Northwestern Argentina holds some of the most spectacular landscape settings, ranging from humid forests to extremely arid lands and from lowlands to mountains more than 4,000 m (13,000 ft) high. A host of localized and endemic birds are present making this a prime birding trip.
Throughout the Andes, we’ll experience the diversity of climates and habitats at every turn as we enter the valleys and climb the mountain tops. Deep in the valleys live the endemic Moreno’s Ground-Dove, Yellow-striped Brush-Finch, Tucuman Mountain-Finch, and White-browed Tapaculo. The Torrent Duck and Rufous-throated Dipper will have us scanning every stream. The humidYungas cloudforests and montane forest are host to the Alder Amazon, Red-faced Guan, Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Fulvous-headed Brush-Finch, Rusty-browed Warbling-Finch, Fawn-breasted and Rust-and-Yellow Tanagers, among others.
Higher up, there are open grasslands and shrubby ravines inhabited by the rare Rufous-bellied Saltator, Maquis and Scribble-tailed Canasteros, Band-tailed and Plumbeous Sierra-Finch. In the arid valleys covered with “Monte” desert we will look for the endemic Sandy Gallito, White-throated Cacholote and Steinbach’s Canastero. While walking through the beautiful colonial village of Yavi, we can find Citron-headed Yellow-Finch, Wedge-tailed Hillstar, Giant Hummingbird and noisy flocks of Mountain Parakeet. Finally, at the highest point of our trip we reach the lakes of the barren Puna, home of large concentrations of water birds usually including three species of both coots and flamingos.
Besides its rich birdlife, this journey is an opportunity to experience the authentic culture of the Andes and to enjoy magnificent scenery as well as superb malbec wines.
The tour “Birding Central Argentina” can be taken as a pre tour extension.