Birdwatching is an addictive hobby. When we go out and get in contact with nature, there is always something interesting to watch. Most of us are able to identify a few bird species that live around us, but it is amazing the amount of species that you can see if you take the time to stop and watch carefully.
Previous experience is no needed, just willing to experience a different tour, approaching nature in incomparable sceneries.
Patagonia is huge wild area of Southern South America, containing 7 completely different natural regions, part in Argentina and part in Chile. Each area has its own particular list of birds, which make up a total of 360 species including 40 endemics. These natural areas are: wetlands and aquatic environments, Patagonian steppe, Andean-Patagonian forest (or sub-Antarctic forest), high-Andean steppes, grasslands, sea coast and rural areas.
In the northwest corner of Patagonia, we have the great possibility of covering all the different regions in less than 600 km and the shortest time possible.
In order to see a good amount of different bird species, you need to go to the right places. We will prepare a tailored programme so you can have a great birding time and enjoy some amazing sceneries as well.This is a standard program starting and ending in Bariloche but all our tours are fully customizable, depending on the number of days you have and the regions and birds species that you are more interested in. If you want additional information about the bird species and other fauna and flora that you can find on each of the regions, please do not hesitate to ask. An 4-day extension in Buenos Aires and the Paraná River Delta is also available.
Andean forest, grasslands and wetlands
Reception at the Bariloche airport. From there we take Route 40 to Villa La Angostura, bordering the huge Nahuel Huapi Lake. In Villa La Angostura we will stop for a short birding walk in Laguna Verde where we will look for Great Grebe, Pied-billed Grebe and Magellanic Woodpecker. Then we will continue north by the amazing Seven Lakes Route to San Martín de los Andes, doing several stops along the way to look for Patagonian forest endemics such us Chilean Flicker, Thorn-tailed Rayadito, Austral Thrush and Dark-bellied Cinclodes. Once in San Martín de los Andes in the afternoon we will go to La Vega wetland, a protected area that hosts big colonies of Upland Geese and Ashy-headed Geese, among many other birds like Black-faced Ibis, Grass Wren, Cinereous Harrier, as well as ducks, teals and egrets. Night in San Martín de los Andes.
Grasslands, wetlands and Patagonian steppe
Early in the morning we will go to the most important birding hot-spot in Patagonia: the valley of Collon Cura River, where we will have the chance to find endemic species like Rusty-backed Monjita and Patagonian Canastero, as well as Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Burrowing Parrot, Two-banded Plover, Coscoroba Swan, Many-colored Rush-Tyrant, Spectacled Tyrant, Rufous-tailed Plantcutter, Wren-like Rushbird and Yellow-winged Blackbird , among others. After a picnic by the river in the afternoon we take Route 40 to Zapala. Along the way we will have opportunities for Lesser Rhea, Andean Condor, Elegant-crested Tinamou, Southern-crested Caracara and Long-tailed Meadowlark. Before entering Zapala we will detour to Laguna Blanca National Park, where we will look for Chilean Flamingos, Black-necked Swans and several egrets. Night in Zapala.
Rural areas, wetlands and Patagonian steppe
In the morning we will visit La Solitaria Lagoon to look for Chilean Flamingos, Black-necked Swans, Silver Grebe, Collared Plover, Baird’s Sandpiper and South American Stilt. Then we will cover the rural areas of Covunco and Mariano Moreno, looking of ingressions of species from the Pampas, like the White-faced Ibis, Picui Ground-Dove, Chiguanco Thrush, Great Pampa Finch and Bay-winged Cowbird. Picnic in the field and in the afternoon we move to Villa Pehuenia by the Primeros Pinos road crossing a high Patagonian steppe mixed with the first patches of Araucaria forest. Along the way we will have good opportunities for Long-tailed Meadowlark, Upland Goose, Correndera Pipit, Chalk-browed Mockingbird and Torrent Duck. Night in Villa Pehuenia, by the Aluminé River.
