Chilean flamingo © Claudio Vidal
Birding Expeditions
Land-Based Expeditions

Chile: Birds of Northern Chile

Chilean flamingo © Claudio Vidal

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Chile: Birds of Northern Chile

Enjoy an expertly guided birding trip and photo safari to Chile's Atacama coastal areas, oasis valleys and the High Andean Plateau. Explore the wealth of wildlife found on these puna grasslands, Andean lakes, bogs and scrubby ravines. Our journey to the north of Chile takes us to the fringes of the driest desert in the world, the inhospitable Atacama, home to species such as puna flamingo, huge, flightless giant coot and the tiny Chilean woodstar.


Daily Itinerary

Chile: Birds of Northern Chile Itinerary

  • Day

    Santiago / Arica / Lluta Valley / Putre

    Our Northern Chile tour begins as we meet our guide at the airport for our flight to Arica, Chile’s northernmost city. Head into the Andes, stopping first in the lowland valleys, where we search for Peruvian thick-knee. Andean swift and greyish miner. Make our way to the picturesque town of Putre, our base for two nights. As we explore at 11,483 feet, watch the “pre-puna” semi-arid bushy slopes for a variety of species, including sparkling violetear, Andean hillstar, creamy-breasted and canyon canasteros, golden-billed saltator and blue-and-yellow tanager, and hooded and thick-billed siskins. Spend two nights at Hosteria Q'Antati. (B,L,D)

  • Day


    Enjoy another day of birding around Putre. The gardens, cultivated terraces, eucalyptus groves and rocky walls are the perfect habitat for aplomado falcon, mountain parakeet, bare-faced ground dove, spot-winged pigeon, white-throated, plain-breasted and straight-billed earthcreepers, white-winged cinclodes, black-throated flowerpiercer, chiguanco thrush, d’Orbigny’s and white-browed chat-tyrants, band-tailed Seedeater and black-hooded, mourning and ash-breasted sierra finches. (B,L,D)

    Aplomado Falcon © Enrique Couve
  • Day

    Lauca National Park

    The wildlife-rich Altiplano or High Andean Plateau features stunning landscapes. Established to protect the highest lake in the world (and World Biosphere Reserve), Lauca National Park supports a great diversity of Andean fauna. The high-altitude bogs are home to a variety of endemic species such as all three Chilean species of Flamingo (Chilean, Andean and puna), delicate Andean avocet, giant and Andean coots, puna ibis, Andean goose, puna teal, rufous-bellied and grey-breasted seedsnipes, Andean lapwing, puna plover, and the exquisite diademed sandpiper-plover. The surrounding barren plains are a very good habitat for both puna rhea and puna tinamou. At over 14,760 feet, Lake Chungara is the highest place we'll explore. Enjoy gorgeous views of imposing volcanoes while watching for Andean gull, Andean flicker, cordilleran canastero, puna and white-fronted ground tyrants, Andean negrito, white-winged diuca finch and black siskin. Spend two nights at Hotel Diego de Almagro. (B,L,D)

  • Day

    Arica / Azapa & Chaca Oasis Valleys

    Observe a variety of shorebirds and gulls along the estuary of the Lluta River before boarding a small boat off the coast of Arica. Spend the rest of the morning watching for pelagic birdlife, including Peruvian diving petrel, Elliot’s and Markham’s storm petrels, and even rare wedge-rumped and ringed storm petrels! Around the harbor, observe Inca tern, along with South American and Peruvian tern. This afternoon, head into the bird-rich Azapa and Chaca Valleys, the haunt of croaking ground dove, Peruvian sheartail, oasis hummingbird, tamarugo, bran-coloured and vermillion flycatchers, Peruvian meadowlark and the odd-looking slender-billed finch. (B,L,D)

    Andean Goose © Claudio Vidal
  • Day

    Arica / Santiago

    Board an early flight to Santiago. (B)

Call 800.234.9620
5 Days, 4 Nights
Trip Type
Expedition Destinations

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