Bolivia

Bolivia HighLands

 

10 days \ 9 nights

Day 1 

Laguna Alalay  

Following arrival in Cochabamba, our base for five nights, Our first birding destination is Laguna Alalay, 30 minutes to the south of Cochabamba. Our drive to the lake will provide opportunities to look for waterfowl such as  Cinnamon, Puna and Speckled Teal, Yellow-billed and White cheeked Pintail, Red Shoveler, Andean Duck, Fulvous Whistling-Duck, White-tufted, Least and Pied-billed Grebe, Puna Ibis. Plumbeous Rail, Many-colored Rush-tyrant and Wren-like Rushbird. The surrounding scrubby habitat around the lake holds species like White-tipped Plantcutter, Glittering-bellied Emerald, Blue-and-yellow Tanager and Gray-crested Finch. 

After a relaxing first day we overnight back at Cochabamba. Our hotel is the “Regina”, located just in the of downtown.   

Located in the temperate valleys of the central Andes, Cochabamba is commonly referred to as the city of eternal spring as it enjoys what is arguably the most pleasant year-round climate of any region in the country. The Department of Cochabamba offers access to all of the important habitats found throughout the Andes; from upper tropical, subtropical, and temperate forests on the wet eastern slopes to arid temperate scrub, puna grassland, and Polylepis woodland on the dry intermontane side. Therefore, it should be no surprise that although being one of Bolivia’s smallest departments, more endemic species can be found in the Department of Cochabamba than anywhere else in Bolivia. 

Day 2

Cerro Tunari, Cochabamba 

Our tour begins in earnest with a full day spent birdwatching a range of habitats in the vicinity of Cochabamba and nearby Cerro Tunari. Species to anticipate here might include Andean Condor, Mountain Caracara, Andean Lapwing, Gray-breasted Seedsnipe, Andean Gull, Picui Ground-Dove, Bare-faced Ground-Dove, Black-winged Ground-Dove, Gray-hooded Parakeet, Wedge-tailed Hillstar, Giant Hummingbird,  Green-barred Woodpecker, Andean Flicker, Slender-billed Miner, Plain-breasted Earthcreeper, Rock Earthcreeper, Maquis Canastero, Cordilleran Canastero, Rufous Hornero, Brown-capped Tit-Spinetail, Tawny Tit-Spinetail, Streak-fronted Thornbird, Yellow-billed Tit-Tyrant,  White-fronted Ground-Tyrant, Brown-backed Mockingbird, Black-hooded Sierra-Finch, White-winged Diuca-Finch, Short-tailed Finch, Bolivian Warbling-Finch, Rufous-sided Warbling Finch, Black-and-chestnut Warbling-Finch, Cochabamba Mountain-Finch, Ringed Warbling-Finch, Bright-rumped Yellow-Finch and Bolivian Blackbird. 

Day 3 

Cochabamba 

We leave early in the morning to spend the day birdwatching in temperate forests at Tablas Monte along the new highway to Santa Cruz. Birds which may be seen during the day include Violet-throated Starfrontlet, Great Sapphirewing, Hooded Mountain-Toucan, Light-crowned Spinetail, Black-throated Thistletail (Cochabamba form), Rufous-faced Antpitta,  Diademed Tapaculo, Rufous-bellied Bush-Tyrant and Gray-bellied Flower-piercer. 

Day 4 

Miguelito 

We have another early departure, this morning heading to Miguelito (lower Cloud Forest) along the new highway towards Santa Cruz.  More superlative birding might include Sickle-winged Guan, Stripe-faced Wood-Quail, Solitary Eagle, Black-and-Chestnut Eagle, White-throated Quail-Dove, Rufous-capped Thornbill, Upland Antshrike, Yellowrumped Antwren (rare), Ochre-breasted Antpitta (rare), Fulvous-breasted Flatbill, White-eared Solitaire and Strawbacked Tanager. 

We return to Cochabamba for our final night here. 

Days 5 

Oruro 

Today we leave Cochabamba and transfer to Oruro, a beautiful drive through the Bolivian Altiplano. Altiplano means “high plain” but in reality the landscape consists of valleys, rolling hills, salt flats, volcanoes, rivers, and lakes, which together provide habitat for birds such as Crested Duck, Puna Teal, Puna Flamingo, Andean Flamingo, Cinereous Harrier, Andean Avocet, Puna Plover, Andean Gull, Taczanowski's Ground-Tyrant, Rufous-naped Ground-Tyrant, Puna Ground-Tyrant, Andean Swallow, Short-billed Pipit, Correndera Pipit, and Yellow-winged Blackbird. Night in Oruro. 

