Birding Bolivia


14 days – 13 nights

Starts in Santa Cruz de la Sierra – Ends in La Paz


What our clients say!

Tour participants of Ornitholidays’ Patagonia 2005 tour.

… “We wanted to say how much we enjoyed our trip to Argentina which you organized for Ornitholidays….

…Attached are the photos of the Austral Rail. Unfortunately they are not as good as we would have hoped, but they are a clear record of the bird being there!” …

Best wishes

Phil & Peggy Hersee

Phil and Peggy Hersee






This tour will take you birding to a wide diversity of habitats, from the wet lowlands near Santa Cruz de la Sierra to the Bolivian Altiplano. The itinerary has been specially designed to avoid high altitude sickness, starting in low altitudes to slowly climb to the high Puna and altiplano. We will maximize our time at the field and bird a great diversity of habitats, searching for specialties and endemics of this unique country. Our group size limit for this tour is 8 participants with one tour leader.



Tour runs on request – Prices based on group size.

This tour will take you birding to a wide diversity of habitats, from the wet lowlands near Santa Cruz de la Sierra to the Bolivian Altiplano. The itinerary has been specially designed to avoid high altitude sickness, starting in low altitudes to slowly climb to the high Puna and altiplano. We will maximize our time at the field and bird a great diversity of habitats, searching for specialties and endemics of this unique country. Our group size limit for this tour is 8 participants with one tour leader.

Bolivia is a biological treasure nestled between Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Paraguay. Its great diversity of habitats hosts roughly 1,300 birds: around 40% of all South American species. There are 20 endemics but around three times that many endemic races.

Our journey starts in the tropical lowlands near Santa Cruz, to slowly take us all the way to the high Andes in 15 days. We start out tour at 500 meters above sea level, to finally reach an altitude of 4,500 meters. We will bird an incredible range of habitats as we drive through spectacular scenery.

The eastern lowlands of Bolivia near Santa Cruz are a mixture of Chaco woodlands, Pantanal wetlands and Amazon rainforests. These lowland tropics cover 70% of Bolivia’s total land area, but only 20% of the human population lives here.

The Andean foothills to the west show a different habitat, with a predominant dry forest, framed by impressive cliffs. Driving from Santa Cruz to Cochabamba, the forest changes dramatically and becomes more exuberant as altitude increases. Fertile basins with long ribbons of cultivated crops around Cochabamba provide habitat for a different array of birds, making the area very attractive for bird watching. Above Cochabamba, the forest becomes sparser with altitude, giving way to yet another unique and diverse bird habitat. The Andes to the northeast of Cochabamba are heavily forested, and fertile semi-tropical valleys of Yungas cross them every so often.

Finally, above 3,600 meters, the habitat changes dramatically into the dry and barren Altiplano, with its typical Puna grasslands and Andean lagoons. Peaks soaring to over 6,000 meters can be easily spotted along the road between La Paz and Lake Titicaca.

Our Itinerary in a Nutshell

Your Trogon Tours’ leader will meet you the airport of Santa Cruz de la Sierra on day 1. Depending on flight arrival time, we will go birding the botanical gardens for a brief introduction to Bolivian birds. Afternoon drive to Refugio Los Volcanes, near Samaipata, where we’ll spend three nights. We will devote days 2 and 3 to explore the vicinity of Amboró National Park. We’ll leave Los Volcanes on day 4 for Comarapa, where we’ll spend two nights. This is a transitional area, with habitats that range from humid forests to deserts, so we’ll spend day 5 exploring the area, including a first visit to the famous Siberia Forest, where we’ll look for specialties. On day 6 we will drive from Comarapa to Cochabamba, paying a second visit to Siberia Forest and exploring some Polylepis patches on the way. We will spend the night in Cochabamba. We will leave Cochabamba for Villa Tunari on day 7, birding the Puna ridge on our way and continuing to lower altitudes to explore the Yungas. We’ll spend two nights in Villa Tunari. On day 8 we will explore Carrasco National Park, one of the top birding locations of the tour, where we’ll have the chance to see Oilbird and Andean Cock-of-the-rock among other birds. We will leave Villa Tunari on day 9 and drive back to Cochabamba, birding different birding trails en route. We will spend two nights in Cochabamba. Day 10 will be devoted to explore Cerro Tunari all the way up to above 4,200 meters. Birding here we’ll have chances for Giant Conebill, Giant Hummingbird, Bolivian Warbling-Finch, Cochabamba Mountain-Finch, Great Thrush and many others. We’ll leave Cochabamba on day 11 to drive all the way up to La Paz, passing through Oruro on our way there, some of the birds possibly seen today include Bolivian Blackbird, Wedge-tailed Grassfinch, Plain-mantled Tit-Spinetail, D’Orbignyi’s Chat-Tyrant and Brown-backed Mockingbird to name but a few. We will spend the last three nights of the tour in La Paz. Days 12 and 13 will be dedicated to explore a wide diversity of habitats, including Lake Titicaca, high Andean lagoons and Yungas, using La Paz as our base. Some special birds we’ll look for include Titicaca Grebe, Crested & Golden-headed Quetzals, Crescent-chested Cotinga and Bolivian Tyrannulet. On day 14 we will drive to the airport of La Paz, where our tour ends.


Some birds we’ll look for

Red-fronted Macaw, Buff-bellied Hermit, Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Crested and Golden-headed Quetzals, Band-tailed and Barred Fruiteaters, Swallow-tailed Nightjar, Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Blue-banded Toucanet, Black-and-Chestnut Eagle, Titicaca Grebe, Hooded Mountain-Toucan, Maquis Canastero, Bolivian Earthcreeper, Bolivian Warbling-Finch, Bolivian Blackbird, Rufous-bellied Saltator… and roughly 400 more!


Best time to go

Given the wide altitudinal range covered during this tour, and the diversity of habitats, we strongly recommend going between August and October to seize the best possible weather conditions everywhere. Having said this, it is worth mentioning that March and April are great for hummingbirds and tanagers since trees are blooming or fruiting during that time of the year.


What is included?

Private transportation for all transfers and excursions. Accommodations on a twin/double basis. Single supplements on request. Full time Trogon Tours’ leader. All breakfasts, lunches, box-lunches and dinners with one non-alcoholic drink per meal included. Admission fees to all national parks and nature reserves.


What is not included?

International and domestic airfares and airport taxes. Tips to guides, drivers, hotel & restaurants personnel, etc. Drinks with your meals. Personal travel and medical insurance. Anything not specified in “What is included?”


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