Top 10 Birdwatching Vacations in Latin America
Regions such as the Galapagos or Falkland Islands are world renowned for their unique and prolific bird populations. Imagine watching an albatross performing a courtship dance or hanging out with penguins. The forests of Costa Rica, Panama and Guyana also boast an array of bird species. Or you could paddle out to Peru’s islets or visit macaws and toucans in Bolivia.
- Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Even the most luke-warm birder will twitch themselves at the mention of these renowned islands. The birds here are considered some of the most exotic in the world. Many are endemic to the islands. Amongst the most famed is the waved Albatross with a wingspan of 11' 5" and performs a courtship dance. Boobies are also very common, including the cute little blue-footed boobies who can dive fearlessly from cliffs 98 feet high.
- Falkland islands
Amazing arrays of spectacular wildlife call these islands home although the Falkland Islands are probably best known for their penguins, with five breeding species and over a million penguins in total. There are also plenty of cormorant, geese, albatross and petrel to keep birders busy.
- Emperor Penguins, Snow Hill Island
Dress warmly if you plan to make friends with the 4000 bow tied friends on this remote island. Emperor Penguins are the only bird to breed on the frozen sea. In fact the poor male incubates the egg during the winter during the coldest period of the year while standing on his feet!
- Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica
This outstanding wildlife sanctuary is home to more than 400 species of birds plus an array of mammals and plant species. Take a walk on trails in forests draped in orchids and keep an eye out for the quetzal, sacred bird of the Mayas and Aztecs, distinctive for its long green plumes.
Guyana’s amazing rainforests and stunning rivers are a bird lovers dream with over 800 recorded species. Guyana is where the Guiana Shield (one of four pristine tropical rainforests left in the world) converges with the Amazon Basin. The unique geography creates a myriad of habitats for birds, ranging from coastal waters to mangroves, marshes, savannahs, mountains and tropical rainforests.
Panama boasts a number of reserves and national parks literally brimming over with birdlife. Visit La Amistad International Biosphere Reserve for tropical bird life or Darien National Park to surround yourself with macaws.
- South Georgia
Take a march with the tens of thousands of King Penguins on this island south of Latin America. It is also home to macaroni penguins and albatross. Stunning scenery, immense ice-crowned mountains, pristine beaches and whaling stations complete the package.
- Madidi National Park, Bolivia
Journey deep into the Amazon jungle to the Madidi National Park to eat your heart out on the bird life. This park contains 1000 bird species, a whopping 11 per cent of the world’s 9000 species. It is home to macaws, condors and toucans along with jaguar and bears.
- Islas Ballestras, Peru
Explore the Bay of Paracas and the coastal islands of Islas Ballestras by small boat to see the large colonies of seabirds including boobies, pelicans, terns and penguins.
- Cuyabeno Nature Reserve, Ecuador
Toucans, parrots and herons will keep you company on a paddle through the black water rivers, swamps, interconnected lakes and flooded forest deep of this nature reserve.