Birds and wildlife of Northwest Argentina8 days / 7 nights
A wildlife tour to the best of Argentina`s Andes, chaco and yungas Cloudforest.
Expect: Good accommodation, easy to moderate terrain, moderate to high elevation, mild to hot climate.
Trip report and wildlife checklist available.
Departures anytime from January to December.
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.
We start in Tucuman province, where we’ll experience a diversity of climates and habitats. 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 humid Yungas 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. Then we enter the Quebrada de Humahuaca, a UNESCO World Heritage site with spectacular scenery, beautiful colonial villages and lots of wildlife. At the highest point of our trip we will ascend to the Altiplano, reaching the lakes of the barren Puna, kingdom of the Andean Condor, Giant Hummingbird and large concentrations of water birds.
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 and “torrontes” wines.
Rio Los Sosa © Y Sato | Seriema Nature Tours -
Our tour starts in Tucuman, driving the yungas cloudforest road along Rio Los Sosa.
Yungas Cloudforest © Y sato | Seriema Nature Tours -
The Yungas Cloudforest vegetation grows luxuriant on the way to Tafi del Valle.
Yellow-striped Brush-Finch © Y Sato | Seriema Nature Tours -
A beautiful endemic bird from Argentina which can be seen below Tafi del Valle
Tucuman Mountain-Finch © D Monteleone | Seriema Nature Tours -
This finch inhabits the gullies above Tafi del Valle
El Infiernillo © G Pugnali | Seriema Nature Tours -
At 3000 m lies El Infiernillo, the high pass above Tafi del Valle, on the Aconquija Range
Echinopsis (Lobivia) bruchii © Y Sato | Seriema Nature Tours -
This cacti species occurs in the Aconquija range above Tafi del Valle.
The Monte desert © Y Sato | Seriema Nature Tours -
Beyond the pass, the climate changes completely, giving way to a desertic environment locally known as Monte.
Amaicha del Valle © G Pugnali | Seriema Nature Tours -
The next locality on our journey...
A walk in the monte desert © G Pugnali | Seriema Nature Tours
White-throated Cacholote © Y sato | Seriema Nature Tours -
An endemic species which inhabits the endemic Monte ecosystem.
Quilmes Fortification © G Pugnali | Seriema Nature Tours -
The pre columbian Quilmes fortification is one of the numerous cultural features of this trip.
White-fronted Woodpecker, Quilmes © G Pugnali | Seriema Nature Tours -
Woodpeckers drink nectar from the columnar cacti which surrounds Quilmes.
Cafeteria, Cuesta del Obispo © G Pugnali | Seriema Nature Tours -
A stop on the way at the Cuesta del obispo.
A flower of the Yungas © G Pugnali | Seriema Nature Tours
Sunny patches attract colorful butterflies in the Yungas © Y Sato | Seriema Nature Tours
Gauchos, Humahuaca Gorge © Y Sato | Seriema Nature Tours -
Humahuaca Gorge is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Columnar Cacti, Pucara de Tilcara © G Pugnali | Seriema Nature Tours -
The Pucara was a fortification made by the Incas to control the Andean trails.
Vicuna watching © G Pugnali | Seriema Nature Tours
Vicunas © Y Sato | Seriema Nature Tours -
Once nearly extint, the Vicunas are now abundant in Humahuaca Gorge.
Mountain Viscacha © G Pugnali | Seriema Nature Tours -
Related to the Chinchillas, the Mountain Viscachas inhabit rocky outcrops in the high Andes.
Puna Altiplano © G Pugnali | Seriema Nature Tours -
On the higher part of Humahuaca Gorge we find the barren Puna Altiplano.
Huancar lagoon © G Pugnali | Seriema Nature Tours -
Once in the Altiplano, we stop at every High Andean lakes looking for its varied wildlife.
Chilean Flamingo © Y Sato | Seriema Nature Tours
Andean Condor © H R Goni | Seriema Nature Tours -
Andean Condors are not uncommon in the Andes of Argentina.
Tucuman to Tafi
Tafi del Valle
Infiernillo, Calchaqui Valleys
Quilmes to Salta
Cuesta del Obispo
Chaco Habitats - Humahuaca
Humahuaca - Puna Altiplano
Yala forest - End of trip.
(The sites described and itinerary can change slightly. Contact us for complete details, or for customizing this tour)
Northwest Argentina diciembre 2017
Northwest Argentina Bird Checklist
Trip Report C & NW Arg 2018 octubre 2018
Trip report NW Argentina diciembre 2005