4 days / 3 nights
Come and discover a side of Cali beyond the salsa and fiestas. Now, you will find that there is a natural kingdom of wildlife and biodiversity.
Hiking in nature, birdwatching and refreshing waterfalls included. Your Cali Wildlife Adventure awaits!
Your Cali experience will begin with an immersive city tour, during which we will visit such highlights as the historical neighbourhood of San Antonio, the lovely River Park, and some of Cali’s famous churches. We will enjoy a traditional lunch of local specialties in the city, before heading out of town for the first of many wonderful wildlife encounters.
This afternoon will be spent at Finca Alejandra, known in Colombia as “the hummingbird paradise.” The owners of this lovely little country house outside Cali have been feeding the birds for years now and an impressive array of endemic and rare species visit their many feeders. The birds are relaxed around humans and easy to photograph, and the highlights list includes the Multi-coloured Tanager, Red-headed Barbet, Purple-throated Woodstar, and Brown Violetear. Keep an eye out in the surrounding forests for Golden-headed Quetzal, Collared Trogon, Emerald Toucanet, and even the impressive Ornate Hawk-Eagle.
After an afternoon of birding and a walk along some of the forest trails around the finca, we will head off to our hotel for the night: the lovely lakeside boutique Hotel La Huerta.
Enjoy the panoramic views of Calima Lake over breakfast at La Huerta before we head just down the road to Yotoco Forest Reserve. This protected area of Pacific Andean forest is a little island of biodiversity outside Cali and is home to several interesting species of birds and mammals. The real highlight is the Red Howler Monkeys, which can almost always be seen hanging out in the trees surrounding the reserve building.
At Yotoco, we will spend the morning hiking through the jungle on the well-maintained trails, ending up on a hillside with a spectacular view over Calima Lake. Keep an eye out for parrots, toucans, and many species of tanagers, manakins, and antbirds. The rare and elusive Cauca Guan can also sometimes be spotted here by patient observers.
After a tasty packed lunch prepared with the fresh ingredients at La Huerta Hotel (which has its own organic garden on site) there will be some downtime in the reserve gardens where you can enjoy watching hummingbirds visiting the Heliconia flowers or try and get some good shots of the Howler Monkeys, before we set off for Cali where we will spend the night.
Gear up for an awesome adventure today! We will depart bright and early from Cali for a day-trip to the Pacific jungle village of San Cipriano. Located within a Natural Reserve surrounded by lush lowland forest, San Cipriano is a real off-the-beaten-track gem and we will explore the best of it.
Arriving in San Cipriano is half the fun – the locals have overcome their isolation with the famous brujitas: motorbikes strapped to wooden benches, which zoom into the jungle on the old train-tracks like a real-life theme park ride. After the thrilling twenty minute ride into the jungle, we will reach San Cipriano. The morning will be spent enjoying a nature walk through the forest, where will look for rare endemic birds, tiny poison arrow frogs, and delicate orchids.
After a delicious lunch of fresh Pacific seafood in the village, we will spend the afternoon enjoying the crystalline rivers surrounding San Cipriano. It’s your choice how you enjoy the experience: you can simply enjoy a refreshing swim in the cooling waters, take a tube into the jungle and float back to town, or take another jungle hike to a magical hidden waterfall. After a return ride on the exhilarating brujitas, it’s back to Cali again for a much needed rest…
On the final day of our Cali wildlife adventure we will leave the city in the morning, driving up into the foothills of the Western Andes to La Minga Ecolodge. Breakfast will be served when we arrive, and we will then spend the morning enjoying the incredible birdwatching for which La Minga is famous. The hummingbird nectar feeders at this little cloud forest ecolodge attract more than 10 beautiful species, and the fruit feeders are frequented by rare Colombian endemics like the Multi Colored Tanager. Keep your eyes out for Crested Quetzal and Crimson-rumped Toucanets during our gentle walk in the forest as well. After lunch we will head back to Cali, stopping along the way at the jaw-dropping viewpoint of Dagua to enjoy a final panoramic view over the vast Cauca River Valley and the city itself.
The tour ends here, but make sure to check our other extension options: perhaps you’d like to head north to explore the Coffee Region, or deeper into the Pacific to the former prison-island natural paradise of Gorgona Island.
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