The tour ‘in a nutshell’
This 12-day bird watching tour visits the temperate forests of Cochabamba and the spectacular mountains and altiplano of La Paz and Lake Titicaca in the Bolivian highlands.
High mountains are the most dominant feature of Bolivia. The area around Cochabamba (Bolivia’s third largest city) presents a variety of highland habitats along the Andean Cordillera, from arid savannah to high montane forest. It has a pleasant climate, described as ‘eternal spring’.
Bolivia’s altiplano (literally, ‘high plain’) is a windswept plateau between two ranges of mountains and consists of valleys, rolling hills, salt flats, volcanoes, rivers, and lakes. The country’s capital, La Paz, is situated at an altitude of 3,600 metres and is the highest capital city in the world.
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 waters were the birthplace of the Incan civilization.
What birds might I see?
All but two of the Neotropical bird families are represented in the national bird list of over 1,350 species which includes 18 endemics.
More endemic species are found in Cochabamba Department than anywhere else in Bolivia. Around Cochabamba we’ll look for waterfowl such as Cinnamon, Puna and Speckled Teal, and rarities including Red-fronted Macaw, Bolivian Earthcreeper and Rufous-faced Antpitta among many other species.
Cloudforest birds we’ll search for include Sickle-winged Guan, Stripe-faced Wood-quail, Solitary Eagle, Rufous-capped Thornbill, White-eared Solitaire and Straw-backed Tanager. The altiplano provides habitat for birds such as Crested Duck, Andean Flamingo, Cinereous Harrier, Andean Avocet, Taczanowski’s Ground-tyrant and a host of other species.
Titicaca’s rich avifauna includes one of South America’s rarest birds, Berlepsch’s Canastero.
We’ll see villagers dressed in traditional costume descending from mountain settlements to exchange goods at one of the rural markets, and possibly even hear the ancient language of Aymara spoken in remote areas.
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 281 meters (1,000 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 Tour Itinerary Bolivia - Highlands 4 © Naturetrek some of the most interesting birds and mammals in Bolivia. 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 towards Sorata and the return to La Paz will provide us with impressive views of Mount Illampu at 6,368 meters (20,892 feet) and Mount Ancohuma at 6,427 meters (21,086 feet).
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