Wetlands and Patagonian forest (Monkey-puzzle trees forest)
In morning we will explore the lagoons in Villa Pehuenia, with good opportunities for Andean Gull, Rufous-backed Negrito, White-tufted Grebe, Andean Ruddy Duck, Spectacled Duck and Diuca Finch. Then we will cover the amazing Pehuenia Circuit that will take us through the pure forest of Monkey-puzzle trees by Aluminé, Moquehue, Ñorquico and Pulmarí lakes. Apart from the amazing scenery we can see endemic species of the Andean forest like the Austral Parakeet, Chilean Flicker, Dark-bellied Cinclodes, White-crested Elaenia and Tufted Tit-Tyrant. In the evening we take the way back to San Martín de los Andes.
High Andean steppe and Patagonian forest
In the morning we will go up to the high-Andean steppe of the Chapelco massif, with amazing views and good birding opportunities for Magellanic Woodpecker, Des Mur’s Wiretail, Yellow-bridled Finch and several ground-tyrants. In the afternoon we will go to Laguna Rosales, in Lanin National Park looking for the Patagonian forest tapaculos, the Chucao Tapaculo, the Black-throated Huet-Huet and the Andean Tapaculo, as well as the Green-backed Firecrown. Night in San Martín de los Andes.
Andean forest , rural areas and Pacific coast
From San Martín de los Andes we take the Seven Lakes Route again towards the Chilean border. Birding in the dense forest we will have opportunities for birds of prey like the Bicolored Hawk and Patagonian forest endemics like Thorn-tailed Rayadito, White-throated Treerunner, The Patagonian Sierra-Finch and Black-chinned Siskin. Then we will take the international road that crosses the Andes by Puyehue, one of the most beautiful passes to Chile. Once in Chilean territory we will go straight to the Pacific coast, passing by the city of Osorno to get to Maicolpúe, a small fishing village still undiscovered by tourism. On our way we will look for the Chilean-endemics Slender-billed Parakeet and Chilean Mockingbird. Night in Maicolpué.
We spend the day birding on three different spots on the Chilean coast: Maicolpué, Bahía Mansa and Pucatrihue, where we can see Oystercatchers, Sandpipers, Gulls, Terns, Black Skimmers and Flightless Steamer-Ducks. If the weather conditions are good we will take a boat in Bahía Mansa to watch birds offshore: several Cormorants, Boobies, Peruvian Pelicans and Magellanic and Humboldt’s Penguins. Inland we can see Black Vultures, Turkey Vultures, Sierra-Finches, Cowbirds and Siskins, among many others. Night in Maicolpué.
Pacific coast, rural areas and Patagonian forest (Valdivian rainforest)
In the morning, after a last look in Maicolpue we will cross again the Chilean Central Valley to get into the Puyehue National Park, on the Chilean Andes. We will lodge on cabins by the Aguas Calientes thermal springs. From there we can do some short walks with good chances for Chucao Tapaculo, Black-throated Huet-Huet, Ochre-flanked Tapaculo, Chilean Pigeon, Patagonian Tyrant and White-crested Elaenia. Before dinner we can relax with a swim on the thermal water. Night in Aguas Calientes.
Patagonian forest (Valdivian rainforest) and high-Andean steppe
This national park is really unique in Patagonia, as it hosts a good sample of the humid Valdivian Rainforest, perfect for the tapaculos, together with high areas with amazing views of the Antillanca, Osorno and Puntiagudo volcanos. We will do a short hike through the Valdivian rainforest then we will continue up to the high-Andean Steppes to look for Yellow-bridled Finch, Plumbeous Sierra Finch and Ground-Tyrants. Night in Aguas Calientes.
Andean forest, wetlands and Patagonian steppe
We cross de Andes again to the Argentinian side, birding along the way before we get to Villa La Angostura. After lunch we will take a walk on Los Arrayanes National Park, with new opportunities for endemics of the Patagonian forest like the Patagonian Tyrant, the Patagonian Sierra-Finch and the Tufted Tit-Tyrant, as well as aquatic birds like the Flying Steamer-Duck and the Silvery Grebe. In the afternoon we go back to Bariloche first passing by Los Juncos lagoon a nice birding spot in the steppe with flamingos, ducks, grebes, plovers and sandpipers. Arrival to Bariloche and end of our services.
We also provide birding day tours from San Martín de los Andes, focusing just on one specific area. Check out our programmes!