Day 6

La Paz 

La Paz is a 6 or 7 hour drive from Oruro, but we will be birding and stopping en-route, taking all day over the journey. Taking a picnic lunch with us, birds en-route might include the newly described Inquisivi Spinetail (if we are lucky) and many other species such as Puna Snipe, Spot-winged Pigeon, Gray-hooded Parakeet, Giant Hummingbird, Andean Swift, Rock Earthcreeper, Bolivian Earthcreeper, Brown-capped Tit-Spinetail, Rusty-vented Canastero, D'Orbigny's Chat-Tyrant, Bolivian Warbling Finch and Rufous-sided Warbling Finch among many others.  

Nestling in a gaping canyon at an altitude of 3,600 metres, La Paz is the highest capital city in the world and with this statistic come a whole series of  associated records such as the highest  international airport, highest football stadium and highest golf-course! The city is overlooked by the snow-capped triple peak of 6,400 metres-high Mount Illimani, providing a wonderfully scenic background to our birdwatching activities in the altiplano. During the following days we will journey from the city to explore different facets of the Andean landscape beginning with an excursion into the foothills and mountain passes at the edge of the plateau. This final phase of the tour will further emphasize the ethnic origins of the country as we meet villagers dressed in traditional costume descending from mountain settlements to exchange goods at one of the rural markets, or enter villages where the style of life seems to have changed little over the centuries. In many of these remote communities, the ancient Aymara language is spoken in preference to Spanish. 

As Bolivia´s largest city, accommodations in La Paz range from budget to luxury, and everything in between.  The hotel we have chosen for this tour is the Residencial Rosario, which is in an excellent location close to the craft markets. This is important as we routinely arrive late in the afternoon to La Paz, to have the markets close is handy. 

The hotel also has one of the best restaurants in La Paz; we are assured of excellent meals! We will be based in this hotel for the next four nights. 

Day 7 - 8   

La Cumbre and the Yungas of La Paz 

We have two flexible days which we will use to explore in detail many of the excellent puna and cloud forest sites around La Paz, including La Cumbre, Valle de Choquetanga, Pongo, Unduavi, Velo de la Novia, Cotapata and Chuspipata.  

Some of the best birding at higher altitudes might include Andean Goose, Puna Snipe, Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe, Gray-breasted Seedsnipe, Black-hooded Sunbeam, Tawny Tit-Spinetail, Streak-throated Canastero, Crowned ChatTyrant, Chestnut-crested Cotinga, Andean Swallow, Paramo Pipit, Drab Hemispingus, Rust-and-yellow Tanager, Hooded Mountain-Tanager, Chestnut-bellied Mountain-Tanager, Golden-collared Tanager, White-browed Conebill, Black-throated Flowerpiercer, Moustached Flowerpiercer and Plushcap. Descending the road down the wet slopes of Coroico, there are four major habitats to concentrate upon: puna grassland and bogs above the tree line (15,092 feet); shrubby precipitous canyons; untouched stunted temperate forest with bamboo; and the subtropical “yungas” forests lower down.  Descending 14,108 feet in just 100 kilometers, the road between La Paz and Coroico is considered to be one of the most spectacular in South America and, from a birding perspective, simply breathtaking! 

Day 9 

Lake Titicaca and Sorata  

Lake Titicaca is considered by many to be one of the greatest and most mystical places in all of South America.  

Sitting high up on the altiplano on the Bolivia/Peru border, Titicaca derives much of its mystique from the ancient belief that its deep and bottomless waters were the birthplace of the Incan civilization. With a depth of up to 1,500 feet, there is no doubting that the beauty of its sapphire-blue waters and the lofty snow-covered peaks of the  Cordillera Real account for some of the most splendid panoramas anywhere.  As well as providing for breathtaking vistas of the expansive and rugged landscapes of the altiplano, Titicaca and its surrounding highland habitats feature some of the most interesting birds and mammals in the country. After spending the first couple of hours in the morning looking at the rich avifauna of Titicaca (including with luck the endemic Flightless Grebe) we will continue on to search for one of South America’s rarest birds, Berlepsch’s Canastero. This species can be found in one single valley close to the small town of Sorata. The drive from Titicaca down to Sorata and the return to La Paz will provide us with impressive views of Mount Illampu (20,867 feet) and Mount Ancohuma (21,080 feet).  

Day  10 

International Flight back home.

The trip includes:

•Birder Guide.

•Private Transportation.

•Lunches and dinner as specified on the tour with one (1) soft drink, except on the last day.

•Accommodation as shown above.

The trips do NOT include:

•Travel Insures.

•Extra and alcoholic drinks.

•Tips.

 

Any specific information please feel free to contact: or