you the birding experience of a lifetime while enjoying the fine foods, accommodations and culture of local communities. I realize that conservation and stewardship of Colombia’s biodiversity depends largely on the participation of local communities, so community involvement and supporting local economies is emphasized during Colombia Birdwatch tours.  
Andean cock of the walk Wagner
  Black billed mountain toucan   Green violeteer   Blue-tailed emerald  
Black billed mountain toucan
  Green viosetear Wagner   Blue tailed emerald  Wagner  

A main point that I want to emphasize is that the security situation in Colombia has dramatically improved. When I moved to the US in 1998, not even Colombians could enjoy the natural wonder that is our country. This unfortunate situation was due to a civil war between government forces, paramilitary forces and the FARC, a marxist guerilla group financed by drug trafficking. But since President Alvaro Uribe was elected in 2002, the government has made great strides in bringing back peace and prosperity to the country. The government has decimated the FARC guerillas and most of Colombia is now safe.

Many experts even believe that most of Colombia is safer than other popular birding destinations such as Peru or Brazil. The avian paradise is once again accessible to birdwatchers and Colombians are eager and excited to show tourists the times of their lives. After 27 years of total stagnation, tourism is starting to flourish. The number of tourists coming to Colombia has quadrupled in the past five years. Tourism has taken a priority place in the economic development of the country, making birding localities extremely safe. Rightly so, the new slogan for Colombia is “COLOMBIA, THE ONLY RISK IS WANTING TO STAY”.

  Cyanocorax   Andean condor   Birdwatchers in Columbia  
  Cyanocorax  Wagner   Andean condor  Wagner  

We cater to a very wide range of birdwatchers and are able to provide other activities for non-birders throughout most of our tours. We can even book exciting eco-adventures with no birding involved. Our friendly tour leaders and guides and small group size allow us to look after every member of the group. Birding skill level is not an issue. Our tours emphasize quality birding, but at the same time are set in an amicable atmosphere, where friends are made and extraordinary moments shared. We strive to provide a superior service for our clients while getting to know each other as we travel throughout Colombia, the world’s hottest birding destination. Come visit us at to book the adventure of a lifetime.

Return to home page

HOA LogoDestinationsTravel MallTravel Links